There are 5 thoughts on “On Doubting Nephi’s Break Between 1 and 2 Nephi: A Critique of Joseph Spencer’s An Other Testament: On typology”.

  1. I wonder if there is not also an argument to be made about degrees of holiness that Nephi would have culturally recognized. Although I am no expert, it seems there are three categories—profane, holy and most holy—recognized by Hebrew authors. So more holy seems to me to be most likely a reference to the second category rather than the third, which is the category that the entire small plates corpus written by Nephi would most likely fall. The Book of Mormon makes allusions to events that fall into the third category, but tends to give them respectful distance, e.g., its reticence about the experience of the disciples who would not taste of death, the words in Jesus’s ineffable prayer and so forth.

  2. Thank you for another valuable contribution to our understanding of the Book of Mormon. Consistent with your findings here, in Part 2 of the recent series on the “rise from the dust” theme in the Book of Mormon (, starting at p. 266 near the end, I examined the parallels between the opening chapters of 2 Nephi 1 (esp. 2 Nephi 1 but continuing into part of 2 Nephi 5) and the opening chapters of 1 Nephi. In light of how dust themes are related to enthronement, 2 Nephi begins with evidence supporting Nephi’s commission as a prophet and his rightful role as king, in parallel to the evidence for Lehi’s divine commission in 1 Nephi 1 ff. There are multiple parallels that contribute to the evidence you have already presented showing that Nephi was following a careful plan in his division of books.

  3. I was wondering if I was smart enough to appreciate Spencer’s “Typology,” especially after the gushing reviews it got.

    As good as this article is at clearing that up, I am more grateful to find out about “Chiastic structuring of large texts: Second Nephi as a case study,” which I somehow missed last year. Where was it published?

    You are breaking ground that needs to be broken. Nephi as a literary genius? Why not? How did that “learning of the Jews” make it to Benjamin and Alma? From there to Mormon?

    • After now studying “Chiastic structuring… Second Nephi,” it seems to me the puzzle is not yet solved. After arguing in both papers that the author’s divisions should be respected, it appears you disregard original chapter breaks in 5 of your 13 proposed subordinate elements. Don’t you think Nephi’s structure would incorporate his chapter divisions also?

      Your analysis of 11:2-8 is great, but whether it is the central turning point of an overall chiastic structure in 2nd Nephi is not convincing. What is convincing is your argument that Nephi’s was more sophisticated than we have given him credit for and, even if not esoteric, there is definitely more to his writings than meets the eye. Thank you for your scholarship and insights in this regard.

  4. Thank you for your article. I particularly appreciate your point about the characterization of Nephi as a writer. This seems to be a point several authors have stumbled upon about the Book of Mormon generally, but Nephi in particular is explicit about his desire to teach as vigorously and plainly as possible.

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