Robert J. Matthews, key to LDS edition of Bible, dies

Well-known expert on the Joseph Smith Translation dies at 82

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  • Carol
    Oct. 15, 2009 10:31 a.m.

    Just learned of Bro. Matthews passing. I became acquainted with him at BYU Administrative offices of Seminary and Institutes of Religion. He was a wonderful man that I admire so very much. Best wishes to all his family.

  • coranetta greer
    Sept. 9, 2009 6:59 p.m.

    I became acquainted with Robert Matthews from watching the BOM discussions on the BYU channel and lectures on KBYU. While listening to his speak, I always felt the holy spirit in his talks. I will really miss Brother Matthews and the love and kindness and patience he exuberated in his presence. My prayers are with his family and extended relatives and friends and church family. God Bless. Sis Greer, Fairfield Ward, Cinc, Oh

  • Kay
    Sept. 4, 2009 8:28 p.m.

    I'm saddened to hear about his passing. Although I've only known him thru BYUTV his influence in my life has been great. I'm thankful for his work. Prayers are going out for his family.

  • Geny M.
    Sept. 4, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    BYU Education Week and BYU Broadcasting introduced me to this marvelous teacher and I still listen to BYU Broadcasting trying to hear all his talks/messages. Hearing them twice thrice or 20-fold, you always learn something new. He spoke in manner of full intelligence, but I needed (still need) the repetition to learn even more. May we learn live up to our potential..for we have all been promised many blessings we seem to ignore. Well, I can only speak of me in that area.
    Bro Matthews ..we will miss you. God Speed.

  • K. McAllister
    Sept. 4, 2009 3:40 a.m.

    There is a family in Cincinnati who is saddened with the passing of Brother Matthews. Our only contact was through BYU-TV.

  • Jan
    Sept. 3, 2009 9:48 p.m.

    I have also learned much from Brother Mathews while watching his BYU-TV scriptural round-table discussions. I wish I could have taken a class from him also. He and the others who provide this service for us are great scholars and followers of Jesus Christ. My sincere condolences go out to his family. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  • Nancy Christensen
    Sept. 3, 2009 2:40 p.m.

    I will truly miss Bro Mathews- His association with Pres Monson, Elder Packer & others- Elder B R McConkie our mission President in 1960'
    shows the spirit these men had while working on our
    New LDS Scriptures 1979 I well remember the days
    when we didn't quote the JST - Elder McConkie's
    let's do it attitude - Bro Mathews 15 years to accomplish having access to the original documents of the JST shows us the humility of these men in performing the Lord's Work Line upon Line.
    BYU - LDS Scripture Study & Lectures by Bro Mathews will be cherished for me eternally.
    New Mexico & California

  • Julie VW
    Sept. 3, 2009 1:59 p.m.

    Brother Matthews was such a good example to all. He loved his Savior and lived what he believed. The world is a better place because of him. He will be missed!

  • Helen in Texas
    Sept. 3, 2009 11:36 a.m.

    My husband and I became acquainted with Bro. Matthews through the BYU-TV scripture classes. We loved his knowledge and are grateful to him for his
    time and education. Thank you to the family for sharing him so many times. We send our deepest
    sympathies at this difficult time.

  • james hollingshead
    Sept. 3, 2009 9:08 a.m.

    I had the pleasure to enjoy brother matthews during byu bible study.My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be missed

  • Polly Barnes
    Sept. 3, 2009 12:13 a.m.

    The Old Testament class I had from Brother Matthews was the most interesting and enlightening class I have ever taken.

  • Janice LeFevre
    Sept. 2, 2009 8:12 p.m.

    I've known Brother Matthews since I was a small child. My parents and Bob and Shirley were dear friends and thus our families spent a lot of time together. He is one of the most Christlike people I've ever known. Never, in all the time I've known him, have I heard an unkind word from him. His example has shaped and continues to shape my life.

  • Scott H. Faulring
    Sept. 2, 2009 6:43 p.m.

    Brother Matthews was a dear friend of mine. I took his History and Contribution of the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) in 1978 and repeated it several times over the next couple of years. My interest in the JST grew over time.

    I had the honor of traveling to the Reorganied Church of Jesus Christ (later renamed the Community of Christ) Archives in Independence, MO in the 2002. Together Brother Matthews and I noted all the characteristics in the original manuscripts. Eventually we gained the confidence of the Community of Christ and Brother Matthews along with Kent P. Jackson, were permitted to publish the first verbatim transcription (published by BYU’s Religious Studies Center in 2004) of the JST.

    Heavenly Father and Our Savior Jesus Christ have gained one of most faithful men in this dispensation. May his family and friends be blessed with his passing. Rest in peace Brother Matthews, we will miss you!

  • RE; k big changes
    Sept. 2, 2009 4:28 p.m.

    (JST John:1,1)"In the beginning was the *gospel.?
    (KJV John:1,1)"In the beginning was the Word.

    I wrote Dr. Matthews(20 years ago) about this an many other significant issues of the JST. no responce.
    No wonder it is not a standard work.

  • harry
    Sept. 2, 2009 3:32 p.m.

    Stop apologizing! This comment section is NOT a "tribute"! Anyone who thinks it IS and therefore thinks questions and answers and doctrinal discussions are somehow "off topic" is a hero-worshipping fool!

    This man was involved with the LDS version of the Bible. That has HUGE doctrinal implications. A discussion of LDS doctrinal problems and such is absolutely relevant. If all you want is comments extolling the virtues of this man and making him seem larger than life and more perfect than he really was, then go to the mortuary's page and leave your adulation there.

    This is a public forum and should be treated as such. People should be able to comment honestly and openly without limiting their comments to worshiping this guy.

    Are we clear on this now?

  • K
    Sept. 2, 2009 3:05 p.m.

    Thank you for explaining that.

    The KJV would say the part about Jesus having brothers means Mary had more kids. The Catholic version might point out that the original translation means kin which may or may not be "brothers" but "cousins" and that it could also include the posibility Joseph had children from a previous marriage. We know so little about him. It makes sense that the LDS version would have footnotes explaining the translations with respect to LDS beliefs. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me that there is a version specifically for LDS.

    Sorry to turn the tribute into a Q&A.

  • Re; LDS KJV differences
    Sept. 2, 2009 12:54 p.m.

    . It contains footnotes; Example (Hebrews 5:7 JST)"*Who in the days of the his flesh when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,and was heard in that he feared.
    (JST)*footnote,The 7th verse alludes to Melchzedek and not to Christ.
    (KJV)* footnotes This is Christ.
    No wonder it's not a standard work.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 2, 2009 12:15 p.m.

    mormons actually have your own version of the bible? i thought you used the regular bible and the book of mormon. what am I missing? which bible is right?

  • Kathy Petersen Wakeling
    Sept. 2, 2009 11:21 a.m.

    Bro Matthews was my seminary teaher in Soda Springs. I sat in the front seat at his right, by his request (to keep my attention). I thank him to this day for the things he taught and his fine spirit in all he did. I saw him a few years at one of his lectures and it was like comming home...

  • LDS KJV differences
    Sept. 2, 2009 11:04 a.m.

    What makes the LDS-KJV unique are the following:

    (1) It contains chapter summaries of all chapters in the Bible. These summaries can be criticized as having an LDS bias.

    (2) It contains footnotes to scripture and doctrine exclusive to the LDS faith: Namely, The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price.

    (3) It contains The Joseph Smith Translation as both footnotes and in its appendixes.


    While it may be true that the KJV is preserved in its original format in the LDS-KJV; it is also true that an LDS-KJV leaves an impressionable reader with a Biblical understanding that coheres with LDS beliefs and doctrines; many LDS beliefs and doctrines are not accepted by traditional, more mainstream Christian churches.

  • @K
    Sept. 2, 2009 10:30 a.m.

    Example of change:

    KJV: 2nd Sam.12:13 13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

    JST: 2nd Sam.12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath not put away thy sin that thou shalt not die.

    Googling the keywords "Joseph Smith Translation" will give you the official LDS website(s).

  • Alex
    Sept. 2, 2009 9:58 a.m.


    "In your "Lectures on Faith" class from Brother Matthews, did he accurately point out the complete contradiction in Godhead theology the Lectures contain compared to the Standard Works? "

    In our class, we discussed the question on whether that statement contradicts other statements and witnesses about the nature of the Godhead. Yes, we did discuss that issue, but we didn't come to the same conclusion you do that it is in direct contradiction.

    No, I don't have the time or the inclination to go through why. I would prefer not to make this eulogy into a theological debate. That is a subject better suited to a forum like a theological discussion blog, or better, a discussion. Plus, I don't have my copy of "Lectures on Faith" and the scriptures together with me to go through it.

    In any case, lectures on faith is not the topic of this thread. Another time, another topic.

  • Joanne Jensen
    Sept. 1, 2009 11:15 p.m.

    My husband, Carl, and I knew Bro. Matthews and his family in Los Angeles many years ago. We met him through the UCLA Institute and UCLA Ward. My sincere condolences go to his family. What a kind and sincere man with great intellectual gifts!

  • Lucinda
    Sept. 1, 2009 10:08 p.m.

    Bro. Matthews was a neighbor and a friend to my parents these last 30 years. I appreciated watching the kind, loving, tender and humorous report they had with each other. He was truly a thoughtful man who had others' well-being as his interest. He was loved and will be greatly missed. With all the deep knowledge he had of the gospel and the Savior, he not only taught it, but lived it. I hope to see him again some day. My love goes to his family in this time of sadness. I pray the Lord to be with you to comfort you.

  • K
    Sept. 1, 2009 9:27 p.m.

    Can you give me an example of a minor change?

    What I mean to say but am not expressing well are they changes in the style of writing or are sections more detailed for lack of a better word?

  • David in N. California
    Sept. 1, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    It's sad to hear of Brother Matthews passing.

    He was a great inspiration. Took a class from him at BYU back in the 1970's and the class had a small number of students so Brother Matthews held it around a "discussion" table. There was about 10 of us. That class was focused on the JST (the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible).

    Saw Brother Matthews leading a Gospel Discussion Group on BYU-TV yesterday morning on the New Testament. He along with 3 other teachers from BYU were sitting around a smaller table for the discussion on the TV. Those Gospel Discussion Groups on BYU-TV are a great source for Spiritual Enrichment.

    Brother Matthews did an excellent job as teacher of the class that I took in the 70's!! He was a
    Class Act!!

    I'm sure his teaching skills will be put to good use on the other side of the veil....

  • Kyle
    Sept. 1, 2009 6:51 p.m.

    To Alex,

    In your "Lectures on Faith" class from Brother Matthews, did he accurately point out the complete contradiction in Godhead theology the Lectures contain compared to the Standard Works? Did he explain how that can happen at the hands of a "prophet" like Joseph Smith?

  • Sooo....
    Sept. 1, 2009 5:22 p.m.

    I don't get it. Outside of Utah and the Mormon community, anyone who "interprets" their own version of the bible is called a "kook".

    I was born and raised in the church, but in California, where we have to learn to live by people who are not of our faith. After moving to Utah, the culture shock was huge, and my family was treated as "outsiders" because we apparently didn't have enough "faith" to live in Utah I guess.

    I imagine the man did his best to do good by his name and other men. But I really don't see how this is more newsworthy than any other person who has died.

    News is supposed to bring to our attention things that will either make or break our lives, depending on our reaction to it. News these days just seems to focus on everything BUT the most important things.

    Where is our news to report on the abuses of government? Where is the call to action?

    This might be "church news" worthy, but ALL press has a responsibility to report things without bias for the position of the reader or the paper.

    RIP though.

  • Alex
    Sept. 1, 2009 5:03 p.m.

    At BYU, I took "Lectures on Faith" from Brother Matthews. I love those lectures and Brother Matthews helped our classes to be filled with the Spirit.

    I will always remember with fondness his kind manner. He didn't display his learning to be seen of men, but modestly and plainly taught the truths contained in those lectures. He was very helpful to students.

    Over the years since, I have heard his scriptural commentary on BYU TV. His solid unembellished testimony of the restored Gospel is readily apparent.

    Personally, I will miss him.

    I extend my condolences to his family. It is hard to lose a husband, a father, a grandfather as great as he was. The spirit world has gained a jewel.

  • Re; Anonymous 3:39
    Sept. 1, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    According to Dr. Robert J Matthews,the inspired version has over 3,410 changes by Joseph Smith.
    A large re-write of Genesis and there is an additional 12 chapters. (JST Gen 50:33) is a prophecy about Joseph Smith)

  • RE :Anonymous 3;39
    Sept. 1, 2009 4:35 p.m.

    JST"It doesn't include anymore or less book than the KJV." JST does not include ,Song of Solomon, they are not inspired writing, Robert J Matthews, Joseph Smiths Bible corrections p19.(editor)

  • Kayra and Dennis Dobbin
    Sept. 1, 2009 4:32 p.m.

    President Robert J. Matthews was the first president of the Mount Timpanogos temple. He and his counselors and the matrons set a very spiritual, loving tone to the temple worship. Both my husband and I loved working with each of them. It was an honor and a joy that we cherish.
    Kayra and Dennis Dobbin

    Sept. 1, 2009 4:02 p.m.

    Robert J Matthews gave us was confirming the Prophecy of Joseph in (JST Gen:50,33) and the Propehcy of the BoM in (JST 29:14)"But the book wii be delivered unto man, Verse 16..." by the power of Christ",Verse 17 ...Three witnesses shall behold." "A Marvelous Work and Wonder"

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 1, 2009 3:39 p.m.

    King James Version is the same as the LDS version. It includes the same books. This is what LDS members use as their "official" Bible. The JS Translation is derived from the KJV, and includes the same books, with mostly minor changes throughout. It doesn't include any more or less books than the KJV.

  • RB in Ohio
    Sept. 1, 2009 2:36 p.m.

    I didn't know Joseph Smith took on the Bible. He was definitely a creative thinker.

  • Leon from Orem
    Sept. 1, 2009 2:14 p.m.

    The first time I met Robert Matthews was (as a young man)I printed his doctrinal disertation on the JST. When I saw the material I asked him if I could print an extra copy for myself. He agreed. I have that copy today. We remained friends all these years. Bro Matthews was a great, kind, humble person, and has touched the lives of all persons who have the "new" scriptures.

  • K
    Sept. 1, 2009 1:49 p.m.

    How is the King James Version of the Bible different from the LDS version.

    My Catholic Bible has more books included than the King James. Does the LDS have more books, less books, different books?

  • David R. Mickel
    Sept. 1, 2009 1:00 p.m.

    When I was first invited to participate as a presenter in the Education Week programs, I was pretty apprehensive and felt quite overwhelmed with all I was being expected to do. This was 35 years ago, and I was pretty young and green (now I'm old and green). My first assignment was to be on the program with Bro. Matthews...he taught the main adult class and I taught the youth. What a great influence he provided. Always calm, joyful, and always appreciative of the privilege of teaching, and it showed. And always extremely knowledgeable, without the need to try and impress his classes with his knowledge, as some teachers do. I tried hard to follow his wonderful example of commitment of not just teaching, but more importantly, serving his students. He kept reminding me of teaching in the way I think the Savior probably taught. What more could you ask for in a teacher, a friend, and a mentor? His family has much to be proud of. And to think of all the Spirits in the next world who are now able to enjoy his gifts also. A cause of great rejoicing on both sides of the veil!

  • Pete in Veracruz
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:58 p.m.

    Mine was the privilege to sit literally at Bro. Matthew's right elbow on the third floor conference room of BYU's Joseph Smith Building one summer for 6 weeks and learn from him the simple, yet profound, truths of the Book of Mormon in a grad level seminar. My own scriptures are full of his sayings and insights. I quote him still. He is one of those who changed my life for the better. Comfort to his family.

  • RE: Dave in Arizona
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:55 p.m.

    i was not able to attend those training worshops on the mentioned. Maybe you know the answer? (JST Hebrews 5:7,8)"Who in the days of his flesh,when he had offerd up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,and was heard he feared: Though he were a son,yet learned obedience by things which he sufferd.

  • RIP
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:42 p.m.

    Sounds like a truly intelligent and good man. I am glad for the JST being published, that others may read it, compare it and come to their own conclusions.

    One is cheated if various Biblical translations are forbidden to be studied.

  • Tim
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    I first became familiar with Br. Matthews through my father, who called him "one of the greats" as a teacher. Later I took a class from him myself and enjoyed the experience. But sweetest for me was when he agreed to seal my beautiful wife to me in the Mt. Timpanogos temple while he served as president. He gave some wonderful counsel to us that I reflect on often. May God bless the Matthews family, and may we share a nice reunion at some future day.

  • Daniel H in Boston
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:17 p.m.

    During a fantastic class at BYU with Joseph F. McConkie five years ago or so, he mentioned "a marrrrrvelous gospel scholar" named Robert J. Matthews. I had never heard of him. So, I bought a few books and read them. Then a few more. Then a pile of articles from various online sources. In the past five years, I've tried to buy or print everything he ever published. I am gobbling it up and can't get enough. No matter the subject, I always read what he says and I say "Yes! Yes! This is exactly what I want to know! Thank you!" He's inspired me to study like crazy and try to master the scriptures.

    I wish I had known him (I feel like I do), but I cherish his writings, and will for the rest of my life, and I love him for it.

  • Robert J Matthews
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:09 p.m.

    said,"(Joseph Smiths's)new translation,or Inspired Version as it is often called,is one of the greatest evidences of his devine calling(forward to"Plain and Precious Parts"),examples:(JST Gen 50:33)The Prophecy of Joseph Smith,(JST IS:29)The prophecy of the BoM,Verse 16,by the power of Christ, verse 17 three witnesses.

  • Shon
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:06 p.m.

    Not only was I blessed to have Brother Matthews teach me the Scriptures in Graduate Scripture Courses with CES, he also preformed my brothers wedding a few years ago in the Mnt. Timp. Temple. What an amazing man and scholar. The thing that impressed me most about this humble servant was that even though he knew as much about the gospel as any man alive, and was a gifted teacher, I always sensed the greatest sermons he taught were simply by the way he lived his life.

  • Brent & Karen Hubbard
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:03 p.m.

    We had the wonderful privilage of having Brother Matthews as our seminary teacher in the late 50's in Soda Springs, Idaho. Brent got to know him even better when he worked with Robert on his dad's farm for a couple of summers. Later we associated with Bro. Matthews and his wonderful wife Shirley at BYU while he was working on his postgraduate studies and us on our undergraduate degrees. What a great man. We will be forever grateful for the positive influence he had on our lives.

  • Jared Bourgeois
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:03 p.m.

    I had the pleasure of hearing a lecture from Bro. Matthews regarding his work on the JST. I'll never forget it. A great treasure has become accessible because of his significant efforts. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends.

  • Lupita
    Sept. 1, 2009 12:01 p.m.

    I would be more impressed if he had focused his study on the Book of Abraham instead. No scholar can defend that "translation!" LOL

  • Shawn Reese
    Sept. 1, 2009 11:52 a.m.

    I had a D & C class from Brother Matthews in the late 80's. Of all the religion teachers at BYU, he was my favorite, and seemed the most interested in my success as a person. Not only was his scholarship incredible, but it was actually matched by his warmth, genuine love of others, and true concern for their well-being which radiated naturally out to others. What a Christian giant! He was extremely humble, and non-judgemental. I will be forever grateful for having had his class. He took the time not only to teach, but also to listen, answer questions, and even take notes from his students. I'm sure I am just one of thousands, but what a difference his life made in the hearts of those who listened. This man lived the religion, truly. My challenge is to emulate his teachings. I echo all that has been said about this incredible individual. RIP, Bro. Matthews. God bless his family in their loss.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 1, 2009 11:48 a.m.

    "oozed from his being"???

    C'mon! You're WAY TOO OVER THE TOP! Tone it down!

  • Dave in Arizona
    Sept. 1, 2009 10:56 a.m.

    I grew up in Independence, MO and am very grateful for what Brother Matthews and a few others did to improve relations between the (then) R.L.D.S. Church and the L.D.S. Church. President Kimball so much wanted that to happen and it happened. In the early 70's I was a young early a.m. seminary teacher in CA when I heard Robert Matthews speak about the New Testament at a C.E.S. training workshop held in the Bay Area. His humble spirit, combined with his mastery of the subject, represented a powerful combination that I never forgot. I was never in his presence personally after that day, but I never forgot what I felt that day. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for him and the true Christian aura that oozed from his being.

  • Bro Matthews
    Sept. 1, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    was clearly insightful. I always thought "In the begining was God."(John 1:1)but according to his editing,"In the beginning was the Gospel.."(John 1:1 JST)

  • Hugh
    Sept. 1, 2009 10:23 a.m.

    I learned to love Bob Matthews over 40 years ago when he was at the Institute at UCLA. As others have commented, he exhibited a unique blend of rigorous scholarship and tender concern for each student. But my favorite memories are of the wide-ranging doctrinal discussions he and Shirley hosted (with ice cream) on Sunday evenings in their home. When he was assigned to BYU, we in LA were bereft. Now we're all truly bereft. Those awaiting him on the other side must be overjoyed, though. Rest well, Bob.

  • Joseph Smith Translation
    Sept. 1, 2009 10:19 a.m.

    Dr. Matthews work on the "Plain and Precious Parts"
    was a great aid in understanding "A Marvelous Work and Wonder"Prophecy of the BoM.
    (Isa 29:14 JST)"but the book shall be delivered unto a man."Verse 16..."by the power of Christ."
    Verse 17...'three witnesses shall behold the power of God,Verse 25"..."I am the same yesterday,today and forever."

  • Fred
    Sept. 1, 2009 9:46 a.m.

    The work he did stands on its own, and we're the benefactors of it. The real significance of Bro. Matthew's life comes in the way he impacted individuals - many of you have posted your own experiences, thank you for sharing - and in his family. I'm privileged to know a few of those people and can attest that the faith he preached and lived extends to his posterity. My heart goes out to all of you.

  • RE : JST "inspired version
    Sept. 1, 2009 9:33 a.m.

    I was inspired by Robert J Matthews forward of "Plain and Precious Parts." Joseph Smith's Bibical corrections."
    (Genesis 50:33 JST)..."And his name shall be called Joseph,and it shall be after the name of his father;and he shall be like unto;for the thing which the Lord shall brig by his hand shall bring my people unto salvation."

  • Angela
    Sept. 1, 2009 9:22 a.m.

    I didn't know these things about Robert J. Matthews. I am totally enlightened. :D "He never wanted anything in life to be about him." I wish and would like to have this attitude. He's a great example for me.

  • Nancy from Las Vegas
    Sept. 1, 2009 9:18 a.m.

    Never had a class from this man but he became noteworthy to me through the re-runs of his lectures on KBYU. Brother Matthews quickly became my favorite church doctrinal teacher. I admired his depth of knowledge and research on whatever gospel principal he taught. I’ve learned so much from him and I’m saddened that he’s gone. I hope that KBYU will air all of this great man’s lectures so that we may continue to benefit from his teachings. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathies to his family.

  • Don Ormsby
    Sept. 1, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    Bob is a distant cousin. I remember as a child visiting his home when coming to Utah on vacation, and feeling that I was in the company of someone truly unique. He exemplified true Christianity, and the Spirit shined from him like the rays of the sun. When I eventually joined the LDS Church and attended BYU, I attended one of his classes and sat enthralled by his grasp of eternal principles. Just a humble man from Evanston, but a giant in the Lord's kingdom. Bob Matthews helped to change my life, and for me, that is the most important of the many wonderful things he accomplished.

  • Eve
    Sept. 1, 2009 8:59 a.m. can manipulate words. And obviously, you can manipulate people. But you cannot manipulate God's will.

  • A Student
    Sept. 1, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    I always wanted to graduate from BYU however I had an attitude about why I had to have religion credit to graduate. This attitude continued after my mission and I put off taking religion classes until my junior year.

    I had a heavy schedule so to begin getting the needed credit I fit in a Pearl of Great Price night class (only 61 pages I thought). In walked an unassuming short bald man in a short sleeved white shirt. It was Robert J. Matthews. I had many questions not for faith but for light and knowledge. He put me on a road of gospel scholarship and he changed my life from that moment to now.

    Many classes and many hours followed. He gave me a personal copy of A Plainer Translation at the first printing. I watch him work on the Bible Dictionary. He was my missionary who caused in me a deep and abiding testimony that I have subsequently shared in many settings.

    I shall be eternally grateful for that experience and for BYU giving me a complete education! I will miss my teacher and mentor until we meet again.

  • Fred
    Sept. 1, 2009 8:21 a.m.

    Hugh Nibley, then Truman Madsen, now Robert Matthews. We are rapidly losing a generation of brilliant scholars whose work blessed us spiritually as well as academically. They were giants. I hope the younger scholars who succeed them are up to the task.

  • Mike
    Sept. 1, 2009 7:59 a.m.

    I a great admiration from Brother Matthews when I took an independent study course on the New Testament from him in 1971, to finish my undergraduate religion requirement. He would respond personally to each written assignment I submitted. I felt I was the only student in his class and sensed his great spirit through his correspondence.

  • Chris and Kris
    Sept. 1, 2009 4:59 a.m.

    You will be sorely missed by all who knew you, Brother Matthews. Thank you for all the knowledge you shared with us and the friendship you gave to our parents. The world has lost someone very special.

  • JST translation
    Sept. 1, 2009 4:25 a.m.

    RIP Mr Matthews.

    I concur.

    Watching BYU gospel discussions without his expert commentary will be missed.

    He can now listen/ask Joseph,
    Brigham, and the Savior,
    doctrinal questions.

  • viking
    Sept. 1, 2009 2:48 a.m.

    Brother Matthews was a great man and scholar. He is certainly at peace now, but I doubt if he is "resting". Knowing what I do about him, he is getting answers to a lot of questions that he had before but had no access to original sources. Absorb all the knowledge in peace. I am happy for you but sad that your family will be unable to see you daily until they are called home also.

  • Least
    Aug. 31, 2009 11:29 p.m.

    A wonderful man and a top-notch scholar. His work was accessible to the non-scholar, yet also also satisfying to those who want to dig deeply into truth. He will certainly be missed by anyone who loves the truths of the Gospel.

  • Kathy Riordan
    Aug. 31, 2009 10:11 p.m.

    Happy to see this wonderful man get the recognition he deserves. In addition to everything else Robert J. Matthews was in this life, he was a favorite uncle, one those of us who got to call him "Uncle Bob" treasured. Godspeed.

  • Shirley
    Aug. 31, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    I have also attended classes that this good man taught. I was at education week and was so happy to attend another of his classes when I heard he was quite ill. And now to see that he has passed to the other side where I don't believe he will be resting but teaching and loving and serving others as he did here. I will Pray for his dear family. He was truly a good Christian.

  • Anonymous
    Aug. 31, 2009 8:05 p.m.

    A beautiful tribute to a marvelous man with a marvelous vision and accomplished life.

  • kathyn
    Aug. 31, 2009 7:50 p.m.

    I never had the privilege of attending any of Bro. Matthews' classes, but I enjoyed watching his scriptural lessons on KBYU. He was a very intelligent and great man.

  • Tabb
    Aug. 31, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    I had Bro. Matthews for New Testament while a student at BYU in 1978 and 1979. It was an evening Tu-TH class that lasted for an hour and a half. It was never long enough. He would put his brief case on the table, take out his scriptures,and teach the life of the Savior from the scriptures. I learned SO much and the Spirit was always so strong. You felt as if Bro. Mattews was a first hand witness to all that he taught regarding the life of the Savior. Some 25 years later I took my son to the MTC to begin his mission and arranged to visit with Bro Matthews and his lovely wife in their home. Though I had only been a student among thousands, he was as warm and gracious, as filled with the Spirit as I had remembered him from so many years earlier. I will forever be grateful that I randomly selected his class for New Testament. My love, understanding, and appreciation for the life of the Savior was forever changed. What a great blessing to have known and been taught by Bro. Matthews.

  • John Pack Lambert
    Aug. 31, 2009 7:40 p.m.

    To the 4:56 commentator,
    You can easily get a copy of the LDS edition of the scriptures. These have MOST of the variations in the JST. There are some not included. I would say if you really want to learn what they are and what they do, that is the best place to start. Readig Dr. Matthews book on the matter would be good to.
    I believe it is not that difficult to find a full length version of the Joseph Smith Translation, and then you could compare the variations not included, some of which are at least somewhat significant.
    Amonst other issues Brother Matthews deals with what the intent of the JST was. He argues that it was a "plainer translation", meaning meant to be more understandable, and not neccesarily more true to the original text.

    Aug. 31, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    Rest in the Lord, brother Bob.

  • my respects
    Aug. 31, 2009 7:27 p.m.

    I left 'the church' half my life ago, but in retrospect the closest I felt to the 'gospel' was when I had just gained the aaronic P. and my folks gave me this man's 'translation' of the bible which nicely tied into the other 'mormon books'. He enlightened the scriptures to a new era for me, god bless ...

  • Gary Johnson
    Aug. 31, 2009 7:16 p.m.

    I had the opportunity to learn the gospel from Brother Matthews as a high school seminary student in the 1960's in Soda Springs, Idaho. The entire community was better for the time that he spent there teaching. He gave me a solid base for gospel understanding that I have carried with me throughout my life. Brother Matthews was just then beginning his long career as a teacher that later found him at BYU where he raised the scholarship of all who new him. I continued my relationship with him once I also attended BYU for four years. I travelled to BYU Education Week this year specifically to sit in on his classes once more. I learned at the Conference that Brother Matthews was ill and would not be teaching. I always knew that this day would come when we would lose him, but while he was here he blessed us immeasurably with the depth of the gospel that he taught.

  • Aneta
    Aug. 31, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    Bishop Matthews was my freshman bishop at BYU. He was wise, kind, funny and a friend to our ward. I'll miss him.

  • jph1223
    Aug. 31, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    I thought Brother Matthew's book A Plainer Translation was a high point in quality LDS scholarship. I did not have the chance to ever meet him nor take classes from him, but his scholarship left an impact on me. My condolences and best wishes to his family and loved ones.

  • Thank you
    Aug. 31, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    I knew President Matthews from Mt. Timpanogos. He was very kind and to me exemplified the true meaning of the term "Christian."

    God speed and may He comfort your family.

  • Gary
    Aug. 31, 2009 6:07 p.m.

    What a good man, we will miss him! Thanks for all the good things you did in your lifetime. We are very grateful to you!

  • Craig
    Aug. 31, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    I think Joe asked a very good and relevant question. I suppose there are many with the same question. I don't think this forum is the best place to answer it but I would invite any who are truly curious as to why the LDS people believe such a thing to visit a nearby church and ask. It seems to me that Brother Matthews dedicated a good portion of his life to trying to answer Joe's question.

  • DCR
    Aug. 31, 2009 5:20 p.m.

    We had the privilege of traveling through Italy, Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Greece with Brother Matthews in October 1982. His lectures were chalk full of facts and data but the key to his profound teaching ability was his ability to infuse his lessons with the Holy Spirit. I'll miss him. We'll all miss him. Thank you Brother Matthews for your example and your friendship. Rest in Peace.

  • Travis
    Aug. 31, 2009 5:05 p.m.

    I took a class on the JST from him at BYU. I also have sat in on other lectures and classes he has given. I gained insights into the scriptures from him that have lasted long past the classroom. I also remember his kind demeanor and genuine desire to help students.

    I was sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and colleagues.

  • Mac
    Aug. 31, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    Thank you Bob for your unequaled contribution to bringing out of obscurity the JST. When the Saints came west, Orson Pratt was teaching from a copy of the JST, but President Brigham Young said not to because the Church didn't have access to the original manuscript which remained with Emma. Looking back, this was an inspired move by Pres. Young because when it comes to missionary work, using the KJV of the Bible was far more effective since most other Christians were using it. The last thing the Church needed to do at that time was to introduce a "new" Bible along with the Book of Mormon. When the time was right, the Lord raised up Bob Matthews to rebuild trust with the Community of Christ Church (then the Reorganized Church) allowing him and others access to the original JST manuscript. Eventually this paved the way for the 1979 LDS edition of the Bible which brings the KJV and the JST so masterfully together. Thank you Bob for following the Lord's plan for you. It has truly benefitted all of us. We'll see you on the other side! May the Lord comfort your family!

  • Fredd
    Aug. 31, 2009 4:56 p.m.

    Is there a site that list the differences in translation and their significance? A non judgementalm one?

  • Cynthia
    Aug. 31, 2009 4:49 p.m.

    I have watched andlistened to his discussions with the professors on BYU channel for years. I've heard and purchased his talks. I have learned so much from this warm, kind and intelligent man. I feel as though I know him and I miss him.

  • Z
    Aug. 31, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    What a truly remarkable and great man. I got to interact with him just a little bit, and what impressed me was not simply his knowledge, but his genuine love and concern for others.

    This man practiced what he believed in. He, of all people, would want everyone to be kind to "Joe" and return kindness rather than harshness.

  • Learned from him
    Aug. 31, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    My condolences to the Matthews family. I was a student of his and was greatly blessed because of his knowledge and insight.

  • Pure Soul
    Aug. 31, 2009 3:33 p.m.

    What a great scholar and a great man.

    He wore out his life in the service of the Lord.

    Thank you for the example you set.

    You will be missed.

  • I agree
    Aug. 31, 2009 3:28 p.m.

    Brother Matthews was a great man who dedicated himself to advancing good works among men. Thanks and RIP.

  • Dave
    Aug. 31, 2009 3:24 p.m.

    As one who had the good fortune of sitting in a classroom with him- a master teacher and one who passionately loved his topic has been lost- condolances to his family and gradtitude for his passion and willingness to share would seem the only fitting words here

  • no time for pettiness
    Aug. 31, 2009 3:09 p.m.

    Not being LDS I have to confess to not knowing who Robert Matthews was before today but I agree with "tenor" ignore "Joe" he is not representative of those of us outside your faith. I am sorry for Matthews family and the LDS church's loss. RIP Mr Matthews.

  • Jann
    Aug. 31, 2009 2:41 p.m.

    Matthews really did contribute a lot to LDS scholarship. We al benefited from the fruits of his work.

  • Gloria Smith
    Aug. 31, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    The world is a sadder place without Brother Matthews. He has inspired and helped millions. I count myself blessed to have known him as a teacher and Temple President. He blessed my life and my family's. I hope the memory of his kindness and love as well as the influence he has had on millions will carry his family through this sad time.
    Gloria Smith

  • Neal Kramer
    Aug. 31, 2009 1:47 p.m.

    This is a sad day for scholars of the gospel. Robert Matthews was a hard-nosed researcher and careful teacher of gospel truth.

    He will be missed, but his legacy certainly lives on. He truly changed the face of gospel scholarship.

  • California Steve
    Aug. 31, 2009 1:43 p.m.

    Rest in peace Brother Matthews. I enjoyed your classes at BYU. I, as well as millions,have benefited from your work on the new versions of the scriptures.