Book of Mormon/Evidences/Hebraisms/Chiasmus

From FairMormon
Jump to: navigation, search
FairMormon-Answers-logo.png
PERSPECTIVES MEDIA QUESTIONS RESOURCES 2014 CONFERENCE

    Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

Questions and Answers


Question: What is chiasmus?

Chiasmus is a poetical or rhetorical form used by many languages

Chiasmus is a poetical or rhetorical form used by many languages, including Sumero-Akkadian [Sumeria, Assyria, Babylon], Ugaritic [Syrian area circa. 2000 B.C.] , Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, the Talmud, the New Testament, Greek, and Latin.[1]

Chiasmus is a form of parallelism, in which related or contrasting ideas are placed in juxtaposition for emphasis. Chiasmus uses "inverted parallelism," and takes its name from the Greek letter chi (χ) which looks like an English "X". This name was chosen to reflect the pattern of chiasmus:

Chiasmus pattern
Idea A
Idea B
Idea C
Central idea D (the 'turning point' or 'cross' of the chi)
Idea D repeated (optional)
Idea C repeated
Idea B repeated

Idea A repeated

Because chiasmus relies, to an extent, on relationships between ideas or concepts, as well as on words (e.g. on rhymes or meter) it can survive translation remarkably intact, even if the translator is unaware of its presence. John W. Welch was the first to notice chiastic structures in the Book of Mormon.[2]

Chiasmus itself can be understood in two distinct ways. It can be seen simply as a structural element (which describes the parallels in inverted order). It can also be seen as a rhetorical figure which employs this structure. While the second definition requires a degree of intentionality on the part of the author, the first does not. The difficulty lies in assessing whether or not a proposed example of chiasmus is really chiasmus or not - that is, is it an intentional figure or an accidental occurrence.

Chiasmus as a structure can be found nearly everywhere in prose

Chiasmus as a structure can be found nearly everywhere in prose. However, without considering the rhetorical value of the text, we can only be relatively certain of the intentionality of chiasmus when its structure is offset from the surrounding text in a way that draws our attention to it. This usually only occurs within poetic material where the text around the proposed chiasmus also follows relatively rigid (and intentional) textual patternings. Semitic poetry, for example, frequently uses paired parallel phrases. A passage might go something like this:

A:A' B:B' C:C'

And so on. If on the other hand, in the middle of a series of these parallelisms, we encounter something like this:

A:A' B:B' C:D:E:E':D':C' F:F' G:G'

Then we would have a chiastic structure interrupting the more typical paired parallelisms, and the use of chiasmus would be viewed strongly as being an intentional departure from the parallels that surround it - and thus a real example of chiasmus. This kind of proof does not work in general prose - where we normally do not expect to see structured text. Arguments for the occurrence in prose (and in poetics) are usually centered around the rhetorical value of the text. This can appear in several ways. A classic example of the rhetorical value of a chiasmus is seen in the Hebrew Psalm 82. There, the text uses a word which is ambiguous in Hebrew - meaning either "to rule" or "to judge" (in verses 1,2,3 and 8). The intial instances, when read in Hebrew are ambiguous until, through the chiastic structure, they are explained, and the first half of the poem can be re-read and the ambiguity resolved. Thankfully, when translated, most translators resolve the ambiguity for us. Scholars have developed a series of rules and criteria that can be used to help identify when a proposed chiasmus is an intentional one. Accidental chiastic structures are of little value in textual interpretation, since viewing one as intentional (when it wasn't) may lead to misinterpretation of the text. While the center of a chiasmus is usually the main point of the structure, this is not always the case, further complicating the issue.

While Chiasmus as a term was not known to Joseph Smith, its description as a rhetorical figure preceded the creation of the Book of Mormon significantly

The presence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon has generated criticism that it is either coincidental, an artifact of the observer, or simply not impressive, since examples of chiastic patterns have been found in the Doctrine and Covenants or other 19th century writing.

While Chiasmus as a term was not known to Joseph Smith (the term "chiasmus" was not coined as a reference to this structure until 1871), its use in English, and its description as a rhetorical figure preceded the creation of the Book of Mormon significantly. Two early descriptions of the figure can be found in George Puttenham (1589) who decribed it as: "Ye haue a figure which takes a couple of words to play with in a verse, and by making them to chaunge and shift one into others place they do very pretily exchange and shift the sence." A few years earlier (1577), Henry Peachem, in his book of rhetorical tropes The Garden of Eloquence wrote: "The use serueth properlie to praise, dispraise, to distinguish, but most commonly to confute by the inuersion of the sentence."


Question: Is the presence of chiastic structures in the Book of Mormon simply coincidence?

The "hickory dickory dock" theory of chiasmus

Critics of the Book of Mormon have proposed what might be called the "hickory dickory dock" theory of chiasmus. They point out that the children's nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock is chiastic:

Hickory Dickory Dock as Chiasmus
A - Hickory dickory dock
B - The mouse ran up the clock
C (central) - The clock struck one
B' - The mouse ran down

A' - Hickory dickory dock

Such simple examples of chiasmus are well known in English speech

To be sure, this is a trivial example. If this was the only sort of chiasmus to be found in the Book of Mormon, then it would be weak evidence, at best, of any sort of ancient origin for the text. Such simple examples of chiasmus are well known in English speech. This particular example becomes a bit more complicated, of course, because this poem can also be rewritten in a different format:

Hickory Dickory Dock as Limerick
Hickory dickory dock

The mouse ran up the clock

The clock struck one
The mouse ran down

Hickory dickory dock

Which structural label better describes the poem? Was it intended to be read chiastically? Or was it intended to be a limerick? Or does neither description best suit the likely intent of the author?

From the Bible
A - The last
B - shall be first
B' - and the first

A' - shall be last.

From: Matthew 9:30, Matthew 20:16


From Shakespeare
A - Fair is
B - foul
B' - and foul

A' - is fair.

From: Macbeth, Act I, scene 1, lines 11–12.

Such simple examples do exist in the Book of Mormon

The "hickory dickory dock" theory would seem to be a strawman. Such simple examples do exist in the Book of Mormon, (examples) but they are not the most impressive ones. Critics try to pretend that the simple, trivial parallelisms represent all such chiastic samples in the Book of Mormon. If Joseph Smith was writing the Book of Mormon himself, he might well compose simple parallelisms intentionally, or even accidentally.

Small, "trivial" chiastic structures containing only a few elements might well arise through chance or English rhetoric, especially when other elements within the text are not considered in the analysis.

However, critics ignore numerous complex, subtle, and meaningful chiamus when they assume that all of the Book of Mormon's inverted parallel structures are so simple. On the other hand, more work needs to be done to evaluate the hundreds of proposed chiastic readings of the Book of Mormon.[3] Some of them will inevitably end up as less likely than others, though statistical analysis has sustained the presence of some Book of Mormon chiasmus,[4] and failed to support it in some of Joseph's modern writings.[5]

And for LDS members, the value of these readings is less about demonstrating historicity in the text, and more about interpreting the text with the intentions of the authors in mind, as viewed through their use of rhetorical figures.


Question: What forms of chiasmus exist in the Book of Mormon?

The complex examples within the Book of Mormon show much greater sophistication than a child's nursery rhyme

One might honestly debate the merit of the less clear examples of "chiasmus" in the Book of Mormon, in which believers may have been over-enthusiastic

It is debated whether or not examples of macro-chiasmus (chiasms which span many chapters of text) should be properly identified as chiastic. But the examples given above are not as arbitrary. They are detailed, enhance the meaning of the text when appreciated, and require no 'special pleading' for anyone to notice them. They exist within well defined textual boundaries, and often display secondary features, making an argument for coincidence far less appealing. It is true that there are differences of opinions on some of the more widely recognized chiasmus in the Book of Mormon in terms of how they should be phrase, but this doesn't detract from the validity of the expression. To provide an example, here is one possible reading of Mosiah 5:10-12 as a chiasmus (slightly different from the version linked to above):

Mosiah 5:10-12 as Chiasmus
A - whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ (man)
B - must be called by some other name (divine)
C - therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God (man)
D - And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you (divine)
E - that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression (divine)
E' - therefore, take heed that ye do not transgree, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts (man)
D' - I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts (man)
C' - that ye are not found on the left hand of God, (divine)
B' - but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, (man)

A' - and also, the name by which he shall call you (divine)

This chiasmus is interesting because it alternates the roles of man and God throughout the structure - except at the center, where those roles are reversed.


Question: Was knowledge of chiasmus available in Joseph Smith's era?

Some work had been published on Hebrew poetry previous to the publication of the Book of Mormon

If critics of the Book of Mormon are to make their case for 19th century authorship, they need to demonstrate that Joseph Smith had access to and relied on contemporary research into Hebrew parallelism. John Welch recently summarized the issue:

I would qualify or clarify my position simply to assert a very low probability that Joseph Smith knew anything about chiasmus in 1829, being careful not to imply, claim, or suggest complete ignorance of this literary form in America at that time.

∗       ∗       ∗

Although further information may yet come forth to change this view (and I welcome any other information that may come to light), I do not believe that Joseph Smith knew anything about chiasmus from [contemporary] publications, even though it is remotely possible that he could have. While one cannot be sure on such matters, and more work probably remains to be done on this topic, I know of no evidence that [such works] reached America, let alone Palmyra or Harmony, in the 1820s; and no copy of [the major work of the period] was found on the book lists of the Manchester library, which contained very few religious books of any kind (only 8 of its 421 titles were religious).

∗       ∗       ∗

And finally, even assuming that Joseph Smith had known of chiasmus, the following observation, which I made in 1981, still stands: "There would still have remained the formidable task of composing the well-balanced, meaningful chiastic structures...which are found in precisely those portions of the Book of Mormon in which one would logically and historically expect to find them." To me the complexity of Alma 36 seems evidence enough of this point. Imagine the young prophet, without notes, dictating "extensive texts in this style that was unnatural to his world, while at the same time keeping numerous other strands, threads, and concepts flowing without confusion in his dictation."[7]:75,76,80


Question: Does chiasmus exist in the Doctrine and Covenants?

Any chiasmus in the Doctrine and Covenants is likely the product of chance

Edwards and Edwards subjected the claimed chiasmus in the Doctrine and Covenants to statistical analysis. The data were most consistent with it being a product of chance, while at least four Book of Mormon examples (Mosiah 3:18-20, Mosiah 5:10-12, Alma 36:1-30, Helaman 9:6-11) were not.[8] Readers can download the software and produce their own analyses by going here.


Question: Does chiasmus exist in Joseph Smith's writings?

Some researchers have detected a hypothetical "chiastic" structure in one of Joseph's letters to Emma

Jared Demke and Scott Vanatter detected a hypothetical "chiastic" structure in one of Joseph's letters to Emma, dated 4 November 1838.[9] Edwards and Edwards replied that they had found

a 68% chance that the chiastic structure in this letter could have appeared randomly. This value of L [chance of chiasmus arising intentionally, rather than by chance] is typical of non-chiastic text and contrasts sharply with values for the best chiasms in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, which are as low as L = 0.000000008 ± 0.000000004 (for the ten-element chiastic structure of Alma 36)...Preliminary inspection of chiastic structure in other letters and writings by Joseph Smith indicates that these may also be indefensible statistically.[10]


Question: What is the significance of the chiasmus in Alma 41:12-15?

The poetry cleverly teaches the doctrine that Alma is trying to convey: the doctrine of “restoration,” or "the word restoration" as he begins and ends

From:John W. Welch, Chiasmus In Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (Provo, Utah: FARMS, Research Press, 1981[1989]), 207. ISBN 0934893330. ISBN 3806707979. FairMormon link


A1 – And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature? O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again

A2 – evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish
B – good for that which is good [2x]
C – righteous for that which is righteous [2x]
D – just for that which is just [2x]
E – merciful for that which is merciful. [2x]
(Note how the double repetition in the first half is repeated twice in the second half)
First repetition
e – Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren
d – deal justly
c – judge righteously
b – and do good continually

and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea,

Second repetition (shall 'return unto you again')
e – ye shall have mercy restored unto you again;
d – ye shall have justice restored unto you again
c – ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again;
b – and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again
A2 – For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again,

and be restored; A1 – therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.[11]


The poetry cleverly teaches the doctrine that Alma is trying to convey: the doctrine of “restoration,” or "the word restoration" as he begins and ends.

So, the first half "gives" things like justice, righteousness, and doing good—the second half reflects those things back a first time, and then a second time in which these things are come “unto you again.” The poem itself “restores” things. It’s a clever bit of work, in which the chiasmus actually accomplishes what the doctrine it is teaching does.


Question: What is special about the chiasmus found in Alma 36?

Joseph actually produces an eloquent, persuasive man in the mold of the ancient world that comes through even in translation

Joseph Smith does not produce the kind of speaker that people of his day would think of as eloquent or fiery or powerful. Instead, Joseph actually produces an eloquent, persuasive man in the mold of the ancient world that comes through even in translation.

A - 1 MY son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you,

B - that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.
C - 2 I would that ye should do as I have done, in
D - remembering the captivity of our fathers; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and
E - he surely did deliver them in their afflictions. 3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that
F - whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be
G - supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
H - 4 And I would not that ye think that I know of myself—not of the temporal but of the spiritual, not of the carnal mind but of God. 5 Now, behold, I say unto you,
I - if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things; but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known unto me,
J - not of any worthiness of myself; 6 For I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God; but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way. 7 And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us. 8 But behold, the voice said unto me: Arise. And I arose and stood up, and beheld the angel. 9 And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
K - 10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three days and three nights that I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs. 11 And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them; for when I heard the words—If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God—I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more. 12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins. 13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
L - 14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror. 15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
M - 16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
N - 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins,
O - behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God,
[center] - to atone for the sins of the world.
O' - 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
N' - 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
M' - 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
L' - 22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.
K' - 23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
J' - 24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors; 26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been
I' - born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen;
H' - therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.
G' - 27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and
F' - I do put my trust in him, and
E' - he will still deliver me. 28 And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory;
D' - yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time. 29 Yea, and he has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them out of bondage and captivity, from time to time even down to the present day; and I have always retained in remembrance their captivity; yea, and ye also ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done, their captivity. 30 But behold, my son, this is not all;
C' - for ye ought to know as I do know, that
B' - inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and ye ought to know also, that inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence.

A' - Now this is according to his word.

John Welch: "Alma 36 is worthy in form to the best of any ancient chiastic writer"

Said John Welch of this passage:

It is difficult to imagine a more paradigmatic or a more effective use of chiasmus than this. Alma 36 is worthy in form to the best of any ancient chiastic writer. Two further points deserve particular attention: first, as if to remove any doubt concerning the fact that this chiastic arrangement was intended to accentuate the contrast between the agony and the joy which Alma had experienced, he makes that contrast explicit in verse 20 when he states: "My soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain." Second, it says much for Alma's artistic sensitivities that he succeeds in placing the turning point of his life at the turning point of this chapter. Such effects, it would appear, do not occur without design. As natural as it might seem to use chiasmus as a literary device in contrasting opposites such as those Alma had experienced or in emphasizing the turning point of one's conversion, its usage is not at all obvious or automatic, as is evidenced by the fact that Alma did not use it when he described his conversion as a young man [in Mosiah 27]. Such a use of chiasmus is, rather, a conscious creation of an imaginative and mature artist [such as Alma was by the time this was written, just prior to his passing]. [12]

In other words, one does not just get up from being unable to talk or move for a few days and ‘spontaneously’ break into chiasmus, any more than one can ad-lib a Shakespearean sonnet. Chiasmus—especially one as rich and detailed as Alma 36—is a work of conscious creation. It is also an impressive performance, since while it flawlessly follows the chiasmus model, nothing feels forced or artificial. The mirror parts aren’t just slavish repetition either; most have differences or elaborations in either the first or second ‘part’ to expand Alma’s meaning.

Joseph Smith takes an enormous chance with his supposed 'creation' of Alma the Younger. One of the great challenges for writers of fiction is writing—not the writing of the story, but the inclusion in the story of actual writing which a character has purportedly produced.

There are two options: the safer approach is for the author to tell the reader how wonderful an orator or writer the character is, but only give us glimpses of the actual speech, and instead convey the character's skill by describing the reactions of others.

The more difficult approach—and the one chosen by the Book of Mormon—is to actually produce the great oratory. This runs the risk of having the reader realize that the speech or the writing isn't really that great after all.

Joseph Smith chooses the second option, and succeeds. He introduces us to Alma the Younger, who is described as a master orator:

8 Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities. 9 And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them. (Mosiah 27:8–9).

Up until now, one might say that Joseph Smith (or whoever is supposedly writing this little 'frontier fiction') is playing it safe: he’s telling the reader what Alma did, and the effects of it, but the audience isn't given the actual words.

But, later on Joseph delivers extensive quotations from Alma’s own sermons and writings. Amazingly, Alma delivers!


For further information related to this topic


For further information related to this topic


FairMormon Perspectives offers answers to these questions

John W. Welch"Forty-five Years of Chiasmus Conversations, Criteria, and Creativity: What Chiasmus Proves and Does Not Prove," Proceedings of the 2012 FAIR Conference (August 2012)


It’s hard to believe that the discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon took place almost 45 years ago. I’m not that old! But indeed, it took place 45 years ago in Germany, in August 1967. A full account of that story is in the 2007 issue of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, which was published at the 40th anniversary of that discovery.1 (It and a lot of the other things I will be mentioning today are available free online on the Maxwell Institute website, maxwellinstitute.byu.edu, or the BYU Studies website.) Appropriately, this article has recently been translated and published in German under the title “The Discovery of Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon in Germany.”2 The German Saints are proud that the discovery happened in Germany.

I’ve been asked to tell the story many times. I’m always happy to oblige. In many ways it epitomizes the entire 45-year sequel of continuing conversations. I shall try today to emphasize some rarely used contemporary documents and pictures to flesh out for you what happened.

Click here to view the complete article

The Neal A. Maxwell Institute responds to these questions

John Welch,"Criteria for Identifying and Evaluating the Presence of Chiasmus", Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 4/2 (1995)


This article defines fifteen criteria one can use to measure the strength or weakness of a proposed chiastic pattern in a given text. The need for rigor in such studies depends primarily on how the results of the proposed structural analyses will be used. Ultimately, analysts may not know with certainty whether an author created inverted parallel structures intentionally or not; but by examining a text from various angles, one may assess the likelihood that an author consciously employed chiasmus to achieve specific literary purposes.

Click here to view the complete article

To see citations to the critical sources for these claims, click here

Notes

  1. John W. Welch, Chiasmus In Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (Provo, Utah: FARMS, Research Press, 1981[1989]), 5. ISBN 0934893330. ISBN 3806707979. FairMormon link
  2. John W. Welch, "Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon," Brigham Young University Studies 10 no. 1 (1969), 69–84.
  3. Guidelines for such analysis can be found at John W. Welch, "Criteria for Identifying and Evaluating the Presence of Chiasmus," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 4/2 (1995): 1–4. off-site wiki
  4. Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards, "Does Chiasmus Appear in the Book of Mormon by Chance?," Brigham Young University Studies 43 no. 2 (2004), 103–130.; see also Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards, "Response to Earl Wunderli’s Critique of Alma 36 as an Extended Chiasm," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought - Dialogue Paperless: E-Paper #1 (30 April 2006), [{{{pdf}}} PDF link]
  5. Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards, "Does Joseph's Letter to Emma of 4 November 1838 Show that He Knew about Chiasmus?," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought - Dialogue Paperless: E-Paper #4 (26 August 2006), [{{{pdf}}} PDF link]
  6. See also Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards, "Response to Earl Wunderli’s Critique of Alma 36 as an Extended Chiasm," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought - Dialogue Paperless: E-Paper #1 (30 April 2006), PDF link
  7. John W. Welch, "How Much Was Known about Chiasmus in 1829 When the Book of Mormon Was Translated?," FARMS Review 15/1 (2003): 47–80. off-site
  8. Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards, "Does Chiasmus Appear in the Book of Mormon by Chance?," Brigham Young University Studies 43 no. 2 (2004), 118–123.
  9. Jared R. Demke and Scott L. Vanatter, Davidic Chiasmus & Parallelisms. The letter can be found in Dean C. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, revised edition, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2002), 41.
  10. Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards, "Does Joseph's Letter to Emma of 4 November 1838 Show that He Knew about Chiasmus?," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought - Dialogue Paperless: E-Paper #4 (26 August 2006), [{{{pdf}}} PDF link]
  11. John W. Welch, Chiasmus In Antiquity: Structures, Analyses, Exegesis (Provo, Utah: FARMS, Research Press, 1981[1989]), 207. ISBN 0934893330. ISBN 3806707979. FairMormon link
  12. John W. Welch, Chiasmus In Antiquity (Provo, Utah: FARMS, Research Press, 1981), 207.



Further reading and additional sources responding to these claims

About FairMormon        Join FairMormon        Contact        Donate


Copyright © 1997-2015 by FairMormon. All Rights Reserved.
Any opinions expressed, implied or included in or with the goods and services offered by FairMormon are solely those of FairMormon and not those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No portion of this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of FairMormon.