Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


The Book of Mormon was written in a language that was grounded in Hebrew and Egyptian; the people of the Book of Mormon most likely spoke this same language. It is interesting, then, that the Book of Mormon authors periodically included definitions for certain terms that they used in their writing, as if their audience did not understand them. This technique, known as a gloss, suggests that those terms may not have been a part of that ancient language. In an attempt to uncover the true origin of such words, this article dissects the Book of Mormon term Irreantum and delves into its linguistic characteristics to determine whether the term could have originated from Hebrew, Egyptian, ancient South Semitic, or another language.