And apparently researchers have found that ancient cultures develop words for colors in a fairly consistent order, starting with White and Black, then moving on to Red, usually Yellow, and so forth. Blue is pretty consistently the last color that ancient cultures developed a word for.
So this morning during scripture study, I got curious to see how this played out with colors in the Book of Mormon. I'll warn you ahead of time, this is a super rough, back-of-the-napkin type of analysis, and not scientifically rigorous at all, so take it with a grain of salt. But I did find some interesting patterns that I thought I'd share.
I downloaded the Gutenberg project's plain text files of the Book of Mormon, and two other texts to compare:
- The Bible: Since the Book of Mormon was purports to be a book of scripture written by people who left Jerusalem for the Americas around 600 BC, and since it was translated into language that mimics the King James Version of the Bible, you can't get around comparing the Book of Mormon to the Bible. It's 2-3 times as long as the Book of Mormon. If I had more time, I'd have liked to compare different sections of the Bible, since they were written at different times, and (in some cases) in different languages.
- Last of the Mohicans: This work of fiction was published a few years before the Book of Mormon was. It has about half as many pages. It deals with wars including European settlers and Native American people during the French Indian War (prior to the American Revolution), and the author (James Fenimore Cooper) lived in the same region of the United States as Joseph Smith during this time period.