View the full PDF (420+ pages)View PDF

Is the wordplay on the name “Alma” just a coincidence?

Matthew L. Bowen summarizes a wordplay on the name “Alma”:

The biographical introduction of Alma the Elder into the Book of Mormon narrative (Mosiah 17:2) also introduces the name Alma into the text for the first time, this in close juxtaposition with a description of Alma as a “young man.” The best explanation for the name Alma is that it derives from the Semitic term ǵlm (Hebrew ʿelem), “young man,” “youth,” “lad.” This suggests the strong probability of an intentional wordplay on the name Alma in the Book of Mormon’s underlying text: Alma became “[God’s] young man” or “servant.”

Matthew L. Bowen – Alma — Young Man, Hidden Prophet

How would Joseph Smith have known the Hebrew necessary for this wordplay?


Add a Question
Thank you for your submission