Textual Criticism and the Book of Mormon

Royal Skousen is the textual critic of the Book of Mormon. Last year, he did a 3-part lecture series on the BoM that is just fascinating. You can see all three of them at BYU’s Maxwell Institute post. I’ve included the first one below.

If you like textual criticism or are at all interested in the Book of Mormon, then this will be a slog through technical minutia that is quite rewarding.

I should also mention that I just picked up a copy of Skousen’s critical text and it is a solid volume. I wish he’d put the variants in footnotes (like a normal critical apparatus) instead of putting them in an appendix at the end, but what he considers to be “the significant variants” are included in the back of the book without commentary.

If you want the commentary, you’ll need to pick up the 6-volume set (running at $40 a pop). That seems a little over the top to me. If Metzger can put the NT variants in one volume, I’m sure we could boil Skousen’s work down to a 500-800 page hardback around the $40-$60 list price. I think this is a really important tool and conversation to have –especially the dictation of Scripture received by Joseph Smith. But I don’t think his work is going to see much interaction as long as it’s locked up behind pay wall that only university libraries can scale.