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Nephi’s Use of Inverted Parallels
|Title||Nephi’s Use of Inverted Parallels|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture|
|Keywords||Chiasm; Chiasmus; Exodus Motif; Inverted Parallelism; Lehi (Prophet); Nephi (Son of Lehi); Parallelism; Poetry; Structure; Wilderness|
Did Nephi intentionally use chiasmus in his writings? An analysis of fifteen multi-level chiasm candidates in Nephi’s writings demonstrates a high statistical probability (99%+) that the poetic form was used intentionally by Nephi but only during two specific writing periods. This finding is buttressed by further analysis, which reveals a clear and unexpected literary pattern for which Nephi seems to have reserved his usage of chiasmus. The nature of obedience is a major theme in Nephi’s writings, and he regularly employed chiasms to explore the topic early in his writings. After a period during which he discontinued use of the technique, he returned to the poetic device toward the end of his life to signal a significant shift in his thoughts on the topic of obedience.
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