The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints

by Thomas A. Wayment, Religious Studies Center

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Product Description

“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 James’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,” Deseret Evening News, 2 September 1871, 2)

This new translation renders the New Testament text into modern English and is sensitive to Latter-day Saint beliefs and practices. This translation is readable and accessible for a wider range of readers than the King James Version. The original structure of the New Testament is restored and highlights features such as quotations, hymns, and poetic passages. New and extensive notes provide alternate translations, commentary upon variant manuscript traditions, and historical insights. Where applicable, the Joseph Smith Translation has been included. The notes contain the most complete list of cross-references to New Testament passages in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants that have ever been assembled.

Product Details

Hardcover Pages504
Hardcover Size6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN9781944394813
PublishedDeseret Book and RSC BYU 2018

About the Authors

Thomas A. Wayment

Thomas A. Wayment is a professor of classical studies at Brigham Young University. The author, coauthor, or editor of many articles and several books, he completed a PhD in New Testament Studies at Claremont Graduate University and has published extensively on New Testament topics. He served as the publications director of the BYU Religious Studies Center from 2013 until 2018.

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Religious Studies Center

The Religious Studies Center is a vital research and publications arm of Religious Education. It exists to seek out, encourage, and publish faithful gospel scholarship through sponsoring symposia and seminars; awarding research grants; and producing and disseminating high quality, peer-reviewed works. These include monographs, journals, compilations, and other publications in print and electronic formats pertaining to the content and context of Latter-day Saint scripture, the doctrines and history of the Restoration, and the restored Church including its relationship to other cultures, religions, and the behavioral sciences. The RSC also seeks to further improve gospel instruction by publishing pedagogically related books and articles.

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Reviews

Average rating:

(based upon 14 reviews)

The obligation has been fulfilled
By , Submitted on 2019-04-16

The back cover states "If the Bible be translated correctly, and there is a scholar on earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King James's translators did it, he is under obligation to do so, or the curse is upon him." Dr. Wayment has risen to the challenge and provided a modern day English translation that is faithful to both the underlying Greek texts and modern day revelation. This text will open your eyes to the New Testament in ways that may have not happened before with the language of the KJV. Particularly insightful are the messages the apostle Paul in language this relatable and with footnotes that clarify cultural contexts and nuances. It is an excellent supplement to have along side your study of the New Testament.

A WARNING from the church's Handbook 2
By , Submitted on 2019-04-08

I enjoy a good commentary. They can help steer and direct us through difficult passages of scripture--offering potential explanations and suggestions for further study and exploration. However, when my mother-in-law let me know that the church had just released a new translation of the New Testament, I was surprised. I quickly discovered she was actually referring to this book. She had leaped to the conclusion that since this book was published through Deseret Book, it had to have been sanctioned from the church leadership.

A commentary should clearly be labeled a commentary. When a book moves beyond commentary and claims to be a new translation of scripture (which this book clearly is) there is danger; re translating is, in fact, supplanting.

Please note what Handbook 2 says regarding this very subject:

21.1.7

“Although other versions of the Bible may be easier to read, in doctrinal matters, latter-day revelation supports the King James Version in preference to other English translations . . . When a sacred text is translated into another language or rewritten into more familiar language, there are substantial risks that this process may introduce doctrinal errors or obscure evidence of its ancient origin.”

Don't let ONE man's interpretation cloud potential revelation you should personally put forth the effort to receive. True treasures are earned--not spoon-fed. Commentaries can aid you in this process, but they should only guide, suggest, or direct--not replace!


By , Submitted on 2019-04-02

Wayment's work is superb, but caveat emptor on the electronic version (via Deseret Bookshelf) the formatting is atrocious. In the table of contents hyperlinks for the individual chapters takes the reader, not to Wayment's translation and notes but to the LDS.org link for those scriptures (KJV version). Also Wayment's notes are at the end of the entire book (i.e. the notes for Matthew chapter 1 are found at the end of Matthew chapter 28 - super annoying. It would be preferable if the notes were found in footnotes at the bottom of the corresponding verses rather than in end notes at the end of each book. I would have given the book five stars but for the formatting of the electronic version.

Wonderful translation and resource for study of the New Testament
By , Submitted on 2019-03-17

First off, what it is not: It is not a replacement of the KJV nor does it claim to be. The *first* paragraph states as much: "The language of the King James Bible will always be part of the Latter-Day Saint cultural fabric in English: it is woven into our hymns, our ordinances, and our scriptural canon ... This translation is not an attempt to replace the King James Bible for Latter-Day Saint readers, but it is an invitation to engage again the meaning of the text for a new and more diverse English readership"

Secondly, it must be remembered that the original manuscripts as written by the hands of the New Testament authors or their scribes simply NO LONGER EXIST. There was no printing press. So what is left are copies of copies of copies. all by hand. Over 5700 New Testament Greek manuscripts exist with no two exactly alike. For an excellent introduction to this entire field of study, I highly recommend an article written by Elder Alexander B. Morrision ""Plain and Precious Things": The Writing of the New Testament" which was part of the 35th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium "How the New Testament Came to Be" (the entire series is recommended). It's an eye opener.

Once an appreciation for the origins of the New Testament are developed, then it becomes clear just what a valuable addition this work is to understanding and appreciating the New Testament. This book is indeed a work of love.

A Book Written Without Any Prophetic Authority...Avoid it
By , Submitted on 2019-03-11

All I can say is stick to the KJV as we have been instructed by the Brethren. This is just another "scholarly" attempt that ultimately waters down the doctrines of the Christ. There is a reason why Christ himself taught in parables: so that people could receive further light and knowledge through the spirit as they were ready to receive it. This "translation" even excludes edits the Prophet Joseph Smith himself included in his work of translating to Old and New Testaments. What authority does this BYU professor have to assume that those translations from a prophet of the Lord are not valid? Sounds fishy, doesn't it? Before purchasing this book, it would be beneficial for customers to consider what Alma teaches in the Book of Mormon about wresting (perverting or watering down) the scriptures:

"Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction." (Alma 13:20)

"And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the restoration of which has been spoken; for behold, some have wrested the scriptures, and have gone far astray because of this thing. And I perceive that thy mind has been worried also concerning this thing." (Alma 41:1)

Finally, let's not forget what the Lord has said on this matter:

"Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them." (D&C 10:63)

Just stick to your standard works. Avoid the money grab! If you are looking for something to aid in your scripture study, I highly recommend David Ridges Gospel Study Series. All of the scripture text is left as is but quotes from General Authorities and other Church sources are included to help see the correlation of the ancient scripture with the teachings of our modern leaders.

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This has changed the way I study!
By , Submitted on 2019-01-25

We are only 3 weeks into the new year but this resource has already deepened my study. I love it and every day I find another thing that makes me feel like jumping for joy.
The explanations I’ve found in Acts have made me want to take out a loan to buy a copy for every scripture lover I know!

The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints
By , Submitted on 2019-01-23

I've found this to be very helpful, I especially appreciate the comments about alternative words or meaning that the Greek text supports, as well as the historical context that study bibles such as this provide. I have been using the NIV Study Bible and found that this version is even more helpful to me. I have been recommending this translation/study bible to anyone who will listen!

This is great!
By , Submitted on 2019-01-20

I love great reference books to help me better understand the scriptures. I have numerous reference and commentaries from those of my faith and of other Christian faith. I purchased this to help in my “Come Follow Me” preparation. My 10-year old, who has always struggled to understand during family scripture study has adopted this as his reading choice. He is thriving and has found a new and deeper love of the New Testament and our Savior. Highly recommended!

Not as good as I was hoping
By , Submitted on 2019-01-13

I had real hope for this translation. On the face of it, it is a wonderful idea. But, the more I read it the less I like it. Purportedly this is a translation for Latter-day Saints, if so, why are the JST changes not included directly in the text? Having to look for them in the notes really ruins the flow of the text. Are all the JST changes in the footnotes? I have no idea. The author has previously published books on the JST, so I assumed he would incorporate that work into this translation. He really dropped the ball on this. Frankly, I was hoping and expecting that this would be the New Testament version of Donald Parry’s Harmonizing Isaiah.

The other off putting feature is not being faithful to the authors’ intent. He notes in the intro that “there are numerous examples where the authors appear to have intended ‘men’ exclusively. I rendered those passages using gender-exclusive language”. On the face of it that sounds fine, but then I reached Luke 2:14 where the author translates the quote as “Glory to God in the highest, and on the earth peace to men and women with whom he is pleased.” The footnote says “The Greek text has only men and not men and women.” I’m somewhat surprised at my reaction, but I find that I feel strongly against this translation. It just feels wrong.

Bottom line is I just can’t recommend this translation. I have high hopes that someone else will be inspired by this effort and will create a better translation of the New Testament (and the Old Testament?!) for Latter-day Saints.

Excellent Family Resource
By , Submitted on 2018-12-08

Professor Wayment’s new study version/translation of the New Testament will be a central component of our family study of the New Testament this year. I adore the lyrical beauty of the language of the King James Version of the bible, but I’ve also spent 30 years of intensive study to master it! My daughter already finds the language far easier to grasp and understand. The book is also filled with fantastic historical/biographical notes to provide context for our family study. Highly recommended.

Renewed my desire to study the New Testament with my family
By , Submitted on 2018-11-29

So grateful to have this guide as I read and study the New Testament with my family. My kids and I understand the stories and words. It needs to be in every family’ collection!!

"The New Testament: A New Translation for Latter-day Saints"
By , Submitted on 2018-11-27

If you desire to make your study of the New Testament productive, enlightening, and inspiring, you will want to have at one elbow a copy of your King James Version and at the other elbow a new scripture study tool, “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints.” This translation, by Thomas A. Wayment, will soon take its rightful place among the very important translations of the New Testament, making it come alive in the English language of modern times.

[¶] In announcing “Come, Follow Me--For Individuals and Families,” the First Presidency said, “Living by and reading the word of God will build faith in Heavenly Father and His plan of salvation and in the Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement” (First Presidency letter, June 29, 2018). Reading the word of God generally, and the King James Version of the New Testament specifically, can challenge us with words, phrases, and language we sometimes may struggle to comprehend.

[¶] This need no longer be. Under the heading “Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” the resource titled “Come, Follow Me--For Individuals and Families” encourages us to “use scripture study helps,” including “the footnotes, the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.lds.org), and other study helps.” Now placed at the forefront of my own collection of “other study helps” is Wayment's translation, with its very important features (original paragraphing, comprehensive cross-referencing, and, most importantly, accessible readability of and faithfulness to what Jesus actually said and did and to what his disciples acutally wrote and testified of).

[¶] This may well eventually prove to be the most important book to be published since the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The “Note to Reader” at the beginning of the volume makes one feel the same as when reading what the King James translators wrote to their readers. Wayment has done in our day what the KJV translators did 400 years ago. They asked, “How shall men [and women] meditate in that which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?” (“The Translators to the Reader,” paragraph titled “Translation necessary.”) Wayment clearly wants to help increase scriptural literacy in our day. With this translation and its accompanying notes and references, he will accomplish that task not only for Latter-day Saints but for anyone seeking greater insight into the New Testament texts.

[¶] The original paragraphing he has restored to the text is so very important. The formatting, with notes below, is so much like the best Bibles published.

[¶] If this does not get the highest praise from those who should praise it endlessly, I lament the fate of the world. Which, of course, clearly is an over-the-top way of saying Wayment has accomplished a very, very important work. This assuredly is the most important book published in the LDS universe in decades, maybe in this dispensation apart from the three mentioned above.

[¶] The next prior modern-day translation of the New Testament that has garnered my admiration is J.B. Phillips' translation. Wayment's scholarly, accurate, and approachable translation will now easily take first place as my favorite. For all of us who love the King James, but who also appreciate its failings, Wayment's work no doubt will set in motion many important improvements in our understanding of the text both now and in the years and decades to come.

My initial response was... Wow!
By , Submitted on 2018-11-26

If I could recommend only one resource to help with the study of the New Testament this coming year, it would be Thomas Wayment’s study edition and new translation of the New Testament. With greater emphasis being placed on personal and family study, there is greater need for resources to help us navigate challenging passages in scripture. When last we studied the Doctrine & Covenants in Sunday School, we had the help of the new supplementary manual, Revelations in Context. Now Wayment’s The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints provides the much needed historical, cultural, and linguistic contexts that can help to make sense of these sacred ancient texts. In the English-speaking Church, we continue to use the 1769 Blayney revision of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. This practice helps us to identify parallels between the Bible and restoration scripture that uses similar language, but it can also lead to confusion because of the KJV’s antiquated English and heavy reliance on Latin. For instance, the KJV renders 1 Peter 2:9 as follows: “But ye are … a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Wayment, however, renders the passage in this way: “But you are … a people acquired so that you declare the virtues of the one who called you from darkness to his amazing light.” The KJV translators used the word “peculiar” from the Latin peculiaris meaning “personal, private, or one’s own.” Today, however, the word “peculiar” has come to mean strange or weird. But God is not calling his people weird, God is calling his people his own—his own private possession, or as Wayment renders it “a people acquired” for a purpose. For anyone who might worry that a new translation will obscure the parallels between the Bible and restoration scripture, don’t. Wayment has included in his detailed footnotes not only allusions to the Old Testament, but also the most comprehensive collection of parallels between the New Testament and restoration scripture (including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) ever published. The footnotes also include historical and cultural insights that help to clarify the text. For example, the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1–16) begins with a householder agreeing to pay his workers one silver coin per day. Wayment’s note on this passage provides important information to us that Matthew’s original readers already knew: “The wage for the worker who worked the entire day (= one denarius) would have been considered quite low in some regions and for certain types of work. Work contracts from North Africa indicate wages between three and eight denarii per day. Jesus’s audience would have anticipated a looming problem because of the low wage promised to the first worker.” Wayment makes it clear from the beginning, in his “Note to the Reader,” that he is not replacing the King James Translation: “The language of the King James Bible will always be part of the Latter-day Saint cultural fabric in English: it is woven into our hymns, our ordinances, and our scriptural canon. It has been one of the primary vehicles through which we encounter the word of God.” But I am convinced that Wayment’s translation will help English-reading Latter-day Saints to encounter the word of God in new and profound ways.

One of the best LDS New Testament books you can get
By , Submitted on 2018-11-25

I'm very familiar with Latter-day Saint works on the New Testament, and this is now the first book I recommend to people. Dr. Wayment's fresh English translation makes the words of Jesus, Peter, and Paul more accessible than ever before, and the best New Testament scholarship is conveniently summarized on the bottom half of each page, giving instant access to the history, cultural background, and literary features that are helpful to fully understand what's going on in the scriptural text. Our family is using this to supplement our reading in the King James Version as we study the New Testament together in 2019, and it has already proved enormously helpful. Highly recommended.

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