There are 15 thoughts on “Onomastic Wordplay on Joseph and Benjamin and Gezera Shawa in the Book of Mormon”.

  1. I feel it is a great artical about how ancient people were suffered. I compared myself life with the people of old. All i know god will never leaves us.
    Alma and other BOM dealings and ideas are so great.
    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to read this brother.

  2. This is a really interesting technique, and I’ve seen something similar in the BOM where it combines even shorter snippets of separate biblical passages, where the references passages share some common term or concept. One example is Alma 18:13 which seems to reference both John 1:38 and John 20:16. Alma 18:13 employs terminology unique to each biblical verse as well as terminology the two verses share. The context of both verses also seem to be relevant to the passage in Alma in an antithetical way. Both biblical passages are associated with someone recognizing Jesus as the Christ. The verse from John 1 follows John the Baptist’s declaration of Jesus as the Lamb of God, and the verse illustrates his believing disciples’ response. The verse in John 20 represents Mary Magdalene’s recognition as Jesus as Lord. The verse in Alma is associated with the episode where Ammon is mistaken for Christ. Ive found other examples like this one as well, so it’s interesting to see a more straightforward and likely precedent in what the article has outlined.
    I did have an issue with the article’s use of Isaiah 52:10 without any qualification. I believe 52:10 is generally accepted by mainstream biblical scholarship as being authored post exile. Using it in an article that supports a literal/historical view of the BOM without any framing as to why it’s presence doesn’t hinder a literal/historical interpretation of the BOM undermines the article’s stamce on BOM historicity and likely alienates a certain educated audience. I realize that these kind of articles are mostly directed towards Mormon audiences and it is typical for Mormon apologetics to assume that Old Testament scripture referenced in the BOM was available pre-600 BC, but issues of text dating can certainly be
    relevant and controversial among members of the church as well. Addressing the text dating when relevant would be helpful in contributing to BOM scholarship as a whole and its ability to dialogue with scholarship outside of apologetic publications.

    • You may be right, but my guess is that most people who read the interpretor are well aware of the issue, and even more so those who can actually comprehend the author’s paper

      • I think you’re right that people are aware. I’m suggesting including with the issue with the aim of: 1. engaging audience who find the text dating a legitimate concern which is likely a large portion of educated non-members and at least a minority of educated members, 2. Help the article dialogue with mainstream scholarship a bit more, 3. Pursue truth in a hard and somewhat controversial area. Even a footnote stating the argument for the verse’s dating to pre-600 BC and citing any relevant scholarship would contribute to the above.

        • Last comment b/c I think we basically agree with each other. I think your numbering list are all good aims. I think for this article a footnote would probably have been the best option. It would in some ways cover your aim 2 I think that tackling your other aims is a larger project than the aim of this article and could have become too large. I think your aims 1 and 3 with regards to the issues you brought up are something that are beyond the scope of this focused paper and would make it quite large.
          Again I think we are basically agreeing with each other. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

          • Good points. Fair enough! Being one of the readers Included in my #1 list item, I’ll add that a footnote addressing the topic in articles like these would also work at least in part towards that first aim.

          • I should clarify that though Frederick suggests some kind of dependence of the BOM on NT verses in his dissertation, he has since used a less specific approach suggesting that potential intertextualities be called interactions as that doesn’t infer dependence one way or the other.

    • I don’t see Alma 18:13 as having any textual dependence on John 1:38 or John 20:16. The epithet “Rabbanah,” though derived from the same Semitic root as rabbi and Rabboni, is a different word and it is glossed with a different meaning. The basic meaning of *rbb is “great” or “much,” and its use in epithets is well-attested long before 600 BCE. In fact, the Alma 18:13 gloss is much nearer to the basic meaning of the root *rbb than are the specialized meaning(s) of rabbi/Rabboni offered in the Johannine glosses.
      As for a detailed discussion of the dating of Isaiah 52:10, there is only so much one can do in a single paper (and it is certainly beyond the scope of this one). Anyone who steadfastly believes that Isaiah 52 is a post-exilic text will necessarily have a problem with it being on the brass plates and thus will have a problem with the Book of Mormon a whole (which quotes it several times). It should be noted that there is nothing in Isaiah 52 that compels us to read it as a post-exilic text and (to date) not a shred of external evidence has been found to confirm such a dating. Note that Egypt and Assyria are the foreign nations mentioned (in Isaiah 52:4). In short, to posit that Isaiah 52:10 is post-exilic is more an “assumption” than is holding to a pre-exilic date.
      Regards.

      • I appreciate your defense of Isaiah 52 inclusion in the Book of Mormon. I just think it’s important to engage those issues when necessary but I could be mistaken about when it’s necessary.
        I think it’s interesting that you don’t see some kind of Intertextual relationship between Alma 18:13 and the mentioned verses considering they share a healthy amount of terminology beyond Rabbonah/rabbi/Raboni. A quick comparison of two of the passages:
        Alma 18:13
        And one of the king’s servants said unto him: Rabbanah, which is being interpreted powerful or great king—considering their kings to be powerful—and thus he said unto him: Rabbanah, the king desireth thee to stay.
        John 1:38
        Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
        Matching terminology in correct sequence: “said unto him,” Rabbi/Rabbanah, “which is,” and “being interpreted”. Then the meanings are similar, master and King, (that’s expected though. as you point out, it’s an old word). Finally, there is also the similarity between stay and dwelleth.
        Other references to John abound in the Book of Mormon as Nicholas Frederick points out in his dissertation (including one just a chapter later in the use of the phrase “believe on his name” in 19:13, a phrase that abounds in the Book of Mormon but is used just once in the Bible in John 1). My point is there is a decent case for the connection, and there is plenty of precedent for BOM intertextuality with NT verses. If you haven’t watched Nicholas Frederick’s presentation at last year’s interpreter conference, it was really interesting and well done.

        • I meant to post a comment here, and I accidentally posted it on the wrong comment thread (the one directly above this). It clarifies that Nick Frederick does not currently suggest dependence of the BOM on the NT but prefers the term interaction as it doesn’t imply dependence in either direction.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

All comments are moderated to ensure respectful discourse. It is assumed that it is possible to disagree agreeably and intelligently and comments that intend to increase overall understanding are particularly encouraged.

Close this window

Top of Page

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This