As Latter-day Saints begin to dig into the New Testament as part of this year’s scripture study, a terrific new resource, a translation from the Greek with wonderful notes, has arrived on the scene. The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints (A Study Bible) by Thomas A. Wayment, published by the Religious Studies Center at BYU in cooperation with Deseret Book, can stimulate discussions among Latter-day Saints about the authorship and dating of each part of the New Testament, the context in which each was written, textual issues at play that lead some passages we are used to seeing in the King James Version to be dropped while opening up others to broader meanings than we typically speak about in church, and much more—all of it quite relevant in our own Christian lives and how we interact with Jesus’s core messages and his calls for us to follow.
This episode is an interview with Thom Wayment about his new translation as well as the entire project of figuring out how best to present it in book form. Within the conversation, Thom and Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon discuss a wide range of things, but most often with a focus on “what difference could this make in how we understand our own faith?” Who wrote the Gospels? Which of the Pauline epistles are not written by Paul? What aspects of Paul’s writings and teachings influenced the Gospel writers who all created their texts after Paul had died? The Jesus of history is significantly different from the Christ of Paul, so what does teasing that apart open for us and how we approach Jesus’s teachings and our own reading of the New Testament? In what ways are we asking certain texts, or even just particular verses, to do a lot of work for us (be foundational) in the LDS tradition that skew our understandings of the early Christian movement and developing church? In what ways does approaching our reading with more information about the texts’ origins lead us, should we let them, to a more enlivened faith, a more energetic interaction with what it was about Jesus and his life and messaging that led so many people to give their lives (at times, literally, their own life) to spreading its influence?
There is a freshness to our Bible studies that this book can bring if we will truly dive into the scholarship presented along with a plain English translation (none of the “thee, thy, thou, thine” stuff, or archaic phrasings, folks!) that also, wonderfully includes a much clearer picture of the role of women in the early church. This is a book and study year that we hope will be quite transformational for all of us!
Please listen in! Study your New Testament! Grab the book! (And if you do, using the Mormon Matters Bookshelf Amazon link below would be especially wonderful!)
Check out the following:
Thomas A. Wayment, The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints (Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, 2019). This is the Kindle edition. Apparently at this time you can’t purchase the paperback book through Amazon.
“Translating a new New Testament,” Thomas Wayment with Terryl Givens, MI Conversations #7, Maxwell Institute Podcast, 11 January 2019 (encore presentation of an earlier conversation)