Kevin Barney argues that "five" in "five books of Moses" (1 Nephi 5:11) is a translator's gloss from Joseph and was not original to the plates.

Academic / Technical Report
Kevin Barney

Kevin L. Barney, "Reflections on the Documentary Hypothesis," Dialouge: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 74

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Kevin Barney
Reading Public

According to 1 Nephi 5:11, the brass plates contained the "five books of Moses." The reader will recall that Sjodahl rejected the Documentary Hypothesis outright based on that passage alone. But if the basic sources were all pre-Exilic, we do not know in what form those sources existed prior to the redaction of R. It may well be that there were "five books" of Moses, only in a somewhat different configuration than the five books we know today. Although I admit this as a possibility, personally I think it is simpler to assume that the text referred to "books of Moses," taking the number "five" as a translator's gloss. 1 Nephi 19:23 refers to the "books of Moses" on the brass plates without the number "five," which supports this possibility. In fact, the first edition (1830) has "the Book of Moses," which suggests that even the plural "books" in 1 Nephi 5:11 may be a gloss based on the Prophet Joseph's assumptions and expectations. 1 Nephi 22:20 and Helaman 8:13 refer simply and ambiguously to the "words" of Moses.

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