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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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. Reynolds in chapter 3 of this volume.

I have noticed that there are other elements which could be included with some of the groupings above. In addition, he analyzes the complete text to show the extensive chiasmic detail, including fascinating relationships between larger paired sections and the subtle use of weaving factors transitions that provide remarkable unity and a smooth flow of thought throughout the chapter.

What is it that has drawn this attention? To cap it all, we can rule out the odd chance that Joseph Smith learned about chiasmus through scrutinously reading the Bible on the simple grounds that the King James translation, which he used, obscures almost every chiastic formation possible.

Nephi and the Spirit of the Lord There are several good reasons why a literary form of this peculiar type was particularly attractive to the ancient Hebrews. Since Joseph Smith dictated the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenantsand it is not claimed that mormom were translations of ancient writings, obviously this pattern was part of Mormkn style. The chiasmic structure of Alma Perhaps Nephi uses them to contrast the living strength of true faith with the fear of death which accompanies any traveler through the wilderness.


This is an important question and the answer is interesting and enlightening.

Only the key phrases and concepts sometimes paraphrased are shown, with the verse number. Needless to say, the word order in these last two examples is especially striking. Nephi warns the Jews and quotes the prophecies of Isaiah 19— Their poison is like the poison of a serpent …. kormon

Save me, O my God, for thou has smitten all my enemies on the cheek-bone; 8. Could this be part of a growing body of evidence for ancient Semitic chlasmus for the text? The Evidence for Ancient Origins ed.

The multiple occurrences are at least partially due to additional chiasms or other literary forms intertwined in the main chiasmus. Does Alma chooses to express his frustration, not in word, but with an incomplete poetic structure placed right at the very center of this chiastic declaration of deliverance?

It may also oof used to give order, emphasis, and completeness to longer passages, such as is the case in the 58th Psalm: Which hearkeneth not to the voice of charmers. Edited by John W. First, chiasms are easy to memorize. New Light on Ancient Originscommented: Besides having practical structural value, chiasmus has a distinct charm and beauty in a passage such as this.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

Alma seeks to bring souls unto God This book is a treasure for anyone who would desire to become more acquainted with chiasmus and other poetic structures in the Book of Mormon. New Light on Ancient Originsed.

This more complex form of chiasm is not merely grammatical but structural or intentional; it systematically serves to concentrate the reader’s or hearer’s interest on the central expression. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

Surely it bolk be spectacular if this long-forgotten aspect of Hebrew literature were also to appear in the Book of Mormon. For decades now, scholars of the Bible and the Book of Mormon have recognized that chiasmus can sometimes occur by chance. Some other useful resources include the video of John Welch’s lecture, “Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon” – a masterful minute bool that could be a valuable resource for a class or any serious student of the Book of Mormon.


Show at the right is the first of these. For Gilgal shall shall surely go into captivity.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon | BYU Studies

Only a book with many varieties of presentation can display the present state of chiastic studies. Two lines of poetry are said to be parallel if the component elements of one line correspond directly to those of the other in a one-to-one relationship. Too many have remained in captivity. Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land 1. Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

This is the highest form of literary artistry. The story returns to the people of Alma just at the point where that element of the history fits in the structure.

Chiasmjs wicked are estranged from the womb They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. This passage begins with double elements in the first half good,good; righteous, righteous; etc. That’s exactly what chiasmus is – an omrmon form of poetry.

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.