LDS edition of the Bible

The LDS edition of the Bible is a version of the Bible published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The text of the LDS Church's English-language Bible is the Authorized King James Version; the church's Spanish-language Bible is a revised Reina-Valera translation and the Portuguese-language edition is based on the Almeida translation. The editions include footnoting, indexing, and summaries that are consistent with LDS Church teachings and that integrate the Bible with the church's other standard works. The LDS Church encourages its members to use the LDS Church edition of the Bible.

LDS edition of the Bible
Full nameHoly Bible King James Version (English)
Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera 2009 (Spanish)
Bíblia Sagrada, Almeida 2015 (Portuguese)
LanguageEnglish, Spanish, and Portuguese
Complete Bible
1979 (English)
2009 (Spanish)
2015 (Portuguese)
Textual basisKing James Version (English)
Reina-Valera (Spanish)
João Ferreira de Almeida's translation (Portuguese)
Religious affiliationThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The eighth Article of Faith of the church states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly".[1] This statement is somewhat problematic since Biblical scriptures still exist in their original languages and translations can be checked and corrected. Some argue that here "translation" actually means the entire process of transmission, not merely the conversion of extant Greek and Hebrew into modern language. Others claim that the exact meanings of certain ancient words have been obscured over time and the interpretations of scriptures distorted beyond scholarly repair.[2]

English-language King James Version editionEdit

Quadruple combination (Bible & other Standard Works) opened to the Book of Isaiah - note the cross references between Biblical and Latter-day Saint scripture in the footnotes

In 1979, the LDS Church published its first edition of the Bible in English.[3][4] The text of the Bible is that of the Authorized King James Version.[3][5] Both the Old and New Testaments are included, but the Apocrypha is not. Each chapter includes a paragraph-long heading that summarizes the contents of the chapter from a "Mormon perspective".[5] Cross-referencing footnotes to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price are included, as is an LDS-oriented 600-page topical index and the church's Bible Dictionary.[3][5] Selected references to the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible are included in footnotes, with longer excerpts included in an appendix.[5] Lastly, the edition contains bible maps and a gazetteer.[3] In 1999, color photographs from the Holy Land were added. None of the LDS-specific supplements in the edition claim doctrinal authority: only the text of the King James Version (and the other standard works) is considered canonical by the LDS Church.[5]

The publication of the English-language LDS Church edition of the Bible was overseen by apostle Thomas S. Monson, who later became the President of the Church. The English-language edition has been described as portraying a "strongly conservative" version of Mormonism that is largely reflective of the theological positions of apostle Bruce R. McConkie,[5] who assisted Monson in editing the work and wrote the chapter headings.[3]

In 1992, the church's First Presidency announced the King James Version was the church's official English Bible, stating "[w]hile other Bible versions may be easier to read than the King James Version, in doctrinal matters latter-day revelation supports the King James Version in preference to other English translations."[6] In 2010, this statement was written into the church's Handbook, which directs official church policy and programs.[7][8]

Spanish-language Reina-Valera editionEdit

In 2009, the LDS Church published a Spanish-language edition of the Bible.[9] Entitled Santa Biblia: Reina-Valera 2009, the text of the Bible is based on the 1909 version of the Reina-Valera translation.[10][11] Changes to the text included modernization of grammar and vocabulary.[10] Like the English-language edition, the Spanish-language edition includes LDS-oriented footnotes and chapter headings, as well as a topical index.[10] The church's Spanish-language Bible project was supervised by general authorities Jay E. Jensen and Lynn A. Mickelsen.[11] In 2010, the church's Handbook was modified to state: "Spanish-speaking members should use the Latter-day Saint edition of the Reina-Valera Bible."[8]

Portuguese-language Almeida editionEdit

In 2015, the LDS Church released a new Portuguese-language edition of the Bible, a revision of the edited and corrected 1914 edition of the João Ferreira de Almeida translation.[12] This version was initially released electronically, and became available in print in March 2016.[13]

Other languagesEdit

As of 2015, the LDS Church does not publish Bibles in any other languages besides English, Spanish and Portuguese. However, as stated in the Handbook, "[i]n many other non-English languages, the Church has approved a non–Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible for use in Church meetings and classes."[8]


  1. ^ Articles of Faith 1:8, Pearl of Great Price.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e Robert J. Matthews, "The New Publications of the Standard Works—1979, 1981" Archived 2013-10-21 at the Wayback Machine, BYU Studies, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 387–424 (Fall 1982).
  4. ^ Lavina Fielding Anderson, “Church Publishes First LDS Edition of the Bible”, Ensign, October 1979, p. 9.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Philip L. Barlow (1997). "The New LDS Edition of the Scriptures", in Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-day Saints in American Religion (New York: Oxford University Press) pp. 205–214.
  6. ^ "First Presidency Statement on the King James Version of the Bible", Ensign: 80, August 1992
  7. ^ Stack, Peggy Fletcher (February 18, 2011). "LDS sticking with King James Version". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  8. ^ a b c "§21.1.7 Bible", Handbook 2: Administering the Church, LDS Church, 2010
  9. ^ "LDS Church releases Spanish-language Bible" Archived 2009-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, Salt Lake Tribune, 17 September 2009.
  10. ^ a b c "LDS Edition of The Holy Bible in Spanish". churchofjesuschrist.orgg. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  11. ^ a b Scott Taylor, "LDS Church publishes new Spanish-language Bible", Deseret News, 13 September 2009.
  12. ^ "LDS Edition of Bible in Portuguese", Liahona, November 2015.
  13. ^ Michael Morris, "President Eyring Announces 'Great Blessing' for Portuguese-Speaking Saints",, 15 September 2015.


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

English-language edition
Spanish-language edition
Portuguese-language edition
Other media