New LDS Edition of Spanish Bible
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are informally known as Mormons, has released a new edition of the Bible in Spanish. This edition is based on the public domain edition of the one hundred year old Reina-Valera translation of the Bible. Minor edits were made to update grammar and to make more clear words that have taken on new meanings in the past century and alterations were made for words that have developed offensive meanings. This edition contains footnotes and headings pertaining to LDS doctrine and includes cross-references to LDS scriptures and resources. This improves its usefulness as a study tool for Mormons, and also aids non-Mormons who wish to study the Bible as the Mormons see it. It also allows church classes to function more effectively since previously each member had a different translation, making Sunday School classes on the Bible very complicated.
The entire process took about five years, due to the sacred nature of the work and the need for accuracy. Verses were compared to the King James Version, which is the official translation used by Mormons in English, four more Spanish editions of the Bible, and Greek and Hebrew manuscripts as well.
The new edition is available in print and also on CD. It can be downloaded at no charge from church websites. For more information, interested people of any faith may visit Santa Biblia.
The Mormons produced a similar project with the King James Bible, which is the official Mormon Bible in English. Although text was not changed, footnotes and summaries, as well as new study materials, were added to a uniquely LDS version of a treasured edition of the Bible. This project was begun many decades ago, when church leaders became concerned because church members were using different editions of the King James version of the Bible for different purposes—one for children, for instance, a different one for teenage classes and so on. The church wanted an official edition of the Bible and an improved combined edition of the other LDS scriptures. However, after prayer, it was determined the Bible should be the priority.
For more on this project, read The Coming Forth of the LDS Editions of Scripture By Wm. James Mortimer.
Mormons use four books of scripture in their worship. The Old and New Testaments of the Bible are both used. In addition, Mormons use the Book of Mormon, an ancient scripture written by descendents of the Israelites of the Old Testament. A small group of Israelites fled Jerusalem when Lehi, a prophet, found his life in danger during the time of the prophet Jeremiah. God directed him, his family and a few other people, to journey across the ocean to the Americas. He and the prophets who followed kept records of their dealings with the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel, which were eventually preserved to be brought forth in our time.
In addition to these, the Mormons use the Doctrine and Covenants, a record of the modern revelations given. Most occurred early in church history, but some later revelations have been recorded as well. The Pearl of Great Price contains some translations of ancient records, revelations received by Joseph Smith, Joseph’s Smith’s personal history, and a statement of thirteen beliefs the Church holds.
All of these scriptures are studied by church members. Children under four have a curriculum that uses stories and teachings from all the books. Children ages four to eight study the Bible one year, and the other scriptures the next year, repeating the series until they move to the next level. From ages eight through adulthood, members study the scriptures in a four year rotation. The Bible is given two years, one for each testament, causing it to be studied twice as often as the other books. In addition to this, teenagers attend a weekday class each school day in which they also follow a four year rotation of study. Again, the Bible is given two years in this rotation.
The Bible is our scripture. We believe that the prophets of the Old Testament who foretold the coming of the Messiah spoke under divine inspiration. We glory in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John setting forth the events of the birth, ministry, death, and Resurrection of the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. Like Paul of old, we are “not ashamed of the gospel of [Jesus] Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). And like Peter, we affirm that Jesus Christ is the only name “given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Symbol of Our Faith,” Ensign, Apr 2005, 2–6
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