Question: Was the Book of Mormon phrase "it came to pass" derived from Gilbert Hunt's ''The Late War''?

Table of Contents

Question: Was the Book of Mormon phrase "it came to pass" derived from Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: The phrase "it came to pass" is more common in the The Late War than in the Bible [1]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

The density of the phrase "it came to pass" in the Book of Luke alone is higher than that of The Late War at 0.156% to 0.205%

One critic of the church believes that the presence of "A bunch of “it came to pass”" phrases in The Late War is evidence that Joseph used this phrase in the Book of Mormon. [2] There are 1297 occurrences of the phrase "it came to pass" in the Book of Mormon, while there are 387 occurrences of "it came to pass" in the Old Testament and 65 occurrences in the New Testament. In the Book of Luke alone there are 40 usages of the phrase "it came to pass" out of 19482 to 25600 words (depending upon the source of the figure). If one rejects the divine origin of the Book of Mormon and is looking for an external influence, the Book of Luke is much more likely than The Late War. Using the Johnsons' method of calculating the density of the phrase, the Book of Luke produces a density value of 0.156% to 0.205%, the upper value of which is almost twice as high as that of The Late War.

Moreover, Gilbert Hunt's The Late War was deliberately written in the "biblical style," and therefore purposely uses the phrase "it came to pass" frequently. There really isn't any reason to believe that Joseph, if he were actually the author of the Book of Mormon, would have been more likely to have picked up the phrase from The Late War than from the Bible itself. When translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph dictated in language that he was familiar with, and we certainly know that Joseph read the New Testament.


Notes

  1. Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  2. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).