Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Original Chapters in the 1830 Book of Mormon and the Corresponding Chapters in the 1981 Edition

A few days ago I was reading a rather interesting article about changes to the Book of Mormon over the years and the author, Royal Skousen, mentioned that there were not as many chapters in the Book of Mormon as there are now. As a matter of fact Orson Pratt, when he reset the type of the Book of Mormon, broke the chapters up into smaller chapters and then broke them into the verses we have today.

I had heard previously that when Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon he indicated when a new chapter should begin, but that the verses came later. I could tell that some of the verse divisions were quite logical but others were a little awkward and did not seem to follow the general rule of one sentence per verse. But because I had been told that the chapter divisions originated in the original text and came through the translation I assumed that the chapters as we have them now were put in place by Mormon.

But some of the chapter divisions did not make sense to me. As a matter of fact there were several chapters that seemed to go together naturally and the chapter divisions seemed rather arbitrary. Over time in my personal scripture study I began to group the chapters into groups of coherent thoughts/stories/sermons. I even thought that if I ever taught Seminary or Sunday School I would have my students learn to group certain chapters together because they just seemed to go together.

But then I found out that the chapters we have now were set down by Orson Pratt and non Mormon. In the post I linked to above I left a comment asking if anyone had a break down of which modern chapters corresponded to the original chapters. Someone responded and pointed me to a paper that was publish back in 1993 that gave the breakdown in an appendix. As I looked over the list I got excited because many of the original chapters encompassed modern chapters that I had grouped together in my own study just because they felt like they went together. These include Jacob 4-5, Alma 36-37, Alma 39-42, and many other sermons, stories or periods of time.

Below I have the list of the original chapters (using Roman numerals) and the corresponding modern chapters. An asterisk indicates that the chapter included the chapter or book heading that is shown in italics in the modern edition.
1830 Edition 1981 Edition
Chapter Chapter: verse
First Nephi
I*
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
1–5
6–9
10–14
15
16:1–19:21
19:22–21:end
22
Second Nephi
I*
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
IX
X
XI
XII
XIII
XIV
XV
1–2
3
4
5
6–8
9
10
11–15
16–22
23–24
25–27
28–30
31
32
33
Jacob
I*
II
III
IV
V
1
2–3
4–5
6
7
Enos
I 1
Jarom
I 1
Omni
I 1
Words of Mormon
I 1
Mosiah
I
II
III
IV
V
VI*
VII*
VIII
IX
X
XI*
XII
XIII
1–3
4
5
6
7–8
9–10
11:1–13:24
13:25–16:end
17–21
22
23–27
28:1–19
28:20–29:end
Alma
I*
II
III*
IV
V*
VI
VII*
VIII
IX
X
XI
XII*
XIII*
XIV
XV
XVI
XVII*
XVIII*
XIX*
XX
XXI*
XXII
XXIII
XXIV
XXV
XXVI
XXVII
XXVIII
XXIX
XXX
1–3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10–11
12:1–13:9
13:10–15:end
16
17–20
21–22
23–26
27–29
30–35
36–37
38
39–42
43–44
45–49
50
51
52–53
54–55
56–58
59–60
61
62
63
Helaman
I*
II
III*
IV
V
1–2
3–6
7–10
11–12
13–16
Third Nephi
I*
II
III
IV
V*
VI
VII
VIII
IX
X
XI
XII
XIII
XIV
1–2
3–5
6–7
8–10
11–13:24
13:25–14:end
15–16
17–18
19:1–21:21
21:22–23:13
23:14–26:5
26:6–27:22
27:23–29:end
30
Fourth Nephi
I 1
Mormon
I
II
III
IV
1–3
4–5
6–7
8–9
Ether
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
1–4
5
6–8
9–11
12
13–15
Moroni
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
IX*
X
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

1 comment:

Eliza said...

Kirk said that he has enjoyed reading a facsimile of the 1830 edition of The Book of Mormon. I think we bought our copy at Deseret Book or somewhere like that.