The discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is one of the most significant scholarly contributions to understanding and appreciating the Nephite record. Since its discovery in , people have wondered what to make of the Book of Mormon’s use of chiasmus. Some have seen its numerous. Some historical background is provided by John Welch in his classic and ground- breaking article, “Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon,” BYU.
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Both individuals and nations can, must, be born again and become sons mmormon daughters of God: This marks the recognition of the form as genuine and significant. You can view the latest Review magazine online, including selected articles and full online versions of the printed magazine.
Chiasmus helps us to appreciate the depths that are plumbed and the intricacies that are penetrated by the thoughts of men like Nephi, King Benjamin, and Alma the Younger. The word chiasmus derives from the Greek letter chi Mmormon which symbolizes the top-to-bottom mirror image reflection achieved by elements of text.
Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon | BYU Studies
Alma 36 contributes chissmus the literary value of the Book of Mormon. The report describes this year in a beautifully balanced chiastic structure. Support in trials, troubles and afflictions 3. And yet there are tons of music, fulfilling the basics of music theory, produced by people who couldn’t even read and had no formal training whatsoever.
For example, consider, the following Old Testament passages which are translated literally from Hebrew: To learn to be wise is to learn to keep the commandments of God. Many of these appear to be selections quoted by Mormon from other sources.
The pattern seems unlikely to have been accidental or contrived, but is logical, enhances the meaning of the text, and is consistent over many parallel levels. And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Stood upon my feet Links and Suggested Reading Chiasmus Resources from John Welch — great collection of information, tools, and resources on chiasmus by the scholar who found it in the Book of Mormon, Dr. They were at peace. Or to use a chiasm to describe this chiasm: A And now may God grant tne these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of chiiasmus labors that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever.
There are now hundreds of proposed chiasms in the Book of Mormon. D’ The Brass Ball, the Liahona, a source of physical guidance as they traveled through the wilderness on their way to the promised land: Christenson, EnsignFeb. Besides having practical structural value, chiasmus has a distinct charm and beauty in a passage such as this.
But, the contribution of Alma goes well beyond the mere presence of chiasmus. If he designed to produce a false piece of Hebrew scripture, should we not expect to find Hebrew elements therein? This is not a mere reiteration of the same words. If these examples are real and nonrandom, then it becomes increasingly probable that the Book of Mormon is not a nineteenth century writing, but is a translation of an ancient text representing, at least in part, a highly developed literary tradition.
On the one extreme, the phenomenon itself can be described or defined rigorously, so that it is verifiable chiamus often self-evident; while in this sense it is part of a deliberate pattern of composition, it nevertheless leaves the wider world of symbolism and significance to others.
2. Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon
Longing to be with God The great teeth of the young lions. In harmony mormonn the nature of that event, he chose to express his story in chiastic form. Which hearkeneth not to the voice of charmers.
Even today, chiasmus is a lost art. This book is perhaps the most sophisticate use of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. Perhaps Nephi uses them to contrast the living strength of true faith with the fear thee death which accompanies any traveler through the wilderness. To study chiasmus in these records it is necessary to go back to the Hebrew and Greek texts. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent ….
Was a chiasm used to emphasize that this report was, perhaps for the first time, a disclosure of the year’s affairs for both Nephite and Lamanite? Alma is here defining wisdom: And men shall say, surely there is a reward for the righteous Surely there is a God that judgeth the earth.
Alma 36 ,” Welchpresents several levels of chiasmic structure. The book begins with the message of an angel as delivered to the people by their king. Moreover, chiasmus allows Alma to place the very turning point of his entire life exactly at the turning point of this chapter: Quite consistently, therefore, a shift can be seen to occur at the center of a chiasm so that the bigger, more powerful, or more intense ideas will appear in the second half of chiastic passages.
We have no choice but to treat the Book of Mormon, especially its earliest sections, as chiastic literature that is cognate and congruent in its form with early Hebraic poesy. As with much of literature, especially poetry, ambiguity and obscurity are inherent in the form and content: He states that he has identified and formatted over chiasmi in the current English edition of the Book of Mormon.
This didn’t phase him a bit. No attempt will be made here to fully explore this extraordinary example of the chiasmic art.
However, if a passage shows a chiasmatic structure that is related to and enhances the meaning of the text, that is tightly and densely woven into the text, with consistent multiple layers, then one may suspect that such a passage was crafted rather than accidental. He was then serving as a missionary in the predominantly Catholic town of Regansburg, Germany.
But still, in this endeavor we only stand in front of an open door with plenty of room left ahead of us for learning and feeling about the Book of Mormon.