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Nofear

Your Book Of Mormon Theory

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A commenter in the National Geographic thread wrote:

The discovering has all been done, the BOM is false. If we have learned anything on these boards we have certainly learned that.
Haven't been around enough to know what level of facetiousness was involved, but it's an interesting statement nonetheless.

I'm curious how various posters here "explain" the Book of Mormon? How was it done?

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A commenter in the National Geographic thread wrote:

Haven't been around enough to know what level of facetiousness was involved, but it's an interesting statement nonetheless.

I'm curious how various posters here "explain" the Book of Mormon? How was it done?

I may not be well traveled but last time I checked, there wasn't evidence of a large flood. Where are they on that one?

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Reminds me of Al Gore, "The debate is over."

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I'm curious how various posters here "explain" the Book of Mormon? How was it done?

For a survey and general critical evaluation of the various major theories, see my editor's introduction, "'In the Hope That Something Will Stick': Changing Explanations for the Book of Mormon," in FARMS Review 16/2 (2004):

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=544

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Hi

there is proof of a flood in the area where Noah lived, but only there. the OT is interesting because not only were there people only in the millions then, but the world as it was known was small. Noah's world did flood. Obviously the whole world didn't, but his did, and what may account for the misconception are all of the translations.

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I'm curious how various posters here "explain" the Book of Mormon? How was it done?

Don't get me going!

Uncle "trust me, you will not want to hear -- let's talk about something else instead" Dale

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Honestly, I don't know how the BoM was created. Does that mean it couldn't be created? Absolutely not.

Just because I can't do it doesn't mean JS couldn't do it. I also can't write a symphony as good as Bach, or chisel a sculpture as good as Michelangelo. Some people are vastly more talented...so much more talented that we can't even comprehend how they do it. This is why I think "the challenge" for any of us to write something like the BoM is ridiculous.

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I think Archaeologists have not dug up all of North and South America yet looking for material remains of past civilizations and cultures. I am standing fast in my testimony that Jesus is the Christ-that is what the whole thing is about. Rather then have the text enlighten archaeology we can have the remains enlighten the text-so if stuff comes in then gret if not we still have the text.

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For a survey and general critical evaluation of the various major theories, see my editor's introduction, "'In the Hope That Something Will Stick': Changing Explanations for the Book of Mormon," in FARMS Review 16/2 (2004):

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=544

I enjoyed the article, thanks for posting it.

Hope others will read it too. Maybe it'll give the nay-sayers an idea to use instead of the, "I don't know how the magic trick was done, but I know it was a magic trick," kind of response. After all, they tend to find that kind of response unacceptable from believing members.

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I think Archaeologists have not dug up all of North and South America yet looking for material remains of past civilizations and cultures. I am standing fast in my testimony that Jesus is the Christ-that is what the whole thing is about. Rather then have the text enlighten archaeology we can have the remains enlighten the text-so if stuff comes in then gret if not we still have the text.

I don't want to convert you to any particular religion, but is your belief that 'Jesus is the Christ' dependent on the truth of the Book of Mormon, as you seem to suggest it is, in the sense that if you lost belief in the BoM you would lose belief in Jesus as the Christ? Or have I misunderstood you?

I mean, the vast majority of people in the world who believe that 'Jesus is the Christ' do not believe in the Book of Mormon, and most of them have never heard of that work (I am not trying to be rude here, but rather stating what I hope is an uncontroversial fact).

Just to avoid misleading you as to the basis of my question I am not, by the way, a Christian believer myself,

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Honestly, I don't know how the BoM was created. Does that mean it couldn't be created? Absolutely not.

Just because I can't do it doesn't mean JS couldn't do it. I also can't write a symphony as good as Bach, or chisel a sculpture as good as Michelangelo. Some people are vastly more talented...so much more talented that we can't even comprehend how they do it. This is why I think "the challenge" for any of us to write something like the BoM is ridiculous.

It isn't ridiculous. Perhaps you think it's ridiculous because you (or anyone else) are unable to do it. Symphonies and sculptures are not unique in their quality and ability to inspire. The Book of Mormon is unlike any book ever written. No one has ever been able to come close to producing anything at all like it, unlike the numerous works of genius in music and art.

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Honestly, I don't know how the BoM was created. Does that mean it couldn't be created? Absolutely not.

Just because I can't do it doesn't mean JS couldn't do it. I also can't write a symphony as good as Bach, or chisel a sculpture as good as Michelangelo. Some people are vastly more talented...so much more talented that we can't even comprehend how they do it. This is why I think "the challenge" for any of us to write something like the BoM is ridiculous.

Any theory of the production of the BOM must answer the question: "Were the witnesses dupes or co-conspirators." We have at least eleven eyewitnesses in addition to JS.

You must also explain the "translating with his face in hat." What exactly was in that hat? Was he reading from a manuscript? If so, was there a candle in the hat, or a window?

"JS wrote it" is only the beginning of the dialogue.

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I'd say it was translated by Joseph Smith Jr. through the gift and power of God from an ancient record upon plates that had the appearance of gold in the late 1820s.

Nice article, Dan, I'll check it out. I found one of your irreverently discarded volumes on reviews of books about the Book of Mormon at the DI and picked it up for 3 bucks. To be honest, I thought the price was a bit steep, but, hey, it was in good shape, anyway.

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I mean, the vast majority of people in the world who believe that 'Jesus is the Christ' do not believe in the Book of Mormon, and most of them have never heard of that work (I am not trying to be rude here, but rather stating what I hope is an uncontroversial fact).

Just to avoid misleading you as to the basis of my question I am not, by the way, a Christian believer myself,

The truth of the matter is people have faith in Christ, but faith in him doesn't mean they comprehend or know all about Him. Perhaps the question isn't so much that people believe in Christ; but rather what people believe about Christ. I'm not trying to nitpick, I just think it;s important to clarify the issue.

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I found one of your irreverently discarded volumes on reviews of books about the Book of Mormon at the DI and picked it up for 3 bucks. To be honest, I thought the price was a bit steep, but, hey, it was in good shape, anyway.

Astonishing.

Occasionally, somebody picks up a Rembrandt sketch or a Mozart score at a yard sale, too.

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Any theory of the production of the BOM must answer the question: "Were the witnesses dupes or co-conspirators." We have at least eleven eyewitnesses in addition to JS.

Twelve, if you count Mother Whitmer -- but women were not considered the best "witnesses"

back in the 1820s, so her testimony evidently never got written down.

Are there only two choices here:

1. first witness/believers were dupes

2. first witness/believers were co-conspirators

?????

In the Hebrew Bible we read of a "book" discovered in the Jerusalem Temple during repairs

being made there -- a holy book of God's commandments -- a book brought to a prophetess

and pronounced authentic -- a book that evidently comprises at least part of Deuteronomy.

Must we say the same thing in regard to the finders, proponents, and witness to THAT book

as well? -- that is, its preceived truth or untruth rests upon the credibility of the witnesses?

If we were to take THAT stance, then we would also have to cast overboard about 90% of

the reputable scholarship regarding the text of the Torah, authorship of the Deuteronomic

history, and perhaps even the assertions of Jeremiah.

Are those the only choices:

1. dupes ???

2. co-conspirators ???

or, might there be a third explanation:

3. ____________ (fill in the blank)

UD

.

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I don't want to convert you to any particular religion, but is your belief that 'Jesus is the Christ' dependent on the truth of the Book of Mormon, as you seem to suggest it is, in the sense that if you lost belief in the BoM you would lose belief in Jesus as the Christ? Or have I misunderstood you?

JNclone, I don't want to convert you to any particular religion, but is your belief that 'Jesus is the Christ' dependent on the truth of the Bible, as you seem to suggest it is, in the sense that if you lost belief in the Bible you would lose belief in Jesus as the Christ? Or have I misunderstood you?

T-Shirt

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Any theory of the production of the BOM must answer the question: "Were the witnesses dupes or co-conspirators." We have at least eleven eyewitnesses in addition to JS.

You must also explain the "translating with his face in hat." What exactly was in that hat? Was he reading from a manuscript? If so, was there a candle in the hat, or a window?

"JS wrote it" is only the beginning of the dialogue.

On point one, why must we choose. The best cons, often involve a shill.

On point two, why must we assume that what was dictated from the hat while vistors witnessed this amazing feat, was part of the manuscript submitted to the publisher.

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It isn't ridiculous. Perhaps you think it's ridiculous because you (or anyone else) are unable to do it. Symphonies and sculptures are not unique in their quality and ability to inspire. The Book of Mormon is unlike any book ever written. No one has ever been able to come close to producing anything at all like it, unlike the numerous works of genius in music and art.

First of all, this strikes me as a completely subjective standard. How "close" does one have to be, and in what way(s), in order to compete with the Book of Mormon? Also, doesn't the Quran have a similar challenge? Wasn't the Urantia book also dictated in similar fashion? I would also submit that no one has been able to rival the works of Thomas Aquinas in terms of complexity and breadth, and he often dictated more than one book in one sitting, just off the top of his head, sometimes in different languages. He'd say a paragraph to one scribe, then while that was getting written he'd move on to the next, speak a paragraph on a different subject in a different language, then go on to another scribe for a third topic, and so on.

I think the "Book of Mormon challenge" depends more on one's prior beliefs regarding the BoM, and not on any objective mark. Just my opinion on the matter.

Take care, everyone :P

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On point one, why must we choose. The best cons, often involve a shill.

Because, in order for anyone else to take your position seriously, you must make at least a pretense of a feint in the direction of supporting evidence and analysis, rather than simply dismissing all the facts that work against your view.

On point two, why must we assume that what was dictated from the hat while vistors witnessed this amazing feat, was part of the manuscript submitted to the publisher.

Because the evidence clearly and unanimously points that way.

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Because, in order for anyone else to take your position seriously, you must make at least a pretense of a feint in the direction of supporting evidence and analysis, rather than simply dismissing all the facts that work against your view.

I didn't take a position. I simply asked why one is compelled to argue that all 11 witnesses were either all conspirators or all dupes.

That seems rather arbitrary to me.

Because the evidence clearly and unanimously points that way.

Then can you explain how portions of the KJV managed to find its way into the manuscript. If you accept the premise that some portions of the manuscript, were not dictated from the bottom of the hat, ie the part that was plagiarized from the KJV Bible, then perhaps you have overstated the evidence.

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I simply asked why one is compelled to argue that all 11 witnesses with either conspirators or all dupes.

It's fine if you want to try to mix and match. But anybody who tries to do that will, again, have to make at least a nod in the direction of the concept of evidence.

Then can you explain how portions of the KJV managed to find its way into the manuscript. If you accept the premise that some portions of the manuscript, were not dictated from the bottom of the hat, ie the part that was plagiarized from the KJV Bible, then perhaps you have overstated the evidence.

The witnesses to the process are unanimous that there was no other manuscript and no Bible in the room during the translation process. I'm aware of no exception made for, say, the Isaiah portions of 2 Nephi.

If that is true, skeptics have a problem. Believers don't, though, since we believe in revelation.

Incidentally, it's scarcely "plagiarism" to quote from something while saying that you're quoting from something and identifying the source. When the Book of Mormon quotes those extensive passages from Isaiah, and a lengthy passage from Malachi, it announces that it's quoting from Isaiah and Malachi. That's no more plagiarism than it is to quote from another source in a term paper or a scholarly article.

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Because the evidence clearly and unanimously points that way.

You may wish to replace "unanimously" with "overwhelmingly," in your sentence, Doc.

And, yes, the subtle distinction may indeed be an important one.

Perhaps you have not been following one of Vogel's threads on this very topic, over at

that "other" MB. But, while that "other" Dan has well stated the Skousen evidence, there

were also some interesting counter-arguments in a few cases * ---

I doubt that all interested parties here are quite ready to throw in the towel and

agree with Vogel, that each and every word in the O-MS simply had to be dictated.

Uncle "* some of which are worthy of some eventual consideration in FR, mayhap" Dale

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I don't want to convert you to any particular religion, but is your belief that 'Jesus is the Christ' dependent on the truth of the Book of Mormon, as you seem to suggest it is, in the sense that if you lost belief in the BoM you would lose belief in Jesus as the Christ? Or have I misunderstood you?

I mean, the vast majority of people in the world who believe that 'Jesus is the Christ' do not believe in the Book of Mormon, and most of them have never heard of that work (I am not trying to be rude here, but rather stating what I hope is an uncontroversial fact).

Just to avoid misleading you as to the basis of my question I am not, by the way, a Christian believer myself,

My testimony of Jesus being the Christ is dependant on the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon is a means unto an end and helps me understand what being Christ means. To me and I understand if others don't believe but the Book of Mormon is a witness of Jesus being the Christ but the Holy Ghost is the revelator of it to me. I speak better in person I swear!

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The witnesses to the process are unanimous that there was no other manuscript and no Bible in the room during the translation process. I'm aware of no exception made for, say, the Isaiah portions of 2 Nephi.

If that is true, skeptics have a problem. Believers don't, though, since we believe in revelation.

I don't follow. How is the fact that JS was able to conceal his use of the KJV from the witnesses, a problem for skeptics.

And how does your belief in revelation explain the translation errors in the KJV finding their way into the BOM?

Incidentally, it's scarcely "plagiarism" to quote from something while saying that you're quoting from something and identifying the source. When the Book of Mormon quotes those extensive passages from Isaiah, and a lengthy passage from Malachi, it announces that it's quoting from Isaiah and Malachi. That's no more plagiarism than it is to quote from another source in a term paper or a scholarly article.

Sorry, doesn't fly. JS was not quoting passages from Isaiah, he was purportedly TRANSLATING those passages into English, and did so without attribution.

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