I am pleased to introduce a trusted friend, David R. Hocking, from Raleigh, North Carolina. He is the editor and publisher of two annotated religious works: The Annotated Edition of The Book of Mormon and the Annotated Edition of The Book of Jasher.
An annotated edition book is a literary work where marginal comments, photos and themes have been added in order to explain or interpret the work. In addition, illuminated words, phrases, quotes or other elements are often added to allow the reader a greater understanding of the work. Often, the text is reformatted for easy reading.
Past Experience Credentials and Experience
David Hocking’s past credentials and experience are impressive to me. His vast experience certainly prepared him for his present venture.
David received an A.S. degree in Electronics Engineering in 1971 and a B.S. in Microbiology in 1975 from BYU. He has worked for 43 years in Sales and Marketing in the Biotechnology industry. He has authored a book on hemoglobin disorders as part of the newborn screening programs utilized in State Health Laboratories. He has invented a 5-minute test to detect the various forms of Sickle Cell Disease in newborns, children and adults. The test requires no equipment and is being used in over 30 low-resource counties to save lives.
BeaconLight Books, LLC, was formed to illuminate sacred texts. David has been reformatting scripture to help readers better understand them with increased comprehension.
A Book of Mormon Masterpiece
Twelve years in the making, David, Author and Managing Editor, first published the Annotated Book of Mormon last year. Rod L. Meldrum of The Firm Foundation and Book of Mormon Evidence was the Associate Editor, who joined this venture for the last two years of its inception.
The Annotated Book of Mormon, which has been created to help readers understand the everlasting gospel as explained in the text, together with what the modern prophets and apostles have taught about it. The text has been formatted so readers can identify natural conversations, poetic speech patterns, Hebraisms, prophecies, and the words of God. The annotations include prophetic commentaries on quoted scripture and the use of colored text. These elements bear witness to the divinity of this ancient text by drawing upon Hebrew tradition—much different from the nineteenth century rural America known to Joseph Smith.
Two Fundamental Questions
Regarding David’s work, I believe there are two fundamental questions to be asked: “What book can best bring a person to Christ?” And, “Does it matter where the Book of Mormon took place?” I believe the answer to the first question is the Book of Mormon, as a second witness with the Bible of the resurrected Lord visiting both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. |
The answer to the second question has extremely important implications for our day and the events surrounding the Second Coming of our Lord. I have dealt with that second question in the blog article article: Book of Mormon Geography – Does it Matter Where It Took Place.
David’s printing of the Annotated Edition of The Book of Mormon, is for me the best book on the planet for answering both questions profoundly. It is an enormous contribution, and it is not surprising that the 5,000 copies from the printing last year were sold in a very short time and the demand was greater than the supply.
Book of Jasher
David just informed me (28 August 2019) the Annotated Edition of the Book of Jasher can now be ordered on-line. I was privileged to get a pre-print of the book from David last April; so, I was delighted to hear of this progress. It will also be available at the next Book of Mormon Evidence conference.
The Book of Jasher is mentioned in the bible in Joshua and 2 Samuel. However, the book is not included in the bible.
The Book of Jasher offers a significant amplification of the Old Testament history of the annals of the Hebrew nation from Adam down to the reign of the Judges (over 2,500 years). I am on chapter 34 of the 91 chapters (246 pages) and am greatly impressed with the work. Did you know Melchizedek is Shem, the son of Noah, and that he lived 600 years and died in the days of Isaac and Jacob?
The Hebrew words for “The Book of Jasher” are “Sefer HaYashar,” which means, “”Book of the Upright” or “the Upright or Correct Record.” During the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. a Roman Officer, Sidrus, discovered a Hebrew scholar in a hidden library with this record. He reportedly took it to his estate in Spain. In 1840, the English translation of this ancient Hebrew manuscript came to America. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the coming forth of the Book of Jasher in Times and Seasons, Vol. 1 No. 8 (june 1840), p. 127 in Nauvoo, Illinois. Nauvoo is a Hebrew word for “beautiful.”
There are multiple facts contained within the Book of Jasher that are NOT found in the Old Testament, yet were revealed to Joseph Smith prior to the 1840 English translation. The Book of Mormon (1830), the Book of Moses (1830-1831), the Book of Abraham (1835) and D&C Section 107 (1835) all have “facts” corroborated in the Book of Jasher.
Additionally, the Book of Jasher manuscript was without “points”, written in pure Rabbinical Hebrew, predating the Masoretic text of the Old Testament. In the Appendix of the Annotated Edition of the Book of Jasher, comparisons of Hebrew writing styles are made to the Book of Mormon, demonstrating that the Book of Mormon has a Hebrew origin.
The Annotated Edition of the Book of Jasher parallels the style and formatting of the Annotated Edition of the Book of Mormon. Included in the book are Old Testament artwork from master painters and illustrators, confirming the parallel history of the text. Insight pages highlight and validate Joseph Smith as a Prophet, Seer and Revelator.
Joshua lived 110 years and died in 1429 BC, which commenced the reign of the Judges. So the book covers over 2,500 years of Old Testament history from Adam down to the Judges. The compiler of this ancient manuscript was like a Josephus living at that time and the historical details were deemed important enough to be used by the Old testament authors of the books of Joshua and Samuel.
Other Versions of the Book of Jasher
There are several other versions of the Book of Jasher, and there are problems with the historical accuracy and misleading information with some. All I know of for sure is the rabbinical validation of this annotated edition.
The old man, who had this manuscript when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D., knew of the “second destruction” and made a special house for his books and had the provisions to survive. Sidrus who found him became impressed with this old gentleman and honored him and was taught by him all sorts of wisdom.
I am impressed with the many additional insights into the lives of several of our ancient patriarchs: Adam, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua, as well as significant historical information regarding the Noah’s flood, the tower of Babel, the Israelites time in Egypt, and the events leading up to the exodus.
Moses Samuel, who translated this manuscript into English, shares regarding the flood, ”…there are existing evidences to the present day; … so universal and so ponderous, that all the ingenuity of the skeptical geologists will never be able to remove them in order to make room for their plausible hypotheses. The ever-memorable events and transactions recorded in Scripture are with many others of the most interesting nature, comprehended in [this edition] of the Book of Jasher; and they are all arrayed in that style of simple, unadorned majesty and precision, which so particularly distinguishes the genius of the Hebrew language.”
Where to Purchase Annotated Books
The Annotated Edition of the Book of Mormon can be purchased by clicking this link.
The Annotated Edition of the Book of Jasher will be available at the Next Book of Mormon Evidence Conference 27-28 September.
David W. Allan