What does the word Christ mean?
The word “Christ” first appears in Matthew 1:1. The Greek rendering is “Christos” meaning anointed, the Messiah. Messiah is a term for a high priest who was consecrated with oil. The term Christ is never used in the Septuagint (oldest Greek version of the Old Testament).
Vine’s Expository says that the title Christ is used alone when referring to “the One who by His Holy Spirit and Power indwells believers and moulds their character in conformity to His likeness…” (Emphasis mine).
He is referred to as Messiah the Prince in Isaiah 61:1 & Daniel 9:24-26.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary remarks on several passages in scripture of the different references made to Him. Interestingly, many of these references are what the Mormon Church uses to refer to Joseph Smith…
“The Messiah is the same person as “the seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15), “the seed of Abraham” (Gen. 22:18), the “Prophet like unto Moses” (Deut. 18:15), “the priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:4), “the rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isa. 11:1, 10), the “Immanuel,” the virgin’s son (Isa. 7:14), “the branch of Jehovah” (Isa. 4:2), and “the messenger of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1). This is he “of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.” The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men.”
Why would this word be used in the BC era of the Book of Mormon? And why as noted above would the Mormon Church use some of the scriptures listed to refer to Joseph Smith when clearly they have nothing to do with him?
Could it be the Church purposefully wants its members to think of Smith as the Messiah? It certainly seems that way. Here are some examples of what they think of Smith:
Joseph Sealed Testimony with Own Blood
Doctrines of Salvation 1:191; “Through him the predictions of ancient prophets have been fulfilled, and now are being fulfilled. He sealed his testimony with his blood, knowing he was going to his death for proclaiming the eternal truths of heaven. His testimony is now binding on the world. It cannot be ignored in safety, obedience to it has brought joy to thousands, and will yet prove to be a help in the salvation of other thousands who receive it with all their heart.”
Bears Infirmities of Others
Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 28; “Although I was called of my Heavenly Father to lay the foundation of this great work and kingdom in this dispensation, and testify of his revealed will to scattered Israel, I am subject to like passions as other men, like the prophets of olden times.Notwithstanding my weaknesses, I am under the necessity of bearing the infirmities of others, who when they get into difficulty, hang on to me tenaciously to get them out, and wish me to cover their faults. (HC 5:516.)”
Fulfillment of Scripture
Joseph Smith History 1:40-41; “In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.41 He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.”
Greatness of Joseph Smith
Mormon Doctrine, pg. 396; “Joseph Smith’s greatness lies in the work that he did, the spiritual capacity he developed, and the witness he bore of the Redeemer. Since the keys of salvation were restored to the Prophet, it is in and through and because of his latter-day mission that the full redemptive power of the Lord has again become available to men. It is because the Lord called Joseph Smith that salvation is again available to mortal men.”
Dr. D. Michael Quinn, BYU Studies, The Council of Fifty and Its Members, pgs. 89-90; ““This leads to the ﬁnal ofﬁce in the symbolic Kingdom of God on earth as embodied in the Council of Fifty. William Clayton recorded in his journal that in the 11 April 1844 meeting of the Council of Fifty, “was prest. Joseph chosen as our prophet Priest, & King by Hosannas.” William Marks, who participated in this action, later stated that the Council of Fifty conducted this as an ordinance “in which Joseph suffered himself to be ordained a king, to reign over the house of Israel forever.”