Learn to hack the top 3 Book of Mormon differences in 1 Nephi 20-21 vs Isaiah 48-49 with Search Hack 3! Did you know the Isaiah passages are not quite the same?
What Can we Learn by Comparing the Book of Mormon to the King James Bible?
1 Nephi 20-21 is where the reading gets tough. Nephi quotes Isaiah 48-49, which reads more ambiguously because of the plethora of symbols Isaiah uses for subjects like Christ, his servant, and Israel. Why does Nephi quote from Isaiah for a full two chapters, after settling in the promised land? He tells us in chapter 19, saying, “remember the Lord thy Redeemer” v18. Nephi reads Isaiah to his family so his posterity might remember Christ’s coming in 600 years and rely on him. He writes Isaiah so we might remember and rely on Christ, thousands of years after his coming, and gather the house of Israel.
But when Nephi quotes Isaiah, there are key differences between their manuscripts. Lets explore the meaning of a few of these key differences, by comparing 1 Nephi 20-21 side by side with Isaiah 48-49 KJ Bible.
Point out top 3 differences:
- In the beginning of Nephi 20, Isaiah defines the house of Israel as those who “are come forth from the waters of Judah.” The book of Mormon version adds “or out of the waters of baptism.” In this case, joseph smith added that phrase as prophetic clarification of what “the waters of Judah” means. We know this because book of Mormon translations did not include this phrase until the 1840 edition. Last time we highlighted references to Christ in red. This time, use pink on Joseph’s additions, because it is close to the red of Christ, in that it has righteous prophetic origin. underline instead of highlight, denoting Joseph or Nephi is speaking these words, instead of someone referring to them.
- In the next verse, Isaiah says the children of Israel “do stay themselves upon the God of Israel”. The BOM version says they “do <NOT> stay themselves upon the God of Israel”. Based on the context, Nephi’s reading makes much more sense because the Lord chastises Israel for forgetting him. This discrepancy is most likely a scribe error passed into the KJ bible.
- Later in chapter 21 there’s a bigger change. Nephi adds 48 words to verse 1, saying the house of Israel is “broken off,” “driven out,” and “scattered abroad.” This happened because of “the wickedness of the pastors of my people.” Nephi’s additions seem to be a huge clarification for who the “isles” of “people from afar” are in Isaiah’s version. Thus providing us with a better understanding of the House of Israel.
As you study, ask yourself who made each change and what are they trying to tell us?