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On a previous thread the idea of finding NHM inscriptions in the Arabian Peninsula is thought to be "not impressive" to one poster here. That thread lead into the idea of "wordplay" found within the Book of Mormon and in the context of it being used to relate the "place which was called Nahom" and NHM. NHM is an ancient Hebrew root word and one thing it does mean is "mourning". NHM discovered in the Arabian Peninsula is "the largest cemetery in the area" and therefore mourning, as one may imagine, would have been common in that place. Therefore, when Nephi, on educated in ancient Hebrew saw his sister-in-laws mourning at Nahom he included that detail within the Book of Mormon narrative and its existence is a very plausible spot to identify as an onomastic wordplay. By that I mean using proper names to relate to connected meanings of events.
Before continuing, a big shout out to calm and Rev. Testament on this board for guiding me through the process of removing format on this forum so that when I cite portions of published works it remains compatible to the software this forum uses. I had previously attempted to cite Mathew (Matt as I know him on facebook) Bowen on the other thread only to have my posts deleted as soon as I clicked on "submit reply".
I choose Bowen here for a few reasons. First, he is highly qualified to look for and present wordplays from ancient Hebrew and Egyptian literature. His academic resume at Mormon Interpreter reads, "Matthew L. Bowen was raised in Orem, Utah and graduated from Brigham Young University. He holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and is currently an Assistant Professor in Religious Education at Brigham Young University-Hawaii." on facebook this includes Egyptology at the Catholic University. Facebook also shows he is learned in Latin, Spanish, and Hebrew.
Second, I choose Bowen because I am very interested in linguistics. I am hardly an expert but I enjoy reading into it and I have thoroughly enjoyed Bowens essays which identifies wordplays in the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
Third, from my interaction with him on facebook he seems to be a very decent and pleasant person to associate with. He's a scholar and excellent family man (married with children).
I will preset three essays from Bowen which identify wordplay situations in the Book of Mormon which reiterate specific doctrine with proper names used. They represent solid research and follow sound scholastic standards.
in his essay, “O Ye Fair Ones” — Revisited, Bowen demonstrate how Nephi and Mormon use the meaning of Nephi to describe his people the Nephites.
Nephi's identity as being "good" and 'fair" extended to his people the Nephites. Before their divine destruction Mormon, as Bowen outlines, laments:
"O ye fair ones", and "O ye fair sons and daughters..." are definite references from Mormon to the Nephi people. Nephi, being likely derived from the Egyptian nfr, according to Bowen, "indisputably" means good, fair, beautiful, kindness, goodness, etc, to find those characteristics used to describe the Nephites is of no coincidence. Nephi, learned "in the language of the Egyptians", would make that word connection to describe his people who were "favored of the Lord". apparently this was carried throughout their common history as Mormon even used that wordplay to lament their spiritual downfall.
Father Is a Man: The Remarkable Mention of the Name Abish in Alma 19:16 and Its Narrative Context is another essay Bowen wrote which demonstrates an onomastic wordplay by the Book of Mormon presenting ot its readers with the rare moment of mentioning a female by name. As Bowen writes:
Bowen points to the use of the Hebrew ab as "father":
With Abish we read the following:
During the conversion of King Lamoni we read, "12 And it came to pass that he arose, according to the words of Ammon; and as he arose, he stretched forth his hand unto the woman, and said: Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou.13 For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit." (Alma 19).
"God" to the Nephites at the time Abish came onto the scene was known as the Father of Heaven and earth. (Alma 18:5; I Nephi 11:21 original manuscript reads, "& the angel said unto me behold the lam of god yea even the eternal father knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw"). This is God to be "born of a woman" according to King Lamoni. Abish meaning "father is a man" fits perfectly into the content of the conversion of King Lamoni and his house. Therefore, Abish is specifically mentioned in Alma 19 despite a female servant almost never being mentioned in any ancient scripture.
The third and final essay I'll present here is called Place of Crushing: The Literary Function of Heshlon in Ether 13:25-31.
Bowen later points out that it was at the place called Heshlon which the Jaredites destroyed ("crushed, subdued, broke into pieces") each other through civil war that their society never did fully recuperate.
Robert F. Smith in the previous NHM thread simply explained that scholars look into wordplay when events "occur in proximity to a possible occasion for wordplay". All three essays and the several others Bowen wrote at Mormon Interpreter, the Hebrew and/or Egyptian meaning of a proper name is approximately close to an event related to that etymological meaning. These are wordplays. Very easy to identify and very easily supported as wordplays within the Book of Mormon text.
Today's Press Release:
All kidding aside, if you haven't seen it yet, get out there and go see Moana.... It's phenomenal!
And despite my lame attempt at humor, I smiled at how I caught myself thinking how many of the images of the film reminded me of elements of The Book of Mormon, The Testaments movie, etc. Especially the headdresses, clothes, ships, and other artifacts depicted when showing Moana's sea-faring ancestors. Funny how our culture influences how we can see the world!
I perked up at this:
Nice to see an apostle quoting Bokovoy! Also nice to see the Book of Mormon getting some recognition.
I was recently having a discussion with my sister (who is an active member of the church) and we discussed the BoM. I let her know that I think the BoM contains some inspiring, faith-promoting verses; however, I consider it to be a fiction. She was visibly upset and said I can't be a faithful member without accepting that it actually took place. This made me think:
- Can you be an active, faithful member in the church and still believe the BoM is a fictional book?
- For those who consider the BoM to be fiction, how do you reconcile Moroni and other vital characters/individuals who participated in the restoration narrative?
I'm generally interested to read your opinions about this subject.
I love The Book of Mormon and to me it is an absolutely beautiful book. I love the things that it teaches and it is always amazing to read. However, my testimony in it has been wavering in it for a while with a lot of doubts. For me one of the most difficult things concerning the historicity of The Book of Mormon is the belief that the people in it have of Christ. In the Bible nobody knows about the coming of a savior that will Atone for their sins. They don't really have a belief in an Atoning Messiah or in the Atonement in the time period of the Old Testament. But in the Book of Mormon they do. Can somebody help me with how they have worked through that issue?