Taking Note: Marking the Footnotes in the New LDS Edition of the Bible


One of the major features of the new LDS edition of the Bible is the inclusion of extensive footnotes, providing valuable information for all readers of this sacred scripture. These footnote entries might be divided into three major groupings as follows:

  1. 1.

    Footnote entries headed by or containing the following capitalized letters:

    1. a.

      “GR”—Indicating alternate translations from the Greek language. Inasmuch as the New Testament comes to us primarily from the Greek, these alternate translations add significantly to a better understanding of the New Testament.

    2. b.

      “HEB”—Indicating alternate translations from the Hebrew. The Old Testament comes to us primarily from the Hebrew language or languages closely associated with Hebrew. Thus, the numerous alternate translations from Hebrew add greatly to a better understanding of the Old Testament.

    3. c.

      “IE”—Indicating explanations of idioms and difficult constructions. Every language contains idioms or idiomatic expressions that, by definition, indicate the meaning is peculiar to a particular group. Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines an idiom as “having a meaning that cannot be derived as a whole from the conjoined meaning of its elements.” The Bible contains hundreds of idioms, and an understanding of their real meaning is critical to a better understanding of that holy scripture. Many of these explanations are included in the footnotes in the new LDS edition.

    4. d.

      “JST”—Indicating excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation. Latter-day Saints are extremely interested in materials from the Joseph Smith Translation, also known by such designations as the Inspired Translation, Inspired Version, Inspired Revision, and the New Translation. Hundreds of short excerpts from the JST have been included in the footnotes to help explain difficult or ambiguous biblical passages. Longer excerpts from the JST are included in a special section of the Appendix.

    5. e.

      “TG”—Indicating references to the Topical Guide section of the Appendix. An important feature of the new LDS edition of the Bible is the inclusion of the “Topical Guide with Selected Concordance and Index” to the scriptures of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This 598-page section includes over 2,800 separate alphabetical entries of subjects of interest to Latter-day Saints, including pertinent references from all the standard works. Thousands of footnote entries refer the reader of the Bible to the appropriate entry in the Topical Guide.

    6. f.

      “OR”—Indicating a clarification of archaic English expressions. Many English words have changed meanings since the King James Version was first printed in 1611. Footnote entries with the capitalized word OR help to clarify in modern English what was meant by a particular English word when it was used originally.

  2. 2.

    Footnote entries containing cross-references to other scriptures.

    This new edition of the Bible contains, for the first time, cross references to the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. These references, together with the references included under the Topical Guide entries, provide both students and scholars of the Bible with an excellent cross-referencing system.

  3. 3.

    Footnote entries containing editorial notes.

    Teachings of modern prophets and research of current scholars are included in many footnotes to help clarify some of the more difficult passages in the Bible.

As helpful as the footnotes are in their present form, they could become even more helpful if they were meaningfully marked so they could be readily identified. A simple and inexpensive marking system would be to use a distinctive color to identify all footnote entries of a particular type. An important principle of color marking to keep in mind is that the colors should be meaningful to you so you can quickly remember which color is used to mark which type of footnote. Then as you use your Bible, you will easily and quickly identify all of the footnotes by the colors used to mark them.

For example, let’s assume you are wondering what color to use in marking GR footnotes (alternate translation from the Greek). Let’s assume further that when you think of a color in regard to GR—Greek, you automatically think of GReen. You might then decide to mark all GR (Greek) footnote entries in green.

Using similar thought patterns, you might also decide to mark the TG footnotes in tan or brown (TG—“tan ground”) and the OR footnotes in orange.

Possibilities for marking the other footnote entries headed by capitalized letters would be:

  1. 1.

    Use blue for the HEB footnotes (alternate translations from the Hebrew).

    The rationale might be that the Hebrews were a chosen people of God, and a blue ribbon stands for first place. Or, you might associate Israelites with Hebrews and then remember the blue Star of David on the flag of Israel.

  2. 2.

    Use yellow for IE footnotes (clarification or explanation of idioms and difficult constructions).

    Your thinking might be, yellow represents “new light or better understanding.”

  3. 3.

    Use red for JST footnote entries (excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation).

    Your rationale might be that you want to mark these important references in a bright, distinctive color, and red comes immediately to mind.

If you should decide to use these particular colors to mark the footnote entries containing capitalized letters or words, a page containing such footnotes might be marked as follows:

Now, what about marking systems for the other two major types of footnotes: cross-references to other scriptures, and editorial notes?

Most of the footnote entries include cross-references to other scriptures. Thus, any marking system involving the coloring of such references should be limited; otherwise the footnote sections would have so many colored entries that some of the basic principles of effective marking (quick location and identification) would be lost. Perhaps such references should be marked or colored only to accomplish special purposes, such as indicating scriptural references essential to the full understanding of the passage, or identifying references from certain of the modern scriptures.

Footnote entries containing editorial notes might be quickly identified once they are blocked in a distinctive color. If that color were pink, such a footnote entry would appear as follows:

The following list provides you with the pages containing editorial notes in footnote entries; the number in parentheses indicates more than one such entry on that particular page. This list should save you a great deal of time in locating such footnotes in case you decide to mark them:

8

346

597

882

1192

9

350

605

886

1193

21

356

1198

890

1197

23

366

650 (3)

892 (2)

1198

26

380

651

917

1216

29

383

652

941

1227

44

384

653

1028

1241

46 (2)

402

658

1051

1269

52

418

744

1055

1272

56

422

819

1066

1328

73

427

839

1068 (2)

1331

75 (2)

432

858

1080

1332

76

440

864

1101

1342

84

461

865

1102

1378

86

462

869

1104 (2)

1416

93

465

872

1109 (2)

1460

177

471

873

1112

1564

190

479

874

1161

1576 (2)

199

486

875 (3)

1166 (2)

 

286

487

877 (2)

1187

 

316

491

878 (3)

1189

 

322

552 (2)

880

   

A next question might be, what is the best procedure to follow in marking or coloring footnote entries? One effective way would be to read the Bible completely through from beginning to end, and then mark the footnotes as they apply. This method would take considerable time, however, and might even detract from the effectiveness of reading the scriptures inasmuch as you would be trying to accomplish several things at the same time.

Another method of marking the footnotes would be to go through the footnote sections only, page by page, without paying any attention to the text. This would be a speedy method but would not be the best learning procedure.

A third method, and the one recommended here, would be to read through the footnote sections, page by page, but at the same time to read the verse in the text leading to that particular footnote. Then you could mark or color the following elements pertaining to each footnote:

  1. 1.

    The superscript (small superscribed or raised letter) in the text leading to the footnote entry.

  2. 2.

    The corresponding letter in the footnote which will always be listed after the corresponding verse number.

  3. 3.

    The capitalized letters or word, or other pertinent material in the footnote.

The following lists are provided to help you locate quickly all the footnote entries beginning with or containing the capitalized letters or words GR, HEB, IE, JST and OR. These lists should be of great assistance in locating and marking all such footnotes. No corresponding list has been prepared for the TG (Topical Guide) entries because they are so numerous they are found on virtually every page. Thus you might decide not to mark the TG entries at all, or simply to underline the capitalized letters TG in tan or brown.

Location of GR Footnotes

Inasmuch as the King James text of the New Testament is taken primarily from Greek texts, the GR footnote entries (alternate translations from the Greek) are very important to an understanding of the New Testament. The first list below indicates the number of GR footnote entries in each of the 27 books of the New Testament (there are no GR footnotes in the Old Testament).

Matt., 190

Eph., 4

Heb., 53

Mark, 47

Philip., 23

James, 25

Luke, 109

Col., 9

1 Pet., 30

John, 28

1 Thes., 24

2 Pet., 15

Acts, 52

2 Thes., 13

1 Jn., 16

Rom., 131

1 Tim., 54

2 Jn., 1

1 Cor., 123

2 Tim., 28

3 Jn., 1

2 Cor., 20

Titus, 24

Jude, 2

Gal., 29

Philem., 5

Rev., 19

The next list identifies pages of the Bible containing GR footnote entries (alternate translations from the Greek). Each of the following pages has at least one GR footnote entry; some of the pages have as many as 11 entries (see, for example, p. 1518). This list should be of assistance in marking GR footnotes.

1187–1215

1310–28

1379

1483–85

1217–46

1330

1381–83

1488–1526

1248–52

1332–34

1386

1528–35

1254–58

1337

1390

1537–42

1260

1339

1393

1544–48

1267–68

1342

1395–96

1550–65

1270–78

1345–47

1398

1568–71

1280–87

1349

1400–1403

1574

1289–90

1351–56

1407–64

1577

1292

1360

1466–68

1579

1294–95

1363

1470–71

1581–83

1297–1306

1366–69

1473–79

1588

1308

1371–76

1481

 

Location of HEB Footnotes

Since the Old Testament text in the King James version is taken primarily from earlier Hebrew texts, the HEB footnote entries (alternate translations from the Hebrew) in the Bible are very important to an understanding of the Old Testament text.

The first list below indicates the number of HEB footnotes in each of the 39 books of the Old Testament (only two books of the New Testament—Romans and Hebrews—have HEB footnotes, and they have only one footnote each).

Gen., 70

1 Kgs., 33

Eccl., 5

Obad., 0

Ex., 111

2 Kgs., 7

Song., 0

Jonah, 2

Lev., 102

1 Chr., 2

Isa., 143

Micah, 4

Num., 86

2 Chr., 29

Jer., 78

Nahum, 5

Deut., 165

Ezra, 6

Lam., 0

Hab., 4

Josh., 28

Neh., 2

Ezek., 90

Zeph., 3

Judg., 46

Esth., 2

Dan., 13

Hag., 1

Ruth, 2

Job, 33

Hosea, 13

Zech., 13

1 Sam., 13

Ps., 74

Joel, 6

Mal., 1

2 Sam., 17

Prov., 10

Amos, 5

 

The next list identifies pages of the Bible containing HEB footnotes. Each of the following pages has at least one HEB footnote entry; some of them have as many as eight entries (see, for example, p. 175). This list should be of assistance in marking HEB footnotes.

Old Testament

1–7

240

495

733

955–57

10

242–43

498–99

735

960–65

12–17

246–49

501–2

737–38

969

19–20

251–58

505–6

742

971

22–23

260–63

509

744

974

26–27

265–99

512

751

981–82

31

301–14

521

754

984–85

33–35

316–17

524

756

989–91

37

319–21

527

761

993–94

39–42

328–29

546

763

996–99

45–49

331–32

559

765–78

1001–2

54

334–35

561

782–87

1004

56–58

344

587–88

792–93

1006–12

73

346–54

591

796–97

1014

75

356–65

593–96

801–2

1016–17

79–81

370–71

600–602

805

1019

83–86

373

604

808–11

1027–29

88

375

608–9

819

1031

90–95

377–78

616–18

825

1035–36

97–103

383–84

623–33

829

1039–40

105–6

390

627–28

832

1042–47

108–12

393

630

836

1049–51

114

396

632–33

838

1055–56

116–19

401

636

843

1058

121–29

407

638

846

1060–61

131–36

413–15

643

848

1064–71

138–40

418

645

851

1073

142–46

432

647–48

856

1075–85

148

433–34

654

861–67

1088

151

436–39

672

869–74

1097

153–59

441

675

876–90

1099–1101

161–67

445

680–83

892–93

1113–14

169–70

448–49

685–89

895–910

1117–20

174–88

451

692–95

913–14

1123–29

195–201

453

698–700

918–19

1132–36

203

457–58

702–3

923–25

1140–42

205–6

463–64

705

927–28

1144–45

208–11

468

708

930–31

1149–53

213–14

471–72

710–12

933–36

1157–61

216–17

477–78

714–16

938–39

1163–66

220–22

482–84

718–19

941–42

1169–70

224–29

487

721

944–46

1172

231–34

491

723–26

948

1174–75

237–38

493

731

952–53

1179–81

New Testament

1429

       

1522

       

Location of IE Footnotes

The following list identifies the pages containing at least one IE footnote entry (an explanation of idioms and difficult constructions). This list should be helpful in marking the IE footnote entries.

Old Testament

4

267

590–91

944–45

9

271

594

948–49

14–15

276–83

596–98

952

21–23

286

600–601

958–59

27

288–91

603–6

962

30–33

293

610–11

965

36

298

613

969

38–41

305

615–16

972

43–45

308–9

620

975

49

311–12

622–23

984

51–52

314–16

625

988

54–56

318

627

991

72

329

631

1001

77–78

332–33

634

1004

80–81

342

638–39

1011

87

350

641

1013

89

354

643

1016

95–96

356

645

1019

98–99

359

649–51

1027

101–2

362

655

1030–32

105–6

365–67

683

1036–37

108–11

369–70

685

1040–41

113

373

691–92

1044

115

375

726

1053–56

118

377–79

729

1059–60

120

382

731

1064

127–28

384–85

733

1067

135–37

388

740

1069

139

391

751

1071

141–42

393–95

755–56

1074

148

398–401

769–70

1084

150–51

403

781

1090

153

405

783–84

1093

155

409

787

1097

163

416

793

1100–1101

165

418

795

1105

170

420

803

1107

174–77

422–23

806

1110

179–81

425

816

1112

187–88

428

818

1114–15

193

434–36

825–26

1117–18

195

439

828–29

1120

198

455

832–33

1122–27

201–2

463

835–36

1129

207

470

839–40

1131–33

212

472–73

842

1139–42

214

475

844–45

1148–49

220

479

853–54

1151–52

222

481–82

856–57

1154–55

224

491–92

862–77

1158

226–28

502

879–89

1163–64

232–33

506

892–906

1167–68

236

515

909–21

1170

248–49

523

923–24

1176

255–57

542–43

929–33

1180–81

259–62

547

935–37

 

264

588

939–40

 

New Testament

1188–89

1217

1319

1429–30

1192–93

1219

1322

1436

1195

1226

1355

1443

1205

1231

1377

1456

1209

1239

1386

1458

1212

1280

1413

1572

1215

1301

1416

 

Location of JST Excerpts

The following list indicates the number of JST excerpts found in the LDS edition of the Bible:

Old Testament

Gen., 28

1 Kgs., 8

Eccl., 0

Obad., 0

Ex., 29

2 Kgs., 0

Song., 0

Jonah, 2

Lev., 0

1 Chr., 1

Isa., 6

Micah, 0

Num., 1

2 Chr., 2

Jer., 5

Nahum, 0

Deut., 3

Ezra, 0

Lam., 0

Hab., 0

Josh., 0

Neh., 2

Ezek., 2

Zeph., 0

Judg., 0

Esth., 0

Dan., 1

Hag., 0

Ruth, 0

Job, 2

Hosea, 1

Zech., 2

1 Sam., 6

Ps., 12

Joel, 2

Mal., 0

2 Sam., 1

Prov., 1

Amos, 4

 

New Testament

Matt., 81

2 Cor., 6

1 Tim., 5

2 Pet., 4

Mark, 38

Gal., 2

2 Tim., 2

1 Jn., 11

Luke, 65

Eph., 1

Titus, 2

2 Jn., 0

John, 38

Philip., 4

Philem., 0

3 Jn., 0

Acts, 13

Col., 3

Heb., 22

Jude, 2

Rom., 24

1 Thes., 4

James, 7

Rev., 20

1 Cor., 25

2 Thes., 4

1 Pet., 8

 

The following list identifies the pages of the Bible containing at least one JST footnote entry. This list should be helpful in marking those footnote entries.

Old Testament

10

99–100

484

746

1058–59

12–14

106

486

787

1109

19–26

113–114

489

805–06

1130

30

130

492

830

1134–35

33–34

133–34

575

895

1139

60–61

219

607

901

1143

74

270

662

912

1149

78

277

679–80

925

1173–74

81

402

719–21

934

 

84

404–5

725

937

 

86–88

408

728

978

 

91–94

441

731–32

983

 

New Testament

1187–99

1303–5

1406–7

1503–4

 

1201

1307–10

1416

1507–8

 

1204–11

1312

1419–21

1510

 

1216–18

1314

1423–24

1512

 

1220–21

1316–18

1426–28

1515–16

 

1223–29

1321–22

1433

1518

 

1232

1324

1435

1521

 

1235

1326–31

1437

1524–28

 

1237

1334–39

1439–43

1530–32

 

1239–42

1342–44

1445–47

1534

 

1245–48

1346–47

1450

1538–40

 

1251

1349

1452

1544

 

1253

1351

1454

1547–49

 

1255–59

1354

1456

1552

 

1261

1356

1458

1554–56

 

1263

1361–63

1460

1558–59

 

1266–68

1366

1464–65

1561

 

1270–72

1368

1471

1563–66

 

1275

1370

1473–74

1568

 

1277–82

1373–74

1476

1570–72

 

1284

1378

1485

1575

 

1288–89

1381

1489

1577–78

 

1291–92

1390

1491–95

1585–86

 

1294

1397

1498

   

1296–1300

1401

1501

   

Location of OR Footnotes

The following list identifies pages in the new LDS edition of the Bible containing at least one footnote entry marked OR (alternate words clarifying the meaning of archaic English expressions). This list should be helpful in marking OR footnote entries:

Old Testament

3–5

363

635–36

921

7

366–68

638

923–26

11–15

371–74

640

931–34

18–20

378–82

642–46

936–37

24

384

648–59

939

28

387–93

661–63

942–48

30–31

395

665–68

950–51

38

398–400

682–86

954–55

43

403

688

957

46–47

406

691–92

959

50–52

409

694

961

74–75

413–19

698

963–64

78–86

423

700–702

966–70

88–105

428

704

973–75

107–145

430–31

709–10

979–87

147

433

712–13

990–91

149–50

450

716

993–96

161–62

452

720–23

998

170

456

728–32

1000–1001

172–73

458–59

738–41

1006

176

463

744

1009–20

178

467–72

746

1029–31

182

476

748–55

1034

184

478

763

1036–38

186–87

487–88

765

1040–41

190

490

767

1045

193–97

492

769–71

1047–48

200–203

495–96

774

1051–52

211

498

779

1054–56

213

500–501

781

1060

217

504

786–87

1062–63

220

510

795

1067–68

222–25

513

799–800

1076

227–30

515

802

1079

232–34

517

805

1081

236

525–26

808

1084–98

238–41

529

810–16

1100–1101

243–51

535

818–21

1104–8

257

539

827

1110–11

259–61

541

830

1113–15

264–74

563

832–41

1119–21

277–83

565

845–54

1124–28

285–94

587–94

856–57

1130–31

296–302

596–97

859

1133

304–8

600–601

861–62

1135–37

310

603

865–68

1140

312–14

605

870–81

1142–43

317–31

608–13

884

1150–51

333

615

886–92

1155

337

617

895–96

1158–66

343

619

898–902

1176–78

347–51

622

904–5

1180–81

353

625–29

907

1183–84

357

631–33

909–18

 

New Testament

1243

1280–82

1370

1395

1246

1292

1373

1397–1400

1248–53

1304

1376–77

1402

1274

1322–24

1379

1406–7

1276–78

1330

1386–87

1549

[photos] Photos by Eldon K. Linschoten