Desideratum for the Study of Mormon Scripture

If I were in charge (which I’m not–which is probably a good thing), I would try to initiate the following long-term, multi-participant studies on LDS scripture.

1- An online “hyper”-scripture in which the full text of LDS scripture is linked in numerous, color-coded ways to other passages, articles, book sections, geographical items, philology, etc. etc.  A completely integrated database of all knowledge about the BOM.

2- A multi-author, multi-volume commentary on the BOM, with a separate volume on each book of the BOM.

3- A multi-volume Book of Mormon encyclopedia examining in great detail all aspects of the BOM (to supplement the doctrinally oriented BOM Reference Companion)

4- A historical geography of the BOM, which step-by-step, in chronological fashion, analyzes all BOM geography to see when toponyms appear, disappear, geographical relationships, distances, etc. in a consistent and organized fashion, with detailed abstract maps.

5- A multi-participant study of chronology of the BOM, both internally, and with synchronism to both the Ancient Near East and Mesoamerica.

6- A “parallel” BOM, which gives the text of the BOM and in a parallel column, all biblical parallels, parallels to non-biblical ancient literature, as well as parallels to later LDS scripture where the BOM is quoted.

7- A complete onomastica of all ancient names in all LDS scripture (this is in part being done by Paul Hoskisson + others in loose association with the Maxwell Institute.)

8- A critical edition of the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar (which I believe is being done by Brian Hauglid), and any remaining Kirtland Egyptian Papers.  (Paralleling the JS Papers project).


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About William J. Hamblin

William J. Hamblin is Professor of History at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, USA),
 specializing in the ancient and medieval Near East. He is the author of dozens of academic
 articles and several books, most recently, Solomon’s Temple: Myth and History, with David 
Seely (Thames and Hudson, 2007). In the fall of 2010 his first novel was published (co-
authored with Neil Newell): The Book of Malchus, (Deseret Book, 2010). A fanatical traveler and photographer, he spent 2010 teaching at the BYU Jerusalem Center, and has lived in
 Israel, England, Egypt and Italy, and traveled to dozens of other countries.

4 thoughts on “Desideratum for the Study of Mormon Scripture

    • For commentaries, geographic resources, name origins, etc…, to be holistic, it would be nice to also include materials that assume a 19th century origin of the Book of Mormon. While this has been politically divisive, it never-the-less would be important for those interested in full scholarly resources on the Book of Mormon.

      • Are you suggesting that the inclusion of such material would be accompanied by an apologetic response? Certainly they are important for scholarly study, but would require a context that appropriately separated such information from the materials supporting the Book of Mormon as an ancient document.

  1. I have dreamed of something like #1 for a while now. This could be accomplished by means of a scripture-centric wiki website. Such a site would present the scriptural text (potentially multiple variants) and allow users to add annotations, cite sources, link to other passages, etc. Annotations could perhaps be tagged—geography, etymology, etc.

    Once such a site existed, it would then become the task of the community to populate it with all known claims regarding the text, citing the appropriate sources. Claims by critics would be welcome, too. I believe such a project would have many positive results, such as increased availability of existing scholarship, discovery of previously unknown patterns and connections, and a more systematic approach to addressing critical claims.

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