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I know there has been a lot written about chiasmus and its occurrence as an ancient writing style. Some have argued at length in the past that the Book of Mormon with its intricate chiastic structures are evidence of its ancient origins. Was wondering what the latest explanations from nay-sayers are regarding why chiasms occur in our scriptures and how much weight is given to chiasmus in general currently?

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Here are some relevant articles which are up to date.  Not nay-sayers, but relevant nonetheless:

Book of Mormon Central, “Why is the Presence of Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon Significant? (Mosiah 5:10-12),” KnoWhy #166, August 16, 2016, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-is-the-presence-of-chiasmus-in-the-book-of-mormon-significant .

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Was Chiasmus Used in Nephite Record Keeping? (Helaman 6:10),” KnoWhy #177, August 31, 2016, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-was-chiasmus-used-in-nephite-record-keeping .

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Did Nephi Use Chiasmus to Testify of Christ? (2 Nephi 11:3),” KnoWhy #271, Feb 6, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-did-nephi-use-chiasmus-to-testify-of-christ .

Book of Mormon Cental, “What Did Alma Reveal about the Savior’s Mission? (Alma 7:11–13),” KnoWhy #323, June 7, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-did-alma-reveal-about-the-savior%E2%80%99s-mission .  Alternate title: “Alma's use of chiasmus to teach about the Atonement,” chiasm of Alma 7:11-13.

Book of Mormon Central, “How Much Could Joseph Smith Have Known about Chiasmus in 1829? (1 Nephi 3:19),” KnoWhy #334, July 3, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-much-could-joseph-smith-have-known-about-chiasmus-in-1829 .

Book of Mormon Central, “What Counts as Chiasmus? (1 Nephi 19:7),” KnoWhy #337, July 10, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-counts-as-chiasmus .

Book of Mormon Central, “How Did Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Authors Use Chiasmus? (Alma 34:9),” KnoWhy #340, July 16, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-did-biblical-and-ancient-near-eastern-authors-use-chiasmus .

Book of Mormon Central, “Can Chiasmus Survive Translation? (Mosiah 5:11–12),” KnoWhy #343, July 24, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/can-chiasmus-survive-translation .

Book of Mormon Central, “Was Chiasmus Known to Ancient American Writers? (Alma 29:4),” KnoWhy #346, July 31, 2017,  https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/was-chiasmus-known-to-ancient-american-writers .

Book of Mormon Central, “What Can We Learn from 10 of the Best Chiasms in the Book of Mormon? Part 1 (2 Nephi 25:26),” KnoWhy #349, August 7, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-can-we-learn-from-10-of-the-best-chiasms-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-1 .

Book of Mormon Central, “What Can We Learn from 10 of the Best Chiasms in the Book of Mormon? Part 2,” KnoWhy #352, August 14, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-can-we-learn-from-10-of-the-best-chiasms-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-2 .

Book of Mormon Central, “How Was Chiasmus Discovered in the Book of Mormon? (Mosiah 5:11),” KnoWhy #353, August 16, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-was-chiasmus-discovered-in-the-book-of-mormon .

Book of Mormon Central, “What Can We Learn from 10 of the Best Chiasms in the Book of Mormon? Part 3 (Alma 36:18),” KnoWhy #355, August 20, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-can-we-learn-from-10-of-the-best-chiasms-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-3 .

Book of Mormon Central, “Does Chiasmus Prove Anything about the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 11:4),” KnoWhy #358, August 28, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/does-chiasmus-prove-anything-about-the-book-of-mormon .

Book of Mormon Central, “How Does Chiasmus Teach Us to Reverse the Pride Cycle? (Alma 62:48-49),” KnoWhy #468, Sept 18, 2018, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/how-does-chiasmus-teach-us-to-reverse-the-pride-cycle .

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12 hours ago, gav said:

I know there has been a lot written about chiasmus and its occurrence as an ancient writing style. Some have argued at length in the past that the Book of Mormon with its intricate chiastic structures are evidence of its ancient origins. Was wondering what the latest explanations from nay-sayers are regarding why chiasms occur in our scriptures and how much weight is given to chiasmus in general currently?

You may be interested in this, if you haven't seen it already.

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/mi/61/

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If history follows the same pattern of inverted repetition as is found in the literary style, then it's bound to come up again in an important way at some point.

I like that the church has embraced the recognition of chiasmus in scripture (particularly in Alma 36) as an accepted way to understand some of the principles presented in the text. 

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14 hours ago, gav said:

I know there has been a lot written about chiasmus and its occurrence as an ancient writing style. Some have argued at length in the past that the Book of Mormon with its intricate chiastic structures are evidence of its ancient origins. Was wondering what the latest explanations from nay-sayers are regarding why chiasms occur in our scriptures and how much weight is given to chiasmus in general currently?

Chiasmus was known in the early modern world. So the Book of Mormon could have early modern origins.

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36 minutes ago, JarMan said:

Chiasmus was known in the early modern world. So the Book of Mormon could have early modern origins.

Known to whom?  Did John Dee ever use it?  See my Appendix 3 in the BMC, “Book of Abraham: Study Edition,” online at https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/study-edition/ .  How did it find its way into the Book of Abraham?

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Here are some relevant articles which are up to date.  Not nay-sayers, but relevant nonetheless:

Book of Mormon Central, “Why is the Presence of Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon Significant? (Mosiah 5:10-12),” KnoWhy #166, August 16, 2016, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-is-the-presence-of-chiasmus-in-the-book-of-mormon-significant .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Was Chiasmus Used in Nephite Record Keeping? (Helaman 6:10),” KnoWhy #177, August 31, 2016, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-was-chiasmus-used-in-nephite-record-keeping .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “Why Did Nephi Use Chiasmus to Testify of Christ? (2 Nephi 11:3),” KnoWhy #271, Feb 6, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/why-did-nephi-use-chiasmus-to-testify-of-christ .

 

Book of Mormon Cental, “What Did Alma Reveal about the Savior’s Mission? (Alma 7:11–13),” KnoWhy #323, June 7, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-did-alma-reveal-about-the-savior%E2%80%99s-mission .  Alternate title: “Alma's use of chiasmus to teach about the Atonement,” chiasm of Alma 7:11-13.

 

Book of Mormon Central, “How Much Could Joseph Smith Have Known about Chiasmus in 1829? (1 Nephi 3:19),” KnoWhy #334, July 3, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-much-could-joseph-smith-have-known-about-chiasmus-in-1829 .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “What Counts as Chiasmus? (1 Nephi 19:7),” KnoWhy #337, July 10, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-counts-as-chiasmus .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “How Did Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Authors Use Chiasmus? (Alma 34:9),” KnoWhy #340, July 16, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-did-biblical-and-ancient-near-eastern-authors-use-chiasmus .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “Can Chiasmus Survive Translation? (Mosiah 5:11–12),” KnoWhy #343, July 24, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/can-chiasmus-survive-translation .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “Was Chiasmus Known to Ancient American Writers? (Alma 29:4),” KnoWhy #346, July 31, 2017,  https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/was-chiasmus-known-to-ancient-american-writers .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “What Can We Learn from 10 of the Best Chiasms in the Book of Mormon? Part 1 (2 Nephi 25:26),” KnoWhy #349, August 7, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-can-we-learn-from-10-of-the-best-chiasms-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-1 .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “What Can We Learn from 10 of the Best Chiasms in the Book of Mormon? Part 2,” KnoWhy #352, August 14, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-can-we-learn-from-10-of-the-best-chiasms-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-2 .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “How Was Chiasmus Discovered in the Book of Mormon? (Mosiah 5:11),” KnoWhy #353, August 16, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/how-was-chiasmus-discovered-in-the-book-of-mormon .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “What Can We Learn from 10 of the Best Chiasms in the Book of Mormon? Part 3 (Alma 36:18),” KnoWhy #355, August 20, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/what-can-we-learn-from-10-of-the-best-chiasms-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-3 .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “Does Chiasmus Prove Anything about the Book of Mormon? (2 Nephi 11:4),” KnoWhy #358, August 28, 2017, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/content/does-chiasmus-prove-anything-about-the-book-of-mormon .

 

Book of Mormon Central, “How Does Chiasmus Teach Us to Reverse the Pride Cycle? (Alma 62:48-49),” KnoWhy #468, Sept 18, 2018, https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/how-does-chiasmus-teach-us-to-reverse-the-pride-cycle .

 

Thanks for a very comprehensive list lots of reading for me to catch up on.

Do you know if anybody has looked at the JST and potential chiasms it restores/enhances?

 

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11 hours ago, gav said:

Thanks for a very comprehensive list lots of reading for me to catch up on.

Do you know if anybody has looked at the JST and potential chiasms it restores/enhances?

You might want to explore chiasmus specific to the Book of Moses.  Most of the JST consists of small revisions and clarifications to the KJV Bible, which would be unlikely to have any effect on chiastic structure.

Here, for example, is my own index of chiasmus in the Book of Moses:

1:1 - 7:67        R. Smith; inclusion of Visions of Moses & Enoch; cf I Enoch 39, 71.
1:1-42            R. Smith; Visions of Moses; centers on 1:12-22; = RLDS D&C 22:1-25 ∥Inspired Version Genesis Preamble.
1:1-26            Ladd And He Spake 244.
1:16-17          R. Smith; centering on burning bush (Ex 3:2); = RLDS D&C 22:9c-10c.
2:1c - 3:4a        = Gen 1:1 - 2:4a; inclusion frames interative poetry of symmetrical heptaemeron; Porten, Habel, McEvenue; cf Ladd And He Spake 244.
2:1c - 3:2        = Gen 1:1 - 2:2; Deimel, Sarna, Boccaccio & Berardi.
2:2-23            = Gen 1:2-23; five days center on mid-third day; create ∥create.
2:5a              = Gen 1:5a; Ceresko, Andersen.
2:10               = Gen 1:10; Andersen.
2:11 - 3:20        = Gen 1:11 - 2:20; creation of man flanks chiastic transition at 3:4; Porten, von Rad, McEvenue.
2:26-30        = Gen 1:26-30; sixth day, centering on fruit I 2:29b; cf McEvenue.
3:4                 = Gen 2:24; Weiss, Porten, Welch.
3:4b - 4:31        = Gen 2:4b - 3:24; Walsh; ABCDCBA, and ABA.
3:5-9            = Gen 2:5-9; Ceresko.
3:7-9            = Gen 2:7-9; Kikawada.
3:7-8            = Gen 2:7-8; Walsh; inclusion.
4:5-19            = Gen 3:1-13; Walsh (1-6 ∥12-13).
4:12-17        = Gen 3:6-11; Walsh (6-8 ∥9-11).
4:12-13        = Gen 3:6-7; Walsh; centers on emphatic “and he did eat!”
4:15-25        = Gen 3:9-19; Lund, Boccaccio & Berardi, di Marco, Andersen.
5:28-51         R. Smith; ∥Gizeh 6:4-5.
6:9ff    ?        = Gen 5; Barmouin, di Marco.
6:37 - 7:4        R. Smith; centers on 6:57.
7:5-7c            R. Smith; ∥Gizeh 10:9, 11-12; = RLDS D&C 36:1ff.
7:8-22            R. Smith; cf Assumption of Moses 10:4,6 ∥Moses 6:34; = RLDS D&C 36:1-4 ∥IV Gen 7.
7:28-67         R. Smith; centers on 7:48; ∥Jubilees 4:17-21, I Enoch 60:1-6, III Enoch 103:1-3, Gizeh 1:3-8, Papyrus Chester Beatty 103:7-8, etc.; = RLDS D&C 36:6-14.
7:48-49        R. Smith; Peterson New Era 2 (Aug 1972):43; = RLDS D&C 36:10.
7:60-67        R. Smith; centers on 7:63; ∥Gizeh 1:3, 5-8; = RLDS D&C 36:12-14.
8:25-27        = Gen 6:6-7; König, di Marco.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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8 hours ago, gav said:

Thanks for a very comprehensive list lots of reading for me to catch up on.

Do you know if anybody has looked at the JST and potential chiasms it restores/enhances?

 

I know there's one that I read about years and years ago, but I can't seem to recall the specific verse(s) involved or where I read about it.   But here's one possible example from Mark 14:8-9 noted on the Times and Seasons site:  

KJV:   

Quote

Mark 14:8  She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
Mark 14:9  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
 

JST:

Quote

Mark 14:8 She has done what she could, and this which she has done unto me shall be had in remembrance in generations to come, wheresoever my gospel shall be preached; for verily, she has come beforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

Mark 14:9 Verily, I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, what she hath done shall be spoken of also for a memorial of her.

And the JST version produces this chiastic structure.  It's not particularly dramatic, but it seems to be the only explanation for the addition of the redundant wording:

Quote

A. She has done what she could, and this which she has done unto me shall be had in remembrance
--B. in generations to come, 
----C.  wheresoever my gospel shall be preached; 
------D.  for verily, she has come beforehand 
--------E.   to anoint my body to the burying.
------D'. Verily, I say unto you, 
----C.  Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached 
--B' throughout the whole world, 
A' what she hath done shall be spoken of also for a memorial of her.

 

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On 10/4/2020 at 6:57 AM, gav said:

I know there has been a lot written about chiasmus and its occurrence as an ancient writing style. Some have argued at length in the past that the Book of Mormon with its intricate chiastic structures are evidence of its ancient origins. Was wondering what the latest explanations from nay-sayers are regarding why chiasms occur in our scriptures and how much weight is given to chiasmus in general currently?

As an overview, here is a new article from Evidence Central: Chiasmus

It offers a few resources on 18th and 19th-century knowledge of chiasmus that most other sources from Book of Mormon Central don't discuss. Other than that, it is sort of just an overview of the sources Robert already pointed you toward. As for "new" stuff from critics, I'm not aware of any recent publications along those lines. Noel Reynolds has a recent publication that adds to the ongoing discussion and debate over the merits of Alma 36:

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/rethinking-alma-36/

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Book of Mormon chiasms have, of course, some Early Modern English in them. For instance, right at the center of Alma 36, heightening the emotion, it originally read

Quote

(Alma 36:18)
        Now as my mind catched hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart:
        O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who art in the gall of bitterness
        and art encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

Catched might not have been JS's language (maybe someone can look for catched or caught), and non-2sg art usage almost certainly was not. Catched is in the Coverdale Bible, for example, and Milton is known to have used it as well. I don't find it in 25 pseudobiblical texts, nor non-2sg art.  Yet we encounter the latter occasionally in the early modern textual record, also heightening the emotional effect.

Quote

1662, A25963 Ah happy, yea thrice-happy man, that hath such a portion there,
                         . . . But ah miserable man, who art only miserable,
                        that hath no portion there, whatever portion he hath here,

 1684, A36907     O wretched flesh, with me that art forlorn,

 

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21 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Known to whom?  Did John Dee ever use it?  See my Appendix 3 in the BMC, “Book of Abraham: Study Edition,” online at https://www.pearlofgreatpricecentral.org/study-edition/ .  How did it find its way into the Book of Abraham?

 

Apparently chiasmus was incorporated into many early modern songs. For example, the Dutch national anthem consists of 15 verses where the first and fifteenth verses are related and so forth. This song was written around 1570 and would have certainly been known by the likes of Hugo Grotius. As far as the Book of Abraham, perhaps it has early modern origins, as well.

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17 hours ago, gav said:

Thanks for a very comprehensive list lots of reading for me to catch up on.

Do you know if anybody has looked at the JST and potential chiasms it restores/enhances?

 

I finally remembered where I read about another example.  I knew it was from the book of Revelation, and chapter 12 is the chapter with the most noticeable changes, so I kept staring at it and it finally came back to me.   This comes from:

The Legacy of the Brass Plates of Laban: A Comparison of Biblical and Book of Mormon Isaiah Texts
Review of The Legacy of the Brass Plates of Laban: A Comparison of Biblical and Book of Mormon Isaiah Texts by H. Clay Gorton
Reviewed By: Mark J. Johnson

As found in FARMS, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7, Number 1, p. 135-136 (1995) (link is from the Internet Archive site):

Quote

How the Grinch Stole Chiasmus*

A better use of the study of chiasmus in ancient texts should be to demonstrate completeness rather than inspiration. The book of Revelation, for example, is structured in chiastic form to help insure that the text is not added to, or taken away from (Revelation 22:18– 19). Texts structured in chiastic form will betray any tampering from an outside source. Once chiasmus is understood, scriptural texts can be analyzed along chiastic lines. If the chiasm is incomplete or largely unbalanced, then it would indicate that "plain and precious parts" were removed from the author's original message by the "great and abominable church."

An example of using chiasmus to indicate completeness may be found in an analysis of Revelation 12:1–4. While the rest of the chapter has been found to be chiastic by Nils Lund, these first four verses betray no chiastic characteristics. The Joseph Smith Translation, however, rearranges these verses into a tight chiasm. I have arranged verses 1–4 of JST Revelation 12 with Joseph's changes in italics.

A    And there appeared
         a great sign
             in heaven,
     in the likeness
         of the things
             on the earth


B    a woman clothed
         with the sun,
         and the moon
     under her feet,
     and upon her head
         a crown of twelve stars.

C    And the woman being with child,
         cried, travailing in birth,
         and pained to be delivered.
     And she brought forth a man child,

D    who was to rule
         all nations with a rod of iron;
         and her child was caught up unto God
     and his throne.


C'    And there appeared
         another sign in heaven;
     and behold,
         a great red dragon
,

B'    having seven heads
         and ten horns,
         and seven crowns
     upon his heads
.

A'    And his tail drew
         the third part
             of the stars of heaven,
     and did cast
         them
             to the earth
. (JST Revelation 12:1–4)

Or in other words,

A    Heaven and Earth
     B    Heads and Crowns [p.137] 
         C    Birth of the Child
             D    Role of the Child
         C'    Appearance of the Dragon
     B'    Heads and Crowns
 A'    Heaven and Earth

The restoration of chiasmus points to a restoration of the original text. Because this chiasm is an exact fit within the rest of the chapter, it shows that this is how John the Revelator scribed the revelation and that it was manipulated by a later detractor.

If you compare the verses above to the KJV, you'll see that the order has been rearranged and a few words added. 

Indecently, the asterisk next to "Grinch" in the sub heading refers to the following footnote:  "The Grinch is just a shortened form of the great and abominable church. It is hard enough to write it over and over in my notes, let alone spell it."

I remember that footnote from when I read this in 1995 :) 

If you want to see how Revelation chapter 12 compares to the KJV, click on the link to the book of Revelation on this website and view the verses side-by-side, but pay close attention to the verse numbers (the web site somehow doesn't allow me to provide a direct link to that book and chapter).

Edited by InCognitus
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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

I finally remembered where I read about another example.  I knew it was from the book of Revelation, and chapter 12 is the chapter with the most noticeable changes, so I kept staring at it and it finally came back to me.   This comes from:

The Legacy of the Brass Plates of Laban: A Comparison of Biblical and Book of Mormon Isaiah Texts
Review of The Legacy of the Brass Plates of Laban: A Comparison of Biblical and Book of Mormon Isaiah Texts by H. Clay Gorton
Reviewed By: Mark J. Johnson

As found in FARMS, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7, Number 1, p. 135-136 (1995) (link is from the Internet Archive site):

If you compare the verses above to the KJV, you'll see that the order has been rearranged and a few words added. 

Indecently, the asterisk next to "Grinch" in the sub heading refers to the following footnote:  "The Grinch is just a shortened form of the great and abominable church. It is hard enough to write it over and over in my notes, let alone spell it."

I remember that footnote from when I read this in 1995 :) 

If you want to see how Revelation chapter 12 compares to the KJV, click on the link to the book of Revelation on this website and view the verses side-by-side, but pay close attention to the verse numbers (the web site somehow doesn't allow me to provide a direct link to that book and chapter).

12:1-4 JST http://www.centerplace.org/hs/iv/InspiredVersionBible.pdf

1 And there appeared a great sign in   heaven,
in   the   likeness   of   things   on   the   earth;
      a   woman   clothed   with   the   sun,
      and   the   moon  under  her  feet,
      and  upon  her head a crown of twelve stars.

2           And   the   woman   being   with   child,   cried,
             travailing   in   birth,
             and pained to be delivered.
3          And  she  brought  forth  a  man  child,
                  who  was  to  rule  all  nations  with  a  rod  of  iron;
                        and  her  child  was  caught up
                 unto  God  and  his  throne.
4   And there appeared another sign in heaven;
      and behold, a great red dragon,
      having  seven  heads  and  ten horns,
      and seven crowns upon his  heads.

And  his  tail  drew  the  third  part  of  the  stars  of  heaven,
and  did  cast  them  to  the  earth.
            And  the  dragon  stood  before  the  woman
           which  was  delivered,
           ready  to  devour  her  child  after  it  was born.

This doesn't work out as well as Johnson supposed, and is part of the much larger chiasm in Rev 12:1-17 discerned by Lund in Studies in the Book of Revelation, 137-138.

You can find a very thorough index of chiasmus in all sorts of literature, including the NT, online at https://chiasmusresources.org/chiasmus-archive

 

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Although it may be true that chiasmus exist in other works, this style is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Hebraisms. 

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Deleted.  Point already made.

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

12:1-4 JST http://www.centerplace.org/hs/iv/InspiredVersionBible.pdf

1 And there appeared a great sign in   heaven,
in   the   likeness   of   things   on   the   earth;
      a   woman   clothed   with   the   sun,
      and   the   moon  under  her  feet,
      and  upon  her head a crown of twelve stars.

2           And   the   woman   being   with   child,   cried,
             travailing   in   birth,
             and pained to be delivered.
3          And  she  brought  forth  a  man  child,
                  who  was  to  rule  all  nations  with  a  rod  of  iron;
                        and  her  child  was  caught up
                 unto  God  and  his  throne.
4   And there appeared another sign in heaven;
      and behold, a great red dragon,
      having  seven  heads  and  ten horns,
      and seven crowns upon his  heads.

And  his  tail  drew  the  third  part  of  the  stars  of  heaven,
and  did  cast  them  to  the  earth.
            And  the  dragon  stood  before  the  woman
           which  was  delivered,
           ready  to  devour  her  child  after  it  was born.

This doesn't work out as well as Johnson supposed, and is part of the much larger chiasm in Rev 12:1-17 discerned by Lund in Studies in the Book of Revelation, 137-138.

You can find a very thorough index of chiasmus in all sorts of literature, including the NT, online at https://chiasmusresources.org/chiasmus-archive

 

I was wondering the same thing, but Johnson made reference to Lund (in my quote above), but I didn't include the footnote.  Johnson says, "While the rest of the chapter has been found to be chiastic by Nils Lund, these first four verses betray no chiastic characteristics."   The footnote to this statement is as follows:

Nils Lund, Chiasmus in the New Testament (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1942), 398-99.

Fortunately I have this book and I looked it up, but I don't have the book you referenced so I'm not sure if Lund has anything different to say about this chapter in the other book.  On pages 398-400 of the Chiasmus in the New Testament source, Lund lays out the structure of Revelation chapter 12, and verses 1-4 are totally unique and separate from the rest, which seems to support what Johnson is suggesting.  So I'm not sure how the chiastic structure that is introduced in the Joseph Smith translation would detract from the structure outlined by Lund in the rest of the chapter.

This is how Lund shows verses 1-4 on page 398 (sorry, this is a poor scan, but you should get the idea):

Rev-1-4b.JPG.8afbafaeac7f8eccdf4255fa5df5f98d.JPG

Joseph Smith's version brings structure to verses 1-4 while still preserving the contrast between the woman and the dragon, and as far as I can tell it doesn't change anything Lund is saying (please let me know if you think otherwise).   

Lund lays out the rest of the chapter with panels of X - Y - X (the first X panel is shown completely above), with the Y panel being broken down into separate A B C B A segments.  In his commentary on the chapter beginning on page 400, he says:

"The structure of this chapter is most regular, even in its many minor details.  In a prelude (vss. 1-4a) we have the dramatis personae introduced, namely, the woman in royal spendor about to give birth to her child (A) and the dragon, who is to play the part of the opponent (B)."

And this is really all he has to say about A and B above.  Do you see anything in Lund's presentation of verses 1-4 that would be messed up by the JST changes?  Or are you aware of anything he adds in the book you referenced that would change anything he included in this book?

Edited by InCognitus
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11 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I was wondering the same thing, but Johnson made reference to Lund (in my quote above), but I didn't include the footnote.  Johnson says, "While the rest of the chapter has been found to be chiastic by Nils Lund, these first four verses betray no chiastic characteristics."   The footnote to this statement is as follows:

Nils Lund, Chiasmus in the New Testament (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1942), 398-99.

Fortunately I have this book and I looked it up, but I don't have the book you referenced so I'm not sure if Lund has anything different to say about this chapter in the other book.  On pages 398-400 of the Chiasmus in the New Testament source, Lund lays out the structure of Revelation chapter 12, and verses 1-4 are totally unique and separate from the rest, which seems to support what Johnson is suggesting.  So I'm not sure how the chiastic structure that is introduced in the Joseph Smith translation would detract from the structure outlined by Lund in the rest of the chapter.

This is how Lund shows verses 1-4 on page 398 (sorry, this is a poor scan, but you should get the idea):

Rev-1-4b.JPG.8afbafaeac7f8eccdf4255fa5df5f98d.JPG

Joseph Smith's version brings structure to verses 1-4 while still preserving the contrast between the woman and the dragon, and as far as I can tell it doesn't change anything Lund is saying (please let me know if you think otherwise).   

Lund lays out the rest of the chapter with panels of X - Y - X (the first X panel is shown completely above), with the Y panel being broken down into separate A B C B A segments.  In his commentary on the chapter beginning on page 400, he says:

"The structure of this chapter is most regular, even in its many minor details.  In a prelude (vss. 1-4a) we have the dramatis personae introduced, namely, the woman in royal spendor about to give birth to her child (A) and the dragon, who is to play the part of the opponent (B)."

And this is really all he has to say about A and B above.  Do you see anything in Lund's presentation of verses 1-4 that would be messed up by the JST changes?  Or are you aware of anything he adds in the book you referenced that would change anything he included in this book?

I was addressing the problematic claim that the JST created a chiastic arrangement, which it does not do very well, and Johnson and you cannot have both ways:

12:1-4 JST http://www.centerplace.org/hs/iv/InspiredVersionBible.pdf

A And there appeared a great sign in   heaven,
   in   the   likeness   of   things   on   the   earth;

B    a   woman   clothed   with   the   sun,
      and   the   moon  under  her  feet,
      and  upon  her head a crown of twelve stars.

C           And   the   woman   being   with   child,   cried,
             travailing   in   birth,
             and pained to be delivered.
            And  she  brought  forth  a  man  child,

D               who  was  to  rule  all  nations  with  a  rod  of  iron;

E                      and  her  child  was  caught up

D               unto  God  and  his  throne.

B   And there appeared another sign in heaven;
      and behold, a great red dragon,
      having  seven  heads  and  ten horns,
      and seven crowns upon his  heads.

A And  his  tail  drew  the  third  part  of  the  stars  of  heaven,
   and  did  cast  them  to  the  earth.

C         And  the  dragon  stood  before  the  woman
           which  was  delivered,
           ready  to  devour  her  child  after  it  was born.

That was the best that I could do, and it still has major problems, and you did not even include C in your JST layout.  Do you see the supposed chiastic parallel clauses?  One should not have to force a chiasm.

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That was the best that I could do, and it still has major problems, and you did not even include C in your JST layout.  Do you see the supposed chiastic parallel clauses?  One should not have to force a chiasm.

I agree (one should not have to force a chiasm) and I think I see what you are saying now (I thought you were referring to how it fit in with what Lund was saying).  But I need to think about this some more, and to compare how it read before and after the changes.

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Thanks all for the great comments.

You actually arrived independently at the very chapter of Revelation that I was thinking of. Revelation 12

The entire book of Revelation is chiastic. It has a prologue, an epilogue and 7 themes. 3 before chapter 12 and 3 that follow after chapter 12.

The central theme is the war in heaven and its continuation on earth and that is contained in Chapter 12.

As has been pointed out chapter 12 also has internal chiasms.

But in the larger scheme of the entire book of revelation the war in heaven is central and verse 7 becomes the central verse in KJV

 

KJV

And there was awar in heavenbMichael and his cangels fought against the dragon; and the ddragon fought and his angels,

 

It is verse 6 in the JST which adds three seemingly unnecessary words to the end of the verse. This change restores the full chiastic structure of that verse that then becomes the very centre point of the entire book of Revelation and its overarching chiasm.

JST

And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;

 

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