Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Sin Lists

As I read slowly through the first chapter of the Book of Alma tonight, I realized that I have hit upon a specific scriptural phenonomen: the sin list.

It would be interesting to catalogue all of these lists from the Book of Mormon, as well as the Bible. To note in which elements they differ, in the order of presentation, etc.

For example, tonight I focused on "envyings and strife," which appears as a pair in each Book of Mormon list that I have studied so far. Strife is of course the natural fruit of envy. An astute Biblical scholar would remember that the writer of the Epistle of James in the Bible, also paired the two. (3:16). More shameless plagiarism by the pretended prophet Joseph Smith? Hardly. The Palmyra farmboy, I have long ago realized, would have to have memorized virtually the entire New Testament, if he were simply attempting to pad his Book of Mormon, so many quotes are similar.

Other explanations present themselves. As he translated, he translated the Hebrew original into the way of speaking English that was familiar to him in connection with sacred things -- the King James structure. And both he and the ancient writers derived their inspiration and their words from the same source, our Father in Heaven.

My grandfather is fond of calling God the greatest scientist in the universe. I like to think that He is also the greatest writer and poet.

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