Jump to content

Possible Litmus Test on BOM Translation Process


consiglieri

Recommended Posts

This is a rather focused inquiry based upon a musing that just went through my head.

We know that there are upwards of 3,000 errors in the original edition of the Book of Mormon, and that the lion's share of these were grammatical and spelling errors.

We also know that there are many chapters from the book of Isaiah included in the Book of Mormon.

We know that quite a number of even the italized words in KJV Isaiah made their way in.

My question has to do with the grammatical and spelling errors in the Isaiah sections of the Book of Mormon.

I haven't looked, but presume that many such errors made their way into the Isaiah chapters.

If so, does this indicate anything about Oliver's participation in the translation process?

In other words, if Oliver is in on the whole gig, and knows that Joseph Smith is making this up, would it not be reasonable to infer that Oliver would just tell Joseph to give him the freaking Bible and let him copy the Isaiah chapters himself? I mean, why insist on perpetuating the whole face in the hat bit if they didn't need to?

And if he were to do so, would we see grammatical and spelling errors in the Isaiah chapters?

If the thousands of errors in the 1830 Book of Mormon are evenly distributed throughout the Isaiah chapters, would this not at least suggest that Oliver really was copying down what Joseph Smith was reading off (from whatever source)? And might this in turn not provide some evidence that Oliver was proceeding as Joseph's scribe in good faith?

Alternatively, if it should turn out that there are markedly fewer errors in the Book of Mormon's Isaiah chapters compared with other sections, might that not at least suggest that Oliver simply copied straight from the Bible and was complicit in a fraud?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but thought it might be an interesting line of inquiry.

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Link to comment
In other words, if Oliver is in on the whole gig, and knows that Joseph Smith is making this up, would it not be reasonable to infer that Oliver would just tell Joseph to give him the freaking Bible and let him copy the Isaiah chapters himself? I mean, why insist on perpetuating the whole face in the hat bit if they didn't need to?

Couldn't that be said about the entire translation? Using the same logic--that is, assuming Cowdery would do away with the face in the hat nonsense if he was "in on it"--why would he and Joseph bother with the whole translation facade for any part of the production process? If he was "in on it" and allowed Joseph to indulge in the seer stone, magic rock in the hat, disappearing gold plates charade through the non-plagiarized parts, why would he suddenly become weary of the game when it came to the Isaiah chapters?

Alternatively, if it should turn out that there are markedly fewer errors in the Book of Mormon's Isaiah chapters compared with other sections, might that not at least suggest that Oliver simply copied straight from the Bible and was complicit in a fraud?

I don't see why it would. As LDS apologists have suggested, JS could have simply turned to his scribe and said something like "oh, this part here is a version of Isaiah. Let's use the Bible as a translation aid." It's not like any of Joseph's inner circle would have said "Hey! Waaaiitaaamiinuuuute...somethin' fishy is goin' on here..." Whatever the conversation, the evidence that a KJV Bible was used as source material for the Isaiah chapters is beyond dispute. Either Joseph referred to a bible surreptitiously or he did it openly--neither method indicates complicity on the part of Cowdery to engage in fraud.

In my opinion, the episode documented in the D&C wherein Cowdery is given a chance to "translate" is the best evidence that he wasn't "in on it"; that he was just a dupe. Actually, I think Joseph was testing Cowdery in a way. If Cowdery came up with something, Joseph would have known that Oliver knew how Joseph was doing it--i.e., by making it up. Cowdery wasn't in on the con, so he genuinely believed Joseph was engaging in some kind of supernatural translation process. And that's why he, Cowdery, failed utterly when he tried to do it himself.

Link to comment

This is a rather focused inquiry based upon a musing that just went through my head.

We know that there are upwards of 3,000 errors in the original edition of the Book of Mormon, and that the lion's share of these were grammatical and spelling errors.

How do you know? Who says? Who did the research? Where are the facts, or the proofs? Bring those first to the table, and then we are ready to discuss them.

We also know that there are many chapters from the book of Isaiah included in the Book of Mormon.

We know that quite a number of even the italized words in KJV Isaiah made their way in.

My question has to do with the grammatical and spelling errors in the Isaiah sections of the Book of Mormon.

I haven't looked, but presume that many such errors made their way into the Isaiah chapters.

* * *

These are "presumptions," not facts---and too many of them! 3000 presumptions are an awful lot! Get the facts, or at least reasonably close to them, with the proof or evidence, and then you are ready for a serious discussion.

Link to comment

Was the hat big enough to fit a Bible into? :P;)

Link to comment
How do you know? Who says? Who did the research? Where are the facts, or the proofs? Bring those first to the table, and then we are ready to discuss them.

These are "presumptions," not facts---and too many of them! 3000 presumptions are an awful lot! Get the facts, or at least reasonably close to them, with the proof or evidence, and then you are ready for a serious discussion.

I thought it was widely accepted fact that there's been thousands of changes to the Book of Mormon over the years. Infact, 3,000 is quite a low estimate. This page on FAIR says that there is about 105,000 differences (but it does go on to explain why this isn't as extreme as the number suggests). http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2002_Changes_in_the_Book_of_Mormon.html

Link to comment

How do you know? Who says? Who did the research? Where are the facts, or the proofs? Bring those first to the table, and then we are ready to discuss them.

These are "presumptions," not facts---and too many of them! 3000 presumptions are an awful lot! Get the facts, or at least reasonably close to them, with the proof or evidence, and then you are ready for a serious discussion.

Please refer to Skousen/Yale, "Earliest Text" version of the BoM, in addition to the usual suspects-FAIR Wiki, FARMS, maybe even that Jeff Lindsay guy...

Big UP!

Lamanite

Link to comment

Please refer to Skousen/Yale, "Earliest Text" version of the BoM, in addition to the usual suspects-FAIR Wiki, FARMS, maybe even that Jeff Lindsay guy...

Big UP!

Lamanite

It is not for me to read books. It is up to the OP to provide a summary of the relevant statistics, and the source from which it has been derived. How many "corrections" were made? When were they made? How many of them were "grammatical"? How many "editorial"? How many "punctuational"? etc. Who made them? Why were they made? Those are the kinds of details that are necessary before a proper discussion can take place. It is up to the OP to provide those details, assuming presumably he has done his homework before starting the thread.

Link to comment
It is not for me to read books. It is up to the OP to provide a summary of the relevant statistics, and the source from which it has been derived. How many "corrections" were made? When were they made? How many of them were "grammatical"? How many "editorial"? How many "punctuational"? etc. Who made them? Why were they made? Those are the kinds of details that are necessary before a proper discussion can take place. It is up to the OP to provide those details, assuming presumably he has done his homework before starting the thread.

The Lindsey your correspondent referred to is Jeff, and here is a linkee to the article in question. What you choose to do with the information is your affair, but given the 3 seconds it took me to google "3,000 changes Mormon," and get the link, and given your failure to have done so yourself, and given the snarkiness of your post, cited in full above, I doubt you'll do much.

But, hey, dazzle us!

Link to comment

does this indicate anything about Oliver's participation in the translation process?

'Oliver Cowdery']Still, although favored of God as a chosen witness to bear testimony to the divine authority of the Book of Mormon, and honored of the Lord in being permitted, without money and without price, to serve as scribe during the translation of the Book of Mormon, I have sometimes had seasons of skepticism, in which I did seriously wonder whether the Prophet and I were men in our sober senses when we would be translating from plates through "the Urim and Thummim" and the plates not be in sight at all.

But I believed both in the Seer and in the "Seer Stone," and what the First Elder announced as revelation from God, I accepted as such, and committed to paper with a glad mind and happy heart and swift pen; for I believed him to be the soul of honor and truth, a young man who would die before he would lie.

http://olivercowdery...0s/1895Neal.htm

Notice how he juxtaposes "the Urim and Thummim" with "Seer Stone" (both in quotes).

Link to comment

In other words, if Oliver is in on the whole gig, and knows that Joseph Smith is making this up, would it not be reasonable to infer that Oliver would just tell Joseph to give him the freaking Bible and let him copy the Isaiah chapters himself? I mean, why insist on perpetuating the whole face in the hat bit if they didn't need to?

Just a minor point or question. I do not recall any of the "face in the hat" language from Oliver. He seems always to say, "Urim and Thummin" or "seer stone". That is my question, i.e. did Oliver ever describe the translation process where Joseph stuck his face in a hat?

Glenn

Link to comment
Couldn't that be said about the entire translation? Using the same logic--that is, assuming Cowdery would do away with the face in the hat nonsense if he was "in on it"--why would he and Joseph bother with the whole translation facade for any part of the production process? If he was "in on it" and allowed Joseph to indulge in the seer stone, magic rock in the hat, disappearing gold plates charade through the non-plagiarized parts, why would he suddenly become weary of the game when it came to the Isaiah chapters?

In principle, I agree. And, for that matter, the point of dictation seems entirely unnecessary were the BoM a naturalistic production.

So, this makes for two strikes against naturalistic origins--and to think that MC provided one of the strikes. Nice going. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Link to comment

In principle, I agree. And, for that matter, the point of dictation seems entirely unnecessary were the BoM a naturalistic production.

So, this makes for two strikes against naturalistic origins--and to think that MC provided one of the strikes. Nice going. :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

1. Joseph used dictation throughout his life, favoring it over writing things himself. He's on record stating he was more comfortable with dictation than writing. That's reason #1 why dictation wasn't "entirely unnecessary."

2. If the face-in-the-hat show was unnecessary, then so is a psychic's crystal ball, or tarot cards, or a witch's potions or spells. It's called a prop, Wade, and as frequently as they're used by con artists, there must be some purpose to them--they must offer some kind of added credibility, if even just for the credulous.

For example, would you yourself find JS's story more or less compelling if there were no gold plates, no sword of laban, no physical artifacts whatsoever? Would you be more or less inclined to believe JS's story if he just sat down one day and wrote the BoM, claiming the whole thing was the product of divine inspiration?

Link to comment

The Lindsey your correspondent referred to is Jeff, and here is a linkee to the article in question. What you choose to do with the information is your affair, but given the 3 seconds it took me to google "3,000 changes Mormon," and get the link, and given your failure to have done so yourself, and given the snarkiness of your post, cited in full above, I doubt you'll do much.

But, hey, dazzle us!

If the OP had done as much (or as little) research into to the subject as you claim to have done just now, he would have phrased his question differently.

Link to comment
If the OP had done as much (or as little) research into to the subject as you claim to have done just now, he would have phrased his question differently.

How much research does one have to do in order to propose a research topic?

Seems verbloedelt to me to propose one needs to do more than simply suggest a research topic.

Link to comment

How much research does one have to do in order to propose a research topic?

Seems verbloedelt to me to propose one needs to do more than simply suggest a research topic.

Although my German is not good enough to know exactly what you are saying, you are spot on in that all I was doing was proposing a subject for possible research, but one for which the research isn't really necessary unless there are persons who might think that such results would be worthwhile, whatever they might be.

My hunch is that the errors are going to be evenly distributed throughout the Isaiah sections of the Book of Mormon, but why research the issue to find out if it doesn't make any difference?

I appreciate the comments so far, but am not sure whether anybody thinks it would make any difference one way or the other.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Link to comment
1. Joseph used dictation throughout his life, favoring it over writing things himself. He's on record stating he was more comfortable with dictation than writing. That's reason #1 why dictation wasn't "entirely unnecessary."

You evidently aren't grasping my point--which doesn't have to do with Joseph's discomfort with writing, but rather the nature of the work he dictated. Dictation makes sense in cases of translations of written texts and transcribing unwritten revelations and thoughts in Joseph's mind. It doesn't make nuch sense when copying from a written text in the same language. As such, for a naturalistic explanation to make sense in the case of dictation, the 500+ pages of complex narrative of the BoM would need to have been dictated entirely off the top of Joseph's head--which, in and of itself would be a rather miraculous feat. It doesn't make sense if the text for the BoM had somehow been compilled beforehand. Either way, the fact that the BoM was dictated, doesn't bode well for the naturalistic theorists.

2. If the face-in-the-hat show was unnecessary, then so is a psychic's crystal ball, or tarot cards, or a witch's potions or spells. It's called a prop, Wade, and as frequently as they're used by con artists, there must be some purpose to them--they must offer some kind of added credibility, if even just for the credulous.

Not only are you unwittingly arguing here against your previous comment, but your arguement here doesn't make sense in relation to the hypothetical in dispute (i.e. "if Cowdery were in on it"). Were Cowdery supposedly in on the hypothesized fraud, there would be no need for Joseph to use the "props" on Cowdery to add some kind of credibility, nor would the use of the "props" add cr3edibility. I am sorry, but you aren't making sense.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Link to comment

How much research does one have to do in order to propose a research topic?

Seems verbloedelt to me to propose one needs to do more than simply suggest a research topic.

We know that there are upwards of 3,000 errors in the original edition of the Book of Mormon, and that the lion's share of these were grammatical and spelling errors.

This is not "suggesting a research topic;" it is making a statement; and a highly erroneous one by all counts. It is a provocative comment as well as an erroneous one.

Link to comment

I appreciate the comments so far, but am not sure whether anybody thinks it would make any difference one way or the other.

THAT is the only issue here, and the clear answer is that it would not (make any difference either way)

Whatever the "evidence", it would 1- be disputable or 2- have a questionable interpretation.

And then we could all argue til doomsday about the same issues again and again like we do for most of these other alleged "issues".

Wouldn't that be nice? :P

Link to comment

You evidently aren't grasping my point--which doesn't have to do with Joseph's discomfort with writing, but rather the nature of the work he dictated. Dictation makes sense in cases of translations of written texts and transcribing unwritten revelations and thoughts in Joseph's mind. It doesn't make nuch sense when copying from a written text in the same language. As such, for a naturalistic explanation to make sense in the case of dictation, the 500+ pages of complex narrative of the BoM would need to have been dictated entirely off the top of Joseph's head--which, in and of itself would be a rather miraculous feat. It doesn't make sense if the text for the BoM had somehow been compilled beforehand. Either way, the fact that the BoM was dictated, doesn't bode well for the naturalistic theorists.

Maybe it would make things clearer if I said I don't subscribe to the theories which rely on Joseph Smith hiding some pre-written manuscript in his hat. I contend that the dictation is nothing more miraculous than a first draft of a novel. Why is it any more "miraculous" that Joseph spoke his novel rather than write it out longhand? When you wrote the above post, did you copy it off a manuscript, or did you just make it up "entirely off the top of your head"? All novels have to initially come from the same place--ie, off the top of the author's head. Some authors go back and revise their first pass. Others, not so much. Joseph was obviously the latter (although even Joseph made some later revisions to his first draft.)

Not only are you unwittingly arguing here against your previous comment, but your arguement here doesn't make sense in relation to the hypothetical in dispute (i.e. "if Cowdery were in on it"). Were Cowdery supposedly in on the hypothesized fraud, there would be no need for Joseph to use the "props" on Cowdery to add some kind of credibility, nor would the use of the "props" add cr3edibility. I am sorry, but you aren't making sense.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

If Cowdery was NOT a co-conspirator, then the use of props was obviously intended to dupe him (as well as everyone else). Since I don't see any convincing evidence that Cowdery was "in on it," that's the explanation I personally subscribe to. If Cowdery WAS a co-conspirator, then he just becomes the magician's assistant, as it were, going along with Joseph to try to dupe everyone else. He and Joseph would be, in effect, putting on a a show to convince people that they really were engaging in a supernatural translation of an ancient text. You might ask "well, what if there was nobody around to see the show? Why would they still insist on using the props then?" Of course, the answer is: they probably wouldn't. They would use the props when someone was around to see them, and when no one else was around to see them, they wouldn't bother. But they'd still tell people they were still using the seer stone, and the hat, and the urim and thummim, and the breastplate, and the giant magic spectacles. Again, I don't see the need to include Cowdery as a co-conspirator, and I don't buy into the notion of Cowdery and Joseph shrewdly planning out how to dupe their inner circle of followers with the clever use of props. But if one were to go the conspiracy route, it's not hard to explain Smith and Cowdery's behavior with respect to the various paraphernalia associated with the so-called translation.

Link to comment

Actually Joseph was a time traveler from the future, and he had an iphone in his hat.

Very simple really. The display was too dim to see in the full sunlight, so he had to put it into the hat to read.

Link to comment

Actually Joseph was a time traveler from the future, and he had an iphone in his hat.

Very simple really. The display was too dim to see in the full sunlight, so he had to put it into the hat to read.

Like my cell phone display, I can't read it in the daylight.

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...