strtoupper('“D')eniest Thou the Christ Who Shall Come”

According to Barbara Fowler, to most English-speaking people, the use of a double negative, such as, "You cannot have no candy," grates against the ears and conjures up images of a stern English teacher reproaching students with the axiom, "Two negatives equal a positive!"

However, in Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar it is stated that "Two negatives in the same sentence do NOT neutralize each other but make the negation the more emphatic" (Kautzch 1909:483).

In the process of restoring words from the Original and Printer's manuscripts of the Book of Mormon, several instances were found where a negative word had been deleted or changed to a positive word. One such change from the negative to the positive involves the change of the word "never" to "ever." A good example of this is found in Jacob 7:9. By returning the verse to its true Hebrew context (with the addition of "never") we find that Sherem emphatically denied Christ three times:

If there should be a Christ, I would not deny him;

But I know that:

there is No Christ,

Neither hath been,

Nor Never will be.

Thus, Jacob truly emphasized the attitude and magnitude of Sherem's actions through the use of the Hebrew double negative. [Barbara Fowler, "Double Negatives in the Book of Mormon? Yes! Yes!," in Recent Book of Mormon Developments, Vol. 2, pp. 57-58]

Alan C. Miner -

Alan C. Miner

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary