Joseph Smith’s Cooperstown Bible: The Historical Context of the Bible Used in the Joseph Smith Translation

Title

Joseph Smith’s Cooperstown Bible: The Historical Context of the Bible Used in the Joseph Smith Translation

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2001

Authors

Pagination

41-70

Volume

40

Issue

1

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Jackson, Kent P. "Joseph Smith’s Cooperstown Bible: The Historical Context of the Bible Used in the Joseph Smith Translation", Vol. 40. 2001:41-70.

Abstract

In October 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery obtained the Bible that was later used in the preparation of Joseph Smith’s new translation of the Holy Scriptures. It was a quarto-size King James translation published in 1828 by the H. and E. Phinney company of Cooperstown, New York. The Prophet and his scribe likely did not know that their new book would one day become an important artifact of the Restoration, and they probably also never considered the position in history that their purchase had already earned. Both the text within its pages and the physical object itself were the products of a long and fascinating history by which the Lord’s word was brought into the hands of millions of Christians in the early United States. The Prophet’s continuing work with the Phinney Bible would add to its legacy. In this article, we will examine Joseph Smith’s Phinney Bible, the history of the Bible in the English language and in America, the roots from which the Phinney Bible descended, and the way it was used in the creation of the Joseph Smith Translation.

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