Quick study: 2 Ne 6:1


I noticed today how odd it is that Nephi suddenly turns to third person when he introduces Jacob’s speech. Up until then, he always uses first person. And after Jacob’s speech, in 2 Ne 11, the narrative again returns to first person (“my people” versus “people of Nephi”). Why would Nephi use third person all of a sudden right here?

We’ve been reading Grant Hardy’s book about the three authors of the Book of Mormon, so I am thinking in terms of a created narrative. What effect does this have in Nephi’s record to write this in third person?

1. Perhaps he uses this introduction because this is how Isaiah’s words begin. Look at 2 Ne 12:1 – it reads much the same as 2 Ne 6:1. And it’s 2 Ne 11 where Nephi puts Jacob and Isaiah in the same special group of people who have seen Christ and testify of Him. By wording this introduction this way, he makes Jacob of the same category as Isaiah.

2. The other times Nephi uses this language are in headings. The headings for 1 Ne and 2 Ne are also in third person. 2 Ne 5 does mark a natural break in the text. Perhaps this was originally a heading for the next portion, and perhaps he meant to continue to have headings but then left off the idea at some point.

A few ideas, anyway. Any others you have?

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