Did Nephi intentionally use chiasmus in his writings? An analysis of fifteen multi-level chiasm candidates in Nephi's writings demonstrates a high statistical probability (99%+) that the poetic form was used intentionally by Nephi but only during two specific writing periods. This finding is buttressed by further analysis, which reveals a clear and unexpected literary pattern for which Nephi seems to have reserved his usage of chiasmus. The nature of obedience is a major theme in Nephi's writings, and he regularly employed chiasms to explore the topic early in his writings. After a period during which he discontinued use of the technique, he returned to the poetic device toward the end of his life to signal a significant shift in his thoughts on the topic of obedience.
About the Author
Dennis Newton is presently “retired” from a 25-year career as a professional market researcher. His professional focus has been on quantitative research methods, statistical modeling, and text analytics. He has a BA in English and an MBA from the University of Wyoming. He and his wife are currently serving in the Adriatic North Mission.