A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon

A Literary and Theological Introduction

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John Christopher Thomas
  • Cleveland, TN: 
    CPT Press
    , March
     2016.
     494 pages.
     $24.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9781935931553.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In this monograph, Pentecostal New Testament scholar John Christopher Thomas offers a constructive, critical reading of the Book of Mormon that focuses on a variety of issues often under-represented in the literature currently available. Utilizing narrative analysis Thomas begins with an investigation of the book’s overall structure detected by means of literary markers in the text. He next presents an extended reading of the narrative contents of the book focusing on its literary and theological dimensions. This close reading enables the construction of a ‘Theology of the Book of Mormon’ that explores the major theological emphases that emerge from a narrative analysis of the book. The study next traces the book’s reception amongst followers and opponents alike, as well as its impact in the areas of music, art, and disastrous interpretations of the book. The Book of Mormon and Pentecostalism are then placed into dialogue through historical analyses of early Pentecostal thought on the book and the movements it spawned, before a comparison of the theological heart of Pentecostalism and the book is given. Finally, issues of origins are discussed by an examination of the earliest story of the book’s origins, the major complications of this story, and the proposal of a taxonomy of various reading strategies offered in the light of these complications. Seeking to maintain an irenic and constructive tone throughout, this work should serve both to acquaint interested readers with the Book of Mormon and to encourage candid, thoughtful, and respectful conversations about the book between those who hold it to be Scripture and those who do not.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

John Christopher Thomas is Clarence J. Abbott professor of Biblical studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, TN, and director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University, in Bangor, Wales, UK. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.

Keywords: 

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