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Everything posted by Glenn101

  1. Right now we are not talking about those. The current subject is on the EmodE in the Book of Mormon. Do you have any linguistic evidence or any other evidence to refute anything that Stanford has said? That is what I mean by engaging.
  2. For one thing, you quoted that one sentence out o context. The Church essay notes that the fragments of the papyri that have been recovered represent a fraction of the papyri that reports indicate Joseph originally had in his possession. The one sentence that you highlighted about the text of the Book of Abraham not being on any of the fragments that have been recovered is something that no one is disputing, or ever have, that I am aware of. The only question is if any of those fragments were part of the scroll from which Joseph was using to translate the Book of Mormon. The critics say yea and LDS apologetics say nay. The disconnect really seems to be between your interpretation of what the author of the essay is saying and the message the author was trying to convey. I will quote the conclusion of the author of the essay.
  3. You seem not to have followed the discussion closely at all nor engaged with any of Stanford's research and the information he has presented.
  4. Stanford uses the Oxford English dictionary for his reference as to whether a phrase is EmodE or if a the meaning of a word as used in the book of Mormon would reflect that of the EmodE period of most of the phrases he had highlighted or later, more modern usage. Whether a phrase is EmodE can be ascertained fairly easily. I think it would be accurate to state at this point is that discussions of loose or tight control, or whether there was an intermediary translator in the mid 1600's are really tangential to Stanford's conclusions he has reached from his research into the matter, i.e. that the presence of the EmodE that he has identified in the Book of Mormon makes it unlikely in the extreme that Joseph Smith is the actual author of the Book of Mormon. Glenn
  5. There has been agreement between LDS and non-LDS scholars ever since the fragments were recovered that the characters on the fragments do not match the translation given in the Book of Abraham. I do knot know of any LDS scholar that has claimed they do. The controversy seems to be that the critics are saying that what has been recovered must be what Joseph was using for his supposed translation while some if not most LDS scholars, especially the Egyptologists feel that the translation was from papyri that were probably destroyed in the Cgicago fire. Robert F. Smith has a short analysis of the things he feels Joseph got right at https://www.scribd.com/document/118810727/A-Brief-Assessment-of-the-LDS-Book-of-Abraham . I can only follow it dimly because I am nowhere near being an expert or even a layman in the Egyptian language. Glenn
  6. Dan, are there transcripts available or going to be made available of the content of your videos? I find it difficult to refer back to videos when cross checking against other scholarship, etc. Thanks, Glenn
  7. Aren't you maybe over reacting a little to my post. I did not say that any one other viewpoint should actually be addressed. I just believe that when a presentation such as this is presented to students, they should also be appraised that there are opposing viewpoints. I am not suggesting that those viewpoints should be given equal time and that the students should be encouraged to do additional research/reading themselves. After all, they are there to learn. Glenn
  8. Since the presentation was to a group of students I do believe they should have mentioned that there are other viewpoints held by other scholars. If they had been presenting to a group of academics already familiar with the Book of Abraham discussions and scholarship. I believe that scholars when teaching students should present their viewpoints as logically and coherently as possible, but to also acknowledge scholarship and scholars that have differing opinions on any one subject so the students at least know there is not a consensus. I can remember taking a Book of Mormon course under Daniel Ludlow some time back where he brought up the subject of Stela 5 at Izapa, Mexico. Some LDS scholars believed that it it is a depiction of Lehi's recitation of his tree of life vision in the Book of Mormon and was direct evidence of the Book of Mormon. Ludlow was intrigued himself, but cautioned his students that there were dissenting opinions just within the LDS scholarly community and there were hardly any non-LDS scholars that would concur with that theory. As it has turned out, his caution was well justified. Glenn
  9. Robert, why does there have to be a middle man in the picture? With the assumption (which is what I go with) that the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God as Joseph stated, there is no need for any intermediary. God knows all languages perfectly and is able to translate from any language, dialect, or vernacular into any language, dialect, or vernacular. Another translator or author is needed only if God, or a divinely appointed angel, was not the translator. Glenn
  10. 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. Emma Smith said that she sat by Joseph as he dictated the text to her, that he had no other materials than the stone and the hat and that he could not have concealed any other materials from her. "I cheerfully certify that I was familiar with the manner of Joseph Smith’s translating the book of Mormon. He translated the most of it at my Father’s house. And I often sat by and saw and heard them translate and write for hours together. Joseph never had a curtain drawn between him and his scribe while he was translating. He would place the director in his hat, and then place his [face in his] hat, so as to exclude the light, and then [read] to his scribe the words as they appeared before him." Elizabeth Whitmer Cowdery It does seem that there was a curtain drawn between martin Harris and Joseph when Harris was acting as scribe. There is an account where Harris tested Joseph's use of the seer stone by swapping it out with another and Joseph could not see anything. If there was always a curtain between scribe and Joseph a deception is possible. But if Sarah Whitney's account and that of Emma is accurate, deception would be maybe a bit more difficult. However, it is testable. Glenn
  11. He'd have to answer those points. I assume he's engaged with other linguists at BYU but I don't know about non-Mormon ones. I'll ask a few linguists I know who may or may not be familiar with his claims and let you know.  I remember participating in a discussion with a few people including Stanford some time ago, maybe a couple of years on Jeff Lindsay's Mormanity blog where the subject of peer review came up on the subject of EmodE in the Book of Mormon. I have not been able to find that particular discussion, so this is just hearsay at this point, but I remember Stanford saying that he has attempted to have at least one other non-LDS linguist review his work but the guy would not touch it. Maybe Stanford will drop by and comment on the situation. If he does not, please take my comments with that proverbial grain of salt. Glenn
  12. Okay, you may argue that Stanford is not just following the data and that the conclusions the draws from the data are not always justified. That is a statement, and by itself that is not an argument. It is just s statement. So you say that you should not have to do any heavy lifting in order to be skeptical of his findings. So, how is that different from forming an uninformed opinion? Stanford has already done a lot of "heavy lifting in his research. He has put his data, research methods, and conclusions out there for rebuttal. He has received feedback from LDS scholars with specific criticisms and/or areas where additional research needs to be done. There is not a blanket acceptance among LDS scholars on the subject and there is a continuing dialog with specific points being discussed and researched. Blanket skepticism is no more scholarly than is blanket acceptance. They are both reactions based upon a priori viewpoints. To head of a possible objection that the EmodE conversation about the Book of Mormon is based upon an a priori viewpoint I would point out that the discovery of the EmodE was serendipitous, arising out of the work on the book of Mormon critical text project by Royal Skousen ans is something that was not expected. Now, as to a fringe theory theory, I would say not. There are ongoing studies concerning the Book of Mormon currently, but I do not believe that any of them overshadow the work that has been done by Royal Skousen and Robert F. Smith before him on the original language of the Book of Mormon. Stanford Carmack has been the one mainly pursuing and researching the EmodE discoveries. I think they may be the only linguists that are actually working on that that, but they may have others on their staffs. As I have noted in other posts, other LDS scholars have noted the work and some have come to accept the main conclusions that Stanford has reached, mainly the presence of the archaic/obsolete EmodE in the Book of Mormon makes it very highly unlikely that Joseph Smith is or could be the author of the Book of Mormon. Some LDS scholars have reservations and have voiced specific objections, to which Stanford is responding with further research. And further research may uncover data that is contra or even fatal to Stanford's conclusions. Right now the odds really seem to be against it. Glenn
  13. I was going to respond but I se Robert F. Smith has already done so. It would really be helpful if you would read up on the work that Royal Skousen has done on the Book of Mormon Critical Text project where he has been endeavoring to recover the original text of the Book of Mormon as it was dictated to the different scribes. It was during that recovery process that the systemic EmodE in the Book of Mormon was discovered, the serendipity thing, something that they were not looking for. Skousen (and everyone else) expected that the language would pretty much follow the usage of the King James authorized version of the Bible. Stanford Carmack has done a lot of "heavy lifting" in ferreting out the extent of the EmodE in the Book of Mormon and searching a large corpus of relevant texts to find out when that EmodE was prevalent and when it became pretty much obsolete as well as comparing it with Biblical usage. He has published a lot of it in several venues, some of it on the Interpreter and others on YouTube type presentations, which I do not like because it is so difficult to parse and reparse in order to understand just what the points are. But I think that it is necessary to understand those points in order to make valid critical points in rebuttal. Whether something is EmodE or not can be verified. Stanford uses the Oxford English Dictionary as his reference. You can too. Just take any of his EmodE examples and check them out. Glenn
  14. Have you read up on how the EmodE was actually discovered? It was a case of serendipity, looking for one (recovering the original text of the Book of Mormon) and finding something else in the process, the 'bad grammar' that turned out to be mostly EmodE. Serendipity is pretty much the opposite of the Texas Sharp Shooter fallacy. Glenn
  15. That's not true at all. He used his rock sitting in a hat. If Joseph saw words in the darkness of a hat, it could be that some outside force gave it to him, like God or Satan. Or it could be that he somehow imagined the words. or it could mean he somehow tricked any on-lookers and was reading it off from somwhere. or it could mean he memorized the words previous to speakign them to a scribe. All of those last ones would mean he authored the text. It seems most reasonable to say he authored it. I realize you are contending the linguistic analysis suggests he couldn't have come up with so much archaic wording, but seeing as he could understand the words, as could other readers, it's not a stretch in my mind to say it came to him--to his conception. I really think that Stanford was talking about aids such as maps, a Bible, or a wad of papers from which he read the text. The use of the seer stone is pretty well understood. Some of the descriptions of the translation process go against a theory that Joseph memorized the text beforehand and was dictating from memory. Specifically it was reported by scribes that after a break in the dictation Joseph would look into the hat and pick up where they had left off without having to consult with the scribe in "now where were we" moment. Another tidbit comes from the recollections of Emma Smith that Joseph would spell out words he could not pronounce as well as long words which would not be necessary if he had crammed beforehand. Of course Joseph really played it safe with his words, keeping them within a safe subset of Biblical and known personal stuff. He just was not one to go out on a limb there, was he? Glenn
  16. I have never said, or implied that my faith is relevant in any discussion except those based on faith. You are misreading what I am saying. When I was speaking about God not needing any intermediary, it is with the assumption that there is a God, etc. In essence, with God, there is no need for any other explanation as to how it came to pass. We may question why He did something one way or the other, but that is all. The truth claims for the Book of Mormon do rest upon that assumption, belief, faith, but it is not provable empirically. As far as the Book of Mormon, the naturalistic theories lack explanatory power as well as empirical evidence. Stanford Carmack has produced empirical evidence for the EmodE in the Book of Mormon and has concluded that there is currently no naturalistic explanation for that phenomena.. He has presented his findings, his research corpus, his methods for anyone to verify. One does not have to be a linguist to check out his facts and figures. It does take some work. You may not agree, but if you do not agree, and if you wish to dispute his findings, you will need to do some work, to present some type of evidence that would rebut his conclusions. As I have noted, there are LDS scholars that disagree with Stanford's conclusions, but not his data. Some of those critics have been swayed, at least partially, by the evidence that Stanford is compiling because, when faced with an objection, he investigates and researches the question. He is just following the evidence, which is why we are talking about it right now. Glenn
  17. Actually there is a place for this in a discussion of where faith and religion are intermingled in the discussion. It is and always has been the position of most of the LDS posters here that God was directly involved in the production of the Book of Mormon. The post on which you made your remarks was pointed towards those people, if you will recall, where the subject of an intermediary translator had been raised, which is something that Stanford Carmack has not proposed. My point to those who accept the divine providence of the Book of Mormon is that with God, there is no intermediary translation or translator needed. (After all, this is a Mormon Discussion and Dialogue board. One should expect some naive soul to every now and then speak up and say something like if God did it, it would explain this or that thing.) The EmodE that appears in the Book of Mormon is just one of the elements that up to this point defy a naturalistic explanation. You dismiss the EmodE as a fringe theory, but it is not a theory at all. Unless Stanford Carmack and Royal Skousen are totally incompetent idiots, it is there but not apparent in Joseph's new England environment or in his personal writings. Glenn
  18. The evidence of EmodE in the Book of Mormon?
  19. I was not really pushing the idea that Joseph had a prepared text. I only threw that in because it is one of the theories proposed by some critics, i.e. that Joseph had a prepared text that he somehow was able to conceal from onlookers. The retranslation problem is addressed in Doctrine and Covenants section 10. Glenn
  20. Oh, that is not a fall back position at all. It is the goto position. That was Joseph's position. It is the critics who have to deal with the evidence that has been produced whichs n=makes it almost impossible that Joseph could have produced the text of the Book of Mormon himself. Glenn
  21. True there is hardly a consensus as to whether Joseph was reading the text or just orally dictating it. Royal Skousen seems to have put in the most work in ferreting out just how the text was dictated and is a proponent of the theory that Joseph was dictating from an already prepared text. He proposes that Joseph could actually see about twenty words at a time. Do you know of anyone that has presented any type of evidence for an extemporaneously dictated text? I do believe that if Joseph were reading from a prepared text, that would also make Taves' idea even more problematic because her proposition would almost have to involve some type of 'stream of consciousness" type of dictation. That would hardly involve spelling out words that Joseph could not pronounce and very long words. Glenn
  22. Actually the EmodE theory requires no additional person or thing helping Joseph with the translation other than the one Joseph used in his explanation that the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. Since God knows everything, all languages, all dialects, all changes, all nuances, He would have been perfectly capable of producing the translation from the reformed Egyptian on the plates into the vernacular that is found in the Book of Mormon. Of course one may ask why God would do it that way, and us poor mortals can only produce conjecture because God has not answered that question for us. But it has thrown a monkey wrench into the narrative that no one saw coming. Glenn
  23. Engaging with Ann Taves' unconscious writing theory or the like, such as automatic writing actually answers no questions as to the source of that "inspiration." It just presents an untestable theory. You have already made the point and it is accepted that a person's oral output will differ from his or her written words. The actual evidence still indicates that Joseph read from some type of prepared text, whether (very cleverly) hidden sheets, the seer stone or Nephite Interpreters, or in his mind's eye. Even if Joseph had been exposed to such oral ways of speech, it did not wind up being reflected in any of his mundane writings that he produced personally. If there was such in his oral communications it would more than likely show up in the letters, etc. that he dictated. Thus far, the only times that EmodE type language shows up extensively in Joseph's communications is with claims for a Divine source of inspiration. Glenn
  24. I am sure you are aware that this is entirely subjective. To illustrate here is a morbid joke: First cannibal after eating a hearty meal. Your wife really makes a great meal. Second cannibal: Yes she does. But I am really going to miss her. With moral relativism this is what we get. There is no objective morality. I disagree with Dr. Jordan Peterson's conclusion as quoted by Doctor Dan Peterson that there are some acts that are intrinsically evil “true essentially, cross-culturally — across time and place.” A cannibalistic society would seem to refute that idea. Societies that kill their elderly also argue against such an idea. Even in modern societies this moral relativism leads down a slippery slope as some state legislatures have passed or considered passing abortion laws that would permit the killing of infants or maybe just letting them die even after delivery. The recent depredations of ISIS have had much of the world recoiling in horror, yet their culture seemingly thought/thinks nothing of it. The only thing that kept and hopefully keeps their brand of morality from becoming the morality of their region and in time maybe a much greater part of the world was superior firepower and superior numbers. I just do not see how one can rationally make a case for an objective morality without a Supreme Being, A God that does know everything and can promulgate to us humans that know a little bit less than everything what it Right and what is Wrong. Without Him, we would live in a might makes right universe. Glenn
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