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When Are Chiasms Admissible as Evidence?

TitleWhen Are Chiasms Admissible as Evidence?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsEdwards, Boyd F., and W. Farrell Edwards
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsChiasm; Chiasmus; Evidence; Hebraism; Parallelism; Strangite; Structure

Since John Welch's discovery of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon in 1967, many critics have attempted to show how chiasmus appears in just about every type of literature, from Dr. Seuss to Strangite scripture. This article discusses the authors' statistical admissibility tests to verify whether a chiasmus in a work shows strong evidence of intentionality by the original author. Their results indicate that certain passages in the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon show deliberate chiasmus, while Strangite scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants, nursery rhymes, Dr. Seuss, and other works are not intentionally chiastic.