Jacob 2:34 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and now behold my brethren ye know that these commandments was given to our father Lehi wherefore ye have known them before and ye have come unto great condemnation for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done

Joanne Case has suggested (personal communication, 14 September 2004) that the preposition unto here in Jacob 2:34 may be an error for under. In the same expression elsewhere in the text, the preposition is under:

With verbs besides come, we also get under:

There is one other case where we get unto:

This expression is similar to examples that state that some act is “to someone’s condemnation”:

The equivalence of unto and to suggests that Jacob 2:34 could alternatively read as “ye have come to great condemnation”. In modern English, of course, we expect under.

The King James Bible shows more variety in the choice of the preposition for condemnation; in some instances (each marked below with an asterisk), the preposition could be under in a modern English translation rather than the preposition used by the King James translators:

The variety in choice of preposition for these New Testament passages argues that the unto in Jacob 2:24 should be retained, despite its unusualness for modern English speakers.

Summary: Maintain in Jacob 2:34 the preposition unto (“ye have come unto great condemnation”); although unto could be an error for under, passages in the King James Bible show that in the biblical style the noun condemnation can take a variety of prepositions (in, into, to, and unto).

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 2