Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

David Bokovoy

2 Nephi 2:25 Vs. Gen 1:27

Recommended Posts

Genesis 1:27 presents a wonderful literary refrain:

"God created the man in his image

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them."

Notice that in poetic form, the author moves from discussing the man (ha-adam), to the 3rd person masculine singular pronoun â??him,â? only to conclude with the masculine plural pronoun â??them.â?

The presentation works especially well in Hebrew, since the term ha-adam meaning literally â??the man,â? functions as a collective plural, carrying the additional meaning â??mankind, people;â? see Koehler and Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1:13.

From a literary perspective, the verse presents the creation of all humanity through an artistically designed movement from a discussion of the man singular, to the all inclusive 3rd person pronoun.

When translated into Hebrew, it appears that the famous poetic statement in 2 Nephi 2:25 may have been influenced by Genesis 1:27

"Adam fell that men might be;

And men are that they might have joy."

If rendered into Hebrew, the proper name Adam would precede the term men or ha-adam (note Genesis 6:1 where the term is first translated in the KJV as the collective English word â??menâ?).

The beginning of the verse would read:

"Adam fell that ha-adam might be"

The verse therefore moves from Adam as a proper name to ha-adam, the form which appears in Genesis 1:27, which is grammatically singular, although a collective plural.

The next line continues with the term ha-adam from Genesis 1:27, but like the biblical verse, concludes with the all inclusive third person pronoun â??they.â?

"Adam (proper noun) fell that ha-adam (singular, albeit collective plural) might be;

And ha-Adam (singular, albeit collective plural) are that they (terminal 3rd person plural pronoun) might have joy."

"God created ha-Adam (singular, albeit collective plural) in his image;

in the image of God he created him (3rd person masculine singular pronoun); male and female he created them (terminal 3rd person plural pronoun)."

Hence, when interpreted through a Hebrew lens, the pattern featured in 2 Nephi 2:25 appears to reflect the poem presented in Genesis 1:27.

Share this post


Link to post

Genesis 1:27 presents a wonderful literary refrain:

"God created the man in his image

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them."

Notice that in poetic form, the author moves from discussing the man (ha-adam), to the 3rd person masculine singular pronoun â??him,â? only to conclude with the masculine plural pronoun â??them.â?

The presentation works especially well in Hebrew, since the term ha-adam meaning literally â??the man,â? functions as a collective plural, carrying the additional meaning â??mankind, people;â? see Koehler and Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1:13.

From a literary perspective, the verse presents the creation of all humanity through an artistically designed movement from a discussion of the man singular, to the all inclusive 3rd person pronoun.

When translated into Hebrew, it appears that the famous poetic statement in 2 Nephi 2:25 may have been influenced by Genesis 1:27

"Adam fell that men might be;

And men are that they might have joy."

If rendered into Hebrew, the proper name Adam would precede the term men or ha-adam (note Genesis 6:1 where the term is first translated in the KJV as the collective English word â??menâ?).

The beginning of the verse would read:

"Adam fell that ha-adam might be"

The verse therefore moves from Adam as a proper name to ha-adam, the form which appears in Genesis 1:27, which is grammatically singular, although a collective plural.

The next line continues with the term ha-adam from Genesis 1:27, but like the biblical verse, concludes with the all inclusive third person pronoun â??they.â?

"Adam (proper noun) fell that ha-adam (singular, albeit collective plural) might be;

And ha-Adam (singular, albeit collective plural) are that they (terminal 3rd person plural pronoun) might have joy."

"God created ha-Adam (singular, albeit collective plural) in his image;

in the image of God he created him (3rd person masculine singular pronoun); male and female he created them (terminal 3rd person plural pronoun)."

Hence, when interpreted through a Hebrew lens, the pattern featured in 2 Nephi 2:25 appears to reflect the poem presented in Genesis 1:27.

Interesting take; it does seem to add up to me.

Share this post


Link to post

Hello LifeonaPlate,

It appears meaningful to me as well.

The artistic ploy in Genesis 1:27 designed specifically to move from â??the manâ? singular to the collective plural representing all humanity is especially transparent when compared with the story of creating the man, singular, followed by the woman, singular, in Genesis 2.

The Book of Mormon text may reflect this literary ploy.

Best,

-DB

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not understanding this...

Genesis is talking about the literal creation of "the man" Adam, not men.

In Nephi, he is talking about Adam falling for the joy of all mankind (men).

What am I missing here?

Share this post


Link to post

Genesis 1:27 presents a wonderful literary refrain:

"God created the man in his image

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them."

Notice that in poetic form, the author moves from discussing the man (ha-adam), to the 3rd person masculine singular pronoun â??him,â? only to conclude with the masculine plural pronoun â??them.â?

The presentation works especially well in Hebrew, since the term ha-adam meaning literally â??the man,â? functions as a collective plural, carrying the additional meaning â??mankind, people;â? see Koehler and Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1:13.

From a literary perspective, the verse presents the creation of all humanity through an artistically designed movement from a discussion of the man singular, to the all inclusive 3rd person pronoun.

When translated into Hebrew, it appears that the famous poetic statement in 2 Nephi 2:25 may have been influenced by Genesis 1:27

"Adam fell that men might be;

And men are that they might have joy."

If rendered into Hebrew, the proper name Adam would precede the term men or ha-adam (note Genesis 6:1 where the term is first translated in the KJV as the collective English word â??menâ?).

The beginning of the verse would read:

"Adam fell that ha-adam might be"

The verse therefore moves from Adam as a proper name to ha-adam, the form which appears in Genesis 1:27, which is grammatically singular, although a collective plural.

The next line continues with the term ha-adam from Genesis 1:27, but like the biblical verse, concludes with the all inclusive third person pronoun â??they.â?

"Adam (proper noun) fell that ha-adam (singular, albeit collective plural) might be;

And ha-Adam (singular, albeit collective plural) are that they (terminal 3rd person plural pronoun) might have joy."

"God created ha-Adam (singular, albeit collective plural) in his image;

in the image of God he created him (3rd person masculine singular pronoun); male and female he created them (terminal 3rd person plural pronoun)."

Hence, when interpreted through a Hebrew lens, the pattern featured in 2 Nephi 2:25 appears to reflect the poem presented in Genesis 1:27.

This seems to me to be completely insignificant.

The small number of words involved and the naturalness of gramatical constructions like this makes things like this statistically insignificant.

I am absolutely certain that, if you felt motivated, you could find stuff just as good (or bad) of correlations between just about any two book on the same subject.

Share this post


Link to post

This seems to me to be completely insignificant.

The small number of words involved and the naturalness of gramatical constructions like this makes things like this statistically insignificant.

I am absolutely certain that, if you felt motivated, you could find stuff just as good (or bad) of correlations between just about any two book on the same subject.

I don't recall reading in DB's OP anything about this being a significant discovery. I think he's just pointing out an interesting insight into the writer's mind. I, too, don't think that there in nothing earthshaking about it, but even if DB was trying to say that it was something really significant, it still is more impressive than what many of the critics of the Church are saying about the BofM in their efforts to dissuade us.

ADIEU Tarski. :P

Share this post


Link to post

it still is more impressive than what many of the critics of the Church are saying about the BofM in their efforts to dissuade us.

I don't think so.

sayonara

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think so.

sayonara

Well, do you believe that DB was saying that what he wrote in the OP was significant?

BTW, the "ADIEU" was a pointer to one of the most used attacks on the BofM I have seen over the years which has considerably less foundation than what DB wrote.

Share this post


Link to post

When translated into Hebrew, it appears that the famous poetic statement in 2 Nephi 2:25 may have been influenced by Genesis 1:27

"Adam fell that men might be;

And men are that they might have joy."

If rendered into Hebrew, the proper name Adam would precede the term men or ha-adam (note Genesis 6:1 where the term is first translated in the KJV as the collective English word â??menâ?).

The beginning of the verse would read:

"Adam fell that ha-adam might be"

Here's how the church had this verse translated into Hebrew:

אָדָם הוּרַד לְמַעַן קִיּוּם בְּנֵי הָאָדָם וּבְנֵי הָאָדָם קַיָּמִים לְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה לָהֶם שִֹמְחָה

Share this post


Link to post

Notice that in poetic form, the author moves from discussing the man (ha-adam), to the 3rd person masculine singular pronoun â??him,â? only to conclude with the masculine plural pronoun â??them.â?

These aren't even the same construction in English. Genesis has a three step process where Adam is first referred to by name, then he is referred to by the 3rd person pronoun, and then it generalizes out to either Adam and Eve specifically (since it refers to those He created), or else perhaps all of humanity more generally. Nephi goes straight from Adam to all humanity.

More than that, though, you're trying to make a point using a word game, essentially, when you go from English to Hebrew because in Hebrew Adam's name is also a noun for mankind. It would almost be like if I were talking to some Germans trying to explain the Suehnopfer and told them that in English it's "atonement" and then did the little trick of breaking it up into "at-one-ment" so that "atonement" actually means "at one with Christ", therefor Suehnopfer really means "at one with Christ". It's a word game.

Finally, Adam was treated in both Genesis and Nephi as the progenitor of the entire human race. How coincidental is it then that in both stories a reference is made to Adam, and then from him to all of humanity? Is this supposed to be some unique and obscure fact that Joseph Smith could not have known about?

Share this post


Link to post

Is this supposed to be some unique and obscure fact that Joseph Smith could not have known about?

Or perhaps JS tried to word it similarly to the Bible because that is how Genesis reads. Which is more likely?

(I sure hope JS wasn't lying; I may have wasted a lot of time and money in this religion if he did.)

Share this post


Link to post

I think those who claim this is statistically insignificant need to put their money where their mouth is. Challenge: Find the same levels of hidden similarity between two thematically comparable books with no connection in their origin. Perhaps the Bhagavad-gita and Homer's Odyssey, for example. It'll be a fun exercise.

Share this post


Link to post

Here's how the church had this verse translated into Hebrew:

אָדָם הוּרַד לְמַעַן קִיּוּם בְּנֵי הָאָדָם וּבְנֵי הָאָדָם קַיָּמִים לְמַעַן תִּהְיֶה לָהֶם שִֹמְחָה

Mak,

Sincere thanks for posting this info. Iâ??m curious, how did you access the translation?

Note that the translators did opt for ha-adam in both cases as a rendering of â??men,â? though the translators prefaced the term with the expression â??son of.â? This is, however, grammatically unnecessary though it still preserves what I believe would have represented the original pun between Adam as proper name and adam as humanity.

Best,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Scottie,

I'm not understanding this...

Genesis is talking about the literal creation of "the man" Adam, not men.

Thatâ??s not correct. The author of Genesis 1:27 presents a literary ploy that moves from the man singular to humanity as a whole represented by the pronoun they. Therefore, the text presents a poetic description of both the literal creation of "the man" and "humanity" through a unique literary ploy.

In Nephi, he is talking about Adam falling for the joy of all mankind (men).

Again, the pattern in 2 Nephi 2:25 in which the author moves from a reference to Adam as proper name to ha-adam (a grammatically singular expression) to a description of humanity as a whole via the third person plural pronoun â??theyâ? provides a striking parallel to the literary pattern featured in Genesis 1:27.

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Tarski,

This seems to me to be completely insignificant.

And in the words of the great Paul Simon, â??A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.â?

The small number of words involved and the naturalness of grammatical constructions like this makes things like this statistically insignificant.

I would actually be interested in reading what you view as the statistical probability that a book produced by a 19th century New England farmboy in the matter of a few short weeks that claims to have direct literary and cultural ties to the Hebrew Bible would preserve a complex literary pun featured in Genesis 1:27 in which the author discusses the singular expressions adam, ha-adam and then moves directly to a third person plural pronoun to denote all humanity in the context of a complex, albeit subtle poetic refrain.

I am absolutely certain that, if you felt motivated, you could find stuff just as good (or bad) of correlations between just about any two book on the same subject.

Then by all means, please do so. Of course even if you were in fact able to accomplish this feat, your observation would not negate the validity of my claim. It would only lessen the stastical probability that the literary ploy provides evidence in favor of the bookâ??s ancient authenticity.

Best,

--DB

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Seth,

These aren't even the same construction in English. Genesis has a three step process where Adam is first referred to by name, then he is referred to by the 3rd person pronoun, and then it generalizes out to either Adam and Eve specifically (since it refers to those He created), or else perhaps all of humanity more generally.

This assessment is problematic for several reasons. How do you know that Genesis 1:27 refers to Adam by name? Moreover, the name Eve does not appear until chapter 3:20, which derives from an entirely different source.

Nephi goes straight from Adam to all humanity.

No. Nephi goes straight from Adam to ha-adam (singular â??the manâ?), to ha-adam (singular â??the manâ?), to all humanity represented by the 3rd person plural pronoun â??they.â?

More than that, though, you're trying to make a point using a word game, essentially, when you go from English to Hebrew because in Hebrew Adam's name is also a noun for mankindâ?¦ It's a word game.

Of course itâ??s a word game. Itâ??s called a pun. And the Hebrew Bible, including the opening chapters of Genesis, which present the story of humanityâ??s origins, contains several examples of intentional word plays. As your comment correctly suggests, however, the pun witnessed in 2 Nephi 2:27 which presents a movement from adam to ha-adam works better in Hebrew than it does in English.

Finally, Adam was treated in both Genesis and Nephi as the progenitor of the entire human race. How coincidental is it then that in both stories a reference is made to Adam, and then from him to all of humanity? Is this supposed to be some unique and obscure fact that Joseph Smith could not have known about?

No. The fact would not be significant in accordance with the way you described my post. Of course your synopsis fails to capture the details of my observation.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't recall reading in DB's OP anything about this being a significant discovery. I think he's just pointing out an interesting insight into the writer's mind. I, too, don't think that there in nothing earthshaking about it, but even if DB was trying to say that it was something really significant, it still is more impressive than what many of the critics of the Church are saying about the BofM in their efforts to dissuade us.

ADIEU Tarski. :P

Thanks Urroner.

One of the problems that critics have with these sorts of threads is a failure to recognize the implications of the post. These types of observations could never prove that the Book of Mormon is an authentic translation of an ancient source. There are simply far too many variables for an observation such as this to establish any sort of proof.

Unfortunately, by failing to accept the basic legitimacy of even a small observation that presents a favorable view of the Book of Mormonâ??s claims, many of those who claim to think critically in fact fail to process information at a critical level.

In other words, if a person defends a position that he or she maintains cannot under any circumstances be mistaken, how can the critic truly claim to think critically?

If a critic will not allow for the legitimacy of any evidence that negates his or her view that the Book of Mormon is not an ancient authentic account, how can the critic possibly claim to think critically, when he or she refuses to process critically his or her own disbelief in the Book of Mormon?

Share this post


Link to post

Mak,

Sincere thanks for posting this info. Iâ??m curious, how did you access the translation?

Note that the translators did opt for ha-adam in both cases as a rendering of â??men,â? though the translators prefaced the term with the expression â??son of.â? This is, however, grammatically unnecessary though it still preserves what I believe would have represented the original pun between Adam as proper name and adam as humanity.

Best,

--DB

Dr. Parry was kind enough to give me a complete photocopy of his original copy of the Church's translation into Hebrew. It has almost the entire volume, but they skip a few chapters. I have asked about the legality of transcribing it and posting it somewhere, but no one was forthcoming with any information.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks Urroner.

One of the problems that critics have with these sorts of threads is a failure to recognize the implications of the post. These types of observations could never prove that the Book of Mormon is an authentic translation of an ancient source. There are simply far too many variables for an observation such as this to establish any sort of proof.

Unfortunately, by failing to accept the basic legitimacy of even a small observation that presents a favorable view of the Book of Mormonâ??s claims, many of those who claim to think critically in fact fail to process information at a critical level.

In other words, if a person defends a position that he or she maintains cannot under any circumstances be mistaken, how can the critic truly claim to think critically?

If a critic will not allow for the legitimacy of any evidence that negates his or her view that the Book of Mormon is not an ancient authentic account, how can the critic possibly claim to think critically, when he or she refuses to process critically his or her own disbelief in the Book of Mormon?

I have seen critics complain that church claims are not falsifiable. I don't know if there is a term that can be reversed. How is it that a critic can refuse to even consider that the church claim is true?

Share this post


Link to post

I think those who claim this is statistically insignificant need to put their money where their mouth is. Challenge: Find the same levels of hidden similarity between two thematically comparable books with no connection in their origin. Perhaps the Bhagavad-gita and Homer's Odyssey, for example. It'll be a fun exercise.

Thama, there are at least two problems with this reply. First off, I don't think it's established that there even is any level of hidden similarity besides the obvious and, IMHO, trivial fact that both refer to Adam, and then to humanity after him.

Secondly, how can you really argue that the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament have no connection in their origin? First off, from your point of view, the Book of Mormon is scripture written by folks who had the portion of the Old Testament we're concerned with in this thread in the form of the Brass Plates, so there is in fact a very direct connection between them, by your own theology. From my point of view, the Book of Mormon was written by a guy who had read the Old Testament, and included discussion of some of the same issues and topics. It would be like someone arguing that the Star Wars movies have "no connection" with Star Wars fan fiction, and thereby implying some kind of uncanny and inexplicable proof of inspiration when they both discuss the origin of Darth Vader, as if the fan fiction authors could not have known that.

Share this post


Link to post
I would actually be interested in reading what you view as the statistical probability that a book produced by a 19th century New England farmboy in the matter of a few short weeks that claims to have direct literary and cultural ties to the Hebrew Bible would preserve a complex literary pun featured in Genesis 1:27 in which the author discusses the singular expressions adam, ha-adam and then moves directly to a third person plural pronoun to denote all humanity in the context of a complex, albeit subtle poetic refrain.

Where is ha-adam in the Book of Mormon? It's not there. You put it there when you said, essentially, hey, if I were translating this into Hebrew I could render this in such a way as to be somewhat, kinda similar to the way it shows up in the Old Testament. You are inventing the parallel!

If I'm wrong, please demonstrate for us all how you know that Joseph Smith intended there to be a pun between the name "Adam" in the subject of the sentence, with the word "men" which follows.

In Nephi it says that Adam fell from the Garden of Eden so that he could father children and thus originate the human species, and then explains that the purpose for human existence is to have joy.

Genesis 1:27 says that mankind was made in the image of God, and that God created human beings as male and female.

How again are you saying that the statements in Nephi seem inspired in some way that Joseph couldn't have known by some hebrew word pattern in Genesis?

David, I must submit that this is weak. Very, very weak.

Share this post


Link to post

David,

I have a few questions.

  • Wouldn't using ha-adam as a subtle literary device likely be lost to Lehi as he took the text from Hebrew to Reformed Egyptian?
  • Genesis 1:27 represents one of earliest narrative repetitions of the Torah. Gen. 1:27 would have been authored by P the Priestly writer while it's corresponding match would be 2:7 by Y the Yahwist writer. This would mean that Lehi would have to know the P rewrite of the creation narrative. So Lehi's ability to access Gen. 1:27 is in part dependent on whether you choose the earlier or later dating for P. Do you personally date P to after the fall of the Northern Kingdom but before Babylonian exile?
  • If 2 Nephi 2:25 is somehow demonstrating familiarity of the Genesis narrative. Couldn't that influence be both ancient and modern?

Phaedrus

Share this post


Link to post

Where is ha-adam in the Book of Mormon? It's not there. You put it there when you said, essentially, hey, if I were translating this into Hebrew I could render this in such a way as to be somewhat, kinda similar to the way it shows up in the Old Testament. You are inventing the parallel!

Actually I shared the official church Hebrew translation of that verse from the Book of Mormon, and it does indeed include ha-adam. What other word should they have used for mankind?

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Seth,

Where is ha-adam in the Book of Mormon? It's not there. You put it there when you said, essentially, hey, if I were translating this into Hebrew I could render this in such a way as to be somewhat, kinda similar to the way it shows up in the Old Testament. You are inventing the parallel!

Hardly. I have somewhat of a small expertise in the Hebrew Bible and I explained how I would translate the verse with an example from the KJV of ha-adam rendered as â??menâ? and a justification from the foremost Hebrew lexicon.

Moreover, Maklelan provided the actual Hebrew produced by the Church in a preliminary never completed Hebrew translation of the Book of Mormon (which I do not have a copy of and did not check) where the translators do precisely what I suggested I would do, albeit without any identifiable recognition of the pun.

So Iâ??m in no way inventing the parallel.

If I'm wrong, please demonstrate for us all how you know that Joseph Smith intended there to be a pun between the name "Adam" in the subject of the sentence, with the word "men" which follows.

I donâ??t believe that Joseph Smith would have intended for a Hebrew pun to appear in the verse. Thatâ??s sort of the point.

How again are you saying that the statements in Nephi seem inspired in some way that Joseph couldn't have known by some Hebrew word pattern in Genesis?

The pun is there. To present a case for authorial intent, we need to supply a reason.

I suppose that by intentionally reflecting the poetic structure of manâ??s/humanityâ??s creation in Genesis 1:27, Lehi hoped to draw the attention of a learned audience familiar with the creation account in Genesis to what Lehi understood as the very purpose for humanityâ??s creation from the beginning, namely as an act designed to provide Godâ??s children with joy in its fullest sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×