“There Are Many Plain and Precious Things Taken Away from the Book Which is the Book of the Lamb of God”

Alan C. Miner

In Nephi's vision (1 Nephi 13) he beheld that when the record of the Jews, which contained the covenants of the Lord, which he had made with the house of Israel, proceeded forth, it contained the plainness of the gospel of the Lord (vv. 23-24). However, after being subjected to the great and abominable church, the book of the Lamb of God would have "many plain and precious things taken away" (1 Nephi 13:28). According to Joy Osborn, it is not known what scriptures and beliefs the house of Israel may have taken with them as they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians, then disappeared into the north; but we do know that the Jews, whom the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel declared to be even more wicked than Ephraim and Samaria, had begun a serious effort to remove all scriptural references to the coming of Christ as the sacrificial Lamb who would die for their sins. Hugh Nibley writes:

One of the first, and certainly the greatest, of Christian Apologists was Justin Martyr. In his famous dialogue with the Jew Trypha, he charges 'the teachers and the leaders of the Jews with having deliberately defaced and, where possible, removed from the scripture every trace of the true Messianic Gospel which the Jews themselves had once taught. (Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon , p. 312)

Justin Martyr had accused the Jewish doctors of "removing passages which they found distasteful" from the scriptures. Martyr declared: "You know very well that your teachers whenever they detect anything in our scriptures that might refer to Christ, diligently efface it." (Dial. 120)

[Joy M. Osborn, The Book of Mormon -- The Stick of Joseph, p. 222]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary