If you were to see my bookshelf, there will be a variety of Bible translations. I have had the Hebrew-Greek Key KJV Study Bible, an NASB Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible, English Standard Version Study Bible, and currently have a King James Version Study Bible. I’ve also had the Scolfield study bible at one point.
For me, when first read the announcement of this edition to be published, I wanted to obtain a copy for my own personal study. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago I received a twitter response from Maxwell Institute regarding whether I had obtained my own copy yet. When I responded that I am looking forward to purchasing a copy, they asked if I’d do a review for my website and they’d provide a copy for free. Offer accepted.
The Maxwell Institute Study Edition of the Book of Mormon was published on December 31, 2018. Since it’s publication, many wonderful reviews have already been published. For instance, Neal Rappleye published his review on January 13, 2019 at Book of Mormon Central. Brant A. Gardner over at Mormon Interpreter writes his review on this new edition of scripture. Another book review is over at Segullah. All of the reviews provide similarities and variant differences in what this edition offers.
One of the main features is the way the text is formatted.
Initial features the reader will notice are:
- Quote from Neal A. Maxwell regarding the coming forth of the Book of Mormon
- Title Page providing information that the textual notes are from Royal Skousen’s Critical Text Project
- Images of Original Woodcuts by Brian Kershisnik
- Table of Contents provides an overview of the content in each section of the Book of Mormon
- The Introduction being from the 1981 edition, with minor modifications in 2013
- Testimony of Emma Smith
- Brief History of the Text – Editor’s introduction for the Maxwell Institute Study Edition
In the back of the study edition, the reader will notice the following features:
- Maps and Charts – beginning with the possible routes of Lehi’s Journey from Jerusalem into the New World
- A General Map of the World the reader will discover in reading the Book of Mormon
- Book of Mormon plates and records
- List of Record keepers of the sacred text
- Chart of key families in the Book of Mormon
- Jaredite Kings
- Time line of Nephite History
- Chronology of the Translation
- Statements on the Book of Mormon
- Stories of the Translation
- General Notes
- Literary Parallelism
All of these features provide a more enriching and deeper understanding of the Book of Mormon. For me, what I appreciate the most about this study edition is the layout and footnotes of the text. While there are corresponding scriptures, the footnotes also contain some of the textual variants, alternate readings, quotations, allusions and other literary devices.
There is, however, one thing I’d love to see in a newer edition (if Grant Hardy, the Maxwell Institute, and Brigham Young University may consider) of a study edition of the Book of Mormon. That is having some commentaries on some of the passages (either on the side like the Jewish Publication Society Study Bible) or within the footnotes. For me, these help understand the context of scripture better with those insights. These snippets of commentary being tied to Gospel principle teachings and truths to help people gain a greater understanding of the text.
Overall, I’m thankful for the Maxwell Institute for providing me with a copy of the study edition of the Book of Mormon. It is a definite welcoming new edition to my library and am enjoying reading through it’s pages.
I welcome my readers to obtain a copy of the Maxwell Institute Study Edition of the Book of Mormon through my affiliate link at Amazon.