The discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon is one of the most significant scholarly contributions to understanding and appreciating the Nephite record. Since its discovery in , people have wondered what to make of the Book of Mormon’s use of chiasmus. Some have seen its numerous. Some historical background is provided by John Welch in his classic and ground- breaking article, “Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon,” BYU.

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Links and Suggested Reading Chiasmus Resources from John Welch — great collection of information, tools, and resources on chiasmus by the scholar who found it in the Book of Mormon, Dr.

The third chapter of the book The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christa modern apocryphal gospel, looks like a lengthy chiasmus. The virtually impossible is not just highly improbable. These verses are one of the most beautifully balanced examples of chiasmus found anywhere. This theory continues to surface, though thoroughly discredited, because of the suspicion that the prodigious narrative, theological insight, and biblical knowledge manifest in the Book of Mormon were beyond Joseph’s limited education and mental abilities.

The most powerful and beautiful example of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon – and perhaps anywhere! Welch notes that it was theoretically possible but highly unlikely that Joseph could have known about chiasmus. Actually, the structure that Alma is using is somewhat more complex and elegant than can be shown with the simple synopsis presented above.

All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life. O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.

Too boook have remained in captivity. Yet, the message of the chapter is that this success is too limited. No other prophet in the Book of Mormon has two books chiiasmus after him. To celebrate Chiasmus Day August 16this page features various resources for studying chiasmus in the Book of Mormon.

It also amplifies the significance of central events and enhances interpretation of many scriptures. But wherever they are present, these structures may add novel perspectives and unexpected dimension to the texts in which they appear.

Some months ago, John announced in an academic journal the remarkable discovery that an ancient and highly specialized Hebrew literary style could be found throughout the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a Christ-centered book, teaching us to look toward Christ – the Christ that we read of in the Bible, not “some other Christ” as critics often try argue – for salvation, for grace, for forgiveness, to be baptized in His name and follow Him.


All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life Of all that was on the dry land Died; And was destroyed Every living thing That was upon the face of the ground Both man, And creeping things, And beastsAnd cattle, And birds of the heavens, And they were destroyed from the earth. I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God” v Alma calls upon Jesus Christ It is evidence that it was written by multiple authors who carefully implemented this literary style on certain types of occasions and for particular purposes.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon

From the day the Book of Mormon rolled off the press inthose who gave it credence asserted that it obviously read like a Hebrew text. Words, phrases, and ideas that appear in jn first half are repeated with precision and balance in the second half.

A simple illustration of this, with five elements in an inverted parallelism, is found in Psalm 3: O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish Both individuals and nations mormpn, must, be born again and become sons and daughters of God: That’s exactly what chiasmus is – an ancient form of poetry. The structure is strongly chiastic, but there are some very sophisticated and elegant perturbations which have been the subject of careful and lengthy analysis Welch,Welch,and Brown, Valuable resources for research and understanding of chiasmus at ChiasmusResources.

John Welch suggests that the chiastic structure was used here to represent the balanced nature of this law. May that be the reason that the Book of Mosiah contains so many flash backs?

Yet, as we read the record, the order of events are so naturally presented that we would be hard pressed to suggest any significant modifications. In the first place, we have demonstrated the extensive existence of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon beyond any possible doubt.

2 Nephi 11:4

The work is that of Boyd F. Am I reading too much into this? Welch and Daniel B. He does this by pursuing a six level examination of this chapter. Was a chiasm used to emphasize that this report was, perhaps for the first time, a disclosure of the year’s affairs for both Nephite and Lamanite? At the very apex, the words “Zedekiah” and “Lord” stand parallel to each other, which is intriguing since the Hebrew word for “Lord” constitutes the theophoric suffix -yah at the end of the name “Zedekiah.


The joy of conversion 19—22 no more pain, what joy, marvelous light, exquisite, nothing as sweet, singing and praising God, longing to be with God.

Chiasmus and the Book of Mormon

chiaxmus In addition to marking an unprecedented turning point in Nephite history, using chiasmus would insure against additions to or deletions from the text, since any alteration would be strikingly apparent. Alma himself gives us two accounts of that miraculous conversion; the first is found in Mosiah A chiasm may also appear as a logical device, for its completeness rounds out a thought forcefully and ties in all loose ends tightly.

A useful visual tool for exploring parallelism in the Book of Mormon. All don’t accept this as chiastic, but there is no question as to its poetic nature. The word order of this passage is chiasmud chiastic.

Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon | BYU Studies

Seek ye me, and ye shall live. If you just toss it in, it is jumbled, not compact, and things get broken. The “rest” of God is possible only through the Atonement of Christ through faith and repentance Alma This chapter is as extensive and precise as any chiastic passage I am aware of in ancient literature.

The first ten verses and the last eight form an artistic frame around the central motif which contrasts the agony of conversion with the joy of conversion. Double elements also occur in the second half, but they are now expanded into two series of single elements d’,c’,b’,a’ and d”,c”,b”,a”.

New Light on Ancient Originscommented: