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OGHoosier

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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. I'm not sure there's any way to determine whether or not Abraham himself would have been familiar with it, since all we have about Abraham is pseudepigraphic or written by a later prophet. There's no control to compare to.
  2. I too would like to sidestep getting a Scribd membership, so this is good advice. Thanks! I came away from Robert's paper with the impression that he was referencing the Bible stories as traditions, not necessarily historical facts. So I think it might be somewhat applicable even for those who don't take the biblical stories literally. But your general point remains valid: those who don't approach the study from a believing perspective will likely find it less instinctively agreeable than those who do approach it from an already-believing perspective.
  3. Fair Dinkum's assessment is reasonable. Dale Morgan once put it that, since he couldn't accept the existence of God, he had to look for any other explanation than what the Church puts forward. So be it. For those who don't believe in God, there's not much that our scholarship, which includes God existing as a point of departure, can do. There will always be another explanation, even if it comes down to the blindest of blind luck. Whether that is likely or not is something for each individual to judge. It's impossible to define when God satisfies our subjective belief-conditions, but I would ho
  4. I absolutely love that story. Dr. Pibb it is.
  5. I've actually thought that Mormon and Moroni, through their close association with the Three Nephites, were exposed to some of the works of the first three Christian centuries. Jesus' original Twelve Apostles rank above the Nephite disciples, I believe, since they were given the sealing power and iirc the same is not recorded for the Nephite disciples, who are not named as apostles (though that could just be a translation thing.) Also, the Twelve Apostles are told that they will judge all the House of Israel, and the Nephite disciples are told they will be judged by the Twelve. Given the fact
  6. Dr. Ritner did not say so, to his credit (though I confess that I expect such consideration as a standard). The actual scholars usually don't. However, I've noticed a trend among consumers of scholarship (particularly of the Reddit variety) to dismiss people like Gee and Muhlestein out of hand, or refuse to engage their work until it passes some metric of external approval. That, I think, is in practice bigoted. Sure, we can disagree with each other and not be bigots, but to deny someone a voice at the table simply because of who they are, their communities and opinions? I leave it to you to j
  7. I think the Givens' are onto something when they write about how a certain cognitive distance is required for us to truly have choice which reflects what we truly want and who we truly are. There's a saying that people show who they really are once they put on a mask; being separated from those who know us and their expectations of us offers us the chance to really let loose. Given that the face of God is veiled from us and we feel independent, we can act as we are and show who we are and what we value most highly. We can choose whether or not to become worthy of godhood. There's also th
  8. Those who don't already believe that assertion find nothing in your comment that is convincing. It's just not a shared point of departure, no matter how many times it is said.
  9. That is the problem, from a critic's perspective. From my perspective, @mfbukowski is right. Logic can only build off of established rules and assumptions. If those rules are not shared, the logic becomes irrelevant and a category error. Why? It seems like any choice to do so would be entirely subjective. Who gets to define "too much"? The outside experts? Why do the apologists and their genuinely held opinions deserve to be disenfranchised? Who sets the standards? Where does the authority come from? Perhaps my point should be clarified, it couldn't hurt. I don't believ
  10. Let's take this paragraph sentence by sentence. Yes. Bear in mind that Ritner, Rhodes, nor anybody else are actually ancient Egyptians, nor authors of these texts. That means that all we get are interpretations from the outside. Egyptologists can catalogue various symbols, catalogue their contexts, and thus figure out a general range of meaning for each one. That meaning, as best we can guess, is most likely going to represent a mainstream use of those symbols since it is drawn from a broad number of samples. This does not, however, mean that all possible meanings have been discovered
  11. Actions like that help me to understand why early members of the Church like Brigham Young thought that D&C 76's redefinition of hell was too kind. That's dishonest, manipulative, and infuriating. I've never seen that happen myself but it wouldn't surprise me. If so, that's abusive.
  12. So, in other words...Semitic authors adapting themes from Egyptian illustrations in their writing is irrelevant because their adaptations take the form of text as opposed to illustration? Between you and me our standards of evaluating these things are surely different, but in my opinion that seems like an overly narrow definition of the phenomenon of borrowing. Semitic-Egyptian borrowing in other genres weakens the argument from silence with respect to the genre of illustration.
  13. The Catholics do religious artwork like no other, in my humble opinion, though to be fair I haven't gotten to see a lot of Eastern Orthodox artwork in person so my judgement is provisional. I hope that one day my own religious tradition can have such a vibrant artistic tradition but there is a 2000 year head start and some of the greatest artistic geniuses of all time to catch up to.
  14. This is false. This exact phenomenon, in fact, has been documented. Per Kevin Barney, discussing his paper entitled "The Facsimiles and Semitic Adaptation of Existing Sources": Barney goes on to discuss how he views the idea of Jewish redaction of the vignettes as possible, as well as the idea that Joseph Smith redacted them in genuine Hebraic scriptural tradition. I view either explanation as acceptable. "Jewish revulsion towards Gods other than Yahweh" is highly exaggerated by the priestly compilers of the Hebrew Bible. Even within the Bible you can see the children of Is
  15. Since you brought up Anubis/Olimlah, here's Quinten Barney's thesis on Facsimile 3 compared with other throne scenes. Don't trust Muhlestein? See for yourself. I do believe that if the papyri break enough rules, we should consider that perhaps they weren't meant to play by those rules. Furthermore, symbols have meaning in the eye of the beholder. Therefore an exposition of their meaning can only occur if you have the correct beholder in mind. Your caricature is right - normal Egyptology can't possibly tell us much about the meaning of these unique items unless conventional Egyptian culti
  16. I am in no way competent to remark on Catholic theology or the Mass, seeing as I'm a garden-variety Latter-day Saint. I will say, however, that I do find the Catholic liturgy to be beautiful and moving, even though I have my theological disagreements . And your churches are gorgeous beyond my capacity to describe. I was blessed to visit Rome a year or two ago and not just the Vatican and major basilicas but all the little churches tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the city...absolutely breathtaking. The devotion inherent in them elevated my eyes to heaven.
  17. Sounds good to me. I'm glad you've made your peace and are in a good place (or at least it looks like it from here.)
  18. 16 million bashers? Maybe on a casual dinner-table-conversation level, but really dedicated ones? I'd bet there haven't been that many in all of recorded history. Also, his wife's experience is, in fact, evidence that a peaceful rupture is possible.
  19. I mean, I don't really believe in the idea of "neutral scholarship" at all. Everyone comes at questions with an ingrained way of looking at the world that will affect their conclusions. It is not avoidable and it affects what we view as evidence and how we weigh it. But I am not the first to preach such cautions and certainly not the last. So, since I don't believe in truly neutral scholarship, my answer is no, there can be no neutral scholarship on Joseph Smith. Admittedly, the problem is more pronounced when it comes to Joseph Smith since the questions involved require staking whole li
  20. Ritner is an deservedly renowned Egyptologist, very capable in his field. It's the field in question that is the problem. Scholastic Egyptology, like most fields of academic study, focuses on creating a normative framework based on collected data. This framework forms the way we look at the subject matter. In other words, it's about analyzing the data and using it to create a coherent mental picture. This involves figuring out the predictable rules and regularities which make things make sense. Once we determine the rules, we judge things by those rules. This is a useful and honestly indispen
  21. I'll get that book and get back to you. Actually, I did mean to ask you for more recommendations. I've finished reading and digesting "What It's Like To Be A Bat", what's the next great text?
  22. Townsend's upcoming paper, if I am not mistaken, is focused on Clarke's influence in the Isaiah of the Book of Mormon. It wouldn't engage Jackson's work much. I think my comment has been misunderstood. It's my fault for not being more precise. I believe that divine revelation is needed for anything to become doctrine, however, I do think that it's reasonable for God to highlight truths that Joseph found in the world around him. In that sense I don't think that every single doctrine we have needed to be delivered direct from heaven without any intermediary. It's possible that the Spirit c
  23. That's a good point. The experience of transcendence, by nature, transcends the conventional situations for which language is employed. Language fails to describe it, so it makes sense that we would inflate our language with regard to sacred things, not out of a desire to boast but a desire to appropriately capture and represent the sacred and transcendent nature of what we're discussing.
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