Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bookshelf: Cornelis Van Dam

Cornelis Van Dam's recent monograph The Urim and Thummim: A Means of Revelation in Ancient Israel is a great resource for understanding the UT in the OT.  It also opens up certain Book of Mormon passages: if you look closely, you'll see that, although the UT isn't mentioned, a couple of episodes in Alma track with the language of UT use exactly (high priest, gift of prophecy, national crisis, inquire of the Lord, possible indications of use in secluded / consecrated space, etc.), suggesting that the Nephites used the Urim and Thummim not only to translate, but also to make military decisions.  See, e.g., Alma 16:5-6 and Alma 43:23-24.

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