New Approaches to the Book of Mormon
Brent Lee Metcalfe, editor

Appendix: Effects of Literary
Dependence on Lexical Distributions

Four additional examples of the lexical shift from “therefore” to “wherefore” illustrate how borrowed material affected the transitional pattern.

Example 1
 
BoC V//D&C 6   BoC X//D&C 11 BoC XI//D&C 12
BoC XII//D&C 14  
2therefore 2therefore 2therefore 2therefore
3Therefore 3Therefore 3Therefore 3Therefore
5Therefore 5Therefore 5Therefore 5Therefore
11therefore
18Therefore
20therefore
33therefore
34Therefore  
26Therefore
9therefore
10Wherefore
[April 1829] [May 1829] [May 1829] [June 1829]

Placed chronologically the revelations from April-May 1829 consistently employ “therefore”—the term favored during these two months in a Mosian dictation sequence. Likewise, D&C 14, given during the latter stage of the Book of Mormon dictation in June, repeats “therefore” when quoting from the section 6 preamble but then prefers “wherefore.” [p.435]

Example 2

1830 Book of Mormon Preface

BoC IX:3 (D&C 10:.14)

the Lord said unto me, I will notsuffer that Satan shall accomplish hisevil design in this thing: Verily I say unto you, that I will notsuffer that satan shall accomplish hisevil design in this thing…

BoC IX:10 (D&C 10:.41-43)

therefore thou shalt translate therefore, you shall translatethe engravings which are
from the plates of Nephi, on the plates of Nephi,
down even till you come to thereign of King Benjamin, or
until ye come to that which ye havetranslated, which ye have retained;and behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi; and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil. until you come to that which you havetranslated, which you have retained;and behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi, and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
Wherefore, to be obedient to thecommandments of God, I have, throughhis grace and mercy, ccomplished that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing.

Authored by Smith, the 1830 Book of Mormon Preface provides important information about the purloined Book of Lehi. In reviewing the dilemma Smith recited verses from D&C 10, retaining “therefore.” By the time he wrote the 1830 preface, however, he favored “wherefore,” which expectedly begins his first sentence after leaving section 10.

Example 3
 
KJV Isaiah 29  2 Nephi 27 JSR Isaiah 29
8Wherefore 13Wherefore
Wherefore Wherefore
12Wherefore 17Wherefore
14Wherefore 19Wherefore
12 19Wherefore 22Wherefore
20wherefore wherefore
22Wherefore 24Wherefore
13Wherefore 24 26
14Therefore 26Therefore therefore
22Therefore 33Therefore 32Therefore

[p.436] 2 Nephi 27 culminates a lengthy section (2 Ne. 7-8, 12-24) quoting entire chapters from Isaiah but none is as extensively recast in the Book of Mormon as Isaiah 29.51 When the KJV is inserted verbatim, the Book of Mormon repeats “therefore,” the KJV term. But when the text is independent of the KJV it uses “wherefore,” the word dominating this stage of the dictation, seven times. In JSR Isaiah 29 these tendencies are confirmed as Book of Mormon and KJV terms are transferred to the JSR.

Example 4

KJV Matthew 5 3 Nephi 12 JSR Matthew 5
1therefore
16 16Therefore
18Therefore
19therefore 21therefore
20 20Therefore
23Therefore 23Therefore 25therefore
29 32Wherefore
34wherefore
46Therefore
48therefore 48Therefore 50Therefore
KJV Matthew 6 3 Nephi 13 JSR Matthew 6
2Therefore 2Therefore 2Therefore
8therefore 8therefore 8Therefore
9therefore 9therefore 9Therefore
22therefore 22therefore 22therefore
23therefore 23therefore 23therefore
 25Therefore 25Therefore 28Therefore
30Wherefore
30Wherefore 30Wherefore 34Wherefore
 31Therefore 31Therefore 35Therefore
 33 33 38Wherefore
 34therefore 34therefore 39therefore
KJV Mathhew 7 3 Nephi 14 JSR Matthew 7
11wherefore
12Therefore 12Therefore 21Therefore
13 13 22therefore
20Wherefore 20Wherefore 29Wherefore
24Therefore 24Therefore 34Therefore

Literary dependence is even more apparent in parallels among KJV Matthew 5-7, 3 Nephi 12-14, and JSR Matthew 5-7. In 3 Nephi [p.437] when the KJV Sermon on the Mount is incorporated verbatim, it consistently retains the word—”therefore” or “wherefore” depending on the verse—used by the KJV translators. But when the KJV is embellished it uniformly uses “therefore”—the term dominant at this point in the dictation.

Extending the analysis to JSR Matthew 5-7 affords a rare glimpse of a multi-tiered example of this stylistic development. When Smith was working on the JSR he was partial to “wherefore” instead of the 3 Nephi “therefore.” Accordingly when portions of the KJV were paralleled in 3 Nephi, the identical terms were used from the KJV.52 Furthermore, KJV narrative not found in 3 Nephi, and 3 Nephi narrative not in the KJV, appear in the JSR with usage unique to the source: “therefore” in KJV Matthew 5:19//JSR Matthew 5:21 and in 3 Nephi 12:16//JSR Matthew 5:18. Significantly, when new interpolations were woven into the Matthean fabric without parallels in the KJV or 3 Nephi “wherefore” was preferred over “therefore” by a ratio of five to one.53

Notes:

51. From a traditionalist view, Tvedtnes’s (1981, 60ff; contra Sperry 1968, 248-50) suggestion that 2 Nephi 27 is Nephi’s midrash of Isaiah 29 is negated by Smith’s incorporating these embellishments in JSR Isaiah 29, thus ascribing an Isaian authorship.

52. An exception is the vacillation in Matthew 6:30 when reproduced in both 3 Nephi and the JSR. 3 Nephi 13:30 in P first read “therefore” but was then emended back to the KJV “wherefore” in Pc. There is little doubt that O—not extant for this verse—contained the KJV word “wherefore” since both the 1830 edition, which employed O as the printer’s copy for this portion of the typesetting (Skousen 1992b, 23-24), and Pc agree with the KJV. The published JSR (Smith 1944) indicates that Smith changed “wherefore” in KJV Matthew 6:30 to “therefore” in JSR Matthew 6:34 similar to P 3 Nephi. But JSR New Testament manuscript 1 (NTms. 1) demonstrates that Smith originally dictated “wherefore.” I am not suggesting that Smith never deviated from the dictational tendencies examined in this Appendix, but simply that he favored one word over another most of the time.

53. “Wherefore” is a more awkward choice for JSR Matthew 7:22 (“Repent, therefore, and enter ye in at the strait gate …”) and was understandably avoided.

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