There are 3 thoughts on “Nephi: A Postmodernist Reading”.

  1. Ben,

    Thank you for responding to my questions on FAIR. Your comments were informative and eye-opening! They were very helpful to me. If you are open to it, I’d appreciate bouncing some concerns directly off you once it a while. Although I now live in Boise, I’m a native of Michigan and was converted while living there. You now have my email address…please send me your email info if you are open to direct communication. Thank you! Doug

  2. Thanks, Ben, for helping me see the Small Plates with new eyes. Just a couple of observations:
    (1) Nephi’s parallel citations (or “textual cannibalism”) in I Ne 13:34-35 and II Ne 26:14-17 engage the reversal suggested by Seidel’s Law.

    (2) A number of us have used the term pesher to describe what Nephi is doing in his commentaries, which is appropriate since the Essenes engaged in the very same likening process. James Sanders, for example, has discussed this Essene phenomenon in the context of adaptability in light of “the rather amazing fact of repetition. . . . of a community value in a context other than that of its ‘original’ provenance,” which leads in turn to a “resignification of that value to some limited extent.” “From earliest times, it would appear, the believing community contemporized earlier value-traditions to their own situations.”
    –Sanders, Canon and Community: A Guide to Canonical Criticism (Phila.: Fortress, 1984), 22,27 (cf. vs 23); cf. Talmud Babli Pesahim 10:5.

    A surprising example of the latter is Jewish scholarship recognizing that the early Christians did not invent the notion that Isaiah’s Suffering Servant was the Messiah to come. — Michael Wise, The First Messiah: Investigating the Savior Before Christ (S.F.: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999); Israel Knohl, The Messiah Before Jesus: The Suffering Servant of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Berkeley: U.C. Press, 2000).

  3. I’ve always wondered why Nephi never fulfilled one of his stated purposes in writing: namely, that he would give “an account …of the ministry of my people.” That objective isn’t accomplished. This essay provides a reasonable explanation as to why. The conclusions make Nephi all the more real to me. (How many times have I also “rebooted” my own composition when I’ve tried to be (somewhat) diligent in keeping a journal; usually with minimal success, in fits & starts. At least Nephi kept with it!)

    I always enjoy reading Benjamin’s works because they usually challenge my preconceptions in new and interesting ways.

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