Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

One of the Best Free Books Ever: Donald R. Parry, Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted

For those interested in evaluating the literary power or the Book of Mormon, or those wishing to better understand the artistry of the text, there's a remarkable free book online that represents a massive effort from a talented scholar.  Donald R. Parry's book, Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, 2007) reformats the text to show the presence of possible chiasmus and other forms of parallelism, and frequently adds labels to identify the nature of the parallelism. This free download from the Maxwell Institute at BYU is a PDF file that you can use for scripture study on your phone or laptop, for example.

I've learned some interesting things by scanning this book. For example, I found that the majority of occurrences of words based on "chain" occur in chiasmic structures where chains play a role as a poetic element. There's much more for all of us to learn as we explore this resource. It does not capture every proposed chiasmus and there are some complex overlapping structures that it may miss, but it's a fabulous place to begin in understanding some of the hard-to-recognize poetry that doesn't pop out in the standard printing of the text.

The URL for Brother Parry's book is http://publications.mi.byu.edu/book/poetic-parallelisms-in-the-book-of-mormon-.

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