This probably will be the shortest post I ever write, but sometimes less is more. I hope that is the case here.
I have to shake my head in amusement – and sometimes really laugh – when I hear those who complain about the wording of the Book of Mormon (that it’s too much from the KJV of the Bible and the language Joseph and the people of his time spoke), while having no problem whatsoever with Christians using non-KJV, modern translations of the Bible because that version is too hard to understand. It’s totally fine to translate the Bible into words and phrases and a style that teenagers now will understand, but it’s not OK for Jospeh to use words and phrases the readers of his time would understand? It’s fine for the Bible to go through extensive translations of varying degrees of difficulty for individual understanding, resulting in numerous acceptable versions (including some that without question are “20th and 21st Century versions”), but it’s not OK for Joseph to have translated the Book of Mormon into 19th Century, Christian terminology?
If people hundreds of years from now could access only the translations of the Bible written in modern English for modern teenagers, they would reject it out-of-hand as being a “product of its time” – exactly as so many people say they reject the Book of Mormon for that reason.
All other translation issues aside, I just find this particular argument amusing, since it really is a comical argument to make from within Christianity. I have to believe those who use that rationale either don’t understand that modern translations of ancient works generally are written and “translated” in such as way that those who read it in that culture and time can understand it (“Romeo+Juiet” or “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou”, anyone? – or the multitudinous versions of classics that get modernized as movies) OR that they have a deeper, more foundational reason for rejecting it – like a rejection of the overall prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.
I believe rejecting the Book of Mormon because of a rejection of Joseph Smith is a teneble position; I belive rejecting Joseph Smith because of a belief that the Book of Mormon linguistically is a “product of its time” is not.
Irony, thy name is scriptural translation.