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"A Bible! A Bible! We Have Got A Bible" An evening with Dr Wayment.

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Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture given by Dr. Thomas Wayment, author of the recently released The New Testament: A New Translation for Latter-day Saints. What an enjoyable and informative event and, again, I highly recommend this book. His presentation featured the quote from my OP title,   "A Bible! A Bible! We Have Got A Bible" which of course is from 2 Ne. 29:3, and so he opened up with why he though that an updated version of the New Testament for an LDS audience was in order. I am curious what others here think about the suggestion of moving away from the KJV we have used. What issues we might have in such a move, what benefits there might be? Are we doctrinally tied to it, how? I don't know if Dan McClellan still reads here, but his input would be  very valuable.

So what say you? Is it time to update the version of the Bible we commonly use in English or should we just stick with what brought us to the dance? Before you answer think about the fact that we may already be at a point where more than half the members have already been using a different version of the Bible, that would be members who do not speak English.

If I may, let me recap the event from my sketchy notes. Please remember that these are my notes and while the intent is to faithfully reproduce what Dr Wayment said, it is possible I may have misunderstood or incorrectly recorded what he said. In which case I apologize in advance.

His opening comment was that as LDS we claim to believe in an open canon but it is effectively closed. He went on to say that the KJV of the Bible was out of date the moment it was published and that it speaks an archaic language that no one actually uses. Reading from it is almost like learning a foreign language. He noted that we have a tradition of hostility toward the Bible tradition and referenced AoF #8 where we qualify our belief in the Bible to "as far as it is translated correctly". In the LDS tradition "we redefine the word 'translation', removing the academic meaning of the word we use the word differently" And he noted that "Joseph Smith's efforts to revise the Bible were broadly antagonistic toward the American canonical consciousness because it subjected the Bible to revelatory revisions."

Versions of the Bible he recommend include:

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version or more commonly known as the NSRV  He mentioned that this one is the one most used by scholars. ( I have this one, it is very good, and older editions are quite reasonable on Amazon.)

NIV This one Dr. Wayment says is the one most used by people in general. (He noted that more people probably had a copy of the KJV in their houses but that the NIV was actually read more.)

and

ESV  is "also very good."

He put up a graph showing the 2000± English versions of the Bible currently found.(this could of been just the NT - but the graph was difficult to read from where I sat.)He said:  "I figured if I wrote #2001 no one would notice."

The Church has published its own version of the KJV in 1979.

The Church has published its own versions of the bible in Spanish (2009), in Portuguese (2015) and in German & French.

"All of which are better versions than the English KJV."

He then proceeded to note where recent apostles and prophets have supported the KJV, from an Ensign article in 2007, or a 1992 1st Presidency statement and others I was not quick enough to write down. And he noted 3 different recent occasions where in conference that the NIV had been quoted, quotes that were footnoted in the subsequent conference reports. These quotes were from Pres Nelson, Uctdorf and Holland.

The balance of his presentation mostly dealt with why he decided to write this book, publishing it and understanding the how his notations and notes work within the book. That was very interesting but not as relevant to my Op regarding the use of the KJV by LDS. There was one comment that he made regarding what he was trying to create in his book that I do think bears very directly on this discussion. I am paraphrasing here because I only got a few words of it on paper. He said that his notes were an attempt to create a framework or "scaffolding" of a larger discussion on the New Testament about things that "are being talked about in all Christian communities." His intent seemed to be to get the LDS more aware and involved in those larger discussions.

 

 

 

 

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My thoughts: this is a question to leave to Prophetic hands, not mine.  

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12 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

My thoughts: this is a question to leave to Prophetic hands, not mine.  

Well one prophet did comment on this exact subject.

Brigham Young said:

Quote

If [the Bible] be translated incorrectly, and there is a scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King Jame's translators did it, he is under obligation to do so, or the curse is upon him. If I understood Greek and Hebrew as some may profess to do, and I knew the Bible was not correctly translated, I should feel myself bound by the law of justice to the inhabitants of the earth to translate that which is incorrect and give it just as it was spoken anciently. Is that proper? Yes, I would be under obligation.

Brigham Young, "Remarks" New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 27 August 1871, in Desert Evening News, 2 September 1871,2

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30 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Well one prophet did comment on this exact subject.

Brigham Young said:

Brigham Young, "Remarks" New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 27 August 1871, in Desert Evening News, 2 September 1871,2

And *if( the Lord commands the Prophet to be guided and do such a thing, then we shall cross such a bridge when it comes.  In the mean time, it's not really something profitable for me to spend my time on.  

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I have all of the English versions you have cited and it seems a couple others. I study from several of them, but I still read the KJV most. I love the language and find a great deal of beauty when reading it.  I don't really feel a degree of commitment to the KJV on accuracy or being better than - just like the language. 

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2 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture given by Dr. Thomas Wayment, author of the recently released The New Testament: A New Translation for Latter-day Saints. What an enjoyable and informative event and, again, I highly recommend this book. His presentation featured the quote from my OP title,   "A Bible! A Bible! We Have Got A Bible" which of course is from 2 Ne. 29:3, and so he opened up with why he though that an updated version of the New Testament for an LDS audience was in order. I am curious what others here think about the suggestion of moving away from the KJV we have used. What issues we might have in such a move, what benefits there might be? Are we doctrinally tied to it, how? I don't know if Dan McClellan still reads here, but his input would be  very valuable.

So what say you? Is it time to update the version of the Bible we commonly use in English or should we just stick with what brought us to the dance? Before you answer think about the fact that we may already be at a point where more than half the members have already been using a different version of the Bible, that would be members who do not speak English.

If I may, let me recap the event from my sketchy notes. Please remember that these are my notes and while the intent is to faithfully reproduce what Dr Wayment said, it is possible I may have misunderstood or incorrectly recorded what he said. In which case I apologize in advance.

His opening comment was that as LDS we claim to believe in an open canon but it is effectively closed. He went on to say that the KJV of the Bible was out of date the moment it was published and that it speaks an archaic language that no one actually uses. Reading from it is almost like learning a foreign language. He noted that we have a tradition of hostility toward the Bible tradition and referenced AoF #8 where we qualify our belief in the Bible to "as far as it is translated correctly". In the LDS tradition "we redefine the word 'translation', removing the academic meaning of the word we use the word differently" And he noted that "Joseph Smith's efforts to revise the Bible were broadly antagonistic toward the American canonical consciousness because it subjected the Bible to revelatory revisions."

Versions of the Bible he recommend include:

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version or more commonly known as the NSRV  He mentioned that this one is the one most used by scholars. ( I have this one, it is very good, and older editions are quite reasonable on Amazon.)

NIV This one Dr. Wayment says is the one most used by people in general. (He noted that more people probably had a copy of the KJV in their houses but that the NIV was actually read more.)

and

ESV  is "also very good."

He put up a graph showing the 2000± English versions of the Bible currently found.(this could of been just the NT - but the graph was difficult to read from where I sat.)He said:  "I figured if I wrote #2001 no one would notice."

The Church has published its own version of the KJV in 1979.

The Church has published its own versions of the bible in Spanish (2009), in Portuguese (2015) and in German & French.

"All of which are better versions than the English KJV."

He then proceeded to note where recent apostles and prophets have supported the KJV, from an Ensign article in 2007, or a 1992 1st Presidency statement and others I was not quick enough to write down. And he noted 3 different recent occasions where in conference that the NIV had been quoted, quotes that were footnoted in the subsequent conference reports. These quotes were from Pres Nelson, Uctdorf and Holland.

The balance of his presentation mostly dealt with why he decided to write this book, publishing it and understanding the how his notations and notes work within the book. That was very interesting but not as relevant to my Op regarding the use of the KJV by LDS. There was one comment that he made regarding what he was trying to create in his book that I do think bears very directly on this discussion. I am paraphrasing here because I only got a few words of it on paper. He said that his notes were an attempt to create a framework or "scaffolding" of a larger discussion on the New Testament about things that "are being talked about in all Christian communities." His intent seemed to be to get the LDS more aware and involved in those larger discussions.

I recall commenting on this subject not too long ago. I have used the KJV all my life, but I think it important to realize that it is a translation from "the" Greek NT - although there really is no "the" New Testament. Essentially every ancient version of the Greek NT is a little different - ie has variances. Further, in some places I believe the Greek NT is not as good as the Peshitta - that is, I personally believe the Peshitta better preserves the original intent of Yeshua in a handful of places. 

I certainly condone understanding other versions of the NT, but I don't believe there really is a completely accurate version. The JST helps, but modern scholarship has certainly shown other faults the KJV NT has - not that they are horribly important, but for instance our KJV still has what I believe to be an errant verse at 1 John 5:7.

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3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

NIV This one Dr. Wayment says is the one most used by people in general. (He noted that more people probably had a copy of the KJV in their houses but that the NIV was actually read more.)

The NIV might be popular in America but I think our missionaries should stick with the King James version because that is what most of the Bible believing Christians of the world are most familiar with and would trust.  They might not accept a "Mormon" version so well.

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16 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I certainly condone understanding other versions of the NT, but I don't believe there really is a completely accurate version. The JST helps, but modern scholarship has certainly shown other faults the KJV NT has - not that they are horribly important, but for instance our KJV still has what I believe to be an errant verse at 1 John 5:7

Along those lines, Dr Wayment commented that he thought that Romans was the most important book in the NT, but not for the LDS because Romans is the "worst translated book in the KJV."

 

8 minutes ago, JAHS said:

The NIV might be popular in America but I think our missionaries should stick with the King James version because that is what most of the Bible believing Christians of the world are most familiar with and would trust.  They might not accept a "Mormon" version so well.

Admittedly it has been a long time, but on my mission, I never had someone ask me which version of the Bible I was using. And, I think Dr Wayments point was that he thought more bible believing Christians read the NIV than they did the KJV. How would the NIV be confused as a "Mormon" version?

 

I really think his suggestion that we, as Mormons, should engage more fully in the larger conversation that is going on within Christian communities in regards to the Bible is important, and that if we just stick to our KJV we will not be prepared to engage in that conversation. I would hope with this year's course of study being the NT, that members will take the opportunity to look deeper into the text than just what is found in the KJV and the manuals.

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I just finished reading the entire Bible from the NSRV.I found the language to be , how shall I put it , pedestrian . It lacked the poetic and prophetic feel of the KJV. Personal preference I'm sure. I did learn that most of the bible was not written by whomever it says on the title etc.  so if the bible is translated again , unless one has an original manuscript , it's going to be a best guess adventure as to how close to the original meaning one comes. Are there better translations from the manuscripts we currently have? Sure, but to me it is important to make the text SEEM like an ancient one and not one produced last week. 

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14 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Admittedly it has been a long time, but on my mission, I never had someone ask me which version of the Bible I was using. And, I think Dr Wayments point was that he thought more bible believing Christians read the NIV than they did the KJV. How would the NIV be confused as a "Mormon" version?

The "Mormon" version I was referring to is the Church's 1979 version that other Christians might not trust. 

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For me it comes down to Doctrine.

not all bibles are equal.

any other bible versions, take the control of the Bible from the church and puts it into the groups that translated the Bible in question.

do we know there motivation for there English translations? Most of the new English translations are change doctrines and the character of Christ.

 

mark 1:41

 New International Version
Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"

indignant?

kjv compassions.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Doctrine 612 said:

For me it comes down to Doctrine.

not all bibles are equal.

any other bible versions, take the control of the Bible from the church and puts it into the groups that translated the Bible in question.

do we know there motivation for there English translations? Most of the new English translations are change doctrines and the character of Christ.

 

mark 1:41

 New International Version
Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"

indignant?

kjv compassions.

The church has been producing their own non-English versions of the Bible since at least 2009. What would prevent them from producing a non KJV in English?

With a little background the "indignant" becomes very understandable, and in some ways adds to the story. As my NSRV version explains regarding the same passage, 

Quote

some manuscripts have "with anger" [or indignant]  i.e., at the Jerusalem priestly establishment and their institutionalized procedures and prescribed offering necessary for the "leper" to be declared free of the stigma (clean)

So what we find here is a slightly different story where instead of cleansing the leper out of compassion toward the leper, Jesus cleanses him out of anger in defiance of the elaborate and costly procedures prescribed in biblical law. This version sheds even more light on the next  few verses, 42-44.

Quote

Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: "See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

 

Edited by CA Steve
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20 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

The church has been producing their own non-English versions of the Bible since at least 2009. What would prevent them from producing a non KJV in English?

With a little background the "indignant" becomes very understandable, and in some ways adds to the story. As my NSRV version explains regarding the same passage, 

So what we find here is a slightly different story where instead of cleansing the leper out of compassion toward the leper, Jesus cleanses him out of anger in defiance of the elaborate and costly procedures prescribed in biblical law. This version sheds even more light on the next  few verses, 42-44.

 

Are you saying Jesus was angry with the priests?

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3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Admittedly it has been a long time, but on my mission, I never had someone ask me which version of the Bible I was using. And, I think Dr Wayments point was that he thought more bible believing Christians read the NIV than they did the KJV. How would the NIV be confused as a "Mormon" version?

I had several people ask me which version of the Bible I had.  This was in Brazil and they were really talking about the Book of Mormon, calling it our Bible.  When I would pull out the Bible, they would verify that it was the correct Bible (the version translated by João Ferreira de Almeida) and feel better.

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If we create out own translation it will be endlessly accused of being biased towards our doctrine (also one reason we do not use the JST). If we switch to another we are at the mercy of that translation. The KJV has the advantage of being well known, not tied to any modern agenda, and uses similar language to the Book of Mormon.

I am not opposed to a switch but think we should wait until we call the missionaries home.

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4 hours ago, Doctrine 612 said:

Are you saying Jesus was angry with the priests?

I am not saying it nor am I claiming to know which translation is correct. The commentary accompanying the NRSV for that verse said it and when you look at what the next few verses say, it does makes sense. Is it correct as opposed to what the KJV says, well that is the question now isn't it?  As to why such different words appear in the same verse we have to remember that there are over 6000 Greek manuscripts and fragment of manuscripts for the NT from which our current NT is drawn. As the NRSV commentary explains, for this particular instance, some of those Greek manuscripts contain the phrase "moved with piety (NRSV) or compassion (KJV) while other manuscripts write "with anger"(NIV). So it depends on which manuscript the translator gives preference. In one version we have Jesus showing compassion to a leper and in the other we have Jesus showing his anger toward a rigid unfeeling system that cares more about institutional procedures and offerings than they do about the sick.

 

FWIW, Wayment's translation uses "moved with compassion".

 

 

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I've recently been reading this version of the NT. I am enjoying the experience.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Doctrine 612 said:

Are you saying Jesus was angry with the priests?

Your reaction is exactly why anger is more likely the correct translation. It is much more difficult to explain why a scribe would change compassion to anger than the other way around. In addition it fits with Marks overall narrative. Interestingly, Mathew and Luke both omit the problematic sentence in their Gospels, dropping the word anger (or compassion) altogether. Their dropping the line seems much more likely if Jesus was expressing anger than expressing compassion. They, like you, apparently didn’t like Jesus’ anger here. Bart Erhmen has a wonderful paper on this particular verse. 

https://books.google.com/books?id=_YtWAgAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA120#v=onepage&q&f=true

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If we create out own translation it will be endlessly accused of being biased towards our doctrine (also one reason we do not use the JST)

We already offer the world the Book of Mormon, D&C & PofGP as scripture. I doubt if we were to produce our own English version of the Bible that such accusations would significantly increase. And, we actually wouldn't even have to create an entirely new version of the Bible, simply move to one that has less variations from the known Greek texts. Regarding the accuracy of the NT in the KJV as compared to 19 other versions, it ranks dead last. Modern Bible versions have the advantage of being translated from Hebrew and Greek manuscripts that are older and closer to the original than those that were used for the KJV.

 

23 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If we switch to another we are at the mercy of that translation.

I agree but theoretically it should have less errors and more importantly, be closer to the original meaning. For some, the language and syntax of the KJV give an impression of authority and originality, but do we really want to give up clarity just because we think the narrative quality is more important? Right now we are at the mercy of words in the KJV that don't mean the same thing to us, as those words did to the KJV translators. Then there is the issue of gender language. Remember our discussion on the gender of the HG? Traditionally English uses masculine words as a generic form to include both sexes, ("a man", "he", "him), for example Romans 3:23 has been translated as "..,a man is justified by faith..." however the original Greek uses the word ''Anthropos" which means human being so in the NIV for example we see that verse translated as "...a person is justified by faith...".

 

23 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The KJV has the advantage of being well known, not tied to any modern agenda, 

I am not sure what 'agenda's' one would or does find in modern translations, but certainly the same could be said for the KJV. At least the modern versions have the advantage of speaking a more recognizable form of  English. We already acknowledge in our 8th article of faith that we believe the Bible to have errors. Also, this could easily be done in stages where the church formally allowed for the use of versions beyond the KJV, even encouraged members to use multiple versions as a learning tool and then eventually settled on one that already exists or produces their own, or just produce a list of approved Bibles like some other churches do.

 

23 hours ago, The Nehor said:

and uses similar language to the Book of Mormon.

This I think is a big problem for moving to a different translation. It isn't that the Book of Mormon just uses similar language; there are "90 NT quotes in the Book of Mormon". Whoever it was who translated the Book of Mormon spoke in the KJV vernacular. If we move to a modern version of the Bible in English, the contrast between that Bible and Book of Mormon would be striking and in some cases we might have to end up explaining why the bible we were using no longer carried some NT testament verses that are still found in our Book of Mormon. 

Edited by CA Steve
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On 3/9/2019 at 2:27 PM, CA Steve said:

........................................

Brigham Young said:

Brigham Young, "Remarks" New Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 27 August 1871, in Desert Evening News, 2 September 1871,2

Bro Brigham also said this:

Quote

Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to re-write the Bible, it would in many places be very different from what it now is. And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation.  Young, Journal of Discourses IX:311 (13 July 1862)

What was Brigham trying to say?

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On 3/9/2019 at 1:45 PM, CA Steve said:

...................................."

Versions of the Bible he recommend include:

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version or more commonly known as the NSRV  He mentioned that this one is the one most used by scholars. ( I have this one, it is very good, and older editions are quite reasonable on Amazon.)

NIV This one Dr. Wayment says is the one most used by people in general. (He noted that more people probably had a copy of the KJV in their houses but that the NIV was actually read more.)

....................ESV  is "also very good.".............................................

Those are nice recommendations, but I prefer the New Jerusalem Bible (Doubleday, 1985).  It represents the best Roman Catholic scholarship, and the presentation is superior to all other versions.  When any historical or deep interpretive questions arise, one should turn to the multi-volume translation-commentary of the Anchor Bible, and to the Anchor Bible Dictionary.  This would provide cover for LDS scholars who do not want to be accused of using a completely outdated version (KJV), or of making their own translation.

One problem which should give all of us pause is the fact that Jesus spoke primarily Aramaic, with some Hebrew liturgical language thrown in where appropriate.  The NT, on the other hand, is in Greek.  This presents enormous problems of interpretation when confronting the difficulty of expressing Aramaic in Greek.  No matter how great the translator's Greek scholarship, the question remains:  What did Jesus say in Aramaic?  Mel Gibson's film "The Passion" had Jesus and his fellow Jews speaking Aramaic throughout.

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On 3/9/2019 at 1:45 PM, CA Steve said:

His opening comment was that as LDS we claim to believe in an open canon but it is effectively closed.

I'm not sure I agree with that. I understand why he says that but I wouldn't be at all shocked to see the Proclamation on the Family added to canon. I can also see Nelson adding things given how he and Oaks are doing a lot of change.

To his other comments I've strongly advocated the Church licensing the New King James Version. It largely updates the language but follows the structure of the KJV when possible unless there's a big underlying textual error. It provides a nice middle ground between more robust translations while keeping a degree of fidelity to the Book of Mormon and D&C. It'd also allow a standardized way of updating the language of the BoM & D&C as well by simply following the NKJV changes (since both paraphrase or quote it regularly). Since most people are using either lds.org or Gospel Library it'd be easy to write code to switch between the original and new versions.

I think that avoids a lot of the problems that trying to go to the NIV or other modern translations offer.

1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Those are nice recommendations, but I prefer the New Jerusalem Bible (Doubleday, 1985).

That's my favorite as well for just reading. Unfortunately it has more egregious licensing restrictions so it's not in most online Bible sites and isn't free for Logos.

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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Posted (edited)

As has been mentioned, the Church has already made its own translation of the Bible in Spanish and Portuguese, revising classic Protestant versions. I'd be happy if they did the same with the KJV (although I expect the result would look a lot like the ESV).

I sympathize with strappinglad's complaint regarding the "pedestrian" quality of the NRSV and other modern translations. (The NRSV, for example, translates the KJV's "sounding brass" in 1 Cor. 13:1 as "noisy gong." Wayment has "brass horn." ) I love the "numinous rumble" of the KJV as much as anyone. Like liturgical Latin, it feels sacred (and alien and mysterious). But I also think there's a case to be made for making the word of the God accessible in plain, unadorned English too.

Most of the New Testament , it should be remembered, was not written in elevated Greek (the Letter to the Hebrews being a notable exception). As David Bentley Hart observes in the Introduction to his new translation of the NT:

Quote

Most of the authors of the New Testament did not write particularly well, even by the forgiving standards of the koine—that is, "common"—Greek in which they worked. . . . The language of most of the canon is anything but extraordinary.

Paul's letter's possess an elemental power born out of the passion of his faith and the marvel of what he believes has been revealed to him, and his prose occasionally flowers into a plain but startling lyricism; but his Greek is generally rough, sometimes inept, and occasionally incoherent. The Gospel of Mark contains obvious solecisms and is awkwardly written throughout. The prose of the Gospel of Matthew is rarely better than ponderous. Even the Gospel of John, perhaps the most structurally and symbolically sophisticated religious text to have come down to us from late antiquity, is written in Greek that is grammatically correct but syntactically almost childish . . . its stylistic limitations suggest an author whose command of the language did not exceed mere functional competence. Then, of course, the book of Revelation, the last New Testament text to be accepted into the canon . . . is, if judged purely by the normal standards of literary style and good taste, almost unremittingly atrocious. And, in the most refined pagan critics of the new faith in late antiquity, the stylistic coarseness of Christian literature often provoked the purest kind of patrician contempt.

— David Bentley Hart, The New Testament: A Translation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017), xxi–xxii.

By the way, the Book of Mormon's "stylistic coarseness" provoked similar contempt when it appeared. Even before it appeared, actually:

Quote

I have this month received sixteen pages of this work, from page 353 to 368 inclusive. I cannot perceive any superiority of style in this specimen; nor any evidence that this bible is not a book of Joseph Smith's own manufacture. . . . For in these sixteen pages, I noticed "yea" was repeated 34 times; and even 21 times in two pages. The words, "It came to pass," is repeated 56 times in 16 pages, and even ten times on one page. "Now" and "behold," are reiterated near the commencement of sentences, full thirty times apiece, and more, in these sixteen pages. Consequently these four things are repeated 162 times on the ear-drum. . . 

In page 359, it is written—"Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni—yea, the devil would never have no power over the hearts of the children of men" . . . . Whether this style is equal to our scripture style, the reader can judge. . . .

Again, page 353, is written—"And there was but few which denied the covenant of freedom." Was should have been were.—Again: "And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year, was [were] very frequent."

— Cornelius C. Blatchly, "Caution Against the Golden Bible," New-York Telescope 6, no. 38 (20 February 1830), in Larry E. Morris, ed., A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), 501–502; italics in original.

 

Edited by Nevo
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On 3/9/2019 at 1:45 PM, CA Steve said:

Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture given by Dr. Thomas Wayment, author of the recently released The New Testament: A New Translation for Latter-day Saints. What an enjoyable and informative event and, again, I highly recommend this book. His presentation featured the quote from my OP title,   "A Bible! A Bible! We Have Got A Bible" which of course is from 2 Ne. 29:3, and so he opened up with why he though that an updated version of the New Testament for an LDS audience was in order. I am curious what others here think about the suggestion of moving away from the KJV we have used. What issues we might have in such a move, what benefits there might be? Are we doctrinally tied to it, how? I don't know if Dan McClellan still reads here, but his input would be  very valuable.

So what say you? Is it time to update the version of the Bible we commonly use in English or should we just stick with what brought us to the dance? Before you answer think about the fact that we may already be at a point where more than half the members have already been using a different version of the Bible, that would be members who do not speak English.

If I may, let me recap the event from my sketchy notes. Please remember that these are my notes and while the intent is to faithfully reproduce what Dr Wayment said, it is possible I may have misunderstood or incorrectly recorded what he said. In which case I apologize in advance.

His opening comment was that as LDS we claim to believe in an open canon but it is effectively closed. He went on to say that the KJV of the Bible was out of date the moment it was published and that it speaks an archaic language that no one actually uses. Reading from it is almost like learning a foreign language. He noted that we have a tradition of hostility toward the Bible tradition and referenced AoF #8 where we qualify our belief in the Bible to "as far as it is translated correctly". In the LDS tradition "we redefine the word 'translation', removing the academic meaning of the word we use the word differently" And he noted that "Joseph Smith's efforts to revise the Bible were broadly antagonistic toward the American canonical consciousness because it subjected the Bible to revelatory revisions."

Versions of the Bible he recommend include:

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version or more commonly known as the NSRV  He mentioned that this one is the one most used by scholars. ( I have this one, it is very good, and older editions are quite reasonable on Amazon.)

NIV This one Dr. Wayment says is the one most used by people in general. (He noted that more people probably had a copy of the KJV in their houses but that the NIV was actually read more.)

and

ESV  is "also very good."

He put up a graph showing the 2000± English versions of the Bible currently found.(this could of been just the NT - but the graph was difficult to read from where I sat.)He said:  "I figured if I wrote #2001 no one would notice."

The Church has published its own version of the KJV in 1979.

The Church has published its own versions of the bible in Spanish (2009), in Portuguese (2015) and in German & French.

"All of which are better versions than the English KJV."

He then proceeded to note where recent apostles and prophets have supported the KJV, from an Ensign article in 2007, or a 1992 1st Presidency statement and others I was not quick enough to write down. And he noted 3 different recent occasions where in conference that the NIV had been quoted, quotes that were footnoted in the subsequent conference reports. These quotes were from Pres Nelson, Uctdorf and Holland.

The balance of his presentation mostly dealt with why he decided to write this book, publishing it and understanding the how his notations and notes work within the book. That was very interesting but not as relevant to my Op regarding the use of the KJV by LDS. There was one comment that he made regarding what he was trying to create in his book that I do think bears very directly on this discussion. I am paraphrasing here because I only got a few words of it on paper. He said that his notes were an attempt to create a framework or "scaffolding" of a larger discussion on the New Testament about things that "are being talked about in all Christian communities." His intent seemed to be to get the LDS more aware and involved in those larger discussions.

 

 

 

 

Where/when was this? Any recordings?

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Those are nice recommendations, but I prefer the New Jerusalem Bible (Doubleday, 1985).  It represents the best Roman Catholic scholarship, and the presentation is superior to all other versions.

I've tried to like the New Jerusalem Bible, but I just can't. I've bought it twice now, in the giant annotated version and in the smaller reader's version. Whenever I read it side-by-side with other versions, I find I almost always prefer the other version.

As far as layout goes, I really like the New English Bible:

 

20190310_203220.jpg

Edited by Nevo
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