The Brass Plates Version of Genesis


The Brass Plates Version of Genesis

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication




Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship





Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Reynolds, Noel B. "The Brass Plates Version of Genesis" In Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Vol. 34. 2019:63-96.


The Book of Mormon peoples repeatedly indicated that they were descendants of Joseph, the son of Jacob who was sold into Egypt by his brothers. The plates of brass that they took with them from Jerusalem c. 600 bce provided them with a version of many Old Testament books and others not included in our Hebrew Bible. Sometime after publishing his translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith undertook an inspired revision of the Bible. The opening chapters of his version of Genesis contain a lot of material not included in the Hebrew Bible. But intriguingly, distinctive phraseology in those chapters, as now published in Joseph Smith’s Book of Moses, also show up in the Book of Mormon text. This paper presents a systematic examination of those repeated phrases and finds strong evidence for the conclusion that the version of Genesis used by the Nephite prophets must have been closely similar to Joseph Smith’s Book of Moses.
Editor’s Note: This paper appeared first in the 1990 festschrift published to honor Hugh W. Nibley. It is reprinted here as a convenience for current scholars who are interested in intertextual issues regarding the Book of Mormon. It should be noted that Interpreter has published another paper that picks up this same insight and develops considerable additional evidence supporting the conclusions of the original paper. This reprint uses footnotes instead of endnotes, and there are two more footnotes in this reprint than there are endnotes in the original paper.

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