“Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” -Luke 16:29 KJV
Of the many great mysteries posed by the bible, the attitude of the Jews toward the Samaritans is not one. Perhaps no other explanation need be sought as to why the proceeding work was not considered for inclusion in the Hebrew Canon of scripture, notwithstanding their having preserved the oldest manuscript of the Torah available for centuries. Had relations been better, we all may have grown up revering the present work. It is therefore a delight to find the diamond that they overlooked.
I have polished the present edition from the translation of Moses Gaster, who admittedly passed on the title “Secret Book of Moses” despite it representing some manuscripts on the basis that it doesn’t quite fit the genre of some other books bearing a similar title. It is clear enough, however, from the vagueness of the title’s English translation that it represents a secret work or a work of secrets. Considering the recent publication of the Sealed Book of Moses, the “Hidden Book of Moses” appears the most appropriate, as it will no doubt be compared with and read alongside that work.
In presenting this work to the Latter Day Saints, I take especial delight in pointing out the similarities with the Sefer HaYashar (Book of Jasher) and the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis (Book of Moses). Students of these other works will enjoy the expanded narrative these and other works create. I won’t spoil all the surprises by pointing them out. Not to be overlooked is the significance of the covenant that accompanies the reception of the Clothes of Adam, and its relevance to the Temple Endowments of the Saints. Students of the recently published Book of Remembrance of Adam and Eve revealed to David Ferriman will find it especially significant.
I’ll close this short introduction with some words from its original translator more than a century ago, discussing not only the title, but the antiquity and authorship ascribed, as the work is so old the language can no longer translate its title, and admonish you to do as the Lord commanded and “study it out in your mind and in your heart and ask if it be right.”
In the Name of the All Merciful.
– Alexei Christopher Mattanovich.