The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project is a 30 year undertaking by BYU linguistics professor Royal Skousen. The result of his work includes, to date, 17 large-format reference books that analyze numerous aspects of the text of the Book of Mormon, which is an essential part of the scriptural canon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Volume I examines the original phrasing of the Book of Mormon, providing evidence on the process by which Joseph Smith translated, and shows how editors and printers have modified the wording to make it conform to the expectations of contemporary English readers.
Volume I is out of print.
Only 28 percent of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon has survived, but the handwritten printer’s manuscript used to prepare it for publication is virtually 100 percent extant. Volume two presents an exact typographic reproduction of the printer’s manuscript in two parts.
Volume II is out of print.
Volume III analyzes every editorial change or grammatical variation in the Book of Mormon, beginning with the handwritten manuscripts and considering every major printed edition. Parts 1 and 2 focus on Grammatical Variation while parts 3 and 4 consider The Nature of the Original Language 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.
This volume is not yet complete. It will be a digital collation of the work of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project.
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.