BREAKING NEWS: Church Releases New Edition of English Scriptures in Digital Formats

Church Releases New Edition of English Scriptures in Digital Formats

Go forth and explore.


BCC posts of note already up on the changes:

Groundbreaking scriptural heading changes: Official Declaration 2

Groundbreaking scriptural heading changes: Section 132 and Official Declaration 1

The New Scriptural Headings and Historicizing the Revelations


  1. The narrator says:

    I’m very interested in the changes in the Bible dictionary.

    A quick look at “Fall of Adam” shows that they removed the line about Adam not having blood, and cuts the line extending no death to all creatures (which should make one Steven Peck​​ happy).

  2. Re: #1 — Uh oh, paging R. Gary…

  3. Argh, it seems silly to have to put “Re: #1” in commet 2, but I was sure someone was going to comment while I was typing and the result would look like a non sequitur.

  4. I am finding it very interesting that, according to the wording of the new introductions to OD1 and OD2, revelation was specifically received to repeal the practice of plural marriage, however, it was not received to end the practice of ordaining blacks to the priesthood.

  5. Huh, I’m getting that the “Fall of Adam” entry is unavailable. Anyone else?

  6. Lots great updates (how about that OD-2 intro!), but I’ll admit what I was hoping for most was a visual facelift that guts the double-columns and heavy emphasis on verses and footnotes. Didn’t somebody forward Grant Hardy’s Dialogue article to Church HQ??

  7. Also “Fall of Adam” was changed to “Fall of Adam and Eve.”

  8. Stan, I think you misspoke. The intro to OD-2 very clearly DOES claim that a revelation was needed to “end the practice of ordaining blacks to the priesthood.” The significant difference is that the OD-2 intro does NOT claim the priesthood ban had a divine ORIGIN, whereas the OD-1 intro DOES make such a claim about plural marriage.

    Yes, this strikes me as very significant.

  9. Amen, DLewis. I hope some day they update the verses to paragraphs and insert headings. Do you have a link to Grant’s article?

  10. Jared T. says:

    Scratch my last–that was to the old BD.

  11. #8

    I did misspeak (and very badly – where’s the Edit Button around here?!) I think the new wording will satisfy a great deal of Church members and historians regarding these two important declarations.

  12. Jared T. says:

    Steps in a good direction, but I think the gold standard is still a repudiation of the “priesthood ban.”

  13. One reason for the need of a new edition may simply have to do with evolving printing technologies. The previous edition required that printing plates be made from the master negatives. Although the negatives can get beaten up over time, a real issue is that platemaking technology changed over a decade ago to a direct from digital to plate. I doubt that the old type of plates and processors are still available. And the previous edition was typeset before the days of our modern typesetting technologies so I doubt there would exist a master electronic file compatible with our current systems.

  14. It’s nice that they gave the summary of approved adjustments
    (see here:

    Click to access approved-adjustments_eng.pdf

    or here: )
    but it would be interesting to see a comprehensive list of all changes.

  15. Introductions to OD1 and OD2 interest me the most. Of note is the conclusive comment in OD1 that it ended plural marriage in 1890, suggesting that post-manifesto marriages didn’t occur.

  16. Dave K. says:

    Wowsers. Two questions come to mind, particularly because of the timing of this release. First, will the general church body be asked to affirm these changes in April Conference? And if so, would that action provide an opening for a vote of affirmation for the Proclamation on the Family?

  17. Is there need to vote for editorial changes? I don’t think so.
    If they had wanted to add something new to scriptures (such as Family), wouldn’t they waited for that before going public with new edition?

  18. #15 John Burton, they phrased it “led to,” implying a gradual process which technically allows for post-Manifesto marriages.

  19. Arron (8) and Stan (11):

    I’m not sure that Aaron was all that incorrect the first time. The new introduction says that “Church leaders believed” that a revelation was needed to end the priesthood ban. That’s not necessarily the same as claiming that a revelation was actually needed. I guess it all goes to whether you think that church leaders always believe what is true or whether they can be wrong when they believe something–an issue which probably has different answers for different members.

  20. Dave K. says:

    Good point JKC (#19). Though the statement is factually inaccurate, or at least incomplete, as Hugh B. Brown did not think a revelation necessary.

  21. Researcher says:

    Someone I discussed this with this morning assumed immediately that the initial digital release and eventual print release would mean that there is more to be added to the canon.

    I guess we’ll see at April Conference.

    (Time to put our guesses into sealed envelopes.)

  22. Left Field says:

    I agree with #17. If any new canonization was forthcoming, the new edition would have been delayed until it could be added. Why after 32 years release a new edition of the scriptures, only to release yet another four weeks later?

  23. whizzbang says:

    I don’t know if they have printed any new ones but maybe they’ll add something in April and then start printing, who knows, I am not in the printing business

  24. Dave K. says:

    Today’s new release is only electronic. The church’s website says a print version will become available in August. That means that April Conference is the time to introduce new cannon if it’s going to happen.

  25. A print release takes much longer to produce than a digital release. It will likely take them till August to get the print copies ready – without adding any new canon. I think it’s unlikely we’ll see anything beyond what we’re seeing now.

  26. Dave K (20), I wouldn’t say that it is inaccurate. Maybe incomplete. I’d say that it is true as far as it goes, but that it does not say that all church leaders believed that, or which ones believed that. In addition to President Brown, If I recall correctly from the Prince bio, President McKay may have made some statements early on indicating that he did not believe that it required a revelation, but apparently changed his mind later. These examples notwithstanding, I think it’s a fair statement that most (maybe all) presidents of the church from President Young until President Kimball appear to have believed that. I read it more as addressing the historical consensus than describing a consensus at the particular moment in history when President Brown was expressing his view that it did not require a revelation. Overall, I still think its fair to say that church leaders believed that. Maybe it would be more accurate to say “most” church leaders, but at this point, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth, I guess.

  27. Dave K. says:

    JKC, that is fair. On the whole I think the statement is very good. I should have made my approval more clear before straining at gnats. Admittedly, I would prefer the phrase ” *most* church leaders” because “church leaders” alone implies unanimity amongst the leaders. Even “the vast majority of church leaders” would have been accurate. Perhaps the best phrase would be “church leadership” – which speaks to collective views rather than individuals views. But again, straining at gnats.

  28. Kevin Barney says:

    From what little I’ve been able to see so far, this is all a very welcome development.

    But there are some aspects of this that are disappointing to me. I feel like a spoilsport mentioning these things, but given that it has taken us over 30 years to get this much, these things feel to me like an opportunity lost:

    – No formatting changes, a la Grant Hardy. If nothing else, going to a paragraph-centric, single column format with in-text captions in lieu of chapter headings would have made a huge difference in the basic readability of the text.

    – As far as I can tell, there are still about a gazillion Topical Guide cross-references in the footnotes. In my view these are completely unnecessary; the TG can stand alone, and cluttering up the notes with all these TG cross-references obscures the more important stuff to be found therein.

    – They obviously did not follow Skousen’s recommendations for changes to the BoM. .That is a travesty in my view.

    – On the plus side, I’m glad they separated out the chronology and harmony articles instead of leaving them buried in the Bible Dictionary.

    – It’s hard to tell just looking on-line, but it appears that they made the correction I suggested at the beginning of the Gospels. See
    Since I’m the one to notice that problem, and so far as I’m aware the only one to write about it publicly, I’ll take credit for that change.

  29. Jacob H. says:

    I was pleased with the updated explanation of the Book of Abraham. No longer have to grate my teeth when I read it is a translation “from” the Egyptian papyri as if they were more than a springboard for the revelatory process (even if our early brethren considered them to be much more than that).

  30. Anyone else notice the change in the heading of Jacob 2 – from “Jacob condemns the unauthorized practice of plural marriage” to “The Lord commands that no man among the Nephites may have more than one wife”?

  31. Topical Guide change from “Homosexuality” to “Homosexual Behavior.” That change is also reflected in the chapter headings of Leviticus 18 and 20.

  32. whizzbang says:

    the heading for Alma 11 dropped the word “coins”

  33. Here’s another significant shift, from page 12 of the detailed summary, regarding changes to the topical guide:

    “Under “Homosexuality,” the main entry title has been changed to “Homosexual Behavior,” including all footnotes and cross-references, to be more consistent with usage in other Church publications.”

    This is not just a matter of usage consistency, of course: it reflects an important distinction between an identity and a practice.

  34. In case anyone didn’t notice, full PDFs of the new editions are already available for download:

  35. To #28 (Kevin),

    The erroneous JST references at the beginning of Mark and Luke are still there (see the PDFs). Another place the error has been pointed out is in “How the New Testament Came to Be” (

  36. I had noticed in the past that one or two references to the JST in some of the Gospel Doctrine manuals were not actually in the 1979 edition of the Bible, requiring you to look at a full JST version to read them in context. The list shows a fair number of new JST references in the footnotes, so I am assuming that this has been corrected. I would know for certain if I could remember after 8 or 10 years what those references were, but it’s not there in the memory anymore. Sigh….

  37. whizzbang says:

    In 2 Samuel 21:15 it has a period in the middle of the sentence, looks like that is still in there

  38. The new heading for D&C 42 appears to have a mistake. It says the section was received in two parts, with the division between verses 72 and 73. However, in Grant Underwood’s article “‘The Laws of the Church of Christ’ (D&C 42): A Textual and Historical Analysis” (search “73”), he shows multiple manuscripts listing the division as between verses 73 and 74. That makes far more sense, since verse 73 shares subject matter and phrases with verse 72.

    Anyone know if these kinds of things will be corrected before the print edition comes out in August?

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