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2014 Abstracts

Behold, Other Scriptures I Would that Ye Should Write: Malachi in the Book of Mormon

Colby Townsend, University of Utah


A vast amount of literature has been produced on the Book of Mormon since its initial publication in 1830. Writers from all backgrounds have approached this text, generally in a polarized manner. Either they approach it as committed believers or non-committed skeptics. In reviewing this literature it becomes apparent that not enough work has been done on the influence of the King James Version (KJV) of the Biblical text on the actual production of the Book of Mormon. A large project is underway to locate all of the places in the text of the Book of Mormon that are literarily dependent on the KJV. This paper will be a contribution toward that end. Malachi 3-4 is quoted in numerous places throughout the Book of Mormon, not just 3 Ne. 24-25 where Jesus gives the Nephites these chapters because “they [had them] not.” The paper will locate all of those places in the text of the Book of Mormon where the language and phraseology of Malachi is used, and its use will be analyzed through literary and source criticism. At present this paper is still a work in progress, and therefore has no set conclusion, but the working hypothesis is that Joseph Smith either utilized the KJV Malachi directly in the process of dictating the Book of Mormon by taking out a KJV and having his scribe copy it down, or the language was so familiar to him it came to mind as he dictated to his scribe. This will contribute to the larger study of locating all those places in the Book of Mormon that are dependent on the Bible, which will be published as a scholarly reference for use in comparative studies between the Bible and the Book of Mormon.