1 Nephi 11:13 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city [ 01A|of BCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] Jerusalem

There is no of for 1 Nephi 11:13 in the two manuscripts or in the 1830 edition. The of was added in the 1837 edition, probably accidentally since the addition was not marked by Joseph Smith in 𝓟. When used with great, the word city is otherwise immediately followed by Jerusalem (that is, without the of ):

In other places in the text, there is usually no of when the name of a city directly follows “great city”:

Only in Helaman 13:12 do we get the of.

On the other hand, when great is not used, we typically have the of when the city is Jerusalem:

The last two examples refer to a Nephite city named (one would presume) after the Jewish capital.

In the history of the Book of Mormon text, there has been a good deal of fluctuation over whether of should occur between the word city and the following name of the city (such as “the city Cumeni” versus “the city of Cumeni”). When variation occurs, the evidence suggests that in each case the earliest textual sources should be followed. Therefore, here in 1 Nephi 11:13, the intrusive of should be removed since the earliest textual sources (as well as usage elsewhere in the text) support the reading without the of.

Summary: Remove the intrusive of in 1 Nephi 11:13 so that the text reads according to the earliest textual sources (as “the great city Jerusalem”); in all cases but one, the of does not occur between “great city” and the following name of a city.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 1