Second Witness: Volume 4: Alma

$24.98 $49.95

by Brant Gardner
“No other reference source will prove as thorough and valuable for serious readers of the Book of Mormon.” — Neal A Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU

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Book Description:

Stop looking for the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerica and start looking for Mesoamerica in the Book of Mormon! Second Witness, a new six-volume series from Greg Kofford Books, takes a detailed, verse-by-verse look at the Book of Mormon. It marshals the best of modern scholarship and new insights into a consistent picture of the Book of Mormon as a historical document. Taking a faithful but scholarly approach to the text and reading it through the insights of linguistics, anthropology, and ethnohistory, the commentary approaches the text from a variety of perspectives: how it was created, how it relates to history and culture, and what religious insights it provides.
     The commentary accepts the best modern scholarship, which focuses on a particular region of Mesoamerica as the most plausible location for the Book of Mormon’s setting. For the first time, that location—its peoples, cultures, and historical trends—are used as the backdrop for reading the text. The historical background is not presented as proof, but rather as an explanatory context.
     The commentary does not forget Mormon’s purpose in writing. It discusses the doctrinal and theological aspects of the text and highlights the way in which Mormon created it to meet his goal of “convincing . . . the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.”

Comprehensive Table of Contents:


Alma Part 1: Context

1. Historical Background of the Book of Alma
2. Alma’s Ecclesiastical Organization

Alma Part 2: Commentary

Alma 1
Excursus: Religion of the Nehors
Alma 2
Alma 3
Alma 4
Alma 5
Excursus: Nephite Political Geography
Alma 6
Alma 7
Alma 8
Alma 9
Alma 10
Alma 11
Alma 12
Excursus: Understanding the Symbols of the Trees in the Garden
Alma 13
Alma 14
Alma 15
Alma 16
Alma 17
Alma 18
Alma 19
Alma 20
Alma 21
Alma 22
Alma 23
Alma 24
Alma 25
Alma 26
Alma 27
Alma 28
Alma 29
Alma 30
Alma 31
Alma 32
Alma 33
Alma 34
Alma 35
Alma 36
Alma 37
Alma 38
Alma 39
Alma 40
Alma 41
Alma 42
Alma 43
Alma 44
Alma 45
Alma 46
Alma 47
Alma 48
Alma 49
Alma 50
Alma 51
Alma 52
Alma 53
Alma 54
Alma 55
Alma 56
Alma 57
Alma 58
Alma 59
Alma 60
Alma 61
Alma 62
Alma 63




Praise for Second Witness:

“Gardner not only provides a unique tool for understanding the Book of Mormon as an ancient document written by real, living prophets, but he sets a standard for Latter-day Saint thinking and writing about scripture, providing a model for all who follow. One can only hope that others who write about scripture will see what he has done and imitate it in their own way. . . . No other reference source will prove as thorough and valuable for serious readers of the Book of Mormon.” — FARMS Review, Neal A Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

“Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon by Brant Gardner is the most comprehensive commentary on the Book of Mormon to date. . . . [It is] a watershed event in scholarly LDS publication history.” — Blair Hodges, Life on Gold Plates

“If there is any merit to the publication of yet another Book of Mormon commentary, it ought to bring forth information that will be new to readers. It should add perspective to the scriptures. It should cause the reader to go back to the text and re-examine it in a new light. In every way, Gardner's effort does all of this, and more.” — Jeffrey Needle, Association for Mormon Letters

Other Volumes in this Series:

Second Witness: Volume 1: 1 Nephi

Second Witness: Volume 2: 2 Nephi–Jacob

Second Witness: Volume 3: Enos–Mosiah

Second Witness: Volume 5: Helaman–3 Nephi

Second Witness: Volume 6: 4 Nephi–Moroni

About the Author:

Brant Gardner received an M.A. in anthropology from the State University of New York, Albany, emphasizing Mesoamerican ethnohistory. His research into the Mesoamerican setting of the Book of Mormon has led to publications in the FARMS Review of Books and the online Meridian magazine. He has made several presentations to the annual Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research conference and has also presented at the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum, Sunstone, and other academic symposia.


An interview with Brant Gardner on the Mormon Stories Podcast.

An interview with Brant Gardner on the Mormon Discussion Podcast.

More Information:

Pages: 790
ISBN: 978-1-58958-044-2 (Hardcover)
Published September 2007

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