Alma 24:17 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of [the >+ these 0|these 1ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] sayings …

Here in Alma 24:17, Oliver Cowdery initially wrote “made an end of the sayings”. Somewhat later he corrected the the to these by inserting the se a little above the line at the end of the (the correction is written with somewhat heavier ink flow). Oliver may have made this correction after reading the text back to Joseph Smith. Clearly, these sayings works much better than the sayings. Only once do we get the sayings in the text, and in that case there is a postmodifying prepositional phrase: “the sayings of our fathers” (Mosiah 1:6). On the other hand, elsewhere in the text there are 14 instances of these sayings without any postmodification (just like here in Alma 24:17).

Summary: Maintain in Alma 24:17 the use of these before sayings, the corrected reading in 𝓞; the initial reading, “made an end of the sayings”, is undoubtedly a scribal error.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 4