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The Book of Mormon is a conundrum.

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On 3/15/2019 at 7:58 PM, hope_for_things said:

I don't think it’s that simple as you’d have to create a theological justification to support the idea of God inserting EmodE into the narrative.  

Joseph Smith was the real author, not a fictional one.  

Look, there's no need to be difficult. My usage was understandable and attested. I promise I won't try to parse your words against you. But I got it, you believe that Joseph Smith authored a book of fiction.

You're mischaracterizing the nature of the text. It's not God inserting Early Modern English into the narrative. The building blocks of the Book of Mormon's language are in very large part early modern in style. Now, the King James Bible is an Early Modern English text, developed from the time of Tyndale. And the Book of Mormon has a lot of King James phraseology blended in, so why wouldn't the framework of the language be early modern in character? Otherwise, at a fundamental level, you would have a clash of styles instead of language working in harmony.

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:53 PM, clarkgoble said:

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 objection that I would have to this line of reasoning is that although Joseph undisputedly dictated the text, Royal Skousen's analysis of the manuscripts argue strongly that Joseph was reading from a prepared text in some way, whether a manuscript somehow concealed in his hat, or from words that appeared in the stone, or words that appeared in his mind. Although stories that words would stubbornly hang around in the stone viewport until they were spelled correctly do not seem plausible owing to the spelling errors that have been discovered, Emma Smith's recollection that Joseph would spell out words that he could not pronounce and long words does seem credible and would seem bolster the proposition that indeed Joseph was reading from a prepared text and not merely from extemporaneous dictation.

Glenn

Edited by Glenn101
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On 3/15/2019 at 12:28 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

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

 

On 3/15/2019 at 9:17 PM, Calm said:

Only when I don't want it to, it seems.

Well, I thought I'd test it out, because it used to have a draft that saved as you typed. As a matter of fact the first time the system went off-line in this most recent update, I went to save my post, and got the message that the site was unavailable. I figured my post was lost, but when I went back the next time and clicked on the editor box, my unposted text  magically reappeared. Hallellujah said I. 

So I just clicked out of the editor and thread for the above paragraph, and when I clicked back in the empty reply box, I got the message that my post had "been restored." So, it seems the feature still exists. I use a Windows desktop, but I don't see how that would matter much.

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:53 PM, clarkgoble said:

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.

I was not arguing that the Book of Daniel was contemporary with Daniel or authored by Daniel. Your points about its possible origin are well made. The only question in my mind concerning the actual Book of Daniel would be whether it is inspired, and since Jesus the Christ implicitly endorsed Daniel, I would tend to believe that such is the case.

Glenn

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:22 AM, Rivers said:

The Book of Mormon is a strange phenomenon.  

On one hand there are legitimate problems.  Namely, the anachronisms and lack of hard archaeological proof.

On the other hand we have the complexity and intricacy of the text itself, the historical record of its production, and the testimonies of all the witnesses.  It’s all very impressive.  

And of course there is the spiritual witness received by myself along with millions of others.  

 I believe it’s inspired but saying it’s historical is still a leap for me.  A strange book indeed.  

It should go without saying that what was once an anachronism in the Bible may not be now. Scholars used to believe there was no such thing as a Hittite nation, and that was pegged as a point against the Bible. Archaeology eventually proved this idea wrong, and their capital city, Hattusa, turns out to have been a massive walled city, etc. They used to say there was no David, but at least two finds mention David as the house of David or similar. Lack of proof does not constitute reality. It just makes for what may very well be a temporary anachronism. It turns out there were elephants in the Americas - not just mammoths - and the second even one late fossilization is found, the "anachronism" disappears. Do I need to repeat how rare fossilizations are? A very small percentage of any given population ever becomes fossilized. Lack of fossils doesn't mean something didn't exist. A case in point is demonstrated with many animals still found which are thought to be extinct. Horse DNA has been found in the Alaskan tundra which dates thousands of years beyond the last horse bones found. Ancient peoples used bones for tools, and wolves ate bones for marrow and minerals. I have found support for the Book of Mormon upon close inspection. I don't believe it to be so anachronistic as critics claim. Actually, all those anachronisms become points of veracity once evidence is found to support them, and then help to show that Joseph Smith didn't make up the BoM - what was once perceived as a weakness becomes a strength. This has actually already happened with the BoM. Remember those golden plates? That was an anachronism at the time the BoM was written, but since that time other examples of golden plates with writings on them have been found - I posit even in America. The myth of non-metal working Americans has also fallen with the discovery of the gold alloy, tumbaga. As time passes, other "anachronisms" will fall as the very earth brings forth evidence to support the BoM. A person interested in truth does well to remember so called "anachronisms" are often temporary. Yet, even as evidence has turned up to support the BoM, such as an actual place called Nahom/Nahum, where one should expect it from the text, and actual gold leaf writings have turned up which people can examine, most critics forget those things and still harp on the remaining "anachronisms." If you received a witness that the BoM is true, as I have, these remaining so-called anachronisms just don't mean much.

On 3/15/2019 at 7:27 AM, Gray said:

Prophets make up stories too. Jesus taught almost entirely in made up stories.

The Book of Daniel is a made up story. It's still scripture.

See above. The Book of Daniel is not made up, but simply misinterpreted. We have been over this before, and you have fallen into the "scholar trap" as i will refer to it. Scholars have assumed, for example, that Daniel 10 & 11 must refer to the time before Yeshua since it speaks of a resurrection. Of course, if it is not speaking of Yeshua's resurrection, then they would be wrong based on their assumption. You know what the saying is about making as*-umptions. 

There was a Daniel, and the Book of Daniel is not made up. Daniel 9 got misinterpreted by Darby, but it too actually fits the coming of the Messiah quite well. The Jews obviously didn't make up the destruction of their own city as prophesied at the end of Daniel 9. The thought to them was horrifying. You are just fooled by the modern scholarship.... as man so often is.

Edited by RevTestament

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5 hours ago, champatsch said:

The Book of Mormon may currently have the first attestation of a few things, like unwearyingness and ites, but that doesn't mean such rare unattested usage wasn't within the grasp of God to formulate based on knowledge of English up to the year 1829.

Which is pretty much what I said. In any other textual endeavor, dating a text would be based on the most recent data. Of course God could use it, but the point is that your methodology is dependent upon dating usage. If the Book of Mormon is the earliest usage, then that usage isn't Early Modern English--it is dated to the appearance of the Book of Mormon, not earlier. God certainly could, but that means that your method of dating to an earlier form is flawed. The same type of evidence that you use to say that it wasn't available to Joseph also indicates that this form is unavailable to Joseph--but for a very different reason. I you must invoke God to understand the range of data, you are imposing a theology on the data rather than allowing the data to drive the interpretation.

Quote

That's not accurate. There are many archaic things not found in pseudo-biblical texts that are in the Book of Mormon.

Right. Not the point. There are archaic things in those texts that are also in the Book of Mormon. That means that it isn't the archaic nature, but rather the quantity of  archaic forms. Once again, your conclusions are driven by an imposed theological frame, not resulting from the data. The data tell us that some archaic features were used contemporaneously, hence the argument that the presence of Early Modern English could not be Joseph is incorrect. Now it is a question of why there is more rather than why there is any at all. Combine that with the dating issues, and the methodology does not support your conclusions.

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4 hours ago, champatsch said:

And the Book of Mormon has a lot of King James phraseology blended in, so why wouldn't the framework of the language be early modern in character? Otherwise, at a fundamental level, you would have a clash of styles instead of language working in harmony.

Why wouldn't it be Early modern? Because some of it isn't. If not being consistent to a time period suggests a clash of styles, you are arguing for a clash of styles, mixing Early Modern English with KJV forms that came later, and others that are later still (according to the data as you have described/discussed them). You data do not suggest a uniform grammatical framework that can be placed at any specific point in time.

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5 hours ago, RevTestament said:

 

Well, I thought I'd test it out, because it used to have a draft that saved as you typed. As a matter of fact the first time the system went off-line in this most recent update, I went to save my post, and got the message that the site was unavailable. I figured my post was lost, but when I went back the next time and clicked on the editor box, my unposted text  magically reappeared. Hallellujah said I. 

So I just clicked out of the editor and thread for the above paragraph, and when I clicked back in the empty reply box, I got the message that my post had "been restored." So, it seems the feature still exists. I use a Windows desktop, but I don't see how that would matter much.

Do you mean you left the thread and then came back, which would have refreshed the page and then you got a restored post?

I have had that happened to me, even once for a post that had been posted.  It just doesn't seem as consistent as it used to be.  But that might have to do with the board going off line.

I am using an iPads with safari

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26 minutes ago, Calm said:

Do you mean you left the thread and then came back, which would have refreshed the page and then you got a restored post?

I have had that happened to me, even once for a post that had been posted.  It just doesn't seem as consistent as it used to be.  But that might have to do with the board going off line.

I am using an iPads with safari

Yes. After creating a paragraph for a response, I hit the link to the "Topic Listings" page, and entirely left the thread. I then re-entered the thread, and clicked on the empty looking Reply box, and my paragraph was automatically restored in the editor box. It seems to work for me. You might need to have your cookies set to allow for this site - I don't know. I don't use safari. I use Vivaldi, but I don't think that matters. But I do highly recommend you try using Vivaldi. I love it. It is the best browser I have ever used - IMHO of course. It has had an occasional bug or two, but they seem to fix them reasonably fast. I have found it to provide the most bang for the least resource hogginess - among many nice features.

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On 3/15/2019 at 7:15 AM, 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. 

There is indeed a great deal of historical or archeological evidence that the Bible describes some real people and real events, i.e., contemporary records or ruins can be found which corroborate claims made in parts of the Bible.  Some biblical kings are even shown in relief or recorded by name in cuneiform tablets.  We also have a good record of the process of scribal transmission of the Bible down through time.

However, this is not true for most of the Bible, which exhibits thousands of anachronisms (for which Protestant and Roman Catholic apologists publish many books and articles).  For example, most of the Pentateuch cannot be verified by any substantive evidence:  We have no hard evidence that there was ever an Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or Moses.  Not only can we not prove the Exodus took place as described in the Bible, but we cannot find any evidence for the Resurrection.  We cannot corroborate any of the miracles of the Bible.  Just like Homeric Epic and other ancient poems, there is some actual history interlarded by miracles.  Believing those miracles to be true is a matter of faith, not science.

Aside from a very different mode of transmission, the same is true of the Book of Mormon.

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Posted (edited)

I see the BOM in the same way as the temple. The endowment was clearly plagiarized from the Masons. Joseph Smith simply attached religious meanings to the symbols and gestures as well as add some things in. Probably the same thing happened with the BOM. It was a dominant theory at the time that Native Americans originally came from the Middle East and were members of the lost tribe of Israel. Joseph could have ran with this idea and elaborated on it further. 

Im not 100% sure. The BOM does have very inspiring messages and stories in it. So I do believe that it could be inspired by God in a sense but at the same time be fiction. It’s hard to explain. 

Edited by 10THAmendment
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On 3/15/2019 at 11:07 AM, 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?

Which types of anachronisms are the following?

Zephaniah 1:12, Job 18:6, Ps 18:28, Prov 24:20, etc.,  have “candles” being used by Israelites, which is merely a KJV translation error.  Israelites used oil lamps, not candles.
II Sam 22:35,  Job 20:24, Psalm 18:34, Jer 15:12  KJV “steel” or “brass”?
Mistranslation is a very common problem. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/candle-candlestick/ .

Psalms 74:14, 104:26, Isa 27:1, Job 3:8, 40:1-34 speak of  Leviathan as a seven-headed mythological beast.  Is that okay in Holy Writ?
Psalms 87:4, 89:10-11, Job 9:13-14, 26:12-13, Isa 30:7, 51:9, Ezk 29:3-5, 32:2-8 have Rahab as  a mythological sea serpent or dragon.  Is that okay in Holy Writ?
Isa 13:21-22, 27:1, 34:13-14, 35:7  satyrs and dragons?  Really?

I Kings 7:26 vs II Chr 4:5  bronze sea of 2,000, or of 3,000 baths?  Which is correct? How can the Bible disagree with itself?

On 3/15/2019 at 11:07 AM, Exiled said:

  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.

False.  There are a myriad of ways in which we can test the BofM by means of objective reality, since many things having become apparent to science since the 1820s.  See my “The Preposterous Book of Mormon: A Singular Advantage,” lecture, Aug 8, 2014, at the annual FAIRMORMON Conference, Provo, Utah, online at https://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PREPOSTEROUS-BOOK-OF-MORMON.pdf

On 3/15/2019 at 11:07 AM, Exiled said:

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?

Since the BofM could not have been concocted in the 1820s by anyone, we would have to look at the period about 2 centuries earlier to find the charlatan who authored it.  Why?  Because it was dictated to the 1829 scribes in Early Modern English, a language unknown to Joseph Smith Jr.

See Book of Mormon Central, “Does the Book of Mormon Really Have ‘Bad’ Grammar? (Ether 12:25),” KnoWhy #490, Dec 4, 2018, online at https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/does-the-book-of-mormon-really-have-bad-grammar .

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1 hour ago, 10THAmendment said:

I see the BOM in the same way as the temple. The endowment was clearly plagiarized from the Masons. Joseph Smith simply attached religious meanings to the symbols and gestures as well as add some things in. Probably the same thing happened with the BOM. It was a dominant theory at the time that Native Americans originally came from the Middle East and were members of the lost tribe of Israel. Joseph could have ran with this idea and elaborated on it further. 

Im not 100% sure. The BOM does have very inspiring messages and stories in it. So I do believe that it could be inspired by God in a sense but at the same time be fiction. It’s hard to explain. 

These are very common surface explanations for all things Mormon.  In each case, however, they don't hold up well on the rocks and shoals of reality.

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12 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

The objection that I would have to this line of reasoning is that although Joseph undisputedly dictated the text, Royal Skousen's analysis of the manuscripts argue strongly that Joseph was reading from a prepared text in some way, whether a manuscript somehow concealed in his hat, or from words that appeared in the stone, or words that appeared in his mind.

For the record I think this was the case, but in terms of overcoming objections I think engaging with Taves' unconscious writing or the like has to be dealt with. Further how a relatively uneducated person writes may very well be quite different from someone educated writing and aping a pseudo-16th century style. That is one can't simply dismiss the idea that Joseph was exposed to oral ways of speech that ended up reflected in the text. Indeed that should be the null hypothesis one is attempting to overcome.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 4:22 PM, champatsch said:

I'd be happy to look at a corpus of early 19c spoken English of New England. Why don't you direct me to one. It's not going to show anything surprising, however, since the odds of it having just half the archaic features of the dictation are extremely low.

I think I'd pointed you to one last time we spoke. I can't seem to find it right now. It was focused on court transcripts. There's the Bailey corpus, but it is for London and not necessarily too helpful. Although given immigration might be relevant. One one have to be careful that hits are from the relevant time frame as it covers a wide era. (I've not tried accessing the corpus so I don't know how hard that is) 

However lacking that test of oral traditions, I think critics will always have a place to attack the significance of the conclusions since they are not exhaustive of the English Joseph was exposed to.

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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On 3/15/2019 at 4:37 PM, Exiled said:

Could you link to your articles? 

So, you think it is a leap of faith to not reach your conclusions?  That seems to be a huge stretch when there is a big hole in your EmodE proposition, in that we don't have any recording of JS's spoken dialect at the time in upstate New York.  The EmodE could be simply relics from Elizabethan English that was spoken in that area.  Further, why would God add so many layers between his supposed word and his children that are supposed to have the word and understand the word?  It's hard to believe that God didn't just give his words to JS like he did in the Book of Moses and the D&C.  It's hard enough for one to believe that God used plates that could not be seen and a seer stone that never worked in treasure hunts.  Now, you want to propose an additional layer of a pre-translation into some archaic language in order to avoid the inevitable inspired fiction model from becoming the model.  Given this, it sure seems that yours is where a lot of faith is required.

Actually just the opposite is true:  Disinterested scholarly examination of the grammar and vocabulary of the BofM led to a surprise which no one sought and no one expected. Indeed, no one (so far as I can tell) has a rational explanation for the result.

Not only do we not have any evidence for the survival of a type of EModE dialect in New York or Vermont in the 19th century, but even Joseph Smith thought the grammar of the BofM was bad, and immediately set about correcting it in the 1837 and 1840 editions.  Everyone including Joseph faulted it as poorly written, later including even Mark Twain.  If the EModE in the BofM were slapdash and slipshod that would be one thing, but we have instead a systematic form of it, and no evidence of any survival of that language into Joseph's time.  I did recently point out to Stan Carmack a dialect in Wales which continued to use some forms of Middle English phrases and expressions down into very recent times (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74glI1lg1CQ ), but that does not indicate full-scale survival of Old English into modern Wales.

The dogged belief that EModE survived into the 19th century is a fairy faith unsupported by any corroboration.

 

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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8 hours ago, Brant Gardner said:

Which is pretty much what I said. In any other textual endeavor, dating a text would be based on the most recent data. Of course God could use it, but the point is that your methodology is dependent upon dating usage. If the Book of Mormon is the earliest usage, then that usage isn't Early Modern English--it is dated to the appearance of the Book of Mormon, not earlier. God certainly could, but that means that your method of dating to an earlier form is flawed. The same type of evidence that you use to say that it wasn't available to Joseph also indicates that this form is unavailable to Joseph--but for a very different reason. I you must invoke God to understand the range of data, you are imposing a theology on the data rather than allowing the data to drive the interpretation.

Right. Not the point. There are archaic things in those texts that are also in the Book of Mormon. That means that it isn't the archaic nature, but rather the quantity of  archaic forms. Once again, your conclusions are driven by an imposed theological frame, not resulting from the data. The data tell us that some archaic features were used contemporaneously, hence the argument that the presence of Early Modern English could not be Joseph is incorrect. Now it is a question of why there is more rather than why there is any at all. Combine that with the dating issues, and the methodology does not support your conclusions.

The pseudo-biblical texts have biblical archaism. The Book of Mormon has both biblical and non-biblical archaism.

The data fully support what Joseph said in 1840 about God being the author of the text; there is no theological frame imposed first.

I hope you're taking seriously the need to study the linguistic data systematically and holistically. If not, you may be under the wrong impression that quite a few linguistic features of the text are late modern that actually are not late modern. Now of course you know this, but for the benefit of others I would like to say that it does no good to pick out only a few things and analyze them. Anyone is liable to come to the wrong conclusions by following such an approach. One has to look at thousands of things and work things over in order to come to some reliable conclusions. For instance, it does no good to look at 1 Nephi 15:13 and 1 Nephi 19:13 and hastily draw conclusions based on these two passages without sufficient linguistic understanding and without getting the textual history of the edits right.

As I have mentioned before, my initial hypothesis was that the Book of Mormon was a pseudo-biblical text in formation. I followed the data, not having read any of the relevant literature beforehand. I hadn't read your 2011 book, or any articles by Skousen, or anything by B. H. Roberts, or anything by other LDS scholars who had followed Roberts' position. I first studied verb complementation and saw, after tallying many different usage patterns, how it pointed away from Joseph Smith as either the author or the English-language translator. Later I looked at pseudo-biblical usage and saw how it supported that conclusion. Then I looked at some of Joseph's own writings and saw how those didn't change the conclusion but only supported it. Etc.

No, it's not just quantity, it's both quality and quantity. In the domain of syntax, "more part" usage is a case in point, showing both quality and quantity. The subordinate that usage is another. The quantity is there, but the quality resides in the occasional non-biblical usage. Even 10 cases of  "after that . . shall" and "after that .. should" are important, naturalistically unexpected instances of non-biblical archaism and qualitatively and quantitatively important. I mentioned two of the non-biblical cases that occur once each in the text: "since that S" and "to that S". There is also non-biblical "notwithstanding that S" (2×). These are all laid out in GV 2016. Furthermore, dozens of items of a lexical nature go to quality and quantity as well. Each archaic meaning and each archaic expression is both qualitatively and quantitatively important. These are laid out in NOL 2018.

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On 3/15/2019 at 4:57 PM, hope_for_things said:

Can you help me understand how a revelatory origin doesn’t also introduce an additional author into the equation?  Do you posit that God translated an ancient text first into EmodE and then into 19th century English?  Or do you propose that some other humans who spoke EModE were involved in some form of intermediary translation effort?  Or perhaps some combination of those possibilities? 

All of the above these theories run counter to the traditional narrative and complicate things significantly and require some additional theological explanations for what the purpose of such complications might be.  This is what I find ironic, that your position as an apologist is arguing for complicating the church’s traditional narrative while I’m actually more aligned with the traditional narrative in this case.  

That reversal is ironic, but understandable when one realizes that champatsch is not an apologist but a scientist who takes the case where the evidence leads him.  It is not clear in any way that his conclusions are helpful to the LDS faith.  It does, however, insert overwhelming complexity and confusion into the discussion.

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6 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

For the record I think this was the case, but in terms of overcoming objections I think engaging with Taves' unconscious writing or the like has to be dealt with. Further how a relatively uneducated person writes may very well be quite different from someone educated writing and aping a pseudo-16th century style. That is one can't simply dismiss the idea that Joseph was exposed to oral ways of speech that ended up reflected in the text. Indeed that should be the null hypothesis one is attempting to overcome.

Engaging with Ann Taves' unconscious writing theory or the like, such as automatic writing actually answers no questions as to the source of that "inspiration." It just presents an untestable theory. You have already made the point and it is accepted that a person's oral output will differ from his or her written words. The actual evidence still indicates that Joseph read from some type of prepared text, whether (very cleverly) hidden sheets, the seer stone or Nephite Interpreters, or in his mind's eye. Even if Joseph had been exposed to such oral ways of speech, it did not wind up being reflected in any of his mundane writings that he produced personally. If there was such in his oral communications it would more than likely show up in the letters, etc. that he dictated. Thus far, the only times that EmodE type language shows up extensively in Joseph's communications is with claims for a Divine source of inspiration.

Glenn

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On 3/15/2019 at 5:37 PM, hope_for_things said:

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.  

Actually the EmodE theory requires no additional person or thing helping Joseph with the translation other than the one Joseph used in his explanation that the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. Since God knows everything, all languages, all dialects, all changes, all nuances, He would have been perfectly capable of producing the translation from the reformed Egyptian on the plates into the vernacular that is found in the Book of Mormon. Of course one may ask why God would do it that way, and us poor mortals can only produce conjecture because God has not answered that question for us. But it has thrown a monkey wrench into the narrative that no one saw coming.

Glenn

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Posted (edited)
On 3/15/2019 at 6:22 AM, Rivers said:

The Book of Mormon is a strange phenomenon.

Perhaps 

On one hand there are legitimate problems.  Namely, the anachronisms and lack of hard archaeological proof.

"Anachronism" is just another word for "Not found, not exist", which is a logical fallacy. 

Exactly  how do you define "hard archaeological proof" -- a chariot road sign that says in Reformed Egyptian "Welcome to "Zarahemla, population 2 million"?  A  Schroeder's cat sort of thing, so to speak -->> How do you identify a Nephite jade necklace, for example.  Once you figure that out, then you know what to look for.  The BOM tells us that their language was not known to any other people, and virtually all of the codices were destroyed by the Spanish.  We don't even know the ancient city or geographical names, although  the ancient city name of "Lamonai" in Belize is interesting.

 

 

Edited by cdowis

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7 hours ago, champatsch said:

 The Book of Mormon has both biblical and non-biblical archaism.

 

"Non Biblical"  Can you be specific.  Consider this as a CFR.

thx

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8 hours ago, champatsch said:

 

The data fully support what Joseph said in 1840 about God being the author of the text; there is no theological frame imposed first.

 

After following this discussion, others, and some of your other writings, I'm still wondering how this conclusion gets thrown in there.  Just above this latest response from you, Brant says:

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Why wouldn't it be Early modern? Because some of it isn't. If not being consistent to a time period suggests a clash of styles, you are arguing for a clash of styles, mixing Early Modern English with KJV forms that came later, and others that are later still (according to the data as you have described/discussed them). You data do not suggest a uniform grammatical framework that can be placed at any specific point in time.

That seems to make sense.  Is he not correct?  If he is correct or even in the ballpark, how can the conclusion be that God is the author?  I believe you likely have the best grasp of styles, grammar, and lexical things, if you will.  I say, great, awesome, thanks for showing us that much of the Book has EModE spliced into it.  How that means God did it, is beyond me.  There are so many other options, so many others possibilities...I mean I"m at a loss about the data shows God did it.

With that said, we're still faced with many problems.  If God did it, if the text was inspired, how does that show that the story happened in anyway as described in the BoM?  That is was there really a Lehi who lived in Jerusalem and took his family out into the wilderness, across the deep?  What do we make of the plates themselves, considering they were not part of the creation of the Book of Mormon?  What would it mean, for instance, if Joseph saw the very characters from the plates with the English translation sitting under the characters?  How would Joseph know the characters were from the plates if he didn't consult them?  How would we know the English translation was in any way representative of what the original said?  

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Actually just the opposite is true:  Disinterested scholarly examination of the grammar and vocabulary of the BofM led to a surprise which no one sought and no one expected. Indeed, no one (so far as I can tell) has a rational explanation for the result.

Not only do we not have any evidence for the survival of a type of EModE dialect in New York or Vermont in the 19th century, but even Joseph Smith thought the grammar of the BofM was bad, and immediately set about correcting it in the 1837 and 1840 editions.  Everyone including Joseph faulted it as poorly written, later including even Mark Twain.  If the EModE in the BofM were slapdash and slipshod that would be one thing, but we have instead a systematic form of it, and no evidence of any survival of that language into Joseph's time.  I did recently point out to Stan Carmack a dialect in Wales which continued to use some forms of Old English phrases and expressions down into very recent times (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74glI1lg1CQ ), but that does not indicate full-scale survival of Old English into modern Wales.

The dogged belief that EModE survived into the 19th century is a fairy faith unsupported by any corroboration.

 

Wasn't the 1611 bible still floating around at Joseph's time? And that bible was written in EmodE, correct? Has a comparison of the EmodE forms, syntax, etc. found in the 1611 bible been done with the bofm? Has the comparison, if done, been evaluated by other linguists?

Also, how do you eliminate the possibility of spoken English in 1820's New York containing the EmodE that supposedly is in the bofm? The bofm was dictated and so one has to account for the spoken English of JS's time and the possibility of the appearance of EmodE.

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9 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The dogged belief that EModE survived into the 19th century is a fairy faith unsupported by any corroboration.

You are clearly overselling this. When will these supposed amazing findings be published in something other than the Interpreter? Are the brethren on board with these findings or are they still in the fairy faith camp?

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1 minute ago, Exiled said:

You are clearly overselling this. When will these supposed amazing findings be published in something other than the Interpreter? Are the brethren on board with these findings or are they still in the fairy faith camp?

I doubt that the Brethren are conversant with this issue at all, and this would likely be true also for over 99% of all Latter-day Saints or their detractors.  Moreover, Carmack & Skousen have been publishing on this issue now for several years, with Carmack providing the kind of detailed research data which is necessary in order to establish the basic facts.  If those facts are in dispute, it is important that detailed research be brought forward showing that there are holes in the case -- whatever that case may be.  We need to maintain this discussion within the realm of reason rather than faith.

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