Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Mormon Studies Review


Cory Crawford


Bible, Book of Mormon, Scriptures, Scripture review


In this monograph Nicholas Frederick tackles the directional literary relationship between canonical Mormon scripture and the King James Bible with a methodology more secure and transparent than has been applied in the past. He advances substantively the study of Latter-day Saint sacred texts by trying to get an analytical handle on what attentive readers detect easily, namely, that the rhetorical space created and occupied by Joseph Smith’s canonized writings, produced in English, is inseparable from the English of the King James Bible in ways that complicate the question of historicity and translation. For Frederick, detecting and decoding allusion in LDS scripture allows the reader to investigate creative operations performed on the source text. He looks under the hood in sharper focus at the literary engines

that drove the new production of old scripture in the LDS tradition, concluding that in general these allusions spoke primarily to the nineteenth- century audiences with whom this literature needed to resonate to be recognizable as scripture.