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Lamanite

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How much do you know about olives, Lamanite? Do you have much experience running an olive orchard?

Also, it's odd that the branches are propagated through two methods: grafting (attached to an existing tree/population) and planting (seperated and used to start a totally new tree/population). The modern apologetic stance for the Book of Mormon has the Lehites joining up with a larger existing population, which would be a graft, but verses 24 & 25, which seem to apply to the Lehites, describe their separation to the New World as a planting, not a grafting, with the Nephites and Lamanites both being parts of this one tree.

24 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said again unto his servant: Look hither, and behold another branch also, which I have planted; behold that I have nourished it also, and it hath brought forth fruit.

25 And he said unto the servant: Look hither and behold the last. Behold, this have I planted in a good spot of ground; and I have nourished it this long time, and only a part of the tree hath brought forth tame fruit, and the other part of the tree hath brought forth wild fruit; behold, I have nourished this tree like unto the others.

If the Lehites found existing populations and were subsequently subsumed by the existing religions and cultures, wouldn't this be a "graft", and not a "planting"? Could Jacob 5 present problems for the theory that there were existing populations represented in the Book of Mormon?

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How much do you know about olives, Lamanite? Do you have much experience running an olive orchard?

Also, it's odd that the branches are propagated through two methods: grafting (attached to an existing tree/population) and planting (seperated and used to start a totally new tree/population). The modern apologetic stance for the Book of Mormon has the Lehites joining up with a larger existing population, which would be a graft, but verses 24 & 25, which seem to apply to the Lehites, describe their separation to the New World as a planting, not a grafting, with the Nephites and Lamanites both being parts of this one tree.

If the Lehites found existing populations and were subsequently subsumed by the existing religions and cultures, wouldn't this be a "graft", and not a "planting"? Could Jacob 5 present problems for the theory that there were existing populations represented in the Book of Mormon?

Simple. They never joined with them. They merely stayed a "chosen people." Like a stake of Zion is planted in the mission field, so the Lehites were planted in the land of promise.

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Simple. They never joined with them. They merely stayed a "chosen people." Like a stake of Zion is planted in the mission field, so the Lehites were planted in the land of promise.

I can't speak for them, but I believe most current Book of Mormon scholars theorize massive conversions of native Americans after the Lehites arrive, with the Nephites and Lamanites teaching them, leading them, ruling them, warring with and against them and generally mixing it up to the poing that their culture and records were mixed in with the natives'.

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How much do you know about olives, Lamanite? Do you have much experience running an olive orchard?

Also, it's odd that the branches are propagated through two methods: grafting (attached to an existing tree/population) and planting (seperated and used to start a totally new tree/population). The modern apologetic stance for the Book of Mormon has the Lehites joining up with a larger existing population, which would be a graft, but verses 24 & 25, which seem to apply to the Lehites, describe their separation to the New World as a planting, not a grafting, with the Nephites and Lamanites both being parts of this one tree.

If the Lehites found existing populations and were subsequently subsumed by the existing religions and cultures, wouldn't this be a "graft", and not a "planting"? Could Jacob 5 present problems for the theory that there were existing populations represented in the Book of Mormon?

I have zero practical experience with olives or any other horticultural endeavor. However, my research regarding the accuracy Jacob 5 as it relates to Olive trees is impressive. Is there an explanation for Joseph's amazing familiarity with Olive Trees?

As for the theological implications regarding grafting as it relates to Lehites is a non issue for me. It is to be understood by the Spirit and is therefore highly subjective.

It is Joseph's knowledge of Olive trees that is suspect. Either he knew about Olive horticulture and middle eastern pruning techniques or he was inspired to translate a middle eastern Prophets allegory.

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How much do you know about olives, Lamanite? Do you have much experience running an olive orchard?

Also, it's odd that the branches are propagated through two methods: grafting (attached to an existing tree/population) and planting (seperated and used to start a totally new tree/population). The modern apologetic stance for the Book of Mormon has the Lehites joining up with a larger existing population, which would be a graft, but verses 24 & 25, which seem to apply to the Lehites, describe their separation to the New World as a planting, not a grafting, with the Nephites and Lamanites both being parts of this one tree.

If the Lehites found existing populations and were subsequently subsumed by the existing religions and cultures, wouldn't this be a "graft", and not a "planting"? Could Jacob 5 present problems for the theory that there were existing populations represented in the Book of Mormon?

I think you misunderstood the point cinepro. While a discussion about the whether or not the BoM peoples were "grafted" or "planted" might be interesting, I believe the OP had something more like this in mind:

Jacob chapter 5 offers a detailed description of practices regarding the cultivation of olive trees, taken from a Jewish text that was on the sacred writings available on the brass plates that Lehi brought with him from Jerusalem. These descriptions agree well with what is known of ancient olive cultivation in ways that were far beyond what Joseph Smith could have known. While Romans 11:13-26 refers to grafting of olive trees, this offers scant information compared to the extensive and detailed information in Jacob 5, the longest chapter in the Book of Mormon.

http://www.jefflindsay.com/BMEvidences.shtml#olive

Sargon

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I have zero practical experience with olives or any other horticultural endeavor. However, my research regarding the accuracy Jacob 5 as it relates to Olive trees is impressive. Is there an explanation for Joseph's amazing familiarity with Olive Trees?

As for the theological implications regarding grafting as it relates to Lehites is a non issue for me. It is to be understood by the Spirit and is therefore highly subjective.

It is Joseph's knowledge of Olive trees that is suspect. Either he knew about Olive horticulture and middle eastern pruning techniques or he was inspired to translate a middle eastern Prophets allegory.

You have zero practical experience with olive cultivation, you researched Jacob 5 from purely apologetic sources, and you were impressed at how much Joseph Smith got right?

You're just a regular Sherlock Holmes.

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You have zero practical experience with olive cultivation, you researched Jacob 5 from purely apologetic sources, and you were impressed at how much Joseph Smith got right?

You're just a regular Sherlock Holmes.

So instead of just saying, "Gee, I don't really have an answer for this one. Let me look into it and I'll get back to you", you instead feel the need for an ad hominem attack?

Sargon

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Here is some info on the Allegory that might be of interest:

(CES Book of Mormon Student Manual [1996])Jacob 5:3. The Symbol of the Olive Tree

The use of the olive tree as a symbol for the house of Israel is an excellent example of how God uses symbolism to teach his children gospel laws and principles. For centuries the olive tree has been associated with peace. War and its grim attendants of destructionâ??rape of the land, siege, and deathâ??were hardly conducive to the cultivation of olive orchards, that require many years of careful husbandry to bring into full production. When the dove returned to the ark, it carried an olive leaf in its beak, as though to symbolize that God was again at peace with the earth (see Genesis 8:11). The olive branch was used in ancient Greece and Rome to signify peace, and it is still used in that sense in the great seal of the United States where the American eagle is shown grasping an olive branch in its talons. The only true source of peace is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. His peace comes through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. These laws and ordinances are given to the world through the house of Israel, symbolized by the olive tree. Someone once said that Israel was not chosen to be an uplifted people, but an uplifting people.

There is further symbolic significance in the cultivation of an olive tree. If the green slip of an olive tree is merely planted and allowed to grow, it develops into the wild olive, a bush that grows without control into a tangle of limbs and branches producing only a small, worthless fruit (see Harold

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Also, it's odd that the branches are propagated through two methods: grafting (attached to an existing tree/population) and planting (seperated and used to start a totally new tree/population). The modern apologetic stance for the Book of Mormon has the Lehites joining up with a larger existing population, which would be a graft, but verses 24 & 25, which seem to apply to the Lehites, describe their separation to the New World as a planting, not a grafting, with the Nephites and Lamanites both being parts of this one tree.

I assume that we begin with the common ground that in an analogy the physical descriptions in the story are meant to be representative? Your reading of the problem of planting and grafting appears to accept the premise.

The problem is that we have to understand the whole construction of the allegory. You have the right idea about the wrong thing.

The allegory absolutely relates to Israel (with the covenant as the root, in my opinion). In oleiculture, you don't get olive trees by grafting olive branches on to orange trees. All trees and all branches are olives. Therefore, the allegory requires that it be a planting in the New World, because the olive tree has to be located there. Once established there could be a grafting in - but that isn't the story.

I agree that we get the gentile in-grafting in the Old World and don't have a similar in-grafting in the New World, but that is where the possible anomaly lies, not in the original planting in the New World.

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Lamanite,

I started a thread on this very topic quite some time ago and not one critic came into the thread to touch it. Cinepro's "graft" criticism is the closest i've seen and it doesn't come close to discounting how complex and rich this five page allegory is.

I personally am in awe every time I read it and am surprised I don't hear about it more. My opinion is that a critic won't touch it because they wouldn't know where to begin and it is indeed very impressive work on Joseph's part.

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You have zero practical experience with olive cultivation, you researched Jacob 5 from purely apologetic sources, and you were impressed at how much Joseph Smith got right?

You're just a regular Sherlock Holmes.

You assume that my research involved "purely apologetic" sources. You are incorrect. I actually just went to the library and started reading horticultural books, specifically as they realated to middle eastern botany and a really cool book written by a jewish arborist. I don't cite specifics because I don't want to focus on external sources. I would rather deal with the primary text and how IMO it is a wonderful representation of the BoM's authenticity.

Can you prove otherwise? Can you provide a source that would have provided Joseph with the needed expert knowledge on Olive trees that was available to him?

Also, why the personal attack? I just thought an adult conversation regarding the BoM would be a fun way to start the week. May I suggest you find a loved one as soon as possible and get a hug? Then come back and well have a nice conversation like grown ups.

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So instead of just saying, "Gee, I don't really have an answer for this one. Let me look into it and I'll get back to you", you instead feel the need for an ad hominem attack?

Sargon

If you re-read the original posts, you'll find there isn't anything to "answer". No claim is being made, other than "I read some apologetic explanations of Jacob 5 and I was really impressed." What would a critic say to that? "No you didn't?"

Or how about "I know nothing about olive cultivation, but I read some an article by an anti-Mormon that was critical of Jacob 5, and I think it doesn't have an ancient origin". Do you find that convincing, or requiring some sort of response? Me neither.

I agree that Jacob 5 is long, but that is a result of the somewhat arbitrary chapter divisions added to the book. The allegory itself is interesting, but in response to auteur55's claim that a "critic won't touch it", I can only respond with the observation that Mormons themselves don't "touch it" either; it is little used in lessons, talks and other materials, other than the regularly scheduled discussion every 4 years as a matter of course. It just hasn't gained any traction in the culture like Lehi's dream has. It has very weak descriptive power, and according to some, describes an early 19th century point of view to the point that modern scholars have to explain away it's anachronisms:

The Book of Mormon also alluded to the lost tribes of Israel. Jacob 5, or the parable of the olive tree as it was known in the early years, spoke of "natural branches" being "hid" in the "nethermost part of the vineyard," which also happened to be the "poorest spot." This seemed to coincide perfectly with contemporary notions about the lost ten tribes having been sequestered away to the frozen "north countries." In a letter to Oliver Cowdery, W. W. Phelps postulated,
The parts of the globe that are known probably contain 700 millions of inhabitants, and those parts which are unknown may be supposed to contain more than four times as many more, making an estimated total of about three thousand, five hundred and eighty million souls; Let no man marvel at this statement, because there may be a continent at the north pole, of more than 1300 square miles, containing thousands of millions of Israelites, who, after a highway is cast up in the great deep, may come to Zion, singing songs of everlasting joy â?¦. This idea is greatly strengthened by reading Zenos' account of the tame olive tree in the Book of Mormon. The branches planted in the nethermost parts of the earth, "brought forth much fruit," and no man that pretends to have pure religion, can find "much fruit" among the Gentiles, or heathen of this generation.27

The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism,

Grant Underwood

p.85

As far as alternate views go, I agree that there isn't much there. Black Ostler's ambigous theory is all that turns up on my New Mormon Studies CD-ROM:

No clearly identifiable ancient sources appear in the Book of Mormon except as might derive from the King James version of the Bible. Possible ancient sources suggested by the book itself include a nonbiblical prophet, Zenos, who gave the wild olive tree allegory (Jacob 5) and several messianic prophecies. Another nonbiblical prophet known as Zenez, or Kenaz, appears in the pseudepigraphic Pseudo-Philo; he is said to have lived during the period of the Judges and prophesied of a "vineyard" planted by the Lord which will bring forth corrupt fruit (Hebrew text in Harrington 1974; James 1893; Nibley 1973, 323-27). The Pseudo-Philo is much too late (c135 B.C.), however, to lead us to believe it is a reliable report about the existence of the prophet Zenez during the period of the Judges, unless a document about Zenez dating before the Exile (587 B.C.) could be found.

The metaphor of a vineyard or olive orchard (mixed in Jacob 5) planted by the Lord that brings forth wild fruit when left unattended is an ancient Hebrew theme (Isa. 5: 1-7; Jer. 11: 16; Hosea 14: 6-7). Paul used it (Rom. 11:16-21) as an allegory of the gentiles being adopted into Israel. Thus, Joseph Smith had access to both the theme and the concept of grafting in his Bible. It is impossible to determine, however, whether the source of Jacob 5 is Zenos, which Lehi would have shared with contemporaries like Jeremiah, Joseph Smith's inspired reading of the KJV, or both.

The Book of Mormon as a Modern Expansion of An Ancient Source

Blake Ostler

Dialogue, Vol.20, No.1, p.68

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If you re-read the original posts, you'll find there isn't anything to "answer". No claim is being made, other than "I read some apologetic explanations of Jacob 5 and I was really impressed." What would a critic say to that? "No you didn't?"

Or how about "I know nothing about olive cultivation, but I read some an article by an anti-Mormon that was critical of Jacob 5, and I think it doesn't have an ancient origin". Do you find that convincing, or requiring some sort of response? Me neither.

I agree that Jacob 5 is long, but that is a result of the somewhat arbitrary chapter divisions added to the book. The allegory itself is interesting, but in response to auteur55's claim that a "critic won't touch it", I can only respond with the observation that Mormons themselves don't "touch it" either; it is little used in lessons, talks and other materials, other than the regularly scheduled discussion every 4 years as a matter of course. It just hasn't gained any traction in the culture like Lehi's dream has. It has very weak descriptive power, and according to some, describes an early 19th century point of view to the point that modern scholars have to explain away it's anachronisms:

The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism,

Grant Underwood

p.85

As far as alternate views go, I agree that there isn't much there. Black Ostler's ambigous theory is all that turns up on my New Mormon Studies CD-ROM:

Either he knew about Olive horticulture and middle eastern pruning techniques or he was inspired to translate a middle eastern Prophets allegory. which one do you think it is?

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My opinion is that a critic won't touch it because they wouldn't know where to begin...

That pretty much sums it up for me. I generally try to post in threads to which I hope I can make some intelligent contribution.

This isn't one of them.

Best.

CKS

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Cinepro,

If you re-read the original posts, you'll find there isn't anything to "answer". No claim is being made, other than "I read some apologetic explanations of Jacob 5 and I was really impressed."

Again, you are confused. You ad hominem attack on Lamanite came in response to him saying this:

I have zero practical experience with olives or any other horticultural endeavor. However, my research regarding the accuracy Jacob 5 as it relates to Olive trees is impressive. Is there an explanation for Joseph's amazing familiarity with Olive Trees?

As for the theological implications regarding grafting as it relates to Lehites is a non issue for me. It is to be understood by the Spirit and is therefore highly subjective.

It is Joseph's knowledge of Olive trees that is suspect. Either he knew about Olive horticulture and middle eastern pruning techniques or he was inspired to translate a middle eastern Prophets allegory.

Lamanite asked what you or any other critic had as a response to the fact that Joseph displayed uncommon, and I'd argue quite impossible, familiariy with olive tree horticulture. You responded by criticizing his use of apologetic material. Is that a serious criticism? This is an apologetic message board after all, that is what we do.

Or how about "I know nothing about olive cultivation, but I read some an article by an anti-Mormon that was critical of Jacob 5, and I think it doesn't have an ancient origin". Do you find that convincing, or requiring some sort of response? Me neither.

It certainly would not be impressive, but it would be a step up from insulting Lamanite's intellect by contrasting him to Sherlock Holmes.

A much more impressive contribution would have been CKSalmon's, in which he admitted to not being familiar with the subject, and therefore not able to contribute. Unfortunately you chose a different route.

I, like Lamanite and auter, would be interested if a critic could propose a hypothesis for how Joseph Smith could have been familiar with ancient near-easter olive culture techniques.

Sargon

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Cinepro,

Again, you are confused. You ad hominem attack on Lamanite came in response to him saying this:

Lamanite asked what you or any other critic had as a response to the fact that Joseph displayed uncommon, and I'd argue quite impossible, familiariy with olive tree horticulture. You responded by criticizing his use of apologetic material. Is that a serious criticism? This is an apologetic message board after all, that is what we do.

It certainly would not be impressive, but it would be a step up from insulting Lamanite's intellect by contrasting him to Sherlock Holmes.

A much more impressive contribution would have been CKSalmon's, in which he admitted to not being familiar with the subject, and therefore not able to contribute. Unfortunately you chose a different route.

I, like Lamanite and auter, would be interested if a critic could propose a hypothesis for how Joseph Smith could have been familiar with ancient near-easter olive culture techniques.

Sargon

I am sorry for not being clear. To avoid further confusion, I will spell it out for you v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

The original claim is that Jacob 5 exhibits an "uncommon, impossible" familiarity with olive tree horticulture, and therefore it is either an authentic record, or Joseph Smith himself had "uncommon, impossible" knowledge.

I do not believe it has been established that Jacob 5 exhibits uncommon, impossible knowledge of olive horticulture. I find the allegory in Jacob 5 to be interesting, and certainly in my urban experience "uncommon", but hardly miraculous. Once the principles of planting and grafting are introduced, I don't see much depth to the horticulture.

Certainly, my blase attitude could be a result of my having been familiar with Jacob 5 nearly my entire life, so it seems rather ordinary. Given Romans 11 and an outline of the story if God's dealings with Israel, I think it is entirely possible for Joseph Smith to come up with something like Jacob 5.

Jacob 5 also suffers from one of they key, critical inadequacies of many Book of Mormon prophecies in my opinion: it has a huge set of blinders on that firmly limit it to events of the known Bible and Book of Mormon, which, amazingly, were also known to Joseph Smith at the time he dictated it. When it teeters on the edge of any known people or events, it spirals into ambiguity and becomes worthless allegory with zero predictive quality (as shown by it's misuse by W.W. Phelps to support his mistaken notions in the 19th century).

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Thank you cinepro for addressing the issue. Since you confess to not seeing anything particularly impressive about the olive tree horticulture knowledge that was held by the author of Jacob 5, perhaps I should illuminate further the reasons why we believe it is an impressive display of knowledge....knowledge that was not Joseph Smith's nor any 19th century New Yorker.

Our very own Donut Devourer:

There is another very strongly ancient Near Eastern aspect that I'd like to think about, and that is one on which a whole new book is available. That's the famous allegory of the olive tree in Jacob 5. Jacob 5 is a very extended story taken from a prophet named Zenos who is not known to the Bible; he probably comes from the northern kingdom of Israel sometime, obviously, preceding the time of Lehi. Zenos tells a long parable about the lord of a vineyard and his servant or servants and their care of an olive tree. Now, recently a symposium at BYU was held on Jacob 5, and it's remarkable how very much you can get out of one single chapter of the Book of Mormon. The book is almost infinitely rich. A very large book on that chapter was produced, and there were a number of very fascinating aspects to that. One is that a group of horticulturists (specialists in tree culture) looked at the account of olive culture and olive production in the Book of Mormon in Jacob 5 and found that in virtually every detail, it matches what we actually know about how olive trees are treated, how they are grown, cultivated, and cared for.

Now, it has to be understood that olive trees do not grow in New York State. Joseph Smith probably didn't ever see any. He certainly wouldn't have known much above olive trees and olive cultivation, and olive cultivation is very, very different from the kinds of trees he would have known. So where did he get this information from? It seems to me that the most conservative notion, the best explanation, is that whoever wrote the parable of the olive tree in Jacob 5 knew olive cultivation at first hand. He knew how it was done. It's a very detailed account, a very rich account, because of course it's an account of the history of the world (in the past and on into the future) using the olive tree as a metaphor for the house of Israel. You have graftings in and cuttings off and the dispersion of branches of the olive tree into the farthest parts of the vineyard, and so on. And it's all accurate down to the last detailâ??with one notable exception. And that is that in the account in Jacob 5, it said that graftings from wild olive treesâ??or little pieces of wild olive treeâ??are grafted into the main olive tree, the domesticated olive tree, and then they produce tame fruit. Now, that doesn't happen. A wild olive branch, even if grafted into a tame olive tree, will still produce wild fruit. It will survive, but it won't produce tame fruit simply because it's grafted into a tame olive tree. So, is this an error on the part of the Book of Mormon? No, not really.

One of the articlesâ??and article that I was involved withâ??in this book on Jacob 5 uncovered evidence that in the ancient Mediterranean world, they were aware of the possibility that miraculously, a wild olive branch grafted into a tame olive tree could produce tame fruit. It doesn't happen naturally, but it can happen miraculously. And the prophetic figures of the ancient Mediterranean, specifically Greek thinkers and so on, saw this as a sign from God. It was a miraculous intervention from God, something that contravened the normal laws of olive cultivation and production.

Well, what does it stand for in the account of the Book of Mormon? It stands for the conversion of Gentiles into people of the house of Israel. It's a miraculous transformation, exactly what the Book of Mormon would have it be. And this is a remarkable thing. It's a very long, a seventy-seven-verse long, description of olive culture. This is certainly enough rope for Joseph Smith to have hanged himself if he were making it up, but he didn't. He got it right, and on the one detail which seems to be wrong, it again has precedent in the ancient Near Eastern world and in the ancient Eastern Mediterranean. It's a remarkable thing, and I challenge critics of the Book of Mormon to come up with any counterexplanation of this idea that it was produced by someone who actually came from the area where olives were produced. And that is precisely the area Zenos and Lehi came from originallyâ??the eastern Mediterranean in general.

Further information can be found here:

http://en.fairmormon.org/index.php/Olive_c..._Book_of_Mormon

Sargon

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That pretty much sums it up for me. I generally try to post in threads to which I hope I can make some intelligent contribution.

This isn't one of them.

An honest and wise move. Otherwise you'll be eating crow like Cinepro who thinks there is nothing impressive about the five page allegory.

The saints generally do stay away from Jacob 5. Just like they tend to stay away from the books of Isaiah. Both are complex, beautiful, and have layers of meaning and interpretation. They frankly are difficult and exhaustive to disect. All the more reason they're so impressive.

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An honest and wise move. Otherwise you'll be eating crow like Cinepro who thinks there is nothing impressive about the five page allegory.

The saints generally do stay away from Jacob 5. Just like they tend to stay away from the books of Isaiah. Both are complex, beautiful, and have layers of meaning and interpretation. They frankly are difficult and exhaustive to disect. All the more reason they're so impressive.

My point here is neither to deny nor support the legitimacy of Jacob 5 as an ancient document. Rather, just to make my own point clear, I just don't know enough about the subject to argue one way or the other.

I don't know if there is something impressive here or if there is nothing impressive here.

I just don't know. Wish I did. But, don't. (I do wish I knew everything about everything, but that job's already taken.)

Best, auteur55,

CKS

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