We are pleased to announce that Julie M. Smith is the first place winner of the 2015 Ruth M. Stephens Article Prize! Her winning article was published in volume 14 in the journal with the title "A Redemptive Reading of Mark 5:25-34." Congratulations to Julie!

Printed JournalWelcome to Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, a nonprofit, independent, peer-reviewed educational journal focused on the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its publications are available free of charge, with our goal to increase understanding of scripture. Our latest papers can be found below.

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“He Is a Good Man”: The Fulfillment of Helaman 5:6-7 in Helaman 8:7 and 11:18-19

Abstract: Mormon, as an author and editor, was concerned to show the fulfillment of earlier Nephite prophecy when such fulfillment occurred. Mormon took care to show that Nephi and Lehi, the sons of Helaman, fulfilled their father’s prophetic and paranetic expectations regarding them as enshrined in their given names — the names of their “first parents.” It had been “said and also written” (Helaman 5:6-7) that Nephi’s and Lehi’s namesakes were “good” in 1 Nephi 1:1. Using onomastic play on the meaning of “Nephi,” Mormon demonstrates in Helaman 8:7 that it also came to be said and written of Nephi the son of Helaman that he was “good.” Moreover, Mormon shows Nephi that his brother Lehi was “not a whit behind him” in this regard (Helaman 11:19). During their lifetimes — i.e., during the time of the fulfillment of Mosiah’s forewarning regarding societal and political corruption (see Mosiah 29:27) that especially included secret combinations — Nephi and Lehi stood firm against increasingly popular organized evil. Continue reading

A Vital Resource for Understanding LDS Perspectives on War

Review of Duane Boyce, Even Unto Bloodshed: An LDS Perspective on War (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2015). 312 pp., including appendices and index. $29.95.

Abstract: Even Unto Bloodshed: An LDS Perspective of War by Duane Boyce is a thorough and engrossing philosophical discussion describing the failure of secular and spiritual pacifism. Boyce provides a detailed summary of secular views regarding just war and pacifism, and systematic rebuttals of almost every major pacifist thinker in LDS thought. The text is far more brief describing the LDS theory of just war, but remains an essential resource for creating that theory. Continue reading

Was Joseph Smith Smarter Than the Average Fourth Year Hebrew Student? Finding a Restoration-Significant Hebraism in Book of Mormon Isaiah

Abstract: The brass plates version of Isaiah 2:2, as contained in 2 Nephi 12:2, contains a small difference, not attested in any other pre-1830 Isaiah witness, that not only helps clarify the meaning but also ties the verse to events of the Restoration. The change does so by introducing a Hebraism that would have been impossible for Joseph Smith, the Prophet, to have produced on his own. Continue reading

Image is Everything: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Abstract: Soon after the appearance of my Interpreter review of Jeremy Runnells’ Letter to a CES Director, he promised to provide his personal response. Although this response has not yet appeared, he did post an essay called “The Sky is Falling” by his friend Johnny Stephenson. After I read the essay closely in May, I realized that it provides, however unintentionally, a valuable set of discussion points with illustrative examples. My response begins with some preliminaries, surveys essential background issues concerning facts, ideology, and cognitive dissonance, and then addresses his historical arguments regarding the First Vision and priesthood restoration accounts. Continue reading

The Return of Rhetorical Analysis to Bible Studies

Review of:

Jack R. Lundbom, Biblical Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism. Hebrew Bible Monographs 45 (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013), 354 pp., $130.00.

Roland Meynet, Rhetorical Analysis: An Introduction to Biblical Rhetoric. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 256 (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 392 pp., $200.00.

Abstract: There is now a growing consensus that the eighth and seventh centuries produced a distinctive Hebrew rhetoric that enabled writers, even down into New Testament times, to use both words and structures to communicate with readers in ways that have been largely invisible to modern Western interpreters. In this essay, the efforts of two leaders of this movement in Biblical studies to explain and defend their respective versions of this developing approach are reviewed. Continue reading