The Holy Scriptures

The Holy Scriptures
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, Restoration Scriptures Edition, has the Inspired Version of the Bible, 1908 Book of Mormon, and RLDS Doctrine and Covenants, sections 1-144. It has a bonded leather cover, 1,920 pages of 6x9 inches. Margins are about .6 inch. Edges of pages are gilded. It is not thumb-indexed, but large, bold references are shown at the tops of pages. See scans of a number of the pages below. This book is available only from Cumorah Books, Inc. Scroll down to see the ordering information.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Adapted from Richard Howard, Restoration Scriptures: A Study of Their Textual Development, Second Edition, 1995.

There were two Book of Mormon manuscripts, the Original Manuscript (O MS), which was dictated by Joseph Smith, Jr., and the Printer’s Manuscript (P MS), which was produced for the printer to use.

The O MS was considered a "first draft." It lacked capitalization and punctuation, and spelling was inconsistent. This MS was placed in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House and deteriorated. Only a few pages and some fragments remain (they are in the custody of the LDS Church).

The P MS was partially refined prior to printing the 1830 Book of Mormon, but E. B. Grandin punctuated the text and divided it into paragraphs. After the 1830 printing, the P MS was marked with additional changes, which were used to produce the 1837 printing in Kirtland. Howard says 2,000 refinements show on the P MS (but another 1,000 revisions in the 1837 edition are not shown on the P MS).

Some changes which were made for the 1837 include "which" to "who" 707 times; "was" to "were," "were" to "was," "is" to "are," and "are" to "is" 137 times; "saith" or "sayeth" to "said" 229 times. Most changes were to grammar and style—however some were theological. The words "Son of" were inserted into the 1830 text in several places, such as "The Lamb of God is the Eternal Father" and "The Everlasting God was judged by the world."

Joseph Smith, Jr., personally supervised or was responsible for the textual revisions of the 1830, 1837, and 1840 editions of the Book of Mormon (plus the 1842 Nauvoo edition, which was printed with the 1840 plates). The title page of the 1840 edition says, "Carefully Revised by the Translator." His objective appears to have been to convey the Book of Mormon message and meaning as clearly as possible.

Although the 1840 (and 1842) editions were available in the U.S., the first European edition of the Book of Mormon was based on the 1837 edition. The LDS Church continued using that text and format until 1879. Then the text was divided into more chapters and shorter verses (the 1830 edition did not have separate verses; in later editions some verses were two or three pages in length).

In 1858 Zadoc Brook privately reprinted the 1840 Book of Mormon (through James O. Wright and Company in New York). Until the 1874 printing of the Book of Mormon by the RLDS Church, which also used the 1840 text, the Brook edition was generally all that RLDS members had available.

The RLDS Church purchased the P MS in 1903 (for $2450.00). That sparked interest in changes, and the 1906 General Conference approved a "Committee on Reversification" to compare the P MS and the 1837 Book of Mormon. The committee did much more than make shorter verses. Changes nearly always followed the P MS and disregarded the later revisions of Joseph Smith, Jr., including the 1840 edition and the 1000 changes in the 1837 edition which were not marked on the P MS.

The resulting text of the 1908 edition has closer ties to the 1830 Book of Mormon than to the 1837, 1840, and 1874 editions—even though the note on the title page says, "Compared with the original manuscript and the Kirtland Edition of 1837."

Samples of Corrections Needed

Samples of Corrections Needed to Produce Correct Book of Mormon Text

These are not the only items which need consideration and correction. But they should serve to help us understand that there is a need to make the text as correct as possible.

Do not let problems in the Scriptures tear down your faith in God. Remember the writing of Moroni: "If there are faults, they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God" (Preface or title page of the Book of Mormon) and "If there be faults, they be faults of a man" (Mormon 4:21).

Mosiah 5:13 And now, I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards, without the gate? [All editions show this as a question; but it is not a question.]

Mosiah 11:193 My soul was wrecked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more. [It shows this way in P manuscript and all printed editions; compare to racked in Alma 17:10, 14, 15.]

Alma 1:16 And it came to pass that he stood before Alma, and plead for himself with much boldness. [It is this way in all printed editions; but the P manuscript shows pled. Plead is not past tense.]

Alma 2:20 Now this was a great cause for lamantations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy; [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 3:106 And he commendeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed. [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 5:4 And behold, I have come, having great hopes and much desire that I should find that ye had humbled yourselves before God, and that ye had continued in the supplicating of his grace, that I should find that ye were blameness before him; [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 12:33 And the king inquired of Ammon if it were his desire to dwell in the land among the Lamanites, or among his people? [All editions show this as a question; but it is not a question.]

Alma 21:47 And he said, Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own trangressions. [This is a typo in the 1953 and 1992 printings.]

Alma 21:144 But as I have said in the latter end of the nineteenth; yea, notwithstanding their peace amongst themselves, they were compelled reluctantly to contend with their brethren, the Lamanites; [This mistake is in all printed editions; it should say nineteenth year.]

Alma 26:49 Now they durst now turn to the right nor to the left, lest they should be surrounded: neither would I turn to the right or to the left, lest they should overtake me, [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 26:95 And as the reminder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

3 Nephi 4:44 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. [Son is capitalized in 1951 but lower case in 1953 and 1992 printings.]

Ether 4:59 And his brother did raise up in rebellion against him, by which he did bring him into captivity; and he did remain in captivity all his days [This is shown in all editions; but correct grammar requires rise.]

Ether 6:35 And now there began to be a great curse upon the land, because of the iniquity of the people, in which, if a man should lay his tool or his sword upon the shelf, or upon the place whether he would keep it, and behold, upon the morrow, he could not find it, so great was the curse upon the land. [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing; all others show whither.]

any one > anyone
anymore > any more
burthens > burdens
can not > cannot
cherubims > cherubim
evil doer > evildoer
first born > firstborn
first fruits > firstfruits
for ever > forever
fraid > afraid
gave > given
harken > hearken
head-bands > headbands
king-men > kingmen
maid servant > maidservant
man servant > manservant
night time > nighttime
Oh > O
one fifth > one-fifth
one half > one-half
past > passed
plead > pled
plow shares > plowshares
prophesy > prophecy
raise > rise
sea-shore > seashore
self-same > selfsame
seraphims > seraphim
shew (in all forms) > show
smote > smitten
some one > someone
to-day > today
to-morrow > tomorrow
under foot > underfoot
vail > veil
whether > whither
worshipped > worshiped
wrecked > racked
Note: This is not a complete list, and not every occurrence of a word was changed ("gave" and "past" are good words in the right place).


Examples of words that have been corrected in our text:

"a" (not "an") with words starting with "h sounds" (with the exception of "an hungered)
change the British spelling of words like Saviour, honour, favour, to American spelling
any more - use as 2 words
anyone – usually use as one word, but use as two words before "of"
anything – always use one word
bondman, bondmen (not bond-man, bond-men, bond man, bond men)
bondservant, bondmaid (not bond-servant, bond-maid)
byword (not by-word, used inconsistently)
cornerstone (not corner-stone)
counselor (not counsellor)
court gate (not courtgate, used inconsistently)
doorpost (not door post)
dwelling place (not dwelling-place)
earring (not ear-ring)
everyone – normally one word, but use as two words before "of"
everything – always use one word
evildoer (not evil-doer)
fellow servant
firepan (not fire-pan)
firstborn (not first-born)
forefront (not fore-front)
fulfill (not fulfil)
fullness (not fulness)
headband (one word)
inquire (not enquire)
lawgiver (not law-giver)
looking glass (not lookingglass or looking-glass, used inconsistently)
lentil (not lentile)
manservant, menservants, maidservant, and maidservants
marveled (not marvelled)
niter (not nitre)
nose jewel (2 words)
offense and offenses (not offence and offences)
offspring (not off-spring)
plumb line (not plumb-line)
practice (not practise)
pruning hook (not pruning-hook)
rearward (not rereward)
resting place (not resting-place)
ring-streaked (not ringstreaked)
scepter (not sceptre)
seashore, seaside, seacoast (not sea shore or sea-shore, or sea side, or sea coast)
selfsame (not self-same)
sepulcher (not sepulchre)
sheepshearer (not sheep-shearer)
shoulder piece (not shoulder-piece, used inconsistently)
show (not shew)
showbread (not shewbread)
skillful (not skilful, British spelling)
Son of Man when it refers to Christ
subtle, subtlety (not subtile, subtilty)
subtly (not subtilely)
thou hast, thou wast (not thou has, thou was, etc.)
today (not to-day, etc.)
twofold, threefold, etc. (not two-fold, three-fold, etc.)
underfoot (not under foot, used inconsistently)
use two words for other "fellow" words—fellow prisoners, etc.
use one word for words such as threescore, fourscore, etc.
veil (not vail)
vinedresser (not vine-dresser)
watchtower (not watch-tower)
water course (not water-course)
wellspring (not well-spring)
winepress (not wine-press)
woman servant and women servants
worshiping, worshiped, and worshiper (not worshipping, worshipped, and worshipper)
Luke 42 pages

John 26 pages

Acts 39 pages

Romans—1 Corinthians 32 pages

2 Corinthians—2 Thessalonians 36 pages

1 Timothy—1 Peter 32 pages

2 Peter—Revelation 30 pages

We will e-mail the text to you in Rich Text Format that you can read with your word processor. We encourage you to review it and respond within two weeks.

Please be aware that the Saints use a variety of editions of the Inspired Version. The first edition was published in 1867; that is the edition Price Publishing Company reprinted in 1997. Many corrections and changes were made in a “New Corrected Edition” in 1944. And other changes appear in the editions of 1970, 1974, 1991, and 2006. The Scripture Committee has compared the various editions and made choices of wording when differences existed. The text also has limited editorial corrections, including some pronouns, verb tenses, consistency, capitalization, and punctuation. Therefore, it does not exactly match any books currently in print. Still, it should be very familiar to all readers of the Inspired Version.

We welcome your assistance and appreciate your desire to make this publication the best it can be, a publication that is worthy of conveying the Word of God.



“Inspired Version” is the name given to the Holy Scriptures which were corrected by Joseph Smith, Jr., in the 1830's.  Originally it was known as the “New Translation.”  Some have called it the “Joseph Smith Bible,” “Joseph Smith Translation,” or simply the “JST.”  This is the version that one RLDS member was looking for in a Christian bookstore years ago.  He didn’t find any, so he asked if they had any Inspired Versions.  The clerk asked, “Aren’t they all?”

            This version of the Bible was produced by Joseph Smith and others, using a marked copy of a King James Version (actually a “Phinney Bible,” a slight variation from the “Authorized Version”) and handwritten manuscripts.  They were preserved, as foretold by the Lord, during the turbulent years of movements from Ohio to Missouri to Illinois and the martyrdom of Joseph Smith.  The colorful story of Emma Smith and others carrying the papers in pockets or bags worn under long skirts is part of the safekeeping for the manuscript.

            The book was not published during the lifetime of Joseph Smith.  But within a few years of the reorganization of the Church, with Joseph Smith III as president, a committee was authorized to accept the Inspired Version manuscript and proceed to publish it.

            A committee from the RLDS Church received the manuscript in 1866, and the Holy Scriptures were published in Plano, Illinois, in 1867.  It is the product of an editorial committee which worked diligently to discern the intent of the marks, changes, and corrections made by earlier scribes to the King James text.

            The 1867 edition was reprinted several times by the RLDS Church.  The 1936 printing was the first to contain the words “Inspired Version” on the title page.  The first major revision of text was in 1944 when a “New Corrected Edition” was published; it contained a number of word changes.  Other revisions were made in the 1974, 1991, and 2006 editions.


Publication of a new "Three-in-One"—the Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon (1908 edition), and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants (through Section 144).

 The Scripture Committee has been working on publication of a new "Three-in-One" since August, 2012. The committee consists of nine people from the Restoration who are associated with various Church and publishing interests. From time to time the committee has had the input and advice from several other groups and individuals.

 The committee decided early that it wanted to produce the best set of Scriptures possible. We learned that many changes have been made over the years to the Inspired Version, to the 1908 edition of the Book of Mormon, and to the Doctrine and Covenants. Some of the changes are in spelling, some are minor word changes (the/that, is/was, etc.), and some are typographical errors or errors of the scribes and/or editorial committees.

 God is not the author of confusion or of mistakes, but man is not always accurate. The Book of Mormon says it well: "And now if there are faults, they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God" ("Moroni’s Preface") and "Blessed be him that shall bring this thing [Book of Mormon] to light, shall be done by the power of God; and if there be faults, they be faults of a man" (Mormon 4:20-21).

 Thus, the committee has been forced to look at various printings of the Scriptures to see what has been done and then to make the best choices it can. We want the Scriptures we produce to be familiar to the readers but not have the problems that other printings have. As sections of the Scriptures have been completed (or nearly completed), the committee has invited a number of people to read through the text of individual books for internal integrity and consistency. Their involvement has uncovered a few—and really a very few—problems, which the committee has met to correct.

 We believe that this work will be of great worth to this generation, and we invite you to make this project a matter of prayer. If you are interested in assisting as a reader, please send a message to As of December, 2014, all of the New Testament, all of the Book of Mormon, and all of the Old Testament books are available for you to read.