Sic et Non
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The ancient synagogue at Capernaum, in northern Israel
I’m delighted to announce that Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has just published yet another article:
A. Keith Thompson, “Nephite Insights into Israelite Worship Practices before the Babylonian Captivity”
In regards to #10 in page 188:
Abinadi read the law and other scriptures and then comments on them, which follows the tradition which Nephi and Jacob both follow of reading a passage of scripture and then giving commentary and prophecy based on what was read. Alma, Amulek, and others follow this practice later in the Book of Mormon, and they reference it when speaking to the Zoramites.
I know it is not always recorded, but I think it likely that all public sermons started with the reading of a scripture marginally related to what the sermon was going to be on, especially given the frequent references to remembering a particular scripture in sermons, likely that scripture had just been read. They were a society from before the printing press so even assuming that most people could actually read (which doesn’t appear to be the case) it still would not be likely that most people would have a complete set of the sacred writings, meaning that in order for the people, especially the poor people, to know the scripture or remember them required that the scripture be read to them in a group setting.
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