The Theological Value of the King James Language in the Book of Mormon


Book of Mormon, Charity, Priests, New Testament, Spiritual love, Churches, Church congregations, Words


In 1831, Alexander Campbell (1788–1866), the founder of the Disciples of Christ Church and leader in the early nineteenth-century religious reformation known as the Restoration, published a short pamphlet entitled Delusions: An Analysis of the Book of Mormon: With an Examination of Its Internal and External Evidences, and a Refutation of Its Pretences to Divine Authority. In the pamphlet, Campbell argued that the Book of Mormon was a linguistic hodgepodge, “patched up and cemented with ‘And it came to pass’—‘I sayeth unto you’—‘Ye saith unto him’—and all the King James’ haths, dids and doths—in the lowest imitation of the common version.” He insisted that “it has not one good sentence in it, save the profanation of those sentences quoted from the Oracles of the living God.” For Campbell, the seventeenth-century English in the Book of Mormon demonstrated that Joseph Smith was a fraud.

Original Publication Citation

“Theological Value of the King James Language in the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 27 (September, 2018) 88–124.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Book of Mormon Studies




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor