A stray drop of ink and a quirk of nineteenth-century penmanship make the difference between “retain that wrong” and “repair that wrong.” Only scrupulous attention to the earliest written manuscripts of the Book of Mormon can uncover such discrepancies. Professor Royal Skousen has spent more than 30 years meticulously researching the original and printer’s manuscripts of the Book of Mormon, revealing discrepancies and making a case for the type of translation the Book of Mormon is. Every page, every sentence, every word, letter, and mark are accounted for in the landmark Critical Text Project, arguably the most important Book of Mormon research to date.

The Critical Text Project is an invaluable resource for any scholar or student of the Book of Mormon.

Volume I: The Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Critical Text Project Volume 1

By Royal Skousen
Provo, Ut: FARMS, 2001. 553 pages.
ISBN: 0934893047

A stray ink drop and a quirk of nineteenth-century script make the difference between “retain that wrong” and “repair that wrong”. More than a decade of meticulous research revealed such insights as Royal Skousen prepared transcripts of the original and printer’s manuscripts of the Book of Mormon for publication. Now published for the first time ever, the manuscripts help you discover the original phrasing of the Book of Mormon (including Hebrew-like expressions), provide surprising evidence on the process by which Joseph Smith translated, and show how editors and printers have modified the wording to make it conform to the expectations of contemporary English readers.

Volume II: The Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Critical Text Project Volume 2 The Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon

By Royal Skousen
Provo, Ut.: FARMS, Brigham Young University, 2001, 501 pages in 2 parts.
ISBN: 0934893063

The original manuscript of the Book of Mormon was copied to a printer’s manuscript in order to prepare it for publication. Only 28 percent of the original manuscript has survived, but the handwritten printer’s manuscript is virtually 100 percent extant. Volume two presents an exact typographic reproduction of the printer’s manuscript is presented in two parts. Volume two also includes color and ultraviolet photographs of select parts of the manuscripts (including what is considered the oldest existing sample of Joseph Smith’s handwriting) and a history and physical description of the manuscripts.

Volume III: The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Critical Text Project Volume III: History of the text of the Book of Mormon Grammatical Variation

This volume analyzes the grammar, language, history, and spelling of the Book of Mormon.

Parts 1 and 2: Grammatical Variation

Parts 1 and 2 analyze every type of grammatical change in the text of the Book of Mormon.

By Royal Skousen

Provo, Ut.: FARMS, 2016.
Part 1, 627 pages.
Part 2, 1281 pages.

Parts 3 and 4: Nature of the Original Language

Parts 3 and 4 argue that nearly all of the language of the Book of Mormon, not just the bad grammar, is found in Early Modern English.

By Royal Skousen

Provo, Ut.: FARMS, BYU Studies, 2018.

Part 3, 704 pages.
Part 4, 704 pages.

Part 5: The King James Quotations in the Book of Mormon

Part 5 homes in on a very specific usage of Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon: the use of quotations from the King James Bible.

By Royal Skousen

Provo, Ut.: FARMS, BYU Studies, 2019.

Part 5, 431 pages.

Part 6: Spelling in the Manuscripts and Editions

Part 6 analyzes the spelling of the scribes of the Book of Mormon as found in the earliest manuscripts; and also the spelling in the printed editions.

By Royal Skousen
Provo, Ut.: FARMS, BYU Studies, 2020.

Part 6, 590 pages.

Parts 7 and 8

Parts 7 and 8 of Volume III are forthcoming.

Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Critical Text Project Volume IV: Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon

This six-book set, titled Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, fulfills the central task of the critical text project, to restore the original text of the Book of Mormon to the extent possible using scholarly means.

The six books discuss every substantive change to words or phrases in the text as well as changes in the spelling for several dozen Book of Mormon names. Volume IV also includes a brief discussion of every type of grammatical change that the text has undergone over the years.

By Royal Skousen

Provo, Ut.: FARMS, BYU Studies, 2017

Volume V: A Complete Electronic Collation of the Book of Mormon

Forthcoming Book of Mormon Critical Text Project Volume V: A Complete Electronic Collation of the Book of Mormon

Volume V is forthcoming. It will be a digital collation of the work of the critical text project.

Portrait of Royal Skousen

Royal Skousen

Royal Skousen was Professor of Linguistics and English Language at Brigham Young University until his retirement in 2020. Skousen began working on the critical text of the Book of Mormon in 1988. He published the first two volumes of the Critical Text Project, namely, typographical facsimiles for the original and printer’s manuscripts of the Book of Mormon in 2001.