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2 Nephi 2:25 Vs. Gen 1:27


David Bokovoy

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Hello Phaedrus ut,

I have a few questions.

Great questions. Thanks for contributing.

Wouldn't using ha-adam as a subtle literary device likely be lost to Lehi as he took the text from Hebrew to Reformed Egyptian?

I donâ??t believe so. For two reasons.

First, this is only one brief example of the hundreds of Hebrew puns that I believe appear in the Book of Mormon. Hence, I believe that Hebrew was the native language spoken by Lehi and his family and that many of their literary sermons although recorded in a reformed Egyptian script were delivered orally and no doubt recorded with an intent to reflect the biblical like puns created through their native speech.

Second, in the same way that those of us who are familiar with Hebrew can identify Hebraic puns simply by looking at the English translation, we would have to assume that readers familiar with Hebrew could identify the Hebraic puns simply by looking at the reformed Egyptian.

Genesis 1:27 represents one of earliest narrative repetitions of the Torah. Gen. 1:27 would have been authored by P the Priestly writer while it's corresponding match would be 2:7 by Y the Yahwist writer.

This is correct. I absolutely accept the basic legitimacy of historical source criticism.

This would mean that Lehi would have to know the P rewrite of the creation narrative. So Lehi's ability to access Gen. 1:27 is in part dependent on whether you choose the earlier or later dating for P. Do you personally date P to after the fall of the Northern Kingdom but before Babylonian exile?

Not all of P. But yes, I would date Genesis 1 and some other sections of P as pre-exilic. Granted, I try to approach the issue critically, so if new evidence comes to light, which would lead me to conclude that Genesis 1 is exilic, then I would certainly abandon arguing for the legitimacy of my suggestion.

If 2 Nephi 2:25 is somehow demonstrating familiarity of the Genesis narrative. Couldn't that influence be both ancient and modern?

Certainly it could. But if my observation is legitimate then I believe it would represent a literary ploy far too sophisticated for Joseph Smith to have intentionally incorporated into the Book of Mormon in 1830.

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Where is ha-adam in the Book of Mormon? It's not there. You put it there when you said, essentially, hey, if I were translating this into Hebrew I could render this in such a way as to be somewhat, kinda similar to the way it shows up in the Old Testament. You are inventing the parallel!

If I'm wrong, please demonstrate for us all how you know that Joseph Smith intended there to be a pun between the name "Adam" in the subject of the sentence, with the word "men" which follows.

In Nephi it says that Adam fell from the Garden of Eden so that he could father children and thus originate the human species, and then explains that the purpose for human existence is to have joy.

Genesis 1:27 says that mankind was made in the image of God, and that God created human beings as male and female.

How again are you saying that the statements in Nephi seem inspired in some way that Joseph couldn't have known by some hebrew word pattern in Genesis?

David, I must submit that this is weak. Very, very weak.

Sethbag...this forum needs you. <_<

I think somebody put it good onetime: "You're all so predictable" :P

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Ok, so let's get this straight. In Hebrew the name Adam is the same as the word for mankind. I get it. Now tell me again how a mention of Adam and the humanity that is supposed to have sprung from his loins in the same sentence a literary ploy far too sophisticated for Joseph Smith to have inserted into his text in 1830? It sounds to me like the "ploy" is built into the Hebrew language. How could one not, in Hebrew, mention Adam and humanity in the same sentence and not use the same word? Since any such usage would automatically include the pun, it sounds to me like you are arguing that the mention of Adam and humanity at all must have been far too sophisticated for Joseph Smith to have done in 1830. Is that what your argument is?

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I think those who claim this is statistically insignificant need to put their money where their mouth is. Challenge: Find the same levels of hidden similarity

That would be easy since the proposed hidden similarity is of the lowest possible level--essentially zero.

There is nothing to show (as Sethbag has pointed out).

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Well, do you believe that DB was saying that what he wrote in the OP was significant?

Why would anyone bring up something concerning "evidence" for the BoM if they didn't think it was significant.

So, yes I think the implication is that DB thinks this is significant.

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thanks for the insights Boko

:P Yes Boko, thank you very much! <_<

I'd say this seals the deal for the BoM. It's ancient. Game over.

Now let's talk about a document that's a little more controversial....

The Book of Zelph: Another Testament of the Book of Mormon.

This guy, named Josh Anderson, claims to have translated it from ancient writings. He has a website you may have seen at bookofzelph.com, along with the full text of his translation into english. Do you think you could find some ploys, puns, subtle hebraisms, etc. in Josh's translation that would give evidence to support his claim for ancientness?

It's a challenge, but I bet you're up to it, from what we've seen so far. If you put your mind to it....

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Sorry the Dude. Iâ??ve read through a few chapters. No such luck. I donâ??t even know what some of these lines mean:

And these brass plates did have written upon them the record of the Jews, even like unto a Bible.

I'd actually expect the same from the Book of Mormon if it were indeed a fraud.

It is interesting, however, that even with a Book of Mormon in hand that someone desiring to create an obvious imitation in order to belittle the work canâ??t begin to produce what Joseph Smith created in a matter of weeks.

Iâ??m glad you brought it up, since it clearly illustrates how truly extraordinary the Book of Mormon really is.

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If we were to examine the Polish translation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and discover some clever puns due to some different English words having the same word equivalent in Polish, what would that indicate? That J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired in writing those books, because how could he have known?

I think there is some circularity in the logic that says that the ancient Hebrews used the word "adam", which meant "humanity" to them, as the name of the guy their mythology ascribed the beginning of humanity to, so this is where we get the Biblical name Adam from. Then Joseph Smith comes along and writes the words Adam and "men" together in the same sentence, and voila! that's evidence of ancient origin for the Book of Mormon, because if we translated Joseph's words into Hebrew we'd be back to Adam and adam, right where we started.

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C'mon David. Just that one line has a hebraism ("Jews") and although some might think the word "Bible" is an anachronism, as it would be in the Book of Mormon ("A Bible, a bible, we've already got one!") clearly Josh Anderson was just putting things into words we would understand ... much Joseph Smith did. How can you dismiss this as the kind of thing you'd expect in a fraud?

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Ok, so let's get this straight. In Hebrew the name Adam is the same as the word for mankind. I get it.

Correct.

it sounds to me like you are arguing that the mention of Adam and humanity at all must have been far too sophisticated for Joseph Smith to have done in 1830. Is that what your argument is?

Not at all.

It is the issue that the Book of Mormon reflects the literary pattern presented in the book of Genesis when discussing the creation of ha-adam â??the manâ? as reflected in the English word â??men," i.e. ha-adam, while moving in Hebrew from a grammatically singular reference to men, i.e. "the man" and concluding with a grammatically plural reference to all humanity, i.e. "they" in a context devoted to Adam's choice which helped humanity reach the measure of their creation, i.e. joy.

Hope that helps.

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If we were to examine the Polish translation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and discover some clever puns due to some different English words having the same word equivalent in Polish, what would that indicate? That J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired in writing those books, because how could he have known?

I think there is some circularity in the logic that says that the ancient Hebrews used the word "adam", which meant "humanity" to them, as the name of the guy their mythology ascribed the beginning of humanity to, so this is where we get the Biblical name Adam from. Then Joseph Smith comes along and writes the words Adam and "men" together in the same sentence, and voila! that's evidence of ancient origin for the Book of Mormon, because if we translated Joseph's words into Hebrew we'd be back to Adam and adam, right where we started.

:P

You are dead on. We have a sort of tautology here.

David, I think you have to admit in retrospect that this one wasn't thought out that well.

This might be a bit of evidence about what some of us have feared all along about apologetics?

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If we were to examine the Polish translation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and discover some clever puns due to some different English words having the same word equivalent in Polish, what would that indicate? That J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired in writing those books, because how could he have known?

Please, by all means, provide some examples for us to consider.

In addition, Iâ??ve always found the comparison between the ancient parallels featured in the Book of Mormon and the Tolkien novels sometimes mentioned by the Dude and a few others more than a bit silly.

J.R.R. Tolkien was not only a truly gifted linguist, but a renowned scholar who intentionally incorporated his years of study in the field of ancient mythology directly into his fiction.

Are we to assume that Joseph Smith, the 19th century farm boy from New England, had a similar background upon which he could draw?

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In addition, Iâ??ve always found the comparison between the ancient parallels featured in the Book of Mormon and the Tolkien novels sometimes mentioned by the Dude and a few others more than a bit silly.

J.R.R. Tolkien was not only a truly gifted linguist, but a renowned scholar who intentionally incorporated his years of study in the field of ancient mythology directly into his fiction.

Are we to assume that Joseph Smith, the 19th century farm boy from New England, had a similar background upon which he could draw?

It's only lacking if you suddenly move the goal posts. The Book of Mormon is supposed to have been written by the power of God, yet it falls short of many works of purely human fantasy literature like Lord of the Rings (and even stuff of lesser quality). Of course JS didn't have Tolkien's background -- it shows in his writing!

Sethbag's comparison does not rely on JS being equivalent to Tolkien, so you bringing it up now is just an aside.

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David, I think you have to admit in retrospect that this one wasn't thought out that well.

I do?!! My heavens! The Book of Mormon draws upon an account in which the literary puns like the one Iâ??ve suggested drive the very details of the narrative.

Man must come from out of the dust because in Hebrew the word for man is adam and the word for dust is adamah. The woman, however, cannot be formed the same way in the narrative for the Hebrew word for woman is ishah and the word for man is ish. Therefore, just as the man comes from the ground, so the woman comes from the man.

The Book of Mormon draws upon an account where the snake is called â??arum â??shrewdâ? and â??the choice of the term 'shrewd'â?¦ is one of the more obvious plays on words in the text; for the man and his wife have just been described as â??erom â??nudeâ? (2:25) [and] they will seek themselves to be shrewd (cf. 3:6) but will discover that they are â??nudeâ?? (3:7, 10).â? Gordon Wenham, Genesis Commentary. Word Biblical, 1.72.

These are the types of literary ploys that are central to the account and reflect, in essence, what transpires when we take 2 Nephi 2:27 and translate it into Hebrew.

This might be a bit of evidence about what some of us have feared all along about apologetics?

Or perhaps a bit of evidence that some of us arenâ??t nearly as critically minded as weâ??d assumed? Since we canâ??t acknowledge even a basic legitimacy for any observations that donâ??t directly support our conclusions.

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It's only lacking if you suddenly move the goal posts. The Book of Mormon is supposed to have been written by the power of God, yet it falls short of many works of purely human fantasy literature like Lord of the Rings (and even stuff of lesser quality). Of course JS didn't have Tolkien's background -- it shows in his writing!

I suppose that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'd take the Book of Mormon over any other book any day of the week. But of course the fact that you find Tolkien's work superior does little to establish that the Book of Mormon is mere fiction.

Sethbag's comparison does not rely on JS being equivalent to Tolkien, so you bringing it up now is just an aside.

Well of course itâ??s an aside that reflects the type of criticism you have used in the past when addressing these issues. But Iâ??d be more than happy to consider Sethâ??s point the minute he provides a few actual examples.

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But of course the fact that you find Tolkien's work superior does little to establish that the Book of Mormon is mere fiction.

Woops! There go the goal posts again.

Well of course itâ??s an aside that reflects the type of criticism you have used in the past when addressing these issues.

Okay, but you didn't use the criticism in the way I've used it, so it sounds like a cheap shot.

But Iâ??d be more than happy to consider Sethâ??s point the minute he provides a few actual examples.

It's an analogy, David. It doesn't depend on examples to be a good point.

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Woops! There go the goal posts again.

Iâ??m honestly not trying to move any goal posts. Only address your posts. The Book of Mormon is my favorite book, but again, my opinion, much like the one you expressed which claimed that Tolkienâ??s work was superior to Joseph's, is simply that, opinion.

Okay, but you didn't use the criticism in the way I've used it, so it sounds like a cheap shot.

I apologize if I misrepresented your argument.

It's an analogy, David. It doesn't depend on examples to be a good point.

And I maintain that in order for it to be a good analogy we really should be able to address a few specifics.

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Thama, there are at least two problems with this reply. First off, I don't think it's established that there even is any level of hidden similarity besides the obvious and, IMHO, trivial fact that both refer to Adam, and then to humanity after him.

Secondly, how can you really argue that the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament have no connection in their origin? First off, from your point of view, the Book of Mormon is scripture written by folks who had the portion of the Old Testament we're concerned with in this thread in the form of the Brass Plates, so there is in fact a very direct connection between them, by your own theology. From my point of view, the Book of Mormon was written by a guy who had read the Old Testament, and included discussion of some of the same issues and topics. It would be like someone arguing that the Star Wars movies have "no connection" with Star Wars fan fiction, and thereby implying some kind of uncanny and inexplicable proof of inspiration when they both discuss the origin of Darth Vader, as if the fan fiction authors could not have known that.

If this similarity isn't convincing enough for you, then there are hundreds of others we could pull out. Just as in a scientific experiment, a single point doesn't establish a correlation, but you can draw a very significant conclusion from an accumulation of points.

The BoM and OT certainly have connection in their origin, from an LDS point of view. You'd be trying to offer evidence that this sort of textual similarity doesn't necessarily imply linked origins. As the BoM and the KJV are both translations from original texts in similar languages, JS having read the OT shouldn't affect at all his ability to manufacture complex Hebrew grammatical and literary structures in his work. The fact that JS read the KJV is admittedly a slight corruption of the data, but given his education level at the time it would hardly qualify as grounds to throw the whole idea out.

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David, you speak of this instance in Genesis as a pattern. Pattern implies a repetition of more than just a couple of times. Are you able to demonstrate in the Old Testament more than, say, two instances where the word for Adam is used first in the singular, and then again (with the expanded meaning of men) in the plural? Or are we really talking about something that happened once in the Old Testament, which you are arguing happens again in 2 Nephi? I understand the arguments you guys make about Hebraisms and whatnot, but usually the argument maintains that the pattern or structure referred to is actually recognized as a pattern or commonly used structure, and not just something that occured once in some guy's writing.

Secondly, I just don't see the uniqueness and non-obviousness of going from singular Adam to plural mankind. The whole Creation story is about Adam being the father of the entire human race. Adam is supposed to have started it all. From this point of view, references going from Adam as a start, to the rest of humanity just don't come across to me as non-trivial and non-obvious. That and I don't think David has demonstrated an actual, recognizable pattern even in the ancient Hebrew to begin with, so on what grounds he feels Nephi would have referenced Adam and then mankind only because he was familiar with some Hebrew literary structure, I just don't know.

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Hello Seth,

That and I don't think David has demonstrated an actual, recognizable pattern even in the ancient Hebrew to begin with, so on what grounds he feels Nephi would have referenced Adam and then mankind only because he was familiar with some Hebrew literary structure, I just don't know.

The significance lies in the fact that Genesis 1:26-27 presents the creation of humanity by first addressing the term adam/Adam:

â??And God said, Let us make man [adam] in our image, after our likeness.â?

Even though the account refers to Adam singular, the passage then moves directly into the inclusive plural through a third person masculine plural inflected form of the verb â??to have dominionâ?:

â??let them have dominionâ?

The account then returns to the singular grammatical form ha-adam literally â??the manâ? although the expression can denote â??men.â? We know that the author intended ha-adam to mean â??the manâ? singular since the author moves to a third person masculine singular pronoun â??him.â?

The author, however, wishes to include more than simply â??the manâ? in this description of creation. He therefore artistically moves to the polar expressions â??male and femaleâ? which as merismus refers to â??all/everyâ? and concludes with a third person plural pronoun. Hence, through a subtle textual maneuver, the author has absorbed all humanity into the creation of Adam by first moving from Adam to them and then moving from the man to they.

My point is simply that Lehi follows this pattern. He speaks first of Adam, then of ha-adam â??the manâ? (a term he takes presumably directly from Genesis 1:27 which is its first attestation). Like the biblical account, Lehi concludes by absorbing all humanity with the third person pronoun â??they.â?

Thatâ??s the issue.

Do I feel that this observation is the strongest case we can make to argue for the Book of Mormonâ??s ancient qualities? Heaven no! From my perspective, it is, however, an interesting piece that I donâ??t believe that anyone has considered which adds another small bit of evidence in favor of the book.

That's it.

I really do appreicate all of the helpful questions/criticisms.

Now itâ??s Saturday and Iâ??m going to take the kids surfing in New Hampshire, so I wonâ??t be able to return to the thread until later.

Happiness to all,

--David

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Hello Seth,

The significance lies in the fact that Genesis 1:26-27 presents the creation of humanity by first addressing the term adam/Adam:

â??And God said, Let us make man [adam] in our image, after our likeness.â?

Even though the account refers to Adam singular, the passage then moves directly into the inclusive plural through a third person masculine plural inflected form of the verb â??to have dominionâ?:

â??let them have dominionâ?

The account then returns to the singular grammatical form ha-adam literally â??the manâ? although the expression can denote â??men.â? We know that the author intended ha-adam to mean â??the manâ? singular since the author moves to a third person masculine singular pronoun â??him.â?

The author, however, wishes to include more than simply â??the manâ? in this description of creation. He therefore artistically moves to the polar expressions â??male and femaleâ? which as merismus refers to â??all/everyâ? and concludes with a third person plural pronoun. Hence, through a subtle textual maneuver, the author has absorbed all humanity into the creation of Adam by first moving from Adam to them and then moving from the man to they.

My point is simply that Lehi follows this pattern. He speaks first of Adam, then of ha-adam â??the manâ? (a term he takes presumably directly from Genesis 1:27 which is its first attestation). Like the biblical account, Lehi concludes by absorbing all humanity with the third person pronoun â??they.â?

Thatâ??s the issue.

Do I feel that this observation is the strongest case we can make to argue for the Book of Mormonâ??s ancient qualities? Heaven no! From my perspective, it is, however, an interesting piece that I donâ??t believe that anyone has considered which adds another small bit of evidence in favor of the book.

That's it.

I really do appreicate all of the helpful questions/criticisms.

Now itâ??s Saturday and Iâ??m going to take the kids surfing in New Hampshire, so I wonâ??t be able to return to the thread until later.

Happiness to all,

--David

Hey,

What do you think of the possible word play with the name Nephi?

There are examples in Phonecian and Aramaic(2 semetic languages) of egyptian names containing "nfr" element in egyptian changing into "npy" in semetic, with medial 'p' sounding as "f" in semetic languages.

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/pdf.php?fi...p;type=amJtcw==

While Im at it, I might as well remind everyone that Nephi is also an example of a semitization of an egyptian man's name. It means "beutiful"; and when taken into consideration make sthe BoM seem all the more poetic as it was written in egyptian.

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/nefert.htm

Nephi 1:1

1) I NEPHI, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was tought somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God , therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

Enos 1:1

1) BEHOLD, it came to pass that I, Enos , knowing my father that he was a just man â??for he taught me in his language and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lordâ??and blessed be the name of my God for itâ??(Compare with 1 Nephi1:1)

The name Enos derives from a poetic Hebrew word for "man, mankind"(Bowen).

Bowen explains it better.

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=insights&id=459

Notice that the two versus are parrallel, and that Nephi corresponds to goodly, the way Enos corresponds to man. Its as if Enos is imitating Nephi's style.

Nephi apparently derived from a Middle Egyptian word, nfr, meaning "good, fine, goodly". Nfr itself is an attested Egyptian name. At this time (fifth century B.C.) in Egypt, the final r had fallen out of the pronunciation of nfr, and this remained the case in Coptic, where the form was noufi(Gee). Nefer can also mean beautiful. Nefertari, meaning "the Lovely One". Nefertiti means "the beautiful one has come" in Egyptian.

3 Nephi 2:16

16 And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair , and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites . And thus ended the thirteenth year.

4 Nephi 1:10

10 And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people

Mormon 6:17-19 Mormon when speaking of the defeated Nephites

17 aO ye fair ones , how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones , how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! 19 O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!

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