Why are there 4000 changes to the Book of Mormon?
This article is a quick addition. It is very incomplete and unreferenced. It serves as a brief introduction to a topic and will be developed, edited, and referenced at a later point in time.
While these things are important they are not the primary topic of this site and therefore may take some time to complete. Resources are provided to additional information at other locations.
Some people claim that there have been as many as 4000 changes to the Book of Mormon. They usually forget to include the scope. For example, what if I were to claim that I changed two words in the previous sentence? Two doesn't sound like a lot, but when you realize that there are only seven words in that sentence you realize that it has been changed over 25%. If you remove the chapter headings, numbers, verse numbers, testimonies, explanations and the introduction, the Book of Mormon has more than 268,000 words. Assuming that every correction claimed by the critics is a word correction and not punctuation, it means that there is only about a 1.5% variation in the exact wording and spelling from the original Book of Mormon.
While there have been some changes from the first edition of the Book of Mormon, most of the edits were corrections to spelling and other single word changes. For example, "east off" was changed to "cast off," "&c." was changed to "and so forth," and one name was corrected. Some critics claim that the name change means that the doctrine has been altered or that the work cannot be divine, even though this change does not affect any of its teachings. The book itself claims that it is a record made by a person who is not immune to faults. The title page, which was part of the original translation, states, " And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ."
An original first edition Book of Mormon has been photographed and is available for viewing at josephsmithpapers.org.
Changes to the Bible
In comparison most scholars agree that there are about 24,000 changes between 1611 version and the 1769 version of the KJV Bible. The KJV Bible has over 930,000 words when you include the Apocrypha for a variation of 2.5%. Since then there have been dozens of major Bible versions that use the KJV Bible as their source.
Understanding Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon
Have There Been Thousands of Changes in the Book of Mormon?
Book of Mormon textual changes