Saturday, June 16, 2018

Grammatical Conventions

Reviewing and standardizing grammatical conventions feels like starting the project all over again. There is a lot to correct. The conventions that we've identified and agreed upon have been added at the beginning of the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc. We're grateful to Denver for his input in the decision-making for these conventions so that we protect the integrity of the scriptures.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Updated PDFs

Volumes 1, 2, &3 have been updated. The same files will be updated on scriptures.info very soon.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Joseph Smith Scripture Correction Discovery

In Joseph Smith's last sermon on 16 June 1844, he explained the following:

Men say there is one God—the Far. Son & the H.G. are only 1 God—it is a strange God any how 3 in 1. & 1 in 3. it is a curious thing any how—Far. I pray not for the world but I pray for those that thou givest me &c &c [19] all are to be crammed into 1 God—it wod. make the biggest God in all the world—he is a wonderful big God—he would be a Giant I want to read the text to you myself—I am agreed with the Far. & the Far. is agreed with me & we are agreed as one [20]—the Greek shews that is shod. be agreed [21]—Far. I pray for them that thou hast given me out of the world &c &c [22] that they may be agreed & all come to dwell in unity & in all the Glory & Everlasting burngs of God & then we shall see as we are seen & be as God— From Thomas Bullock Report; see also TPJS 369-76.(Spelling and punctuation as in original)
19, 22 - John 17:9-11
20, 21 - 1 John 5:7-8

The Greek text always uses the primary number “one” in all of these cases (εἷς, heis)

Given this clarification by Joseph Smith, the following changes will be made to the scriptures:

John 9:
19 Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be agreed as one as we are...
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also whom shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be agreed as one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be agreed as one in us, that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be agreed as one even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in agreement as one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me.


1 John 1:22 - ...And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth; for there are three that bear record in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are agreed as one. And there are three that bear witness in earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, for this is the witness of God which he has testified of his Son.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Where is Skousen Coming From?

As more people take a critical look at the scriptures, some understanding is needed. Royal Skousen did a marvelous job of analyzing the variations in the different editions of the Book of Mormon and trying to understand how they came about. But he also had a particular agenda - to get to the most accurate copy of the Original Manuscript (OM). This is a different goal than ours - the most Joseph-accurate copy of the Book of Mormon.

Whenever Joseph made a change to the text that is found in the OM, Skousen set it aside. If it doesn't match the OM, he felt it shouldn't be there. Skousen has published his own version of the Book of Mormon that matches as closely as possible the OM.

The problem for us is that this ignores 2 things happening through Joseph. First, he recognized that a lot of mistakes were made, both in recording the OM, and then in the transcribing of the OM to the Printer's Manuscript, and then to subsequent published editions. Joseph spent time throughout his life seeking to correct those errors. As late as 1842 he noted in his journal that he was working to fix the errors. Second, Joseph was ever learning. And as his knowledge increased, so did his understanding of the meaning of scripture. For example, Denver has given a good explanation of how Joseph's perception of the First Vision evolved over time.

A more recent example that we can likely relate to is found in Nephi's discussion of his father's vision with an angel. At one point the angel says, "And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh." For most of us, we understand that the angel is referring to Mary, Christ's mother in the flesh. But read in the context of the talk Our Divine Parents that Denver gave in Phoenix in March, a second meaning appears - that Christ's Heavenly Mother may have condescended to be His mother in the flesh as well.

So not all of Skousen's recommendations were adopted. Please recognize that though we might find a few things that got missed, overall we won't be changing a lot. At times we had to make some tough decisions and many, many were discussed by all of the committee and decided by mutual agreement.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Let's get it right

Now that we have a working set of scriptures, the final goal is to have the reasonably best set we can have by cleaning up the problems we run across. Some of them have been created by software, some by human error, some intentionally by well-meaning volunteers who decided to make their own changes. We're just now seeing these as people submit what they consider problems with the text.

We will take as long as is necessary to make the reasonable updates in preparation for the fancy set of scriptures, at which point we expect updating will end (except for new material). The timeframe rests with all of us: as fixes keep coming in, we have to expect that there may be more. But you need to reference the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc to see if they have already been submitted. Once we have  a few months where few, if any, fixes are submitted, we will feel confident that we've made it to a publication point.

"Reasonable" was intentionally stated because some submitted fixes are very subjective and hard to justify. So please give solid evidence that a fix really does need to be made - do the research first. Links have been provided to all the material we've used.

Thank you to everyone that has helped and who are working through the scriptures. By the way, only one person had touched the Old Covenants to date...

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A set of RE scriptures find their way to Africa

When he was a member of the Church of Christ, a brother in my local fellowship made the email acquaintance of a Nigerian man named Adefelu David Adebowale. David teaches at a little church school in IIe ife, Osun State, Nigeria, a day or two out past the middle of nowhere. There are 100 souls in their little fellowship of believers in Christ. Here's David with some of his students, dressed as they are, like wee angels. 


One day David asked my friend, Tony, if Joseph Smith has light brown hair. David described having seen Joseph Smith in dreams since he was five. His testimony to Tony: "Joseph is a very sacred prophet like Moses and Abraham". Years ago David came by a few photo-copied pages from 1 Nephi. The LDS missionaries that shared this with him never returned but he has taught what he had at his school. Eventually he got in touch with the Church of Christ and the Temple Lot group and requested a copy of the Book of Mormon from them. Six years on and still no Book of Mormon. 

David's faith and persistence found a friend in Tony. They email back and forth on a daily basis. Tony mentioned the request for scriptures on our fellowship forum, I requested a set of scriptures and we shipped them to Nigeria via UPS. Today was a box full of light and truth for David! Here he is with his own copy of one of the most profound books in print on this planet. Some joyful day we will meet David and his family and embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.


Monday, April 30, 2018

If you think you've found a typo, do some research first.

We get emails for potential typos almost daily. Yet the majority of them are not typos or errors, but are simply unusual text. Remember that the Lord rescinded permission to update the archaic language in the Book of Mormon. Also remember that Middle English was in use during Joseph Smith's day. And realize that the LDS scriptures are not a valid source of reference. The scripture project was undertaken to correct the errors introduced not only by scholars, but also by the LDS church.

If you discover something that you think is an error, please research it on your own first to confirm that it is an error. Yes, it might be faster for us to look into it since we've been doing this for a couple of years, but if it takes perhaps 5 minutes to resolve one submission, and you multiply that to include all of the emails we get, it puts an unfair burden on our time. We're still working on cleaning up the damage that software inflicts on text. And we've already sacrificed many thousands of hours on this project. We need to get to know our families again.

Here are the resources you might need to verify that you've found a problem. Obviously some typos are self-evident and don't need research, but most are not. Many are unusual, but not blatant. Anyway, here's where you can go to do your research:

VOLUME 1 - THE OLD COVENANTS
Joseph Smith's personal bible
Old Testament Manuscript 1
Old Testament Manuscript 2

VOLUME 2 - THE NEW COVENANTS (New Testament, Book of Mormon)
New Testament Manuscript 1
New Testament Manuscript 2

Printer's Manuscript
Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, 1st Edition
(We used the 2nd Edition, but it is not available online)

VOLUME 3 - TEACHINGS AND COMMANDMENTS
Revelation Book 1
Revelation Book 2
Book of Abraham
1835 Doctrine and Covenants
D&C correlation to earliest documents



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Patience

No matter how hard you try, it's impossible to catch all the glitches, especially with all of the creative coding needed for the T&C. Please give the coders a couple weeks to clean things up before you start reporting problems with the online T&C at scriptures.info.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

KINDLE ISSUE

KINDLE appears to dislike SMALL CAPS. We’ve just discovered that Amazon’s software changes all small caps to lowercase. We now face the daunting task of changing each instance manually (400+) to regular caps so that they show up properly. This is important because most of the instances are in the OC and have LORD being changed to lord. Kindle is the only format affected by this. Once this is accomplished, we will make the Kindle versions available again and ask Kindle Direct Publishing to reissue the update to everyone who has purchased the Kindle versions of the scriptures. Cross your fingers they agree this is a serious enough problem that it needs such a step.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

WINDING DOWN

The T&C has now been sent to scriptures.info for posting. We understand it could take about 1-2 weeks to complete the coding for it to appear on the site. Volumes 1 (The Old Covenants) and 2 (The New Covenants) have been updated on Amazon with all of the fixes noted. They will be updated everywhere within the next week or so.

The text for the T&C on Amazon.com has been updated to include all of the corrections and issues raised to date (see the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc on scripturesproject.blogspot.com). The Kindle version of the volume is also now available. And several ebook formats (ePub, mobi, Lit, RTF - let us know if others are needed), as well as a PDF, will also be available for free on scriptures.info.


The Glossary is now downloadable as a stand-alone piece in several sizes. It's available on the scripture project blog and will also be posted on scriptures.info shortly.


The work on the scriptures is essentially complete, but there are still a few housekeeping things to wrap up. Here's what we anticipate now will finish the project:
  • Mike Hamill will oversee getting the completed work into ebook form.
  • Chris Hamill will continue to deal with the print-on-demand details as they arise, including reported corrections.
  • Kevin (our formatter) & Chris (and any others with experience with the printing industry - let us know if that's you) will be involved in spearheading getting the completed work into the higher-quality printed version. Volunteers have been crucial and will continue to be needed for that effort.
  • The high-quality version will require some pre-sales and/or contributions to help with the first printing.  As that time approaches there will be a request for pre-orders, etc. and those who want to assist with that effort can volunteer.
Once the high-quality version is published, no changes or corrections to the scriptures will be made without the Lord's direction. With the exception of the tasks listed above, there is no need for a scripture committee to remain in place. Therefore we are disbanding. If the need for some other scripture effort arises, a group can once again be gathered to accomplish it.

Other Projects
The other projects associated with this one are scriptures.info and the scripture apps. The following has been shared by the developers:

scriptures.info
http://scriptures.info/Home/Help

iPhone App
The next release will include all of the final scripture content, along with a few navigational changes necessary for the new structure of Teachings and Commandments. The app will also save your reading position in each chapter. A subsequent release later this year will add full-text search capability. 

Android App
The first version of the Android app will have the following features:
  • Ability to navigate to and read from the final text of all three volumes.
  • Ability to swipe to the next/previous chapter
  • Ability to set basic user preferences (font, font size, margins, line spacing, choosing between a light, dark, or sepia color scheme) that will persist on that device
  • When choosing chapters, ability to either view chapter intros (with the first 20 or so words of the chapter) or view as a grid of chapter numbers to choose from
  • The app should work correctly in both orientations (landscape and portrait)
  • The app should work well for both phones and tablets
  • Stretch goal: Keyword searching with similar functionality as on scriptures.info
  • Later versions may include additional features such as adding tags or notes, bookmarking, highlighting, etc., as time permits.



In Closing
The members of the scripture committee and all the volunteers who have help make this possible are grateful for the opportunity, happy that it's ending, and are looking forward to what may lie ahead of us.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Glossary

People have asked for a copy of the Glossary as a stand-alone item. Kevin has created 4 sizes of PDFs that can be downloaded and printed, including one that can be easily made into a booklet. (That one is in "Printer's Format", meaning the arrangement and numbering allow for simple duplex (front and back) printing and then stacking and folding the pages in half.

See the PFDs and INFO box to the right.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Looks like we're going to hell...

All of our good intentions are failing us and have put us on that road. We had hoped to have the T&C put up on scriptures.info by now. But when we tried to publish the RE scriptures on Kindle, it made a mess of the formatting. So we turned to an ebook format (.mobi) to solve the problem. But that only pointed out some structural problems we hadn't noticed before, so we've been working to fix them. That has taken a lot more time than anticipated. And we don't want to put something out that will then need another major fix down the road.

Our plan at this point is to make the T&C available on Kindle, in ebook format (.mobi to start), and on scriptures.info all at the same time, since they all have to sync, as well as updating the text in the printed books. That could be a couple more weeks. We will then do the same for the other two volumes (on scriptures.info that would involve updating the text to include all of the fixes to date).

By the way, thank you to everyone for submitting questionable text and typos. We are keeping the TYPOS AND ISSUES doc current so tat you can update your own texts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

PDFs UPDATED

The newest versions of the scriptures PDFs - they include all the fixes received and reviewed up until the Phoenix Conference - are now available using the available download links in the SCRIPTURES box to the right.

From now on the PDFs will be dates to you can know how recent your version is.

CONFERENCE NOTES - Phoenix 2018

Delivered by Chris Hamill

Someone brought up the question this morning, "Who are the scriptures committee?" I've not wanted to share this, but I want to now tell you an experience that happened last year at the conference in St. George that will tell you about the scripture committee:
I was waiting to announce the scripture project. As I sat in the hall next to the auditorium, I asked the Lord, "Why me? Why am I announcing this? I'm nobody important. Why am I doing this?" He responded, "Because you're nobody important."
That's how we on the committee view ourselves. We don't consider ourselves in any way important.

Fixing the scriptures was carefully limited. Once the Lord gave the Answer to Prayer for Covenant, wherein He said to just do what we had currently planned, we determined not to go further. Also, we need to keep in mind that the Bible was a mess to begin with and we could only take it from very broken to less broken. At some point in the future the Lord intends to replace our current Old Testament and maintaining the significant differences between the brokenness of the current Bible and what we may receive in the future seems the most prudent. We've done the best we could with our time and manpower constraints. We had to get something out without taking 5 years to do so. There are still fixes to be completed and we apologize that the list isn't short.

JS struck through a lot of words in the JST, but did not get back to replacing most of them (or he did and we have no record of it), so Vol. 1-2 are simply our best effort to make the remaining text work. Some of it may seem awkward, but we’ll just have to live with it until something changes. Also, we had to leave some strike-throughs in place or some of the changed sentences wouldn’t make sense. Though we understand the words that were not removed were noted as incorrect by Joseph Smith, we chose to leave those words rather than to freelance.

Reminder: we were NOT given permission to update the archaic language in the Book of Mormon.

There is a Google doc called TYPOS AND ISSUES that tracks all of the fixes that people find and submit; it does it in real time. There is a link to it on the scriptures project blog in the SCRIPTURES box on the right. If you find what you think is an error in one of the volumes PLEASE check that document first to see if the problem has already been reported before emailing us. We update the document, then we update the text, and periodically we update the files, both on Amazon and scriptures.info. We have already made many of the fixes, and the books sold on Amazon today have those fixes incorporated. The second benefit of the tracking document is that you can make the fixes in your own copies right away.

Notifying us of any errors in the scriptures, including the scriptures found on scriptures.info, needs to happen by sending an email to restorationscriptures2017@gmail.com. That's because scriptures.info gets copies of the text that we correct. They use the same text we publish and update. They don't simply change their coding. This keeps the printed volumes and the website in sync.

Regarding changing any punctuation, we will only change punctuation if you can clearly demonstrate that the existing punctuation harms the meaning of the text or is a glaring grammatical problem. If you just don't like a comma there, that's probably a personal preference and you can use whiteout to kill it. If you want a comma added, you have a pen. But we have had a few instances, for example, where removing a comma improved the text noticeably and we implemented the change. I'm just saying that we are only changing what has to change.

Also, some issues get raised due to the funky language that is found in the volumes, particularly in the Book of Mormon. I’ve typically been the one researching those and if the funkiness is there because of Joseph and not an error on our part, we leave it alone, but add an explanation to the TYPOS AND ISSUES document so you can understand why it’s there and not report it again.

We will use a minimum of six months to find and implement all the fixes that this body can find and report so that the fancier, leather-bound edition of scriptures - in fact every published version - will be as good as it gets. And our hope is to get a fancy set produced by the end of the year.

Cover art - make of it what you will. The artist offers no explanations.

Glossary - not written by the committee. It was compiled using all of Denver’s written materials and then edited and added to by him during his review. If you want another term added to the glossary, be sure to follow the same guidelines that were used in compiling the original - the explanation must be composed of material from Denver Snuffer, Joseph Smith and the scriptures, and will be reviewed and edited by Denver.

Literary devices were used in the T&C - Wisdom, Eternal, etc. This was intentional. It was discussed with Denver and others prior to being implemented.

Revelations printed in JSH - if different from Sections, they are noted as [See Section X].

The reference "LE", meaning LDS Edition, can go away. [The error in this statement is that it may be needed when comparing other versions of the Book of Mormon to ours, for example.]

Online Research Versions will likely be the next project, followed by the publication of the committee’s emails.

Scriptures.info - almost all of the scriptures have been updated. As stated earlier, if you find an error in the text on scriptures.info, you need send an email to restorationscriptures2017@gmail.com. This site will become a great resource. I've already been contacted about adding things to the site, but it's not up to me or this committee what will be added or the guidelines for changes and additions. That is up to those who are designing and building the site. They set the guidelines. If you have ideas or suggestions or submissions, visit the scriptures.info CONTACT form.

Apps - The Android app is under active development. The iOS app is no longer available in the App Store in order to update the files. The problem is that the apps are dependent on the files handed to them by scriptures.info, which is dependent on the files we send them. Please be patient. Both apps will be called "RE Scriptures".

The T&C will hopefully be ready and available on scriptures.info by next weekend.

In closing, I'd like to note that it is very easy to second guess everything we've done with the scriptures. Given the thousands of emails, the literally years of combined man-hours, the dozens of conference calls and meetings, and the active participation of Denver whenever an issue or suggestion came up, you can know that all of our decisions were deliberate and intended to offer ALL of us the very best WORD possible, given our amateur limitations. We didn't know what we were getting into, what would be required, how it would evolve with new scripture, new resources and a new covenant, but it has been a treat to serve. Our committee thanks all of you for your help, your support, your patience and your prayers.

Amen.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Scriptures on Kindle

The attempt to publish the scriptures on Kindle resulted in poor ebooks. We have unpublished the Kindle versions for now and are working to provide ebook files for free and that will also work better as the source text for Kindle ebooks. Thanks ahead of time for our patience.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Request for Project Assistance

A group let by Bret Corbridge needs additional proofers to check cross-references in a project they are trying to have ready for the conference. If you have time and interest, send Bret an email at
truthworksnow@sopris.net

Thursday, March 15, 2018

T&C

Teachings and Commandments has been submitted to Amazon and should be available in the next day or two. The PDF of the T&C is downloadable from the link at right.

Also, The Old Covenants is now available on scriptures.info. It will take a few weeks to get the T&C up and running on that site.

We're particularly pleased about the expanded Appendix, including a glossary created from all of Denver's material and edited with his help, as well as gorgeous maps made specifically for us.

Monday, March 5, 2018

TRACKING FIXES

We have tried hard to catch every mistake, typo and issue in the published volumes of the scriptures. But we're only human. There have been a few found in The New Covenants. We are correcting them as they are found and the PDFs are being updated weekly. We are also updating the files on Amazon so that copies sold from that time forth have the fixes.

For those who don't want to consider buying a new copy at some point, but just want to make the corrections in their existing works, we are sharing the tracking document so that you can see what is being done and what is being left alone.

If you think you have found a typo or issue with the text, please check this document before notifying us. This link will also be found in the SCRIPTURES box in the right margin of this blog.

Typos & Issues Tracking Doc

Sunday, March 4, 2018

THE OLD COVENANTS

The Old Covenants has been sent to Amazon for publishing and will be available for purchase within the next few days. We've also updated the scriptures link on the right so you can download a copy of the PDF now. This volume also will be available soon on scriptures.info.

The T&C is very close to completion and we hope to have it for sale within the next week or so. It will be announced as soon as it goes to Amazon for processing.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Covenant Administration Update

As we are preparing to publish the Teachings and Commandments, an explanatory header was written for The Covenant, detailing how it is to be administered. Yesterday morning the explanation was expanded and we thought it important to share the expanded explanation as soon as possible:



SECTION 160

This is the covenant ordinance offered by the Lord to all who will receive it. Received by Denver Snuffer, Jr., July 2017, and presented for the first time in Boise, Idaho, 3 September 2017, at a Covenant of Christ conference. 

NOTE: This covenant can be received at any time, in any place, by any person who has accepted the Doctrine of Christ. Either an authorized priesthood holder who has previously received The Covenant can administer it, or the recording of the Boise Covenant of Christ Conference can be used. The believer receiving The Covenant should have the words of the Prayer for Covenant and Answer to Prayer for Covenant read to them, following which they have read to them The Covenant, and then comply with the directions therein, answering "Yes" out loud at the appropriate moment.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Fixing errors in the new publications

As emails come in pointing out printing errors, we are all over them. We have already dealt with perhaps a dozen (almost all are missing spaces between words). We then give an updated file to scriptures.info for them to update their text. We then upload a new file to CreateSpace so that the books sold on Amazon are fixed. We have just completed a round of these updates. The New Covenants was just now updated and it takes a couple days for that file to be ready on Amazon.

This means 2 things:
  1. If you haven't purchased The New Covenants yet, wait a couple days before you do that and your copy will not have the errors we've found so far.
  2. If you think you have found a printing error, CHECK FOR IT FIRST ON SCRIPTURES.INFO. If you don't find it there, it's already been found and fixed. You don't need to tell us about it.
Thanks for helping us improve the works.

Monday, January 8, 2018

WWW.SCRIPTURES.INFO update

The New Covenants, Vol. 2 of the scriptures that has recently been published, is now available on www.scriptures.info. Not only are they searchable, the ability for audio playback is also built into the site, including your choice of 4 different voices for the playback.

We recommend you take some time and poke around to discover the features offered to date. We understand more capability is planned for the site, but will leave it to the developers to surprise us when they are ready.

Many thanks to all who are contributing in many ways to the distribution and use of the scriptures.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Financial Transparency

We are following a recommendation that we disclose the royalties to date from the sale of scriptures. Here is a link to a statement showing all royalty payments to date:

STATEMENT (P.1)
STATEMENT (P.2)

We also are revising the plan for the use of the royalties. Because the leather-bound scriptures will not be using a print-on-demand service, ordering and shipping & handling will carry costs and require arrangements that will add costs to the volumes and that are beyond the committee's resources. We recommend that the royalty funds be used for handling the sale and distribution of the leather-bound sets when they become available.

Be aware that the cost of scriptures on Amazon are set at the lowest price Amazon will allow, as you can see below. The royalties are unavoidable: