3 Nephi 4:25 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and this did they do in the nighttime and [gat /got 1|got ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] on their march beyond the robbers

It is difficult to tell if the printer’s manuscript reads gat or got. Occasionally, Oliver Cowdery’s o’s looks like a ’s and vice versa. Here the 1830 compositor set got. The simple past-tense form gat (for got) is now archaic, but it is found in the King James Bible (along with got). As discussed under Alma 10:32, there is indeed evidence for gat in the original text of the Book of Mormon. Although the 1830 compositor set the word as got here in 3 Nephi 4:25, this does not mean that 𝓞 read got since the compositor regularly replaced gat and forgat with got and forgot when he set the text for the 1830 edition (see the examples listed under Alma 10:32). Since here in 3 Nephi 4:25 the printer’s manuscript appears to read gat (just as 𝓞 appears to read gat in Alma 10:32), the critical text will accept gat. For a similar instance of a versus o in past-tense forms, see the discussion regarding drave and drove under Alma 2:33.

Summary: Restore in 3 Nephi 4:25 the archaic past-tense gat, the apparent reading in 𝓟; although the 1830 edition reads got, the 1830 compositor regularly replaced gat and forgat with their standard forms, got and forgot.

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