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Verbal Punctuation in the Book of Mormon I: (And) Now

TitleVerbal Punctuation in the Book of Mormon I: (And) Now
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGee, John
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsLanguage - Hebrew; Punctuation; Typography

The Book of Mormon, being an ancient book, was originally written without typographic punctuation and employs verbal punctuation instead. This article looks at the use of “and now” as verbal punctuation in the Book of Mormon. The phrase is used to mark major breaks in the text, not only for chapters but also within chapters of the text. The Book of Mormon usage is borrowed from Classical Biblical Hebrew (the Hebrew used before the exile) and follows the pattern set by pre-exilic Hebrew scribes. While this usage dropped in the Old World after the Babylonian exile as Aramaic replaced Hebrew as the major language spoken, the Book of Mormon preserved the usage until the end of Nephite civilization.

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