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Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon | Truth Revealed | Scoop.it
In the late 1960s, 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.

 

Mormanity is my LDS blog, in operation since 2004. Numerous issues have been discussed there. Join the fray! Or visit the other blogs on my blogroll there.

 

Also consider my “Book of Mormon Evidences” page.

 

Chiasmus is a form of parallelism used as a poetical structure in some ancient writings from the Middle East and Greece [note 1]. The word chiasmus derives from the Greek letter chi (X) which symbolizes the top-to-bottom mirror image reflection achieved by elements of text. An example of a very simple chiasmus is found in Psalms 124:7:

 

We have escaped as a bird
From the snare of the fowlers
The snare is broken
And we have escaped.
Here are two examples from Isaiah, as presented by Victor L. Ludlow in Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet [note 2] (one of my favorite books):

(a) Make the heart of this people fat,
(b) and make their ears heavy,
(c) and shut their eyes;
(c’) lest they see with their eyes,
(b’) and hear with their ears,
(a’) and understand with their heart,
and convert [return], and be healed. (Is. 6:10)
(abc) Come … to the house of the God of Jacob; and … and we will walk in his paths…
(d) And he shall judge among the nations…
(e) they shall beat their swords into plowshares
(e’) and their spears into pruninghooks
(d’) nation shall not lift up sword against nation…
(a’b'c’) O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isaiah 2:3-5)

 

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The Baptist Version of The Book of Mormon

The Baptist Version of The Book of Mormon | Truth Revealed | Scoop.it
The Baptist Version of The Book of Mormon

 

Protestant Doctrines within the Book of Mormon

 

by Lynn Ridenhour, Southern Baptist Minister

 

I’m a licensed Southern Baptist minister and I embrace the Book of Mormon.

 

That is, I believe the truths recorded in it. No, I’m not a convert to the Mormon faith, nor am I a member of any particular “spin-off” restoration group such as the RLDS (Reorganized Latter-day Saints), Hedrikites, or Strangites. I’m still a Baptist minister. To be exact, I’m “charismatic Baptist.” That is, I still embrace the “born again” experience. I still believe you’re saved by grace. By the shed blood of Christ. Salvation is by faith alone in His finished work on Calvary. I still believe in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. I believe and embrace those cardinal doctrines of Protestantism.

 

And you know what?…

 

I still believe the Book of Mormon too!

 

I know. I can hear you now. “…A charismatic Baptist minister who believes the Book of Mormon?! Impossible. That’s like a Protestant Pope…” No, it’s not. It’s not a contradiction.

 

The two go hand in hand, really–Protestant doctrine and the Book of Mormon. They’re not at odds. The Book of Mormon is filled with Protestant cardinal doctrines, believe it or not. In fact, I discovered, the Book of Mormon is more “Baptist” than the Baptist hymnal in places. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s so. I read the Book from cover to cover and found as a Baptist minister, there is absolutely nothing in it that contradicts the Bible.

 

For example, the book uplifts the blood of Christ (Mosiah 1:118), declares that salvation is only by God’s grace (2 Nephi 7:42), defends the grand theme of salvation (Mosiah 1:108), and proclaims that salvation comes only through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ (Mosiah 3:8,9). Other themes such as repentance, atonement by Christ’s blood, redemption, and forgiveness run like a scarlet thread through the book as well (Alma 3:86, Helaman 2:71, Alma 13:13, Mosiah 2:3,4). Thus, our “tongue ‘n’ cheek” title, The Baptist Version of the Book of Mormon. I’m telling you, the grand themes of Protestantism are found recorded through and through. From cover to cover.

 

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