Old Testament

Week 2: origins & translation of the Old Testament

Week 1 | OT home | Week 3

16 September 2021


Modern Bible Translations

Additional reading and links

  • John M. Lundquist, “The Value of New Textual Sources to the King James Bible,” Ensign (August 1983): 42–47. Many ancient texts and sources discovered in recent decades permit us to double-check the texts used by the King James translators.

  • Ben Spackman, “Why Bible Translations Differ: A Guide for the Perplexed,” Religious Educator 15, no. 1 (2014): 31–65. Published in BYU’s magazine for teachers of religion, Spackman looks at the challenges of accurately translating the Bible and how modern translations can help us understand difficult books and passages.

  • Kevin L. Barney, “Reflections on the Documentary Hypothesis,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 57–99. The Documentary Hypothesis is the leading academic theory about how the first five books of the Old Testament were created. In this article Barney, a Latter-day Saint scholar, explores the Latter-day Saint reaction to, and the doctrinal implications of, the Hypothesis.

  • Biblical scholars Pete Enns, Jared Byas, and Jeffrey Stackert discuss “Who Wrote the Pentateuch?” in the 7 May 2018 episode of The Bible for Normal People podcast (54:02).

  • Philip L. Barlow, “Why the King James Version?: From the Common to the Official Bible of Mormonism,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 22, no. 2 (Summer 1989): 19–42. Barlow examines how and why the ᴋᴊᴠ became the official Bible of the Church. (This article later became a chapter in Barlow’s excellent book, Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion, which is available from Amazon.com.)

  • Doctrine and Covenants lesson 15 goes into greater depth on the history and meaning of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.