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Why does the Book of Mormon contain so many subordinate clauses which wouldn’t be expected in English?

The original translation of the Book of Mormon curiously contained the word “that” in around 170 places we would not expect in English but would make perfect sense in Hebrew. 

John A. Tvedtnes explains: 

Biblical Hebrew begins subordinate clauses with prepositions plus a word that translates as that, such as in Ezekiel 40:1: “after that the city was smitten.” Such a use of that in English is awkward and therefore rare. Yet it appears frequently in the Book of Mormon, another evidence of Hebrew influence. It was even more frequent in the 1830 edition, but many of the thats were dropped from later editions to read more smoothly (noted in the following examples by brackets).

“And because that they are redeemed from the fall” (2 Nephi 2:26)

“because that my heart is broken” (2 Nephi 4:32)

“because that ye shall receive more of my word” (2 Nephi 29:8)

“because [that] they had hardened their hearts” (1 Nephi 16:22)

“because [that] ye are of the house of Israel” (2 Nephi 6:5)

“before [that] they were slain” (1 Nephi 13:15)

“before [that] he shall manifest himself in the flesh” (Enos 1:8)

“and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross” (3 Nephi 27:14)

“after that I am gone to the Father” (3 Nephi 28:1)

“after [that] I have abridged” (1 Nephi 1:17)

“after [that] he hath been commanded to flee” (1 Nephi 3:18)

John A. Tvedtnes – The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon

Why would Joseph Smith have included the word “that” like this? Surely Joseph did not know the Bible well enough to include six of the seven types of archaic subordinate “that” usage found in the King James Bible? 


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