Evaluating the Interaction between the New Testament and the Book of Mormon : A Proposed Methodology
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
This article puts forward a methodology for identifying and classifying phrases from the New Testament that are present within the Book of Mormon text at a phrasal level. The need for such a methodology has arisen because of a recent rise in close textual studies of the Book of Mormon and its relationship to the Bible. The methodology proposed by this study suggests that terms such as quotation, allusion, and echo—terms popular in biblical studies—be avoided because of the implication that the author of the Book of Mormon was consciously relying upon the language of the Bible. While this may be true, the use of language implying a reliance risks derailing useful textual studies in favor of debates over provenance. Additionally, because not all potential interactions with the New Testament are easily identifiable, this paper proposes a series of criteria that can be applied to potential phrases to determine the likelihood that a given phrase should be studied as a valid New Testament interaction. Finally, this paper proposes three levels of classification, based upon how well a given phrase meets the criteria laid out in the study.