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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Welch notes that it was theoretically possible but highly unlikely that Joseph could have known about chiasmus. In computer studies of noncontextual word frequencies to measure unconscious language patterns, word groupings from nineteenth-century authors were clearly distinguishable from Book of Mormon word groupings. The focus, the central message of the chiasm, is Mormin testimony of Christ, together with Alma’s conversion and teachings to his followers.

A Journal of Mormon Scripture 22 The number of such chiastic constructions which satisfy both sets of criteria: The story returns to the people of Alma just at the point where that element of the history fits in the structure.

He considers many historical details regarding the information on chiasmus in Joseph Smith’s day.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon?

He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. In the late s, 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.

It now appears certain that the ancient Israelites not only had a unique message to give to the world, but they also had a unique way in which to write this message down. For many additional examples of chiasmus from the writings of Nephi, see the article, ” Nephi’s Convincing of Christ through Chiasmus: In fact, many nursery rhymes have this same type of structure e.

Even today, chiasmus is a lost art.

Detailed insight into the issue of chance chiasmus versus intentional chiasmus comes from a thorough statistical analysis by Boyd F. Here is beginner’s example of chiasmus from the Book of the Law of the Lordchapter 39, section 1, which shows good rhythm. If so, an understanding of chiasmus should be helpful in interpreting and understanding the design of the total book. It’s one more necessary tread in the evidence tapestry.


I have noticed that there are other elements which could be included with some of the groupings above. That Ye May Learn Wisdom. The wicked are estranged from the womb They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. But even at that, it was not until the decade of the s, after much more had been learned about the philology of early Semitic languages, that chiasmus was properly understood and unequivocally acknowledged.

Second, since the chiasm encompasses the entire report for the year, this unifying structure strongly suggests that the account was written as a single literary unit that Mormon copied verbatim from the Large Plates of Nephi into his abridgment.

Given our twentieth-century understanding of chiastic writings and their historical occurrences, this one chapter is strong evidence that the Book of Mormon was not written in the nineteenth century. There we read the words that he spoke extemporaneously immediately after he regained consciousness; they are not chiastic.

Nephi accomplishes a great feat by building a ship of 1 Nephi Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: Above all, we have learned once again that, if we are to judge the literature of another culture, we must not judge it according to our likes and dislikes.

The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. Surely God did deliver them 2. Edited by John W.

Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: See in particular the chapter chiadmus chiasmus. The Dynamics chiasmks Book of Mormon Parallelism. Seek Yahweh, and ye shall live. The first article here is a short, relatively non-technical response to this claim. So here it is, Welch’s outline of the overall structure of Alma Several articles listed on this page address this argument by examining the most important passages of the Book of Mormon said to be written in chiasmus form.

I don’t think anyone can honestly read the Book of Mormon without realizing that it confirms the Bible and teaches of Christ.


Moreover, the thoughts which appear at the center of a chiastic passage must always be given special attention, and any antithetical ideas introduced at the turning point must be contrasted with their properly corresponding boom. And thf it is. Pains of a damned soul Example 4 And they said unto me: Chiasmus, the Book of Mormon, and the Aquarian Gospel. 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.

Chiasmus is a type of parallelism in which the second half of the text parallels in reverse order the first half.

Chiasmus and the Book of Mormon

New Light on Ancient Originsed. I want to illustrate the additional dimension of study and investigation that the knowledge of these structures provide. Not only were manuscripts and scrolls scarce, but there were also few who could read them.

Understanding chiasmus helps us understand its message, a message centered on Christ. All momon whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life Of all that was on the dry land Te And was destroyed Every living thing That was upon the face of the ground Both man, And creeping things, And beastsAnd cattle, And birds of the heavens, And they were destroyed from the earth.

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.

If the second line or a parallelism is inverted, that is to say, if its last element is placed first and the first, last, then a chiasm is created, as, for example, in the following verse:.