Short Review: The Joseph Smith Papers Revelations and Translations (first volume in the series)

Just a short review of the R&T volume. I’ve been so busy with school matters that if I don’t do it now, I’ll forget again. (I’ve altered some of the verbiage here to correspond with Constance Lewis’s comment below.)

This volume: 23x40cm, you’ll need to use the tall shelf. Weighing in at 7lbs 10oz, you won’t want to take it jogging or haul it in the brief case very far. There are 707 standard pages, with front matter numbered in Roman. Pages are of high quality matte finish acid free paper. Color and format of the dust jacket follows the initial volume of the Papers, volume 1 of the journals series. At $99.95 retail, a bargain.

The top of the front cover reads, “Facsimile Edition.” The inscription reads, ” In Memory of Larry H. Miller Friend, Counselor, Benefactor 1944-2009.”

Volume editors are listed as

Robin Scott Jensen
Robert J. Woodford
Steven C. Harper

The book contains two ms revelation books (book 1 and book 2 as they are designated) and begins with detailed contents pages which includes titles and bracketed D&C section numbers they correspond to. For example in Revelation Book 1 the first entry is

Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3] Whitmer 9

The name Whitmer refers to the scribe (John Whitmer), the digit is the page number in the present book (not the ms page).

At page 9 we see that the facing page (8) contains a high resolution color photograph (with a Hasselblad H3DII-39/Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 lens – document original images can resolve to individual paper fibers) of the ms volume, while page 9 has a typo-facsimile of the same page. Alterations of the ms are identified with a color code, the legend of which is in the (generous) right hand margin of page 9. Erasures and other matters are noted with standard footnotes also in the right hand margin.

Editors of the original book 1 (book 2 is the Kirtland Revelation Book) include Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps, Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, John Whitmer. Unidentified alterations are coded in red.

This book will be the foundation of considerable scholarship. It is a stunningly handsome yet understated volume. A major coup for the Church Historian’s Press.

Get one!


6 Responses to Short Review: The Joseph Smith Papers Revelations and Translations (first volume in the series)

  1. boaporg says:

    I will say, the color coding idea is brilliant, mostly because I decided to use it in the funeral sermon book a couple of years ago! haha. By the way, now working on chapter 3. That will put me half way through.

  2. David G. says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m looking forward to my copy.

  3. J. Stapley says:

    Nice. And great to hear about your progress!

  4. Constance Palmer Lewis says:

    Thanks for your nice description of the new JSP book. Please note that the title is The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations and Translations: Manuscript Revelation Books (Facsimile edition). I know that’s a mouthful, but getting it right will make it easier to differentiate it from future volumes. By the way, although Manuscript Revelation Books is the first volume in the Revelations and Translations series, its title does not include “volume 1.” Only a few of the volumes in The Joseph Smith Papers will be facsimile editions, and those will not carry a volume number.

  5. W. V. Smith says:

    Thanks for dropping by Constance, and thanks for noting details about this volume. (For those who don’t know, Constance is a copy editor for the JSPP. We’re honored.)

  6. Pingback: Printing the Sermons of Joseph Smith «'s Blog

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