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A Study Relating Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon to Chiasmus in the Old Testament, Ugaritic Epics, Homer, and Selected Greek and Latin Authors
TitleA Study Relating Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon to Chiasmus in the Old Testament, Ugaritic Epics, Homer, and Selected Greek and Latin Authors
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1970
AuthorsWelch, John W.
Academic DepartmentClassical and Asian Languages
DegreeMaster of Arts
Number of Pages191
Date PublishedApril 1970
UniversityBrigham Young University
CityProvo, UT
KeywordsChiasmus; Inverted Parallelism; Language - Greek; Language - Hebrew; Language - Latin; Language - Ugaritic
Abstract
In 1967, John W. Welch recognized a phenomenon in the Book of Mormon which has stimulated a new consideration of the Book of Mormon as ancient literature and raised new questions relevant to several other ancient literary traditions. This phenomenon is the presence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. This study of chiasmus is an attempt to apply formal analysis – or the analysis of form – to the Book of Mormon. This analysis is concerned with the forms in which written passages occur and the relationship which those forms have with the passage’s content. 
 
The Book of Mormon provides a rich – albeit limited – field for such a study. The 1830 edition is a translation, and any translator is aware of the difficulties of transmitting a message from one language to another. The translation of poetry intensifies these difficulties, for it is virtually impossible to retain in a translation all elements as they were in the original. It is demonstrated here that certain types of chiasmus pass the translation barrier relatively easily, and this fact provides us access to the study of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon.

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