The Nature of the Original Text
The third lecture covered “The Nature of the Original Text.” Skousen discusses the nature of the original text as suggested by his overall Critical Text Project. He argues that the original text shows word-for-word control in the translation process based on multiple factors: Its Hebrew-like expressions, a large number of lexical meanings and nonstandard grammatical constructions dating from the 1500s and 1600s, its use of 131 instances of fully consistent expressions, identical non-biblical citations from elsewhere in the text, and the letter-for-letter spelling of Book of Mormon names. Finally, he argues that conjectural emendations were made in the proposed original text, but much less frequently than in all subsequent editions of the Book of Mormon. He was introduced by Daniel C. Peterson, BYU professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic.