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The close readings in this book bring many new details to light, making the legal cases in the Book of Mormon clear to ordinary readers, convincing to attorneys, and respectable to scholars of all types, whether Latter-day Saints or not.
All readers can identify with these compelling legal narratives, for they address pressing problems of ordinary people. These texts deserve repeated attention and repay careful analysis.
Appreciating both the subtle jurisprudential details and the persistent patterns in these legal dramas adds thought-provoking spiritual insights and practical perspectives to these significant proceedings.
The Legal Cases in the Book of Mormon begins with a discussion of important background information, including legal practices in the ancient Near East, the ideal of righteous judgment, and the legal cases recorded in the Bible.
Welch then devotes a chapter to each of the legal cases in the Book of Mormon — from the formative cases of Sherem and Abinadi to the landmark trials of Nehor and Korihor, the wrenching prosecution of Alma and Amulek, and the politicized proceedings of Paanchi and Seantum.
About the Author
John W. Welch is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, where he teaches various courses, including Perspectives on Jewish, Greek, and Roman Law in the New Testament. Since 1991 he has also served as the editor in chief of BYU Studies. He studied history and classical languages at Brigham Young University, Greek philosophy at Oxford, and law at Duke University. As a founder of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, one of the editors for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Mormonism, and codirector of the Masada and Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at BYU, he has published widely on biblical, early Christian, and Latter-day Saint topics.
Great insights into familiar Book of Mormon stories
by Sarah - reviewed on June 18, 2013
I picked up this book as a gift for my sister who is a lawyer, but then started reading it and need a copy for myself, and maybe some for other family members as well! I could always tell that there was more meaning lurking in the precise language of the stories of Sherem, Abinadi, Nehor, Alma and Amulek, and so on - this book provides a key to unlock some of the legal language so that everyday scholars of the scriptures can understand it. It gives many specific references to verses in the Old Testament relating to the Law of Moses that I would never have uncovered myself, and which add rich meaning to the doctrine of these stories. I highly recommend it!
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