3 Nephi 1:22 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people by Satan to harden their hearts to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen but notwithstanding [those 1PS|these ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOQRT] lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe and were converted unto the Lord

Here in 3 Nephi 1:22, the printer’s manuscript has “those lyings and deceivings”, but the 1830 edition has “these lyings and deceivings”. The determiner in 𝓟, those, was restored to the RLDS text in the 1908 RLDS edition. The LDS text has maintained the 1830 determiner, these.

There are quite a few examples in the history of the text where these and those have been mixed up. There is clear evidence that Oliver Cowdery sometimes wrote those instead of the correct these, with some as momentary errors and others as permanent errors:

On the other hand, there is also clear evidence that the 1830 compositor sometimes set these

instead of those:

Thus the evidence from errors does not strongly favor one reading over the other here in 3 Nephi 1:22.

In the printer’s manuscript for 3 Nephi 1:22, the word those (in “those lyings and deceivings”) is the very first word on the manuscript page (at the beginning of line 1 on page 365). The first few words of the page is a common place for an error to occur since the scribe is forced to keep the text in mind as he switches to a new page. Moreover, the immediately preceding sentence in this passage has “those signs and wonders”, which could have prompted Oliver Cowdery to write those in place of these, giving “those lyings and deceivings”. The most reasonable solution here is to follow the 1830 reading since the reading in 𝓟 can be readily explained as a scribal error. Obviously, the evidence in favor of the 1830 reading is not overwhelming.

There are two other examples of a mix-up between these and those for this part of the text (where both 𝓟 and the 1830 edition are firsthand copies of 𝓞):

The variation is just the opposite here in these two examples, with these in 𝓟 and those in the 1830 edition. Note that in the second example the word these is extant in 𝓞, which means that in that case we can be sure that it was the 1830 compositor who made the change (from these to those). For analysis and discussion, see under these two passages.

Summary: Accept in 3 Nephi 1:22 the determiner these in the phrase “but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings” (the 1830 reading); the reading in 𝓟, those, appears to have been influenced by the previous “those signs and wonders” and facilitated by distraction as Oliver Cowdery copied the text from 𝓞 onto a new page in 𝓟.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 5