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CA Steve

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

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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.

I've been enjoying using Wayment's NT in Sunday School class and have shared with a few others in my ward and friends about it.  So far, I believe his NT is being perceived as a "safe" entry into scholarship for more traditional Mormons.  And that is not an small thing, considering all the fear in the culture with studying approved sources of information.  

I would also recommend the Jewish Annotated NT, as it is excellent, they use the NRSV, and their essays and commentary is top notch.  

https://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Annotated-New-Testament/dp/0190461853/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1Q9NXZK2PAIHE&keywords=annotated+jewish+new+testament&qid=1552317459&s=gateway&sprefix=annotated+jewish+n%2Caps%2C265&sr=8-1

 

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13 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Bro Brigham also said this:

What was Brigham trying to say?

He was not trying to say anything. He just said it.

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9 hours ago, jpv said:

Where/when was this? Any recordings?

It was at the Claremont Graduate school in Claremont Ca. on Thursday Mar 7, 2019 and I do not know if it was recorded.

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On 3/11/2019 at 9:21 AM, hope_for_things said:

And that is not an small thing, considering all the fear in the culture with studying approved sources of information.  

While I know that happens, I think it's exaggerated how widespread it is. 

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

While I know that happens, I think it's exaggerated how widespread it is. 

We come from different generations Clark, and perhaps a bit different culture when it comes to the use of unapproved material. I love talking about church history, but I have found frequently people respond with "why are you reading that?" or I am accused of reading "anti" material. (That was in a discussion about RSR.) Even at this recent event with Dr. Wayment at Claremont there were questions from the audience about whether or not the Brethren had approved Dr. Wayment's book, a concern that, in my opinion, Dr. Wayment shared. I guess your experience in this and mine is just different. I do think it is getting better and I am especially encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive reception I have seen regarding this new translation of the NT for a Mormon audience. People seemed really excited about it. One seminary teacher was complaining because she couldn't get enough copies of it for her students because DB keeps running out. I just don't think the ghosts of correlation are going away anytime soon.

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

While I know that happens, I think it's exaggerated how widespread it is. 

I just recommended the Wayment NT to a friend of mine the other day and this is someone who's moderately knowledgeable about some of our messy history, has read Rough Stone Rolling as well, but even he has been cautious about picking up different bible translations and has been looking for something that was "safe" in his words.  

Its really no surprise with all the drum beat from church leaders about internet sources and the secular world etc.  From my view it is a basic operating assumption that the vast majority of active Mormons are extremely selective about what they consume from a religious scholarship perspective.  

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I just recommended the Wayment NT to a friend of mine the other day and this is someone who's moderately knowledgeable about some of our messy history, has read Rough Stone Rolling as well, but even he has been cautious about picking up different bible translations and has been looking for something that was "safe" in his words.  

Its really no surprise with all the drum beat from church leaders about internet sources and the secular world etc.  From my view it is a basic operating assumption that the vast majority of active Mormons are extremely selective about what they consume from a religious scholarship perspective.  

The problem with this is that alternative translations are quoted semi-regularly in conference and talks. Again I'm not saying it's a position no one holds. I've met people who hold it. I'm just skeptical it's as wide spread as frequently portrayed. 

33 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

We come from different generations Clark, and perhaps a bit different culture when it comes to the use of unapproved material.

Born in '67. But surely the generation that counts is the what's going on now. I'd agree things may have been different in the 70's and 80's. But there was a big sea change in the 90's IMO.

Also I'd distinguish between using outside materials in Church versus using outside materials for ones personal study. Some conflate those of course but I think most recognize the difference.

I'd add that a lot has to do with whether one attended BYU too. I recognize most don't, but if one has, then it's hard to miss all the resources on the floor with the religion section. Lots of translations, commentaries and more. And if you don't take a crappy religion class you're required to access those resources. After that it's pretty hard to see a problem with non-Mormon resources. In the mission field, where I grew up, outside resources are pretty common and of course a sizable portion of ones ward are converts who grew up with such resources. The place where I still see these mindsets tend to be wards in Utah & Idaho where there aren't many college graduates and there's not a lot of turnover in the ward. However that's a minority of wards.

Edited by clarkgoble
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2 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The problem with this is that alternative translations are quoted semi-regularly in conference and talks. Again I'm not saying it's a position no one holds. I've met people who hold it. I'm just skeptical it's as wide spread as frequently portrayed.

Dr. Wayment listed 3 such occurrences, which hardly seems semi-regular but maybe there are more. This isn't a CFR but how often do you think it actually happens and do members even know when it does? Also in his presentation Dr. Wayment listed several examples in which the 1st presidency endorsed the KJV, one of which said "In doctrinal matters the KJV is the closest to LDS." (That is from my notes which references a 1st presidency statement from 1992.)

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

This isn't a CFR but how often do you think it actually happens and do members even know when it does? 

That's part of my skepticism. I don't think there's a way to know. I listed a few reasons why I think it's a minority - converts used to alternative translations, people used to BYU where it's not an issue, the influence of people who graduated from BYU on wards, and the use of alternative translations by Apostles in Conference. To that I'd add a few others. First even Deseret Book, while it's recently moved to become more of a gift and coffee table book store had tons of non-Mormon resources and translations back in the 90's. Second people simply use Google more which brings up things like The Bible Gateway and more. Resources from places like FAIR, The Interpreter and The Maxwell Institute use such resources but are seen as faithful. I could go on.

As I said the primary places I find it are old more insular wards where many of the youth tend to move away and there's few outsiders moving in. Such wards can become locked into the past.

 

Edited by clarkgoble

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43 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The problem with this is that alternative translations are quoted semi-regularly in conference and talks. Again I'm not saying it's a position no one holds. I've met people who hold it. I'm just skeptical it's as wide spread as frequently portrayed. 

My personal observations are that this is the dominant perspective held by active members, a very cautious approach to anything not officially endorsed by the church.  For that matter I've had multiple experiences with members being cautious about officially produced church materials such as the gospel topics essays or the Joseph Smith Papers materials.   

I'm currently reading "The Next Mormons" by Jana Riess and I'll have to check and see if they asked any questions that might relate to this topic.  It would be interesting to know if we have any statistical evidence to back up my anecdotal experiences.  

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6 hours ago, CA Steve said:

Dr. Wayment listed 3 such occurrences, which hardly seems semi-regular but maybe there are more. This isn't a CFR but how often do you think it actually happens and do members even know when it does? Also in his presentation Dr. Wayment listed several examples in which the 1st presidency endorsed the KJV, one of which said "In doctrinal matters the KJV is the closest to LDS." (That is from my notes which references a 1st presidency statement from 1992.)

Here are some examples of General Authorities and others quoting from other Bible versions. I dug this up, myself. I was surprised to see that Elder Uchtdorf does it the most, these days.

New American Standard Version quoted in The Inexhaustible Gospel (Maxwell): 
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/04/the-inexhaustible-gospel?lang=eng&_r=1

New International Version quoted in Fourth Floor, Last Door (Uchtdorf) : https://www.lds.org/ensign/2016/11/general-womens-session/fourth-floor-last-door?lang=eng&_r=1

English Standard Version quoted In Praise of Those Who Save (Uchtdorf): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2016/05/general-priesthood-session/in-praise-of-those-who-save?lang=eng&_r=1

New King James Version quoted in Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear (Uchtdorf): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/05/sunday-morning-session/perfect-love-casteth-out-fear?lang=eng&_r=1

New English Translation quoted in The Greatest Among You (Uchtdorf): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/05/general-priesthood-session/the-greatest-among-you?lang=eng&_r=1

New English Translation quoted in A Woman’s Perspective on the Priesthood (Patricia Holland): https://www.lds.org/ensign/1980/07/a-womans-perspective-on-the-priesthood?lang=eng&_r=1

New Revised Standard Version quoted in Honoring His Holy Name (Robert Millet): https://www.lds.org/ensign/1994/03/honoring-his-holy-name?lang=eng&_r=1

J.B. Phillips translation quoted in Peace on Earth (Eld. Robert Wells): https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/09/peace-on-earth?lang=eng&_r=1 

And here is another short list of examples found by a gospel scholar in 2011: 
“For a few examples, see Neal A. Maxwell, “Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds,” Ensign, May 1991, 90; “The New Testament —Matchless Portrait of the Savior,” Ensign, December 1986, 23; Jeffrey R. Holland, “Miracles of the Restoration,” Ensign, November 1994, 34; and Robert D. Hales, “In Memory of Jesus,” Ensign, November 1997, 26.”
 

thechair

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1 minute ago, thechair said:

I was surprised to see that Elder Uchtdorf does it the most,

It makes sense to me since he probably grew up using a German translation and therefore doesn't have the ingrained feeling that "scripture" sounds like the KJV version.

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9 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

While I know that happens, I think it's exaggerated how widespread it is. 

I think it has more to do with finding excusing for not studying. Looking for a reason to not have to read it.

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On 3/9/2019 at 3:00 PM, Jane_Doe said:

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.  

You know this was edited and approved by Deseret Book and the Church Education System's Religious Studies Center, right?

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11 hours ago, jpv said:

You know this was edited and approved by Deseret Book and the Church Education System's Religious Studies Center, right?

If you mean Wayment's translation, that sort of endorsement is pretty weak.   I obtained "No Man Knows My History" from the BYU Bookstore.

But, I do like Wayment's translation.  I would not attempt to teach with it however.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

   I obtained "No Man Knows My History" from the BYU Bookstore.

And they also carry books like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, so not seeing that as a parallel to being published by Deseretbooks.

BYU Bookstore gets their product from multiple distributors/publishers if they are anything like the Church bookstore I worked at.

Being published by DB or approved by the Church Education System's Religious Studies Center is not the same as being published or distributed by Church Distribution though.  It would therefore not be allowed to be carried by a ward library that was abiding by Handbook instructions.  It is, imo, in no sense an 'authorized' version, but I see no problem with using it in class myself.  I will try and remember to ask Bro. Wayment if he has heard any feedback from church leaders on its use...or ask my husband if he has mentioned it yet since my husband gets to  Church more often then I do, though he teaches in Primary so not much opportunity.

Edited by Calm
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4 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

If you mean Wayment's translation, that sort of endorsement is pretty weak.   I obtained "No Man Knows My History" from the BYU Bookstore.

But, I do like Wayment's translation.  I would not attempt to teach with it however.

I'm talking about who published and edited (entities wholly owned by the Church), not what retail establishments happen to have it on the shelf.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/12/2019 at 11:09 AM, clarkgoble said:

Born in '67. But surely the generation that counts is the what's going on now. I'd agree things may have been different in the 70's and 80's. But there was a big sea change in the 90's IMO.

Born in 58, attended BYU in 76.  Grew up in wards that had libraries with nonChurch published books in them.  The stake in Canada we were at in the 90's and early 2000's still had a room full of books (the room couldn't really be used for anything else so I can see why they kept it even if it wasn't in accord with instructions) and I saw the same thing there.

My father-in-law, a former BYU prof living in Orem for the previous 50 plus years iirc, in a rather traditional family in many ways (one time one of my in-laws expressed that denim shouldn't be worn to Sunday meetings, for example) gave out RSR as Christmas presents.

The approved thing seems to have been post my generation if at all at least where I have lived (CA, IL, KS, BYU branches, Canada, and now small town outside of Provo, Utah with several BYU profs, including religion department).  And I have never been able to find a definitive definition of "approved reading" because everyone who has expressed that idea to me off line seems to have defined it differently (put out by Church Distribution or published by church owned entities or written by active church member or not antimormon are the ones I remember) and viewed what it meant differently (not to be used in teaching or not used in personal spiritual scripture study or not to be viewed at all are some interpretations).

Edited by Calm
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45 minutes ago, Calm said:

Born in 58, attended BYU in 76.  Grew up in wards that had libraries with nonChurch published books in them.  The stake in Canada we were at in the 90's and early 2000's still had a room full of books (the room couldn't really be used for anything else so I can see why they kept it even if it wasn't in accord with instructions) and I saw the same thing there.

My father-in-law, a former BYU prof living in Orem for the previous 50 plus years iirc, in a rather traditional family in many ways (one time one of my in-laws expressed that denim shouldn't be worn to Sunday meetings, for example) gave out RSR as Christmas presents.

The approved thing seems to have been post my generation if at all at least where I have lived (CA, IL, KS, BYU branches, Canada, and now small town outside of Provo, Utah with several BYU profs, including religion department).  And I have never been able to find a definitive definition of "approved reading" because everyone who has expressed that idea to me off line seems to have defined it differently (put out by Church Distribution or published by church owned entities or written by active church member or not antimormon are the ones I remember) and viewed what it meant differently (not to be used in teaching or not used in personal spiritual scripture study or not to be viewed at all are some interpretations).

Your experience, time frames. and even some of the places you frequented line up remarkably with mine, though Canada, IL and KS were not places I lived. I think I have figured out why Clark's experience with how others react to him and mine seem to be so different. I am, to put it mildly, quite a bit more liberal in how I view the truth claims of the Church. So when I am engaged in real life conversations with people who know my views, or at least think they know them, I think there is some tendency from them to want to protect their own view of the church, a tendency that may manifest itself in accusations of "well you're reading anti-Mormon sources". (An accusation that I heard from my father once, ironically, when I was trying to encourage him to read the Joseph Smith Papers.) Clark on the other hand in perhaps not viewed that way and does not ever see that reaction from other members, I would guess. So I suspect that our experiences are different in this regard simply because we are perceived differently by our real life audience. So maybe it isn't a generational thing after all.

 

By the way, regarding RSR. I invited a friend of mine and his wife to attend the lecture with Dr. Wayment. He had recently been released as a bishop. On our drive to the event I asked him what he thought of RSR. He, nor his seminary teaching wife, had ever heard of the book nor of Richard Bushman. Both are BYU grads and he works at JPL. A few years back I asked the Bishop of our current ward what he thought of it and he liked it though he did not think his wife would approve of it. All these people fall into our age group. 

Edited by CA Steve
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The need to address the issues caused by our commitment to the KJV is a very real one that is being discussed at very high levels. Supplementing the KJV with other modern Bible translations is a perfectly reasonable start (even Sidney B. Sperry said that's what we ought to be doing). These discussions will only become more critical as time goes by, and I think it'll be out ahead of them instead of catching up. I have an article coming out in the next issue of The Religious Educator that will review Thom's translation and also discuss some of the ways our commitment to the KJV has caused problems for the Church domestically and internationally. I think a lot of the questions from this thread will be answered there.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

The need to address the issues caused by our commitment to the KJV is a very real one that is being discussed at very high levels. Supplementing the KJV with other modern Bible translations is a perfectly reasonable start (even Sidney B. Sperry said that's what we ought to be doing). These discussions will only become more critical as time goes by, and I think it'll be out ahead of them instead of catching up. I have an article coming out in the next issue of The Religious Educator that will review Thom's translation and also discuss some of the ways our commitment to the KJV has caused problems for the Church domestically and internationally. I think a lot of the questions from this thread will be answered there.

Glad to see you drop by.

Calm(oriah)/Cal Robinson

Edited by Calm

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Thanks Dan,

 

Good to see you, especially in this thread, though I have to admit all you have done is whet my appetite for more information. I don't suppose you would care to give us a sneak peak of your article? I promise we will not tell anyone.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Thanks Dan,

Good to see you, especially in this thread, though I have to admit all you have done is whet my appetite for more information. I don't suppose you would care to give us a sneak peak of your article? I promise we will not tell anyone.

Well, I don't want to give away too much, but I share some of the different functions of Bible translations and how quality is measured by how well they perform their functions. Then I demonstrate that the KJV is an institutional translation that serves institutional functions, which complicates its centering in our "home centered, church supported" curriculum. I share some examples of ways that our use of it complicates the globalization, internationalization, and localization of the Church's messaging, and then I share some of the ways the other Bible translations we publish (currently just Spanish and Portuguese, but more on the way) deviate from the KJV and are going to ultimately force our hand regarding our commitment to the KJV. The second half of the article reviews Thom's translation and talks about how it seems intended to function.

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13 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

Well, I don't want to give away too much, but I share some of the different functions of Bible translations and how quality is measured by how well they perform their functions. Then I demonstrate that the KJV is an institutional translation that serves institutional functions, which complicates its centering in our "home centered, church supported" curriculum. I share some examples of ways that our use of it complicates the globalization, internationalization, and localization of the Church's messaging, and then I share some of the ways the other Bible translations we publish (currently just Spanish and Portuguese, but more on the way) deviate from the KJV and are going to ultimately force our hand regarding our commitment to the KJV. The second half of the article reviews Thom's translation and talks about how it seems intended to function.

When will your article come out and do you have any insider information you would be willing to share regarding official (or even unofficial) approval to use Dr. Wayments NT translation?

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20 hours ago, CA Steve said:

When will your article come out and do you have any insider information you would be willing to share regarding official (or even unofficial) approval to use Dr. Wayments NT translation?

The article should be out in early June. Nobody is prohibited from using Thom's translation, but you certainly won't see it quoted in General Conference. There were some members of the Quorum of the Twelve who made some suggestions about portions of the intro before it was published, and all the FP/Q12 were sent copies. So far reactions have all been positive. The book is now in its fourth printing (Deseret keeps lowballing the print runs).

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