Defending the Faith: The Book of Mormon was very carefully written

by | Jun. 20, 2013

What We Believe

“Intertextuality” is a word used to describe ways in which various texts refer to, or play off of, each other, often without explicitly indicating it. For example, a 2012 book titled “Seven Habits of Highly Fulfilled People” unmistakably alludes to Stephen Covey’s famous 1990 best-seller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Sometimes, authors hope that their audiences will keep the other text in mind.

The Book of Mormon contains numerous such examples, and probably quite a few remain to be discovered. John Welch has shown that legal language in the Book of Mormon tends to be highly consistent, perhaps indicating its dependence on underlying legal materials. Royal Skousen’s superb studies of the book’s textual history have established what he calls its “systematic nature”; its terminology and phrasing tend to be very consistent.

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