long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Intertextuality: 3 Nephi 30

People have been discussing Jonathan Edwards and intertextuality on the Ward Radio YouTube comments (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfgj47bBAyw), in the Interpreter comments, and elsewhere. It's fascinating to see the diversity of views. I don't have time to respond to everything, but I'll post a few more things here. 

Those interested can see more background on Edwards here:

A periodic compilation of Edwards' works is here:

Today, I'm posting an annotated version of 3 Nephi 30. Someday we'll have the entire Book of Mormon annotated this way so everyone can see the intertextuality between the text and the KJV, Jonathan Edwards, and possibly other sources.

3 Nephi 30 is a good example because it shows that a high percentage of Book of Mormon language is also KJV language. Few of the KJV words/phrases are not also found in Edwards, including the so-called "blended" passages.

The blue Book of Mormon words/phrases in the annotation are nonbiblical and also not found in Edwards. In some cases noted below, the nonbiblical language is close to Edwards (e.g., plural instead of singular). There are several examples in the Book of Mormon of paraphrased or misquoted passages from the KJV that are identical to paraphrased or misquoted KJV passages in Edwards' works.

The red words/phrases are nonbiblical Book of Mormon wording that are also found in Edwards' works.

The purple words/phrases are nonbiblical Book of Mormon wording that are plural examples of terms also found in Edwards' works.

Naturally, Edwards is not the only person who ever used this nonbiblical Book of Mormon terminology. English is a common language or we couldn't understand one another. But the ready availability of Edwards' works in Palmyra during Joseph's youth indicates that Edwards was a possible source for Joseph's vocabulary that he used when translating the plates.

Annotation of 3 Nephi 30

Bold = KJV 

Blue = nonbiblical BofM/D&C w/o JE 

Red = nonbiblical BofM/D&C and JE 

Purple = nonbiblical BofM/D&C close to JE

Chapter 30


The latter-day Gentiles are commanded to repent, come unto Christ, and be numbered with the house of Israel. About A.D. 34–35.


1 Hearken, O ye Gentiles [1], and hear the words of Jesus Christ [2], the Son of the living God [3], which he hath commanded me [4] that [5] I should speak [6] concerning you [7], for, behold he commandeth me that I should write [8], saying:

2 Turn, all ye Gentiles [9], from your wicked ways [10]; and repent of [11] your evil doings [12], of your lyings [13] and deceivings [14], and of your whoredoms [15], and of your secret abominations [16], and your idolatries [17], and of your murders [18], and your priestcrafts [19], and your envyings [20], and your strifes [21], and from all your wickedness and abominations [22], and come unto me [23], and be baptized in my name [24], that ye may receive a remission of your sins [25], and be filled with the Holy Ghost [26], that ye may be numbered with my people [27] which [1830, revised to who] are of the house of Israel [28].

[1] BM (6)

[2] “hear the words” OT (10) NT (1) BM (12) DC (1) JE (21)

[3] NT (2) BM (4) DC (5) JE (21)

[4] “he hath commanded me” OT (1) BM (2)

[5] “commanded me that” OT (1) BM (10) PGP (1) JE (1)

[6] “I should speak” NT (1) BM (5) JE (4)

[7] “concerning you” OT (3) NT (2) BM (4) DC (11) JE (32)

[8] “I should write” BM (4) JE (4)

[9] NT (1) BM (1)

[10] “your wicked ways” OT (1) BM (1) JE (5)

[11] OT (3) NT (2) BM (43) DC (15) PGP (2) JE (136)

[12] OT (1) BM (4) JE (2)

[13] BM (9) DC (1) John Wesley (1) Note: “lying” is ubiquitous

[14] NT (1) BM (5)

[15] OT (32) BM (27)

[16] BM (5) DC (1) JE (2)

[17] NT (1) BM (2) JE (24)

[18] NT (4) BM (30) JE (25)

[19] BM (6) DC (1) Note: “priestcraft” is nonbiblical but in JE

[20] NT (2) BM (8) DC (1) JE (19)

[21] OT (1) NT (2) BM (8) DC (1) JE (25)

[22] BM (30) DC (2) Note: “wickedness and abomination” is nonbiblical but in JE

[23] OT (18) NT (8) BM (37) DC (4) JE (81)

[24] BM (14) DC (1)

[25] "receive a remission of your sins" BM (1) Note: “remission of” with “sins” is NT (9) BM (28) DC (19) PGP (3) JE (148)

[26] NT (8) BM (6) DC (1) PGP (2) JE (7)

[27] "numbered with my people" BM (1) Note: “numbered with” OT (1) NT (3) BM (5) JE (10), "my people" is ubiquitous

[28] OT (33) NT (2) BM (49) DC (3) JE (31)

No comments:

Post a Comment