A couple of notes first. I’ll be in San Antonio for the annual joint Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion meeting in late November, plus a few extra days with family. This is a massive, multi-day meeting with thousands of people and dozens of concurrent sessions, all day every day. It’s a place to see lots of current scholarship and debate, meet people, do job interviews (not me, this time around), and also drool at the massive and discounted book section. Imagine a football field with discounted, prepublication books on religion, the Bible from every imaginable publisher, and on the last day, the discounts multiply. If you’re lucky, you even walk away with free display copies! The legendary bookanalia…
Second, D&C is coming. I still haven’t decided how to approach it for the blog, but I will be posting a suggested reading list in another week or two, and I vow to get a jump on lessons ahead of time. So stay tuned during the November holiday.
Third, in today’s reading, Jesus quotes Isaiah 54, raising once again everyone’s favorite Book of Mormon section.
Joseph Spencer recently published a short book on reading Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. I haven’t read it yet, but there’s both a podcast interview (I’ll be on this podcast in the future), a panel discussion here, and a review here. Joe does great work, and I suspect this will help cut the Gordian Knot of understanding Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. I look forward to reading it.
3 Nephi 22 Jesus quotes Isaiah 54.
3 Nephi 23 Jesus asks to see the records, to give them more. Rebukes Nephi, makes sure Samuel gets written down.
3 Nephi 24-25 Gives them Malachi.
3 Nephi 26- Mormon summarizes Jesus actions and visit. 1/100th written.
I realize now that I accidentally included these chapters in my notes a last week (including a plug for Joe’s book, which certainly merits a second plug), so let me add these.3Ne 22:9, compare to Isaiah 54:9 and note the KJV italicized word missing in the Book of Mormon. Recall that italics in the KJV were to indicat words in translation that weren’t in the Hebrew. They are certainly implied by the Hebrew, and necessary to make sense in English, but not technically there. Later on with the JST, Joseph Smith is quite sensitive to KJV italics, and often makes changes there. How much sense does this make in English without those italics, as the Book of Mormon has it?
See also my post from Old Testament with Isaiah 54.
3 Nephi 23:8-12 I’ve always found this so interesting. What does it indicate about Mormon’s knowledge of the records and how he writes the Book of Mormon, that he includes Samuel’s record in Helaman 13-16 before he gets to this section about Samuel’s preaching being omitted? What bias on the part of the Nephites led to a failure to write down Samuel’s preaching? Does it change how we should read Helaman 13-16 to know that Mormon in 400+AD is using a record of Samuel’s preaching that was written from memory 30+years after he spoke it? Can you remember any talks from 30 years ago that you would feel comfortable reconstructing from memory?
Think back to Abinadi. Who gave us his words? A hostile witness who became converted, then fled for his life, and had to reconstruct Abinadi’s words from memory weeks later and on the run. I suspect there is both some inspiration and some authorial/editorial expansion, that some of Abinadi’s and Samuel’s words are “filled in” by Alma, Nephi, and/or Mormon. It’s the nature of the record. See my post here.
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