John L. Hilton

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John L. Hilton was an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an adjunct professor of statistics at Brigham Young University. He was also a project physicist for Physics International.

Hilton contributed to research on the Book of Mormon through the development of wordprint studies, which used a statistical technique to analyze the rate of use of non contextual words by authors. He and his colleagues (three of them non-LDS) demonstrated that it is statistically “indefensible to propose Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdery or Solomon Spaulding as the author of the 30,000 words from the Book of Mormon manuscript texts attributed to Nephi and Alma.”[1]

Hilton holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from BYU. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He passed away on March 12, 2000.

His grandson John Hilton III is a professor at BYU.