The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text (Hardcover)
Based on the earliest sources available, this corrected text represents the most accurate and readable edition of theBook of Mormonever published
First published in 1830, the Book of Mormon is the authoritative scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its estimated 13 million members. Over the past twenty-one years, editor Royal Skousen has pored over Joseph Smith's original manuscripts and identified more than 2,000 textual errors in the 1830 edition. Although most of these discrepancies stem from inadvertent errors in copying and typesetting the text, the Yale edition contains about 600 corrections that have never appeared in any standard edition of the Book of Mormon, and about 250 of them affect the text's meaning. Skousen's corrected text is a work of remarkable dedication and will be a landmark in American religious scholarship.
Completely redesigned and typeset by nationally award-winning typographer Jonathan Saltzman, this new edition has been reformatted in sense-lines, making the text much more logical and pleasurable to read. Featuring a lucid introduction by historian Grant Hardy, the Yale edition serves not only as the most accurate version of the Book of Mormon ever published but also as an illuminating entryway into a vital religious tradition.
Royal Skousen is a professor of linguistics and English language at Brigham Young University and the leading expert on the textual history of the Book of Mormon. This is the tenth book in his ongoing Critical Text Project.
"The product of over two decades of painstaking labor by Royal Skousen—a Brigham Young University professor of linguistics and English language, a Mormon and an occasional spelling-bee judge—this Yale edition aims to take us back to the text Smith envisioned as he translated, according to the faithful, from golden plates that he unearthed in upstate New York."—Stephen Prothero, Wall Street Journal
"A work of unique aesthetic and scholarly value, and an essential resource for scholarly approaches to the Book of Mormon."—Seth Perry, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
"Readers would do better to hear the Book of Mormon for what it is – a long, mostly sad story, told aloud. Royal Skousen has spent more than twenty years trying to get at that story told aloud, and it is hard to imagine coming closer than his 'earliest text.'"—Seth Perry, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
“…a commentary on the text of the Book of Mormon that will forever change the way Latter-day Saints approach modern scripture. Two hundred years from now… students of the Book of Mormon will still be poring over Skousen’s work. What he has accomplished is nothing short of phenomenal.”—Grant Hardy, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
"This volume is the full text of the Book of Mormon and is as close as possible to the original dictation by Joseph Smith. Because of the way Skousen arranged the text on the page, this is the easiest-to-read Book of Mormon in existence."—Michael De Groote, Mormon Times
"A defining, immediately essential work of rare scholarly achievement . . . a work of unique aesthetic and scholarly value."—Choice
"Very important . . . the bottom-line results of one of the most impressive and sustained individual scholarly undertakings in the history of Mormonism . . . [in] a single, convenient volume . . . readily accessible . . . wonderful . . . a great study edition."—Daniel Peterson, Mormon Times
"Although it is the result of meticulous scholarship . . . this is a book that transcends the scholarship. It should appeal to a wider readership . . . as a contribution to experiencing the Book of Mormon."—Brant A. Gardner, Journal of Mormon History
Listed as one of the "Christmas gifts for your demanding scholar" in 2009, Mormon Times
Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2010 in the Religion category
"Royal Skousen has single-handedly brought the textual analysis of the Book of Mormon to a professional level on par with the finest classical and biblical scholarship. This volume is the culmination of his labors, and it is the most textually significant edition since Joseph Smith’s work was first published in 1830. It takes us back to the original manuscript (as best we can reconstruct it) and sometimes beyond, to the very words that were first spoken by Joseph Smith to his scribes."—Grant Hardy, from the Introduction