Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Modern Church, Critical Text, Scholarship, Royal Skousen


In his effort to correct and preserve the original text of the Book of the Mormon, Royal Skousen has also increased our understanding of and appreciation for this volume of sacred scripture. Skousen’s close examination of the use of words and phrases throughout the book highlights its intertextuality and demonstrates that Book of Mormon authors were aware of and influenced by the words of previous authors. Moreover, restoring the original text helps clarify some vague constructions and should also caution us against putting too much emphasis on the exact wording of the present Book of Mormon. Skousen’s analysis of how such changes occurred during a relatively modern transmission process can also further the understanding of more ancient textual transmission. Finally, Skousen’s work reveals that the original Book of Mormon may have been even more strikingly Semitic than the present text and that some characteristically Hebrew constructions have been edited out over the years, though many still remain.