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Q. Why do Latter-day Saints use the King James (or Authorized) Version of the Bible?

a. In English-speaking areas, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the King James (or Authorized) Version (KJV) of the Bible mainly because it was the best English text available to the Prophet Joseph Smith at that time and because subsequent leaders have approved its use. The Church does not claim that the KJV is perfect, but it is currently the preferred English version. It also provides the basic idiom for the LDS scriptural discourse. While many other English versions have appeared with the discovery of additional early manuscripts, Latter-day Saints have not made extensive use of these other translations. Many Latter-day Saints feel that popularization tends to dilute the sacred nature of the Bible. They also find the ancient textual variants to be relatively insignificant, usually not changing the important messages of the Bible, most of which are corroborated elsewhere in modern scripture. Joseph Smith did not view the KJV as a perfect translation. He undertook the task of studying Hebrew and producing an inspired revision of the scriptures. All latter-day prophets have used the KJV, and using the KJV in all Church publications has made it possible to standardize annotations and indexes.

abstracted from "Bible: King James Version," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1:109–10.

  The abstracts on this site have been prepared by BYU Studies staff and interns.

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