Abinadi, Book of Mormon, ancient scripture, intertextuality, intratextuality


Eminent author Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "All minds quote. Old and new make the warp and woof of every moment. There is no thread that is not a twist of these two strands. By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote." Identifying these instances of textual weavings is one aspect of a literary field known as intertextuality, an area that holds great promos for Book of Mormon research. Grant Hardy has suggested that it would be fruitful for our understanding of the Book of Mormon "to track various phrases throughout the Book of Mormon to determine which Nephite prophets were particularly influenced by their predecessors." Abinadi is one of the first prophets quoted in the extant abridgment of the large plates, and as such has potential to be an influential predecessor. Moreover, Abinadi was directly connected with Alma's conversion, which created a subsequent lineage of record keepers, all of whom likely had intense interest in the words of the person who converted their ancestor and shaped the doctrinal understanding of the Nephite church. The purpose of this essay is to focus on the words of Abinadi and explore how they are utilized by later Book fo Mormon individuals. Before examining Abinadi's words, I first discuss intertextuality as a broad concept, with its use in biblical scholarship, and intratextuality, a related term. Biblical scholars have explored areas related to both intertextuality and intratextuality for centuries; utilizing some of their methods can provide fruitful analysis for studying the Book of Mormon.

Original Publication Citation

Hilton, J., III. (2018). Abinadi's Legacy: Tracing His Influence through the Book of Mormon. In S. D. Hopkin (Ed.), Abinadi: He Came Among Them in Disguise (pp. 93-116). Religious Studies Center.

Document Type

Book Chapter

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Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor