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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. Not a scholarly response, and I wouldn't call Ritner a fool, but he does seem to carry a certain bitterness and my opinion of Dehlin and RFM is in the same ballpark as that of the quoted commentator.
  2. I'm hardly suited for that but I would love to see you do it. Townsend's argument, as he's put if forward, is that Trito-Isaiah's influence extends beyond the traditional Trito-Isaiah chapters, that he also edited and left his mark on Deutero-Isaiah. Of course, if such is the case, and if even Deutero-Isaiah was borrowing from older literature, then I think the whole thing kind of collapses into a "corpus of Isaianic-school texts continually updated and refined over time", and God saw fit to include the finished product in the completed Book of Mormon. It's like Hugh Nibley's old argumen
  3. A 150-acre farm doesn't yield enough to be worth the expenditure of maintaining it to contemporary standards. Better for the land to be used for something else beneficial to the community - though the community disagrees and the Church has held up plans in order to respect that .
  4. Which thousand year period? Egypt's history sprawls over more than a thousand years. Note that there are non-Mormon Egyptologists who disagree with your FB friend: see Lanny Bell:
  5. This is interesting to me because of the Nephite monetary system mentioned in Alma 11. Silver and gold weren't near the top of the exchange system, but I'm going to assume they still were considered a valuable trade item; they just didn't command the same value as they did in the Old World. Do you think the Nephites maintained a higher value on gold or silver than their neighbors, or was gold just a convenient medium which could be easily transferred into other goods as wanted, ie "a senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of ev
  6. Townsend says that the Modern Expansion Theory doesn't work for the Book of Mormon. I'd like to see why.
  7. Which Joseph Smith? Senior, or Junior? Let's look at the Wikipedia article you cited. Cowdery met Joseph Smith Jr. two days before he started scribing for him. That was a year and a day before the formal founding of the Church on April 6, 1830. But, of course, the Book of Mormon was already done by then. For Cowdery to have contributed he would have to have been working on a manuscript independent from Joseph Smith Jr., who was in Harmony, PA that whole time. No evidence exists that they collaborated. Unless, of course, you think Cowdery and Smith cooked up the whole thing o
  8. That's only if you assert that his transcribers helped with the production of the text, which must be asserted independent of and in opposition to the witness testimony and historical evidence from the area. It's a position born of theoretical necessity, not evidentiary support.
  9. Most Biblical scholars, tbh. The source you cite says that he never really got proficient in any of these languages, though he did study them, particularly the aspects that would have made them relevant for his ministry. Pretty much any biblical scholar worth their salt has to be proficient with Greek or Hebrew, depending on which part they want to specialize in, and frequently they're proficient in both. Per the paper you cited, Joseph certainly had an interest in acquiring languages, but he wasn't a particular savant about it. His access to Clarke is a moot point, as we already know he
  10. In fairness, recent research at BYU has demonstrated that Joseph Smith consulted the Clarke commentary while making certain emendations to the JST. So we know that he used it. It was a very common text for those who wanted to understand the Bible so it's not like it was some piece of exotica that he would have had to trek across continents to find. Though I do admit, one of the reasons why I generally find Grunder-style "parallel" arguments to be unpersuasive is because there are just so many of them. You can draw parallels to the Book of Mormon to so many places that it starts to get rem
  11. On the contrary, Constantine's Civil War was if anything a war of reunification. Constantine attacked Licinius and, upon defeating him, assumed control of both halves of the Empire, being the first person to control both halves in one person since 286. The division of the Empire into two separate states only occurred in 395 after the death of Theodosius I.
  12. I believe it's Colby Townsend working on this, right? We'll have to see when it comes out. I admit that I have questions about the methodology of such papers. Presumably, influence falls under two categories, word choice and conceptual. Word choice isn't difficult under the view that Joseph was supplying the words to the revelation. Conceptual influence is more thorny but could still be handled under Blake Ostler's Expansion Theory, increasingly a consensus view among faithful scholars. However, I often wonder about the real validity of such attribution. To say that an idea must derive f
  13. The Nephites and Lamanites experienced "a great division among the people" in 231, almost a hundred years before your date, per 4 Nephi 1:35. In 322 a war began which the Nephites won. A series of wars followed which the Lamanites won, and the land was divided between the Nephites and Lamanites in 350. At AD 385 the Nephites were extinguished. In contrast, in AD 330, Constantine moved the capital to Constantinople in the East. The Empire was not divided until 395, ten years after the destruction of the Nephites, upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I. The Western and Eastern Roman Empire
  14. Here are the relevant points: Brown argues that the KEP could well be an example of glossalalia on the part of Joseph Smith and his associates, just written down. Joseph taught that to speak in an unknown tongue was fine so long as somebody had the gift of interpretation of tongues and could therefore explain the meaning. I find this to be a very interesting way of viewing the KEP and related excerpts such as the Appeal: glossalalic revelation of the primeval language crystallized, captured in a moment in time on fading paper. Where in there am I saying that Joseph Smit
  15. The rhetoric of "see where it logically takes them" is so misplaced when it comes to archaeology. A pottery fragment does not self-identify or self-authenticate and its provenance is not self-evident. What we claim to know about it is in essence what we assume about it based on prior information. Archaeology can only built on prior assumptions about an area and correspondence with texts, which we don't have for sure from Mesoamerica but might in the Book of Mormon. When dealing with a text of unknown origin it is prudent to examine one's expectations and then see if the evidence compares profi
  16. Speaking of Ritner and Rhodes, is this the first time Rhodes has been accused of plagiarizing Ritner, or has that popped up before?
  17. Again, this covereth a multitude of sins. Based on this, if Gadianton had been named Gadionah, Gadoran, Gadidonah, Gadinihah, Gadorum, or with any other name ending common to the Book of Mormon, it wouldn't make a difference. You're eliding the whole back half of the name in order to make your point.
  18. Sam Brown has notes on each of them in the footnotes of The Translator and the Ghostwriter. Most of them are kind of unorthodox when it comes to spelling but they work.
  19. Well, you've always got people like Ed Goble, who disagree with the so-called "apologetic positions" on some things but are not critics of the Church per se. Edit: Actually, my original statement was a misrepresentation of Ed Goble. He defends the Church, but he disagrees with the theories of lots of apologists and advances his own. His opinion of many apologists is not high.
  20. No, honestly. You approach these sorts of questions in a different way from me, I think, but I wouldn't categorize you as an inveterate critic. But you've got to admit that "Who do we believe? Joseph Smith or the Apologists?" is something of a challenge which, like I said, keeps me on my toes.
  21. So the narrow passage is the spit of land between the Pacific and Lake Nicaragua? And the "narrow neck" is a passage in Panama per your other thread? I would be interested in a more comprehensive explanation of your geographical proposal.
  22. Maybe, but given Hauglid's recent actions I don't think he'd exactly be sheepish about putting his name on that opinion. No point in being anonymous now.
  23. These are fair questions for a theoretical exercise, I suppose.
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