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TitleNephi: A Postmodernist Reading
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMcGuire, Benjamin L.
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Keywords1 Nephi; 2 Nephi; Nephi

Authors inevitably make assumptions about their readers as they write. Readers likewise make assumptions about authors and their intentions as they read. Using a postmodern framing, this essay illustrates how a close reading of the text of 1 and 2 Nephi can offer insight into the writing strategies of its author. This reading reveals how Nephi differentiates between his writing as an expression of his own intentions and desires, and the text as the product of divine instruction written for a “purpose I know not.” In order to help his audience understand the text in this context, Nephi as the author interacts with his audience through his rhetorical strategy, pointing towards his own intentions, and offering reading strategies to help them discover God’s purposes in the text.