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Royal Skousen's Analysis of 2013 Edition of the Book of Mormon

This is my analysis of the changes in the Book of Mormon text that the Church announced yesterday. I will be discussing these changes briefly in my lecture this coming Tuesday, March 5th, on the Book of Mormon editions. Actually, most of these changes appeared in the 2004 Doubleday edition, which I will be highlighting near the end of the lecture, just before I discuss the Yale edition, which most closely approximates what I believe the original dictated text to be.

As noted, most of these textual changes appeared earlier in the 2004 Doubleday edition. Any change that appears here for the first time is indicated by an exclamation mark (!).

Cases marked with a delta (Δ) means that the 2009 Yale edition differs. All the following changes in substantives are discussed in the critical text; see Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon (ATV), published by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in six parts from 2004 through 2009.

Changes in Substantives

  • ! comfortedest > comfortedst (2 Nephi 22:1)
    discussed in ATV 2:770
    the KJV has comfortedst
  • pleaded > pled (Alma 1:11)
    discussed in ATV 3:1581-82
  • Δ “becoming as Gods” > “becoming as gods” (Alma 12:31)
    discussed in ATV 3:1871-72
    1611 KJV had Gods, current KJV has gods
    internal evidence from Genesis 3:5 and Genesis 3:22 argues for Gods
  • restore “and so forth” at the end of the Helaman preface
    discussed in ATV 5:2877
    the Yale edition uses the original etc rather than the expansive “and so forth”
  • “the peoples’ sake” > “the people’s sake” (Helaman 13:17)
    discussed in ATV 5:3084
    people only in the singular in the Book of Mormon
  • put “I ordain you to be a teacher” in the parenthetical statement that begins with “or if he be a teacher” (Moroni 3:3)
    discussed in ATV 6:3894

Changes in Accidentals

Make the following systematic:

  • “House of Israel” > “house of Israel”
  • olive-tree > olive tree
  • to-day > today
  • !Δ “carried away in the spirit” > “carried away in the Spirit”
    Yale has spirit in this expression
  • first-born > firstborn
    Yale has first born (as well as last born)
    2013 LDS edition has firstborn but last-born
  • ! teil-tree > teil tree
  • three score > threescore
  • ! fir-trees > fir trees
  • Δ “Son of righteousness” > “Son of Righteousness”
    Yale has “Sun of righteousness”, as does the KJV
  • archaic past-tense spelling plead > pled
  • plural carcases > carcasses

Make the following minor changes in punctuation:

  • add a comma after pray in 2 Nephi 32:8
  • delete the comma after do in Alma 24:11
  • delete the comma after desires in Alma 29:4
  • replace the semicolon with a colon after men in Alma 56:13

All canonical prefaces are now set in roman type:

  • all extracanonical prefaces and “study helps” remain in italics
    the Yale edition omits all of these extracanonical items
  • this style change reverses John Gilbert’s 1830 decision
    the Yale edition retains the use of italics for the canonical prefaces
  • implied, but not stated regarding the 2013 edition:
    • since the Ether preface is extracanonical, it remains in italics!
      this preface was added in the 1920 LDS edition
      the Yale edition omits the 1920 Ether preface
      discussed in ATV 6:3715

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