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JAHS

Evidences of the Book of Mormon: Old World Geography

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15 hours ago, JAHS said:

Yes, but it's just I personally don't know anyone who got into it in that way, do you?  Maybe the evidence found so far isn't convincing enough.

Yes that's the way I got into it. 

I loved geography and ancient world history.

 

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13 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

The part of Don Bradley's forthcoming book I'm most excited about is whether there are any references to what the lost 116 pages said about this journey. I rather suspect there was a lot more in that text than what we  have in 1 Nephi. Which of course doesn't mean any indirect descriptions of the journey survived.

Kent Brown's essay uses descriptions from later Book of Mormon writers who had what we are missing and made references for which we don't have the full story.   Bradley's previews of his forthcoming book have been interesting.  He presented at FAIR a few years ago.

Kevin C.

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4 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

This footage is from Wadi Sayq (Khor Kharfot). It was taken by Daniel Smith, who works for BMC. 

However, it should be noted that not all of the footage and images in the video accurately correspond to the scene they are depicting.  

Thanks!   I picked up Smith on the BMC site.  I'll see what he can tell me.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I'm not sure specifically how much seasonality affects the stream at Wadi Sayq (I'm guessing it does notably affect the waterflow). Footage for the stream at Wadi Sayq can actually be seen starting at 2:22 in the video (which, confusingly, is about Wadi Tayyib al-Ism). 

I know that in the 90s, George Potter documented that the stream at Wadi Tayyib al-Ism flows throughout the year. The geologist accompanying him indicated that the waterflow was much more like a large stream (small river) in antiquity. People have been pumping water out of the aquifer in modern times which seems to be the reason that the stream is now hardly more than a small trickle of water. I'm guessing that was the rationale behind using footage from Wadi Sayq in the discussion of Wadi Tayyib al-Ism. 

For Potter's discussion of the waterflow in the stream at Wadi Tayyib al-Ism, see https://publications.mi.byu.edu/pdf-control.php/publications/jbms/8/1/S00011-51096faa2ea6210Potter.pdf 

Wadi Sayq is interesting, but only 1% of the problem, because you still have to build a ship with technology 2000yrs early to transport the deutero-Isaiah and excerpts from the book of Malachi to Guatemala.  Making a pencil - that's hard.  How to make a transoceanic "nau - class" vessel - much harder.    

https://youtu.be/IYO3tOqDISE

Edited by blueglass
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4 hours ago, JAHS said:

Just how big are the river of Laman (Wadi Tayyib al-Ism ?) and the Wadi Sayq river? I assume they can vary in size depending on the season and whether it is raining or not. They don't look very big on the maps or in photos I have seen.

Wadi Sayq is dry most of the year, at least along it lower stretches, exacerbated undoubtedly by water being drawn off higher up.  It also has springs in its lowest reaches.  During last years Monsoonal season a large hurricane/typhoon came through the general area causing imense damage and even death.  Incredibly large bolders were mobilized in the Wadi causing extensive damage to highway fords/bridges, for instance.

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3 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't personally see the humor.  Which part seems unreasonably, that it took 8 years to get to Bountiful, or that the Lehites lived in Mesoamerica for the next 1,000 years? 

Why does it seem strange that a people would live predominantly in one small location for thousands of years?  The Maya anyone?     

Or the Israelites in the land of Israel?

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5 minutes ago, blarsen said:
3 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't personally see the humor.  Which part seems unreasonably, that it took 8 years to get to Bountiful, or that the Lehites lived in Mesoamerica for the next 1,000 years? 

Why does it seem strange that a people would live predominantly in one small location for thousands of years?  The Maya anyone?     

Or the Israelites in the land of Israel?

Or me in my home town?  I avoid moving at all costs and since they considered this the "promised land" why would they want to move anywhere else?

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

As others noted it's dangerous to extrapolate from current hydrology the hydrology of 2500 years ago. Geologists and historians can make inferences about what the hydrology once was, but that requires hard evidence not extrapolation from current conditions.

Where in the text does it say they met no one during the 8 years of their journey? Silence isn't strong evidence for absence. Nephi simply doesn't say much about the trip in the small plates. I imagine the larger plates gave much more information that was translated in the 116 pages. I'll confess I'm rather skeptical they didn't meet anyone. It's rather likely they were following well known trade routes in which case meeting people would be nearly unavoidable.

In fact climatologists have apparently inferred a climatological minimum, akin to the Maunder Minimum, that bridges the Lehiite 'sojourn' in the area to include Khor Kharfot.  This could have resulted in a wetter, colder climate.

Probably others have already pointed out that the Lehiite use of Irreantum and Nahom indicate they are picking up place names from the local populations.

 

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28 minutes ago, blueglass said:

Wadi Sayq is interesting, but only 1% of the problem, because you still have to build a ship with technology 2000yrs early to transport the deutero-Isaiah and excerpts from the book of Malachi to Guatemala.  Making a pencil - that's hard.  How to make a transoceanic "nau - class" vessel - much harder.    

https://youtu.be/IYO3tOqDISE

This used to be a great stumbling block for me, being someone very susceptible to a reductionist world-view.  However, this was greatly lessened a couple of years ago after I read the account of Joseph Smith and a companions (don't recall who) on-going visionary experiences of seeing how to build the Kirtland Temple.  Too often, we forget what the higher powers can do through the media of dreams, visions, direct visitations, etc.

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46 minutes ago, blarsen said:
1 hour ago, blueglass said:

Wadi Sayq is interesting, but only 1% of the problem, because you still have to build a ship with technology 2000yrs early to transport the deutero-Isaiah and excerpts from the book of Malachi to Guatemala.  Making a pencil - that's hard.  How to make a transoceanic "nau - class" vessel - much harder.    

https://youtu.be/IYO3tOqDISE

This used to be a great stumbling block for me, being someone very susceptible to a reductionist world-view.  However, this was greatly lessened a couple of years ago after I read the account of Joseph Smith and a companions (don't recall who) on-going visionary experiences of seeing how to build the Kirtland Temple.  Too often, we forget what the higher powers can do through the media of dreams, visions, direct visitations, etc.

Apparently God knew how to build such a ship under such conditions:
"And it came to pass that they did worship the Lord, and did go forth with me; and we did work timbers of curious workmanship. And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship.
 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men."  (1 Nephi 18: 1-2)

Chances are we still don't know how to do it the way Nephi did. 
 

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On 6/12/2019 at 5:05 PM, JAHS said:

This new video discusses some of the similarities of Lehi's travels in the old world and compares it to what is known of the area today.
It brings up a few extra arguments that I had not heard of before that seem to help validate the narrative in the Book of Mormon.
Are they stretching some things too much or are they all valid arguments? 

 

What’s the estimated distance from Nahom to Bountiful?

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44 minutes ago, Gervin said:

What’s the estimated distance from Nahom to Bountiful?

Approximately 500 miles as the crow flies.

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4 hours ago, JAHS said:

Approximately 500 miles as the crow flies.

If they traveled in a mostly eastern direction from Nahom to Bountiful, why did it take them 8 years to make a journey that should have only required a few months, tops?

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Gervin said:

If they traveled in a mostly eastern direction from Nahom to Bountiful, why did it take them 8 years to make a journey that should have only required a few months, tops?

Actually, the text does not say it took 8 years to travel to Bountiful - that has been an assumption. I think it is fairly interpreted as saying that it took them eight years to travel from Jerusalem, until making their boat in Bountiful - ie Bountiful was part of being in "the wilderness."

1 Nephi 17:

4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.

5 And we did come to the land which we called aBountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.

Further, the whole trip was something close to 2300 mi. I believe they were probably in Bountiful something like 4 years building a boat. That was a large undertaking. In the initial leg, they spent the better part of a year probably at their camp by the Red Sea. That left 3 years to travel around 2300 mi - with prolonged stays for hunting, and building up supplies for the next leg - not unreasonable.

Edited by RevTestament
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Gervin said:

If they traveled in a mostly eastern direction from Nahom to Bountiful, why did it take them 8 years to make a journey that should have only required a few months, tops?

Remember I said as the crow flies which would be a straight line. They no doubt had hills and valleys they had to go over or around; they needed to collect food; maybe they stopped for a while to grow some crops for food; women were having babies; people getting sick or injured.
Verse 1 says:

"And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness." 
That's why it took so long.  Sometimes we assume that everything that happened is recorded in the scriptures, when that is just not a practical assumption. No doubt that most of the things that happened to them are not recorded in the scriptures. 

Edited by JAHS
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19 hours ago, ksfisher said:

I think perhaps more people would be open to discussion with you if you weren't so derisive of their opinions.  You bring up points that are important to understand no matter where you believe the book took place, but you deliver them in a manner that immediately puts others on the defensive instead of fostering discussion.

Agreed.  I have learned to disregard his rhetorical flourishes.  

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On 6/16/2019 at 11:09 PM, Burnside said:

20 I am Mormon, and a pure adescendant of Lehi. I have reason to bless my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, that he brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, (and bno one knew it save it were himself and those whom he brought out of that land) and that he hath given me and my people so much knowledge unto the salvation of our souls.

 No one knew of Lehi’s group. They encountered no one.

That is a huge assumption. They encountered no one they knew. They left Jerusalem without anyone's knowledge is the reasonable interpretation. 

On 6/16/2019 at 11:09 PM, Burnside said:

I also have issue with the claim Lehi’s group followed the Incense Trail either southward or eastward to Bountiful. Bountiful was prepared by The Lord for Lehi’s group as the text states, it wasn’t a Riviera for travelers on the incense trail. The reason why they were commanded not to use fire was to not be seen by others.

I recall no such commandment in the text - maybe you can point it out to me? They would find it nay impossible to make iron tools in Bountiful without making fire....which contradicts your interpretation.

Quote

It’s also laughable how Book of Mormon Central knows the Arabia Peninsula is much much larger than Mesoamerica, about the size of Western Europe. Yet, while it took Lehi’s group 8 years to get to Bountiful, Book of Mormon Central claims Lehi’s and Mulek’s descendants spent the next 1,000 years in teeny-tiny Mesoamerica. LAUGHABLE.

"Teeny-tiny Mesoamerica" had millions of people in it. Many more than the Book of Mormon talks about. Frankly your argument is laughable (and I am not a Mesoamerican theorist). Ya'know if you were to stop with your derisive argumentation, you might find that Central America has some things which might support the BoM - like languages which seem to have Semitic and Egyptian roots. The BoM teaches us nothing about the habits of the Lamanites. They may have spread far and wide leaving important hints which you will overlook because of your narrow minded argumentation....just sayin.

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18 hours ago, JAHS said:

Remember I said as the crow flies which would be a straight line. They no doubt had hills and valleys they had to go over or around; they needed to collect food; maybe they stopped for a while to grow some crops for food; women were having babies; people getting sick or injured.
Verse 1 says:

"And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness." 
That's why it took so long.  Sometimes we assume that everything that happened is recorded in the scriptures, when that is just not a practical assumption. No doubt that most of the things that happened to them are not recorded in the scriptures. 

We’re talking about a distance, from Nahom to Bountiful, that is equivalent to Kansas City to Indianapolis. How many years for this stage of the trip?

The text demarcates time in the wilderness against their arrival to Bountiful. And nothing in the description of the place  suggests wilderness. Btw, Where is the brass compass these eight years?  

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On 6/16/2019 at 3:44 PM, blarsen said:

Being able to marshal a good geographical model also has the potential of getting the attention of those who would ordinarily not give the Book of Mormon a 2nd thought.  Once it may grab their attention as being viable, they then have the chance to work on a spiritual connection to its truth.

There are always better reasons to doubt religious assertions than there are to scientifically believe them.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2019 at 10:10 PM, Ryan Dahle said:

Some of us are working on research that sheds further light on some of these topics. 

Have you ever looked into the accounts from the Cochin Jews in India and the Lemba Jews in Zimbabwe? 

Both groups talk about a similar migration from Jerusalem to a place called Sena [1] along the same trail in the same time period. The similarities between their accounts and the Book of Mormon are striking. 

-----

[1] Sena was a thriving Jewish city at the time of the Babylonian empire around 500 BC, and is believed to have been dominated by Israelites who had fled Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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On 6/17/2019 at 4:16 PM, blarsen said:

This used to be a great stumbling block for me, being someone very susceptible to a reductionist world-view.  However, this was greatly lessened a couple of years ago after I read the account of Joseph Smith and a companions (don't recall who) on-going visionary experiences of seeing how to build the Kirtland Temple.  Too often, we forget what the higher powers can do through the media of dreams, visions, direct visitations, etc.

I don't know if its reductionist, more grounded in complexity and economic theory.  In the Expanse by Abraham and Franck the mormons contract Fred Johnson to build the largest starship ever constructed the LDSS Nauvoo.  The starship has Epstein fusion drives, and is constructed of materials which we cannot mass produce at the current time.  The book series is set in the future about +300 years.  Would it be plausible to assume that one person receiving dreams, visions, and direct visitations, with a team of a few hundred can produce the LDSS Nauvoo in 2019?  

Edited by blueglass
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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2019 at 5:06 PM, JAHS said:

Apparently God knew how to build such a ship under such conditions:
"And it came to pass that they did worship the Lord, and did go forth with me; and we did work timbers of curious workmanship. And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship.
 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men."  (1 Nephi 18: 1-2)

Chances are we still don't know how to do it the way Nephi did. 
 

God knows how to build a ship, yet he's speaking with ants constrained to the resources of a primitive economy.   

Proverbs 30:24-28

24 “Four things on earth are small,
    yet they are extremely wise:
25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
    yet they store up their food in the summer;
26 hyraxes are creatures of little power,
    yet they make their home in the crags;
27 locusts have no king,
    yet they advance together in ranks;
28 a lizard can be caught with the hand,
    yet it is found in kings’ palaces.

Edited by blueglass

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On 6/19/2019 at 8:04 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

Have you ever looked into the accounts from the Cochin Jews in India and the Lemba Jews in Zimbabwe? 

Both groups talk about a similar migration from Jerusalem to a place called Sena [1] along the same trail in the same time period. The similarities between their accounts and the Book of Mormon are striking. 

-----

[1] Sena was a thriving Jewish city at the time of the Babylonian empire around 500 BC, and is believed to have been dominated by Israelites who had fled Jerusalem during the Babylonian invasion.

Rajah, i have noticed one of your presentations on Prezi that seems to indicate a relationship between Cochin Jews+St. Thomas Christians with the Lehite populations in their outward expansion north into Kamara and east into what became Zhenla.  Can you expand upon that relationship?  Heck...feel free to boundlessly speculate about that relationship!

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20 hours ago, Islamormoyid said:

Rajah, i have noticed one of your presentations on Prezi that seems to indicate a relationship between Cochin Jews+St. Thomas Christians with the Lehite populations in their outward expansion north into Kamara and east into what became Zhenla.  Can you expand upon that relationship?  Heck...feel free to boundlessly speculate about that relationship!

As I recall, Hugh Nibley made a connection between the Mandeans living in the southern Iraq marsh provinces with 'Rekhabite' Jews who also fled Jerusalem around the time of the Lehiite out-migration.

Edited by blarsen

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