Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Near East--Arabia; Ancient Near East--Lehi's Journey; Book of Mormon--Books--1 Nephi; Book of Mormon--Geography; Book of Mormon--Notable People--Lehi


Until now, nearly all commentaries on the Book of Mormon have focused mainly on issues of doctrine rather than beginning with the text itself. Royal Skousen’s critical text project does the opposite by treating the text itself on the word and phrase level. Skousen weighs nearly all possible evidence to deduce the events that may have led to the variations seen in the texts and to draw conclusions about which readings are most likely original. Some conclusions may surprise readers, but Skousen is more interested in candidly documenting what the texts reveal than in interpreting all the implications. Several lengthy excerpts from Skousen’s work show the scholarly depth and rigor of his analysis. In the end, Skousen may have produced the seminal work of Book of Mormon textual criticism that scholars and students will still be using hundreds of years from now.