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

Jonathan Edwards’s Unique Role in an Imagined Church History

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Published by:
Interpreter A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Published:
6/23/2022
Specs:
Digest / 5.25" x 8.25"
44 pages Saddle-stitched
Category:
Religion
Tags:
Book of Mormon, church of jesus christ of latter-day saints, Jonathan Edwards, Joseph Smith, lds, Mormonism, review

Review of Jonathan Neville, Infinite Goodness: Joseph Smith, Jonathan Edwards, and the Book of Mormon.

In Infinite Goodness, Neville claims that Joseph Smith’s vocabulary and translation of the Book of Mormon were deeply influenced by the famous Protestant minister Jonathan Edwards. Neville cites various words or ideas that he believes originate with Edwards. However, most of Neville’s findings regarding Edwards and other non-biblical sources are superficial and weak, and many of his findings have a more plausible common source: the language used by the King James Bible. Neville attempts to make Joseph a literary prodigy, able to read and reformulate eight volumes of Edwards’s sermons — with enough genius to do so, but not enough genius to learn the words without Edwards’s help. This scenario contradicts the historical record, and Neville uses sources disingenuously to impose his idiosyncratic and wholly modern worldview onto Joseph Smith and his contemporaries.

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


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