Review by Choice Review
Barlow, a history professor and practicing Mormon, examines Mormon use of the Bible from the time of founder Joseph Smith on. He shows how images from the King James Version (KJV) permeated Smith's worldview, while emphasizing the enduring import of Smith's concern for supplementary revelation and his awareness of the limits of language and the possibility of error in the transmission of the biblical text. For a time, the Doctrines and Covenants and Book of Mormon overshadowed the Bible among adherents, but Barlow insists that Mormons remained biblicists appreciative of the revelatory authority behind scripture. Mormons joined in the rejection of much late-19th-century biblical scholarship; many accepted only the KJV as legitimate and espoused biblical literalism, even while muting Mormon millennialism and primitivism as they became more middle-class. For Barlow, openness to supplementary revelation accounts for the range of Mormon perspectives regarding the Bible, but reinforces Mormon uniqueness among American religious movements. This well-written, carefully researched book assumes a familiarity with Mormon scholarship; thus it is most valuable for advanced students of American religion.-C. H. Lippy, Clemson University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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