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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While the Book of Mormon is richly chiastic, extensive structural chiasmus has yet to be found in any other literature in the world other than the Hebrew. B a I know that which the Lord hath commanded me. Again, this is only scratching the surface of the rich structure in this chapter, but what a scratch!

This degree of painstaking deliberation in writing was the rule, rather than the exception, among the Book of Mormon prophets. This book is perhaps the most sophisticate use of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. And gross darkness the peoples. Welch notes that it was theoretically possible but highly unlikely that Joseph could have known about chiasmus. The answer is now clear. Fragment 67 Several centuries later, Cicero effectively used chiastic lines as a rhetorical device for placing emphasis: Born of God 5.

Chiasmus appears to have begun as a structural form that later developed into an intriguing rhetorical device which has been used sporadically in prose and poetry for nearly three thousand years.

Chiasmus is one aspect of that way of writing, chuasmus, in other words, one of the literary techniques present in the Bible, that has recently attracted the attention of erudite scholars. He surely did deliver them 2. He that findeth his life shall lose it: Scanning a copy of the Book of Mormon that has been formatted to display these poetic structures, the teaching of Alma can almost infallibly be recognized, just by observing tje complexity of the chiasmic structures. Both sections also discuss trust tye God and being lifted up at the last day.


This article provides an introduction to chiasmus, explaining what it is and why Mormons think it is evidence for the Book of Mormon, giving examples from the Bible, and discussing whether the Book of Mormon contains clear instances of chiasmus.

Save me, O my God, for thou has smitten all my enemies on the cheek-bone; 8. And their eyes they have closed lest at any time they should see. Numerous issues have been discussed there. He sees it only as further evidence of the truth of his view of the book’s Satanic origin. While chiasmus is now increasingly recognized as a hallmark chiasmu ancient Semitic writings, it does not prove anything per sefor chiasmus does occur in some modern texts by accident.

2. Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

They also provide useful background information and other insights. The full passage follows: It is evidence that whoever wrote the Book of Mormon was likely very familiar with the use of chiasmus in the ancient word, especially by Hebrew writers in ancient Israel and perhaps even by Mayan writers in ancient America.

One of the main types of evidence that Mormons currently claim supports the authenticity of the Book of Mormon as ancient Israelite scripture is chiasmus. This symposium is free to attend, and registration is not required.

Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: Moreover, the thoughts which appear at the center of a chiastic passage must always on given special attention, and any antithetical ideas introduced at the turning point must be contrasted with their properly corresponding ideas. The example from Isaiah 2 shows that the pattern can be complicated with groups of parallel elements abc treated as a single element.


Chiasmus and the Book of Mormon

Such decisive findings may give pause to even the most vehement critics of the Book of Mormon and put to rest once and for all the theory that either Sidney Rigdon or Solomon Spaulding authored it.

An understanding of chiasmus will also greatly enhance interpretation of Book of Mormon scriptures. Knowledge is of God Mornon, it’s Alma’s recounting of his conversion to his son Helaman in chapter 36 that John Welch calls ” The Masterpiece. The subject, transgression, is clearly placed at the center.

Chiasmus and the Book of Mormon

Needless to say, the discovery of chiasmus has given us plenty to think about. The last half of the chapter expresses an ambivalence of joy — joy for those who repent, Joy in his success in “preaching the word,” joy in the success of his brethren.

Yet in one way or another, each of these explanations is lacking.

Seek Yahweh, and ye shall live. Blessed are your eyes, for they see and your ears, for they hear. His search was rewarded by the discovery of numerous examples of such structures. In cases such as these, chiasmus is used bbook give emphasis to points of special importance.