Intertextuality is the relationship among different works. Another way to explain it is "blending," when an author blends words, phrases and concepts from different sources to create a new expression.

Actually, everything we say or write is a form of blending. We're rearranging words we've heard or read before to express our own thoughts. We usually cannot remember the original source of the words and phrases we speak, but sometimes the source is obvious. Most people know where they learned the phrase "May the force be with you," for example. We know the lyrics and tunes to popular songs. Most of us know where the phrase "In the beginning" comes from. (Genesis 1:1).

Biblical and Nonbiblical Intertextuality

Some Book of Mormon passages relate to biblical passages; others relate to nonbiblical passages. One focus of current research of nonbiblical intertextuality involves Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards page

Biblical intertextuality.

Many passages in the New Testament quote or allude to passages in the Old Testament. Many passages in the Book of Mormon quote or allude to passages in the Old and New Testament.

Some people wonder why the Book of Mormon would contain terms and phrases from the New Testament because the Book of Mormon prophets in America would have had no access to the New Testament. Once we realize that Joseph Smith translated the ancient Nephite records, we should expect New Testament language in the translation.

Each of us can only express words, phrases and concepts from our own mind whenever we speak or write. It's the same with any translator. Whether we translate from French to English, or English to French, we are limited to our vocabulary in the respective languages.

Like his contemporaries, Joseph Smith was familiar with the King James translation of the Bible. In his first history, written in his own handwriting, he also referred to his "intimate acquaintance with those of differant denominations."

When he translated the plates, Joseph drew from these two sources, which were part of his "mental language bank."

In this presentation, we use D&C 18 as an example.

We can see how the Lord works with Joseph, Oliver, and each of us, according to the principle set out in D&C 84:85

"treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man."

We also look at another example of intertextuality, this time Oliver Cowdery's Articles of the Church of Christ.

CFM Feb 22-28