Author: Royal Skousen

Who authored the eight-witness statement?

The eight-witness statement appears to be a prosaic legal affidavit, yet one that has borrowed much of its phraseology from the three-witness statement. There are at most only two instances of phrases that could be said to have been taken from the Book of Mormon text proper: “of curious workmanship” and “we lie not”.

Who authored the three-witness statement?


I have always assumed that the three-witness statement was a part of the text of the Book of Mormon, that its language was the same as the English language found in the Book of Mormon proper. The eight-witness statement, on the other hand, has been a little more problematic since it has three instances of the decidedly legalistic phrase “the said Smith” as well as the dubious reference (in the original version) to Joseph Smith as “the author and proprietor of this work”.

Why one sixth of the 1830 Book of Mormon was set from the original manuscript: Conclusion

Previously appearing on Times and Seasons: Part I: A tentative theory – the copyists for the printer’s manuscript didn’t work quickly enough. Part II: Rejecting the theory. * * * In January of 1830, Abner Cole illegally published three excerpts from the Book of Mormon, printed in three issues of The Palmyra Reflector, including a section from Alma 43, published on 22 January 1830.

Why was one sixth of the 1830 Book of Mormon set from the original manuscript?

Royal Skousen is editor of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project and professor of linguistics and English language at Brigham Young University. Part I: A tentative theory Physical evidence from the Book of Mormon manuscripts shows that the compositor (that is, the typesetter) for the 1830 edition normally used the printer’s manuscript to set the type for the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The printer’s manuscript (P) was the copy of the dictated or original manuscript (O) that the scribes made and took to E. B. Grandin’s print shop in Palmyra, New York. But for one sixth of the text, from Helaman 13:17 to the end of Mormon (that is, through Mormon 9:37), the 1830 compositor actually used O to set the type. The question is: Why was O used and not P for that part of the text?