Question: Why were 35 words at the end of Alma 32:30 in the original manuscript omitted from early editions of the Book of Mormon?

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Question: Why were 35 words at the end of Alma 32:30 in the original manuscript omitted from early editions of the Book of Mormon?

The change restored text accidentally omitted that was part of Joseph Smith's original translation

Thirty-five words at the end of Alma 32:30 in the original manuscript were omitted from previous editions of the Book of Mormon. The text was restored in the 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon. The change is not a modification of Joseph's translation, but restores omitted text which Joseph translated.

This type of error is common in publishing, and some translators and scribes of the Bible have made similar errors.

In this case, it appears that the typesetter mistakenly omitted these words. Such an error is understandable, given that the manuscript which Joseph Smith provided to the printer had no paragraph marks or punctuation.

Two LDS authors wrote:

"This is an example of a mistake with no apparent harmful consequences. And while there have been a number of editorial changes in the Book of Mormon over the years, even those who criticize its authenticity acknowledge that the changes are not of major doctrinal significance. However, many of the errors in the translation, transmission, and editing of the New Testament are significantly greater consequence."[1]

1830 edition of the Book of Mormon

[Alma 32:30] But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, and then ye must needs say, That the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. [Alma 32:31] And now behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness

1981 edition of the Book of Mormon

30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow. 31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.


Notes

  1. Daniel K. Judd and Allen W. Stoddard, "Adding and Taking Away 'Without a Cause' in Matthew 5:22," in How the New Testament Came to Be, ed. Kent P. Jackson and Frank F. Judd Jr. (Provo and Salt Lake City: Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, 2006), 159-160.