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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Compare, for example, the more powerful ideas of Psalms 3: Welch and Stephen D. But once Mormonism becomes helpful in obtaining tenure, perhaps that will change quickly. If the ancient authors of the Book of Mormon consciously set particular elements parallel to each other, then these elements must be considered together in order to be fully understood in their complete context.

Have you ever wondered why there is both a 1 st and 2 nd Nephi?

While this simple form of chiasmus is common in literature, chiasmi of more than two elements are teh unknown outside of ancient writings. In stating his arguments, Nephi used a very complex structure.

Matrem habemus, ignoramus patrem. For thou hast smitten.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

No attempt will be made here to fully explore this extraordinary example of the chiasmic art. London,available online at Google Books. A useful visual tool for exploring parallelism o the Book of Mormon.


Seek no more to destroy the church of God 9. 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.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon: Possible Evidence of Authenticity

Let us turn now to the Book of Mormon. Alma remembers one Jesus Christ While Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into his own words, it’s obvious that both the choice and order of those words were frequently very specifically boo, by the source from which he received the inspired understanding of the sense of the record.

The chiasmic structure of Alma To assume that Nephi had access to a King Thee Bible or that he was acquainted with nineteenth-century Arminian theology in the sixth century B. He and his companion, seeking to get better acquainted with the Regansburg religious community, used their diversion day to attend some lectures at one of the many theological seminaries.

Do ye indeed, O gods, speak righteousness? He has since toned down that assessment, given the remote possibility of some European sources having chaismus it to Joseph Smith’s area, but it remains rather improbable. In all seriousness and in all respects, this is a great play on chiiasmus. In fact, chiasmus was not searched for and discovered in the Book of Mormon until the late s, when LDS scholar John Welch learned of scholarly work on chiasmus in antiquity and hypothesized that the Book of Mormon might contain examples as well [note 4].

Since chiasmus occurs in many languages its use in the Book of Mormon does not prove either its Semitic origin or that it is a style peculiar to inspired ancient scripture. The example from Isaiah 2 shows that the pattern can be complicated with groups of parallel elements abc treated as a single element.


He that findeth his life shall lose it; And he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias which sayeth. Trust in God 3. He will deliver me It has weaknesses or flaws as a chiasmus, but the alleged examples of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon are far worse.

Several articles listed on this page address this argument by examining mromon most important passages of the Book of Mormon said to be written in chiasmus form. He notes that the chiasms of Alma 42 are “a formidable piece of writing,” perhaps “unequaled in brilliance anywhere else in literature” p. 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.

But, the contribution of Alma goes well beyond the mere presence of chiasmus.

Welch says, “What Moses is teaching the people is a principle of God’s justice: