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The Anthon Affair


Mortal Man

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It is my opinion that Martin went because frankly his testimony was strong but not enough to give up $5000.00 I don't blame him either, that is a lot of money. After he came back he was sure.

Ya, that would be equivalent to what "$50,000-$100,000" today???

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It is my opinion that Martin went because frankly his testimony was strong but not enough to give up $5000.00 I don't blame him either, that is a lot of money. After he came back he was sure.

Anthon told him "that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels." How did that bolster Martin's testimony?

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SO Mortal Man was in the room with Harris and Anton and recorded the entire conversation. What Martin said happened didn't.

Some people believe in reincarnation.This is proof because MM was a fly on the wall.

So what are your answers to the three questions in the OP?

For extra credit you can also answer the question:

4. Could Charles Anthon read Reformed Egyptian?

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So what are your answers to the three questions in the OP?

For extra credit you can also answer the question:

4. Could Charles Anthon read Reformed Egyptian?

Wouldn't it be better phrased; Could Charles Anthon recognize Egyptian similarities? I cant read Spanish French or German but I can recognize the languages.

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1. Martin Harris apparently went there with goal to make up his mind to help Joseph with the Book of Mormon and provide funds for it, cause that was when he would soon do it.

2. Martin's history and actions show that he must have been satisfied with his visit. He was a shrewd farmer and businessman, while often expressing doubts about Joseph's calling, he would eventually come to believe Joseph lost his calling and would leave the church over it. So he was always testing what Joseph did at various steps along the way:

"Once Martin found a rock closely resembling the seerstone and substituted it without the Prophet

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What were Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic characters doing on the transcript? Did the Nephites write in those languages?

I don't understand why you are baiting. You know the answer as well as I do. Just get to your point.

You know Nephi wrote in reformed Egyptian. some of the Anthon Transcript had characters that resemble Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic. Just like some of our letters resemble other languages.

I suspect your trying to make a point by asking rhetorical questions, but give me a clue I am not as bright as you are.

~~~> Anijen feels as if a gotcha is coming.

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I do not agree with Bushman's take upon this episode, nor with the way the event is typically understood by Latter-day Saints.

Neither do I. Nor did B. H. Roberts. Nor did Hugh Nibley.

I believe Joseph sent Harris to fulfill prophecy.

Bingo.

I posted my take on it here.

I'd be very interested in hearing feedback.

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Neither do I. Nor did B. H. Roberts. Nor did Hugh Nibley.

Bingo.

I posted my take on it here.

I'd be very interested in hearing feedback.

I'm not a pundit, so I'll just say that this has always been the crux of the matter for me:

it is doubtful that this would have enabled him to discern
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What are the chances that a learned man might want to act superior to other people and feign expertise he did not have?

Or what are the chances that somebody might fudge his knowledge a bit to look smarter than somebody else?

Or what are the chances he might throw out the names of various languages to put somebody in awe of his superior intellect?

Or what are the chances that a scholar might go out on the limb a little to ingratiate himself a little with somebody in order to gain access to what he thought was an amazing discovery?

As foreign as the concept of showing off might be to us here on this board, it is not unknown among other people.

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I've never understood on what basis anyone believes Anthon could have said the things [Joseph said that] Martin Harris said he said.

I fixed your statement.

If he did say those things about being able to verify the translation, he must have been lying.

Or God must have given him the ability to translate Reformed Egyptian for just that moment without him realizing it.

The Anthon story may have worked in the 1820's, but does anyone think it would work today with any modern linguist?

Initially, the goal was simply to get a learned man to state that he could not read the characters, and that is essentially what happened. But later on, people less credulous than Martin (who held Anthon in high regard) wanted to know if he had verified the translation; so the story adapted in an attempt to have it both ways.

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Initially, the goal was simply to get a learned man to state that he could not read the characters, and that is essentially what happened. But later on, people less credulous than Martin (who held Anthon in high regard) wanted to know if he had verified the translation; so the story adapted in an attempt to have it both ways.

That Smith guy; quite the puppet-master! [/sarcasm]

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It seems that Joseph Smith was familiar with several methods of shorthand for a young practically illiterate farm hand.

The characters, some with an exact match have been seen elsewhere, even on Mesoamerican artifacts: see Carl Hugh Jones, "The Anthon Transcript and Two Mesoamerican Cylinder Seals".

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I tend to agree with Bushman. Here's how I believe things went down:

Martin was under pressure; he thought he could receive final confirmation for himself and likely for others by finding a scholar who would substantiate the view that the book was an ancient record. He traveled to New York and met with Anthon. Anthon, upon seeing the characters, apparently initially agreed that they were ancient characters, and must have compared them somehow to "Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Egyptian." At this point Martin was reluctant to look foolish and share the story of the angel and young prophet. After hearing Anthon's approval, Martin was relieved and felt free to share the story, upon which Anthon realized it was likely a fraud. He then reproved Martin for being so gullible. Martin subsequently left, and attributed Anthon's change of mind to his lack of faith in angelic ministry.

Martin clung to Anthon's initial reaction that the characters resembled ancient scripts. Upon returning, his faith was bolstered because a learned scholar agreed that they were ancient characters (his change of mind was insignificant because it only occurred after Martin decided to share the miraculous discovery of the plates, and was thus due to Anthon's lack of faith). Joseph, upon hearing Martin's telling of events, was reminded of the prophecy in Isaiah. And on goes Mormon history.

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I tend to agree with Bushman. Here's how I believe things went down:

Martin was under pressure; he thought he could receive final confirmation for himself and likely for others by finding a scholar who would substantiate the view that the book was an ancient record. He traveled to New York and met with Anthon. Anthon, upon seeing the characters, apparently initially agreed that they were ancient characters, and must have compared them somehow to "Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Egyptian." At this point Martin was reluctant to look foolish and share the story of the angel and young prophet. After hearing Anthon's approval, Martin was relieved and felt free to share the story, upon which Anthon realized it was likely a fraud. He then reproved Martin for being so gullible. Martin subsequently left, and attributed Anthon's change of mind to his lack of faith in angelic ministry.

Martin clung to Anthon's initial reaction that the characters resembled ancient scripts. Upon returning, his faith was bolstered because a learned scholar agreed that they were ancient characters (his change of mind was insignificant because it only occurred after Martin decided to share the miraculous discovery of the plates, and was thus due to Anthon's lack of faith). Joseph, upon hearing Martin's telling of events, was reminded of the prophecy in Isaiah. And on goes Mormon history.

This requires that Joseph lied to Oliver Cowdery regarding the angel's repeated statement, "the scripture must be fulfilled before it is translated, which says that the words of a book, which were sealed, were presented to the learned.

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This requires that Joseph lied to Oliver Cowdery regarding the angel's repeated statement, "the scripture must be fulfilled before it is translated, which says that the words of a book, which were sealed, were presented to the learned.

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It seems that Joseph Smith was familiar with several methods of shorthand for a young practically illiterate farm hand.

The characters, some with an exact match have been seen elsewhere, even on Mesoamerican artifacts: see Carl Hugh Jones, "The Anthon Transcript and Two Mesoamerican Cylinder Seals".

Have these artifacts proven to be legit? I find this very interesting.

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I've never understood on what basis anyone believes could have said the things Martin Harris said he said. If [Anthon] did say those things about being able to verify the translation, he must have been lying.

Anthon was full of himself, fer shure. He could read none of the languages he claimed to see when Martin approached him.

His lying about it would be perfectly in character as far as I can tell.

The Anthon story may have worked in the 1820's, but does anyone think it would work today with any modern linguist?

Immaterial. The event was for Martin's benefit and (indirectly) for ours.

Lehi

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