Brigham Young once wrote that if you could do a better translation of the Bible, you had a duty to do it. Thomas Wayment, in a decade long work, completed a new translation that has the imprint of the Religious Studies Center at BYU and Deseret Book.
I’ve previously quoted a little from it, and have been reading it in preparation for studying the New Testament next year. I’ve also listened to several podcasts with the author, and there are more that I haven’t had time for yet.
- Translation of the New Testament with Thomas A. Wayment
- FAIR Interview
- And, of course, several episodes of Gospel Tangents.
- You can find even more.
The translation is in modern English.
It works at accuracy first, and exposition and connection second — making it easy to read and not filtered through anyone’s particular hobby horse or desired point. It also has the footnotes spread out, for readability, rather than broken apart word by word.
Questions for our readers?
- What do you think of the idea of a modern English set of scriptures that has endorsements that make it acceptable for use in Sunday School?
- What do you think of a translation that is endorsed across a wide range of LDS perspectives, from the traditional, to the apologetic to the tangential?
- Would you like to see other modern language translations?
- Do you think I made a mistake buying copies of it for all siblings and my mother for Christmas?
I already use modern bible translations for personal study and for church. Nobody has every called me on using them. I’ll continue using them, as its easy using the online versions that give a side by side comparison to the KJV. Great idea on buying copies for the family!
I am way excited about Wayment’s Study New Testament. I’ll have an episode up in a week or two as we discuss biblical errors (and even a known forgery!) I love that he incorporates the JST and makes it modern English. It is sorely needed and I hope can be used in Sunday School as a useful guide for study. With us studying the New Testament this year, the timing couldn’t be better, although it was sold out in Utah in December. I had to drive clear to Clinton to get my copy before Christmas. There was a three week wait list on Amazon. I hope it’s gotten better .
We will likely always have some kind of reverence for the King James Version, it being the translation used by Joseph Smith when he was inspired to go into the woods and pray in the spring of 1820. And there are some passages that have become so iconic in the King James Version that I don’t see myself dropping the KJV during my lifetime. Having said that, times change. Language evolves. Linguistic and historical scholarship improves. Now that it seems that there is no consensus among English-speaking Christians about the preferred translation of the Bible, I think we’ll see less preoccupation with scriptural language and more attention to scriptural meaning. Projects like this will help bring Latter-day Saints along in this trend.
The first thing I did when I opened your present was read Luke. I wanted to see what he did with explaining who Luke was and what he did with the birth of Christ. What he noted about the voice of Mary and her cousin. I think it is great with the wide net it casts and will use it in Sunday School class. Are there things which I don’t like in his translation and foot notes. Of course, but there are things I don’t agree with the translation of the King James version. Back to the book. I think it will be more acceptable to voice some of the information in the book because of where it comes from and do not think it is a mistake to send a book like this to your relatives. It would be a bigger mistake not to.
I gave the Christmas talk on Sunday, reading directly from the NRSV in Matthew and Luke. It was a hit and no one complained.
Thanks to everyone for the comments.
Modern English translation in Sunday School? Great, a big help. It’s easier if you just read it without any disclaimers. The new Wayment book will make it easier still.
Endorsements across the LDS spectrum? A pleasant surprise. I wonder if it will ever show up in manuals or quoted at General Conference.
Gift copies? Great idea. If it sells really well, maybe we’ll get a modern English upgrade to the Book of Mormon.
I’m excited too.i are this as a primary teacher who has every intention of using my 20 minutes of class time to teach the New Testament. I’ve been on the fence on which version of the NT to use as is rather focus on history and content rather than old English verb tenses, but I don’t want parents complaining either. This solves that problem!
The last time I gave a sacrament talk I quoted the NRSV, but I didn’t give the scripture reference and I stopped before the verse that used the word “fellow”, so I’m not sure if anyone realized I wasn’t using King James.
The KJV is familiar and beautiful to people who grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but I think that it is important to use modern translations in order to understand the text.
I’m not sure what endorsements this book has, other than that it is sold in desert book. I’ll have to find out. I’m glad that it exists and has some kind of endorsements, although I would prefer acceptance of more general scholarship from standard versions. I doubt that this will be considered an acceptable source of material in my ward.
Good for you, for giving it to family. Maybe a follow up discussion is in order, discussing passages that are more clear in the new translation. I considered giving this book to my parents, but opted not to for Reasons that likely don’t apply to you.
It is endorsed by groups often seen as conservative bastions within the LDS Church.
I still love the KJB for the beauty of the language. Yes, you were wrong to give family members bibles.No one wants a bible for a present.
Miguel says, “No one wants a bible for a present.”
Not completely true, but possibly applicable. I would have liked this book as a present. I also would have appreciated a Jewish study Bible, or most any reputable study Bible.
But I am not normal, and is entirely possible, even probably, that the some of the receivers will not appreciate the gift.
Rockwell, I amend my statement–“Most people would not want a bible for a present.”
I would love this Bible for a present but knew I wouldn’t get it so I bought it for myself.
Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered it. I’m excited to study with it and teach my kids out of it.
I ordered Grant Hardy’s Book of Mormon study guide also. His book on understanding the Book of Mormon was great.
Well, three out of four family members have already said thank you. :).
I’ll put that as a success.
I do wish the paper copies of both that and the Grant Hardy book would be available in the UK. I really don’t like kindle for reference books. But all amazon gives me currently is an apology when I select anything other than kindle.