Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Opposition, 0 – Series Introduction

Posted by joespencer on September 11, 2012

As part of a project I’m working on, I thought I would work through an open-ended series of posts on 2 Nephi 2:11 here at the Feast blog. Here in this introduction I will just say a little about the project. I’ll also be posting links to the several posts here as the project proceeds.

The project? Beginning in January, I’ll be participating in a new Mormon Theology Seminar project. This one will be focused—surprise!—on 2 Nephi 2. It will be a unique project in certain ways, however, since this project will be running concurrently with a project on Genesis 2-3. The two projects will culminate in a two-day conference (for now set to happen next June) on the Mormon conception of the Fall. The double project should prove quite fruitful.

What I want to do in this series, obviously in advance of the Seminar project itself, is to work through 2 Nephi 2:11 in great detail (I suspect we’ll spend only a week on this passage in the course of the Seminar). I want to take stock of this most philosophical of claims in the Book of Mormon, to sort out everything I might say about it now so that I’m a good deal more prepared when we come to it in the course of the project. Obviously, I’ll have much more to say here than I’ll be able to say there.

What sorts of things will I be covering? Well, I know I’ll begin by saying a few things about the actual wording of the text. I’ll want to do some contextualization within the chapter. I’ll want to study structures within the text, as is my wont. I’ll review the literature (and there’s plenty). I’ll also look at translations—I’ve done a bit of preliminary investigation of the way this verse is rendered in other languages, and it’s most fascinating. Finally, I’ll try to make sense of the verse on my own, and with an obviously philosophical edge. I’m curious to see where all this takes me.

So that’s the project. Any questions?

An Index of Posts

Fixing the text: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/09/13/opposition-1-fixing-the-text-of-2-nephi-211/
Contextualizing the verse: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/09/14/opposition-2-contextualizing-2-nephi-211/
Reviewing the usual interpretation: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/09/26/opposition-3-the-traditional-interpretation-of-2-nephi-211/
Early philosophical treatments: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/09/27/opposition-4-early-philosophical-engagement-with-2-nephi-211/
Recent philosophical treatments: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/05/opposition-5-recent-philosophical-engagement-with-2-nephi-211/
Introducing the history of translation: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/06/opposition-6-0-2-nephi-211-in-translation/
The text in French: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/10/opposition-6-1-2-nephi-211-in-french-translation/
The text in German: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/16/opposition-6-2-2-nephi-211-in-german-translation/
The text in Italian: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/22/opposition-6-3-2-nephi-2-11-in-italian-translation/
The text in Spanish: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/29/opposition-6-4-2-nephi-211-in-spanish-translation/
The structure of the text: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/10/30/opposition-7-structures-in-2-nephi-211/
The meaning of “opposition: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/11/05/opposition-8-opposition/
The scriptural meaning of “all things”: http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2012/11/21/opposition-9-1-all-things-in-scripture/

3 Responses to “Opposition, 0 – Series Introduction”

  1. DLewis said

    I’d be curious in how the idea of moral opposition was discussed in Christian circles around the time the BoM was published, but also how JS’s later revelations expound on, alter, or develop some of the ideas in 2 Ne. 2. We hear again and again that BoM doctrine wasn’t a major influence on early Mormon thought, but my hunch is that whether they were directly responding to it or not, a lot of developments in early Mormon theology touch on the issues raised there.

    We also don’t have a real good explanation for why the most philosophical part of the BoM is a bizarre digression in the middle of a father’s blessing, which must have left everyone listening more than a little confused.

    • jacob said

      Bizarre digression indeed! I feel like the fascinating construction in 2 Nephi 2:10 of Law versus Atonement, punishment versus happiness is not really illustrated by the idea of opposition. Verse 10 seems really crucial to salvation and perhaps exaltation, but I can’t figure it out by reading the rest of chapter 2. I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon for twenty years now and still haven’t made much headway in this chapter even though it’s one of my favorites. Therefore, I am really looking forward to this series.

  2. […] McLaughlin on About the Feast blogMike McLaughlin on Submit a questionjacob on Opposition, 0 – Series IntroductionDLewis on Opposition, 0 – Series Introductionmrswatkinsclass on Grant Hardy’s Take […]

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