John A. Tvedtnes, Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research & Mormon Studies (FARMS), 6x9" softbound, 271 pages. ISBN: 0934893535
If it existed in only one ancient copy, says John Tvedtnes, the Book of Mormon may have been unique. But in virtually every other way it resembles many ancient books.
In this present volume, Tvedtnes shows perhaps fifty things about ancient records that must have been hilarious in 1830 but make perfect sense today: the ubiquity of intentionally hiding books in all kinds of ingenious containers made of many materials, including stone boxes and ceramic jars; books incised on obdurate surfaces, like metals, bones, and ivory; inked papyri and parchments treated with swaddling cloths soaked in cedar and citrus oils to prevent decay; many sealed and open records; waterproofing sealants like bitumen and white lime mortar; caves serving as repositories of treasures buried in many sacred mountains; the ancient perception of permanence and eternalism associated with the preservative functions of writing; and numerous ancient traditions of angels as writers and guardians of written records. Many twentieth-century discoveries of ancient documents have made all of this visible.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Speech from the Dust
2. Hidden Records
3. Hiding Records in Boxes
4. Sealed Books
5. Angels as Guardians of Hidden Books
6. Hiding Sacred Relics
7. Mountain Repositories
8. A Book That Does Not Wear Out
9. Books in the Treasury
10. The Records Come Forth
11. Restoring the Lost Scriptures
Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Annotated Bibliography, Subject Index
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