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Textual Criticism and the Book of Mormon

Textual Criticism and the Book of Mormon

(p.37) 3 Textual Criticism and the Book of Mormon
Foundational Texts of Mormonism
Grant Hardy
Oxford University Press

The last several decades have seen the emergence of academically rigorous textual criticism of the Book of Mormon. This scholarly development has largely been based on a detailed analysis of the two earliest manuscripts and twenty of the most significant printed editions. Royal Skousen, a linguist at Brigham Young University, has been the driving force behind these efforts, which have culminated in the publication of multi-volume textual commentaries, photographical and typographical facsimiles of the manuscripts, and a reconstructed earliest version. Grant Hardy, in his “Textual Criticism and the Book of Mormon,” presents how these invaluable studies can be used by scholars to provide clues about the 1829 translation/dictation process of Joseph Smith and his scribes, the transmission of text, details of the narrative, and Smith’s attitudes toward the scripture he produced.

Keywords:   Book of Mormon, Royal Skousen, manuscripts, textual criticism, Joseph Smith, scribes, transmission, narrative, scripture

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