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“The Rise and Fall of Korihor, a Zoramite”

“The Rise and Fall of Korihor, a Zoramite” October 22, 2021

 

A volcanic chain in highland Guatemala
In the Guatemalan highlands, with volcanos. I’m inclined to think that this is the general territory in which the principal events of the Book of Mormon occurred.

(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

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A new article has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:

 

Godfrey J. Ellis, “The Rise and Fall of Korihor, a Zoramite: A New Look at the Failed Mission of an Agent of Zoram”

Abstract: The accounts of the Anti-Christ, Korihor, and of Alma’s mission to the Zoramites raise a variety of apparently unanswered questions. These involve Korihor’s origins, the reason for the similarity of his beliefs to those of the Zoramites, and why he switched so quickly from an atheistic attack to an agnostic plea. Another intriguing question is whether it was actually the devil himself who taught him what to say and sent him on a mission to the land of Zarahemla — or was it a surrogate of the devil or a human “devil” such as, perhaps, Zoram? Final questions are how Korihor ended up in Antionum, why the Zoramites would kill a disabled beggar, and why nobody seemed to have mourned his violent death or possibly unrighteous execution. There are several hints from the text that suggest possible answers to these intriguing questions. Some are supported by viewing the text from a parallelistic or chiastic perspective.

 

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And, in conformity to my recent practice, I here offer some links to articles from a previous number of Interpreter:

 

John Gee, “Prolegomena to a Study of the Egyptian Alphabet Documents “in the Joseph Smith Papers”

Abstract: For many theories about the Book of Abraham, the Egyptian Alphabet documents are seen as the key to understanding the translation process. While the original publication of those documents allows many researchers access to the documents for the first time, careful attention to the Joseph Smith Papers as a whole and the practices of Joseph Smith’s scribes in particular allows for improvements in the date, labeling, and understanding of the historical context of the Egyptian Alphabet documents.This essay supports the understanding of these documents found in the other volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers that the Egyptian Alphabet documents are an incidental by-product of the translation process rather than an essential step in that process.

 

Richard E. Turley Jr. and Stephen O. Smoot, “Record-Keeping Technology among God’s People in Ancient and Modern Times”

Abstract: In a fascinating survey of the efforts of ancient and modern Saints to honor the Lord’s commandment to keep reliable records of their doings, the authors take us on a colorful tour of the past, present, and future of technology for records preservation. These efforts are not only awe-inspiring, but have had and will have important consequences for the faith and memory of the goodness of God and the fulfillment of His purposes in history.

[Editor’s Note: Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article is reprinted here as a service to the LDS community. Original pagination and page numbers have necessarily changed, otherwise the reprint has the same content as the original.

See Richard E. Turley Jr. and Stephen O. Smoot, “Record-Keeping Technology among God’s People in Ancient and Modern Times,” in “To Seek the Law of the Lord”: Essays in Honor of John W. Welch, ed. Paul Y. Hoskisson and Daniel C. Peterson (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017), 467–94. Further information at https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/to-seek-the-law-of-the-lord-essays-in-honor-of-john-w-welch-2/.]

 

John Gee, “Fantasy and Reality in the Translation of the Book of Abraham”

Abstract: The volume editors of The Joseph Smith Papers Revelations and Translations: Volume 4 propose a theory of translation of the Book of Abraham that is at odds with the documents they publish and with other documents and editorial comments published in the other volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Two key elements of their proposal are the idea of simultaneous dictation of Book of Abraham Manuscripts in the handwritings of Frederick G. Williams and Warren Parrish, and Joseph Smith’s use of the so-called Alphabet and Grammar. An examination of these theories in the light of the documents published in the Joseph Smith Papers shows that neither of these theories is historically tenable. The chronology the volume editors propose for the translation of the Book of Abraham creates more problems than it solves. A different chronology is proposed. Unfortunately, the analysis shows that the theory of translation of the Book of Abraham adopted by the Joseph Smith Papers volume editors is highly flawed.

 

John A. Tvedtnes, “Tree of Life, Tree of Healing”

Abstract: The late Hebrew scholar John Tvedtnes takes readers on a grand tour of Jewish and Christian stories and traditions that attest to the Tree of Life as not only a means to prolong life, but also to impart a healing power to individuals and to the earth itself. In a future day, it is said that the Saints will eat of its sweet fruit forever.

[Editor’s Note: Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article is reprinted here as a service to the LDS community. Original pagination and page numbers have necessarily changed, otherwise the reprint has the same content as the original.

See John Tvedtnes, “Tree of Life, Tree of Healing,” in “To Seek the Law of the Lord”: Essays in Honor of John W. Welch, ed. Paul Y. Hoskisson and Daniel C. Peterson (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017), 495–520. Further information at https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/to-seek-the-law-of-the-lord-essays-in-honor-of-john-w-welch-2/.]

 

 

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