Jump to content

BOM As Modern Expansion


Chris Smith

Recommended Posts

Just thought some here might be interested in this BY quote:

When God speaks to the people, he does it in a manner to suit their circumstances and capacities. He spoke to the children of Jacob through Moses, as a blind, stiff-necked people, and when Jesus and his Apostles came they talked with the Jews as a benighted, wicked, selfish people. They would not receive the Gospel, though presented to them by the Son of God in all its righteousness, beauty and glory. Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to re-write the Bible, it would in many places be very different from what it now is. And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation. According as people are willing to receive the things of God, so the heavens send forth their blessings. If the people are stiff-necked, the Lord can tell them but little.

JD 9:311

Link to comment

This reminds me of Joseph's belief that the city of Zion would be built and Christ would return very soon. When the Mormons were forced out of Independence Joseph was very shaken, he couldn't understand it. Later, the Lord told him that the Mormons were not ready and were stiffnecked. Many blessings were missed because of this.

I've also been told that possibly the Israelites would have received a more full gospel had they been more faithful and righteous. However, because of their wickedness the Lord had to dumb it down for them in essence. Once again, many blessings were missed. I wonder what blessing we are all missing in our individual lives because of our own stiffneckedness (I fully include myself in this wonderment).

Link to comment
And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation.

But, Chris, if the BoM is literally true, how could it be "materially" different in any translation at any time? If the events and speeches contained therein actually took place, and the information was actually inscribed on the plates, how could it be materially different?

Link to comment

But, Chris, if the BoM is literally true, how could it be "materially" different in any translation at any time? If the events and speeches contained therein actually took place, and the information was actually inscribed on the plates, how could it be materially different?

Mormon and Moroni would have chosen different topics and stories to be written on the Gold Plates, from the hundreds of years of records.

Link to comment

He didn't say the BoM would be different. He said the translation would be different. The translation is not the source material.

It works if you read "translation" as a figure of speach meaning "The Book of Mormon", instead of the actual translation of the source material. And BY did use the word "re-written" instead of "re-translated".

Link to comment

One way is if the BoM is literally true, but the translation isn't.

Cf. http://content.lib.utah.edu/u?/dialogue,16115

Of course, I don't think the BoM is true at all. But if it had to be, this would be how.

What would it mean for the "Book of Mormon" to be "true" by your standard of judgment? Since in your current view it is "not true at all." I'm just curious, since that's a very interesting way of stating your view of it, i.e., that it is "not true at all." Or am I just making too much of it and what you mean is that the Book of Mormon claims to be a historical record of ancient people(s) and it is (in your view) manifestly not that?

Link to comment

What would it mean for the "Book of Mormon" to be "true" by your standard of judgment? Since in your current view it is "not true at all." I'm just curious, since that's a very interesting way of stating your view of it, i.e., that it is "not true at all." Or am I just making too much of it and what you mean is that the Book of Mormon claims to be a historical record of ancient people(s) and it is (in your view) manifestly not that?

Yeah, I meant literally/historically true. Sorry for the confusion.

Link to comment

I think this is a definite situation where we need Brigham to clarify his thoughts. I don't believe for a minute that he thinks that if the plates were re-translated we would get a completely different story. Only that the Lord reveals truths then takes them away. We could very well lose some of the great truths contained in the scriptures because of wicknedness if the books were re-written today.

Seems like a simple concept to me.

Link to comment

I think this is a definite situation where we need Brigham to clarify his thoughts. I don't believe for a minute that he thinks that if the plates were re-translated we would get a completely different story. Only that the Lord reveals truths then takes them away. We could very well lose some of the great truths contained in the scriptures because of wicknedness if the books were re-written today.

Seems like a simple concept to me.

I suppose you have some sort of wickedness scale which determines wickedness relative to the time of translation of the BoM...?

Link to comment
And I will even venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the present translation. According as people are willing to receive the things of God, so the heavens send forth their blessings. If the people are stiff-necked, the Lord can tell them but little.
Seems to me what he is saying is that we would have had additional material given us---instead of "little" we could be given "much".

It is possible that what was revealed to Joseph was not the complete text, but an edited version (God doing the editing here, not Mormon). That additional material could lead to some significantly different understanding. Perhaps temple work and other revelations that waited for a time until the Saints were prepared to receive them were written about in the text, but the Spirit withheld that information and other until a more appropriate time. We already know this happened with the "Sealed Portion". Any revelation that we have already received that was discussed in the scriptures could be added, plus if we had prepared ourselves sufficiently for 'new' revelation that was on the plates, it may have been given that way instead of waiting for a time when a question prompted a seeking for an answer (as many revelations were given).

Link to comment

One way is if the BoM is literally true, but the translation isn't.

Cf. http://content.lib.utah.edu/u?/dialogue,16115

Of course, I don't think the BoM is true at all. But if it had to be, this would be how.

JS said it was the "most correct" not perfect. Moroni suggested that there may be errors. "The mistakes of men"..."Therefore condemn not the things of God" (From title page)

Pa Pa :P

Link to comment

Ostler's important essay was a state of the art survey in 1987, but the art changes over time. A lot has been learned in the past 20 years. In my FR 16:1 essay, I quote Blake's 2002 assertion that much that he would have explained as "expansion" can now be best explained as translation. Most of his proposed expansions involved the Book of Mormon as being too Christian before Christ. Margaret Barker's reconstruction of pre-exilic "Temple Theology" is directly relevant. Ostler has also revised his understanding of the Book of Mormon teaching on the Atonement, and no longers considers it based on Anselm's views.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, 2002

Link to comment

Chris, what do you think about these views on Brigham's thoughts:

"Mysteries of the Kingdon" are best understood, perhaps only truly understood, by direct, personal revelation. Even then it can be difficult to express them in words. Brigham described the difficulty in expressing the infinite to the finite mind. To record the visions of eternity in scripture is nearly impossible. The scriptures contain hints and pieces:

"â?¦I do not even believe that there is a single revelation, among the many God has given to the Church, that is perfect in its fulness. The revelations of God contain correct doctrine and principle, so far as they go; but it is impossible for the poor, weak, low, grovelling, sinful inhabitants of the earth to receive a revelation from the Almighty in all its perfections. He has to speak to us in a manner to meet the extent of our capacities..."

When angels appear to instruct mortals they "condescend" to explain their message in a way we can understand; they use our imperfect language to convey perfect truth. This includes in the Book of Mormon record:

"If an angel should come into this congregation, or visit any individual of it, and use the language he uses in heaven, what would we be benefitted?[sic] Not any, because we could not understand a word he said. When angels came to visit mortals, they have to condescend to and assume, more or less, the condition of mortals, they have to descend to our capacities in order to communicate with us. I make these remarks to show you that the kingdom of Heaven is not yet complete upon the earth. Why? Because the people are not prepared to receive it in its completeness, for they are not complete or perfect themselves."

When Christ came among the Nephites he prayed with them; the words of that prayer weren't recorded because, according to the book, they couldn't be:

"And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father; And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father," (3 Nephi 17:16-17; cf. 3 Nephi 26).

Who can circumscribe eternal truth? Nowhere is it claimed the Book of Mormon does. The Lord must reveal these things line upon line, precept upon precept. Brigham continued:

"The laws that the Lord has given are not fully perfect, because the people could not receive them in their perfect fulness; but they can receive a little here and a little there, a little to-day and a little to-morrow, a little more next week, and a little more in advance of that next year, if they make a wise improvement upon every little they receive; if they do not, they are left in the shade, and the light which the Lord reveals will appear darkness to them, and the kingdom of heaven will travel on and leave them groping. Hence, if we wish to act upon the fulness of the knowledge that the Lord designs to reveal, little by little, to the inhabitants of the earth, we must improve upon every little as it is revealed."

(JoD 2:309-318)

Secondly- keep in mind the sealed portion of the plates. There was more to the BoM we have not received yet.

Link to comment
I suppose you have some sort of wickedness scale which determines wickedness relative to the time of translation of the BoM...?

Yep and from my calculations we should only be left with the book of Omni and the "I will go and do the things the Lord commanded..." Nephi scripture so that sacrament talks can continue to quote it incessantly.

Link to comment

Chris asks where Ostler explains his updated views.

At this link,

http://www.libertypages.com/clark/10227.html

he says this.

Posted By: Blake | November 22, 2004 09:04 AM

Clark: I don't think I've modified my view that there are expansions that are not ancient -- but I believe we must always remain open as to what the evidence indicates is or is not ancient vis a vis what is modern. I have changed my view of Alma 42 and the discussion of the atonement significantly -- I don't believe it is a satisfaction theory of atonement at all and I discuss it at length in vol. 2 of the Exploring Mormon Thought series. I don't see Alma 11 as teaching modalism (but as far as I know I never have).

He has been active in several bloggernacle discussions of the atonement after his second volume was published. All very interesting and provocative. Though he doesn't go for Margaret Barker nearly as much as I do.

I agree with this his statement here, about remaining open. I still like the expansion theory myself, though I see any expansion as being far more limited than the 1987 version had it. More along the lines of Targum and language than composition. Because I like Barker's work, I see the new First Temple Theology as rendering most of "too Christian before Christ" category of expansion obsolete.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...