The Project

THE BYU NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY

Almost sixty years ago, President J. Reuben Clark wrote, “[I hope to] provoke in some qualified scholars having a proper Gospel background, the desire and determination to go over the manuscripts and furnish us, under the influence and direction of the Holy Ghost, a translation of the New Testament that will give us an accurate translation that shall be pregnant with the great principles of the Restored Gospel. We shall then have a reliable record of the doings and sayings of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.” (Why the King James Version [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1956], viii–ix).

A team of Latter-day Saint scholars has joined forces to produce a multi-volume commentary on the New Testament with a new rendition of the Greek texts of the New Testament books. Planned to take several years to complete, this multi-volume series will combine the best of ancient linguistic and historical scholarship with Latter-day Saint doctrinal perspectives. The BYU New Testament Commentary will make extensive use of research in Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Coptic, and other languages, but the final product will be accessible to a general readership.

With a rapidly growing number of studies on the New Testament, the time has come to offer a responsible, carefully researched, multi-volume commentary that illuminates both the historical and cultural settings as well as the linguistic heritage of this scripture for Latter-day Saints. A virtual river of discoveries during the past one-hundred years in the Near Eastern and the Mediterranean regions highlights the need to bring together information that not only elucidates the New Testament documents but also unpacks their rich legacy for all readers.

A number of scholars make up the editorial steering committee and bring many talents and resources together in organizing and overseeing this project. Their fields of study include early Christian history, prophetic and apocalyptic literature, Greek and Latin languages and literatures, Roman religion and history, Jewish religion and history, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient law.

This commentary will be the first to combine such a breadth of scholarly expertise in the New Testament coupled with Mormon scripture.  The series will examine each book in the New Testament almost word by word, exploring relationships between the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.