Vox Populi and Vox Dei: Allusive Explorations of Biblical and Book of Mormon Politeias

Title

Vox Populi and Vox Dei: Allusive Explorations of Biblical and Book of Mormon Politeias

Publication Type

Journal Article

Year of Publication

2021

Authors

Goff, Alan (Primary)

Pagination

1-80

Volume

47

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Goff, Alan. "Vox Populi and Vox Dei: Allusive Explorations of Biblical and Book of Mormon Politeias", Vol. 47. 2021:1-80.

Abstract

David Gore’s book The Voice of the People: Political Rhetoric in the Book of Mormon is a welcome reading of Book of Mormon passages which engage in conversation with the biblical politeia — those parts of the Hebrew Bible that explore the constituent parts of the Israelite governance under judges and kings. Gore asserts that the Book of Mormon politeia in Mosiah is in allusive dialogue not just with the Bible but also the Jaredite experience of kingship in Ether. This allusive (intertextual) feature is present not just in the Book of Mormon but any text (Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and other writings) in the biblical tradition. The textual connection is conveyed when the biblical Noah is a type and King Noah the anti-type. The same is true of the biblical Gideon, who is a narrative bridge between the period of the judges and the transformation to monarchy; the Book of Mormon Gideon serves a similar typological function, bridging the reign of kings to the period of judges. Our modern notions of federalism and democracy owe much to the biblical legacy of covenant and republicanism, and although the Book of Mormon political structures share some features with modern federalism, the roots of both go deep into the Hebrew Bible. The Book of Mormon politeia, also a branch of that biblical political legacy, requires that readers understand that filiation, and demands awareness of the dialogue between the Book of Mormon and the Bible on the subject, so such reading can enrich our understanding of both Hebraic scriptures.

Politics
Kingship
Intertextuality
Nephite Government

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