Friday, August 30, 2013

The 2013 Edition of the Scriptures is Here!

They’re here!  YAAAAAYYYYYY!

I posted back in March about the church’s announcement of a new edition of the scriptures to come out in August.  Well, folks, it’s here and I had to go out and buy it, and I thought I would post what I think of them so far.

The first thing I noticed when I unwrapped my new quad (normal size, black) was that the cover felt really nice.  The little insert that is included under the shrinkwrap says, “This simulated leather is specially designed to look and feel rich and supple.”  Let me tell you, it feels LOVELY.  I found myself wanting to pet and caress it.  Buttery soft, believe it or not. 

Two bookmark ribbons are included and I noticed they are a little bit longer than the old edition.  Also, I was surprised to discover that my new 2013 quad was thinner than my old one! 

Old on the left.. New on the right.  (Also notice the difference in cover texture)

The Topical Guide is 18 pages shorter, and the Bible Dictionary is 31 pages shorter.  I felt like the Topical Guide was a little more readable with the change of starting a new paragraph for references in a different standard work.  Also the Bible Dictionary gained a small space between entries that makes it more readable.

The font for the main scriptural text has been changed.  When I opened it up to look at it, I thought, “Whoa, there is something way different about this!”  I’m not sure what it is; something about the spacing of the letters is much more even.  Words don’t seem chunked together like they were in the old edition.  It took me about a day to get used to it, but I’ve decided I like it. They have kept the scriptural text on the same pages so that they don't have to reprint any page number references in lesson manuals.

The font for the Joseph Smith Translation Appendix is the same size as normal scripture text, and that is lovely.  It feels like the words are stronger and more real, not some little afterthought that can be ignored.

The font for the footnotes is wayyyy better, much more readable. 

Something else I’ve noticed that is exciting to me is that the side-to-side margins are a bit larger than they were before.  (Yessssss!  More room for writing margin notes!)

I also noticed that there are more pictures in both the Bible sections and at the end of the Index.  Pictures now take up a full page instead of half-pages.  They aren’t printed on shiny paper as in the old edition, but their paper is a little thicker than the delicate onionskin used for the rest of the scriptures.   And of course, the photos are gorgeous.

If you are interested in seeing a more detailed list of textual adjustments that have been made, you can look here.  Probably the most exciting thing to me is that more Joseph Smith Translation has been added to footnotes and appendix. 

(Happy sigh) I’m really enjoying my new scriptures.  I will grant that I did have a pang or two over letting my old ones go, since they were just beginning to be nicely marked up, but I have faith that I will learn more with the figurative slate wiped clean. (By the way, anyone want my old set? ;-) )

If I could make any suggestion for more improvements I'd just ask for one thing--I would ask for the footnote superscripts to be circled which go to JST footnotes and appendix entries.  When I get new scriptures I have to spend 4 hours circling all those superscripts and footnotes so that I can tell at a glance there is a JST entry to consider.

Okay, so you might wonder how much the new edition costs.  Well, they aren’t exactly cheap at $60, so you can understand why the brethren have said that we are not required to buy them.  But if you can afford it, they are nice.

Do they have mini-quads and large print editions out yet?  No. I’ve heard those aren’t available until October, so if you’re a diehard fan of one of those sizes, mark your calendars. 

Yaaaaaaaayyyy for scriptures! 


Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on the doctrine changes?

Michaela Stephens said...

Umm.. not sure what you mean by doctrine changes. I don't think the doctrine itself has changed.
Currently I'm reading more carefully through the JST stuff and comparing it with KJV, and I'm noticing there is more info added that I don't remember from before, but that's about all I can think of that you might mean. And that can take some time to process.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

This explains it a little better.

Devon said...

It may have different meaning to you, but to me the addition of headings for the revelations on blacks and the priesthood as well as the issue of polygamy does not represent a change in doctrine. To me those headings clarify historical context and events surrounding those revelations.

It doesn’t surprise me that some people are spreading the kinds of doubts represented on those posts. It is likely that those things would pass through anyone’s mind. It is easy to put a negative construction on all of it, especially in our culture that traditionally looks with suspicion on any organization that seems to command unusual loyalty. For members, if they struggle with this, it becomes an opportunity to examine one’s faith and to decide exactly what one’s testimony is based upon. Is it upon a certain historical construction of the past or is it in Christ?

The back-and-forth citations on this page [] have shown me what a muddy issue the blacks-and-the-priesthood thing has been. I prefer not to hold the brethren of former days to 2000 standards, and I hope the saints of 150 years in the future will do the same for me.

In the posts you share the statement heading Official Declaration 1, “The Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that monogamy is God’s standard for marriage unless He declares otherwise (see 2 Samuel 12:7-8 and Jacob 2:27)” has been interpreted as a sudden inversion of doctrine by some, but I think that is not an accurate notion. “Monogamy as God’s standard for marriage unless He declares otherwise” has been taught for years in Sunday school.

We members are often anxious that the church always look right and logical and acceptable to others. We are anxious to be a light, so we are disturbed when others cast aspersions upon us. But then we also need to remember that the natural man receives not the things of God, that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are higher (hence the need for more revelation), but also the devil is determined to raise prejudice against the kingdom of God however he can. And too, there is the factor that the chapters 2-15 of Isaiah that Nephi quotes warn that the Lord will allow the wicked to chasten His people in any age of the world (usually if they will not repent on their own), and then there is the promise that the power of God will descend upon the saints in the last days while all nations gather together to fight against them.

The articles quote one man calling the priesthood ban an error, and another person takes “error” and calls it “false revelation.” I think to equate “error” to “false revelation” is inaccurate; they are not the same. I will allow the brethren to work through errors if/when errors there be, and I hope others will allow me the same latitude. I see it as a charitable act to refrain from rubbing faces in errors, if/when they are discovered and rectified, and I hope others will do the same for me. I can respect the brethren of the past, even if they labored under a prejudice against blacks; they had much to contend against to build the kingdom of God, including very pervasive traditions of men. God forgive us for laboring under whatever prejudices we nurse today in our blind spots.

I’m not going to say yay or nay to Terryl Givens’ interview, because I know that the news media has a tendency to pick their angle and then use pieces of quotes to establish it, even if the full interview had a different tone. It seems to me that the writer of the post in the second link wants to relate Terryl’s interview in such a way as either exonerate Denver Snuffer or make Terryl Givens as guilty as they believe Denver Snuffer appears to others.

Michaela Stephens said...

Sorry, I seem to have posted as my husband Devon, not being aware that he was signed on.