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Joseph Smith, Jr. (Translator); Grant Hardy (Editor), Urbana and Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2005, 6x9" softbound, 696 pages, 6 photographs, 9 line drawings.
Regarded as sacred scripture by millions, the Book of Mormon--first published in 1830--is one of the most significant documents in American religious history. This new reader-friendly version reformats the complete, unchanged 1920 text in the manner of modern translations of the Bible, with paragraphs, quotations marks, poetic forms, topical headings, multichapter headings, indention of quoted documents, italicized reworkings of biblical prophecies, and minimized verse numbers. It also features a hypothetical map based on internal references, an essay on Book of Mormon poetry, a full glossary of names, genealogical charts, a basic bibliography of Mormon and non-Mormon scholarship, a chronology of the translation, eyewitness accounts of the gold plates, and information regarding the lost 116 pages and significant changes in the text.
The Book of Mormon claims to be the product of three historical interactions: the writings of the original ancient American authors, the editing of the fourth-century prophet Mormon, and the translation of Joseph Smith. The editorial aids and footnotes in this edition integrate all three perspectives and provide readers with a clear guide through this complicated text. New readers will find the story accessible and intelligible; Mormons will gain fresh insights from familiar verses seen in a broader narrative context. This is the first time the Book of Mormon has been published with quotation marks, select variant readings, and the testimonies of women involved in the translation process. It is also the first return to a paragraphed format since versification was added in 1879.
"Easily the most readily readable presentation of the Book of Mormon text in existence. . . . Grant Hardy's Reader's Edition now makes easily available, even for the uninitiated, a text of the Book of Mormon that can be understood. . . . If it is not clear by now, let me reiterate that I loved this book and thought it was very well executed (and very much needed). A word of warning, however, reading the Book of Mormon all the way through in this edition might well spoil you from reading it any other way." --Kevin L. Barney, The FARMS Review
"When I first sat down with the book, I had not read many minutes before I realized that I was turning Book of Mormon pages faster than I usually turn them. I was experiencing its "story" and its structural and stylistic coherence in ways that I never had. Even the Isaiah sections of 2 Nephi read more quickly, more smoothly--partly because they were transcribed as poetry rather than as dense chunks of prose." --Keith Lawrence, The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
"I believe seminary teachers and parents would find that young people would respond positively to reading the Book of Mormon in this format." --Kristine Hansen, The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
"Those who truly love the Book of Mormon, seek to be serious students of it, or both will find A Reader's Edition well worth owning." --Louis Midgley, Insights
"Hardy's introduction is faithful, clear, and useful. &. It's also a good way to introduce the Book of Mormon to friends." --Richard Cracroft, BYU Magazine
"This is a necessary and useful presentation of this key foundational text. Hardy's helpful edition should go a long way toward making the Book of Mormon approachable not only for Mormons themselves but also for religion scholars whose familiarity with LDS traditions may outweigh their knowledge of the scripture itself." --Jan Shipps, author of Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition and Sojourner in the Promised Land
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