How Often Would I Have Gathered You is no ordinary book of Bible stories. It contains 229 very readable and engaging Old Testament stories, written especially for adults and young adults. These great Old Testament stories are told in chronological sequence—to the extent possible—and take the reader on a meaningful and exciting journey through the Old Testament–beginning with the Grand Council (as told in the Pearl of Great Price) and concluding after the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon to rebuild the temple.
As you read these inspiring stories, you will delve into the lives of the kings, prophets, and ordinary people of the Old Testament. You will rediscover the favorite Bible stories from your childhood and also delight in other, less familiar, stories of faith and devotion. The stories are in modern English and a comfortable, reverent writing style. They are simple without being simplistic and true to the scriptural account without embellishment.
As good as these stories are, reading them is no substitute for reading the Old Testament itself; you will want to use How Often Would I Have Gathered You and the scriptures together. This approach will help bring the Bible to life and enhance your understanding. Not only will you understand the Old Testament better than ever before, you will also gain a greater appreciation for this great book of ancient scripture as the word of God and for its important place in our religious tradition. You will come to understand it and to love it.
How is this book different from other books of Old Testament stories?
- The stories are written for adults and young adults rather than children. (Note: Though the stories are written primarily for adults, they are also a valuable aid for parents who want to teach their children about the stories of the Old Testament.)
- The book is more comprehensive than any other book of Old Testament/Bible stories that we know of. It includes many wonderful, rarely-told and little-known stories.
- The stories contain information and perspectives from non-Old Testament sources, especially the Pearl of Great Price; the Book of Mormon; and the works of Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian. The Joseph Smith Translation (JST), the Doctrine and Covenants, and other LDS scripture-study aids have also been used.
- The King James translators replaced the name Jehovah in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament with the term “the LORD,” putting LORD in small capital letters. How Often Would I Have Gathered You takes “the LORD” out of the account and puts Jehovah back in—with significant effect. (Note: It should be explained that the ancient Jews neither spoke nor wrote the name YHWH [which we now pronounce as Jehovah) because it was too sacred. The writers of the Masoretic text [the authoritative Hebrew text] instead used dots [. . . .] or wrote the name “Adonai” [which means “lord”] in its place.)
- The stories are all told in modern English, except for the use of the old-style pronouns w(Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine and their related verbs) when talking about Deity.
- Unlike a translation of the Old Testament, How Often… does not go through every word and every verse–or even every thought. It includes only what is relevant to each story—leaving out those parts where most of us get bogged down. Some stories cover only a few verses; others cover (in much less—but essential—detail) entire books.
- Insofar as we can tell, no other collection of Old Testament stories provides more than just glimpses into the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah during the period of the divided monarchy, after Solomon. These stories—in parts 9, 10, and 11 of the book–provide the help you need to better understand these kings, their reigns, their interface with the prophets, and this significant period of Old Testament history.
Other significant features:
- Extensive Footnotes (not end notes) give helpful insights and background to the stories, as well as cross references between related stories in the book.
- Original Illustrations by Owen Richardson.
- Chart of the kings of Judah and Israel during the divided monarchy–showing how they related to each other time-wise, when each reigned, where accounts of them are found in the scriptures, and which stories in the book relate to each one.
- Maps to provide geographical perspective.
- An extensive pronunciation guide.
- A bibliography.
- A name index.
- A subject index.
Why did I publish a Second Edition?
- Some stories have been enhanced by new insights.
- The scope of some stories has been expanded to include other important details.
- Inadvertent errors in a few stories have been corrected.
- Factual errors in some stories have been corrected on the basis of additional information.
- The language in many of the stories has been tightened up and clarified. Many verbal redundancies have been eliminated.
- The book is printed in a larger typeface that is easier to read than the first edition.
- Many more new footnotes have been added to provide greater insight into the stories.
- Several existing footnotes were expanded to provide more information.
The Old Testament: understand it, love it!
Take a Look Inside and read some sample stories
1st Edition Awards