Alma 18:32 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
yea and he looketh down upon all the children of men and he [knows 1ABCDEFGIJLMNOPQRST|knoweth HK] all the thoughts and intents of the heart

Here the 1874 RLDS edition made an interesting change from the modern English knows to the Early Modern English knoweth. The probable source for the -eth ending was the preceding use of looketh: “and he looketh down upon all the children of men”. The 1908 RLDS edition restored the earliest reading, knows, to the RLDS text. We have a parallel mixture of usage in the 1 Nephi preface: “Nephi taketh his brethren and returns to the land of Jerusalem” (the original reading). For discussion, see under that passage (or more generally under infl al endings in volume 3). Theoretically, either knows or knoweth will work in Alma 18:32; here the critical text will follow the earliest textual sources.

Summary: Maintain the third person singular knows in Alma 18:32 despite its stylistic conflict with the verb form looketh in the preceding clause.

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