Joseph Smith and Luke 10:22

The official History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka History of the Church or HOC) reproduces Joseph Smith’s journal where he stated:

“This winter [1832-33] was spent in translating the Scriptures…I completed the translation and review of the New Testament, on the 2nd of February, 1833 and sealed it up, no more to be opened till it arrived in Zion.” (HOC 1:322, 324; brackets in the quoted source; at link see volume 1 chapter 23)

BibleCorrectedMormon Seventy B.H. Roberts attached a footnote to this statement, relating that George Q. Cannon said that Brigham Young said that Joseph Smith said he wanted to go through the translation again to perfect it “upon points of doctrine which the Lord had restrained him from giving in plainness and fullness” in 1833. Whether this reflects Joseph Smith’s true intentions or not, one verse that Joseph was not restrained from revising was Luke 10:22 (numbered as verse 23 in the Joseph Smith Translation). The LDS-printed edition of the Bible includes Joseph’s revision of this verse in a footnote, which gives credence to the understanding that this verse, at least, had been corrected “in plainness and fullness,” according to the inspiration from God that Joseph Smith claimed.

Luke 10:22 in the King James Version of the Bible reads,

“All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”

I checked ten different translations/versions of this verse; nine of the ten translated the verse virtually the same. For example:

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (ESV)

“All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.” (HCSB)

“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (NASB)

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (NIV)

“All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (RSV; see also NKJV, NRSVCE, NRSVA, etc.)

All of these Bible translations faithfully convey the words of Jesus as He spoke of the unique relationship and deep intimacy shared between Himself and His Father.

Of the ten versions I consulted, only the Joseph Smith Translation varied in the essence or doctrine contained in Luke 10:22/23. Joseph’s translation (i.e., revision) changed this verse to read:

“All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.” (JST as found in The Bible Corrected by Joseph Smith, compiled by Kenneth and Lyndell Lutes)

So rather than conveying deep intimacy between the Father and the Son (as the ancient Greek text does), Joseph Smith’s revision conveys sameness: the Father is the Son (and vice versa).

Joseph’s so-called correction of the biblical text presents the Father and the Son as one person. As Sandra Tanner pointed out in a recent article discussing the evolvement of the First Vision story and the development of the Mormon concept of God, Joseph’s revision of Luke 10:22/23 “hardly seems like a change one would make if ten years earlier the Father and Son had appeared to Smith as two separate individuals” (Sandra Tanner, “Grappling with the Past,” Salt Lake City Messenger, May 2014, 8).

Add roughly another decade to Joseph Smith’s tenure as the prophet of the Mormon Church; in June of 1844 he preached:

“I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit, and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.” (HOC 6:474; at link see volume 6 chapter 23)

This doesn’t sound like “the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son.”

What it does sound like is that Joseph Smith changed his theology – and his story – and that neither Joseph nor his “translation” were inspired by an omniscient God after all.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Bible, Early Mormonism, God the Father, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Mormon History, Mormon Scripture and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Joseph Smith and Luke 10:22

  1. falcon says:

    No, No, No No!!!!!!!
    It’s all a matter of “interpretation” Sharon. There’s no inconsistency or ambiguity or subtle nuance here. It’s all saying the same thing even if it reads/sounds different. That’s the beauty of aberrant religious sects. They can make it all fit together even when it doesn’t. Basically all the “prophets” and super duper apologists have to do is tell the followers that “it’s all the same”.
    This is the wonderful wacky world of the cults (sorry again true believers). They can be told anything and they’ll believe it.
    BTW was Joseph Smith working off of some Greek manuscripts when he “translated” this portion of the NT or was he using his magic rock in his hat?

  2. grindael says:

    I wrote about this here. The Church was affirming the doctrine of the Trinity as late as 1832.

  3. RikkiJ says:

    What a great article. Truly when you compare the translations done by verified scholars of different organizations, the text almost always bears the same meaning.

    Jesus himself said:”Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, ESV).

    How then can there be any corruption in Jesus’ words? If the LDS Church believes there’s corruption in the New Testament, then they are claiming that Jesus was false.

    Jesus has always been correct, and he always will be.

  4. RikkiJ says:

    My statement above can be misread. Apologies. Whether verified scholars or not, a simple reading, comparison and word lookup in Greek shows the meaning as being exactly what the translations have almost always stated.

  5. Mike R says:

    Here’s my take on this issue : A man ( Joseph Smith ) comes on the scene 1700 years
    after Jesus’ apostles preached about God / salvation etc. , he claimed that the people of
    his day were deceived because of believing false views about God / salvation , this malady
    was so bad that salvation was not available to mankind . But now the truth about God was
    available , the unstable teachings of preachers had confused everyone , but now this would
    all be fixed because God had a prophet to speak through to offer the real truth about Himself .
    This then is the Mormon message . What do we find upon examining the record of
    Joseph Smith and those he mentored and served as church officers after his death?

    Answer : a record that reveals a pattern of unstable teachings , especially concerning God .

    What Mormons originally preached about God in the travels to gain converts , in this country
    and Europe , was altered a few years later and other teachings about Him were now the gospel .
    A slide continued until it hit the depths with the new view about God which Brigham Young
    believed and desired his flock to embrace — Adam was God , the father of the spirits of LDS ,
    and who was originally from another world ! He was even taught to be part of the Trinity
    of creation Gods who , together with Elohim and Jehovah , created this earth .

    That is Mormonism — religious leaders who castigated others about teaching false views about
    God , but who have themselves done the very same thing . What’s especially troubling is that
    these latter days prophets can very well resurrect Brigham’s Adam God teaching or something
    as odd at any time , like introducing worship of their heavenly Mother Goddess to be now a
    a revealed ” gospel truth ” LDS can engage in . These men have relegated the prophets/
    apostles of the Bible as ” dead prophets ” so now they are the ones to accept as guides .
    That reasoning serves to convince their followers to more readily accept any new view they
    teach, thus carrying on the behavior of vacillating teachings started by their predecessors in
    the ” restored church ” .
    Sadly , but sincere people have placed their trust in these men to give them accurate teaching
    but instead these men have taught that which is unsound on some very important issues .
    1Tim 4:6 .

    Joseph Smith should have Luke 10:22 alone . But then again he had trouble leaving his
    original ” gospel truth ” about God alone and began his slide down into introducing ” Gods” ,
    all of whom were at one time in their existence not a God at all .

    2Tim 4:3,4 is a good passage from the New Testament that can be used to identify latter days
    religious leaders , like those who have served as officers in the Mormon church .

    The Mormon people don’t have to follow such men .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  6. cattyjane says:

    So I finally did it. I sent off a letter yesterday to resign my membership and have my name removed. I feel better already.

  7. Mike R says:


    great news ! Thanks for sharing .

  8. cattyjane says:

    ok so I posted this on my facebook and this was a comment from a friend of mine.

    “its funny how they have links for everything they say except to the part of scripture they are discussing from the joseph smith translation. here are the sections of the joseph smith translation that were finished upon his death. anything that was changed after his death by the RLDS church is obviously not inspired(it doesn’t include the reference from the article). but I am done. if you want to sow seeds of doubt in you mind go ahead. that is the whole point of the website that you keep referencing. joseph smith always taught the god head as three separate individual. the very first thing recorded on the subject was the first vision where he met with god the father and his son Jesus Christ. it is one of the major changes between Christian at the time and the formation of gods.

    This isn’t going to change my mind on the church. I have more reasons than this as to why I wont go down the LDS road. I know what religion is right and this isn’t it. But I thought I would share this.

  9. Mike R says:


    your friend appears to be naive . He/she said ” Joseph Smith always taught the Godhead as three
    separate individuals .” Hmmm.
    You concentrate on getting to know your Messiah intimately more each day and don’t let
    your Mormon friends divert your attention . Losing friends is not an easy thing to experience but so many Mormons are becoming disillusioned with Mormonism these days , and your
    friend(s) could also in the near future Pray for them to find the truth .

  10. falcon says:

    So, like, do we have a resignation party? I have a few falcon like ideas. We would have cake but I don’t know what we’d write on it or what kind of little figurines we’d put on it. We’d serve coffee of course. Would it be improper to burn your Mormon “sacred” undergarment with the occult Free Mason symbols on it?
    I’d be open to any ideas for the cake decorating and writing. Do you have any special preference for the flavor of cake or frosting? We will have ice cream, maybe a couple of different flavors.
    There would be presents. I think maybe a good study Bible and maybe a volume set of the writings of the Church Fathers.
    Where do you live anyway. OOPS! That was sort of creepy. I bet the MM will know in short order. I’ll work security.

  11. RikkiJ says:


    Great to hear that you have resigned your membership. As to your friend, he’s correct – “its funny how they have links for everything they say except to the part of scripture they are discussing from the joseph smith translation.” Why does the LDS Church not include the JST version of Luke 10:22?

    Another change in doctrine? And the list of innumerable changes to doctrine goes on. See MRM’s article here:

  12. falcon says:

    So I think I’ll go through the Bible and make changes because God sort of messed-up and I need to straighten things out. Is that what was happening with Joseph Smith and his re-write of the Biblical text?
    Now think about it. Smith wasn’t just jotting down his thoughts on what the Biblical text is saying. This would be like a study Bible with some sort of “interpretation” but not a “translation”.
    In case it isn’t obvious to everyone, an actual translation would require the Greek manuscripts and a knowledge of not only the language but the history and customs of the era in which the text was originally written. It would also require the translator to have a deep understanding of the language not just an ability to read the words. Please Mormon, don’t give me any of this inspiration and revelation nonsense as it applies to this false prophet.
    Smith was a fool. But he was a dangerous fool. Changing the Biblical text to suit his own peculiar thought process is not just an act of ego, it’s pathological.

  13. cattyjane says:


    A party sounds awesome!!! Lets have one AFTER all the drama is over. If there is any. We shall see. You are right on the translation tho. It takes a knowledge of the Greek language and the Hebrew customs, Jewish traditions etc. Yes not just a rock in a hat or a burning in bosom feeling of I think this it what it is supposed to say based on my feelees and believees.

    So a friend on my facebook gave me this answer to this article about the Christ IS the Father thing. Its a good argument. This is what he said:

    “There are also scriptures that say I am IN the Father and the Father IN me… Does that mean they ate each other? I was just trying to point out that its a metaphor. Something that has been done in numerous scripture like the one about the Father being in the Son and the Son in the Father. Christ is pointing out that They are one in purpose. Like when an ambassador goes to a foreign country on our behalf he IS the US in those meetings.”

    I have a difficult time with this topic and you guys know that. I don’t think the Messiah was ever meant to be God so Im ok with the idea of them being separate beings. When it comes to this topic I get hung up on a lot of areas so I don’t have much rebuttal on this topic. The topic of sacrifice and law, you bet I have something to say about that! 😉

  14. Mike R says:

    I think that your friend may not have really addressed the problem of this thread topic .
    Why did Joseph Smith write Lk 10:22 the way he did ? The way it reads in the translations
    that Sharon showed simply reveals the depth of the relationship the Father and Jesus share.
    If a person wants a personal relationship with the Father then that commences by coming
    right to Jesus Himself and asking for pardon of sins , He will then abundantly forgive and
    introduce them to His Father — see Jn 14: 6 . Both the Father and the Son are involved and
    we can experience intimate fellowship / inter action with each — 1 Cor 1:9 — as we trod
    this earth living for God , we get to witness about Jesus — not a prophet in a well tailored
    suit , or a man made temple , or a church/religious organization .

    I think that if you just learn about Jesus , get to see what Jews like Paul, John etc finally
    discovered about Him , that will help you sort out some other issues .
    Mormons have been told that Christians believe that Jesus and the Father are the same person
    or other similar misconceptions and so it’s understandable that you may be struggling with
    some of those still . Get to know your Savior , spend time praising Him for what He has done —
    1 Tim 1:15 . Don’t worry about some some deeper theology now .
    It would also benefit you if you would limit ( or cease ) your discussions about doctrine with
    your Mormon friends , as this tends to keep their misuse of scripture alive in your mind , you
    don’t need that distraction at this time .

    That’s my opinion , and I hope you take it with how it was given — in love for you .
    Take care .

  15. cattyjane says:

    I never thought of it like that. I think you are right about it being a distraction. I will take your advice on that. Thanks!

  16. fifth monarchy man says:


    Like Mike R my advice would be to try and really get to know the living Messiah.

    Read the Bible not as merely a historical text or some sort of doctrinal dissertation but as what it truly is, a love letter penned especially to those who are chosen in Christ and delivered across the eons of time directly to them.

    I am sure that anyone who knows this patient devoted pursuing Bridegroom (Jesus), not just knows about him but actually knows him and loves him personally would have no problem thinking about him in the way the Bible “his letter to us” describes him.

    That is as fully God and fully man, transforming us into a worthy Bride


    waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

    (Tit 2:13-14)

    end quote


  17. falcon says:

    Let me give you some unsolicited advice.
    If I were you I’d study a couple of things. The first would be the history of the Christian Church during its first four hundred years. I would also study the Doctrine of the Nature of God with an emphasis on how and why the early Church settled on what it did regarding specifically who Jesus is.
    The Mormon church so totally misrepresents what went on that it is shameful. It counts on the laziness of people not to check it out for themselves.
    I think I’ve posted this link before. Andy Watson did a good job on this topic in a four part series two years ago.

  18. MJP says:

    I have debated posting this, but I think it worthwhile to do so. I would actually not encourage someone in catty’s situation to forego friends and others from her old group. There are a few reasons for this.

    First, God is in control, not the friends. If God pulls someone in, he will have them regardless of circumstances.

    Second, God can use that person to influence the others. Once they see the change, and see it rational and supported by evidence, they may find the truth, too.

    Third, don’t we criticize LDS for their exclusiveness when people leave or are no longer interested in their faith? Don’t we criticize them for encouraging members to avoid confrontational discussions and in their encouraging limiting readings to those that are only faith affirming? Why should we encourage the same?

    Fourth, openness is key to living life and gaining a full understanding of God. This means we should expose ourselves to arguments against God, as it allows us to know who God is by means of figuring out why those criticisms of our God are off base. We should not always surround ourselves with such information and the people that espouse it, but we should not bunker in and avoid them either.

    The Christian God stands up to scrutiny. This does not mean it is all easy, or easily understood, but I would never encourage a new believer to simply leave old friends behind with no more contact. Certainly, a change in priorities is required, and a change in crowd may be in order, but if the person is willing and able to commune with old friends, I would argue against full abandonment of old friends. (The only time I would encourage such full abandonment is if the person were to be put in mortal danger by returning, by way of drugs, sex, violence, etc.)

  19. Mike R says:


    I sense that perhaps you may have been referring to what I said to catty , so I will briefly
    comment . It seems your comments can be summed up in where you said , ” …. I would
    argue against full abandonment of old friends . ”

    I agree . But if you re read what I said in the last paragraph of my post to catty you’ll see
    nothing was said about abandoning friends . Learning about the truth means spending time
    with God’s Word and christian fellowship , getting the counterfeit teachings out of your
    mind takes time which can be greatly hindered by debating with those still in Mormonism.
    Giving a witness about Jesus when LDS friends may ask ( 1Pt 3:15 ) is natural , but reading
    pro LDS publications and trying to refute your friends in debates is not a prudent thing for
    new christians to spend time engaging in . That can take place down the road.
    This is my opinion . That’s all I’ll say on this issue .
    I’m glad we both have the spiritual and emotional well being of former LDS in mind .

  20. MJP says:

    Mike R– Yup. But to be honest, I couldn’t help but imagine the “milk before meat” line and other Mormon tools to encourage maturity in their faith.

    Honestly, there is wisdom in doing such things and such an approach. And maybe I am inferring too much and making assumptions I shouldn’t, but I think you would agree that our God can stand on his own, and does not need tactics like those to win over someone or to win an argument. If anything, it is to the benefit of the newbie, whoever that is, to immerse himself into God’s presence. Heck, this is also true for those who are not new in Christ. (I sometimes think it is harder for those longer in Christ to do so.)

    To differentiate your argument and the LDS tactic, I would state that LDS withhold information and do practice, intentionally or not, exclusionary tactics to warrant excitement in a new believer whereas the new Christian may be encouraged immersion as an opportunity to learn about God and is not discouraged from asking questions or expecting answers.

    To some, this distinction might be rather superficial, though. That’s why I merely encourage caution, especially at a site like this when describing new believer habits. I also recognize our shared goal: bringing folks to Christ rather than merely away from Mormonism. To that end, whatever the new believer needs to do to immerse himself should be what he does.

  21. Mike R says:

    MJP said ” I also recognize our shared goal : bringing folks to Christ rather than merely away
    from Mormonism . ”

    Absolutely ! That difference should never be forgotten because simply leaving the Mormon
    church thus becoming a ” ex Mormon ” does’nt mean a person is automatically in Christ —
    saved .

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