Review: An Imperfect Book: What the Book of Mormon Tells Us about Itself
I highly recommend reading An Imperfect Book, by Earl Wunderli, to anyone interested in focusing in on what the text of the Book of Mormon says about its own origins.
Wunderli uses the text of the Book of Mormon itself as his evidence to explore its origins by looking at character/place names, word-use distribution, idioms, prophesies, subject matter, concepts, etc. He also does a great job at surveying the extensive history of scholarship on the Book of Mormon’s authorship, geography, translation, and historicity, comparing it to what the BoM text actually says; letting the evidence speak for itself in relation to both apologists and critics alike, with little need for additional commentary.
While this book covers a lot of the typical questions regarding the Book of Mormon, it is by no means comprehensive. Wunderli notes that in making this book, his editor asked him to cut his content in half. This has allowed for a very concise book that focuses on the essentials and engages a wider reading audience without belabouring his points. Personally, I would have welcomed another hundred pages or so —because of my intense interest in the subject matter— but alas, I will have to track down and read his previous essays for a more detailed analysis.
His writing style and approach is very easy to read, academic, and neutral, in that his tone shouldn’t offend or discourage anyone with an open mind to the evidence. If you are a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is willing to take your study of the Book of Mormon to a deeper level, you too will come to understand what makes it An Imperfect Book.