The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text by Prof. Royal Skousen, Joseph Smith

By Prof. Royal Skousen, Joseph Smith

First released in 1830, the e-book of Mormon is the authoritative scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its anticipated thirteen million contributors. over the last twenty-one years, editor Royal Skousen has pored over Joseph Smith's unique manuscripts and pointed out greater than 2,000 textual error within the 1830 variation. even supposing almost all these discrepancies stem from inadvertent blunders in copying and typesetting the textual content, the Yale variation comprises approximately six hundred corrections that experience by no means seemed in any general variation of the e-book of Mormon, and approximately 250 of them have an effect on the text's that means. Skousen's corrected textual content is a piece of exceptional commitment and may be a landmark in American non secular scholarship.

thoroughly redesigned and typeset via nationally award-winning typographer Jonathan Saltzman, this new version has been reformatted in sense-lines, making the textual content even more logical and enjoyable to learn. that includes a lucid creation via historian furnish Hardy, the Yale version serves not just because the such a lot actual model of the booklet of Mormon ever released but in addition as an illuminating entryway right into a very important non secular tradition.

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Additional resources for The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text

Sample text

11 And the Spirit saith unto me again: Behold, the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life. Yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord. And he also had taken away our property. 12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. 13 Behold, the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.

Corrections in the manuscript were usually made by the original scribe but, in a few cases, by the other scribes. Some punctuation, paragraph marks, and further corrections were later added by John Gilbert, the typesetter for the 1830 edition, to the one-sixth of the manuscript (from Helaman 13:17 to the end of Mormon) that was used as the copytext in setting the type for that edition. The rest of the manuscript remained as written, without punctuation or paragraph marks. Only 28 percent of the original manuscript is extant, including a large number of fragments.

Reordering the sentence makes its meaning clearer than punctuation could, but the constraints of remaining faithful to the original text did not allow me to restructure or reword sentences. The adoption of a sense-line format, however, proved to be an acceptable and valuable alternative. Another advantage of sense-lines is that they facilitate the smooth reading of the text. This typographical device, though seldom employed today, has a long history. As explained by Alberto Manguel in A History of Reading (New York: Viking Penguin, 1996), in manuscript production (prior to the widespread dissemination of Johannes Gutenberg’s letterpress printing process in the second half of the fifteenth century), “the monks in the scriptorium made use of a writing method known as per cola et commata, in which the text was divided into lines of sense—a primitive form of punctuation” (49).

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