Continuing with the theme of my last post, I would like to draw attention to another little detail in the Book of Mormon that when read too casually doesn’t seem to be important, but when read in the proper MesoAmerican context leaps off the page and makes the story much more exciting.
In Mosiah 2:10, King Benjamin is giving his famous speech. In this verse he says to his people:
10 I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear me, or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man.
Why would he bother to say that? Why, if Joseph Smith is the author (as non-Mormons believe), would that be part of the speech? What a strange thing to say from the perspective of our modern culture. Of course he is a man!
But, when placed in it’s proper MesoAmerican context it all makes sense. This is a recurring theme that I think will become a major tool for interpreting the BoM in the next generation. Book of Mormon scholarship is very young, but it is growing fast. I can’t wait to see what it’s condition is in 10 years.
Below is another video of Brant Gardner and other Book of Mormon scholars, anthropologists and archaeologists(including Mark Wright, one of my new favorite scholars) explaining why Mosiah 2:10, and other similar passages, suddenly make so much more sense in a MesoAmerican context.