Publication of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project continues with the recent release of part 3 of volume 4. Volume 4 considers every significant change in the English Book of Mormon over the 175 years since Joseph Smith first dictated it to his scribes.
When completed, volume 4 will analyze the entire text of the Book of Mormon, from the title page to the end of Moroni, and will consider every significant variant in the text as well as many potential variants.
Part 3 of this volume covers Mosiah 17 through Alma 20. Part 1 of volume 4 (covering the beginning of the Book of Mormon through 2 Nephi 10) was released in August 2004, and part 2 of the volume (covering 2 Nephi 11 through Mosiah 16) was published last August.
Like its predecessors, part 3 attempts to recover the original text of the Book of Mormon by identifying variations in the text that have been introduced through scribal, typesetting, and editing errors and inconsistencies.
The evidence increasingly supports the theory that the original vocabulary of the Book of Mormon dates from the 1500s and 1600s, not from Joseph Smith’s time. That is, the vocabulary agrees with the language of Early Modern English yet is not identical to the vocabulary of the King James Bible.