Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chiasmus VI Revisited: Alma 13 in greater detail

In the article I posted earlier today I included a couple of chiasms from Alma 13 in the Book of Mormon. Sterling D. Allen documented this chapter much more thoroughly. You can find his analysis here. He has an amazing collection of interesting material on his website.

Notice how some of these share material with others: they overlap.

In closing, did you know that there are people who claim to be "chiasm doubters"? One of these is Kaimi Wenger at "Times and Seasons", who declares himself to be a "chiasm doubter". He is also an attorney in New York City, according to his blog, Seeking for Righteousness. Kaimi thinks maybe Joseph Smith studied Hebrew enough "to absorb and adopt various 'scripturese' speech patterns, whether consciously or not. Or maybe we’re all just engaging in cherry-picking interpretations of rorschach blots when we look for chiasm."

I'm serious! This isn't just another Urban Legend. Yes, I know I'm being harsh.

Right off the bat Kaimi states a false premise: "chiasm is an indication of ancient origin". Whoa! Nobody ever said that. Chiasm is an indication of prophetic origin. Try that on for size, Kaimi. In my next, and last, article about chiasmus, I'll demonstrate some modern examples of this kind of poem.

After that false premise, Kaimi goes on to draw some equally false conclusions. Take a look for yourself.

I ask you: after what you've seen in these articles, could you be a "chiasm doubter"? If so, would you like to buy a bridge? Boyd F. Edwards and W. Farrell Edwards have written a paper, Does Chiasmus Appear in the Book of Mormon by Chance". Your brain is probably already saturated with this subject, but if you still aren't convinced, take a look. On page 14 of the article, a computer program used in writing the paper is mentioned. If you check out footnote 33 you'll find out how to get a copy of the program so you can test chiasms yourself. If you are even vaguely interested.

And that’s it for chiasmus in Alma 13 in particular and for chiasmus in the Book of Mormon in general. One more article on this subject to go!


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