18) BIBLE: What did Joseph Smith teach concerning the Bible? Are his teachings antagonistic to the Old and New Testaments?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

“I shall comment on the very first Hebrew word in the Bible; I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of the creation in the Bible—Berosheit. I want to analyze the word. Baith—in, by, through, and everything else. Rosh—the head. Sheit—grammatical termination. When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the baith there. An old Jew without any authority added the word; he thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head! It read first, “The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods.” That is the true meaning of the words. Baurau signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. Learned men can teach you no more than what I have told you. Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council.” 1

Supporting Statements

Harold Bloom

“[Joseph Smith] was an authentic religious genius, unique in our national history. . . . Smith’s insight could have come only from a remarkably apt reading of the Bible, and there I would locate the secret of his religious genius. . . . So strong was this act of reading that it broke through all the orthodoxies—Protestant, Catholic, Judaic—and found its way back to elements that Smith rightly intuited had been censored out of the stories of the archaic Jewish religion.” 2

  1. TPJS, pg 348
  2. Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 82, 84, as quoted by E. Douglas Clark, “A Prologue to Genesis: Moses 1 in Light of Jewish Traditions”. For Mormon perspectives on Bloom’s interpretation of Joseph Smith and Mormonism, see Eugene England, Truman G. Madsen, Charles Randall Paul, and Richard F. Haglund Jr., “Four LDS Views on Harold Bloom: A Roundtable,” BYU Studies 35, no. 1 (1995): 173–204.
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