Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reinventing the Wheel

Individuals doing research sometimes have to confront the painful truth that they are not the first people to think of an idea. One trait that distinguishes the scholar from the tyro is that the scholar is aware of previous research in the field.

Back in 1993, Russell Ball thought that he was the first person to connect the the destruction in 3 Nephi with a volcano in his article in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. Unfortunately, every point he made had previously been made about a half century earlier by Evan Fry in an article called "The Book of Mormon and the Crucifixion," published in the Saints Herald 1945. In all fairness to Ball, there is little way he could possibly have known about the earlier article. Both articles have since been superseded by Bart Kowallis's article in the 1997-1998 BYU Studies.

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