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Dan McClellan

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Everything posted by Dan McClellan

  1. There is no definite article in the Hebrew b'reishit, so the word on its own would be indefinite. However, an indefinite word with the bet prefix is likely in construct with what followings, meaning it is in a genitive relationship with what follows. Normally, what would follow in the second part of a construct would be a noun, but verbal clauses, even those unmarked by relative pronouns, can occur in the second part of a construct phrase. In a construct phrase, the first part does not carry a definite article, but adopts the definiteness of the second part of the phrase. So if the second part is definite, the first part is too, even without the definite article. So, if we interpret b'reishit as indefinite and in construct with "God created the heavens and the earth," the whole verse would be rendered, "In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth . . ." It would then need to be followed by the main clause of the sentence, since this construct phrase does not act as a main clause. This whole construct phrase would also best be interpreted as a temporal clause, which would be more idiomatically rendered in English, "When God began to create the heavens and the earth . . ." Verse 2 could function as the main clause, giving us, "When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was desolate and barren." Genesis 1:1–2 would thus describe the state of the earth at the beginning of God's creative act. It would not refer to an absolute beginning, but to a relative one: the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth.
  2. I'm looking forward to the same. Things are changing. It's a slow process, and people are fighting against it, but we'll get there.
  3. I think we have to find ways to better deal with the reality that the KJV was heavily influential on the way the Prophet articulated the Restoration, with all its errors and shortcomings.
  4. I'd suggest teaching it from 2 Nephi and the D&C rather than going back to Isaiah. At least that way the teaching can be consistent from language to language and we don't have to try to skirt around all the languages where Isaiah is translated differently.
  5. That's correct. It has nothing to do with what the Hebrew was intended to do. The Bibles that preceded the King James Version tried a variety of ways to make sense of the passage, but the 1560 Geneva Bible seems to be the first to go with "precept upon precept, line unto line." The Bishops' Bible (of which the KJV is a revision) went in another direction, but the KJV seems to have adapted the Geneva Rendering.
  6. So the German versions are much closer to what's really going on in the text. The Hebrew is repetitive and nonsensical precisely because it is supposed to be mimicking unintelligible speech. This is why the very next line is "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." Literally, the Hebrew says tsav latsav tsav latsav qav laqav qav laqav. Isaiah is basically saying, "he's gonna say 'blah blah blah blah,' and you won't be able to understand." The translators in the 16th and 17th centuries didn't recognize this rhetorical device and tried hard to make some kind of sense of the words, which required some etymological fudging, but they came up with a plumb line and a word that refers to a precept or principle. The repetition includes the preposition la-, which refers to movement towards or benefit for, which they interpreted as "upon," and thus was born the phrase "precept upon precept, line upon line."
  7. Nope. As I pointed out to you, it was an explicit violation of the law, not an assumption.
  8. Except this isn't an improvisation, this is a direct and explicit violation of the law. The word translated "strange" in the KJV can refer to something foreign or unrecognizable, but it also means unauthorized or prohibited, and in this case refers to coals from a profane context (rather than a temple context), which is in direct violation of the law.
  9. This is anti-Semitic nonsense, but also a pretty laughable misunderstanding of the history and of the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew was a Judaizer. Nor is it prohibited anywhere, but it's a lot more complicated than that. The cult of deceased kin was absolutely normative in early Israel and early Christianity, and food offerings to the dead are even tacitly permitted by the Hebrew Bible. In fact, in Deuteronomy 26:14, all it says in relation to food offered to the dead is not to make any food offerings to YHWH if they come from food that has been offered to the dead. The idea there is to not mix the ritually impure with the tithe. Ritually impure doesn't mean "sin," or "wrong," either. The dead have absolutely always been a part of "our religious realm," even as some groups have fought against it for purposes of restricting access to power and resources. The dead and the divine have always been thoroughly interconnected. Then both Judaism and Christianity have shot beyond the mark since the beginning of their histories. Or maybe you just don't understand the history very well but still have strong feelings.
  10. Those aren't controversies, those are just lies, and profoundly idiotic ones, too.
  11. Vicarious liturgy was a part of Christianity from the beginning, and has always been a part of ancient Israelite practice. As early as we can distinguish Judahite and Israelite tombs from those of other societies, we have found mortuary chapels with representations of the dead that included petitions for the wellbeing of the dead as well as petitions to the dead for help. The earliest version of any passage known from the Hebrew Bible is a set of tiny rolled up silver scrolls dating to around 600 BCE that contain a version of the priestly blessing from the book of Numbers that was used as an apotropaic amulet that was buried with a deceased person and meant to protect them in the afterlife. Intercession on behalf of the dead began to invoke angels in the Greco-Roman period, primarily as a result of expanded literary activity and increased interest in the nature of the heavens within Judaism. The dead have always been invoked within Israelite, Jewish, and Christian practice, both to secure for them a better afterlife and to seek aid for the living.
  12. South Central, yes. Not Compton, Detroit, or NYC, but I did attend an elementary school that was 90% African-American and I did live and work for several years in Dallas, as well as in urban centers in other countries. I don't see how any of these experiences impact my ability to evaluate the data that have been gathered over decades regarding the relevance socio-economic trends and dynamics.
  13. See here you're asserting your own conceptualization of racism as something that is not attached to power structures in an effort to protect white interests and power structures, even after I demonstrated to you that that conceptualization is a revisionist one that was developed during the Civil Rights Movement precisely to protect white interests and power structures. You can't even engage the facts, you just have to ignore them and reassert your own naive rhetoric in the hopes it works this time. Good grief, do better.
  14. Any response that does not further use real or feigned naivety, fallacy, or rhetorical deflection just to avoid having to acknowledge the indisputable reality of systemic power asymmetries. Yes, I have been studying these approaches for many years, and I have found them entirely lacking. Their validity does not need to be relitigated every time someone tells me, "Nu-uh!" I consider carrying water for white supremacy to be inherently illegitimate, whether or not the individual does so knowingly. That was me for many years. As I have already posted in this thread, I recognize it's a big hurdle to get over to realize how harmful and corrosive that rhetorical position is. It took me years to get over it myself. Yes, those tenets are that these questions have been researched for decades and have ample data available, and that minorities have consensus perspectives that matter just as much as a white person's. Neither tenet is too much to ask.
  15. In other words, it's the agency of white folks that perpetuates the segregation. Our neighborhood here in Herriman angrily killed a proposal to build low-income housing nearby a few years ago. The discussions online were littered with references to "the kinds of people" that would be moving in. It baffles me that folks who think all this is ok actually presume to lecture others about what racism really is.
  16. No, I'm promoting allowing oppressed minorities to have safe spaces. Like I said to smac, none of your rhetoric works at all unless you deny the reality of systemic power asymmetries. There has to be a level playing field for your rhetoric to work, and you know there isn't, so you just have to refuse to address it. You have to just keep insisting on your rhetoric. It's just laughable.
  17. If you don't want me to criticize your rhetoric, don't so blithely promote white supremacy.
  18. No, you'll just pervert the Prophet's words for the sake of your blithe defense of white supremacy. It's not segregation, it's an attempt to dismantle systemic power asymmetries. It's just framed as segregation for folks who feel their privilege is threatened by it.
  19. No, there are no parts of this country where white people "don't go." There are parts where they may not like to go, or where they feel scared to go, but white people still go to those places. You even acknowledged in your own post that you go to those places. Also, those places where white folks don't like to go are precisely the places to which white folks spent generations trying to confine Black folks. They have been trapped there. They want to get out of those places real bad, but we continue to reinforce the systems that trap them there, all the while blaming them for what we've done to them. Now, can you tell me precisely where on Harvard's campus those places are where white people "don't go"?
  20. Lol, no, I'm not rewriting anything whatsoever. I'm a linguist who's been studying racism for a decade. The term was coined in reference to the government's oppression of America's First Peoples, and it has absolutely always been used to refer to the actions of the powerful against the powerless. During the Civil Rights Movement, a lot of white folks decided "racism" was just too powerful an accusation not to be able to use against Black folks, so they came up with the concept of "reverse racism" to hurl at Black folks. Already the power directionality is made explicit, but white folks soon realized their term wasn't incredibly useful, so they retreated to the dictionary fallacy and just started insisting that "racism" refers to racial prejudice in any direction. *That* is the revisionist conceptualization of the term, and over the last ten years, every time a white dude tells me they just a priori know better than me, I invite them to show me just one use of the word "racism" from before the Civil Rights Movement in reference to Black>white prejudice. No one has ever once even attempted to go dig up an example. I know this is because there's no way they're actually gonna do any research, especially research that might undermine their worldview, but I extend the invitation anyway. So, by all means, prove me wrong and show me usage of the term "racism" prior to the Civil Rights Movement entirely divorced from very specific power dynamics. Take your time. We will never eliminate racism because we cannot change people's hearts. We can at least dismantle the systemic power asymmetries that continue to reify it every single day all over the nation entirely independently of individuals. Oh, also, folks like you can get better educated.
  21. The notion that our goal of achieving true colorblindness as followers of Christ means we must also *IGNORE* the *INDISPUTABLE REALITY* of widespread systemic racism around this country at the hands of the hundreds of millions of other Americans who hold to no such ideal is just absolutely laughable, and that's not counting the significant portion of American Latter-day Saints who openly promoted nationalism, bigotry, jingoism, and xenophobia over the course of the previous administration and to this day, and so clearly are not living up to President Nelson's ideal. Maybe go learn what colorblind racial ideology actually is before just blithely spouting quotes from President Nelson.
  22. Also, because it's definitely relevant here, Christian nationalism is white supremacy, and it's not where we will find the right answers to these social ills. It is built on right wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and colorblind racial ideology. If you don't know what those technical terms mean, educate yourself.
  23. White folks have never once had to think about the fact that the overwhelming majority of us can entirely isolate ourselves from Black folks without a single thought. "Black folks should not be allowed to have spaces that I am not allowed to invade and hijack" is just such a bafflingly stupid and racist thing to say.
  24. Wow, this is wildly false, deeply stupid, and profoundly racist. You're appealing to the fact that the overwhelming majority of people responsible for the murders of Black folks are other Black folks, and you acknowledge that most white murders are committed by other white folks. You know why? Because murders tend to take place among people who live near each other, and segregation still has its claws deep in this nation. You know, there was a reason they built highways and interstates to split the projects off from the wealthier white neighborhoods. You know what is a much stronger predictor of violent crime than race? Urban poverty. Poor urban white communities experience the same rates as poor urban Black communities, but there are far more poor urban Black communities because we did such a good job ensuring Black folks stayed poor and stayed on the bad side of town. Now, am I responsible for the people who did that? Absolutely not. The effects are still very active, though, and I benefit from them, and I am absolutely responsible for what I do about that power imbalance. That's really the lynchpin to understanding why so many people laugh out loud at people who insist white people are being held responsible for the sins of others. Nothing could be further from the truth. No one says that. What we are responsible for is what we do about the system as it exists now. Are we going to defend and perpetuate it, or are we going to dismantle it. I've made an informed decision. You appear increasingly committed to a dogmatic one.
  25. Then why are you fighting so hard to protect yours?
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