A review of "Testaments: Links Between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible" by David E. Bokovoy
and John A. Tvedtnes
I was utterly delighted to have received a copy of Testaments: Links between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible by David Bokovoy, a promising graduate student at Brandeis and formerly a seminary teacher in Tooele, Utah, and John Tvedtnes, research associate at FARMS and author of works of patient brilliance on a wide range of topics, including the religion of ancient Israel, Second Temple (intertestamental) Judaism, the New Testament, early Christianity, the Book of Mormon, and other Latter-day Saint scripture.
Of the 36 chapters, two-thirds were written by Bokovoy
(1-3, 5-8, 10-15, 20-24, 27-29, 33, 34); one-third by Tvedtnes (4, 9, 16, 17, 19, 25, 26, 30-32); and two chapters by both (18, 35).
In equal measure, in the five-page chapter 22 on "Heaven and Earth" (pp. 144-48), Bokovoy
readers sparkling insights into the phrase heaven and earth as "merismus," the use of "two opposite word pairs, to express the concept of all or every" (p. 144).
After quoting Mosiah 4:9, "Believe in God; believe that he
is, and that he
created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he
has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend," Bokovoy
cites the Book of Mormon and the Bible several times as well as three ancient Mesopotamian texts, including the Assyrian Esarhaddon Treaty("you are adjured by all the gods of every land, you are adjured by the gods of heaven and earth," p. 144), the Babylonian Enuma Elish ("When heaven above was not yet even mentioned, firm-set earth below called by no name," p. 145), and from the Sumerian Birth of Man ("In days of yore, the days when heaven and earth had been [fashioned], in the nights of yore, the nights when heaven and earth had been fashioned," p. 145) to further illustrate the use of heaven and earth to mean the universe.