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About Nevo

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    Halting Between Two Opinions
  • Birthday 09/06/1973

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  1. But it doesn't. Aramaic Allima is not the same as Hebrew Alma (which is not attested as a masculine name). I don't "demand" that Callister do "dog tricks" with etymologies. I only ask that he not make bogus claims. Even tax attorneys are capable of that much.
  2. Here's another: "The Bible prophesies of [the Book of Mormon's] coming forth and its purpose. . . . There are actually a number of Bible prophecies that refer to the Book of Mormon, its people and their promised land."
  3. So, in other words, you agree that Alma isn't attested as a Hebrew name, as Callister claims.
  4. It would be nice if paleoethnobotanists could come to some kind of consensus on this. Another source claims that "there is disagreement about whether or not little barley was domesticated. Evidence for true domestication should include morphological change in the caryopsis. While this change often includes an increase in seed size, this is not always the case. Hunter (1992) demonstrates a minor increase in seed size, but acknowledges that it is not as significant an increase as is needed to confirm domestication...." In any case, I have no confidence that the Book of Mormon is referring to little barley grass when it mentions "barley."
  5. Callister implies that the idea that ancient people wrote on metal plates was viewed as anachronistic in Joseph Smith's day. It wasn't. He also suggests that the discovery of "numerous metal plates containing ancient writings" during the 20th century has become "a witness of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon." Not so. Quite the opposite, in fact. As Ryan Thomas has recently demonstrated, "comparison of documented practices of metal epigraphy from throughout the ancient Near East/eastern Mediterranean show that the Book of Mormon tradition of writing extensive literary compositions on metal for archival purposes was conspicuously outside the norm, without historical precedent or parallel." Callister's assertion that "the Book of Mormon revealed a correct usage of the name of Alma"--proving that Joseph was "either inspired once again or a very, very lucky guesser"--is another outdated argument that doesn't hold up to scrutiny, as noted here: http://mormon*****.***/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49737. The upshot of that thread is that there is no evidence for Alma as a genuine Hebrew name (although it was used as a male name in Joseph Smith's day). I think Callister's barley and cement evidences are also weak, but I'm off to work now so that will have to wait.
  6. I think there is harm in misrepresenting issues and making facile arguments and indulging in cheap point-scoring. This is exactly the sort of thing that gives apologetics a bad name. Callister's presentation is the mirror image of the CES Letter, but with even less depth and rigor.
  7. "For decades critics have placed their scholarly stethoscopes firmly against the Book of Mormon, anxiously listening for a 'striking clock'—something out of date, out of context—but with the passage of time, their stethoscopes have encountered a deafening silence." This is comforting for members to hear but it couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm a bit surprised Brother Callister is still making this claim but I guess he doesn't spend much time on the internet.
  8. I have this one: https://www.amazon.com/Greek-English-Interlinear-Testament-Personal-Size/dp/0842345647 I'm very happy with it. The critical text it uses is a bit outdated now (NA26). So, for example, it has "Junias" (masc.) in Romans 16:7 whereas more recent editions have "Junia" (fem.). But overall I'd recommend it for folks like myself whose Koine doesn't extend much beyond the letters of the alphabet.
  9. http://ldsview.wordcruncher.com/index.html This is a great tool, with more search functionality than I will ever be able to use. You can also search on Hebrew and Greek words. Don't be fooled by the ancient website design and 2014 copyright date. The latest build is from March 2019.
  10. William's biographer, Kyle Walker, finds that William was a lot like his uncle Jesse Smith: "William's personality mirrored that of his uncle Jesse, and the two men were a match in being impulsive, quick-tempered, and obstinate in their views" (Walker, William B. Smith: In the Shadow of a Prophet, 76). Furthermore, both were large imposing men who sometimes used their physical strength to get their way. Writing of William's experience in Palmyra, Walker notes that "being an outcast for his religious convictions did not sit well him, nor would he tolerate the name-calling and ostracizing he experienced, especially from his peers." His patriarchal blessing later noted that "thou hast greatly desired to see thy father's family redeemed from trouble . . . but thou hast not altogether desired this thing in meekness." Regarding William's physical altercation with Joseph in 1835, Walker writes: "William's animosity toward Joseph went back at least as far as their teens. While the rest of the family universally accepted Joseph's prophetic calling and prominent position in the family, William sometimes resented his older brother and the deference his parents paid to him. In later years, William acknowledged that his rather carefree, irreligious youth had elicited frequent lectures from his brother Joseph. Given that he already found the family's religious devotions irritating, William must have experienced his brother's lectures as bossy and preachy. It was also not the first time the brothers had scuffled, and certainly not the first time William had acted disrespectfully toward his older brother. Benjamin F. Johnson recorded another episode that had occurred, apparently at an earlier date. 'For Insolence to him,' Johnson related, 'He [Joseph] Soundly Thrashed his Brother William who Boasted himself as Invinsable'" (115). Walker continues: "Though William eventually accepted his brother's prophetic calling, some of his earlier resentments appear to have been rekindled while they were serving together in the leading councils of the church. William felt annoyed that Joseph frequently got his way because of deference to his position as Church president. His brother's prominent role in the family was equally grating. It is evident from Joseph's writings that he strongly felt that he had the prerogative--even the responsibility--to reprove his younger brother for wayward behavior, both because of his ecclesiastical [position] and also because of his birth order in their family." In his letter to William afterward, Joseph wrote that it was "his privilege, of reproving a younger brother" and right "to admonish you because of my birthright" (116). Walker observes that "it was also hard for William to stay in the background while his older brother was continually the focus of attention, both publicly in his civic and church responsibilities, as well as privately in the family. The recipient of his father's name, Joseph Jr. was the fulfillment of both family and scriptural prophecy that all the Smiths unequivocally accepted. . . . With most of the family siding with Joseph, the cost of holding on to his anger became too great, as it left William feeling ostracized from the Church and also isolated from his family. His strong family ties propelled him toward reconciliation with his brother" (117-118). Joseph Sr. was instrumental in softening William's heart: Joseph Smith is said to have prophesied that William "would become a good man when He became an old man" (Brigham Young, quoted in Wilford Woodruff's journal, 14 June 1857). As it happened, William's last 30 years were peaceful. In a small community in northeastern Iowa he finally found the respect and acceptance that had eluded him his whole life. Walker records that when B.H. Roberts visited William in the fall of 1880, he found him "a gracious host, feeding the two missionaries supper and breakfast and, although they didn't know it until the next day, giving them his own bed while he slept on the floor. The next day, William wrote a letter to a possible contact in Elkader, urging this friend 'to receive us as he would himself and to see to it that no one insulted us.' He walked with them to the outskirts of town and, in saying farewell, burst into a 'flood of tears accompanied by a clinging warm clasp of his hand.' Three times, Roberts looked back as they continued on their way, and each time, William was also looking at them, giving them 'a farewell wave of the hand'" (561). Reflecting on William's turbulent, eventful life, Walker offers this appraisal:
  11. There's a good Dialogue article on that: Todd Compton, "Was Jesus a Feminist?" (https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V32N04_9.pdf)
  12. I've tried to like the New Jerusalem Bible, but I just can't. I've bought it twice now, in the giant annotated version and in the smaller reader's version. Whenever I read it side-by-side with other versions, I find I almost always prefer the other version. As far as layout goes, I really like the New English Bible:
  13. As has been mentioned, the Church has already made its own translation of the Bible in Spanish and Portuguese, revising classic Protestant versions. I'd be happy if they did the same with the KJV (although I expect the result would look a lot like the ESV). I sympathize with strappinglad's complaint regarding the "pedestrian" quality of the NRSV and other modern translations. (The NRSV, for example, translates the KJV's "sounding brass" in 1 Cor. 13:1 as "noisy gong." Wayment has "brass horn." ) I love the "numinous rumble" of the KJV as much as anyone. Like liturgical Latin, it feels sacred (and alien and mysterious). But I also think there's a case to be made for making the word of the God accessible in plain, unadorned English too. Most of the New Testament , it should be remembered, was not written in elevated Greek (the Letter to the Hebrews being a notable exception). As David Bentley Hart observes in the Introduction to his new translation of the NT: By the way, the Book of Mormon's "stylistic coarseness" provoked similar contempt when it appeared. Even before it appeared, actually:
  14. Paul H. Peterson's dissertation and articles on the Mormon Reformation are essential reading. Some more recent treatments (which happen to all be from non-LDS historians) include the following: David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, ed., Innocent Blood: Essential Narratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, vol. 12 of Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier (Norman, OK: Arthur H. Clark, 2008), chapter 2 Polly Aird, Mormon Convert, Mormon Defector: A Scottish Immigrant in the American West, 1848–1861 (Norman, OK: Arthur H. Clark, 2009), chapters 11 and 12 David L. Bigler and Will Bagley, The Mormon Rebellion: America's First Civil War, 1857–1858 (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011), chapter 5 John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Cambridge, MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press, 2012), 254–264 You can read a firsthand account of it here: https://catalog.lds.org/assets/2ee39e17-e14d-4030-b5e4-5c7fa45cd0e4/0/145
  15. Thanks for taking the time to describe your experience in more detail. I asked the question because I've been the teacher for both EQ lessons this month and they fell well short of being "awesome." Today, about half the quorum seemed tuned out and two brothers fell asleep. We were discussing Elder Renlund's talk too. This is my first experience teaching from conference talks and I confess I haven't mastered the form yet. I'm not much of a personal experience sharer so that could be part of the problem. Anyway, I am all ears to find out what is working well for others.
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