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Book of Mormon peculiarties


Strindberg

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In First Nephi, both after Nephi and his brothers return from getting the brass plates and after they return with Ishmael and co., Nephi reports the offering of sacrifice and burnt offerings as thanksgiving. In both cases he reports this in the third person (whether referring to his parents in the earlier case or to Ishmael's family, and possibly others, in the second case). For example, Chapter 7, v. 22 states " . . . they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him." Any scholarly insights into why Nephi seems to distance himself from the action in this way?

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In First Nephi, both after Nephi and his brothers return from getting the brass plates and after they return with Ishmael and co., Nephi reports the offering of sacrifice and burnt offerings as thanksgiving. In both cases he reports this in the third person (whether referring to his parents in the earlier case or to Ishmael's family, and possibly others, in the second case). For example, Chapter 7, v. 22 states " . . . they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him." Any scholarly insights into why Nephi seems to distance himself from the action in this way?

At that point, he has not started his own record, but is abridging the record of his father. He doesn't start his own account until 1 Nephi 10:1.

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I'm not sure why he should speak in the first person in that it was his parents who were giving thanks for the safe return of their sons. Thus, it was proper for them to offer thanks. It would not have made sense to say, "We did give our thanks to the Lord...."

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At that point, he has not started his own record, but is abridging the record of his father. He doesn't start his own account until 1 Nephi 10:1.

This possibility would be more persuasive if, for example, 1 Nephi 8: 1 said "and they had brought with them many seeds . . . " instead of using the first person plural, or if there was a lot more use of the third person. So you would need to elaborate on why this accounts for it He only does this when he relates something about sacrifice and thanksgiving a.fter these journeys back to Jerusalem.

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I'm not sure why he should speak in the first person in that it was his parents who were giving thanks for the safe return of their sons. Thus, it was proper for them to offer thanks. It would not have made sense to say, "We did give our thanks to the Lord...."

Maybe so. I'm just noting something that seems interesting to me. Most peculiar is that he does not say they gave thanks unto the Lord "our" God, but to the Lord "their" God. These verses place Nephi himself outside of the narrative in a way that no other part of his account does. And I find that quite interesting. Maybe there's a simple explanation, as you suggest. I wonder whether it reflects a cultural/linguistic convention of some sort.

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