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Everything posted by OGHoosier

  1. Regardless of whether or not she was responding to the Spalding Theory, she says that there was "no book or manuscript". That statement stands and is corroborated universally by all eyewitnesses.
  2. @mgy401 lays out a startling case for local government duplicity in this matter. I'm intrigued now.
  3. If Gee has changed his mind on some piece of evidence, that's alright. We value intellectual honesty. Unfortunately, this sets a disturbing precedent for LDS scholars. If RFM is right and Gee did change his mind, shouldn't his credibility be strengthened for his demonstrated willingness to do so? No. In exchange for intellectual honesty "RFM concludes we have to be cautious about taking at face value anything John Gee says about the Book of Abraham." There's no winning with the likes of RFM, so we simply don't care about his take. OGHoosier concludes we have to be cautious about taking at
  4. I think he was just talking about the part where people take the BoA manuscripts to be the original translation manuscripts of the Book of Abraham, and thus take them to be representative of Joseph's translation methodology. But I admit, I laughed.
  5. I know you weren't asking me these questions, but I'll chime in anyway. I think Barker's analysis is pretty strong. I know it's a minority position, but her analysis is strong enough to introduce reasonable doubt as to the post-exilic nature of the root text of Isaiah 53. My paradigm allows me to believe that not all of Isaiah 53 need be pre-exilic for the Book of Mormon to feature it, since I do believe that God values the end result of scripture and I am not tied to the view that the only acceptable scripture is the original urtext. But Barker has introduced an analysis sufficiently strong f
  6. Brigham's confidence is something I hope to one day obtain. Building a temple will make the "bells of hell ring"? Ring 'em louder! The Church will be destroyed by the incoming railroad? Build it faster! Brigham was just fearless. He didn't care. He just bulldozed. Perhaps some restraint may have been in order on some things, but darned do I admire his absolute conviction that God was with him and the work and hell or high water would just have to get out of the way.
  7. I got Mantua relatively quickly because a relative of mine had a house there for a few years. Still struggling with Duchesne.
  8. Alma 11:7 would seem to indicate that these are standardized measures across a number of commodities. It's quite possible that God, in transmitting the Book to Joseph Smith, emphasized gold and silver as the commodity of exchange because it would be more readily understandable to the target audience of the Book. On the other hand, I think it's possible that the Nephites retained a higher degree of reverence for gold and silver than other nations around them. We know that gold-fever, likely a holdover from the Old World, overtook the Nephites within the lifetime of Jacob (cf. Jacob 2:12).
  9. I find myself agreeing, generally speaking. I would like to hear your view more specifically elaborated, if you don't mind. How did Joseph use the word "translation?"
  10. That was mentioned a little bit earlier, but thank you for making sure! It purports to be an important article and I'm interested in seeing it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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 .
  14. 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:
  15. 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
  16. Townsend says that the Modern Expansion Theory doesn't work for the Book of Mormon. I'd like to see why.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
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