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JarMan

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About JarMan

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    Senior Member: Divides Heaven & Earth

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  1. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    What if Joseph had “miraculously” pulled a rabbit out of the hat? We would be much less impressed. Anyone now can find how this trick works on YouTube. Descriptions of the dictation process always seem to involve the scribe situated on the other side of a table or the witnesses to the process on the other side of the room…just like the rabbit trick. (Go look up how it’s done.) Isn’t it possible Joseph had mastered some sort of slight of hand trick to make it appear he was reading text off the seer stone in his hat when he was really reading from a manuscript somewhere in his view?
  2. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    How would you explain the origin of the Book of Mormon if you stripped away all the supernatural elements involved in its 1829 production? Pretend that all we know about the text is that it came to light in English in 1829 New York or Pennsylvania. We don't even know whether it is a translated work or not. And it's a book of scripture about somebody else's religion, not yours. You are looking at it from a purely scholarly perspective and cannot invoke the supernatural in your explanation. What could you tell us about it? Was it likely produced within a certain time frame? Does it show signs of having been modified over a certain period of time? Is it likely to be a translated work? Could a theoretical philologist in 1829 have acquired the ability to produce it given the knowledge and tools available at the time? What things are virtually known for certain and what things are still open for debate?
  3. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    We disagree. I’m fine with that. I was responding to the “What I can do is look at the evidence and see it for what it is” routine. We all have times where we think our own judgment is unclouded (for whatever reason we tell ourselves) while assuming bias in others. Anyway I don’t want to belabor the point…in my experience you’ve always been respectful on this forum. Thanks for the input. Do you have any other examples you believe couldn’t have come prior to 1650?
  4. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    I get it. I’m too biased to evaluate this fairly. But since you have “no dog in the fight” you can see things much more clearly.
  5. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    I'm familiar with some of the masonic influences on early Mormonism, particularly as related to the temple ceremony. But my understanding is that there aren't any New York period masonic influences (besides the supposed anti-masonic influences in the Book of Mormon). The supposed parallel with a flaxen cord around the neck (the masonic ceremony calls it a cable tow) is unimpressive to me. Especially in light of the parallels to a biblical story.
  6. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    I've done some research and I can answer this question affirmatively. It turns out that the similarities mentioned in the linked articles are ubiquitous in ancient and medieval weights and measures systems. There are many systems that have a gold/silver-grain equivalent. For example, the word "grain" as used in the English system of measurements comes from the weight of a single grain of barley. Many systems also have equivalents to a laborer's wage. The standardization of grain costs and labor costs (as well as other costs) seems to be the main purpose for setting up weights and measures in the first place. And they almost all seem to have been set up by a king or head of state. The most similar system of measures I was able to identify was the ancient Roman system which has a similar spread of gradations as King Mosiah's plus a unique 1.5 weight measure found in both the Nephite and ancient Roman systems but not found in any of the identified ANE systems or in any of the other systems I examined. My conclusion is that somebody with a knowledge of the ancient Roman system of ancient measures could have easily produced the system found in the Book of Mormon.
  7. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    This article answers the issue quite nicely. The flaxen cord seems to be an allusion to the story of Sampson. Biblical references are certainly not out of place pre-1650.
  8. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    I'm not familiar with the flaxen cord issue that you are talking about? Could you provide a brief summary or point me to some sources?
  9. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    Agreed. Secret combinations in the Book of Mormon are also sometimes nation-states that operate militarily against other nation-states. This is consistent with the 17th Century usage of the term.
  10. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    I understand that. That's the partial match to masonry I was talking about. My theory about secret combinations is that the 17th Century writer combined ideas from Rosicrucianism and historic events, some from Roman history involving conspiracies to overthrow the government, to develop the idea of secret combinations we see in the Book of Mormon. Additionally, the link to Gadianton Robbers, which I also think has a direct link to ancient Roman sources shows that a 17th Century model (using ancient sources) is a far better match for the secret combinations in the Book of Mormon than masonry in the 1820's.
  11. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    This is very interesting to know. My model has the Book of Mormon originally being produced (probably in Latin, maybe in French) between 1635 and 1645 with an English translation coming sometime after. So this information fits my model very well.
  12. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    Part of my theory is based on doctrine. What makes it so significant is that you see all of the doctrinal equivalents with one man and his immediate environment in a narrow time frame. It's not like the 19th Century model where you have to look here, there, and everywhere to find all the pieces and put them together. In this context I think these doctrinal equivalents are more significant than you believe them to be. My model also has much more than doctrine, though. The theory of ethical warfare is a prime example with a distinct early modern source showing numerous similarities. Also, the theory of ideal governments and the relationship between church and state have close equivalents. . . equivalents that were pretty much dead in 19th Century America. The portrayal of atheists is another one I forgot to mention earlier. I'm currently writing a paper on a very similar topic. I believe I can show an ancient Roman source that has numerous, detailed similarities to the Gadianton Robbers described in the Book of Mormon. My proposed author was familiar with this source as he cited it in some of his works. Thanks for the challenge on this topic. I don't have an answer for you right now but I will do some research. My proposed author closely studied ancient history, particularly that of ancient Greece and Rome. I believe there many parallels in the Book of Mormon that can be taken from these histories including examples of secret combinations. The point is that it may not be an early modern source we're looking for but an ancient source.
  13. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    Secret combinations have many descriptions in the Book of Mormon. I think people are so accustomed to associating them with masonry that they overlook their other aspects. For instance, we have secret combinations in 3 Nephi 7. They basically form a nation-state with a king over them. This is nothing like masonry. But it is similar to the secret combination I referenced which shows nations with kings making war on other nations. I think the primary characteristic of secret combinations is their desire to overthrow the government. This is done sometimes through intrigue and sometimes by military engagement. I see masonry as being only a partial match. Masons weren't a military nation ruled by a king attempting to overthrow the government.
  14. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    Before freemasonry there was Rosicrucianism. From wikipedia: The term "secret combination" was used at this time in the same way as it is used in the Book of Mormon as we can see from this snippet from a 1623 book about the history of England.
  15. JarMan

    The State of Mormon Apologetics

    To your list I'll add the following: soteriology, atonement theory, Garden of Eden story, Satan, Gadianton Robbers (I'm currently working on a paper on this subject), ideal forms of governmental, church-state relationship, and theory of ethical warfare. Actually I don't know of anything in the Book of Mormon that can't be dated to before about 1650 (with the exception of the first sentence of 2 Nephi 3:15 which I theorize was added by Joseph or Oliver). I've issued this challenge and I will again here: I'd like someone to find me something in the Book of Mormon that can't be dated prior to about 1650. If you find a horde of coins in 1829 and the latest coin in the bunch dates to 1650 and the coins are all western European, then there's a pretty good chance the horde was buried in or soon after 1650 by a western European. There would be only a very small chance it was buried in, say, 1827 by an American. The horde of coins is the Book of Mormon content which tells me it was very likely produced in Europe before 1650.
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