As many of you already know, yesterday morning the Church announced a new 2013 edition of the LDS scriptures. Nothing exceedingly groundbreaking — no new or changed doctrine, for example — but still exciting, at least to scripture nerds like me (especially since it’s been over thirty years since the last major edition came out).
First, some links:
- The full, delicious list of changes, small though they may be (PDF, LDS.org)
- Side-by-side comparison of 1981 and 2013 section headings in the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price (PDF, LDS.org)
- Explanation of the adjustments (LDS.org)
- Explanations for the 78 D&C section heading changes (Joseph Smith Papers)
- Royal Skousen’s analysis of the Book of Mormon changes (Interpreter)
- Instructions on updating Gospel Library to the 2013 edition (PDF, LDS.org)
Here’s a quick overview of the changes I found interesting (keep in mind that I’m a typesetting/editing geek and so most of what I find interesting is dreadfully dull to ordinary folk):
- Standardized formatting on title pages across the standard works.
- In the Book of Mormon, they’re now using roman text for anything that was on the original plates and italics for the extracanonical additions (like the chapter headings). It’s a small change, but it’s nice, since some people don’t realize that most of the book headings are part of the original and not a later addition.
- Standardization of things like “house of Israel” and “firstborn” in the Book of Mormon.
- “Rereward” in the Bible is now “rearward” (so hurray, it now no longer looks like “re-reward”).
- The introduction of the Book of Mormon now says “a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas” (not “the ancient inhabitants”), to provide clarity and greater accuracy. Also, “they are the principal ancestors” is now “they are among the ancestors,” again for clarity and greater accuracy. Which is great.
- There are a few new paragraphs in the D&C introduction adding interesting historical information.
- The D&C 13 heading no longer mentions the banks of the Susquehanna River as being the site of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. That section heading explanations page has the details.
- The first three verses of D&C 89 (the Word of Wisdom) are no longer attributed to Joseph Smith but are part of the revelation itself.
- D&C 135 is no longer attributed to John Taylor.
- The Harmony of the Gospels (in the study guide section) now uses a portrait layout instead of a landscape layout. Finally.
- Larger typeface on the JST section at the back.
- New JST entries and footnotes. I haven’t checked them out yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
The 2013 edition is already available at scriptures.lds.org and in Gospel Library, and the print edition will come out in August. And yes, of course I’ll be getting the print edition.
I’ve gotten some questions as to whether I’ll be updating my reader’s editions with these changes. You know, I haven’t decided — mostly because I’m not sure whether the changes are covered by copyright or not. The study guides are, of course, as are the chapter headings, but I don’t include those in my editions (mine are based on pre-1923 editions so that I’m positive it’s public domain). We’ll see.
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