Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel


Joshua M. Sears


Study Bible, translation

Document Type



Latter-day Saints revere the Bible as “the bedrock of all Christianity” and are instructed to feast upon its teachings regularly.2Although Latter-day Saints appreciate so much about the Bible, many struggle with some of its language and its deeply contextual messages. Fortunately, special editions known as study Bibles can help make the Old and New Testaments much clearer. There are many kinds of study Bibles, but for present purposes we will define them as an edition of the Bible featuring a modern English translation and sophisticated, context-focused study aids—including book introductions, footnotes, and appendixes—that provide textual, historical, cultural, literary, linguistic, and theological insights about the biblical text.3 Because many Latter-day Saints may not be familiar with these kinds of Bibles, in this article I will describe what study Bibles are and the benefits they offer readers. I will also give suggestions for choosing a study Bible and discuss how these Bibles might be used to supplement one’s study of the official Bible editions published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day revelation instructs that we utilize the “best books” to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118), and I recommend study Bibles as among the “best” resources available to help us study the scriptures.