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Samuel’s Reliance on Biblical Language

TitleSamuel’s Reliance on Biblical Language
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHopkin, Shon, and John Hilton, III
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Type of ArticleEssay
KeywordsBible; Jacob; Language; Parallel; Prophet; Samuel the Lamanite

In this paper, Shon Hopkin and John Hilton III demonstrate that the words of three Book of Mormon prophets—Nephi, Jacob, and Samuel—show a high reliance on certain biblical phrases: “saith the Lord,” “Lord of Hosts,” “signs and wonders,” and “anger of the Lord . . . kindled.” Because of the relatively surprising nature of Samuel’s use of these biblical phrases, he is the focus of this study. Analysis of the purpose and implications of these phrases when used by biblical prophets demonstrates several strong possibilities regarding Samuel’s own historical context in the Book of Mormon and his use of these phrases in his discourse: (1) that Samuel emerged from a convert culture that relied heavily on the biblical text as found on the brass plates to construct its identity (see Helaman 13:1); (2) that the words placed directly in his heart (see Helaman 13:4–5) influenced Samuel’s use of these phrases; (3) that his role as a prophetic foreteller and forthteller places him in the scope of biblical prophets to a greater degree than Book of Mormon prophets who mainly provided historical narrative or doctrinal discourse; (4) that his prophetic and historical positions show similarities to the role of John the Baptist; and (5) that his use of these biblical phrases served at least in part to bolster his prophetic identity while speaking to a Nephite population who had apparently never before witnessed a prophet from the Lamanites.


Scripture Reference

Helaman 13:1