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Skousen & Carmack Lecture Take Aways

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36 minutes ago, JarMan said:

The ethical systems I'm comparing are the ethics of war. So things like sexual behavior are not part of my analysis. I think I should try to explain Grotius' system a little better. He lived in a time of tremendous religious strife and religious warfare. Heretics were being burned at the stake and most of Europe was being ravaged by war. The subtext to all of this strife was religious disagreement (though of course there were other political considerations, as well). Grotius wanted to develop a code of conduct in war that everybody could agree to. By identifying "natural law" principles he felt they could be universally accepted--even by those who didn't believe in God. His starting point was that man had an inherent right--a "natural right"-- to defend himself. He may have personally believed this right was from God. But to allow this to be a universal right accepted even by non-believers, he didn't appeal to the divine in order to identify self defense as a natural right. The second principle was the social nature of man. Man was this way by nature. Whether he personally believed God had created man that way or not is beside the point. He simply stated that man was naturally in that state as a principle that he hoped could be universally accepted by both religious and non-religious people.

This second principle is important for a couple of reasons. It implies that people will organize themselves into groups for their own mutual benefit--governments, if you will--and that there are thus different ways (some better than others) to accomplish this. Also, people will need to depend on others to help them with the first principle, which is self defense since one person can't effectively do that job on his own. This becomes the foundation of what later thinkers would call social contract theory. By organizing into societies for mutual benefits, particularly self defense, you owe something to that society. You can't simply free-ride on the benefits without contributing anything yourself.

An example of this theory applied in Grotius' life is the case of the Anabaptists (whose modern theological descendants include the Mennonites and Amish). Grotius was an admirer of the Anabaptists who he felt were the most Christian people he knew. However, he strongly disagreed with their pacifist views. It sort of broke his heart to be in such strong disagreement with them over this issue. He respected their own personal choice in choosing not to fight but felt pacifism was not a principle that all Christians should adopt. As a compromise he believed that Anabaptists could exist within the larger Christian community as long as they agreed to pay for the costs of their protection. We see these exact principles reflected in the Book of Mormon with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They are revered as examples of righteousness. But they also have to pay for the protections provided by the Nephites. This is one of the many examples where Grotius' natural law theory shines through in the Book of Mormon.

That is an interesting parallel with the Anabaptists and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.  You may be using this as evidence that the BoM is a modern book, but I am not arguing for or against that view.  I am arguing against the idea of a natural ethic that we can reasonably use to identify "true" principles consistent with God's will, as you said here:

Quote

Grotius’ view of ethics was that ethical behavior could be derived from a few basic principles, even if God didn’t exist. He reasoned that God’s will would be consistent with this view since God is both rational and good. So man isn’t judging God. He’s simply using reason to identify true principles consistent with God’s will. 

There simply is no rational foundation for which to judge God's morals, and there seem to be exceptions to just about every moral.  There aren't absolutes, it is more situational. 

2 hours ago, JarMan said:

If Abinadi is to be believed, "God himself" came down in "the form of man" (Mosiah 13:34). This was the heresy charge that led to him being burned at the stake (Mosiah 17:7-8). So God didn't sacrifice his son. He sacrificed himself. Self sacrifice can be a moral act.

You are not a trinitarian are you?  You do accept that Christ had a Father who sent his Son to be sacrificed of man, right?  That is the position of our church as stated in John 3:5.  That is the whole symbol of Abraham and Isaach.  It was not Christ's will to drink the bitter cup, after all he asked for it to be passed from him. He was only doing His Father's will in being sacrificed. 

It becomes very easy to give examples of exceptions where human sacrifice might be considered a moral/ethical act.  For example, would it be ethical in God's eyes to sacrifice one person to save 100? 1,000? 1,000,000?  Likewise, Christ's sacrifice became ethical to save ALL men. A similar justification was used with Laban - "it is better that one man perish than a whole nation dwindle and perish in unbelief."  

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

That is an interesting parallel with the Anabaptists and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.  You may be using this as evidence that the BoM is a modern book, but I am not arguing for or against that view.  I am arguing against the idea of a natural ethic that we can reasonably use to identify "true" principles consistent with God's will, as you said here:

There simply is no rational foundation for which to judge God's morals, and there seem to be exceptions to just about every moral.  There aren't absolutes, it is more situational. 

You are not a trinitarian are you?  You do accept that Christ had a Father who sent his Son to be sacrificed of man, right?  That is the position of our church as stated in John 3:5.  That is the whole symbol of Abraham and Isaach.  It was not Christ's will to drink the bitter cup, after all he asked for it to be passed from him. He was only doing His Father's will in being sacrificed. 

It becomes very easy to give examples of exceptions where human sacrifice might be considered a moral/ethical act.  For example, would it be ethical in God's eyes to sacrifice one person to save 100? 1,000? 1,000,000?  Likewise, Christ's sacrifice became ethical to save ALL men. A similar justification was used with Laban - "it is better that one man perish than a whole nation dwindle and perish in unbelief."  

It looks like each of us is participating in this thread for different reasons. I'm participating to support the idea that the Book of Mormon has an early modern origin. I've identified Hugo Grotius as potentially being the early modern author. I was discussing his theory of ethical warfare and how I believe it to be reflected in the Book of Mormon. So for this discussion I'm not that interested in debating the merits of Grotius' ethical system or trinitarianism per se. I'm more interested in discussing the evidence for my theory and other matters that hearken to the original subject of the thread. If you are interested in discussing ethics, perhaps you should start a new thread on the subject.

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On 10/26/2018 at 3:02 AM, JarMan said:

@champatsch Have you done an analysis of "visit your destruction" in Helaman 13:10? Skousen lists this phrase as one that doesn't occur in EModE. A Latin to English translation (as I propose) offers a possible explanation for this. The Latin word visent means "(they) will/shall visit", but it also means "(they) will/shall see". I propose the original Latin text used visent to mean "(they) shall see" (which in the context of the verse makes perfect sense) but the translator unconventionally rendered it "(they) shall visit". Perhaps the translator had the end in mind where the Lamanites bring about the total defeat of the Nephites.

See NOL 523–533 for a discussion.  Job 31:14 has an interesting absolute usage of visit ("What then shall I do, when God riseth vp? and when hee visiteth, what shall I answere him?"), corresponding to the Oxford English Dictionary's obsolete definition 2 = 'to come to (persons) in order to observe or examine conduct or disposition'. In the Book of Mormon case there is likewise no personal object. The definition fits if we allow a non-personal object ("your destruction") with a personal object understood. This encapsulates a notion of seeing (observing in the OED definition) which naturally occurs with the visit.

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On 11/21/2018 at 12:03 PM, champatsch said:

See NOL 523–533 for a discussion.  Job 31:14 has an interesting absolute usage of visit ("What then shall I do, when God riseth vp? and when hee visiteth, what shall I answere him?"), corresponding to the Oxford English Dictionary's obsolete definition 2 = 'to come to (persons) in order to observe or examine conduct or disposition'. In the Book of Mormon case there is likewise no personal object. The definition fits if we allow a non-personal object ("your destruction") with a personal object understood. This encapsulates a notion of seeing (observing in the OED definition) which naturally occurs with the visit.

The obsolete definition come and see doesn’t work well for me. The see works but the come seems unnecessary. But even if we were to grant that this obsolete definition was intended here, we never see visit used with a non-personal object unless God is doing the visiting. Additionally, Helaman 13:10 is a pretty clear example of the use of parallelism where three ideas are each repeated. Come and see doesn’t work as a parallel to behold as well as just see. 

The thing is, though, that the use of visit your destruction here seems to be intended to mean cause your destruction. It’s a usage similar to what we see throughout the Bible when God is the subject (“visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation”). We see the fourth generation mentioned in Helaman 13:13, as well, so this looks like a case of what I think Skousen calls blending. To me this is possible evidence of translation bias. The translator is used to “visiting the iniquity” in the same sentence as “the fourth generation” so he is pre-disposed to use visiting here. Combine that with the fact the translator already knows the final outcome with the Lamanites destroying the Nephites. In his mind the Lamanites are wielding God’s sword so it makes sense to have non-deity as the subject of the verb visiting when it is being used in a way normally only associated with God. 

But for the reasons I mentioned earlier I don’t think the original author had the same thing in mind as the translator. He simply meant to say see or behold or observe or some other equivalent word. That’s the cleanest explanation that fits all the data points.

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Looking at the next OED definition, 3a, I think that one is probably the most likely: 'To inflict hurt, harm, or punishment upon (a person); to deal severely or hardly with (persons or things); †to cut off, cause to die.' Notice that there's causation in the obsolete portion of the definition. As you have noted, the verb visit is used three times in the passage; the first two in the standard way, the third time in an odd way. Because of that and many other instances, it's difficult to make the case that the translator didn't know the usage. The third one may be a creative, philological extension—a compact way to say "visit you with destruction", but with an implication of causation. There are other such extensions in the text with closely repeated verb usage, such as with the verbs retain and preserve.

Edited by champatsch
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On 10/23/2018 at 11:21 AM, Physics Guy said:

Complaining that I haven't read all your papers is a dodge at this point.

I don't think I asked you to read any of my papers recently. Most of the relevant Book of Mormon usage is described in ATV, GV, and NOL, and these linguistic features can be compared to what is found in databases such as EEBO and ECCO. No matter what, you should have a sufficient grasp of the subject matter so that you are not just asserting your preferred perspective.

The general point is that because you don't know the comparative, descriptive data very well, conclusions that you reach based on your current understanding of things run a substantial risk of being inaccurate.

On 10/29/2018 at 12:35 PM, Physics Guy said:

You can't say you've established it as highly unlikely that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, if your argument rests on simply assuming that fake archaism could never produce EModE grammar. Likewise you can't claim to have compelling evidence from sermon transcripts if the implications you draw from that evidence rest on simply assuming that two quite different kinds of fake archaism would have to produce similar grammar. Assumptions like there are non-trivial premises which need to be demonstrated as highly probable, if you want to establish your conclusion with high confidence.

I don't think I've stated the argument to the effect that fake archaism could never produce EModE grammar. The argument boils down to the unlikelihood of Joseph Smith producing a very large number of improbable coincidences with non-(pseudo)-biblical Early Modern English. As I've read your October comments, you tend to consider Book of Mormon cases in isolation, not acknowledging the large number of lexical and syntactic features that support the thesis of improbable coincidence.

As a concrete example, "a more part" and "the more parts" should be treated seriously as cases of improbable coincidence, because of dozens of other supporting cases, both syntactic and lexical. They cannot be reasonably dismissed as probable coincidences, merely the result of Joseph hamming it up with archaism, since there is no external support for such a view.

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On 11/23/2018 at 8:59 AM, champatsch said:

Looking at the next OED definition, 3a, I think that one is probably the most likely: 'To inflict hurt, harm, or punishment upon (a person); to deal severely or hardly with (persons or things); †to cut off, cause to die.' Notice that there's causation in the obsolete portion of the definition. As you have noted, the verb visit is used three times in the passage; the first two in the standard way, the third time in an odd way. Because of that and many other instances, it's difficult to make the case that the translator didn't know the usage. The third one may be a creative, philological extension—a compact way to say "visit you with destruction", but with an implication of causation. There are other such extensions in the text with closely repeated verb usage, such as with the verbs retain and preserve.

The parallel usage I was referencing looks like the following:

Quote

A Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, B and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, C to behold your utter destruction;

A and this shall surely come except ye repent, saith the Lord; B and those of the fourth generation C shall visit your destruction.

This is part of the case that visit needs to mean see or something equivalent to behold. I agree that OED 3a seems to be the intended meaning here, though, as long as the word used really is visit. Especially when you put this next to Exodus 20:5 or Exodus 34:7 or Numbers 14:18 or Deuteronomy 5:9 which all say “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation”. But my contention is that the first two visits in Helaman 13:9&10 fit the OT pattern (God is the subject and visit is mentioned before the generations) but the last visit does not fit the pattern. Combine this with the failed parallelism with behold and the unexpected use of non-deity as the subject to a OED 3a use of visit it looks like visit is the wrong word. A word like see would resolve all of my objections.  

My theory has been that the Latin word viso was used (which can mean either visit or see) but that it was translated as visit when the original author meant see. However, I now see that as less likely than I did before based on a search of the Clementine Vulgate. I could not find a single use of any form of the verb viso in the entire Latin Bible (except in participle form which is identical to the participle forms of video, meaning see). Because I have novice-level Latin I’m not quite sure what to make of this participle form use. 

I continue to believe there may be a Latin-related explanation to understand this, but I’m not sure now what exactly that explanation is. 

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Take a look at this link showing meanings for the primitive root paqad of Exodus 20:5. Look under the Strong's definitions and you will see that the first analogous meaning given is 'oversee', which actually works for Helaman 13:10 and satisfies the parallel with 'behold'. Also look at the Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon section, part (3), which mentions Exodus 20:5. Other biblical translations use punish or charge instead of visit in that verse.

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6 hours ago, champatsch said:

Take a look at this link showing meanings for the primitive root paqad of Exodus 20:5. Look under the Strong's definitions and you will see that the first analogous meaning given is 'oversee', which actually works for Helaman 13:10 and satisfies the parallel with 'behold'. Also look at the Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon section, part (3), which mentions Exodus 20:5. Other biblical translations use punish or charge instead of visit in that verse.

I’ve never understood why, after a thousand years of history, and with the written language being reformed Egyptian, we should be looking at Hebrew. Except for perhaps on the small plates. 

In doing some more research into Latin I came across the verb inviso meaning both visit and watch over. This verb is found in the Latin Vulgate. In Judges 15:1 it is translated in the KJB as visit and in 2Kings 8:29 it is translated as see. This is the verb I have been looking for. 

So my new proposal is that inviso was used in the Latin version of Helaman 13:10 (at the end) to mean see. The translator was thinking ahead to the end of the story when he decided to use visit instead of see. The result is a unique English phrase that makes sense if you know that the Lamanites destroy the Nephites. If you don’t already know this, the story is puzzling.

You have a Lamanite coming over to the Nephites telling them to repent or God will destroy them. And then unexpectedly and in conflict with his consistent message that God holds the sword of justice he says, oh by the way my people are gonna destroy your people. But the Nephites don’t say, wait a minute, hold the phone…your people are gonna kill our people if we don’t obey your message? The Nephites never mention this. You’d think they’d spend the next 400 years cursing the Lamanites because of this prophecy. If the Nephites only had the expectation that the Lamanites would be bystanders then this problem goes away. 

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11 hours ago, JarMan said:

I’ve never understood why, after a thousand years of history, and with the written language being reformed Egyptian, we should be looking at Hebrew. Except for perhaps on the small plates. 

There are two reasons. Egyptian shorthand could have been used to represent Hebrew. King James OT language is used in many places in the Book of Mormon and informs the text. (And didn't you bring up Exodus 20:5 language in relation to Helaman 13 visit language?) So I don't think there's anything to prevent us from profitably considering some possible Hebrew correlates.

Edited by champatsch

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In any event, it's less speculative than considering an intervening Latin layer, which isn't an impossibility, but which is nevertheless more speculative than considering Hebrew, because of the infused OT language in the Book of Mormon text.

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11 hours ago, champatsch said:

There are two reasons. Egyptian shorthand could have been used to represent Hebrew. King James OT language is used in many places in the Book of Mormon and informs the text. (And didn't you bring up Exodus 20:5 language in relation to Helaman 13 visit language?) So I don't think there's anything to prevent us from profitably considering some possible Hebrew correlates.

My hypothetical translation occurred in about 1650 by someone very well-versed in the KJB. So from my point of view an appeal to Hebrew is unnecessary. And I still don’t understand why we would expect to see Hebraisms. We start with Hebrew, of course. Then we let a thousand years pass. Then we use some sort of shorthand based on Egyptian to convey whatever language has evolved. Then we translate that into English. Seems like too much going on to expect to see recognizable signs of Hebrew on the back end. 

11 hours ago, champatsch said:

In any event, it's less speculative than considering an intervening Latin layer, which isn't an impossibility, but which is nevertheless more speculative than considering Hebrew, because of the infused OT language in the Book of Mormon text.

I’m not sure a naturalistic explanation is ever more speculative than a supernatural one. But let’s put that issue aside for a moment. If we seriously are considering an early modern connection to the Book of Mormon it makes a lot of sense to look at Latin. Virtually any early modern person capable of producing the Book of Mormon would have been schooled in Latin. And while I realize that’s not the only type of early modern connection possible, to me it seems the most obvious.

Edited by JarMan

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In Helaman 13 less than 600 years have gone by, so there's still possibly some underlying Hebrew influence, but that's not even necessary to appeal to.

Not making an appeal to the supernatural here. Just noting that there's a lot of King James OT language in the text, which is directly tied to Hebrew. There isn't a lot we can directly tie to Latin.

I'm aware of your theory, and also aware that it's an unlikely one. I don't see a problem in entertaining the theory, and see some benefits to considering implications, such as possible influence on lexis and syntax, but it doesn't have an abiding interest to me in most of my work, since I don't find any external support for it among dictation witnesses.

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

In Helaman 13 less than 600 years have gone by, so there's still possibly some underlying Hebrew influence, but that's not even necessary to appeal to.

Not making an appeal to the supernatural here. Just noting that there's a lot of King James OT language in the text, which is directly tied to Hebrew. There isn't a lot we can directly tie to Latin.

I'm aware of your theory, and also aware that it's an unlikely one. I don't see a problem in entertaining the theory, and see some benefits to considering implications, such as possible influence on lexis and syntax, but it doesn't have an abiding interest to me in most of my work, since I don't find any external support for it among dictation witnesses.

Mormon's and Moroni's abridgments of the large plates and the plates of Ether occurred after 1,000 years. Nephi and Jacob, on the other hand, would have been native Hebrew speakers. So I would entertain possible Hebraisms on the small plates though I still suspect the Hebrew to Reformed Egyptian to English would have obscured it significantly.

The traditional model of the Book of Mormon's production includes angels and seer stones and other supernatural things so I think, by definition, the traditional model is an appeal to the supernatural. I have no problem with a supernatural model by itself. But when a supernatural model is compared to a naturalist model this can be a type of category error, so deciding which is more likely is not really a relevant comparison to make.

If I may, I'd like to re-post a question you may not have seen earlier regarding murmur with (non-participatory with). Has Skousen considered murmured with in his analysis? This occurs twice in the Coverdale Bible. 2 Chronicles 16:10 -- "And Osias was wroth, and had a censoure in his hande. But Asa was wroth at ye Seer, and put him in preson: for he murmured with him ouer this thinge." 2 Chronicles 26:19 -- "And whyle he murmured with the prestes, the leprosy spronge out of his foreheade in the presence of the prestes in the house of the LORDE before the altare of incense."

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2 hours ago, JarMan said:

Mormon's and Moroni's abridgments of the large plates and the plates of Ether occurred after 1,000 years. Nephi and Jacob, on the other hand, would have been native Hebrew speakers. So I would entertain possible Hebraisms on the small plates though I still suspect the Hebrew to Reformed Egyptian to English would have obscured it significantly.

Possible quoting of Samuel's language by Mormon.

2 hours ago, JarMan said:

The traditional model of the Book of Mormon's production includes angels and seer stones and other supernatural things so I think, by definition, the traditional model is an appeal to the supernatural. I have no problem with a supernatural model by itself. But when a supernatural model is compared to a naturalist model this can be a type of category error, so deciding which is more likely is not really a relevant comparison to make.

I don't see it as relevant to the issue of Hebrew-based OT textual language. That the visit usage is akin to OT language is rather unmistakable, independent of one's view of sourcing. I wouldn't include angels in this case since Moroni wasn't overtly involved in the dictation. Also, the seer stone Joseph placed in the hat while dictating the language wasn't a supernatural item. Its use could be called that, but it's possible to abstract away from the supposed use and take the dispassionate Michael Morse view of the dictation, that Joseph was somehow the author of the resulting language.

2 hours ago, JarMan said:

If I may, I'd like to re-post a question you may not have seen earlier regarding murmur with (non-participatory with). Has Skousen considered murmured with in his analysis? This occurs twice in the Coverdale Bible. 2 Chronicles 16:10 -- "And Osias was wroth, and had a censoure in his hande. But Asa was wroth at ye Seer, and put him in preson: for he murmured with him ouer this thinge." 2 Chronicles 26:19 -- "And whyle he murmured with the prestes, the leprosy spronge out of his foreheade in the presence of the prestes in the house of the LORDE before the altare of incense."

You blended the first verse with part of the second, but both examples look promising. (2 Chronicles 16:10 doesn't have the first Osias part.)

For the first one, the Geneva, Bishops, and King James Bibles have "was displeased with" instead "murmured with".

For the second one, the Great Bible has: "& so whyle he had indyng⸗nacyon agaynst the Preestes, * the leprosye sprange in his foreheade before the Preestes in the house of the Lorde," where "murmured with" is rendered as "indignation against", so it's definitely non-participatory. The Bishops Bible has the same phraseology.  The Geneva Bible has: "and while he was wroth with the Priests, the leprosie rose vp in his forehead". The King James Bible has the Geneva reading.

So there it is, Coverdale again the the Book of Mormon, along with "upon all ships of the sea", object they usage after the preposition for, and perhaps some other northern Early Modern English usage like hurl = 'drag'.

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3 hours ago, champatsch said:

Possible quoting of Samuel's language by Mormon.

I don't see it as relevant to the issue of Hebrew-based OT textual language. That the visit usage is akin to OT language is rather unmistakable, independent of one's view of sourcing. I wouldn't include angels in this case since Moroni wasn't overtly involved in the dictation. Also, the seer stone Joseph placed in the hat while dictating the language wasn't a supernatural item. Its use could be called that, but it's possible to abstract away from the supposed use and take the dispassionate Michael Morse view of the dictation, that Joseph was somehow the author of the resulting language.

If Hebrew is the original language then there were real Nephites and a real angel Moroni. So a traditional view is a supernatural model right out of the box regardless of how the translation took place.

I don't get why King James OT language merits an appeal to Hebrew rather than simply pointing us directly to the King James Bible. Isn't the simplest explanation that the KJB was used in some form in the production of the Book of Mormon? This should be true whether or not we are considering a supernatural model.

Here's another possible qualifying murmured with from this source:

Capture.JPG.3542d9548033997e45436af7e62eb6d2.JPG

 

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1 hour ago, JarMan said:

If Hebrew is the original language then there were real Nephites and a real angel Moroni. So a traditional view is a supernatural model right out of the box regardless of how the translation took place.

Why assume that? Perhaps we have a Jewish scholar who converted to Arminianism in Holland. LOL.

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5 hours ago, champatsch said:

That the visit usage is akin to OT language is rather unmistakable, independent of one's view of sourcing.

It's one thing to postulate a similarity but another to demonstrate it. I've postulated a Latin influence in Helaman 13:10's use of visit and you suggested a Hebrew influence. The challenge for supporting the Hebrew is that we don't know what Hebrew looked like half a world away (where unknown or little known languages would have an influence) 600 or 1,000 years after the last known data points. Throw in the reformed Egyptian intermediary and it becomes a puzzle with most of the pieces missing. With the Latin we can look at Latin to English translations from the same time period and area of the world that I have hypothesized.

Following that reasoning I've tracked down all of the uses I could find of the Latin verbs inviso, viso, and visito (all of which can mean both visit and see) in the Clementine Vulgate. I've looked at the Douay Rheims Bible to see how the words were translated by early modern English scholars. So far this has lead to some interesting, but inconclusive results. This exercise could be expanded to other texts that fit the criteria of being early modern English translations of Latin texts in Europe. The point is that unlike Book of Mormon Hebrew, with Renaissance Latin we have relevant data to test.

Now to summarize my results. For inviso I found several instances of visit in the DRB but none of see. For viso it was almost always translated as see but never visit. For visito I found several instances of visit and a few like punish. I found a single instance of go see but none of just see. So, except for the single instance of visito = go see I didn't really find what I was looking for. This exercise could be expanded to other works but it's not really something I have time to do.

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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

Why assume that? Perhaps we have a Jewish scholar who converted to Arminianism in Holland. LOL.

My proposed author did know Hebrew well. Perhaps my hypothesized translator did, too. Maybe one or both of them consciously or subconsciously incorporated Hebraisms into their work. Maybe it was originally written in Hebrew instead of Latin.

As speculative as any of that may sound, the other alternative is Hebrew + 1000 years + reformed Egyptian + English translation = Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon. I start to lose faith somewhere in the 1000 years part.

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3 hours ago, JarMan said:

It's one thing to postulate a similarity but another to demonstrate it. I've postulated a Latin influence in Helaman 13:10's use of visit and you suggested a Hebrew influence.

Let's not forget about Uncle John, who lived 15 miles from the Smith home and who knew Hebrew and Chaldaic and wrote grammar books for both. A close relative of both Joseph Smith and Lucy Mack was fully capable of understanding Helaman 13:10's use of visit. Wouldn't he be the most probable influence?

John Smith clearly inspired the narratives of two similar texts, Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews and Solomon Spaulding's Manuscript Found. He was an Arminian. What reasons do we have for looking beyond Dartmouth, the center of Hebrew studies, in late 18th century America?

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On 11/26/2018 at 5:10 AM, champatsch said:

Also look at the Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon section, part (3), which mentions Exodus 20:5. Other biblical translations use punish or charge instead of visit in that verse.

Dr. John Smith, a cousin of Asael Smith, taught Latin, Hebrew and Chaldee at Dartmouth around 10-15 miles from the home of Joseph Smith Sr. Here are scans of his Hebrew and Chaldee Grammar manuscript:

Hebrew and Chaldee Grammar Manuscript A
Hebrew and Chaldee Grammar Manuscript B

Wouldn't John Smith and the Dartmouth library (the center of Hebrew studies in America at the time) be the most probable source of the Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon?

Edited by Rajah Manchou

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Has anybody produced any theory as to why The Book of Mormon would be translated into Early Modern English?

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8 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Dr. John Smith, a cousin of Asael Smith, taught Latin, Hebrew and Chaldee at Dartmouth around 10-15 miles from the home of Joseph Smith Sr. Here are scans of his Hebrew and Chaldee Grammar manuscript:

Hebrew and Chaldee Grammar Manuscript A
Hebrew and Chaldee Grammar Manuscript B

Wouldn't John Smith and the Dartmouth library (the center of Hebrew studies in America at the time) be the most probable source of the Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon?

So, John Smith wrote the Book of Mormon? And used a heavy dose or Early Modern English? However, according to Robert F. Smith the Hebraisms are really mostly Egyptianisms.

Glenn

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12 hours ago, JarMan said:

My proposed author did know Hebrew well. Perhaps my hypothesized translator did, too. Maybe one or both of them consciously or subconsciously incorporated Hebraisms into their work. Maybe it was originally written in Hebrew instead of Latin.

As speculative as any of that may sound, the other alternative is Hebrew + 1000 years + reformed Egyptian + English translation = Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon. I start to lose faith somewhere in the 1000 years part.

I think you've added a layer to the physical reality. Whatever state the changing Nephite language was in at any particular time, and whatever linguistic elements might have been used to modify it with for purposes of record-keeping, Reformed Egyptian did not clearly mean language, in our sense of the term; it was most likely a term used to indicate a form of (compact) writing. Ancients often did not clearly differentiate between the representation of language and the language itself, the writing and the sounds. Even early modern writers were not very clear about this distinction. It's helpful to bear this in mind.

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5 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

So, John Smith wrote the Book of Mormon? And used a heavy dose or Early Modern English? However, according to Robert F. Smith the Hebraisms are really mostly Egyptianisms.

Glenn

No idea who wrote the Book of Mormon, but John Smith was a close relative of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. He was born in 1750s. He spoke Latin, Hebrew and Chaldee. He was an Arminian preacher well versed in the Old Testament. He taught Solomon Spaulding and Ethan Smith. He lived 10 miles from Joseph Smith Jr.

Which is the most probable explanation for the Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon: (1) Egyptian-Hebrew prophets in America, (2) a Dutch lawyer, (3) a Smith who spoke Hebrew and Chaldee. If we are looking for the source of EmodE and Hebraisms/Egyptianisms in the Book of Mormon, we can't easily ignore the Dartmouth library and its librarian, John Smith.

Edited by Rajah Manchou

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