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Is it a coincidence that 1 Nephi 7:11 confuses the words “how” and “what” just like in 1 Samuel 12:24?

The Book of Mormon translation seemed to encounter similar problems to the Bible translation.

1 Nephi 7:11 reads:

Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record? (emphasis added)

Similarly, 1 Samuel 12:24 reads:

Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. (emphasis added)

Robert F. Smith explains an interesting points regarding these two scriptures:

At 1 Nephi 7:11, the Original and Printer’s Manuscripts of the Book of Mormon, as well as the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, all use the word how, which was changed in the 1837 and all subsequent editions to read what. However, even the King James translators could not decide, in translating a closely similar phrase in 1 Samuel 12:24, whether how or what was a more accurate translation of the Hebrew relative particle ‘asher. They thus placed the one in the text and the other in the margin (the reasons for marginal readings are explained at length in the introduction to their 1611 edition of the King James Version). Exactly the same variant readings occur in the texts we have of the Title Page of the Book of Mormon.

Robert F. Smith – Textual Criticism of the Book of Mormon

Why would Joseph Smith encounter the same issues as the translators of the King James Bible?


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