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Dan Vogel

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About Dan Vogel

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  1. OGHoosier, I think you are confused. You need to go back to my first post, which was in response to what Robert said: This isn’t just a simple matter of misrepresenting my position, it’s a straw-man argument. Robert knows better; he uses the comparative method himself to defend the BofM as an ancient document. Robert wanted to quietly change the subject, so I noted it. I entered this discussion to correct his misrepresentation of my position, and not just mine but anyone using the comparative method. Although I have addressed his complexity arguments, they are irrelevant to the use of parallel sources. Complexity would be used like Brian Hales to argue against impromptu creation of the text. Robert, and now you, is mixing things and creating a non sequitur. Apologetic evidences don’t excuse Robert’s straw-man approach to my use of 19th Century parallels. I’m not the one arguing complexity. The subjectivity I was talking about was seeing complexity, chiasmus being an example. With the loose chiasms, authorial intent is a problem. My point was that some of the complexity is in the eye of the beholder, and that it is a subjective judgment to say that JS could not produce a complex document. Not my burden to prove it was accidental. Your question assumes the complexity is in the text just waiting to be discovered. Taking chiasmus as an example, some apologists believe they have discovered thousands of chiasms. According to Welch, the complexity they think they see in the text is illusory. They are seeing their own reflections. These chiasms are not there, accidental or otherwise. That’s a good question for you. That’s the question I’m asking you about complexity. I’m not sure what biblical scholarship has to do with this. No, I’m implying that he is hypocritical in his criticism of my use of the comparative method. My use of the comparative method is not different than what the apologists have done with ancient parallels. Robert never made that argument, but instead as you have noted changed the subject and began trying to argue against what he perceived as my true position.
  2. Robert, Still no acknowledgement of your straw man character of the comparative method. Instead, you go off on the complexity issue just as I knew you would. But it’s just another opportunity for misrepresentation and fallacy. I made no such statement. I gave chiasmus as an example of how scholars can see complexity where there is none, but I didn’t say that all chiasmus, either in the BofM or Bible, is illusory. Thousands of chiasms have been proposed by apologists, which motivated Welch to invent some rules that even his chiasms break. The tighter the chiasm, the more one can argue for intentionality; the looser, the less so. Much of the chiasm constructed from the BofM is loose and subjective. My, how quickly you change the subject. What does this have to do with complexity? This is the very comparative method you were decrying. And you say I’m incoherent? And I said in my previous post to you that some complexity is expected but that not all of it was intended by the author, but that some of it has been invented by the scholars who impose their complexity onto the text, like chiasmus. The argument-from-complexity isn’t all what it seems when examined more carefully. Hardy’s approach is better for showing connections but still subjective when used to argue that such complexity was beyond JS’s abilities. Again, we are dealing with the comparative method, not complexity. The name game has been played on both sides of the debate, but neither side can win. The presence of historical and literary anachronisms are decisive in dating the BofM and deciding which parallels are given priority.
  3. You refer me to Kwaku? Really? Nevertheless you are mixing two different subjects here. Instead of admitting you misrepresented the critics' (and apologists') use of sources, you want to switch to the argument that the BofM is too complex for JS to have written it. That is a subjective judgement. You can't say what JS could or could not do. So? The BofM has complexity. How could it be any other way? I think it would have been far less complex if it had not been dictated and created the way it was. The book is in bad need of an editor. Some of the complexity is created by the observer. One thing humans are good at is creating complexity and order, even where there is none. Some of what the apologists see in the BofM is merely their own reflections. They create the complexity they see in the BofM (like chiasmus) and then declare it was intentionally written with that complexity. It appears complex and ordered until we look closer. For example, JS invented more than 100 names, but most of them are one-timers that do not tax the memory. It's not such a great feat when you realize that he could also speak in tongues and create strange sounding words fairly quickly. He subsequently invented Adamic and Egyptian words as well a substitute names for the 1835 D&C. When you look closely at names of the Nephite Twelve you can see the pattern of fathers and sons and some of the names were influenced by the NT Twelve. But none of this has anything to do with my use of the comparative method.
  4. I'm sure you think the apologists are the only ones who read the Book of Mormon without bias and represent Mesoamerican archaeology fairly. No doubt Coe's knowledge of the Book of Mormon wasn't great, but even apologists come to the text with assumptions and plausible interpretations to escape problems. It takes a certain kind of thinking to get the limited Tehuantepec theory to work. Apologists build their theories according to their needs and when critics don't see it the same way they accuse them of making assumptions and not reading close enough. Coe made the mistake of assuming a horse was a horse or steel was steel or northward was northward, etc.
  5. Michael Coe was a great Mesoamericanist, but in his interviews he was responding to the Book of Mormon as he understood it, not as the apologists have come to interpret it. It was obvious he was unaware of the apologetic literature.
  6. Again, this is nonsense. You are creating a straw man, the same as Hamblin did.
  7. Bob, you must know better. This is merely polemical. It would be like me saying Mormon apologists must believe Lehi was carrying the entire library of Alexandria since they quote anything ancient (including things not even written yet) to prove the Book of Mormon's antiquity. No one believes that's what they are doing. We are using the literature as a way of reconstructing the mindset and culture in a comparative way, not as a source.
  8. Anyone interested, I have left a full response to Lindsay's review of the Jensen/Hauglid book at the FPR or mormondiscussions site.
  9. Of course, you are correct.
  10. Maybe you should view my videos and find out what I have said about their works. That would be a start. I have mostly commented on what Gee and Muhlestein have said about the Kirtland Egyptian papers as well as those produced in Nauvoo. Needless to say, none of their theories about those papers has anything to do with Egyptology.
  11. You won't have to wait much longer. The problem is that most of the parallels to early Jewish, Christian, or Muslim traditions are so weak that even when I can show that JS's contemporaries had access to them it doesn't matter because JS could not have used them anyway. Paralleling the BoA with traditions of his being thrown into a furnace or fire is a joke. JS's contemporaries knew about these stories, but the more likely source for the BoA is Facsimile 1. JS didn't need anything more than that. Anyway, the 8th video to my series will be on nineteenth-century sources compared to ancient ones.
  12. Just to clarify. The large plates didn’t exist until the 116-page manuscript was lost and a replacement text was needed. They are not mentioned until JS comes back to the beginning. The lost part likely named all those Nephite kings JS couldn’t remember and their reigns. The small plates were said to contain the more part of the religious history because JS had Nephi prophesy a lot. The original dictation probably had religious material similar to King Benjamin’s sermon in the early part of Mosiah, but Nephi was more prophetic, both about Nephite history and the history of the first readers of the Book of Mormon in nineteenth-century America. Nephi’s prophecies and Jacobs allegory of the olive tree were very detailed about Nephite history, which was something JS could not do in April 1828 with Martin Harris as scribe. This is why the BOM distinguishes the content of the large and small plates.
  13. Bob, I have you detail. You didn't seem to want to respond to it. Gee and Muhlestein give arguments that have nothing to do with Egyptology and therefore it doesn't require a degree to respond to those arguments. This means your argument that I don't have a degree in Egyptology is irrelevant. And, yes, I plan to publish my examination of the subject.
  14. Thanks. I'm trying to write the last chapter now. I can only do it part time because I'm mainly writing my JS biography on his Ohio/Missouri period due in about two years.
  15. Bob, you make no sense. Since Gee and Muhlestein have written on topics that do require their degrees in Egyptology, responding to them also requires no degree in Egyptology. I refer to their nonsense about a long scroll; their assertion that the entire BoA was dictated in July 1835; that W. W. Phelps authored the Grammar and Alphabet; that references in the text of the BoA to Fac. 1 were later insertions, etc. Once you get that right, parallels to Egyptian and Abrahamic legends no longer matter, especially since there are other explanations. What I show is that Gee and Muhlestein don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to early Mormon history and the JS Egyptian papers.
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