My Publications

My father was a professor of education, and he published a lot (he authored or coauthored eight books and dozens and dozens of articles). Whenever one of his pieces was accepted for publication, he would get excited about it, but I (and the rest of the family) would greet this news with a yawn. It was such a regular occurrence that it just wasn’t meaningful to me.

Now that I occasionally publish something, the tables have been turned, and Karma is repaying me for my disinterest in my father’s publications. My family has zero interest in any of this, and my wife’s running joke when I do get something published is to ask “Where’s the check?” (Mormon studies journals don’t usually pay for published articles). There are maybe two people in my entire stake who take notice when I get something published; most people would have no way of knowing about it.

It occurs to me, though, that my friends in the ‘Nacle might possibly have some interest in some of the things I’ve published over the years, but would not have any easy way of knowing how to find those pieces. So below I’ve set forth my list of publications, in case anyone should fiind anything there of use or interest. (This will also be a convenient way for me to point people who should ask me in the future to things I’ve published.) Where available, I’ve given a link for your convenience. Enjoy!

Print Publications

1. “Genius: A Philosophical Approach.” Century 2 (Brigham Young University; Fall 2 1980): 46-49. [First place winner, sophomore division of the Paper Chase Essay Contest, sponsored by the BYU Student Forum.]

2. “Calalus: Another Look.” Century 2 (Winter 1981): 81-89. [A translation of some Latin inscriptions.]

3. “The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19/3 (Fall 1986): 85-102. [An electronic version is available here . An edited version appeared as Chapter 11 in Dan Vogel, ed., The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture (Salt Lake City: Signature, 1990), 143-60.]

4. “Understanding Old Testament Poetry.” The Ensign (June 1990): 50-54. [First place winner of the 1989 Old Testament Article Contest. An electronic version is available at]

5. “Enallage in the Book of Mormon.” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3/1 (Spring 1994): 113-145. [An electronic version is available here ]

6. “Poetic Diction and Parallel Word Pairs in the Book of Mormon.” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 4/2 (Fall 1995): 15-81. [An electronic version is available here ]

7. “Joseph Smith’s Emendation of Hebrew Genesis 1:1.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 30/4 (Winter 1997): 103-35. [An electronic version is available here . Supplemented by a letter to the editor in a subsequent issue.]

8. “Divine Discourse Directed at a Prophet’s Posterity in the Plural.” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6/2 (1997): 229-34. [This is a brief addendum to “Enallage.” An electronic copy is available here . An edited version was published in John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne, eds., Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon (Provo: FARMS, 1999), 43-48.]

9. “‘Slippery Treasures’ in the Book of Mormon: A Concept from the Ancient World.” Insights: An Ancient Window (June 2000): 2. [An electronic version is available here .]

10. “Examining Six Key Concepts in Joseph Smith’s Understanding of Genesis 1:1.” BYU Studies 39/3 (2000): 107-24. [An electronic copy is available here .]

11. “Reflections on the Documentary Hypothesis.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 33/1 (Spring 2000): 57-99. [An electronic version is available here .]

12. “A Seemingly Strange Story Illuminated.” FARMS Review of Books 13/1 (2001): 1-20. An electronic version is available here .]

13. With David Linn. “Let Us Stain Our Swords No More.” Insights: An Ancient Window 22/1 (2002). [An electronic version is available here .]

14. “A More Responsible Critique.” FARMS Review 15/1 (2001): 97-146. [An electronic version is available here .]

15. “Isaiah Interwoven.” FARMS Review 15/1 (2001): 353-402. [An electronic version is available here .]

16. “An Elegant Presentation.” FARMS Review 16/1 (2004): 1-10. [An electronic version is available here .]

17. “Hugh Winder Nibley — In Memoriam.” Sunstone 137 (May 2005): 10-13. [An electronic version is available here .]

18. “The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources.” In John Gee and Brian Hauglid, eds. Astronomy, Papyrus and Covenant. Provo: FARMS, 2005. [Studies in the Book of Abraham, Volume 3.] [An electronic version is available here .]

19. “Seeking Joseph Smith’s Voice.” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 15/1 (2006): 54-59. [An electronic version is available here .]

Selected Internet Publications

20. Footnotes to the New Testament for Latter-day Saints.

21. “A Tale of Two Restorations.”

22. “Do We Have a Mother in Heaven?”

23. “Did Luther Think He Lived During a Time of Apostasy?”

24. “A Brief Review of Murphy and Southerton’s ‘Galileo Event.’” [An edited version of this essay appeared in print form in Anthropology News. The electronic version was republished in Meridian Magazine.]

25. “Ask the Apologist [on whether Nauvoo is a Hebrew word].”

26. “On Preexistence in the Bible.”

27. “An Introduction to LDS Apologetics” fireside presentation.

28. “On the Etymology of Deseret,” BCC Papers 1/2 (2006).

29. “On Elkenah as Canaanite El,” BCC Papers 2/2 (2007).


  1. Thanks for doing the work of formatting and linking all of these. I for one am very interested in your publications. I also think that the diversity of your publication venues is admirable.

  2. Cattlesnakes! That’s a lot of publications, Kev, and a lot of work — thanks for giving me some good reading!

  3. yaaaawn…

    Where’s the check?

    I couldn’t resist. ;-)

  4. Kevin,
    You’re a brilliant bloke, mate.

    When you look back, is there anything you’d radically change? (I’m not talking about a few clean-ups here and there.) (I for one wish you’d take #11 a step further… :) )

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    Ronan, I’m pretty happy with the corpus as it stands, but there are a few things I would change if I could.

    #2 was a project that arose when I saw a picture of a cross with Latin inscriptions on it that had been discovered in Arizona about a century ago. This picture was published in a BYU education week catalog. I became fascinated with this and researched the cache of artifacts, and provided my own translations of the Latin inscriptions (that made me feel like such a scholar!). At the time I took an agnostic stance on these artifacts, but now that I’m older and more crusty I would take a more critical approach. Of course, Century 2 no longer exists, so the odds of someone coming across that article are pretty small.

    Although I’m happy enough with #3, if I were doing it over again I would write it more carefully with various constituencies in mind. The article basically takes issue with the common Mormon assumption that JST changes necessarily reflect material that existed in ancient manuscripts, in favor of more of a midrashic commentary model. When the piece first appeared in Dialogue, I got absolutely zero feedback on it. I figured that I was just preaching to the choir (this was, after all, a common perspective among my BYU professors–outside the Religion Department). But when it was republished in the Signature volume, well, it hit the fan, as they say, and all of a sudden I found that I was an anti-Mormon. (This article is now memorialized for all time and eternity in a footnote to the large critical edition of the JST as critical attack on the JST.) So if I had it to do over again, I would have been more careful in how I wrote it so as to try to prevent misunderstanding of my position.

    As for #11, we have so many knowledgeable grad students these days that I think one of them can pick up the gauntlet and run with it. I did the best that I could as an amateur without really any university training in this area (they don’t teach DH at BYU!). Now that I’ve laid a foundation, others can build on it.

  6. I salute you. I try to buy a copy of every book a friend publishes or the volume of a particularly important article. I’m glad for people to share what they have gone to the trouble of publishing and look forward to hearing about any further publications.

    Perhaps one of the nerdy types at BCC should throw together a BCC bibliography. I know a lot of the BCCers have been active in that regard. I was glad to commune with stapley’s carbohydrates (biting my thumb at Messrs Atkins and co.)

  7. Well, I’m impressed, Kevin.

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one whose main work is invisible to those I live with. I’m having a new book out in September, and in a silly mood I thought it would be nice to go out and have dinner to celebrate finishing the manuscript and signing a contract, but no one cares.

    There were several titles on your list I will look up. Thanks.

  8. Costanza says:

    That’s a lot of great work. The first time I published in a major academic journal in my field I told all of my friends and family. I got my perspective back when my mom asked when my article was going to come out in “that magazine.”

  9. Kevin, my children, J., and I have really enjoyed your work. My kids still talk about your visit. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enriching our lives.

  10. Rosalynde says:

    Kevin, what a list! I envy your drive, and your smarts.

    My husband is supportive of my (exceedingly modest) achievement, but my kids don’t cotton to it much. “Mom, you’re just a doctor of books. Dad’s a REAL doctor!”

  11. Kevin Barney says:

    Rosalynde, my dad was kind of touchy about his doctorate. If his physician wanted to be called “doctor,” my dad would require that he be addressed as “doctor” as well. Seemsed pretty silly to me, but then I never went through the years of sweat and toil to obtain such a degree, so I guess I’m in no position to judge.

  12. For those of us who don’t know or can’t remember, what’s your background, educationally and professionally? (Sorry if that’s a dumb question, and I could probably infer, but since there are those who write on topics that aren’t their professional pursuits per se (e.g., J. Stapley), I just was curious.

  13. Rosalynde says:

    Kevin, I’m not sure I’ve ever been addressed as “Dr. Welch” in my life, at least not without a thick layer of irony. It would embarrass me, in fact. The only time I get touchy about my title is when relatives address correspondence to “Dr. and Mrs. John Welch.” That steams me a little. “Dr. and Dr. Welch” is silly, though. Maybe “Doctors Welch”?

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    m&m, on my educational background see here.

  15. Kevin Barney says:

    So while I’m watching American Idol I’ll tell you some stories about these articles.

    No. 1 was a student writing contest at BYU. I don’t remember what possessed me to enter or to think I could win, but I gave it a shot. I was too busy with school work to type it, so a friend of mine who wasn’t in school offered to type it for me. But it turned out he couldn’t type with a darn, and it was riddled with typos. This was in late antiquity before word processing. I was almost too embarrassed to turn it in at the honors office of the Lee Library, but I did. Amazingly, the judges managed to see beyond the ugly appearance of the manuscript.

    The student staff of Century 2 was very nurturing and supportive through the publication process, and that initial experience kind of gave me the idea that I could publish articles. (There was actually a lot of good stuff that appeared in that little journal; I well remember a terrific article by Blake Ostler, called something like “The Absurdity of Prayer to the Ultimate Absolute.”)

    They really encouraged me that if I ever had an idea for something I wanted to write, to bring it to them, so when I wrote my second article (no. 2) I took it to them and they were thrilled to get it and very supportive and helpful.

    It’s wonderful what a little encouragement can accomplish.

  16. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 3 on the JST actually started with exactly the opposite thesis. I was studying textual criticism of the Bible, and I kept running into variant readings in ancient manuscripts that paralleled JST variants. Most of these had never been noticed or published. So I thought this was evidence for the antiquity of these JST readings.

    I started writing the article, and got to more than 100 pages. But it just wasn’t working. I eventually realized that my thesis was wrong; the JST parallels in some cases matched the original text, but more often they matched nonoriginal variants, and they seemed to arise for the same kinds of reasons that these nonoriginal variants did. So I reconceptualized my thesis and wrote the article.

    I originally wrote it with footnotes, but after I submitted the manuscript Dialogue changed their editorial style to the social sciences parenthetical name and year referring to a bibliography. (I prefer footnotes myself.) Lavina Fielding Anderson worked hard to transform the manuscript to fit the new style so they could publish it.

  17. Dr. Kevin . . .er counselor I mean. Very impressive list of publications. Thanks for posting them and linking where available.

  18. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 4 was one of those writing contests the Ensign used to hold every year. I was shocked that I won. It came with a $500 prize, which, together with the $50 I got for no. 1, represents the sole monetary compensation I’ve ever received for this kind of writing.

    This was probably the only way I would manage to get something published in the Ensign, especially now days when preference is given to GAs.

    Funny story about this. As an author, you have no say in the graphics; the Ensign staff puts those together. They did a really terrific collage of Hebrew texts; I was very impressed. But I started to look at one Dead Sea Scroll fragment, and it didn’t look right; as I looked more closely, I realized that they had put the picture of the manuscript in upside down!

  19. I love the name of 8! :)

  20. Kevin Barney says:

    Yeah, I went a little nutty with the alliteration on that one. But it is actually descriptive of the content of the article.

  21. Peter LLC says:

    I remember reading the “slippery treasures” bit for a BoM class at the BYU.

  22. Kevin: As you know I have a great deal of admiration for your publications and scholarly acumen. I am impressed that you have done so much while raising a really great family and practicing municipal tax free bonds law at the same time. That is just impressive to me — of course I’m amazed at anyone with an LLM. Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge and insights.

  23. Kevin,

    Thanks for putting this list together. Some of them I’ve already read–I’ll have to get to the others. I’m always interested in your perspective.

  24. Kevin Barney says:

    My friend Michael Hicks sent me the following note, which I am including here by permission:

    Hi Kevin,

    I enjoyed the post you did on BCC about your publications. Since
    Century 2 came up in the list and the discussion, I thought I’d mention that
    one article from that journal is being republished in a national
    journal (American Music, the one I currently edit).

    Sibyl Johnston was the editor in 1981 when she published an interview
    with her father, Ben Johnston, one of the great
    microtonal/experimentalist composers of this country. He had just visited BYU (right after I
    graduated from BYU and went to U of Illinois, where he taught). It’s a
    great, wide-ranging interview and unlike any others that he had done,
    largely due to the interviewer being his daughter. The piece appeared
    in Century 2 and thereafter disappeared, never to be read by, well,
    anyone in the larger musical community but myself, I guess. So last year,
    with the appearance of a book of Ben’s collected writings (on U of
    Illinois Press), I got permission from BYU to publish the interview in
    American Music–with a twist. I hunted Sibyl down (ah, Google) and asked
    if she’d reinterview her father twenty-five years after the previous one
    she’d done for Century 2, asking him the same questions and seeing what
    he’d say now. She did and we’re publishing both interviews in tandem
    in the next issue.

    The fate of Century 2, I discovered, is a sad one. BYU doesn’t even
    own a complete set, so far as I can tell. And there are no “Century 2
    Papers” to be found in the library archives (not easily, at least–they
    might be buried in some English Department boxes in the larger
    University Archives). You used to be able to find miscellaneous issues easily
    at Deseret Industries in Provo. But almost never these days. And, of
    course, no history of the journal (or similar journals at BYU). All
    this is sad to those of us who thought the journal the most gratifying
    outlet for student arts in those halcyon days of BYU under Dallin Oaks and
    Jeff Holland–those days before being set apart as a General Authority
    came after a person had been tested as a university president, not

    There are, as you say, some gems in issues of that journal–a faculty
    panel discussion on arts in the church that I recall vividly, for
    instance; an article on the history of the condemnation of fiction writing in
    the church; even Mack Wilberg’s first published composition was in
    Century 2. Not to mention Kevin Barney’s first published article. Time
    for a better eulogy (and anthology?) for that journal, named for the
    optimism that attended the completion of BYU’s first century and the call
    for excellence made by Spencer Kimball for the second century.

    All best,

  25. I am curious about the comment that BYU does not own a complete set of Century II issues. The library catalog listing indicates that Special Collections holds volumes 1-5 of Century II (September 1976-Winter 1981). The listing should be amended if issues are missing.