“With Much Rudeness”

Alan C. Miner

According to an article by John Tvedtnes, Hebrew has fewer adverbs than English. Instead, it often uses prepositional phrases with the preposition meaning in or with. For example, "with much rudeness" (1 Nephi 18:9) is used instead of "very rudely." The English translation of the Book of Mormon contains more of these prepositional phrases in place of adverbs than we would expect if the book had been written in English originally. [John A. Tvedtnes, "The Hebrew Background of the Book of Mormon" in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, F.A.R.M.S., p. 79]

“They Began to Dance and to Sing with Much Rudeness”

According to Terrence Szink, quite probably, Nephi, the author of this section, consciously wrote his account of the wilderness journey in a way that would remind the reader of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. . . . Nephi's description of partying in 1 Nephi 18:9 ("They began to dance, and to sing . . . with much rudeness") suggests a comparison to the incident with the golden calf during the Exodus (And it came to pass, as soon as Moses came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing. . . . Moses saw that the people were naked--Exodus 32:4-6; 18-19, 25). The singing, dancing, and nakedness before the golden calf were apparently part of ritual connected with this idol. . . . Is Nephi's mention of "much rudeness" and "exceeding rudeness" comparable to Moses' seeing that "the people were naked"? Probably. The reader should additionally note that in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the prayer of an individual was what saved the people, who were almost destroyed by a justifiably angry God. Certainly this connection could not have been a product of Joseph Smith's writing. The parallels to Exodus occur at dozens of places throughout the Book of Mormon record. No hasty copying of the Bible could have produced such complex similarities, not to mention the differences that remain. [Terrence L. Szink, "Nephi and the Exodus," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, p. 48-49] [See also Terrence L. Szink, "To a Land of Promise," in Studies in Scripture: Book of Mormon, Part 1, pp. 69-70]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary