The Nature of the Original Text (Book of Mormon Lecture, 3 of 3)


The Nature of the Original Text (Book of Mormon Lecture, 3 of 3)

Publication Type


Year of Publication



Skousen, Royal (Primary)

Date Published



Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Place Published

Provo, UT

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Skousen, Royal. "The Nature of the Original Text (Book of Mormon Lecture, 3 of 3)", Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2013.


Royal Skousen, "The Nature of the Original Text" (Book of Mormon lecture, 3 of 3), March 12, 2013. In 2013 the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies sponsored three illustrated lectures by Brigham Young University Professor Royal Skousen called "25 Years of Research: What We Have Learned About the Book of Mormon Text." Professor Skousen has spent a full quarter of a century studying the original and printer's manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. In this final lecture Skousen discusses the nature of the original text as suggested by the overall Critical Text Project. He argues that the original text shows word-for-word control based on multiple factors: (a) Its Hebrew-like expressions, (b) a large number of lexical meanings and nonstandard grammatical constructions dating from the 1500s and 1600s, (c) its use of 131 instances of fully consistent expressions, (d) identical non-biblical citations from elsewhere in the text, and (e) the letter-for-letter spelling of Book of Mormon names. Finally, he argues that conjectural emendations were made in the proposed original text, but much less frequently than in all subsequent editions of the Book of Mormon. Skousen is introduced by Daniel C. Peterson, BYU professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic.

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