Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Emergence of the Book of Mormon: Current Editions

"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."
Joseph Smith Jr.

So, yes, in my previous post exploring the editions of the BoM, I ragged a bit on the versification of the book. Being a literary scholar (can my undergradness claim such a title?!) I think the narrative was sacrificed for convenience's sake. But, I understand it and when people request a free copy of the BoM (if you don't have a copy you should get one!), they get the versified version. That's great! It's not the literary structure people are examining, it's the content and no matter the edition, the content is GREAT!

However, there are some current editions which I think are awesome!

The Apocryphile Press publishes a version of the BoM which resembles the first publication in the 1830's, before the versification.

My favorite version which I've found is entitled, "The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition" and, simply put... It. Rocks. This version is not versified and the editor of this book comments, "I have added quotation marks and paragraphing, inserted parentheses and semicolons...poetic passages...have been set into poetic form with clear line breaks and stanzas...this type of editing not only gives emphasis to the narrative, it also highilights the literary qualities and complex internal structure of the text" ("This Reader's Edition").

It edition allows the scholarly, or literary to manifest itself in this spiritual document. This, in my opinion, enhances the quality of the reading experience and allows for greater insight and understanding. Is it worth the $15? Yes, it totally is!

1 comment:

  1. ooh I want the reader's edition! My literature and film professor asked the class on Tuesday if any of us were reading the Bible for fun. If we were reading the scriptures as fun literature. No one raised their hand. We were all reading our scriptures but not for the same enjoyment that I get when reading a great fictional book (not Twilight). I think that the reader's edition would maybe make reading the scriptures viewed more as a fun read as my professor puts it. And let's face it...the BoM and Bible definitely aren't casual leisure books but maybe if we could sit down and read them as such we'd get a different feeling of it all.