This is the first fully annotated, academic edition of the Book of Mormon in its 200-year history. Modelled after the Oxford line of annotated Bibles, it provides readers with the information they need to understand this classic text of American religious history. This edition reformats the complete scriptural text in the manner of modern Bible translations with paragraphs, quotation marks, poetic stanzas, and section headings, all of which clarify the book's complicated narrative structure. As a result, readers experience a more accessible and readable presentation than the standard version. Annotations explain the meaning and context of specific passages, delineate extended arguments, identify rhetorical patterns, explore theological implications, highlight ancient and modern parallels, and point out intertextual connections, particularly with the Bible.
The Book of Mormon is subdivided into internal books; in this edition, each book is preceded by an introduction that discusses its key themes and literary features, at the same time offering a quick overview of major figures, events, and sermons. The three primary narrators--Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni--receive special attention. In addition to the annotations, which focus on the text itself, there are twelve general essays that introduce readers to various ongoing conversations about the text. There are also several maps and charts, as well as a comprehensive list of biblical quotations and allusions. The editorial material is informed by contemporary biblical and historical scholarship; while it deals forthrightly with both the strengths and weaknesses of the narrative, it nevertheless treats the Book of Mormon as a sacred text, worthy of careful study and respect.
Grant Hardy is Professor of History and Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He has written or edited seven books, including Worlds of Bronze and Bamboo: Sima Qian's Conquest of History; The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition; The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China (co-authored with Anne Kinney); The Oxford History of Historical Writing, Volume I: Beginnings to AD 600 (co-edited with Andrew Feldherr); and Understanding the Book of Mormon.