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Benjamin McGuire

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About Benjamin McGuire

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    Separates Water & Dry Land
  • Birthday August 16

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    Northern Michigan

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  1. There is a term that gets used for this notion: Special Pleading. It's a logical fallacy (and I am sure you have heard of it). How is the production history of the Book of Mormon different from other texts? And when you assert its difference, does the assertion actually prevent anyone from providing some sort of negative check? But for the record, here is what I have time for this morning. So let's start with your "the more part of" ok? I notice in your one article that you mention a late use by Edward Freeman (well several uses, since I think it occurs seven times in that text right?).
  2. Robert, this needs to be done BEFORE we assert that the Book of Mormon is an Early Modern English text. This is the negative check that is necessary to make such an assertion. And it hasn't been done. From where I sit, the problem is that I can repeatedly find examples of this sort of thing everywhere I look - and because the searchable data-set of texts contemporary with the publication of the Book of Mormon continues to improve, the task only gets easier. For any specific phrase or construction, the rarity of its use in English in 1830 (and afterwards) is as good now as it canl eve
  3. This doesn't work, of course, because it isn't enough to say that the language has its origins in Early Modern English. That is meaningless in this context. The question is whether or not we can find (as I just noted) contemporary usage that is more or less the same. We don't care if we can find stuff in the 16th century. We care if we can find it in the 19th century. Did the first readers understand the text fairly well? Did they not understand all of these extinct forms? Did they misunderstand the text because of the archaic language? Ben
  4. The problem, Robert, is with your notion of "extinct features". They aren't extinct if we can find them in contemporary literature. And for the most part, I can. Ben McGuire
  5. It isn't merely a small amount of "later" stuff. There is a significant amount of later stuff. This is one of the major issues with the theory. There has been no real effort made to identify all of the language which cannot be Early Modern English. So perhaps you could enlighten me. What percentage of the Book of Mormon text is exclusively Early Modern English?
  6. Is there language in the text that is later than Early Modern English? If there is, then the text cannot be Early Modern English, and your argument is irrelevant. Yes, it may incorporate elements which are Early Modern English. But this does not make the text-as-it-is an Early Modern English text. To put it into a biblical context, we don't date a Hebrew text based on the earliest Hebrew words and forms that we find in the text - those can be borrowed or copied from earlier texts and sources. We work from the most recent language and forms to determine the date of the text that we read. W
  7. I reject that notion. I think its easy to definitively demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not in Early Modern English. The most basic premise in that argument is the fact that we don't place limits on how early a text was written by using the earliest language that exists in the text but rather on the latest language that exists in the text. Ben McGuire
  8. Ryan Dahle writes: No. That's the point of all this. The one cannot be evidence (circumstantial or otherwise) of the other. We can argue that all of these things are evidence (circumstantial or otherwise) for the historic authenticity of the text. But this isn't historicity. And you can't simply substitute the one for the other. Consider, for example the difference in the way that we can discuss Mormon from the end of the text and the way that we can discuss Zedekiah from its beginning. Here is something of an overly simplistic history of Zedekiah. Zedekiah was named Mattaniah whe
  9. Smac writes: All extant evidence pertaining to the plates comes from only a couple of years prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon. And because of this, once again, this only works as an argument for verisimilitude and not historicity. How old were the plates? What language were they written in? Who was the author? These details can only be answered by an appeal to the text, because we do not have an external way of answering these questions. But we need these questions answered (or similar kinds of questions) to start discussing the historicity question. If instead we have to
  10. mfbukowski writes I think that this sort of viewpoint is largely impractical though. If we view literature as a communicative act (which I do), then it's purpose is never to fully represent reality, but rather to act as the medium of communication (which it may achieve in varying degrees). I am more inclined to address the problems of representing reality through this lens, and engage the concept of authors as unreliable narrators (something that expands this notion of reality by placing it into an arena of a perception of reality).
  11. Thinking writes: All evidence to contrary aside, right? So let's see. How about this: I think that we believe (and God allows us to believe) all sorts of things that aren't true. In theory, revelation doesn't move us from a point of falsity to a point of absolute truth and understanding. It simply moves us along a spectrum in which we move towards a better understanding and a greater enlightenment. This isn't, by the way, a statement that I believe in the Book of Mormon as inspired fiction. I am just not convinced that these arguments are effective rebuttals of that i
  12. Smac writes: Ok. I am perfectly happy having this discussion. The first step, though, is to start with the text that we have, and determine what in that text is attributable to the translation, and what might be attributable to some original source. Have you ever done this with the Book of Mormon? Some of it should be quite obvious right? The use of the King James language is an artifact of translation (as opposed to some literal representation of an original source text). If we don't do this, it would be something akin to doing Biblical Studies using only the King James text, and asse
  13. Going back to the OP - I just want to point out something - The Book of Mormon is a modern production. We know when it was first published. We understand it's language (and the history of that language). We can discuss its first readers. None of this is really in dispute by believers or non-believers (as far as I know). The historicity of the Book of Mormon, if we want to discuss such a concept, is that of the Book of Mormon as an artifact, with a well defined history, and with lots of early copies and manuscripts. This is entirely different (and separate) from the question of whethe
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