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About JarMan

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. It's a category error to invoke Occam's Razor while appealing to a supernatural explanation. The supernatural is never the simplest explanation. And my explanation of the dictation process does comport to the actual descriptions given by those present. Also, 1540 is far too early. We have the KJB, of course, which automatically bumps the date to 1611. And the theological issues (such as the Arminian response to Calvinism) don't become ripe until about 1620. But even taking the linguistic issues on their own tells us we've got to at least be in the 17th Century. As with a hoard of coins we can't take the average date of the coins to tell us when it was buried. It has to have been buried after the newest coin.
  2. All he needed to do was paste the pages together end to end and wind them onto a pair of spools. If there were columns he would have had the additional step of cutting. Easy peasy. I've described a repeatable way to accomplish the dictation process. The other issues you bring up also have answers but I'm just not going to go down every rabbit hole you present.
  3. I'm not proposing he secretly wrote it out. Most likely it was an existing text that he simply read from. It doesn't say the people sat around the table or indicate that they were on the same side of the table as Joseph. Most likely they all sat on the other side of the table. Joseph could have prepared a simple contraption fastened underneath the table that swung out with two thin rods to receive a pair of spools. He would only need one hand to advance the spools line-by-line as he read from the manuscript. This would have taken minute manipulation and would have been much less tiresome then holding the hat. As long as the the table was set up so that nobody could come behind him, it would have been easy to conceal the manuscript, even from someone entering the room unexpectedly. The story about switching out the stone is amusing, but it seems likely Joseph noticed the stone had been switched and then played as if he couldn't continue translating. After all, couldn't God send him the text on any old stone? As for not being able to hide anything from Emma, what about the plates? Didn't he manage to hide them from her? You would have me believe that Joseph was incapable of keeping the manuscript hidden while simultaneously believing he was able to keep the plates hidden. Perhaps the covered plates were simply the hidden manuscripts kept in a box. You act like the translation process occurred in the middle of a county fair on the weekend. I would suppose that 99% of the time it was just Joseph and the scribe in the room. Otherwise they wouldn't have been able to get it done so quickly. On occasion he may have needed to satisfy curiosity-seekers by demonstrating the process, but this would have been rare and would have been easy to control by simply having the room set up so that Joseph was in the corner behind a table and everyone else wasn't. This just isn't hard to do. Why didn't Joseph ever translate without the hat? Why did he always sit behind a table? Answer: he needed those two things for concealment. Well these are different questions altogether.
  4. There are only 13 words or phrases in the Book of Mormon Skousen has identified as not being part of Early Modern English. Two of these have recently been found in EModE. An additional one, "an eye singled to", can easily be explained as an error on the part of the scribe. This leaves just 10. Out of the ten, five seem to be unique in that they weren't part of the English of Joseph's day or any other day. Of the remaining five, Skousen believes two could have been EModE but just haven't been found yet. So out of nearly 274,000 words there are only three words or phrases that are problematic to the EModE hypothesis. So it's really not accurate to say that "only parts" of the Book of Mormon are in EModE. Virtually the entire thing is consistent with EModE.
  5. The problem with the witness statements to the translation process is that the witnesses could have been deceived. From the accounts I've read the witnesses were on the other side of a table while Joseph reportedly looked into a hat. The use of a table and hat for concealment was well known by performance artists in Joseph's day. If there are any reports of witnesses being on the same side of the table or seeing something on the seer stone I would be quite interested. I doubt there are any. I really see only three possibilities. 1) Joseph read words off the seer stone. 2) Joseph recited the words from memory or made them up as he went along. 3) Joseph read from a manuscript that was hidden from observers. The first requires supernatural abilities. The second is ludicrous. The third is possible. In fact, the third is repeatable. It's not fanciful or unlikely at all compared to the other two possibilities.
  6. What kind of historical evidence would you expect if somebody else had created it? I know you believe in the traditional model, but put that aside for a moment and pretend there is a naturalistic explanation. What clues would you look for (particularly textual clues) to determine it's source?
  7. I'm not asking if any of the proposed authors is more likely than Joseph. I'm asking you to consider the entire universe of people that existed prior to or contemporaneously with Joseph. This includes a lot of very smart people who had a lot of time. This is a hypothetical question so the presence or lack of evidence for any single person is irrelevant to the question for now. So in a choice between Joseph and the universe, which is more likely? Joseph was a genius in his own way. So was Einstein. Neither was the right kind of genius to have produced the Book of Mormon. I see the Book of Mormon as no less than a literary masterpiece. Without all of the baggage I think the world would recognize it as such, as well. Maybe one day they will.
  8. Surely you can see that Joseph could dictate something he didn't create. Given that, which is more likely: that the Book of Mormon was created by Joseph or by somebody with more talent, education and time?
  9. Agreed. I don't know of anyone who argues that Joseph did not dictate it. The real question is what the source is. We have two competing ideas that both seem outlandish. One, is that God is the source. The other idea is that the source is Joseph's imagination. So let me offer a much less outlandish idea. The source is somebody other than Joseph Smith who had the requisite knowledge, education, and time to compose it. Doesn't that seem like the most likely option?
  10. Never, ever speculate about someone’s sexuality on this board. Unless it’s Joseph, Brigham or Jesus. Then it’s okay.
  11. I think it depends on what kind of “shorthand” reformed Egyptian is. From what I can gather some shorthand systems were phonetic while others were symbolic with several that were a combination of the two. They were designed in order to record speech in real-time. It sounds to me like reformed Egyptian was designed for a different purpose, which was to save space in writing. This suggests to me it was symbolic in nature. I am surmising that you’re not likely to get a one-to-one correspondence between the original and a symbolic shorthand since the number of symbols would be necessarily limited (wouldn’t they?). I would also think that certain elements of the original language would be lost or obscured in going to symbols. This is outside my experience but I have to think there are real-world examples, particularly with eastern languages, that could inform us on the matter.
  12. I haven't had time to really research this, but based on a cursory review of other bible translations you appear to be right that the Coverdale examples mean "was angry with". It occurs to me, though, that this meaning also works just fine in Mosiah 21:6. The Nephites were angry with the king because of the afflictions of the Lamanites who they were supposedly at peace with. In the previous chapter the people captured the Lamanite king and brought him to Limhi and proposed executing him. Realizing the Lamanites had some justification for the war Limhi decided to spare the Lamanite king and return him to his people with a promise of renewed peace. When the peace began to fail perhaps the people blamed Limhi for being too soft on the Lamanites and their king. Maybe if Limhi had shown more toughness the Lamanites wouldn't be so bold as to afflict them as they were. Maybe they should have pursued a decisive victory while they had the upper hand.
  13. What’s the most impressive Hebraism in the Book of Mormon that you know of?
  14. By writing in a compact form you have a relationship that goes from many to few. And then in the translation to English the relationship is few to many. This bottleneck will cause a loss of information, won’t it? We can be certain we end up with less information (or at least less accurate information) than if there had been a direct Hebrew to English translation.
  15. My proposed author did know Hebrew well. Perhaps my hypothesized translator did, too. Maybe one or both of them consciously or subconsciously incorporated Hebraisms into their work. Maybe it was originally written in Hebrew instead of Latin. As speculative as any of that may sound, the other alternative is Hebrew + 1000 years + reformed Egyptian + English translation = Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon. I start to lose faith somewhere in the 1000 years part.
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