Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
cinepro

"Problematic Apologetics": Bokovoy Reviews Callister's "A Case for the Book of Mormon".

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, the narrator said:

I stand by what I said: "this seems indicative of a lot of apologetic 'peer review' that largely involves passing something among friends and then publication regardless of whether or not criticisms are addressed."

FYI

Your Droopy quote may need a little peer review:

Quote

"You're absolutely vile and obnoxious paternalistic air of intellectual superiority towards anyone to takes issue with what you apparently consider to by your Olympian thoughts, arguments and beliefs, and your clear misapprehension of core LDS doctrine must, just must, give one pause." - Droopy

"You're" should likely be "Your." And "to" in "anyone to takes issue" should probably be "who." 😉

Edited by Ryan Dahle
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/20/2019 at 12:04 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

One can certainly get caught up in both Canaanite and Egyptian cosmologies and there was no Judaism at all at that early date.  But the crucial point to be made is that Moses carries an Egyptian name, as do many of his fellow Hebrews; the Tabernacle in the desert is an Egyptian-style tent, and much of the paraphernalia is Egyptian, and is described with Egyptian technical terms; moreover, Book of Mormon theology is filled with straightforward Egyptianisms, and this matches clues in the book of Exodus similarly based on Egyptian theology.  Indeed, the Bronze Plates go whole hog in being engraved in Egyptian.

And that is what Margaret Barker is getting at.  Whatever language was spoken by Moses (aside from his native Egyptian) would have more in common with Ugaritic than with Classical Hebrew.  King David would not have understood Moses any better than say King James I would have understood the English of Beowulf.

Not only do we not have the pre-Classical Semitic texts (oral) known to Moses, we likewise do not have any original texts from Jesus himself, or his disciples.  What we have instead are reminiscences made long after the fact, combined with lists of Sayings (Logia) which were combined into holy narratives used by worshippers in a Hellenistic Church environment.  The same kind of lore was created and maintained by the rabbis, beginning with Hillel & Shammai, and was not codified until at least the 2nd century A.D.  We are confronted by the very same difficulties in trying to figure out who Muhammad was and what he in fact said or did.  We cannot even establish with any accuracy the actual content of the original Qur'an.

Yup. I'd done a post along those lines over at T&S on Friday. There was some "Abrahamic" religion still in the Palestine region that Moses clearly participated in prior to returning to Egypt. We know almost nothing about it. Our knowledge of the Hebrew religion at the time of Moses or Joshua during the return to Palestine is so fragmentary as to be ridiculous. Even at the time of Elijah it seems that religion had become a small minority. Who knows how many people still followed the religion then or how it had already become transformed. Go to the time of Josiah when arguably there's a kind of reformation and repopularization and things get heavily transformed again. Really we know little about pre-exilic Judaism. And it gets worse the further back we go.

On 6/20/2019 at 9:13 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

This last makes no sense in light of Carmack's demonstration of the systematic nature of the EModE text.  No one in the 19th century was aware of that old style, and no one was capable of using it as a rhetorical vehicle.  The BofM would have to be unique in dredging that old systematic style up -- but from where?  It is much easier to believe that Joseph simply read the text from the surface of a stone.  That does not address where the English text actually came from, and that is unsettling, but that is our fate.  At least for now.

I'd be more cautious here. We are lacking a lot of data from the early 19th century. It's hard to say "no one in the 19th century was aware of that old style." We know that it wasn't in contemporary newly published texts of the era. It was in some older texts that still were in circulation and getting republished. We have no idea about its spoken nature. The best bet is to look at oral transcripts from legal proceedings. But even that may have the underlying language corrected or at least modified. It's also not systematic. 

 

3 hours ago, the narrator said:

I stand by what I said: "this seems indicative of a lot of apologetic 'peer review' that largely involves passing something among friends and then publication regardless of whether or not criticisms are addressed."

I actually do agree with this. I think the past couple of years it's become worse. I love The Interpreter and think it does a lot of good things. But a lot of papers really should be reacting to some obvious issues. That should be brought up before publication and engaged with. There are also a few things, like the recent Bayesian article, that I don't think should have been published there at all. That said, I think people tend to dismiss a lot of the solid work by pointing to these relatively infrequent bad articles.

 

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I'd be more cautious here. We are lacking a lot of data from the early 19th century. It's hard to say "no one in the 19th century was aware of that old style." We know that it wasn't in contemporary newly published texts of the era. It was in some older texts that still were in circulation and getting republished. We have no idea about its spoken nature. The best bet is to look at oral transcripts from legal proceedings. But even that may have the underlying language corrected or at least modified. It's also not systematic. 

Not trying to have a semantic debate about the meaning of systematic, but on at least one definition of the term, of course a lot of the usage is systematically early modern. The verbal system is only a good fit with Early Modern English. Etc. I think you might mean monolithic.

Clark, you need to find or develop a coherent corpus (it would be helpful to have at least 100,000 words) so we can check it for heavy finite verb complementation, a multifaceted match with 16c periphrastic did, and heavy personal which (the less-common variety of early modern personal relative pronoun usage). Let's see, what else?  How about a lot of future/present subjunctive shall usage, lots of subordinate that after subordinating conjunctions, lots of "save it were/be", lots of "if it so be", etc.

Bear in mind that there are quite a few general diachronic shifts in English usage that must have been avoided for your hypothesis to work. And Joseph's early writings are consistent with these diachronic shifts in usage. The writings don't agree with several prominent Book of Mormon patterns, which aren't pseudo-biblical either (some mentioned above).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
18 minutes ago, champatsch said:

Not trying to have a semantic debate about the meaning of systematic, but on at least one definition of the term, of course a lot of the usage is systematically early modern. The verbal system is only a good fit with Early Modern English. Etc. I think you might mean monolithic.

I just meant that we don't have a good sample distribution in terms of what pops up in transcripts. So the transcripts aren't necessarily representative of what was spoken. So I'm just looking at that statistical significance due to random distribution.

22 minutes ago, champatsch said:

Clark, you need to find or develop a coherent corpus (it would be helpful to have at least 100,000 words) so we can check it for heavy finite verb complementation, a multifaceted match with 16c periphrastic did, and heavy personal which (the less-common variety of early modern personal relative pronoun usage). Let's see, what else?  How about a lot of future/present subjunctive shall usage, lots of subordinate that after subordinating conjunctions, lots of "save it were/be", lots of "if it so be", etc.

The only one I know of is that legal transcript I've mentioned. Don't know the size. 

But even if there is no corpus, that doesn't mean the problem doesn't persist. It just means we're in a situation where we can't know what was going on.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

...............................

I'd be more cautious here. We are lacking a lot of data from the early 19th century. It's hard to say "no one in the 19th century was aware of that old style." We know that it wasn't in contemporary newly published texts of the era. It was in some older texts that still were in circulation and getting republished. We have no idea about its spoken nature. The best bet is to look at oral transcripts from legal proceedings. But even that may have the underlying language corrected or at least modified. It's also not systematic. ..........................................

 

1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

I just meant that we don't have a good sample distribution in terms of what pops up in transcripts. So the transcripts aren't necessarily representative of what was spoken. So I'm just looking at that statistical significance due to random distribution.

The only one I know of is that legal transcript I've mentioned. Don't know the size. 

But even if there is no corpus, that doesn't mean the problem doesn't persist. It just means we're in a situation where we can't know what was going on.

We are limited to the actual evidence which does exist, not what we wish we had, and there is simply no evidence of EModE usage in the systematic sense in 19th century America.  Even the knowledge of the grammar and usage style had long since disappeared.  There was no reason for it to have persisted.  Moreover, even if someone read a book from 1540 which contained the full-blown EModE language, he would not have known it.  He'd be in the same boat any ordinary reader of the Book of Mormon is in when he encounters and misunderstands the grammar and expressions in The Earliest Text.  Like Joseph Smith himself, he would simply think the usage to be stilted and somehow "wrong."   He would not know that he was reading an earlier language.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Yup. I'd done a post along those lines over at T&S on Friday. There was some "Abrahamic" religion still in the Palestine region that Moses clearly participated in prior to returning to Egypt. We know almost nothing about it. Our knowledge of the Hebrew religion at the time of Moses or Joshua during the return to Palestine is so fragmentary as to be ridiculous. Even at the time of Elijah it seems that religion had become a small minority. Who knows how many people still followed the religion then or how it had already become transformed. Go to the time of Josiah when arguably there's a kind of reformation and repopularization and things get heavily transformed again. Really we know little about pre-exilic Judaism. And it gets worse the further back we go..................................

Yes, we do know from the Amarna Letters that there were plenty of annoying semi-nomadic Hebrews in Palestine, and we also know archeologically that early Israel was heavily settled in the central highlands of Ephraim & Manasseh for a long time -- terracing, digging wells, building unfortified homes, and posing no threat to the large Canaanite cities (where the same NorthWest Semitic language was being spoken, and the same general culture being expressed).  Most of those people (Hebrews and Canaanites) had the same genes, and they shared many common assumptions about religion.  The differences would become sharper later.

2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I actually do agree with this. I think the past couple of years it's become worse. I love The Interpreter and think it does a lot of good things. But a lot of papers really should be reacting to some obvious issues. That should be brought up before publication and engaged with. There are also a few things, like the recent Bayesian article, that I don't think should have been published there at all. That said, I think people tend to dismiss a lot of the solid work by pointing to these relatively infrequent bad articles.

It would be interesting to get your appraisal of the larger LDS intellectual community.  Does it actually exist?  And is it significant?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I just meant that we don't have a good sample distribution in terms of what pops up in transcripts. So the transcripts aren't necessarily representative of what was spoken. So I'm just looking at that statistical significance due to random distribution.

The only one I know of is that legal transcript I've mentioned. Don't know the size. 

But even if there is no corpus, that doesn't mean the problem doesn't persist. It just means we're in a situation where we can't know what was going on.

Yes, I see, you used systematic in reference to some legal transcripts.

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/20/2019 at 7:33 AM, Benjamin McGuire said:

.........................

I don't agree with Robert's conclusion here (really any of it). But on the assumption that he is right, it also makes no sense to me. After all, if the language is different enough that (as Carmack has argued) " The linguistic fingerprint of the Book of Mormon, in hundreds of different ways, is Early Modern English. Smith himself — out of a presumed idiosyncratic, quasi-biblical style — would not have translated and could not have translated the text into the form of the earliest text. Had his own language often found its way into the wording of the earliest text, its form would be very different from what we encounter." If this is true, then it means that the Book of Mormon is not a good, or a fluid translation, and it means that its first readers were not terribly competent readers. So what are we to make of a text that is lousy translation - and not just a lousy translation but one that would progressively become more and more difficult for its readers to understand? What is the purpose of this obsolete language in the text?

Quote

Carmack goes on to suggest that Joseph couldn’t have translated the text. And this becomes proof of authenticity. It makes for a strange proof of authenticity when we talk of a translation by arguing that we have no idea who the translator was, or how they did their job.

.............................

Either one of these positions could come back to bite the Book of Mormon, and you  correctly and succinctly state each opposing approach (bolded above).  Indeed, anti-Mormons already claim that the EModE report is merely an apologetic ploy, rather than a straightforward report on systematic research.

Trying to finesse our way out of this mystery seems to me unhelpful at best.  Just as physicists may one day solve the mystery of dark energy and dark matter, so too we may one day solve the mystery of EModE in the Book of Mormon.  However, that time is not yet.

Share this post


Link to post
On 7/4/2019 at 2:53 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

 

"A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion"

The one and only "proof".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...