I'll bet most Mormons would draw a blank if you asked them about The Book of Jasher. I know I would if not for a chance remark in my Seminary class as a senior in high school. My instructor said that it wasn't accepted as scripture. It likely contained some truth but it wasn't something we needed to concern ourselves with. He said he had read it but did not use it in his teaching.

Several years later, I was photocopying something in my Church library. I reviewed the library's collection, as I did so, and found a copy of The Book of Jasher and thumbed through it. I don't remember any specifics but it was a slim volume that did not contain much.

Today's post reviews the Church's position on The Book of Jasher. The book is actually mentioned twice in the Old Testament:
Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
2 Samuel 1:18 (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.)
From the Bible Dictionary we learn the following:
Jasher or Jashar. Upright. (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18.) An early collection of Jewish national songs and stories of deeds of valor, put together about the time of Solomon. Various other collections of the book of Jasher are available today and may be of some worth, but do not appear to be the one spoken of in the Bible.
The Bible Dictionary also mentions it as one of the Lost Books.

Official publications of the Church mention the book in a handful of scholarly Ensign articles in 19741977 and 1994.

In 1981, an "I Have a Question" feature answered the question, "I recently acquired a copy of a text calledThe Book of Jasher, which is claimed to be the book of missing scripture referred to in the Bible. Can you tell me if it is authentic?" It was answered by a Church Education System (CES) college curriculum writer.

There is also a brief mention of The Book of Jasher in the The Old Testament Student Manual for college students.

Turning to unofficial sources, the Mormon Wiki supplies us with the following:
The Book of Jasher is a secular history covering a period from the creation until the period of the Judges in Israel, and a work that is referenced in the Holy Bible twice by two different authors. Three purported copies of this 'Lost Book' have been translated, but only one is looked upon as authentic. The Prophet Joseph Smith quoted from it in Times and Seasons as a source which had "not been disproved as a bad author." Certain members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints secured the copyright and republished the work in 1887 in Salt Lake City.
The Book of Jasher is almost certainly authentic, as it contains many specific details which are in agreement with modern revelation (i.e. the Book of Moses) that was published before the Book of Jasher became available on the American continent). However, it is also almost certain that it contains modifications from its original form. When studying it, the Lord's advice in Doctrine and Covenants 91 still stands.
Read D&C:91.

Visit the Mormon Wiki site for links in the quoted paragraphs above, like the Times and Seasons source.

The Wiki site also contains a link to a Meridian Magazine article as well as a link to The Book of Jasher online. 

Continue reading at the original source →