Episode 90: Pricey Pearl 8 – Matthew & Special Guest Roman

July 27, 2015


Episode 90: Pricey Pearl 8 – Matthew & Special Guest Roman

This one starts out with Ol’ Joe’s re-translation of a chapter of Matthew from the Bible. It’s pretty pointless, but we make it through. Then, we’re joined by a very special guest who makes everything so much more entertaining!

“Drink” Count – 3

Not even half a beer.  Better make em shots!


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21 Comments on “Episode 90: Pricey Pearl 8 – Matthew & Special Guest Roman”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    First off, David and Roman reading the Book of Mormon Stories book is freakin’ adorable, and we definitely need some more of that.

    Second, why is Joseph Smith – Matthew even a thing? As the heading said, it’s a part of Joseph Smith’s “translation” of the Bible (and yes, he did just sit down with a King James Version, and as he read it, made changes where he felt inspired that the Bible contained errors; Mormons do NOT believe in biblical inerrancy, as you can tell.) Most chapters of the Bible have few or no corrections made, and if there are any, the LDS version of the KJV has a little footnote at the bottom of the page where the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) is given. One example of many, where the KJV Sermon on the Mount says, “Judge not that ye be not judged”, the JST corrects this gross error with, “Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment.”

    Fun fact, the JST completely omits the Songs of Solomon, calling them “not inspired writings”. Sure, take away the one part of the Bible that gives us colorful metaphors for women’s lady parts! Why can’t we have nice things, God?

    Some chapters, on the other hand, contain lengthy additions that are too impractically large to put in the footnotes, so they were relegated to an appendix. One classic example of this is at the end of Genesis, where Joseph of Egypt is about to die, and is saying goodbye to his brothers (which takes about one verse in the Bible.) The JST here adds several very lengthy verses which are, of course, basically a repeat of 2 Nephi 3, in which Lehi quotes some prophecy Joseph conveniently made about Joseph Smith.

    However, some JST additions were considered so important that sticking them in a seldom-read, hard to find, oft-forgotten appendix at the end of the Bible didn’t seem appropriate. The Book of Moses is just the JST version of Genesis chapters 1-6. So, why was the JST of Matthew 24 important enough to merit the same prominence as the Book of Moses? I have no idea. The Second Coming is very important to the millennialist doctrine of the LDS church, so maybe that has something to do with it.

    The most significant change I can see from KJV Matthew 24 to Joseph Smith – Matthew is a point you made about “this generation shall not pass away”. The gospel writer depicts Jesus essentially giving a false prophecy that the generation he was speaking to would live to see the Second Coming. Joseph Smith saw this apparent error in the Bible, because Jesus wouldn’t make sloppy mistakes like that, so he corrected it. Here Jesus says, “…this generation, in which these things shall be shown forth, shall not pass away…”. This is to clarify it’s not the generation Jesus is speaking to which will see the Second Coming, it’s the generation that sees the signs he’s in the process of talking about.

    I find it interesting that the bulk of Joseph Smith’s additions and corrections to the biblical text are found in the books of Genesis and Matthew. It’s almost as if every time Joseph decided to start a new project (Old Testament translation, New Testament translation, Book of Abraham), he went ahead with it full steam for a while, got tired of it, and decided to half-ass his way through the rest of it, if not stop abruptly altogether. You know, maybe it IS a miracle that Joseph Smith completed the Book of Mormon?


    • jwartena Says:

      Duke, are you familiar with the complete JST? It’s not very well-known in the LDS Church, where only a scattering of JST passages are discussed.


      • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

        I’m not very familiar with what’s in the complete JST, other than the excerpts used by the LDS. I just know that the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or RLDS church, for anyone not in the know) calls it the “Inspired Version” of the Bible. Emma Smith had possession of the original manuscripts after Joseph died, but she refused to give them to Brigham Young, so the RLDS have traditionally used the Inspired Version while the LDS haven’t. Anyone can buy a copy of the full translation, and there are even editions with a side-by-side KJV comparison. If I’d had more spending money back when I was more interested in this stuff, I would have bought one for sure.

        I just researched a little, and it seems that the reason our Pricey Pearl has a few Genesis chapters and then stops abruptly is because the LDS church, without the original manuscripts, had to rely only on those excepts of the JST which had already been published in the newspaper during Joseph’s lifetime. Since the unpublished manuscripts had gone through the hands of those dirty RLDS apostates, the LDS may not have initially trusted the full translation to be 100% accurate. I mean, who knows if someone who wasn’t Joseph Smith could have slipped in a verse anywhere they wanted to back up their own view of what the biblical interpretation should be?


      • Spanner Says:

        Comparison of the JST and original can be very interesting, the corrections that Joseph and Sydney Rigdon (he was involved as well) made shed light on their own hang ups.

        For example, Lot did not offer up his two daughters to protect the angels in Sodom, the Sodomites asked for them and righteous Lot refused. Lot’s daughters still sleep with their father, but in the JST they are judged as being wicked – the original doesn’t cast judgement on them.

        Later, in Genesis 38, Onan is not struck dead for spilling his seed on the ground, but instead is killed for outright refusing to sleep with his widowed sister-in-law. What is amusing about this is that Onan’s story is the main scriptural basis for masturbation being a heinous sin, and has been used by many a Bishop in reprimanding teens. But the rewrite removes that justification completely. Instead, Onan is struck dead for not sleeping with a woman God commanded him to sleep with (presumably an angel with a flaming sword was involved somewhere) – I strongly suspect Joseph was the instigator of that amendment.

        So the JST is well worth a read, but needs to be side by side with the KJV to spot the changes.


  2. Nate Says:

    Yay! I left you a voicemail when I was recovering from surgery about how fun I thought it would be to read the children’s BoM with your kid. I loved it. Do more!


  3. 4blockhead Says:

    Roman’s idea about Smith being under the influence of drugs is taken seriously by some.


    The events surrounding the Kirtland Temple dedication where visions were reported by a significant fraction of those attending sound like a rave-like experience. The press of the 1830s called out the mormons in their peculiar style of worship may be induced by an adulterated/medicated wine:


    The discussion of the origins of the book of mormon per the children’s story also leads nicely into your next chapter, although some of the material is covered in the preface to the Book of Mormon. Smith recorded multiple versions of the “first vision” with widely differing details.


    The other thing you could read in advance of JS History is the documentation of Smith’s 1826 trial in southwestern New York state for being an improper person.



  4. BaronBytes Says:

    Roman was on to something, Pill and Pillar have the same Latin root in the word Pila that has 2 definition, a stack of things or a small ball.


  5. Alexis Says:

    your son is adorable. I love his explanation of how the universe was created. Definitely a level O reader!


  6. Andrew Says:

    Hearing your son read was adorable but was also more poignant than you may realize, at least for me. My birthday present as a 7 year old was the Book of Mormon reader, and my parents very seriously told me to read it every day. I took every story as rock-solid truth, and my parents reinforced everything daily. Naturally, I felt very good reading the book as it made my parents proud. Plus, since I was seven years old, I still had Satan immunity (the devil only gets to tempt us when we turn the magical age of 8). Ergo, 7 year old me would testify every month in church that the Book of Mormon was true, and everyone in church would comment at how much they felt the Holy Ghost. “From the mouth of babes,” as the saying goes. “Children are so innocent and pure that they can clearly discern truth, since they haven’t yet been influenced by Satan or the world.”

    So to hear you read with your son was a very powerful reminder of how much children are influenced by their parents and the worldview shared by the parents. I did not have some special spiritual gift; I just really took to heart everything my parents taught me about the BOM and the church. And to hear you two laugh about things that terrified 7 year-old me (What will happen when I sin after I’m eight years old? What does God think of me? When will Christ come again and will I be prepared?) was very cathartic. I hope to raise my son without fear and with the confidence to think critically.

    Thank you for doing that special episode. I would love to hear more of these-perhaps you could skim or just do highlights from the BOM every once in a while? Roman’s perspective is as impactful as your insights frankly.


  7. Yarjka Says:

    “The Jews” appear in the Bible in the Gospel of John. The Gospel of Matthew, which was written much earlier than the Gospel of John, doesn’t make mention of “The Jews” in the same way that John does (as in, “The Jews killed Christ”). Interesting indeed that Joseph saw the need to write “The Jews” into the earlier narrative.


  8. help3434 Says:

    When are you going to talk about what you thought of the Mani Pageant?


  9. Gottfried the Hirsute Says:

    As W.C. Fields said, “Never work with children or animals.” David, you have been upstaged! Roman crushed it – well done!


  10. johanges Says:

    Re: My Jr Book of Mormon

    Thank you for letting Roman add his contribution. Please let him continue for as long as he finds it interesting. I will have a tall glass of milk ready for the first jr DRINK! when it comes.

    Roman’s commentary was very insightful. It is clear that not only is he smart, but has the reading skills and vocabulary to make this very interesting to follow should he wish to continue.

    Thinking about it for a bit, I don’t see how a fairer perspective can be given to the Book of Mormon Stories than listening to it as read by a young but open minded reader, just like Roman. Thank you to both of you.


    PS I loved the Cosmos reference. It would have made Carl Sagan (and Neil deGrasse Tyson) proud to hear that he started something with that impact. Somebody with the appropriate contacts should let Ann Druyan and Neil deGrasse know about this little gem.


  11. the brother of Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Roman was great! I propose you give your son his own mini podcast to be tacked on at the end of your podcast until he gets through the Book of Mormon Stories. Let’s face it. The Doctrine and Covenants is going to get pretty dry and you need something to keep things interesting. I also propose a drinking game involving Kool-aid, which would be funny on multiple levels. Pick a couple of frequently repeated words like Jesus or Prophet to drink to and all of us at home can drink the Kool-aid along with your son.If he is going to play along with the drinking game, probably best not to record right before bedtime.


    • johanges Says:

      Let’s do it with something other than Kool-aid (actually Flavor-aid) as some of us still remember the news slowly revealing the horrors of Jonestown. Also, seven is a bit young for finding out what the idiom actually means.


  12. Ephima Morphew Says:

    David, your son, Roman, needs Testimony Gloves to go with the Book of Mormon Stories. He could be a devout believer in no time with the gloves. He could play with his friends wearing his gloves as proof of faith. Your son was a great touch.


  13. Moriginal Says:

    Yes I loved Roman! He did seem to lose his focus so maybe shorter clips in the future but 100% yes to Roman!


    • Ephima Morphew Says:

      Everyone loses focus when reading the Priceless Pearl from our spiritual leader unless one wears Testimony Gloves. With proper attention it will all be sorted out in the end for faith to grow.

      Good Luck Roman


  14. lj Says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here (and late to boot), but I prefer to hear just you. My opinion only. Keep up the good work.


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