Alma 3:14 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
thus the word of God is fulfilled for these are the words which he [saith >js said 1|saith A|said BCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] to Nephi behold the Lamanites have I cursed

Here we have one more example of the historical present in the Book of Mormon: namely, the use of the present-tense saith rather than the expected past-tense said. In this instance, the historical present gives the sense that these words of God, although spoken in the past to Lehi, still hold. Joseph Smith removed this instance and most others of the historical present from the Book of Mormon text, even though such usage is found in the King James Bible. For additional discussion, see under 1 Nephi 2:1. For a complete list of examples in the original text, see under historical present in volume 3 .

Summary: Restore the use of the historical present saith in Alma 3:14 and elsewhere whenever it is supported by the earliest textual sources.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 3