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Brant Gardner

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About Brant Gardner

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    Separates Water & Dry Land
  • Birthday 10/11/1951

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    Albuquerque, NM

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  1. Yes, some are simply unnecessary. As with the problem of suggesting that there isn't a problem because it is a 22.9% problem, the fact that one can make excuses for some of them doesn't alter the problem with the others. And this continues to be the problem. You certainly have a lot of evidence for your thesis, but there are small but substantial problems that you are ignoring rather than either integrating into the thesis, or realizing that they can invalidate the thesis. The major one is the problem of latest date. There are two problems with your data. One is that some of the evide
  2. I continue to be fascinated by this interesting "defense" of the changes at italics. It doesn't say that it didn't happen. It doesn't say that the problems introduced didn't happen. It simply says it wasn't consistent. Yes, they were wrong but not consistently wrong is a strange defense. What the statistics show is that attention was paid to italics. That all of them were not changed does not change the problem for the 22.9% of them that were changed--especially in cases where the change left an incomplete sentence, or required circumlocution to repair the damage of the change. There might be
  3. Indeed. I have seen what I think are elements of a primarily oral culture even in writing. It becomes obviously difficult to separate that type of orality from dictation orality. I doubt we will soon have anything that reaches strong consensus. I think the first important barrier created by the English text to fall is the assumption of literal translation. I think there is a reasonable consensus that our English text cannot be a precisely accurate rendition of the Nephite text. I think we can find obvious cases where the modern (even if Early Modern) translation is the cause of certain p
  4. My point is that physically writing is a different process than oral presentation of information. The nature of the "or" changes fit oral much better than writing (based on Walter Ong--but I'm too lazy to dig for the citation). The next question is whether the plate text is copied from a less permanent medium. Perhaps, but there is also evidence that many things are triggered asides based on what was just written. If this is posited for the les permanent medium, we have to wonder about the editorial process which didn't create a more coherent text on the plates. It appears to me that the plate
  5. We clearly see understanding the translation very differently. The problem of multiple previous translators is precisely a question of Book of Mormon authorship. We have managed to clarify that the original translation (by whomever) was, in Skousen's terms, "cultural and conceptual." That finally moves away from the problematic word for word translation that cannot explain the text at all. So that does answer one question about the translation. Now we have to understand how that "cultural and conceptual" translation came to be dictated to Oliver. We know Joseph played a part, and since he clai
  6. Again, this is the standard suggestion, that somehow the engraving on metal made a strikeout difficult. I submit it is a nice idea, but incorrect. There is no reason that a strikeout would be more difficult on plates than on paper. There is no reason that we would expect the original to be without error. However, this type of error is qualitatively different from the "or" clauses. In this case, there was a significant amount of text to be repaired, and the solution was similar to other cases of interjection--the repetitive resumption we see after those insertions. That is different fr
  7. That has become the standard explanation, but it doesn't work. The changes are to whole clauses. If you were writing on paper, you would cross out the word. When the Maya carved glyphs, they recarved them. It is more efficient to stop at the first word and cross it out--it is much harder to write several more words on the plates. Where we do see this kind of correction is in oral discourse because the phrase is out when the need to clarify it becomes apparent. You cannot cross out oral texts, but it is easy and well attested on physical texts.
  8. And yet we still have the problem that there are aspects of the text that postdate the other evidence. Since Early Modern English also gets extended to 1800, the issue isn't even Early Modern English, but the conservation of earlier variants. It is possible, perhaps, to posit parts of the Book of Mormon to have been translated earlier, but it must also be conceded that some elements were translated later. If we have only one translator, we have to assume the most recent. If there were multiple translations, then we are in the realm of inexplicable mystery. We haven't even attempted
  9. You are not alone. However, the longer I look at the text, the more I see that is better explained by an "instantaneous" translation. In particular, the multiple times that the corrective "or" is used don't fit with a slow translation, or with the original author. They have the features of oral creation. Many of the long sentences (particularly those that get lost in side alleys and never really complete the sentence) are more evidence of orality that either the original writing or a slower translation. The "cultural and creative" aspects are undeniably there. It is, as it has always bee
  10. No. Not my specialty. I have no qualms about your data, as I have noted multiple times before. Data are data. I am concerned with the way the data have been analyzed. I have read all of your articles, and you noted that there were forms that Joseph used that also show up in other pseudobiblical texts. Your argument was a greater frequency in the Book of Mormon. That is a very different argument that saying that Joseph couldn't have done it because the forms were unavailable. Apparently many were. So the question of exclusiveness is now diminished to "he did it more," which doesn't demonstrate
  11. There is a growing amount of evidence concerning all of Joseph's translation projects. What is becoming clear is that Joseph's mind was an important aspect of each of the projects. Of course, the most controversial of those is the Book of Mormon because we can actually know so little of what the actual process was. My opinion is that Joseph received the meaning of the plates (or of the revelations, or the book of Abraham), and wrote that meaning according to his available language. I do believe that he saw words when he used the seer stone. There seems to be a lot of evidence that he saw somet
  12. I disagree. While Skousen and Carmack have found forms that were in printed texts from Early Modern English, their argument entirely rests upon not finding them later than that. Both Skousen and Carmack know that this is not correct, and have indicated in various places that there is even on form in the Book of Mormon that wasn't found until literarure written after 1830. The principle of dating from the latest known dates is not used. They assume the earlier dating, and adjust their arguments to show why one might still accept the Early Modern English Book of Mormon. The second methodolo
  13. I debated adding details, but decided it was too private for a message board. I had a conversation with a woman who had died and come back to life. She mentioned that it was a friend who came for her (for reasons that were relevant to her circumstances). We spoke a little of the reading I had done on near death experiences. After a while she asked if I knew that someone also accompanies us here. She then told me of the very clear experience she had with a personage who had brought a new child. I cannot help but believe her experience, and it gives me hope.
  14. I am hearing that. So far, I checked about 10 chapters of Isaiah and didn't find anything. I confess I got bored and stopped. Since I haven't seen the evidence, there is really nothing to say. I suppose I could go through the rest of it--but did I mention boredom? I hate to admit it, but right now I am having a hard time to get motivated to work hard on a project that I know I need to do (and want to, at least on some level).
  15. I was one of perhaps five who were asked to do a pre-review. I should note that the others unanimously disagreed with me.
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