CHIASMUS IN THE BOOK OF MORMON PDF

Roberts noted: The facts That there are a large number of separate language stocks in America that show very little relationship to each other. That it would take a long time—much longer than that recognized as "historic times"—to develop these dialects and stocks where the development is conceived of as arising from a common source of origin—some primitive language. That there is no connection between the American languages and the language of any people of the Old World. New World languages appear to be indigenous to the New World. That the time limits named in the Book of Mormon—which represents the people of America as speaking and writing one language down to as late a period as A.

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Alma —15 The twist here is clever: after listing four pairs of terms, Alma pairs two lists of four terms and reverses their order at the same time.

Or to use a chiasm to describe this chiasm: Alma writes a list of pairs and then a pair of lists. In all seriousness, a great play on words. By far the most subtle use of chiasmus is its role in the structural design of longer passages and books. The book of Mosiah, for example, utilizes a chiastic structure in its underlying organization, at the expense of chronological order. Of this group, only Alma 36 is sufficiently brief for effective illustration here of the way in which complex chiasmus can be employed in a longer passage to emphasize a central theme.

This chapter is as extensive and precise as any chiastic passage I am aware of in ancient literature. Besides having practical structural value, chiasmus has a distinct charm and beauty in a passage such as this.

The first ten verses and the last eight form an artistic frame around the central motif which contrasts the agony of conversion with the joy of conversion. Moreover, chiasmus allows Alma to place the very turning point of his entire life exactly at the turning point of this chapter: Christ, because of the effects of the future atonement, belongs at the center of both.

Compared with the abrupt antithetic parallelisms found in the recounting of this incident recorded in Mosiah 27, the chiasmus in Alma 36 is monumental and meaningful. Conclusion The intent of this article is to introduce one concept of formal analysis into Book of Mormon studies. The form which has been examined is chiasmus, a basic element of ancient literature, particularly that of the ancient Hebrews. Although all knowledge of this form lay dormant for centuries, it was rediscovered and reexplored in the nineteenth century when formal criticism began to emerge.

But by the time the concept of chiasmus received currency or recognition, the Book of Mormon had long been in print. Since the Book of Mormon contains numerous chiasms, it thus becomes logical to consider the book a product of the ancient world and to judge its literary qualities accordingly. The book reviewed in this way is moving; it deserves to be read more carefully. Notes [1] See Parley P.

Revell, , To the extent the following examples vary from the King James Version, they are verbatim translations from the Hebrew or Greek. Gregory, new edition with notes by Calvin E. Stowe Andover, Mass. Clark, Welch, ed. To these rules, I would add the following principles for use in testing for chiasmus: 1 chiasmus should be relatively self-evident, encompassing a complete literary unit within the text, and not forced upon a partial passage artificially; 2 it generally does not occur where other organizing schemes are primary i.

Arbitrary chapter divisions appear in the edition 1 Nephi with seven, 2 Nephi with fifteen, etc. The current chapter divisions and separation into verses were made by Orson Pratt in Therefore, one need not be concerned to take chapter and verse into account when studying the structure of a passage.

Reynolds in chapter 3 of this volume. Contact Heber J. Grant Building Brigham Young University.

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Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

Links Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon In the late s, a young Latter-day Saint discovered that an ancient form of Middle Eastern poetry was found throughout the Book of Mormon, suggestive of its ancient Semitic origins. This poetical form, chiasmus, a type of inverted parallelism, reaches highly artistic heights in the Book of Mormon and is difficult to ascribe to chance. Yet the information available to Joseph Smith when the Book of Mormon was translated provided nothing to guide him in crafting such structures. Could this be part of a growing body of evidence for ancient Semitic origins for the text? This page is one of several pages in a suite of " Frequently Asked Questions about Latter-day Saint Beliefs " maintained by Jeff Lindsay, a Book of Mormon aficionado who takes full responsibility for this work, which is neither sponsored nor endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Search JeffLindsay.

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Linguistics and the Book of Mormon

Alma —15 The twist here is clever: after listing four pairs of terms, Alma pairs two lists of four terms and reverses their order at the same time. Or to use a chiasm to describe this chiasm: Alma writes a list of pairs and then a pair of lists. In all seriousness, a great play on words. By far the most subtle use of chiasmus is its role in the structural design of longer passages and books. The book of Mosiah, for example, utilizes a chiastic structure in its underlying organization, at the expense of chronological order. Of this group, only Alma 36 is sufficiently brief for effective illustration here of the way in which complex chiasmus can be employed in a longer passage to emphasize a central theme.

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