The Late War
Between the United States 
& Great Britain

The Late War, Between the United States and Great Britain is an educational, nonfiction text written by Gilbert J. Hunt and published in New York in 1816. It gives an account of the War of 1812 in the style of the King James version of the Bible.

The Late War Chiasm

One of the "evidences" for the Book of Mormon, is the apperance of chiasms -an ancient Hebrew style of writing. An argument in favor of The Late War/Book of Mormon theory is that Gilbert J. Hunt's book also has chiasms. 

If you google “The Late War Chiasm” this image appears: 

Pretty impressive right? It certainly appears so, however, a closer look will show you that this is not a chiasm at all. Let me break it down for you.

1. Now it came to pass

 2. On the first day of the month, the chief Governor ...over the land of Columbia

  3. The Great Sanhedrin

   4. of Columbia

     5. Nevertheless

      6. Great Sanhedrin

       7. the wise men

        8. paper which James had

         9. unto them

          10. aloud

           11. Britain, in

            12. of the people of Columbia

             13. their heart

              14. (81 words later) unto them silver or gold

               15. (the phrase “the slaves of” is nowhere to be found)

                16. the servants of the king

                 17. of Britain

                  18. all the

                   19. for lo! The king

                    20. his son

                     21. (the phrase “under the shadow of George) is nowhere in these passages)

                          22. (the phrase “the kind, and” is nowhere to be found)

                     21. (Again, the phrase “under the shadow of George” is nowhere in these passages)

                    20. (the words “his son” do not appear in this succession of words)

                   19. for the king

                  18. all (followed by the word “parts” instead of “the”)

                 17. of Britain

                16. the servants of the king

               15. (again the word “slaves” does not appear in this success of words. It does appear, however, between 10 and 9 below)

              14. unto them silver and gold

             13. (the word “hearts” doesn’t appear in this success of words. It does, however, appear between 6 and 5 below)

            12. of the people of Columbia

           11. Britain, in

          10. (59 words later) aloud

         9. unto us

        8. the paper which James had written

       7. wise men

      6. Great Sanhedrin

     5. Nevertheless

    4. (88 words later) of Columbia

   3. The Great Sanhedrin

  2. The seventeenth day of the month … (49 words later) the chief Governor of the land of Columbia

1. And it came to pass


If you know anything about chiasmus, you'll be able to recognize that this is not a chiasm at all. There are certain criteria that such a structure has to follow. In an article by John W. Welch (the man who discovered chiasmus in The Book of Mormon) lays out a criteria. Due to length I won't define all of them, but I will explain why I believe that what Hunt wrote is not and probably wasn't intended to be a chiasm. 


The Late War "Chiasm" Evaluated


Objectivity - Mapping this alleged chiasm out was very frustrating for me because the elements were buried and they were not obvious. It was not clearly evident. 

Purpose - The chiasms in The Book of Mormon carry elements of great importance. Being "found on the left hand of God" (Mosiah 5:10-12), "Remember the captivity of our fathers" (Alma 36), "if ye will not harden your hearts" (1 Nephi 15:9-11), "becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord" (Mosiah 3:18-19), and so many more. In this alleged chiasm, I am struggling to see any purpose to it. What is it driving the reader to see or remember?

Boundaries. From my notes, you can see that the elements in the second half of the alleged chiasm are separated by 50, 60, almost 90 words making it a very weak structure. 

Competition with Other Forms. I know of no other forms that this would be competing with. 

Length. This chiasm is supposedly very long, however, Welch stated that "an extended chiasm is probably not much stronger than its weakest link." The links in this alleged chiasm are very weak to begin with. The elements are composed of one or two, sometimes a small handful of words such as "the paper which James had written" which is never brought up again in the alleged chiasm. 

Density. As I said in #4, having 50, 60, or 88 words in between the elements makes for a very weak structure. 

Dominance. The selected cluster of words in each element are not what I would call "dominant nouns, verbs, or distinctive phrases." The elements like "aloud" and "unto us" and even "Great Sanhedrin" carry with them no focus or "dominance" at all. 

Mavericks. This would be more impressive if all of the elements were actually present in the alleged chiasm. The phrase "the paper which James had written" is the only phrase in the chiasm that is unique to the entire book.

Reduplication. "Nevertheless" appears roughly 61 times, "wise men" appears roughly 20 times, "Great Sanhedrim" appears 50 times, "aloud" appears 11 times, the words "of Columbia" appear probably well over 100 times. Only one of the 22 elements are unique to the entire text. 

Centrality. The center of this chiasm does not exist and if it did, pointing the reader to the words "the king, and" means nothing. 

Balance. The number of words between each element makes it very unbalanced along with the fact that some of the elements are absent all together. 

Climax. There is no climax in this chiasm. 

Return. The final element in this chiasm does not point the reader to returning again. Instead, it points the reader away "And it came to pass, that when the princes and the lords and the counsellors of Britain saw the Decree..."

Compatibility. From all the research that I have done and with my search through the book itself, this chiasm is the only one people point out in The Late War. On the website where this chiasm was posted it says that, "The Late War contains several significant chiastic structures." Despite this, I have found nothing to support that. There are no chiasms in The Late War

Aesthetics. As far as beauty and artistic quality this alleged chiasm is nothing more than wet tissue paper.




Please be patient as I transfer the rest of my research onto this website! 

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