BYU Student Journal Explores Hebrew Law in the Book of Mormon
In February 2001, a conference titled "Hebrew Law in the Book of Mormon" was held at Brigham Young University under the sponsorship of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. Among the papers presented there were studies by seven BYU students on aspects of ancient law that might be reflected in the Book of Mormon. These papers are now published in a special issue of the student journal Studia Antiqua. They treat such topics as slavery, the Noachide laws (minimum standards of social and moral conduct revealed through Noah and thus binding on all humanity), false prophecy, blasphemy and reviling, the status of women in ancient Jewish law, and legal protections for widows and the fatherless.
The journal features an introduction by John W. Welch, a BYU professor of law who organized the conference and spoke at two of its three sessions. He summarizes the proceedings, highlights important issues, and provides helpful context for understanding the approaches taken in the student papers. He observes: "Law was extremely important in the ancient world, especially among the Israelites. Although it is often difficult to know exactly what the substantive and procedural rules of Israelite courts might have been in the seventh century B.C. and how much of that jurisprudence was carried over into the New World on the plates of brass and through the customs of Lehi and his descendants, reasonable reconstructions of Hebrew law in biblical times can be made, and those studies shed interesting light on possible meanings of many words and deeds reported in the Book of Mormon."
To obtain a copy of this publication, use the enclosed order form or visit the Bookstore section of the FARMS Web site.