Approaching Completion: The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project: A Review of Royal Skousen's Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon and The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon: Grammatical Variation
When Royal Skousen published the first part of Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon in 2005, it seemed to herald the beginning of a new approach to Book of Mormon studies, one marked by an unprecedented level of detail, rigor, and professionalism. That series was completed in 2009 as volume 4 of Skousen's Critical Text Project, which aims, through linguistic study and analysis of the original and printer's manuscripts, to restore the original text of the Book of Mormon. An updated second edition of Analysis of Textual Variants was published in 2017. This essay reviews that series—as well as The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon: Grammatical Variation, another publication in the Critical Text Project—providing examples of the books' contents and explaining the project's significance. As the Critical Text Project approaches completion, this multidecade, multivolume endeavor offers valuable data for trying to understand the nature of the Book of Mormon.