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Would we expect Joseph Smith to include performative indicators in the Book of Moses?

David M. Calabro explains how the Book of Moses contains performative indicators:

The text itself provides some clues that indicate a performative context. At the conclusion of each major section of the book are statements that relate the narrative to a contemporary audience. These asides to the audience, each of which ends with the word amen, can be examined for what they may imply about the context in which the Book of Moses was meant to be read.

David M. Calabro – An Early Christian Context for the Book of Moses

These indicators are found in:

Calabro continues:

What do we learn from these asides to the audience? First, they seem to indicate a performative context in which the text was recited to an audience of believers. We see, for instance, a shift from a general narrative voice, with God spoken of in the third person, to narration in which God speaks in the first person. The shift is evocative of a dramatic context in which a single person plays the double role of actor and narrator. The verbs used in the asides to the audience are also significant: “These words were spoken unto Moses in the mount . . . and now they are spoken unto you. Show them not unto any except them that believe . . . And these are the words which I spake unto my servant Moses . . . and I have spoken them unto you. See thou show them unto no man . . . except them that believe.” These verbs imply that the audience of the book is expected to experience the text aurally, as Moses did. They also imply that the text exists in written form, such that one might “show” the words to another outside of the performative context (an action that the audience is cautioned about).

David M. Calabro – An Early Christian Context for the Book of Moses

Is this what we would expect if Joseph Smith wrote the book of Moses?


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