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“He Did Go About Secretly”: Additional Thoughts on the Literary Use of Alma’s Name
Title“He Did Go About Secretly”: Additional Thoughts on the Literary Use of Alma’s Name
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBowen, Matthew L.
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Volume27
Pagination197-212
KeywordsAlma the Elder; Alma the Younger; Church Organization; Language; Midrash; Mormon (Prophet); Onomastics; Redaction
Abstract

Mormon describes Alma the Younger’s “go[ing] about secretly” to destroy the church that his father, Alma the Elder, had established (Mosiah 27:8–10), this as a narratalogical inversion of that period when Alma the Elder “went about privately” teaching the words of Abinadi and establishing a church “that it might not come to the knowledge of the king” (Mosiah 18:1–6). In Mosiah 27:10, Mormon subtly reworks Alma the Younger’s autobiographical statement preserved in Alma 36:6, adding in the former passage a word rendered “secretly” to create a midrashic or interpretive pun on the name Alma, echoing the meaning of the Semitic root ʿlm, “hide,” “conceal”). Mosiah 27:8–10 contains additional language that evokes the introduction of the name Alma in the Book of Mormon (at first in terms of ʿelem [“young man”] but also in terms of the homonymous root ʿlm) in Mosiah 17:2–4 but also re-invokes allusions in the latter passage to Mosiah 14:1 (Isaiah 53:1).

URLhttp://www.mormoninterpreter.com/he-did-go-about-secretly-additional-thoughts-on-the-literary-use-of-almas-name/

Scripture Reference

Mosiah 27:8-10
Mosiah 17:2-4
Mosiah 14:1
Isaiah 53:1

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