Source:Echoes:Ch7:2:Odd patterns with Book of Mormon names

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Peculiarities regarding names

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Names

Peculiarities regarding names

Of all the names of persons mentioned in the Old Testament, none are surnames. Biblical characters, whether notable or not, were known by one name only. And those names, as translated into the English language, neither use the letters q, x, or w nor begin with F.5

The Book of Mormon shares those same peculiarities: not one surname is mentioned among its 337 proper names, which, as transcribed into English, do not use the letters q, x, or w and do not begin with F. Had Joseph Smith authored the Book of Mormon in an attempt to pass it off as an ancient record, he might easily have slipped up by giving at least a few of his characters surnames, as was the custom for centuries before the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. And even if he were careful to model his expression after the Bible and thereby avoid obvious pitfalls, chances are slim that he would have noticed that in the Bible the letters q, x, and w are not used in proper names.[1]


  1. Donald W. Parry, "Hebraisms and Other Ancient Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 7, references silently removed—consult original for citations.