From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith
by Michael R. Ash
Critics generally claim that Joseph Smith either created (rather than dictated) The Book of Mormon, or that he plagiarized the text from some other nineteenth-century scholar. The invention of the computer has brought a new tool with which to test a document’s authorship. Stylometry (or word print studies) can detect an author’s fingerprint style by the individual word patterns they use for non-contextual words such as a, of, the, and it. These patterns are typically unconscious to the author and are not easily altered. Using stylometry, scholars have compared the writings of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and other contemporaries to the authors in The Book of Mormon. According to the experts who conducted the research, word prints conclusively demonstrate that The Book of Mormon was written by many authors (there were twenty-four distinct word prints) –none of which matched Joseph Smith or the contemporaries tested.
Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.
Julianne Dehlin Hatton is a broadcast journalist living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Radio and Television Host, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.
Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.