Alma 36:11 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
[NULL > & 1|And ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] the angel spake more things unto me …

Here in the printer’s manuscript, Oliver Cowdery initially omitted the ampersand but then virtually immediately supplied it (there is no change in the level of ink flow for the supralinearly inserted &). The original manuscript is not extant here, but it probably had the &, although this conclusion is not based on spacing considerations between extant fragments of 𝓞 since the lacuna here is large. Rather, the argument is that either reading, with or without the and, will work in theory, so there would have been no motivation for Oliver to have consciously emended the text here by adding an and. A similar example of this kind of initial loss of & in 𝓟 (and its virtually immediate correction) is found later on in this chapter, when Oliver started copying to a new page of 𝓟:

In this second case, 𝓞 is extant and it has the &.

Summary: Maintain the occurrence of sentence-initial and in Alma 36:11 and Alma 36:16, in each case the reading of the earliest textual sources.

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