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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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I question how any human mind, unaided by inspiration from above, could form language into such intricate structures while at the same time not only maintain but enhancing the meaning of the text. For thou hast smitten.

A Journal of Mormon Scripture 19 He ln then serving as a missionary in the predominantly Catholic town of Regansburg, Germany.

2. Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

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. Their works indicate that, although some chiasms appear in Greek, Latin and English, chuasmus form was originally Hebrews and dates at least to the eighth and tenth centuries B.

Notice also that the first half of the chiasm contains the words of Nephi, while the second half is built from the words of the Lord, comprising a deft shift at the center. How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? But upon thee will arise. Limbs received their strength again The Pearl of Great Price and Joseph’s diary exhibit similar patterns. We are now unraveling the mystery of its language technique and are able to unveil it to the scholarly world as an impressive example of Hebraic artistry.


What is it that has drawn this attention? Prophet, Seer, and Poet [note 2] one of my favorite books: Joy as exceeding as the pain Over and over I find that those passages, particularly in the teaching of Alma and the writings of Nephi, which I have highlighted, turn out to be chiastic.

There are several good reasons why a literary form of this peculiar type was particularly attractive to the ancient Hebrews.

Does Chiasmus Prove Anything about the Book of Mormon? | Book of Mormon Central

Too many have not heard the word. Like a snail will melt as it goes along. This passage begins with double elements in the first half good,good; righteous, righteous; etc. Further, the report emphasized another two peoples, those of Lehi and of Mulek. Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon The discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is one of the most significant scholarly contributions to understanding and appreciating the Nephite record.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon | BYU Studies

Here I reproduce the overall structure, which is Level 1 in Welch, This message is most powerfully expressed in the structure Alma has given to his words.

Abortions of a woman that have not beheld the sun …. B But I do not joy in my own success alone, a but my joy is more full b because of the success of my brethren, c who have been up to the land of Nephi.

However, the issue of translation raises a problem of internal consistency in Book of Mormon Authorship. Just look at how it turned out!


He states that chias,us has identified and formatted over chiasmi in the current English edition of the Book of Mormon. A new ij valuable resource for exploring parallelism in the Book of Mormon is Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: Welch notes that E and E’ contains triplets such as “supported under trials, troubles, and afflictions” as well as “prison, bonds, and death.

Thus, they reason, his use of it in the Book of Mormon demonstrates that it is a translation of an ancient text.

They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Book of Mormon Authorship has made a prima facie case for the ancient origins of the Book of Mormon. By far ov most subtle use of chiasmus in any work is its role in creating the structural design behind longer passages and entire books.

2 Nephi 11:4

It should also be noted that several dozen other types of Hebrew literary forms are also used extensively throughout the Book of Mormon, making chiasmus just the flagship in an entire fleet of Hebrew-related literary evidences.

Mormons commonly cite Alma 36 as the supreme example of a long, complex chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. Others tthe supposed that the presence of this literary feature proves next to nothing.