Stylometrics

Introduction

In 1980 three statisticians at Brigham Young University “examined the frequencies of noncontextual words in a precedent-setting analysis” of the Book of Mormon. Among the findings, it was concluded that:

“Text clusters of major Book of Mormon authors and Joseph Smith. Linear discriminant analysis indicates that the writing styles of the major Book of Mormon authors are distinguishable from each other and highly distinctive from Joseph Smith’s writing style” 1

Stylometric analyses use conscious and unconscious writing styles so this would be hugely difficult to mimic tens of different writing styles without being “caught out”. 

Matthew Roper, Paul J. Fields, and G. Bruce Schaalje concluded in their short history of stylometric analyses of the Book of Mormon:

Our overall conclusion is that the Book of Mormon displays multiple writing styles throughout the text consistent with the book’s claim of multiple authors and that the evidence does not show the writing styles of alleged nineteenth century authors to be similar to those in the Book of Mormon. Further, the claims thus far put forward for alternative authorship of the Book of Mormon, other than as described by Joseph Smith, are untenable. 2

  1. Matthew Roper, Paul J. Fields, and G. Bruce Schaalje. 2012. Stylometric Analyses of the Book of Mormon: A Short History. [ONLINE] Available at:http://publications.mi.byu.edu/publications/jbms/21/1/S00003-500d8bb1cd1b63-Stylometric%20Analyses.pdf. [Accessed 9 April 2016].[]
  2. Matthew Roper, Paul J. Fields, and G. Bruce Schaalje. 2012. Stylometric Analyses of the Book of Mormon: A Short History. [ONLINE] Available at:http://publications.mi.byu.edu/publications/jbms/21/1/S00003-500d8bb1cd1b63-Stylometric%20Analyses.pdf. [Accessed 9 April 2016].[]