I love that for my major I get to read about language in the Book of Mormon.

In my research methods class, I read an article called The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon, by John Tvedtness, a scholar of the Hebrew language. I wish I could just link you to the article (darn copyrights), because it was an incredible witness to me that the book truly had to have been written by ancient peoples writing in a form of Hebrew. Instead I'll outline 4 of the 13 evidences offered.

1. Adverbials: Hebrew has few adverbs, and instead uses adverbial phrases.

"with patience" instead of patiently (Mosiah 24:15)
"with much harshness" instead of very harshly (1 Nephi 18:11)
"with joy" instead of joyfully (Jacob 4:3)
"in righteousness" instead of righteously (1 Nephi 20:1)
"with gladness" instead of gladly (2 Nephi 28:28)

2. Cognates: cognates are words that come from the same root, and are awkward to use together in the same sentence in English. In Hebrew though, it is not uncommon for a verb to be followed by a cognate noun. We see this in the bible (also written originally in Hebrew) as well as the Book of Mormon.

"wrote upon it a writing" (Exodus 39:30)
"she vowed a vow" (1 Samuel 1:11)

"I have dreamed a dream" (1 Nephi 8:2)
"taxed with a tax" (Mosiah 7:15)

3. Conjunctions: Hebrew uses conjunctions more frequently than English does. In a list, English would only use it before the last item. Hebrew, however, has conjunctions before each item in a list.

"And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and adeparted into the wilderness." (1 Nephi 2:4)

4. Possessive Pronouns: As in other languages, in Hebrew possessive pronouns are added  at the end of the noun.

"Hear the words of me" (Jacob 5:2)
"How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him" (Jacob 4:8)
"They are delivered by the power of him" (2 Nephi 9:29)

Cool, huh?

Another article I read was On Verifying Wordprint Studies: Book of Mormon Authorship.
This outlines a study carried out by researchers at Berkeley who are not LDS.

To be short, wordprinting is a science where texts are analyzed to verify authorship. With it, we have found works of Shakespeare, identified the author of The Federalist Papers and called out phony authors.

Extensive wordprinting has verified the Book of Mormon has multiple authors (i.e. Nephi is not the same writer as Alma or Moroni) and that none of it was authored by involved figures in LDS church history (Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, etc.). 

In other linguistics courses I've taken, we've been shown name symbolism and the like in the Book of Mormon. This has deepened my testimony of the book. I know it was written as is claimed in the introduction, that its words are true, that Joseph Smith must have translated it, and as such is a true prophet of the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Knowledge is power, and so is faith; they go hand-in-hand. My brain is being constantly stretched as I attend my college classes, and though it's hard, I wouldn't have it any other way.

1 comment

  1. three blog posts today?! I"M IN HEAVEN
    i want to go on a blogging spree also.
    love, ishel

    p.s. it is more than sarah has done in approximately THREE WEEKS. *hint sarah hint* she listens to you Laura, so for the love of all that is good and gracious, you should tell her to put her new dedication to graphic arts to work and post!!

    my grandma thinks she's dead..either that or run away to live in the mountains with her vibrams and granola,never to shave or update her faceobok again!. k thanks



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