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Rivers

The Book of Mormon is a conundrum.

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41 minutes ago, Rivers said:

I never said I don’t believe it’s historicity.  But it takes more of a leap of faith for me.  

I agree on the having faith that it is. 

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57 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There are actually very few true anachronisms in the Bible or Book of Mormon.  What is remarkable are the many accurate statements in both books, which can now be verified scientifically.  That is via reason.  If either book is phony, that should not be possible.

What constitutes a "true" anachronism in your mind?  Also, isn't one anachronism enough to question historicity?  I would expect to be challenged if I wrote a supposed history of Rome and had the roman army use machine guns in their battles.  The one "true" anachronism would be enough to question my "history."  Sure, I could be correct in all else, buy why insert the anachronism in the first place?  Also, one would need a few reputable outside sources to verify that all else in my "history" of Rome was accurate.  With the bofm, there is nothing independent, other than subjective experience.

What are the accurate statements in the book of mormon that aren't so obvious as to be already known by anyone of the 1820's in the New York, Pennsylvania area?

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7 minutes ago, Exiled said:

What constitutes a "true" anachronism in your mind?  Also, isn't one anachronism enough to question historicity?  I would expect to be challenged if I wrote a supposed history of Rome and had the roman army use machine guns in their battles.  The one "true" anachronism would be enough to question my "history."  Sure, I could be correct in all else, buy why insert the anachronism in the first place?  Also, one would need a few reputable outside sources to verify that all else in my "history" of Rome was accurate.  With the bofm, there is nothing independent, other than subjective experience.

What are the accurate statements in the book of mormon that aren't so obvious as to be already known by anyone of the 1820's in the New York, Pennsylvania area?

I think the discovery on the Arabian peninsula of the place called Nahom  talked about in the Book of Mormon is something that was not likely known about by people in New York in 1820's. 

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5 minutes ago, Exiled said:

What constitutes a "true" anachronism in your mind?  Also, isn't one anachronism enough to question historicity?  I would expect to be challenged if I wrote a supposed history of Rome and had the roman army use machine guns in their battles.  The one "true" anachronism would be enough to question my "history."  Sure, I could be correct in all else, buy why insert the anachronism in the first place?  Also, one would need a few reputable outside sources to verify that all else in my "history" of Rome was accurate.  With the bofm, there is nothing independent, other than subjective experience.

What are the accurate statements in the book of mormon that aren't so obvious as to be already known by anyone of the 1820's in the New York, Pennsylvania area?

Well, you have to consider that the word machine gun is a modern word that didn't exist in ancient Rome.  So perhaps a machine gun is just the best term you could conceive of to describe these ancient weapons that Rome was using.  See the attached actual photographic evidence of an ancient machine gun.  :D

 

worlds-first-machine-gun0-1.jpg

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2 hours ago, JAHS said:

I say it did happen the way I thought, so your question is irrelevant.  

If it didn't happen that way, would that make its teachings automatically wrong?

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2 minutes ago, Gray said:

If it didn't happen that way, would that make its teachings automatically wrong?

Of course not. Even I am right some of the time. But now you are talking about teachings and not history.

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7 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Well, you have to consider that the word machine gun is a modern word that didn't exist in ancient Rome.  So perhaps a machine gun is just the best term you could conceive of to describe these ancient weapons that Rome was using.  See the attached actual photographic evidence of an ancient machine gun.  :D

 

worlds-first-machine-gun0-1.jpg

Here's one for arrows used in the Gladiator movie.
bow.jpg.60dd6447ea244257b19fc52337e23a58.jpg

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3 hours ago, JAHS said:

How is that false? If Joseph Smith made up the whole story then he is not the prophet he claimed to be. 

Bingo!

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4 hours ago, Gray said:

While the Bible is ancient, much of is invented material in terms of the people and events. The Book of Daniel is in many ways similar to the Book of Mormon.

Are you saying the Book of Daniel and the BOM are invented? 

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I haven't encountered many people in Mormon circles that find the EmodE theory compelling.  I see it as a fringe theory at best. 

How many LDS scholars have expressed an opinion that it is a fringe theory? Especially any other LDS linguists?  I have not heard of any that do not accept it as a fact that there is EmodE in the Book of Mormon.  There are some LDS scholars that are a bit chary of the conclusions that Stanford Carmack has expressed, believing that the EmodE to be possibly a frozen artifact in some part of Joseph's environment. Stanford has dutifully researched just about every avenue for that theory and has yet to find any evidence for EmodE in Joseph's secular writings.

Glenn

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4 hours ago, Gray said:

The prophet Daniel didn't exist either.

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that currently there has been no secular evidence uncovered that would confirm the existence of the prophet Daniel. The same has been said about several other Biblical figures for which subsequent evidence has been uncovered.

Glenn

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Exiled said:

What constitutes a "true" anachronism in your mind?  Also, isn't one anachronism enough to question historicity?  I would expect to be challenged if I wrote a supposed history of Rome and had the roman army use machine guns in their battles.  The one "true" anachronism would be enough to question my "history."  Sure, I could be correct in all else, buy why insert the anachronism in the first place?  Also, one would need a few reputable outside sources to verify that all else in my "history" of Rome was accurate.  With the bofm, there is nothing independent, other than subjective experience.

What are the accurate statements in the book of mormon that aren't so obvious as to be already known by anyone of the 1820's in the New York, Pennsylvania area?

Sorry, I had a full answer here and the system dropped the whole thing.  Doesn't the system save a draft?

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I haven't encountered many people in Mormon circles that find the [Early Modern English] theory compelling.  I see it as a fringe theory at best.

This is mere uninformed opinion, so if you wish to operate according to that when something better is available, well, you're entitled to do so, but it isn't wise.

Clearly there is a lot of extra-biblical Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon. Whether you wish to dismiss it as an artifact of Joseph's dictation without looking into the matter is up to you.

No matter what, however, it would be honest to admit that we have something remarkable in the English of the Book of Mormon. I've mentioned a number of things here before. Here's another one that I've been writing up recently: conjunctive that used with subordinating conjunctions and following subordinate clauses—e.g. "after that S", "before that S". Basically, I've considered eight of these, comparing the usage with that of the King James Bible and 15 pseudo-biblical texts. This breaks down into the following categories.

Biblical usage

Common in one or two pseudo-biblical texts; not found in the other texts

“after that” (116×; 10× with conditional shall/should) (11× in Snowden 1793)

“how that” (8×) (3× in Leacock 1775; 7× in Snowden 1793)

Rare in pseudo-biblical texts; found once in only one text

“for that” (1×: aa2121) (1× in Leacock 1775)

“because that” (34×; 2× with a conjoined that: 1n0211, jb0560 [non-biblical]) (1× in Elias Smith 1811)

Not found in 15 pseudo-biblical texts and uncommon in the King James Bible

“before that” (8×; 2× with conditional shall; 5× in the KJB)

“lest that” (3×; 3× with conditional should; 3× in the KJB)

Non-biblical usage

“since that” (1×: 1n2205) ("since that S" is found twice in the 1568 Bishops' Bible)

“to that” (= 'until') (1×: 1n1809)

 

If we combine the usage of 15 pseudo-biblical texts, we don't come close to getting what we have in the Book of Mormon in this regard, which even goes beyond the King James Bible in a couple of instances ("since that S" and "to that S") and in terms of conditional shall/should usage and "because that . . . and that".

This is one case in one syntactic domain out of many. The totality of the evidence indicates that the Book of Mormon is not a pseudo-archaic text, which of course means that Joseph Smith wasn't (couldn't have been) the author or the English-language translator of the text. That should be the starting point for anyone's fanciful surmisings.

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2 hours ago, JAHS said:

I think the discovery on the Arabian peninsula of the place called Nahom  talked about in the Book of Mormon is something that was not likely known about by people in New York in 1820's. 

Isn't NHM is a region, and not a specific place, and on the other side of the mountains from where Lehi and company supposedly traveled?

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that currently there has been no secular evidence uncovered that would confirm the existence of the prophet Daniel. The same has been said about several other Biblical figures for which subsequent evidence has been uncovered.

While I agree with you it's a bit more complex than even that. The text of Daniel is clearly a composite of several separate texts. (Although so too is the Book of Mormon) Many of those texts have strong evidence of being written well after the time of Daniel and some are problematic with what we know of the history. Of course it could well be that there were older proto-versions of these texts that endured heavy redaction and editing and then were all edited together into one text during the Ptolemic era. Ironically that would line up with apologist views of The Book of Mormon where elements are clearly 19th century as artifacts of the translation. It's trivial to see the influence of the KJV text, errors and all, for instance. If the Book of Daniel was like the Book of Mormon and isn't quite the same as the original writings of Daniel then that really wouldn't be a big issue.

Even if we found evidence of a prophet Daniel during the exile, that wouldn't imply the Book of Daniel was by him.

Now I don't know if there was a proto version of Daniel although likely there were earlier traditions Daniel made use of. So I don't know if Daniel is like the Book of Mormon or not. The simpler explanation is that Daniel is a late Ptolemic pseudopigrapha, but that's hardly the only possibility as I outlined. But certainly those who think the Book of Mormon is fiction will see it as akin to Daniel as late pseudopigrapha rather than as a real text with expansions, redactions and editing due to being a loose translation. The question is establishing that.

14 minutes ago, champatsch said:

This is one case in one syntactic domain out of many. The totality of the evidence indicates that the Book of Mormon is not a pseudo-archaic text, which of course means that Joseph Smith wasn't (couldn't have been) the author or the English-language translator of the text. That should be the starting point for anyone's fanciful surmisings.

While I clearly agree with you, I'd note that technically what you've established is it's not a written pseudo-archaic text. I'm not sure you've yet established it wasn't a pseudo-archaic dictation. That's significant because of the difference, especially in the 19th century, between spoken language and written language. And also because Joseph didn't write the Book of Mormon but dictated it to scribes. So if it was fraudulently or unconsciously dictated we'd expect that language to vary from consciously written texts.

The solution to this is to compare not only printed corpuses but spoken corpuses from early 19th century New England.

Edited by clarkgoble
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9 minutes ago, champatsch said:

This is mere uninformed opinion, so if you wish to operate according to that when something better is available, well, you're entitled to do so, but it isn't wise.

Clearly there is a lot of extra-biblical Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon. Whether you wish to dismiss it as an artifact of Joseph's dictation without looking into the matter is up to you.

No matter what, however, it would be honest to admit that we have something remarkable in the English of the Book of Mormon. I've mentioned a number of things here before. Here's another one that I've been writing up recently: conjunctive that used with subordinating conjunctions and following subordinate clauses—e.g. "after that S", "before that S". Basically, I've considered eight of these, comparing the usage with that of the King James Bible and 15 pseudo-biblical texts. This breaks down into the following categories.

Biblical usage

Common in one or two pseudo-biblical texts; not found in the other texts

“after that” (116×; 10× with conditional shall/should) (11× in Snowden 1793)

“how that” (8×) (3× in Leacock 1775; 7× in Snowden 1793)

Rare in pseudo-biblical texts; found once in only one text

“for that” (1×: aa2121) (1× in Leacock 1775)

“because that” (34×; 2× with a conjoined that: 1n0211, jb0560 [non-biblical]) (1× in Elias Smith 1811)

Not found in 15 pseudo-biblical texts and uncommon in the King James Bible

“before that” (8×; 2× with conditional shall; 5× in the KJB)

“lest that” (3×; 3× with conditional should; 3× in the KJB)

Non-biblical usage

“since that” (1×: 1n2205) ("since that S" is found twice in the 1568 Bishops' Bible)

“to that” (= 'until') (1×: 1n1809)

 

If we combine the usage of 15 pseudo-biblical texts, we don't come close to getting what we have in the Book of Mormon in this regard, which even goes beyond the King James Bible in a couple of instances ("since that S" and "to that S") and in terms of conditional shall/should usage and "because that . . . and that".

This is one case in one syntactic domain out of many. The totality of the evidence indicates that the Book of Mormon is not a pseudo-archaic text, which of course means that Joseph Smith wasn't (couldn't have been) the author or the English-language translator of the text. That should be the starting point for anyone's fanciful surmisings.

Have you eliminated the possibility that the EmodE you see in the BofM is merely a product of JS's spoken language combined with his desire to sound old worldly/biblical? If so, where did you do this?

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1 hour ago, Glenn101 said:

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that currently there has been no secular evidence uncovered that would confirm the existence of the prophet Daniel. The same has been said about several other Biblical figures for which subsequent evidence has been uncovered.

Glenn

In Daniel's case it's more clear that he was an invented character.

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1 hour ago, snowflake said:

Are you saying the Book of Daniel and the BOM are invented? 

Yes, exactly. Both created a fictional prophet set in the distant past, both deal with the Babylonian conquest of Judah, both are apocalyptic, both contain back dated prophesy. Oh, and both are sacred scripture.

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2 hours ago, JAHS said:

Of course not. Even I am right some of the time. But now you are talking about teachings and not history.

Agreed. So since the BOM is a book of theology and doctrine and not a history book, its historicity seems less than essential to its mission.

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13 minutes ago, Gray said:

Agreed. So since the BOM is a book of theology and doctrine and not a history book, its historicity seems less than essential to its mission.

It is less essential but if it didn't actually happen then it is just inspired teachings form one man, Joseph Smith, and not from the multiple prophets that it proposes to be from.  And Jesus did not actually visit the ancient Americans and teach His Gospel and therefore it would not be another testament of Jesus Christ. It would only be the teachings of Joseph Smith and his testimony. 

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27 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Have you eliminated the possibility that the EmodE you see in the BofM is merely a product of JS's spoken language combined with his desire to sound old worldly/biblical? If so, where did you do this?

I have some articles on the subject which are easy to access, and there are two essays in Skousen, The Nature of the Original Language, 2018.

Fifteen pseudo-biblical texts tell us what was typical for someone trying to sound biblical. The textual record gives us broad trends in usage, showing how the written and spoken language was changing. And there are several important syntactic features in the text which do not coincide with Joseph's personal modes of expression, judging from personal writings and from the general textual record.

In the case just mentioned, we know that for the pseudo-biblical authors the usage comes from trying to be biblical, since it was in obsolescence in the late 18c and early 19c. Yet we can see that the Book of Mormon goes way beyond their usage. And as stated, this is true in quite a few different syntactic and grammatical cases in the 1829 dictation language.

So we can take a leap of faith and believe that all the archaic, non-biblical lexical, grammatical, and syntactic features of the text were somehow known to Joseph and producible by him, or we can go with the hard evidence provided by the textual record.

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2 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

How many LDS scholars have expressed an opinion that it is a fringe theory? Especially any other LDS linguists?  I have not heard of any that do not accept it as a fact that there is EmodE in the Book of Mormon.  There are some LDS scholars that are a bit chary of the conclusions that Stanford Carmack has expressed, believing that the EmodE to be possibly a frozen artifact in some part of Joseph's environment. Stanford has dutifully researched just about every avenue for that theory and has yet to find any evidence for EmodE in Joseph's secular writings.

Glenn

How many Mormon scholars have expressed an opinion that EmodE is a compelling theory?  Fridge theory is my choice of words based on my observations.  

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

This is mere uninformed opinion, so if you wish to operate according to that when something better is available, well, you're entitled to do so, but it isn't wise.

Clearly there is a lot of extra-biblical Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon. Whether you wish to dismiss it as an artifact of Joseph's dictation without looking into the matter is up to you.

No matter what, however, it would be honest to admit that we have something remarkable in the English of the Book of Mormon. I've mentioned a number of things here before. Here's another one that I've been writing up recently: conjunctive that used with subordinating conjunctions and following subordinate clauses—e.g. "after that S", "before that S". Basically, I've considered eight of these, comparing the usage with that of the King James Bible and 15 pseudo-biblical texts. This breaks down into the following categories.

Biblical usage

Common in one or two pseudo-biblical texts; not found in the other texts

“after that” (116×; 10× with conditional shall/should) (11× in Snowden 1793)

“how that” (8×) (3× in Leacock 1775; 7× in Snowden 1793)

Rare in pseudo-biblical texts; found once in only one text

“for that” (1×: aa2121) (1× in Leacock 1775)

“because that” (34×; 2× with a conjoined that: 1n0211, jb0560 [non-biblical]) (1× in Elias Smith 1811)

Not found in 15 pseudo-biblical texts and uncommon in the King James Bible

“before that” (8×; 2× with conditional shall; 5× in the KJB)

“lest that” (3×; 3× with conditional should; 3× in the KJB)

Non-biblical usage

“since that” (1×: 1n2205) ("since that S" is found twice in the 1568 Bishops' Bible)

“to that” (= 'until') (1×: 1n1809)

 

If we combine the usage of 15 pseudo-biblical texts, we don't come close to getting what we have in the Book of Mormon in this regard, which even goes beyond the King James Bible in a couple of instances ("since that S" and "to that S") and in terms of conditional shall/should usage and "because that . . . and that".

This is one case in one syntactic domain out of many. The totality of the evidence indicates that the Book of Mormon is not a pseudo-archaic text, which of course means that Joseph Smith wasn't (couldn't have been) the author or the English-language translator of the text. That should be the starting point for anyone's fanciful surmisings.

My comment about it being a fridge theory is independent of the veracity of the actual work you've done.  It could be completely 100% accurate and still be a fridge theory if the majority of Mormon scholars don't find it compelling.  

I personally think there are other possible explanations for the observations that you're making about why and how these forms of language are appearing in the BoM, not the least of which are some of the other examples of Joseph attempting to mimic biblical sounding language in the early revelations texts.  However, these patterns of Joseph's language changed over time as Joseph's education level and experience also changed.  

Part of my problem with this kind of study is that I think it leans too heavily on a basic assumption that this kind of language is not found anywhere in the 19th century and that it couldn't possibly have been spoken by Joseph the person, so it therefore must have been given to Joseph by someone else, either through a supernatural process or by someone much smarter than Joseph.  While all the historical evidence seems clear to me that Joseph is the one who dictated the book. 

In some ways your argument for a EmodE author actually runs counter to the orthodox Mormon narrative because it posits that Joseph didn't dictate the book himself, but must have had some outside helper.  If looked at from this perspective I'm the one arguing against the idea that an additional person helped Joseph to produce the book and you're the one arguing for an additional influencer that wasn't one of the traditional authors in the text itself.  I find that an interesting irony.  

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2 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

Maybe it would be more accurate to say that currently there has been no secular evidence uncovered that would confirm the existence of the prophet Daniel. The same has been said about several other Biblical figures for which subsequent evidence has been uncovered.

Glenn

Most biblical figures and most biblical stories we have no evidence to support as accurate history by modern standards.  The equation should be completely flipped, as I mentioned earlier in a post.  The default assumption should not be to think of these texts as accurate historical accounts, but the default assumption should be the opposite.  There may be some accurate historical elements sprinkled into the texts of the bible, but they would be the exception to the rule.  "Loosely based on a true story" would even be going much too far to say.  

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8 hours ago, snowflake said:

If you want a much more impressive book...... historically accurate, lacking anachronisms, mountains of hard archaeological proof, thousands of pieces  of textual support in many differing languages....billions of believers.......you should stick with the far superior... Bible. 

I’m not so sure.

dont get me wrong the Bible is awesome. But we have thousands of years of documents, we know where the events took place. We know the later writers had the earlier scriptures so it’s not as impressive that it is internally consistent.

the Book of Mormon was a result of the ministering of angels and a unique translation process. The fact that its internally consistent, complex and in line with the Bible is down right miraculous. Add the unique witnesses to the book and it’s down right astonishing

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