This edition of The New Testament is drawn from Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Holy Bible. In addition to the written edits made by Joseph, we have included a number of other textual adjustments that Joseph stated should be made, from public discourses which never became part of his written New Translation.
Great effort has been put into honoring the work of Joseph Smith in this collection. This includes the use of his New Translation as the text for the Bible, and stripping away most alterations to his revelations which were made by others. We believe his work is to be honored above any who would claim to be his successors.
The following is a simple list of the updates and changes made to the Book of Mormon and New Testament for this Restoration Edition of the scriptures:
- Archaic language updates to the Bible were approved by the Lord and have been restricted to updating words and phrases that are no longer used in modern speech. Some phrases and sentences have been modified in consequence of the word updates or when current wording made the meaning unclear.
- Name changes have been made either to standardize spelling or to correct traditional errors:
- James is an anglicized version of a name that requires passing through several languages to arrive at. The Greek root is Iakōbon and is rendered Jacob in English.
- Jude is an anglicized version of Judas (Greek) and Judah (Hebrew). Though Judah is closer to what others would have called him, we cannot determine which instances of Judas to change in the New Testament, and therefore felt it prudent to use the Greek version throughout and leave the investigation to the reader.
- Paragraph and chapter arrangements are based on context, not tradition. However, in the Book of Mormon the chapters were determined by Joseph Smith.
- Epistles, reflecting their original nature as letters, do not have chapters.
- Traditional versing has been entirely removed from this collection, and chaptering and paragraphing has been reduced and revised. The purpose of this is to offset the divorcing of statements from their greater context, which often occurs when a scriptural text is poorly divided into smaller chapters and verses.
- Punctuation has been heavily reduced, as its presence can directly influence the interpretation of scriptural statements. The removal of such punctuation allows for a freer text with greater possibilities for interpretation and understanding, as guided by the Lord.
- The Book of Mormon foundational text was Joseph Smith’s last updated version from 1840.
- Variations found in the Book of Mormon are due to corrections made from sources including Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, 2nd Edition, by Royal Skousen.
- Some changes in the Book of Mormon are due to revelation received from the Lord directing the changes. Those have been announced on www.scripturesproject.blogspot.com or in updates on www.scriptures.info.
- Since all Book of Mormon punctuation was originally added by John Gilbert (of E. B. Grandin’s Print Shop) and some of it changes meaning, punctuation has been minimized and, where needed, corrected to conform with what Joseph Smith taught, and to allow for a freer text with greater possibilities for interpretation and understanding, as guided by the Lord.