Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:

“I of Myself Am a Wicked Man”: Some Notes on Allusion and Textual Dependency in Omni 1:1-2

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Published by:
Interpreter A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Published:
10/8/2020
Specs:
Digest / 5.25" x 8.25"
24 pages Saddle-stitched
Category:
Religion
Tags:
Book of Mormon, church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, Faithful, lds, Mormonism, Omni, textual dependency, Wicked, wordplay

Abstract: Omni greatly revered his ancestors and their personal accounts on the small plates of Nephi. A close examination of Omni’s brief autobiography evidences borrowing from all four of his predecessors’ writings. Moreover, his self-description, “I of myself am a wicked man,” alludes to Nephi’s autobiographical wordplay on his name and his grandfather Enos’s similarly self-referential wordplay in describing his own father Jacob as a “just man.” Omni’s name most likely represents a hypocoristic form of a longer theophoric name meaning “Yahweh is [the object of] my faith” or “Yahweh is my guardian.” These observations have implications for Omni’s stated defense of his people the Nephites against the Lamanites. In the end, Omni’s description of himself as “a wicked man” should be viewed in the context of his reverence for “goodly” and “just” ancestors and brought into balance with those sacred trusts in which he did prove faithful: preserving his people, his genealogy, and the small plates themselves.

Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship: “I of ...


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