This month I started a new job. I will still be blogging for the Boy Scouts, but I also get to help with the YSA Social Media Mission and Search Isaiah. It always good for me every few years to have a change in my job, that way I keep interested in what I am doing. However, the chance to search and write about Isaiah will be much more than that.
For as long as I have been married, which is more than 40 years, the Church has cycled the Standard Works as the Sunday School curriculum every four years, although once, they studied the Old and New Testaments for two years each. That meant I would face Isaiah at least twice every four years, one time in the Old Testament and a second time in the Book of Mormon.
It was during one of those early study cycles I took out a book, The Tetrapla (shown above), I had purchased on my mission. Tetraplas are Bibles or Testaments that arrange four versions of the same verse side by side. Mine had the Martin Luther translation, the Zurich in German, a modern German translation, and the New English translation. Naturally, this helped me learn German, but it also gave me insights into meanings of various verses
This gave birth to an idea I had about how to understand Isaiah. In the first column, I would list the Luther translation, since Joseph Smith said,
“I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. I have been reading the German, and find it to be the most [nearly] correct translation, and to correspond nearest to the revelations which God has given to me for the last fourteen years.”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 349)
Since I did not know other languages, I included King James, Book of Mormon Isaiah verses and a modern English translation, for comparison. Perhaps if I did this nowadays I might insert the full Joseph Smith Translation.
|German Luther||King James||Book of Mormon||American Standard|
|Jesaja 48||Isaiah Chapter 48||1 Nephi 20||Isaiah 48|
1 Höret das, ihr vom Hause Jakob, die ihr heißet mit Namen Israel und aus dem Wasser Juda’s geflossen seid; die ihr schwöret bei dem Namen des HERRN und gedenkt des Gottes in Israel, aber nicht in der Wahrheit noch Gerechtigkeit.
1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.
|1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness.||
1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of Jehovah, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.
This project was nothing more than an idea and at the time, I was working in Richfield, Utah full time. During the summer, preparing for my student teaching at the Richfield High School LDS Seminary, I discovered how much I liked research and lesson preparation. It was a New Testament course, so I set aside the Isaiah project altogether—it was onerous anyway in those days without computers and the internet.
A few years later, Isaiah came up in the Sunday School Curriculum, so I tried it again, but with a new twist. The church had changed the way the scriptures were laid out and the new footnotes and Topical Guide offered insights I needed to record, so I tried again, but just wrote in the margins, added sticky notes and underlined a lot. However, when the internet was born and the Church got all those resources integrated, I tried a new technique.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
Israel is apostate, rebellious, and corrupt; a very small remnant only is faithful—Their sacrifices and feasts are rejected—They are called upon to repent and work righteousness—Zion shall be redeemed in the day of restoration.
|1a TG Visions.
b 1 Ne. 19: 23 (23-24) 23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the abooks• of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet bIsaiah•; for I did cliken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our dprofit• and learning.
3 Ne. 23: 1.AND now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to asearch these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of bIsaiah•.
c TG Israel, Judah, People of
d 2 Kgs. 15: 13 (1-13) Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of aUzziah• king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria.
Hosea 1: 1 THE word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of aUzziah•, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
e 2 Kgs. 15: 30, 38 (13-38) 30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of aJotham• the son of Uzziah.
Micah 1: 1 THE word of the LORD that came to aMicah• the Morasthite in the days of bJotham•, cAhaz•, and dHezekiah•, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
f 2 Kgs. 16: 20 (19-20) And aAhaz• slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
My Isaiah thing is just a hobby and with my recent move to a new job, new computer and renewed interest in Isaiah, it’s time to start over. Maybe something like The Tetrapla or like what I was doing above. I think I will get a few new books, commentaries on Isaiah and study those too.