I’ve just received the following from my colleague and friend Royal Skousen, and I share it with his authorization. It concerns his wonderful edition of the Book of Mormon, which I really appreciate and from which my wife and I do our shared Book of Mormon scripture reading. Posting this here may have destroyed some of its formatting, but I think it’s still pretty clearly comprehensible. I recommend his edition to all serious students of the Book of Mormon:
In 2009, I published The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text with Yale University Press. The text of this edition was based on the first edition of volume 4 of the Book of Mormon critical text project, namely, the six parts of Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, with each part published one year at a time, from 2004 through 2009. The purpose of the Yale text is to give the reader the original text of the Book of Mormon, to the extent that it can be determined. The text is also presented in sense-lines, not in paragraphs or verse blocks, so that the lines break at the end of phrases and clauses, thus facilitating the reading of the text as well as replicating how Joseph Smith would have dictated the text to his scribes.
The original printing of the Yale edition turned out to have a number of errors, so the next year, when the second printing was published, I removed one egregious typo and made minor corrections for 11 passages in the accidentals (that is, in the punctuation, capitalization, line breaks, and paragraphing). The next two printings, the third and the fourth, made no additional changes to the text. But this spring the fifth printing has been published, and in it I have made seven substantive changes in the reading of the text as well as 36 changes in the accidentals. These changes are based on the second, revised edition of the six-part Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, published in 2017. In the fifth printing of the Yale edition of the Book of Mormon, I have finally been able to implement these changes into the official text.
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