Review of Bradley J. Kramer, Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon


book review, Book of Mormon, Mormon studies, Jewish studies


This book was difficult to review. On the one hand, it provides intriguing insights into the Book of Mormon as well as useful tools for Latter-day Saints to look at this important text in new ways. On the other hand, it often provides those tools through methodological missteps and by glossing over elements of historical reading in both Book of Mormon and Jewish studies. I firmly applaud the impetus behind this book and even some of the individual points, but it is also a book that illustrates how having a heart in the right place is insufficient to make it completely successful in its proposed thesis. According to the preface, the purpose of this book is to approach the Book of Mormon in a way similar to how Jews approach the reading of the Torah (see pp. xiv–xv). Beholding the Tree of Life broadly succeeds in presenting some Jewish interpretive tools to a Latter-day Saint audience but falls short in a number of specific aspects.

Original Publication Citation

Review of Bradley Kramer, Beholding the Tree of Life: A Rabbinic Approach to the Book of Mormon. Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 26 (2017): 237–244

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Book of Mormon Studies




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor