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consiglieri

Yet Another Bull's-eye For The Book Of Mormon?

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Because we are talking about Hebrew/Egyptian words not English.

When I was in college I dated a Jewish girl. One time when I was visiting, her father sat down and taught me a little Hebrew. He wrote 4 letters (I think) on a paper and then pronounced the word 3 different ways to mean teacher, student, and learn. I think this is what the OP is referring to. A Semetic play on words would be using the same consonants but with different vowels to mean something similar or maybe even the opposite.

Marvin

Hey Marvin,

It's great speculation. But thats it.

There is no way to prove that the word the "pathah" had somehow made it into the Nephite language. There, by virtue, is also no way to corroborate that this was some play on words in the Nephtie/Hebrew/Reformed Egyptian language.

Respectfully,

Mudcat

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IF we can make "great and spacious building" = "great and abominable church," then what an AMAZING bull's-eye!

If we use actual terms rather than variables, it seems more impressive, I think.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I think you're on to something, Consig.

In 1 Nephi 22:14 we read that "that great whore, who hath [corrupted] the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it." There is an obvious similarity here to the "great and spacious building" in 1 Nephi 11:36 which also "fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great."

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Because we are talking about Hebrew/Egyptian words not English.

When I was in college I dated a Jewish girl. One time when I was visiting, her father sat down and taught me a little Hebrew. He wrote 4 letters (I think) on a paper and then pronounced the word 3 different ways to mean teacher, student, and learn. I think this is what the OP is referring to. A Semetic play on words would be using the same consonants but with different vowels to mean something similar or maybe even the opposite.

Marvin

Nobody is arguing that the Hebrew word pathah doesn't mean "great and spacious building" and "deceive/coerce", which is what I think you are arguing.

What I am saying is that neither word "deceive" nor "coerce" is found anywhere in the Tree of Life story. So I doubt that anyone was playing any word games with this Hebrew word.

I think you're on to something, Consig.

In 1 Nephi 22:14 we read that "that great whore, who hath [corrupted] the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it." There is an obvious similarity here to the "great and spacious building" in 1 Nephi 11:36 which also "fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great."

So when is the great and abominable church going to fall?

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In another thread, Zakuska has shown that the Hebrew word "pathah" is translated as being "spacious, open, or wide," in addition to its translation as "to entice or deceive."

Is this a coincidence in the Book of Mormon that the people who are "deceived" by the mists of darkness go into a "great and spacious building," from which they seek to "deceive" and "entice" other believers away from the Tree of Life?

In other words, is this a nice play on words in the Book of Mormon text that would be noticeable only to one who spoke Hebrew?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

__________________

Zakuska's Post:

I would need to at least see the following before I would agree that we have a legitimate 'bulls-eye' here:

1) Linguistic correlation: How much do we even know about this little word play? Is this one that works in Hebrew? If this passage could correctly be translated into Hebrew as you suggest and was read by a person literate in Hebrew, would they recognize the wordplay? (Sometimes such things fall terribly flat, you know?) Finally (and most importantly), even if the wordplay works in modern Hebrew, would it have worked in the iteration of Hebrew spoken in pre-diaspora Jerusalem 2600+ years ago?

2) Pattern of use: A book the size of the BofM would presents almost innumerable potential word play. Because of this, finding a random example or even a few random examples is not particularly impressive. In other words, hold down the trigger to that machine gun long enough and yeah, you will eventually do get a bulls-eye. What would need to be shown is that the word plays are frequent and are done in a style that would be unlikely to occur merely by happenstance--a pattern of use.

After showing the above, you might be justified to begin talking of bulls-eyes. Until then, all you have are amusing coincidences.

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Given the extent to which the great and spacious building has become a Mormon catchphrase, it's not surprising that this stands out to you. But is it equally significant that the field where the tree of life sits is also said to be spacious? Twice? See vv. 9,20.

Two other things are worth mentioning. One is that Lucy Mack Smith's telling of her husband's dream twice uses the word spacious to describe the building. Although it's impossible to know the extent to which her husband's dream influenced the BoM rather than the other way around (since she's writing this long after the BoM was published), it at least raises some questions. The other thing to notice is that this passage fits quite well with the anticlericalism of Joseph Sr. and of 19th century grassroots American culture. The juxtaposition of a spacious church building and fine dress very nicely recalls things like Catholic cathedrals, implicitly condemned a mere five chapters later when we read about the founding of the great and abominable church by the devil. In the Nephite context a spacious place of worship seems like it would be more likely to recall the replica of Solomon's temple built by Nephi, in which they worshipped in a civilized way while the animal-skin clad Lamanites ran around in the forest gorging themselves on things like fruits and berries.

Best,

-Chris

And here I thought the Lamanites where the Nephites boogy mans... who gorged themselves on Naughty Nephite Children.

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Why don't you try to answer that question for yourself, without the attitude. Start by referring to the written language of the the Book of Mormon correctly, i.e. reformed Egyptian, not Reformed Egyptian. Good luck.

I wonder where in my questions you detected attitude, or why you assume that I have never tried to think of answer for myself. Do you have evidence that I have never thought about the answer, or do you just embrace this as a natural assumption in light of your own prejudices, i.e. attitude? As it happens, I have already had a lengthy and engaging conversation with consiglieri about the subject that I am asking him about on an overal good thread that you can read here: http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=28359 I explain the main principles of my position in posts 102 and 108 on page 6 of the thread.

Since consiglieri already understands much of my thinking about the hermeneutical problems that the unknown character of reformed egyptian poses for Book of Mormon studies, I did not feel any need to explain myself at length in my earlier post.

Just as Yiddish is Hebrew written in a Germanic alphabet (with lots of borrowed words, naturally), so might reformed Egyptian be Hebrew written in one of the simplified Egyptian scripts. In any case, Hebrew was the first language of the Lehites, so their language structure, idioms, etc., their "accent", if you will, would still have come through.

That is conceivable but unlikely. Reformed Egyptian script was shorter in length than Hebrew, and so would almost certainly have been a hieroglyphic script. Hebrew is a very short script itself because it has no vowels and only consonant are written. If reformed Egyptian takes less space on a plate than Hebrew, it would have to have an even denser alphabet, which, since the language comes from Egypt, is probably not phonetic but heiroglyphic. Yet hieroglyphs do not represent more than one spoken language. You canâ??t spell Hebrew words with Egyptian pictures. All you can do is represent Egyptian words, unless you assume there is verbal equivalence between Hebrew and Egyptian, which there isnâ??t.

I'm not a linguist, but here is my two cents worth.

It was the written language that was "reformed egytian". So they borrowed a writing system form egypt, and modified it for their own language.

Japan borrowed it's writing system from the Chinese and modified it for their own language. The kanji characters have very similar if not identical meanings, but are pronounced differently at times. Now the Japanese language is not at all similar to the Chinese language so it had to be modified to make it work. Japan has an alphabet that it uses in conjunction with the kanji characters, to conjugate verbs, add grammar etc., which China does not have. A lot of words in Japanese have the same root meaning and can retain the same pronounciation for that particular kanji character.

So in a sense, Japanese could be said to be "reformed Chinese", and knowing the root word in Chinese would help to understand the Japanese version of the word.

This is a feasible theory, but it does not solve the basic problem, which is that reformed Egyptian is unknown. The scenario you are describing requires us to fill in the gaps with a lot of speculation that there is no evidence to support. It is a principle of logic that a cuonclusion drawn from premises cannot have more certainty than the premises it is based on. Thus scientifically demonstrable premises yield scientific conclusion. Likely but doubtful premises yield likely but downfull conclusion, and purely speculative premises yield purrely speculative conclusion. Now speculative ideas have value, but their value is not evidenitary. You can base a theory on a speculation, but you cannot base an argument on one. Since consiglieri's claim of a "bull's eye" for the book of Mormon is the topic of this thread, what matters is the evidenitary value of the premises invovled in the conclusion. For this reason, speculative premises don't count.

The large plates were written in Reformed Egyptian.

The Book of Mormon is unclear what the small plates were written in.

This makes my case all the stronger. If you donâ??t know what language you are working through, you canâ??t draw conclusions based on any assumption about that language. You can speculate, but speculative premises can yield only speculative answers, which therefore have no evidentiary value, although they may be worthwhile theories.

By the same theoretical process through which scholars detect Semitic (aramaic) puns and paranomasia in the Greek of the New Testament.

This is not true. The relation of the Old and New Testament does not involve the intermediary of an unknown language, but rather turns upon the known languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek that coexisted and interacted with one another in the Hebrew world. Translational witnesses like the Septuagint help draw a clearer picture of what words in Greek represented particular Hebrew words, so scholars are neither working in a historical vacuum nor positing a unknown as a middle term in their logic. This makes a tremendous theoretical difference.

Well, Nephi writes that he is writing in the language of his fathers, which consisted of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. So, I'm assuming that is the beginning of the reformed Egyptian that Mormon later identifies as the script he is using, though I assume as well that the written language went through some radical transformations over the course of 1.000 years. But you make a good point. Nephi, who would have been much closer to a knowledge of Hebrew than Mormon, never calls his script reformed Egyptian.

(I was kind of hopen soren would be able to see these things on his own.)

I notice that you write â??So, Iâ??m assuming.â? On what basis other than your own free decision you assume so? Do you have any evidentiary basis for this? If you do not, you can draw no evidentiary conclusions from the premise. This is not to say that this account is necessarily false. I cannot disprove any particular thesis about reformed Egyptian nor can I positively prove any. Only shades of relatively reasonable guesswork are possible. And that does not amount to evidence.

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Zak and Consig were trying to draw a bulls-eye because those words were all used in the tree of life scenario.

Did they say that those words were there?

You can't have a subjective interpretation of something, reading text that isn't there, and then say that it's a bulls-eye because we have interpreted it this way and a Hebrew word means something similar to what we've interpreted.

So meaning doesn't equal meaning unless certain words that you approve of are there? What if deception was there, but not deceive? What if mislead was there insted of deceive? Are you trying to say there is no relationship between mislead and deceive? Are you saying that the common LDS "interpretation" (or accepted meaning of the text) of what is going on in the text is not justified? Yes or No?

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That is conceivable but unlikely. Reformed Egyptian script was shorter in length than Hebrew, and so would almost certainly have been a hieroglyphic script. Hebrew is a very short script itself because it has no vowels and only consonant are written. If reformed Egyptian takes less space on a plate than Hebrew, it would have to have an even denser alphabet, which, since the language comes from Egypt, is probably not phonetic but heiroglyphic. Yet hieroglyphs do not represent more than one spoken language. You canâ??t spell Hebrew words with Egyptian pictures. All you can do is represent Egyptian words, unless you assume there is verbal equivalence between Hebrew and Egyptian, which there isnâ??t.

Sorry, but this is simply nonsense. There are numerous consonantal signs in hieroglyphics, including biliteral and triliteral signs--that is, characters representing clusters of two or three consonants. Furthermore, Egyptians were perfectly capable of writing foreign words and proper names in hieroglyphics--there are numerous examples, including the names Jerusalem and Israel.

Finally, it is crucial to keep in mind the distinction between script and language. Reformed Egyptian is a script (set of written symbols). In principle, any script can be used to write any language. See, for example, Psalm 20 written in Egyptian script:

Charles F. Nims, Richard C. Steiner "A Paganized Version of Psalm 20:2-6 from the Aramaic Text in Demotic Script" Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 103, No. 1, (Jan. - Mar., 1983), pp. 261-274.

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What Bill said!

I had hoped that before Mssr. Hamblin was done posting, he would give us his evaluation of the merits of the argument about "spacious" and "deceiving" or "enticing."

Drat!

Perhaps he will return and so favor us.

Anxiously anticipating,

--Consiglieri

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Hi Consig,

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on post #46 above. In particular, what do you make of the fact that the field containing the tree of life is also twice called deceitful...er...spacious?

-Chris

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Hi Consig,

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on post #46 above. In particular, what do you make of the fact that the field containing the tree of life is also twice called deceitful...er...spacious?

-Chris

I think that your astute catch of the adjective "spacious" as describing the field detracts from its evidentiary value as a "bull's-eye" for the Book of Mormon with relation to the "great and spacious building."

From a different angle, and presuming the divinity of the vision (which I understand you do not), the use of the term "spacious" to describe the field may give us an insight into that under-described and little-commented-on aspect of Lehi's dream.

My reading is that the field is not to be associated with the tree of life per se, but that it is the place ("as if it had been a world") from which people make the choice to either embark on the straight and narrow path leading to the tree, or head over to the great and spacious building.

Or perhaps there are many in the field who opt for neither the tree nor the building. It is a bit unclear on this point.

From this point of view, the field ("world") may be seen to be as deceptive as the building.

The world is too much with us, late and soon.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Korean can be written using Chinese characters and it would be a little more compact that using the Korean alphabet to spell ou the words. Yet a Korean read it aloud would say Korean words that sound nothing like Chinese, would be unintellibable to a Chinese person, and though the Chinese person would recognize the written characters, they wouldn't be in the right order to make sense to him.

Could Reformed Egyptian be written using standard Egyptian symbols, or were they wholly different?

Also under what Dynasty was Reformed Egyptian used? Has any archeologist found any stellas with Reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics or text?

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Could Reformed Egyptian be written using standard Egyptian symbols, or were they wholly different?

Also under what Dynasty was Reformed Egyptian used? Has any archeologist found any stellas with Reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics or text?

Is this a joke?

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Is this a joke?

Absolutely Not Life Off the Plate! However the same symbols could not have been used (pardon my question), because there would be no way to know it was Reformed! Lol!

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