New Testament in Smaller Book

by Larry Richman on July 4, 2010

In advance of next year’s study of the New Testament in Sunday School Gospel Doctrine classes, the Church has published a smaller paperback edition of the New Testament. This more portable, convenient size (404 pages, rather than 2,000+ pages of current LDS edition of the KJV of the Bible) is just over ¼” thick. It is the standard size (5¼” x 7¼”) and has standard size print and all the footnotes, but without the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Joseph Smith Translation, Bible maps, and photographs. That makes it very handy to carry and read on the bus, or for your kids to carry to Church.

This new publication sells for  $2.00 and is available in English only for a limited time and in select areas to see if it should be continued and implemented worldwide. During this evaluation period (through the end of the year), it is available in Church distribution stores in Utah from Logan to Spanish Fork. It may also be special ordered through other Church distribution stores and is available by phone and at store.lds.org. The item number is 09215000.

The Church welcomes your feedback on whether you find this format helpful, as well as any other suggestions about scriptures products. Please post your comments below and I’ll pass them along to the  people who coordinate scriptures products.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie M. Smith July 4, 2010 at 8:55 am

I posted some thoughts about this format here:

http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2010/07/a-new-new-testament/

Tod Robbins July 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

Larry,

Why ditch the JST? I love the idea but have concern with that oversight.

Ben S July 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I’d love to see an OT/NT, Book of Mormon and/or Quad like this, without any supplementary materials.
I’ve shown my support by buying 2 New Testaments.

Matt W. July 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm

This is interesting. Will there be a new manual as well?

Nate July 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Great idea, but it would be nice to still have the Joseph Smith Translation included.

J. B. July 4, 2010 at 5:52 pm

iPad size. :)

David T July 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I saw this on ldscatalog yesterday, and immediately ordered a copy. For the longest time, I had wished the Church had released a pocket new testament equivalent to the pocket BofM that is sold. While this isn’t pocket-sized, I think it’s a step in the right direction.

Although, like was suggested in Julie’s comments, what I’d REALLY like (and what have wanted for a while) is hardcover large-size editions of the scriptures without the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary like the ones found in the Temples.

A Book of Mormon/New Testament combo would also be pretty cool.

I generally use my Droid Mobile edition of the scriptures for on-the-go, but I do still purchase hardcopy for home study and marking up.

ricke July 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I think a couple of maps related to the New Testament would be important – even in black and white. They would provide valuable context for some of the material, and I think that Bible maps are by-and-large uncontroversial.

Stephan F- July 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

This is very nice. I, too, would like the JST to be kept in.

The one thing I would also suggest is that it be resized to match the Gospel Principles/Teaching of the Prophets manuals or the manuals to the scriptures, I don’t really care which, just pick one size so they are easier to hold as you go from class to class.

This would be great for teaching in a hardback format, it would be light enough to lift during class and stiff enough to not flop around.

Nate July 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I also think it would be nice to have the OT with NT and JST.

Craig July 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

I have loved the pocket sized copies of the Book of Mormon. I keep mine with me for use during the day and as I travel. I also bought copies for all my children to take to church so that they don’t have to lug the larger, heavier versions.

This is another great idea. But how about this in pocket size? It would be really nice to be able to get all the scriptures in pocket size. I believe they already have them available for military personnel, so would it be that much trouble to let the rest of us purchase them?

E Jolley July 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Is there JST in the footnotes? Just not the longer passages in the back section? That doesn’t make sense- if you have the smaller JST in the footnotes, is the back section with longer passages not as important? nope.

ParticleMan July 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Including the shorter LDS footnotes and not the longer JST excerpts seems inconsistent. The BOM being the most correct book, Is not the JST more correct than the KJV? If so, then why not include the JST in every KJV edition?

Thankfully the military-issue, or pocket-sized, BOM has been made available, but what about the rest of the Standard Works?

In cases where chapter headings in the BOM were written by a Nephite, the phrase “Comprising chapters…” should not be italicized with the rest of the heading; this implies that the respective Nephite wrote the phrase.

The formatting of non-English scripture editions is very attractive, a nice upgrade that I would love to see in English editions.

thechair July 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

Very nice. Great for a couple reasons: easy to take on trips, and cheap for single-issue immersion and marking.

Suggestions:

1. As others have already suggested, it would be great also to have a pocket version of this NT.

2. I wish there were a standalone Old Testament, as well. Or better yet, a pocket OT or pocket OT Selections, including Gen., Ex., Deut., Psalms, Isaiah and Jeremiah. I hated to leave behind my larger scriptures while leading the YM high adventure this year. I was reading Isaiah, but there was no compact, non-electronic way to take him with me.

3. I’d like to see in future editions of the regular scriptures wider margins and some lined note paper like the old missionary editions used to have. (And like Preach My Gospel has.) For a scripture-loving people, we haven’t left ourselves much room for our own annotations.

thechair
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

John Snow July 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

I think that version of the NT is long overdue. Not only will it be great for members, but it will be nice for the missionaries to be able to give out copies of the NT. This will better emphasize our belief in the Bible, which I think at times is not made as clear as it could be by our well-intentioned emphasis on the Book of Mormon. Wonderful news.

James Anderson July 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I saw last night in a local Deseret Industries, the 1977/78 book ‘A Topical Guide to the Scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’, the original test version of the topical guide. We need that again, except this time it be the topical guide and Bible Dictionary in separate form. That way, we can have the Scriptures open, and another book open with the references. Right now there’s no real way to go back and forth between the topical guide and the Scriptures in print form.

And speaking of missionary things, when are we going to have a pass-along card for the Spanish bible? We have one for the English one, with the Carl Bloch ‘Sermon on the Mount’. I’ve been giving loads of other Spanish cards out over the years, and since we now have an official version of the Bible, why not give that out now? I think there could be some interesting impact wherever these cards were given out, whether it be in any Spanish-speaking country or to Hispanics everywhere else.

Andi July 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I’m not sure I’m 100% behind this, as easy as it would be, I have no problem sacrificing a little convenience and bringing my quad. For referencing purposes, lessons are more engaging when I teach with the OT,NT & JST in hand because it allows my students engage and ask questions from the references. I’m sorry as a teacher, I’m not a fan.

Dean July 9, 2010 at 3:06 am

I like the occasional convenience of this format, but how about an edition that encourages scripture study. I wish for wide margins! Other things are nice, but the best thing you could ever do is wide margins. We are glad we can underline, but also what the privilege of writing thoughts and notes in the margins. As for footnotes.
– JST the more the better.
– TG way too many of these. (Don’t misunderstand, I like the TG in the back, just not all the footnotes, They are mostly misused and misunderstood in the footnotes)
– BD not enough of these in the footnotes.
– and more footnotes that are editorial notes, textual, lexical, contextual kinds of helps

Oh, and if it isn’t too much, the Proclamation on the Family could become D&C 139.

Thanks for listening.

thechair July 10, 2010 at 8:34 am

Forgive this 2nd entry, but I want to revise and prioritize my earlier suggestion and echo “Dean’s” top item. I’m sorry if this departs too much from the thread’s stated purpose, but I know of no other sounding board. Meanwhile, I am going to go buy several of the NTs today. Give me wishes 1 and 2, and I’ll be most grateful.

1. Wider margins (by far, my most fervent wish, having taught Seminary, YM, and everything else.)

2. Lined note paper (10-20 pages in each Bible and Triple. Very, very helpful. Reduces need for cramped scribbling in tight margins, jamming things onto end papers, screwing up binding with excessive glue-ins, and makes a single location to store scripture chains and other references.)

3. Christ’s words in red letters. (And maybe Jehovah’s OT sayings in blue. A very helpful study aid. Easier to find parables, etc. Most Protestant study Bibles have this feature, and LDS Bibles used to have it also.)

4. Chapter headings placed in the text. (there are pros and cons for this–pros: reader finds the stories more easily; cons: messes up typeset?, less easy for reader to scan chapter headings for review purposes)

5. Enlarge Bible Dictionary (perhaps it is time after 30 years to add a few entries that might have made

Rob July 10, 2010 at 10:57 am

Wow. Great discussion on content and formatting preferences. All these recommendations are being read by a member of the Church’s Scriptures Committee for consideration.

On one of the threads a couple issues came to light that I wanted to comment on:
1) Hardcover editions of the triple combination and Bible are available in English in regular size through Church Distribution.
2) There is a study aid in English available electronically at scriptures.lds.org that combines the functions of Bible Dictionary, Topical Guide, and Triple Index into one aid, yet does it in a more concise manner. It is called the Guide to Scriptures and is published at the back of non-English triples as was suggested by one of the commentors.

Thanks for the many ideas and suggestions. It’s great to see people’s love for the scriptures.

Jim Cobabe July 11, 2010 at 10:31 am

I use a pocket pc to read scriptures but the editions available leave much to be desired. I have difficulty handling books due to a handicap. Could the church devote some effort toward developing electronic data formats of the scriptures?

James Anderson July 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

If you can use the PDF versions on your device, there is already now pDF versions of the Scriptures. The PDF files can be found on the lds.org PDF page, and the beauty of this is you can select what page or pages you need to save or print. Includes the study aids as well where desired.

The print option to print a page (from your browser) is helpful for teachers as they can mark up those specifically for that lesson. For those not teaching lessons, this can be useful to figure out and visualize what you might want to mark in your bound scriptures before committing any markings to them.

Bookslinger July 13, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Larry,

I’m still hoping for bilingual editions of the Book of Mormon:

Chinese(simplified)*/English for immigrants from China, Spanish/English, French/English (for Africa), and Hindi/English.

Just think, millions of people around the world could be using the Book of Mormon to learn English, or to keep alive their native language to pass along to their children.

Imagine millions of mothers around the globe reading the story of the Stripling Warriors to their children in their native language, then the children reading the story back to mom in English.

Remember the scene in the movie about Elder Groberg using the Bible to learn Tongan? Well, why can’t the Book of Mormon be used to learn English?

*Yes, I know there is a triple-language Chinese/Pinyin/English edition for missionaries, but a) it’s too expensive to give out, costing over $30, b) the Pinyin is not needed for Chinese immigrants trying to learn English, and adds too much bulk to the book, and c) it’s in Traditianal Script, which is used in Taiwan/Hong-Kong/Indonesia, and is not readable by people from China. It needs to be in _simplified script_ so people from mainland China can read it. The vast vast majority of Chinese in the US are from Mainland China, not Taiwan/HongKong. (But, yes, currently, most Chinese _members_ are in Taiwan/HongKong/Indonesia.)

Bookslinger July 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Larry, on the new NT edition, I see a use for it in missionary work. I like to offer English-only-speaking people Bibles before I offer a Book of Mormon (ie, when I can’t use the foreign-language angle to introduce the BoM). That lets people know we believe the Bible. The $2.00 price puts it in range where people can buy a supply and give them away, as “outreach” as other churches put it. Then one can follow-up with “would you like a free Book of Mormon to go with it? At our church, we believe in both.”

Up until now, the least expensive Bible from LDScatalog.com was the $8.20 “Economy” Bible, #36072000.

Since that is too costly for giving away on a regular basis, I’ve been using $.95 New Testaments, or $2.25 Bibles from the International Bible society, now Biblica. Here’s their paperback Bible and NT:
http://www.ibsdirect.com/p-81-kjv-paperback-bibles.aspx
http://www.ibsdirect.com/p-190-kjv-paperback-new-testaments.aspx

Could you suggest to the Dist Center that they offer “case pricing”? And perhaps also include an even less-expensive option on cheaper paper? Those links I gave to Biblica are for items printed on newsprint type paper, definitely a lower quality paper than even “economy” LDS scriptures. But the purpose really isn’t a long-lasting set of scriptures, the purpose is to transmit something that shows that we believe the Bible, and hopefully has some kind of contact information on it.

I realize that the Dist Center includes shipping in the line-item cost, so there are some restrictions there.

Gillian Welsh December 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I have ordered 3 one for the bedroom, one for the car and one for livingroom or where ever Church but to be able to get hold of one quick. Great idea hope the other books soon are in same format

JoeSwiss February 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

I love the pocket-sized BoM. I’ve been able to read in it a lot more than I otherwise would have.

Feeling guilty about not reading enough in the D&C as well, I looked for a similar pocket-sized version about a year ago. Best I could find was the softcover triple-combo. So I got one of those, then tore out the BoM. Then tore out the index in the back, leaving the D&C in the middle. With the huge gaps now in the binding, it is a poor substitute for what I really wanted.

Found this site just now (today, 5 Feb 2011) with the search term “pocket-sized isaiah” — because I want to read Isaiah everywhere, on the go, in the same way as I can with the BoM. It doesn’t mean this will be my primary way of “studying” Isaiah, but it will go a long way in my preparation for this by conveniently being able to read the text multiple times in advance of real study.

So, my vote is for pocket-size everything.

Think how much scripture reading we _don’t_ do because of not feeling able to do justice to the experience invited by a giant quad volume wrapped up in a leather cover with all the paraphernalia. Or not being able to schlepp it all around everywhere. Or not wanting commuters peering over my shoulder to see what I brought that’s so big … “oh, just some religious Bible freak.” I think the few-sizes-fits-all approach actually gets in the way of the commandment to study Isaiah/the scriptures in general.

Yes, I could read on a gadget. But I would prefer a convenient book, where I can easily make notes. (Gadget notes are not easy for me).

Thanks for this small New Testament version. I hope this, with the BoM, is only the beginning.

“Often I hear people say they do not have time to read. That’s absolute nonsense. In the one year during which I kept that kind of record, I read 25 books while waiting for people. In offices, applying for jobs, waiting to see a dentist, waiting in a restaurant for friends, many such places. I read on buses, trains and planes. If one really wants to learn, one has to decide what’s important. Spending an evening on the town? Attending a ball game? Or learning something that can be with you your life long?” Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man, 1989, Ch. 1

Katherine December 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

I add my voice that pocket sized everything would be greatly appreciated. Many people are moving to digital books, but I love the feel of paper in my hand and easy of skimming to find my own personal notes and I think a smaller, economy size (the other ‘small’ choice is the nice but more expensive compact quad) would be good compromise.

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