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Creating My Own Edition of the Scriptures

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 20, 2011

Like most Mormons, I have owned several sets of printed scriptures and have dutifully marked them up with red and blue – and sometimes a rainbow of other colors – pencils. Somehow, while I have difficulty writing in other books, it has seemed obligatory to scribble all over the pages of holy texts. I’ve never found a satisfactory way of marking them, though.

It’s fine to color a few verses, or put a border around them, when you’re scripture-chasing in seminary or when you’re a missionary handing your Bible to an investigator and asking her to read a selected verse – but when you try to move beyond mere proof-texting that method loses its effectiveness. And I’ve never, ever been so enamored of proof-texting that I was willing to follow any of those commercial systems for marking a defined list of scriptures about “faith” with blue, and a list of those about “repentance” with red, and a list of those about “sacrifice” with green. Ugh!

When I come back to a passage of scripture that I’ve underlined, I am often puzzled as to why I underlined it. It must have struck me as powerful, or as being exceptionally lovely in a literary sense, or as being relevant to some challenge I once faced, but none of that is evident in the marking – rather than serving to preserve an important insight, those inexplicable markings overpower anything on the page that might inspire me today.

I was excited when the LDS editions came out just in time for me to carry them as a missionary. Those footnotes! Wow! Not that I used them much after a while, mind you – the Topical Guide, addressing its curiously late-’70s set of concerns (would you expect a category of “Birth Control” to appear in a Topical Guide produced today?) is not of much use except as a proof-texting exercise, and the sheer number of “TG” footnotes drowns out the more useful ones to such an extent that I consciously trained myself not to look down at the footnotes as I read. (I have gone to the extreme of putting tiny green circles around the footnote superscripts that I do find useful, such as those to the JST.) I very much appreciate footnotes that link between the Bible and Restoration scriptures, or between the Old and New Testaments, on those too-rare occasions when I have bothered to look up those verses and puzzle out why the LDS edition crew included them.

It’s hard to link printed scriptures to extra-scriptural sources, too. My neat blue boxes around a verse with “Handel” inked in the margins notify me that the verse formed the text of some part of Handel’s Messiah, but the margins are too narrow to write more than a citation to a Conference talk or commentary, not the text from those sources. I’ve tried typing more extensive notes on onionskin and tucking that between the pages, but the slips flutter out and become a nuisance.

Okay, you’ve done all that, too, so you know what I mean.

My other problem with studying – really studying, as contrasted with letting the words flow over me in the requisite 30-minute chunks – is that the format of the printed scriptures is not conducive to study. Chapter and verse divisions are useful for references purposes, but they play havoc with the reading experience. Rather than getting easier with my maturity and experience, that fragmenting of the text has made it harder and harder for me to appreciate what I read. Awareness of that has been made acute since I’ve been teaching Sunday School, because when class members read requested passages aloud, they read each verse as if it had little or no connection to the verses before and after. The New Testament in particular seems to be viewed as a book of short quotations with most of its narrative sense obliterated by the chapter and verse breaks – and those short quotations are mysterious and Zen-like (“I am the Light of the World” or “I am the Bread of Life”) when divorced from their context.

So, after this long prologue – and weeks of procrastinating because I just know somebody is going to point out that there was an easier way for me to do this – I’m finally going to describe my personal solution to both problems.

I wrote my own scriptures.

Well, formatted them to suit me, anyway. Using my word processor, I reformatted the Bible into coherent narrative chunks, just the way the Harper Collins Study Bible does it, but using the King James Version of the LDS edition. I reformatted the Book of Mormon into the same coherent narrative chunks that Grant Hardy used for his The Book of Mormon: Reader’s Edition edition, but using the current text of the Book of Mormon rather than the 1921 text that he had to use because of copyright concerns. I reformatted the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price according to my own judgment, with some guidance from headnotes in the LDS edition.

And I added headings to each piece of text, which I find to be incredibly useful. For the Bible, I used Harper Collins’ headings; for the Book of Mormon I used Grant Hardy’s; for the Doctrine and Covenants I have used the headings from the headnotes of each chapter. I have slightly adapted some headings to suit me (e.g., I changed Harper Collins’ heading of “the first sin and its punishment” in Genesis to “the first transgression and its consequences”), and I expect to do a lot more editing as my study goes forward in the next few years.

(And, by the way, the personal use of these copyrighted elements from Harper Collins, Grant Hardy, and the Church comes within the fair use allowed by copyright law, but I cannot share copies of my reformatted scriptures without violating their copyrights. Please do not ask.)

Having the reformatted text in my word processor means I can add my own notes to the scriptures – as many and as extensively as I wish, without the straitjacket of narrow margins or the clutter of colors. I can add any note anywhere at any time and everything will remain as neat as it started.

Because I’ve been using “my own scriptures” only a few months, the New Testament has been the only book I’ve done much work on. So far, the kinds of notes that I have entered have been:

* Joseph Smith Translation variations, including many of those that didn’t make it into the LDS edition.

* Old Testament scriptures that are quoted in the New Testament, and Doctrine and Covenants scriptures that indicate that Joseph’s study of a Biblical scripture was the proximate cause of his seeking a revelation. (Unlike the footnotes in the LDS edition, however, my version allows me to record the full text of those related verses in my notes where it is handy for study and doesn’t require me to turn to another book the next time I go over that passage.)

* Relevant paragraphs copied from conference talks, Jesus the Christ, or other commentary.

* Explanatory information on New Testament-era customs or objects or plants that appear in the text.

* Questions or bits of explanation that could be useful while teaching that passage of scripture, taken from, for example, books like Julie Smith’s Search, Ponder and Pray, other lesson manuals, and similar sources.

* Bits of wording from non-KJV translations that help me understand a passage.

* My reaction to verses that have personal meaning (dated, so that eventually these personal reflections can help to trace my personal development).

* Bits of material from commentaries I use in helping me to understand a chapter I’m preparing for Sunday School.

I use brief citations (“JST” for Joseph Smith Translation; “HC” for Harper Collins; “JTC” for Jesus the Christ, etc.) keyed to a bibliography so I can always trace where a bit of information came from. (Incidentally, Bruce R. McConkie didn’t do that when he found useful material in published sources, creating a massive and I think largely unrecognized plagiarism problem in his Doctrinal New Testament Commentary.)

On the one hand, this has all taken an insane amount of work  and I am hardly recommending that anybody else replicate it on a large scale. On the other hand, it has been useful enough to me that I would recommend it for relatively short passages of scripture that you might be preparing for a lesson or talk. Although I’vebeen using this system only for the past three months or so, I am hooked on it. It is so easy to organize my notes, and – as long as I keep my computer backed up – these notes are preserved more permanently than any paper notes I’ve ever made. I can carry them with me to Church on my Kindle, needing only a moment each week to upload the latest version of chapters needed for Sunday School.

If it sounds like anything you’d like to try on a small scale, here’s an illustrated version of what I’ve done:

Step one: Copy and paste the scriptural text from an electronic source, like that at lds.org. (I decided early on that preserving the italics used by the KJV was not important to me, so I didn’t try to transfer those from the electronic source.)

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Step two: Run a few search-and-replace procedures to change the verse numbers to unobtrusive superscripts. (You still want to be able to refer to a passage by chapter and verse number, but you don’t want those numbers to overpower and dictate your interaction with the text.) I also removed paragraph symbols (they don’t always accord with the text breaks I adopted from Harper Collins).

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Step three: Divide the text into logical narrative units, taking advantage of scholars’ work as I have done with the Harper Colllins Study Bible, or according to your own judgment. Add headings to each section, again taken from other sources or according to your own judgment.

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Step four: Start recording your notes. Taking hints from the commentaries I’ve used, I double indent and use a smaller font to separate my notes from the scriptural text. I head each note with a bolded indication of the verse(s) the note applies to, and use a brief citation to indicate the source of the information, regardless of whether I have copied verbatim or summarized in my own words.

 

[Hmm. Looks like I dropped a few lines when I broke this up for scanning and posting, and I don’t have the time this morning to re-do the illustrations. Sorry.]

 

 

[Again, I seem to have made a bad page break when I prepared the illustrations. I trust you get the general idea, anyway.]

 

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35 Comments »

  1. Ardis! How do you do it? I feel cheated that I only get 24 hours in a day, and somehow you get 50. What an epic undertaking.

    I stopped marking scriptures back during my mission when I realized I could read the entire Book of Mormon in 25 minutes.

    You can buy a copy of the first printing that is not divided in chapter and verse. It is an interesting experience to read it like that. It flows much better.

    Comment by MMM — May 20, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  2. MMM, that edition of the Book of Mormon was my first exposure to reading scripture as narrative rather than as quotation book. It really opened my eyes to the Book of Mormon (and, incidentally, to the way my ancestors were introduced to it).

    I recommend that to everybody — at least read a few dozen pages to recognize the difference that it makes.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 20, 2011 @ 7:59 am

  3. I am impressed. Although I can’t help but think of a story my brother-in-law told me about a missionary companion who was constantly covering the pages of his scriptures in red pencil highlights. My bro-in-law said to him “Why don’t you just mark the scriptures that aren’t important?”

    I actually do this reconstruction but to a much lesser degree with lessons I teach. It is so easy now to download them from LDS.org into Word form I never use a physical lesson manual anymore. Then I can highlight or insert whatever or delete (I’m still following the authorized lesson plan! So it can’t be as bad as rewriting the scriptures!)

    But this is a very intriguing idea. And it’s not just the copyright issue, but probably appropriate to keep them as personal and private as possible “except when moved upon by the Holy Ghost” or by assignment, to share and testify. Besides, I can just see some people I know in some wards (or bookstores) who would go through all this work and then say that they were so inspired to do this everybody should do it exactly the same way! (or just rely on theirs.)

    Comment by Grant — May 20, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  4. This is tremendous, Ardis. I agree; everyone should do this for themselves. My Footnotes to the NT for LDS was essentially just such a project. With word processing programs it’s easy, and the difference it makes, if nothing else, just to have paragraph formatting with in-text captions is profound.

    I personally like to put NT quotations of OT scripture in bold text. And when you get to the OT you’re going to want to format the poetry in poetic lines.

    Comment by Kevin Barney — May 20, 2011 @ 8:27 am

  5. Excellent post! I’m emailing this out to all my teachers as an example of a bunch of things I keep suggesting! (I’m the SS President, doing the teacher training class.)

    “Divide the text into logical narrative units” The paragraph markers, such as at Genesis 2:4 or Matt 1:18, are the oldest division markers (though their placement can vary in manuscripts). Chapters and verses weren’t added until the 1400’s or so (and numbered even later), and sometimes they break up larger and smaller units, even breaking sentences.

    I use Bibleworks to keep all my notes, but unless you’re doing original language study, it’s probably not worth the money. Evernote may be useful (I’m working on some posts about Evernote and taking notes on the scriptures.) I’ve got two screenshots of my BW notes.
    http://www.cl.ly/1X1p3J233w3F1Q343i2z
    http://www.cl.ly/0X2B1U2d0e2X360p2T3A

    (The two texts there are the 1981 and the 1830. I’m also working on my own rephrase, but didn’t include it there…)

    Otherwise, just put your Word files in Dropbox, and access them everywhere (which is what I do with my BW notes.)

    As a sidenote, Jim Faulconer’s Scripture Study: Tools and Suggestions is now online.
    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=125

    Comment by Ben S — May 20, 2011 @ 8:34 am

  6. Ardis, this is absolutely inspiring. You have opened up a whole new concept for me. Thank you!

    Comment by Maurine Ward — May 20, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  7. I’ve wanted to do something like for the D&C, including significant variations from earlier editions of the text as footnotes. And perhaps even placing JST selections in their chronological place (as written) between the sections of the D&C.

    I don’t mark up bound scriptures at all anymore, for the same reasons Ardis has explained.

    This is great stuff. Thanks for letting us see!

    Comment by David Tayman — May 20, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  8. Sometimes I absolutely wish there was that thin paper the scriptures use that could be put in a laser printer. I’d love to do my own edition much like that.

    As for when – it’d be a great way to force you to reread all the standard works. Might take a few years depending upon how fast you go. But by the end you’d definitely have read everything.

    Comment by ClarkGoble — May 20, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  9. Candidly, I’m relieved by the response. I really was expecting somebody to say that this was a foolish idea or that there was a commercial product that would allow a user to enter his own notes this way. (Ben S’s screenshots show something far more complex than I think would be useful to me, but I’m glad to see it — it gives me some ideas for refining what is still a developing way to store my notes.)

    Nobody has ever taught me how to study scripture, really, despite all the years of seminary and Sunday School I have under my belt, and this idea was suggested as much by what I imagined the characters in Chaim Potok’s novels were doing as much as by what I saw in Grant Hardy and Harper Collins.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 20, 2011 @ 10:31 am

  10. Ardis, this is wonderful!

    I have agonized for *years* over the best way to keep track of info about the scriptures as I learn and study. I have never found a satisfactory solution. I may need to try a version of this.

    Comment by Julie M. Smith — May 20, 2011 @ 10:34 am

  11. “as much by what I imagined the characters in Chaim Potok’s novels were doing”

    Love this!

    Comment by Julie M. Smith — May 20, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  12. Ardis – You can certainly “back up” your files on my computer anytime I will send you the FTP link. LOL… seriously though, this is a great idea. Thanks! Definitely worth trying. I also have stopped marking up the scriptures for exactly the same reasons you have stated but was at a loss for what to do as my memory does not seem to be getting better as I age, so this will definitely help. Ardis, You Da Bomb!

    Comment by Cliff — May 20, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  13. This is similar to how I would prepare a section of scripture for my sunday school lessons. And by similar I mean in the same way that a row boat (my stuff) is similiar to a cruiseship (yours). I never thought of dropping that back into a set of personal scriptures. Very cool.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — May 20, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  14. Ardis, let me know if you come across any topical headings in the Reader’s Edition that ought to be changed. I always figured that would be the most controversial part of that project since headings definitely shape perceptions, but so far I haven’t gotten many criticisms at all. Perhaps it’s because I so worked hard to make those headings as boring as possible–they offer general indications of narrative context, but I didn’t feel like it was my place to identify key doctrines. (I often settled for a couple of distinctive phrases from the passage.) Best wishes for your personal scriptures!

    Comment by Grant Hardy — May 20, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  15. Ardis, this is awesome. I’m not sure I have the discpline to do it, and it would never be as valuable to me if I used yours or someone else’s.

    I mark my LDS scriptures exclusively in pen (in whatever color I have at the moment). I hate colored pencils because I can’t use them well. I scribble notes that I later try to decipher, or at least try to remember why I made them. But it is fun for me to link scripture chains of my own from my own reading. Mostly the note or mark I make helps me remember that day what I’ve noted that is interesting.

    Comment by Paul — May 20, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  16. If I were doing this, I would put the JST text in-line (bolded, if you like) and the old version in the footnote. It’s always annoyed me that the “truer” version is down below and what shows up in the text is incomplete.

    Not to mention, I sometimes find it impossible to understand the proper context for the JST inclusion.

    Comment by Tertium Squid — May 20, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  17. Great post Ardis! That is a monumental task! I decided to write up a post on how I keep my notes. It may be interesting to some of you. It can get pretty nerdy.

    http://www.youshouldbe.net/?p=3050942488

    Comment by Gdub — May 20, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  18. Thanks, all. Not sure, but this set of comments may include more exclamation points than Keepa’s average … :)

    Grant Hardy, I love your headings, and from my use of your Reader’s Edition over the past couple of years I doubt I’ll ever run across something I think needs to be changed. For this project, I may add a few more headings in sections where yours are a little sparse, not because they’re needed to help interpret the text but because my notes may push the headings too many pages apart. Yours have been very helpful to me, especially in the war chapters where the action bounces around and where running captions help keep the campaigns straight.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 20, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  19. Just, Wow! I really, really, will save your computer when you get hit by that truck. Going to be in St. George next week? :)

    I’ve been using the same set KJV Bible for 22 years now, and I’ve filled in the back end leafs and other empty spaces with notes that are helpful to me, but not even alphabetized. Same thing with my Triple, which I’ve now had for about 19 years. And I’ve pretty much given up on the topical guide as well.

    My wife and I recently bought eReaders, the B&N Nook Color, which runs Android, and even though the LDS Gospel Library for Android is not yet available there, I’ve found that just using the highlighting and note taking features, I’ve started to build some similar tools. I’ve loaded an epub format copy of the scriptures, but without the links that are available in the Gospel Library versions. However, I’ve got years ahead of me on this, and I’m a little reluctant to get too far into it as the LDS Gospel Library will at some point be available for the Nook Color, and I’ll have to start over. But I’m convinced in the long run, an electronic format will be the easiest for me to use. The ability to have a whole library of books, the scriptures, and pdf and Word documents, pictures, and notes all on the same device that is slightly smaller and much thinner that my current Triple, is pretty amazing.

    Comment by kevinf — May 20, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  20. #16- The text of the KJV (or some other version) has to remain intact in order for it to claim the title of “Holy Bible” If too many changes (not reflected in the original Greek or Hebrew) are made, the International Bible Society won’t allow the book to be called a Bible (which is why the JW’s have to call their book “Holy Scriptures”)

    But as long as we’re making changes, can we refer to the JST as the “inspired version”? As I understand it, Joseph didn’t really “translate” from any original source materials on this project. He revised based on inspiration. (For me, it doesn’t affect the veracity of his revisions, but I think it’s misleading to call it a “translation.”

    Comment by Clark — May 20, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  21. Simply amazing, Ardis.

    When President Hinckley gave the Book of Mormon reading challenge, I wasn’t sure I would be able to finish the book before the end of the year since the older I get, the harder it is to read the two-column format, so I “borrowed” an old copy from my parents, printed in Liverpool in 1900. (Yes, my parents know I still have it.) It is printed in a single-column format, and I finished it without a problem.

    I don’t like handling the old book too much, though, so I’ve been considering buying Hardy’s Reader’s Edition and may have to after reading your post.

    Comment by Researcher — May 20, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  22. It’s amazing how much difference a change in formatting can make. I’ve become a real fan of Hardy’s volume — as someone who didn’t grow up with the Book of Mormon, I’m thoroughly delighted and surprised with how much more readable the formatting makes it. It’s almost as good as using a modern-language translation (which is what I read when studying the Bible, since I didn’t grow up with the KJV and don’t particularly like it).

    An added advantage is that putting text in narrative or poetic form, rather than with versification, diminishes the temptation to proof-text. When looking up a particular verse, the formatting encourages me to read it in context, and I get a lot more out of it.

    Comment by Eric — May 20, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  23. Could I just buy a copy of yours? :D

    Comment by proud daughter of eve — May 20, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  24. Ditto on the comment requesting the additional time in the day you must have found to be able to do this.

    For those of us who might be a bit less ambitious though no less admiring, I’m a scripture journal user. It doesn’t have the benefits Ardis mentioned of being able to re-format paragraphs, but it’s worked pretty well. Basically, it’s a companion to my reading where I write either prose of my own reflections, blurbs from or links to conference talks, explanatory items, etc. My next project is to “tag” via hyperlink the chapters and verses with subjects that will allow me to research a bit by subject as needed. It started in an actual notebook but has graduated to word processor.

    Comment by Chris Gordon — May 25, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  25. Came across this (again) today, thought it relevant.

    We are in a far better position if we are able to drink directly from the scriptural fountain without having the waters muddled by others whose insights are not as great as were those of the prophetic writers who first penned the passages found in the accepted canon of holy writ. I am not rejecting proper scriptural commentaries; I know and appreciate their value and have written volumes of them myself; I am simply saying that people with the ability to do it would be far better off to create their own commentaries. There is something sacred and solemn and saving about studying the scriptures themselves.

    -Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Guidelines to Gospel Study,” in Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 229. Emphasis mine.

    Comment by Ben S — October 4, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

  26. Thanks, Ben. I could read this as BRM not approving my project — would he think my insights are as great as those of prophetic writers? — but I’ll choose to read it as though your bolded line included me and would win his approval.

    I don’t know how anybody (short of Joseph Smith, maybe) could really study the scriptures without making use of the work of scholars. I may not want to take my doctrine from non-Mormon scholars (and BRM, I think, equated commentaries with doctrinal studies, period), but I see nothing “muddying” (muddling?) in the work of scholars who have studied language and history and culture. I think it’s arrogant to think I wouldn’t benefit from their help.

    (Not that I think you’d disagree; I’m just not sure how far BRM would approve what I’m doing!)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 4, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  27. My impression is he wanted everyone to have had the same experiences he had- Read the scriptures enough that you can make your own chapter headings, cross-references, connections, a commentary produced through your own sweat and study.

    I agree that it’s impossible to get beyond a certain level without consulting scholars, since the scriptures mostly presume a contemporary audience with shared linguistic and cultural knowledge. If you don’t have it already, they’re not going to give it to you.

    As TT has pointed out somewhere at FPR, the line between Church sources and scholars breaks down when you get down far enough- GA’s read non-LDS stuff, the Institute and other manuals cite non-LDS scholars (albeit very old, conservative or outdated ones!)

    Comment by Ben S — October 5, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  28. Somehow I missed this on the first pass, but can I just say I am completely amazed? When I grow up, I want to be you.

    Comment by Matt W. — January 6, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  29. Heh!

    After continuing this project for a few more months, I can report that it is working well for me. Part of that, I think, is that I like to see those notes growing, so I put in extra effort not only reading, but in chasing down footnotes and in looking for other materials to connect with my scriptures. For example, I’ve been using the LDS Scripture Citation Index to search for ways in which the scripture blocks I’m studying have been used in General Conference. Most of the time they’re routine, with scriptures being cited as evidence for whatever point the speaker is making, which usually isn’t useful to my particular project. But other times a speaker will discuss the scripture itself, or relate a brief story of why that scripture has been important in the speaker’s life. I’ve been adding a lot of those to my notes — I think they will continue to be particularly useful as I teach lessons.

    Anyway, this project *is* working; I was afraid it might turn out to be a lot of work at the front end and then not much use, but no, it’s working.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 6, 2012 @ 8:49 am

  30. “Run a few search-and-replace procedures to change the verse numbers to unobtrusive superscripts.”

    Excuse my ignorance, but could you tell me how this operation is done? Is this a normal find and replace procedure or are you using a macro of some kind?

    Thanks for this inspirational idea.

    Comment by KMarkP — January 9, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  31. Mark, I used the ordinary find-and-replace feature. My “find” looked for numbers with spaces around them (copying from lds.org imported a space before each verse number, as well as after) and my “replace” consisted of a number with the codes for begin-superscript and end-superscript around the number. (I use WordPerfect, but assume there are similar instructions for Word?).

    That meant I had to run a find-and-replace sequence for 1 through however many verses were in the longest chapter, but once I got into the rhythm it went rapidly.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — January 9, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  32. In college, I xeroxed the pages from a paperback Book of Mormon, 2 sided onto 8.5×11 paper. This gave me mondo wide margins. Enough room to write copious commentary. I could also insert additional pages of notes between the pages.

    I loved it some much that I did the same for the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.

    I find these very useful. Using them, I can speak or teach at a moments notice. I was asked to teach Alma 5 (as Welch called it Alma’s sermon of 50 questions). The teenage class was actually enthralled. Perhaps because of my enthusiasm. I hope it was because I was teaching with the Spirit. Unfortunately, the BoM was 2 large binders, as is the D&C.

    Now that Santa brought me an iPab, I’ll have to try using electronic methods. I teach early morning seminary and love using my iPad for scriptures.

    Using the iPad, I should be able to carry all my extensively marked, commented, and annotated scriptures.

    Comment by Wonderdog — January 11, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  33. I really like this idea, I do. I actually have attempted very similar things, however instead of putting it in the scriptures, I have just put all the quotes together, so tedious and was not getting anywhere profitable. I hope yours will be worth it. I do remember the New Testiment being good when I would read the scriptures, then the JST, then the definitions, then all four of the study books I had, learned a lot. It is helpful to have them together. Good luck!

    Comment by VaLon — June 10, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

  34. I do not know if you still answer questions on this post but I thought I’d give it a shot. In thinking about this way of studying the scriptures… how about when you are away from your computer like on vacation or something? Do you send it to a cloud service, google docs, evernote? Do you have Nephi saved to one file and Alma in another?

    Comment by Suki — December 16, 2013 @ 7:25 pm

  35. Suki, I’m never very far from my laptop, so I generally just rely on the copy I have there, plus putting the part I might need for a Sunday lesson on my iPad. I’d probably put the whole thing in Dropbox if I were going to have to be away from my laptop for a long time.

    I have each book (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John …) in a separate document, with all the books of the New Testament in one folder, all the books of the Old Testament in another folder, all the books in the Book of Mormon in another, and so on. It works better for me to have relatively short documents (a single Biblical book) than to have a tremendous long document.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 16, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

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