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Dan McClellan

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About Dan McClellan

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    Newbie: Without form, and void
  • Birthday July 23

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    Herriman, UT
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    Scripture Translation Supervisor, Doctoral Candidate in Theology and Religion

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  1. I tried to post this yesterday, but I got an error message. I'm not a fan of verbal etymologies for YHWH. There are a lot of problems with them. I think Josef Tropper has a much better account of the origins of the name here. Basically, the name was originally YHW, which is a place name that is known from 14th century BCE Egyptian texts. It was probably pronounced something like Yahû or Yahô. Two regional variants were Yah and Yaw, which is what we find when there is a Yahwistic theophoric element in personal names in Hebrew .Tropper looked at Akkadian and noticed that when the theophoric element occurred in a certain position in the name, it would also have a long /a/ at the end, which he argues is most likely a case ending, and specifically for the absolutive case. His argument is that this absolutive pronunciation with the final /a/ became a frozen form that adopted the consonant he as a mater lectionis, giving us YHWH. I'd also highlight a wonderful book by Katrin Williams called "I am He," which looks at the early Jewish and Christian understanding and rhetorical uses of the Hebrew formula אני הוא, "I am He," and its relationship to εγω ειμι in Mark and John.
  2. That's a tradition that doesn't have much basis, as near as I can tell, in the ancient texts or any of the artifacts. The Urim is mentioned independently apart from the Thummim just as many times as the two are mentioned together. They were some kind of means of divination, but the details about how it worked are all later Jewish tradition. If there was a divine name written on it, it most likely would have been YHWH.
  3. Not necessarily that Jesus was their God, but that he was in possession of the divine name, which was a vehicle for divine agency (see Exod 23:20–21). The Greek translation of Exodus 3:14 ("I am the one who is") is in view. Christ's possession of the divine name is repeatedly highlighted throughout the New Testament as an indication of his privileged and unique position. I published a paper in 2017 that touches on this (here; esp. pp. 658–62).
  4. I appreciate the clarification, but isn't this kinda methodologically punting to just say whatever's going on with language spanning several centuries, including the Prophet's own day, God did it? That produces far more questions than it answers. Am I remembering correctly that you've also said somewhere that the process of producing the text may have slid in and out of tight control? I may have read that somewhere else, but I seem to recall that concept.
  5. Just thought I'd chime back in and say I've not abandoned this discussion, just quite busy with work and other things and trying to find time to read through everything I can. I did want clarification about something, though. I quoted you earlier in one of your papers saying the following: I don't think I saw a response to my request for clarification about whether or not you were referring here to the production of the Book of Mormon. If so, what does this suggest about the source for the Book of Mormon?
  6. Except what is going on in Leningrad is they're substituting one word for another, not creating a hybrid word. It's precisely why many scholars today, when reading the text out loud, pronounced "adonay" when they get to the Tetragrammaton. The vowels indicate substitution, not conflation. Are you going to be responding to my request? This isn't really a standard ketiv/qere, though, so this is a strawman. I'm still waiting on you to demonstrate that I claimed "Yahweh" is the correct pronunciation, since I haven't claimed that. Yes it does, filtered through the phonemic restrictions of Latin and English, of course. After all, it was invented by a Christian monk. Which is both not correct and also totally irrelevant. And this would mean something if I were arguing that it is the product of the Hebrew text, which I'm not. My entire point is that it was not a product of the Hebrew text, but of someone's own initiative. And anyone well enough versed in Hebrew knows that "does not follow the pattern" is not a particularly strong argument in Hebrew philology. Josef Tropper's 2001 VT article on the original pronunciations of YHWH absolutely produces a "good record," but you seem to be grappling with an imaginary argument, so the degree to which you're willing or able to engage actual concerns remains to be seen. You've not even responded to my very simple request above.
  7. My pronunciation? You have no idea what my pronunciation is. Yes, they substituted the vowels from Adonay, but this wasn't to produce a pronunciation that combined the two, it was just to remind the reader to pronounce Adonay. "Yehovah" was never pronounced, so it does not "support this pronunciation." Where did I say the name was pronounced Yahweh? I'll save my response to the rest of your comments until you can answer that question for me.
  8. Show me. I've noticed your book isn't particularly well-researched. El can be a title or a name. The best discussion of how to distinguish is Rainer Albertz's essay "Personal Names and Family Religion," in the edited volume Family and Household Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant. There are distinct divine profiles associated with the two deities. El is a patriarchal high deity while YHWH is a second-tier storm-deity. You don't appear to be looking. The dogmatism of "hebrew4christians" means absolutely nothing to me. Of course, there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever for that. No, I'm not. I'm finding it difficult to articulate just how silly it is to suggest that when a word appears in conceptual parallelism with another word, it indicates the first word actually lexically means the second word. That's jut complete and utter nonsense. No, it's not even remotely reading "what is there." It's quite literally and explicitly reading things into it that are not there. if you want to understand what's going on with elohim in Psalm 82 and John 10, I published a paper about it here: https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/psalm-82-in-contemporary-latter-day-saint-tradition/ "YHWH is not a title of Elyon." "Here are two passages where YHWH is used in reference to Elyon." "Thanks for proving my point." You really don't know what you're talking about. Then you have absolutely no grounds whatsoever for your claims.
  9. There are two different kind of conflations under consideration. One is the conflation of the deity El and the deity YHWH, and that absolutely happened, although I would put it much earlier than Josiah. We already have inscriptions from around 800 BCE that seem to refer to YHWH as El and maybe even as Baal (which could also mean "master" or "lord," and so isn't very surprising). The other conflation is the vowels of the Hebrew word adonay and the consonants of YHWH to produce the name Yohouwah, and that also absolutely happened around 1270 CE (Raymundus Martini did it). The spelling would later become Jehovah. No, el means "deity" and nothing else. It can be used adjectively in some circumstances (thus "divine"), but etymological speculation beyond the basic sense of "deity" is nothing more than speculation. We were also told in Genesis 4 that people started calling on the name YHWH during the time of Enosh, so very clearly there's a conflict. Eloah has no reference whatsoever to being a stone or rock. It's just a variant of el. Elohim can be used with singular or plural referents. With the former, it's a concretized abstract plural. A binitarian understanding of Elohim is just openly and blithely reading Christianity into early Israelite texts. Of course, Genesis 14:22 calls YHWH "El Elyon," and Psalm 83:19 quite explicitly says that the name of Elyon over all the earth is YHWH. The "basics" are that Latter-day Saints didn't systematically identify Jesus with YHWH and God the Father with El/Elohim until the early twentieth century. It's an interesting exercise to try to reconcile that recent ideology with the Bible, but nothing more than an exercise.
  10. I'm not suggesting it's a biblical knock-off, I'm pointing out that the English Bible influenced extraordinary influence on the English language in certain periods, and pseudo-classicism was a main result of that, whether that pseudo-classicism went directly to the Bible or to some other archaizing register. This is not just about pseudo-biblical texts, but a variety of different ways to rhetorically arrogate literary authority and gravitas. I think limiting the data set only to pseudo-biblical texts is problematic. You are suggesting you can demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is uniquely early modern in linguistic character from beginning to end? Elsewhere you've written: Is this a description of the "tight control" theory of the Book of Mormon or of some other text? There are many things in the text that are (near) record-setting. I'll mention a few here: Thanks for this example. I'll take a closer look when I have more time. I'll be happy to look. So by "record-setting," you mean more occurrences of a specific linguistic feature within a single document? What are the lengths of these other documents to which you're comparing the Book of Mormon?
  11. By the way, thanks for sharing your paper. I’m on my phone, so I’ll have to look at it another time when I’m in front of my computer with some time.
  12. I see a few issues here. You seem to suggest the only two possibilities are that God imported a (mostly) 16th-century text that the prophet simply dictated, or that the Prophet himself composed the text completely unaided. I think there are quite a few other possibilities that both do and don’t appeal to inspiration. Also, I wouldn’t have to show that the text ISN’T early modern in character, I would just have to show that someone (the Prophet or someone else) in the 19th century could produce (with or without inspiration) a text that was sporadically early-modern in character. Finally, you say “(near) record-setting” again. What is the record and where is it published? I’d like to see the methodologies and the data.
  13. I take it, then, that no quantitative analysis has been conducted. I’ve looked at most of those examples, but like I said above, I can find them in multiple different 19th-century publications, just as I can numerous linguistic features that are definitely not from the 16th century, including several that are definitely from the 19th century. I have a paper coming out in the Journal of Book of Mornon Studies early next year that will treat one of those cases. We also know that the 19th century was a period of linguistic revitalization, and precisely because of the Bible. Studies have shown numerous terms and constructions that were abandoned after the 17th century and reintroduced in the early 19th century. Words like “avenge,” “ponder,” and “warfare” became obsolete by the 18th century, but were revived in the early 19th because of growing classicism and increased interest in the Bible as THE source for learning to read and write. This was particularly acute in the burned over districts. This strikes me as a far more helpful framework for understanding the Book of Mormon than proposing a confusing notion of an eclectic text that sometimes and inexplicably reflects a 16th-century provenance, while at other times is definitely contemporary to the Prophet. Also, I’m a linguist for the Church and I supervise the translation of the scriptures, so I do kinda take this stuff seriously.
  14. So someone has done a quantitative analysis of the Book of Mormon and of other pseudo-classical and archaizing literature? I’d like to see those data and the methodologies underlying them.
  15. If this is indeed the theory, it’s wildly misguided, since the majority of the text does not fit a 16th-century provenance. I’ve seen the argument made that the revealed text included then-contemporary English as well as 16th-century English, but this seems to me to be begging the question.
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