NOTICES AND REVIEWS
CES Symposium on the Book of Mormon
The faculties and administrators of the seminaries and institutes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met in August at Brigham Young University to enjoy a three day symposium of the Book of Mormon. Topics discussed included Women in the Book of Mormon, a comparison of Third Nephi to the Sermon on the Mount, Priesthood Principles and Church Organization in the Book of Mormon, Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Book of Mormon, and Priesthood versus Priestcraft among the Nephites. Many valuable materials were provided. A booklet containing Symposium lectures is now available from Theodore McKean's office, 992 Church Office Building, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. The cost is $1.50 plus postage.
Avraham Gileadi, The Apocalyptic Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretative Key. Hebraeus Press, Box 7060 University Station, Provo, UT 84602, 208 pp., $9.95 ($10.50 shipped). (Discounts available from Signature Book Club, 942 E. 7145 S. Midvale, UT 84047.)
Of all the prophets of ancient Israel, probably none has aroused such attention among subsequent generations of exegetes—from Nephi to the Dead Sea Covenanters to modern commentators—as Isaiah. The Apocalyptic Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretative Key is an illuminating and provocative contribution.
Gileadi, a convert to Mormonism while living in Israel during the early 1970s, has devoted much of his scholarly energies for the past several years to analyzing the language, and the literacy and prophetic forms of Isaiah. His dissertation, "A Holistic Structure of the Book of Isaiah," (BYU, 1981), challenges on formal and literary grounds the assumptions that Isaiah was written by two, if not three, authors. In this new volume, Gileadi has retranslated Isaiah to make it accessible to the many readers who find the King James translation difficult to understand. The translators, he explains, lacked a full acquaintance with the subtleties of Hebrew idioms. Gileadi's translation has provided solutions to several textual difficulties.
According to Nephi, a key to Isaiah lies in understanding the" manner" of prophesying among the Jews. Taking this cue from the Book of Mormon, a major part of Gileadi's work develops just such "An Apocalyptic Key" to provide insights into the complex and multi-layered literary structure of Isaiah and to identify themes common to prophetic writings of the ancient Jews and of the literature of the ancient Near East. This "Apocalyptic Key" is not easy reading but richly repays patient study.
|—Stephen D Ricks|