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Most compelling evidence for/against the Book of Mormon?


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21 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Is this a game? I'm not sure of the rules but I'll take a stab at it.

"Joseph was a pretender to translating ancient languages, with or without the Book of Mormon."

Is that how this works?

Does that in any way affect the accuracy of what he produced by revelation?
Does that in any way change the truthfulness of the doctrines contained within those products?
Does that in any way disqualify him as a prophet?

No.  To all three.
It's only a game if you are trying to prove/disprove something that cannot be proved/disproved.

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On 8/27/2016 at 1:00 PM, Honorentheos said:

..........................................................You seem to believe that Alma 11:4 doesn't say what I see it clearly saying. The Nephites created the names used in their system. The narrator (speaking in strange 3rd person omniscient voice, BTW, which is problematic as well) clearly states the Nephite system does not use their naming nor their method of measuring. Right in the text. It says that. Like, verbatim - "  the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure after the manner of the Jews".

Of course, I accept the actual  words used in the BofM, rather than the false characterization you provided.  However, I also read that text the same as I would any biblical text (or any historical text, for that matter), both in larger context (all of Alma 11), and in light of historical and anthropological reality.  Unlike you, I refuse to toy with the text and automatically treat it with disdain.  Your apriorism controls your conclusions.

A scholar, on the other hand, reads a text like Ex 2:10 as a false etymology (nice wordplay, but a false etymology just the same), and the Bible contains many folk etymologies -- which are taken as typical of all cultures.  You are reading Alma 11:4 in full blown naivete and ignoring the context.

On 8/27/2016 at 1:00 PM, Honorentheos said:

As to the "Mina, Mina, Shekel, Onti" approach, it's muddying the waters to paint the Book of Mormon as saying anything more than their system is "Two of this equals one of these". Here's the text focusing on silver because it gives us the fractional units as well -

Next you'll be claiming that Joseph was simply copying mene, mene, tekel, upharsin (Dan 5:25), even though he had no idea what that might mean and what ratios were used in Lehi's day.  The Phoenician and Aramaic prs, by the way, was a half-mina.

On 8/27/2016 at 1:00 PM, Honorentheos said:

So, here's the alignment again for the English Common System -

 1/8  Leah 1/8 pony
 1/4  Shiblum 1/4 jack
 1/2 Shiblon 1/2 gill
1 Senum 1 cup
2 Amnor 2 pint
4 Ezrom 4 quart
7 Onti 8 pottle

You once again conveniently leave out the antion (1 1/2) and ignore the failure of your pottle to match the onti/limnah, since that is the only way you can shoehorn an incompatible system -- instead of the nice match with an already extant Israelite system contemporary with Lehi, and which we only know from recent archeology and is not available in the Bible.  Even more astonishing is the use of Hieratic Egyptian by Israelites, and the claim by non-Mormon scholars that professional Israelite scribes had been trained in ancient Egyptian.  This not only makes sense for the weights & measures math, but it also makes a set of brass plates engraved in Egyptian a whole lot more credible (for many it made no sense at all until now).

On 8/27/2016 at 1:00 PM, Honorentheos said:

Your table attempting to align ancient Hebrew systems to ancient Egyptian systems of weight are speculative, the assigning of proportions between them speculative. The minah likely post-dated the monarchy, so using it is problematic and did not equal 56 shekels under any of the various old systems that refered to it. You're making stuff up and presenting it as fact. 

Speaking of making stuff up, you are unaware that the ancient near eastern mina predated the Israelites by thousands of years (Ugaritic mn, Akkadian manu, Sumerian mana) and typically vaired from around 50 to 60 sheqels (50 at Ugarit, 60 in Mesopotamia where they used base-60 notation), while among the Greeks it varied from 70 to 100 drachmae in coin.  Ezekiel has the mina at 60 because, of course, he lives as an exile in Babylon where the seagesimal system in normative.  The mina/limnah is set at 56 in the Israelite/Nephite adaptation of the Egyptian system a la Bill Dever because that is what the ratios require.  Do the math, Honorentheos.  I have already laid it out for you as conveniently as possible.

On 8/27/2016 at 1:00 PM, Honorentheos said:

Again, the text in the Book of Mormon is both specific and simple. The apologetic you employ is speculative, invokes arguments that are both convoluted and, when it comes to the etymology of the terms incompatible with what the Book of Mormon itself says while being anachronistic or casting such as wide net looking for ancient near/middle eastern sources one it's almost more amazing you don't have hits for every single mentioned unit.

Let's be frank, Robert F. Smith. Were the Book of Mormon what it claims to be, the more telling and amazing example of potential ancient authenticity also consistent with the text and archaeology would be to find a genealogy that ties to the pre-Columbian Americas.

Yeh, let's be frank and candid, Honorentheos:  Your own need for 19th-century confirmation bias blinds you to archeological fact.  A scholar might fully expect that a system actually in place in Judah and Israel in the 7th & 8th centuries BC should not match the fictional BofM which you posit.  Since your falsifiable position has been found wanting, you might desire to look at other methods of verification or falsification for the Book of Mormon -- and there is a plethora of such acid texts to be made.  On the other hand, that might require a severe paradigm shift in thinking for you.  You might want to avoid that at all costs . . .

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25 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The mina/limnah is set at 56 in the Israelite/Nephite adaptation of the Egyptian system a la Bill Dever because that is what the ratios require.  Do the math, Honorentheos.  I have already laid it out for you as conveniently as possible.

Some honesty in an otherwise convoluted presentation that twists and borrows to create an apologetic where this is none.

If you were being honest, you'd acknowledge that there is no more reason to say there is a parallel in the made up Egyptian/Israelite/Nephite system you have in your table than in the English System to the sum units Onti and Limnah described in Alma. There isn't a parallel in known ancient systems that match, and as I've said from my first post on this it seems an anomaly. I think you're being disingenuous by acting as if your personal preferred hypothetical (as in, not real but made up for the cause) system has some sort of claim to being anything but what it is. 

But I concede if one accepts being able to make stuff up in order to declare victory is "doing the math", then by all means.

Edited by Honorentheos
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Robert F. Smith, I think it's pretty clear that you are committed to your position. But it's equally clear that this position forces an interpretation on the text of the Book of Mormon, borrows promiscuously when looking for etymological parallel terms in ancient sources, and manipulates the ratios and measures to essentially "Photoshop" the results to seem more applicable than they are, and leaves a careful reader to see that it's far from an objective treatment of the issue.

Again, if you want to meaningfully accomplish your goal, look to the New World. That would be something.

Edited by Honorentheos
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15 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Some honesty in an otherwise convoluted presentation that twists and borrows to create an apologetic where this is none.

If you were being honest, you'd acknowledge that there is no more reason to say there is a parallel in the made up Egyptian/Israelite/Nephite system you have in your table than in the English System to the sum units Onti and Limnah described in Alma. There isn't a parallel in known ancient systems that match, and as I've said from my first post on this it seems an anomaly. I think you're being disingenuous by acting as if your personal preferred hypothetical (as in, not real but made up for the cause) system has some sort of claim to being anything but what it is. 

But I concede if one accepts being able to make stuff up in order to declare victory is "doing the math", then by all means.

I cited my sources, Honorentheos.  You have seen them in the transcript of that lecture by me at FairMormon.  Go ahead and check the sources, do the math, and come back to tell me that I have made it all up, if you wish.  Decades ago I could not have imagined that this issue would have become so clear, nor that I would actually hear non-Mormon scholars tell us publicly that Israelite scribes had been trained in Hieratic Egyptian.  You don't have to believe any of it.  Just tell everyone you know that those horrible Mormons are still just making it all up.  They will no doubt believe you, not knowing how to check on it for themselves.  But is that really the way to carry on a substantive discussion?  Is that honest?

And, if someone asks a hard question, just wave them away with the word "anomaly."  That ought to take care of it.  An easy out.  No need for any difficult paradigm shifting.  No need to get confused with the facts . . .

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7 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I cited my sources, Honorentheos.  You have seen them in the transcript of that lecture by me at FairMormon.  Go ahead and check the sources, do the math, and come back to tell me that I have made it all up, if you wish.  Decades ago I could not have imagined that this issue would have become so clear, nor that I would actually hear non-Mormon scholars tell us publicly that Israelite scribes had been trained in Hieratic Egyptian.  You don't have to believe any of it.  Just tell everyone you know that those horrible Mormons are still just making it all up.  They will no doubt believe you, not knowing how to check on it for themselves.  But is that really the way to carry on a substantive discussion?  Is that honest?

And, if someone asks a hard question, just wave them away with the word "anomaly."  That ought to take care of it.  An easy out.  No need for any difficult paradigm shifting.  No need to get confused with the facts . . .

Personally, I feel fortunate that my position is so simple to point out. I can quote the Book of Mormon to show that the author is clear their system should not be expected to align with that of the Old World, and that the Nephites originated the names.

I can quote the Book of Mormon to show that the ratios between the unites are basic and quite common - two of x equals y. One half of x equals z. Other than the odd use of a summed unit that is an anomaly (which it is, sir. One can't just make up a ratio to suit their needs and claim it's ancient. Though, 1980 is getting there...)

I can point out an example system which was very familiar in the 1820's and at least as closely matches the ancient systems as you attempt.

It's a weak apologetic at best, and a disastrous one if you are inclined to try and preserve the text of the Book of Mormon rather than contradict it.

I don't envy the effort you have to go through to try and untie this knot.

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3 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

Personally, I feel fortunate that my position is so simple to point out. I can quote the Book of Mormon to show that the author is clear their system should not be expected to align with that of the Old World, and that the Nephites originated the names.

I can quote the Book of Mormon to show that the ratios between the unites are basic and quite common - two of x equals y. One half of x equals z. Other than the odd use of a summed unit that is an anomaly (which it is, sir. One can't just make up a ratio to suit their needs and claim it's ancient. Though, 1980 is getting there...)

I can point out an example system which was very familiar in the 1820's and at least as closely matches the ancient systems as you attempt.

It's a weak apologetic at best, and a disastrous one if you are inclined to try and preserve the text of the Book of Mormon rather than contradict it.

I don't envy the effort you have to go through to try and untie this knot.

More gobbledygook, Honorentheos.  Your failure to reply in specifics speaks volumes.  You apparently figure that if you say it often enough people will believe that you have it right, but I doubt that any one with an open mind will buy your false version of reality.  We might have had a real exchange of ideas here, and an interesting grappling with the facts, but you won't have any of it.  Just camouflage for your facile explanation that it has to be a binary English system, even if it doesn't actually fit.  Just has to be.  Because, if you admit that your comparison has an actual anomaly and one measure has to be carefully excluded, then everyone would know that you don't play according to Hoyle, and that you reject the law of parsimony.  Why?  Because you  have long since committed yourself to a 19th century explanation, willy-nilly.

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It's goobledygook to quote the Book of Mormon? Ok.

I'm responding to the Book of Mormon. The complexity you attempt to insert is not only NOT demanded by the text but actually contradicted by it.

The attempt to insert a unit into your attempt at aligning the Nephite system with ancient near eastern systems (the so called "7/8th" 56) was engaged directly because you wanted to contrast your clear invention among a misdirection hand wave apologetic that attempts to demonstrate ancient connections with the more simple explanation that a system like the Nephites is essentially the same as the English Common system. And the more simple theory does not require contradicting the text itself or relying on clear promiscuous appropriation of terms.

It's a made up argument. It fails to meet minimal demands based on the text. I'm sure you want me to engage it from how it relates to Egyptian and Israelite systems of measure because you see in dividing shekels into eighths something unique that can be converted into a decimal Egyptian system that can align with the Nephite system that describes units in a way that is essentially "One of these equals two of these". So, hey! One unit just happens to be an eighth of another so let's create a fictional base 8 chart of out this and pretend the text really means the Nephites were evolving their system of measures based on old world influences despite the period in question occuring centuries after they would be living in the new world either surrounding by very, very foreign peoples with whom they'd need to be trading or, if you prefer, living alone on an island in the midst of the sea that happens to be the size of two large continents.

So, when you want to bring your argument back to the text of the Book of Mormon instead of the fantasy ancient setting you fabricated in order to build a construct on which to hang your apologetic, we'll have something to discuss I guess. So long as you assert that the Book of Mormon allows for your crazy scheme with no justification, I suppose this is going to get very old to people reading this thread very fast.

ETA: The real irony here is this is a case where the Book of Mormon itself doesn't create the problem we're engaging. It only exists because you insist on trying to create a connection to the Old World. Left to the original text, the author cut you off but also any critics who would try to harass it on the grounds it didn't resemble the Israelite system. This is a self-inflicted wound.

Edited by Honorentheos
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12 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

It's goobledygook to quote the Book of Mormon? Ok.

Your dishonest gobbledygook is a personal style of discourse designed to confuse the issue and avoid the BofM, a technique of misdirection used when the facts are too difficult for you to face in frontal fashion.

12 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

I'm responding to the Book of Mormon. The complexity you attempt to insert is not only NOT demanded by the text but actually contradicted by it.

Here again you insist that a weights & measures system used in the ancient Near East is to be studiously avoided because it is a complex system.  Yet, any complex system is itself an excellent argument against independent invention when there is clear isomorphism between the two systems.  That is why the comparative method is so effective in this instance.  Non-Mormon archeologists have established the basis of an Israelite-Egyptian system contemporary with Lehi, and the Book of Mormon has a system which closely matches that Israelite-Egyptian system.  Instead of asking what the probabilities are that this might have happened through mere coicidence, you insist on declaring the work of those non-Mormon archeologists to be irrelevant, instead substituting a very poor match from the 19th century.  Why?  Because to admit that you are wrong would be traumatic.

12 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

The attempt to insert a unit into your attempt at aligning the Nephite system with ancient near eastern systems (the so called "7/8th" 56) was engaged directly because you wanted to contrast your clear invention among a misdirection hand wave apologetic that attempts to demonstrate ancient connections with the more simple explanation that a system like the Nephites is essentially the same as the English Common system. And the more simple theory does not require contradicting the text itself or relying on clear promiscuous appropriation of terms.

It's a made up argument. It fails to meet minimal demands based on the text. I'm sure you want me to engage it from how it relates to Egyptian and Israelite systems of measure because you see in dividing shekels into eighths something unique that can be converted into a decimal Egyptian system that can align with the Nephite system that describes units in a way that is essentially "One of these equals two of these". So, hey! One unit just happens to be an eighth of another so let's create a fictional base 8 chart of out this and pretend the text really means the Nephites were evolving their system of measures based on old world influences despite the period in question occuring centuries after they would be living in the new world either surrounding by very, very foreign peoples with whom they'd need to be trading or, if you prefer, living alone on an island in the midst of the sea that happens to be the size of two large continents.

So, when you want to bring your argument back to the text of the Book of Mormon instead of the fantasy ancient setting you fabricated in order to build a construct on which to hang your apologetic, we'll have something to discuss I guess. So long as you assert that the Book of Mormon allows for your crazy scheme with no justification, I suppose this is going to get very old to people reading this thread very fast.

ETA: The real irony here is this is a case where the Book of Mormon itself doesn't create the problem we're engaging. It only exists because you insist on trying to create a connection to the Old World. Left to the original text, the author cut you off but also any critics who would try to harass it on the grounds it didn't resemble the Israelite system. This is a self-inflicted wound.

More weak gobbledygook, Honorentheos.  Instead of coming to grips with the actual arguments and the supporting documentation which I have provided you.  You are in denial.  Instead of facing the BofM text which declares itself to be ancient, and which provides it own timeline/chronology, you lash out recklessly with fantastic and ridiculous accusations.  If you had a sound argument, it would be very easy to simply make it, and to show on what basis your claims are justified.

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11 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Your dishonest gobbledygook is a personal style of discourse designed to confuse the issue and avoid the BofM, a technique of misdirection used when the facts are too difficult for you to face in frontal fashion.

Here again you insist that a weights & measures system used in the ancient Near East is to be studiously avoided because it is a complex system.  Yet, any complex system is itself an excellent argument against independent invention when there is clear isomorphism between the two systems.  That is why the comparative method is so effective in this instance.  Non-Mormon archeologists have established the basis of an Israelite-Egyptian system contemporary with Lehi, and the Book of Mormon has a system which closely matches that Israelite-Egyptian system.  Instead of asking what the probabilities are that this might have happened through mere coicidence, you insist on declaring the work of those non-Mormon archeologists to be irrelevant, instead substituting a very poor match from the 19th century.  Why?  Because to admit that you are wrong would be traumatic.

More weak gobbledygook, Honorentheos.  Instead of coming to grips with the actual arguments and the supporting documentation which I have provided you.  You are in denial.  Instead of facing the BofM text which declares itself to be ancient, and which provides it own timeline/chronology, you lash out recklessly with fantastic and ridiculous accusations.  If you had a sound argument, it would be very easy to simply make it, and to show on what basis your claims are justified.

Until archaeologists uncover a source from a time period predating the 1800's that aligns with the Book of Mormon text other than that taken from the Bible, we are dealing with a 19th century text in the Book of Mormon itself.

As to the SOURCE of the Book of Mormon being ancient, it's essentially speculative based on the content of the Book of Mormon itself. The examination of the text of the Book of Mormon does not demand this. The archaeological evidence contradicts this. The anthropological evidence contradicts this. The evidence of biology contradicts this.

Your saying that you can demonstrate some form of alignment between two ancient, known civilizations that also have ancient evidence supporting their interaction is...meh. Your stating that the Book of Mormon text provides evidence that the Nephites reasonably made use of this same system is over reach. There isn't much to discuss. Anyone who takes the time to look at your tables can see the overreach involved. Anyone who takes the time to read what the Book of Mormon says can see the contortions to create complexity where it doesn't exist.

You complain I call your search for parallel terms promiscuous? Ok.

Here is the list of your terms:

Maneh
Mina
Shilum, shillum
sě â
se’an
shibl
sniw, snw, snny
inti

Of these, Maneh is Hebrew derived from the very dispersed and ancient unit of measure found throughout the near east going back to at least Babylon. You note it because you think this has some semblance to Limnah. A Limnah, as we recall, is the unique Nephite sum unit of all the gold units below it in scale. The Maneh is variously 50 or 60 skekels, the base unit of weight going back well past the Israelites and commonly held. So? You make a crazy claim with this one like, "Limnah could sound like Maneh, plus if you subtract four or add six it might equal the proportion of Nephite weights despite no reason for this other than you want it to work. So, ignore the relationship of ancient proportions the give us the 50 or 60 to one ratio, ignore the unique way the Nephites refer to their Limnah as a sum unit which is an anthropological item of interest but inconvenient for your purposes and sure. Limnah = Maneh. Whatever you say.

Mina - a very non-Hebrew term for Maneh anachronistically added to Ezekiel by the same person who refers to the destruction of the temple (I know, prophecy rather than evidence of insertion) while otherwise being an adoption into later Hebrew 2nd Temple usage. Ok. Bullseye.

Let's see - Shilum, shillum. Not a unit of measure, but a Hebrew word that has to do with payment. That makes perfect sense that a culture living in the New World would make that evolution to a unit called the shiblum because...well, apologetics.

se’an or sě â - Another fun example of using a Hebrew word to say, "Hey look! a Hebrew word that kinda sounds like a Nephite term in the Book of Mormon! But it works even better if you look for an anomalous used in an egyptian-influences source because it COULD be reformed egyptian!"

Sure. Why not.

Shibl. Arabic for lion cub. Hugh Nibley thought this may mean that the Book of Mormon unit shiblon might be derived from an Arabic term for lion cub because some physical weights used in the near east were cast into the shape of animals including lion cubs.

HAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahah....uh cough. Sorry. Yeah. Makes sense.

Ok. I'm composed.

sniw, snw, snny - terms used in Egypt, one a unit of measure originating before 1000 BCE with the others being terms derived from it...could be why the Nephites 1000 years later have a unit of measure they call a senum and a senine since the Egyptian was also a unit of measure with some similar sounds involved. Why not.

And inti. Onti, inti, another egyptian word turned Nephite unit of measure because, again, they kinda sound the same.

Terms that don't make it into your consideration because they don't sound the same? Well, they include:

Shekel wide use in the near east 1/50 of a maneh
talent wide use in the near east 3,000 shekels
beka ancient egyptian, maybe older 1/2 shekel
gerah wide use in the near east 1/20 of a shekel

 

And you won't care because it didn't matter that I point out how silly this is. So, again, the simple response was the best response.

Anyway.

Promiscuous, thy name is apologetics.

 

ETA: forgot to mention that the Nephite system isn't complex to anyone who can double or halve. Not sure why you keep acting like pointing that out is avoiding how complex the Egyptian system is or the other near eastern systems you favorably draw from.

Edited by Honorentheos
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11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Until arceaologists uncover a source from a time period predating the 1800's that aligns with the Book of Mormon text other than that taken from the Bible, we are dealing with a 19th century text in the Book of Mormon itself.

As to the SOURCE of the Book of Mormon being ancient, it's essentially speculative based on the content of the Book of Mormon itself. The examination of the text of the Book of Mormon does not demand this. The archeolgocial evidence contradicts this. The anthropological evidence contradicts this. The evidence of biology contradicts this.

I agree that it is a good policy to exclude anything which could be known from the Bible in 1830 in comparison with the BofM, and that is what I do.  It is only fair that a text claiming to be from ancient times at least be given some acid tests to see whether the claim is true, or could be true.  You call that "speculation" in apriori fashion because you clearly do not want any such comparison to be made.  So, without allowing the book a fair hearing, you determine apriori that there is no acheological, anthropological, or biological evidence to support its authenticity -- even though you are unable to cite any substantive sources showing such a conclusion.  Indeed, far from contradicting the claims of the BofM, the scientific evidence provides hundreds of bullseyes in its favor, all of which are based on the scholarship of non-Mormons.

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Your saying that you can demonstrate some form of alignment between two ancient, known civilizations that also have ancient evidence supporting their interaction is...meh. Your stating that the Book of Mormon text provides evidence that the Nephites reasonably made use of this same system is over reach. There isn't much to discuss. Anyone who takes the time to look at your tables can see the overreach involved. Anyone who takes the time to read what the Book of Mormon says can see the contortions to create complexity where it doesn't exist.

You complain I call your search for parallel terms promiscuous? Ok.

Here is the list of your terms:

Maneh
Mina
Shilum, shillum
sě â
se’an
shibl
sniw, snw, snny
inti

Of these, Maneh is Hebrew derived from the very dispursed and ancient unit of measure found throughout the near east going back to at least Babylon. You note it because you think this has some semblane to Limnah. A Limnah, as we recall, is the unique Nephite sum unit of all the gold units below it in scale. The Maneh is variously 50 or 60 skekels, the base unit of weight going back well past the Israelites and commonly held. So? You make a crazy claim with this one like, "Limnah could sound like Maneh, plus if you subtract four or add six it might equal the proportion of Nephite weights despite no reason for this other than you want it to work. So, ignore the relationship of ancient proportions the give us the 50 or 60 to one ratio, ignore the unique way the Nephites refer to their Limnah as a sum unit which is an anthropological item of interest but inconvienent for your purposes and sure. Limnah = Maneh. Whatever you say.

Mina - a term anachronistically added to Ezekiel by the same person who refers to the destruction of the temple (I know, prophecy rather than evidence of insertion) while otherwise being an adoption into later Hebrew 2nd Temple usage. Ok. Bullseye.

False.  The measure was already being used in early Classical Israelite times (1 Kings 10:17), and BofM limnah probably means "for-a-mina."  Biblical forms of generic mina include Hebrew nimnâ “be counted, numbered, reckoned, assigned” (Isaiah 53:12 ǁMosiah 14:12),[1] a niphal verbal form of KJV maneh (Ezekiel 45:12, capitalized as “Maneh” in 1611 KJV), the Hebrew weight-measure māne  (KJV translated “pounds” at 1 Kings 10:17, Ezra 2:69, Nehemiah 7:70-72) = Ugaritic mn, mana, Arabic mny, mnw, Old South Arabic mnw, Aramaic manya, Akkadian manû, and Sumerian MA.NA, transliterated in ancient Egyptian as man-nu2 “mina weight.”[2]    

[1] Koehler & Baumgartner, HALOT, II:599; BDB, 584; cf. Genesis 13:16 limnôt . . . yîmmāne; 1 Kings 3:8 yîmmāne ǁyîssāper; 8:5 yîmmānû; Ecclesiastes 1:15 lehimmānôt; in nominal form as GN Timnā “Portion, Territory” (Genesis 38:12-14, Joshua 15:10,57, 19:43, Judges 14:1,2,5, 2 Chronicles 28:18) = LXX Thamna.  Indeed, since both Egyptian and Hebrew n- are also nominal prefixes (Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed., § 276; HALOT, II:656), it is also possible that this was assumed to be its proper form and meaning by the time of King Mosiah II.

[2] Hoch, Semitic Words in Egyptian Texts, #162 (p. 127): Dyn. 19/20; cites Albright, VESO, IX.C.2 (citing Burchardt 452).

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Let's see - Shilum, shillum. Not a unit of measure, but a Hebrew word that has to do with payment. That makes perfect sense that a culture living in the New World would make that evolution to a unit called the shiblum because...well, apologetics.

You didn't read the transcript carefully, Honorentheos.  Shiblum is an 1830 printing error.  The manuscripts have shilum, and shillum, which is standard Hebrew.

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

se’an or sě â - Another fun example of using a Hebrew word to say, "Hey look! a Hebrew word that kinda sounds like a Nephite term in the Book of Mormon! But it works even better if you look for an anomolous used in an egyptian-influences source because it COULD be reformed egyptian!"

se'an "measure" used by Jews at Elephantine is at least remarkable since it is exactly what we find in the BofM.  The Bible never transliterates se'a.  Did you actually carefully read the transcript?

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

...................

Shibl. Arabic for lion cub. Hugh Nibley thought this may mean that the Book of Mormon unit shiblon might be derived from an arabic term for lion cub because some physical weights used in the near east were cast into the shape of animals including lion cubs.

.................................................  

Nibley was speculating, it is true, but it is at least interesting in context.

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

sniw, snw, snny - terms used in Egypt, one a unit of measure originating before 1000 BCE with the others being terms derived from it...could be why the Nephites 1000 years later have a unit of measure they call a senum and a senine since the Egyptian was also a unit of measure with some similar sounds involved. Why not.

The non-Mormon Egyptologist pointing out the base-unit sniw, thought it derived from snw, snny, and that was not my opinion but his.  I thought it remarkable that the Nephite base-unit senum/senine had a very similar phonological structure.  Both Egyptian and Nephite equalled one.

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

And inti. Onti, inti, another egyptian word turned Nephite unit of measure because, again, they kinda sound the same.

One might take particular note of ont= , a Coptic form of int which suggests how it might have been vocalized by the Egyptians and Nephites.

11 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Terms that don't make it into your consideration because they don't sound the same? Well, they include:

Shekel wide use in the near east 1/50 of a maneh
talent wide use in the near east 3,000 shekels
beka ancient egyptian, maybe older 1/2 shekel
gerah wide use in the near east 1/20 of a shekel

And you won't care because it didn't matter that I point out how silly this is. So, again, the simple response was the best response.

Anyway.

Promiscuous, thy name is apologetics.

Alma 11 has only a small part of a full-scale system of weights & measures, apparently added only to explain the relative value of a 6-onti bribe.  You regard it as "silly" and "promiscuous" that not every linear, square, or cubic measure is provided, but that was not the purpose of the text.  A sincere look at what is in fact there should give you pause before you begin instinctively guffawing, Honorentheos.  What are the actual statistical odds?

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The non-Mormon Egyptologist pointing out the base-unit sniw, thought it derived from snw, snny, and that was not my opinion but his.  I thought it remarkable that the Nephite base-unit senum/senine had a very similar phonological structure.  Both Egyptian and Nephite equalled one.

No one ought to contest the sniw/snw/snny potential progression as a possibility. I don't know how else to say going past that to finding unconnected parallels between this and a hypothetical New World unit of measure a thousand years later is such an over reach of the evidence that it's hard to put into words. It's like you don't care what the Book of Mormon itself has to say, nor how improbable this is given the complete lack of reason other than phonetics to believe it has any standing worthy of debate. I'm somewhat flabbergasted we keep going over the same ground regarding this type of evidence.

Quote

What are the actual statistical odds?

Of finding parallels within multiple millennia of ancient languages that include terms in multiple languages that have phonetic similarities to a handful of terms in the Book of Mormon?

Of the shekel being divided into twentieths such as the gerah?

Of the text including examples that, were they to be really discovered in an ancient system of measure would likely lead to fascinating insights into their culture like the sum units of the Nephites which really is an anomaly and if you were serious about tying the BoM to the ancient world would be looking into rather than trying to shoehorn it into something the book itself says it is not. It's kinda interesting to try and imagine a cultural that would have actually done this and why.

Anyway, the text and the manipulation to create parallels speaks for the validity of your argument, Robert.

Edited by Honorentheos
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3 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

No one ought to contest the sniw/snw/snny potential progression as a possibility. I don't know how else to say going past that to finding unconnected parallels between this and a hypothetical New World unit of measure a thousand years later is such an over reach of the evidence that it's hard to put into words.

It's like you don't care what the Book of Mormon itself has to say, nor how improbable this is given the complete lack of reason other than phonetics to believe it has any standing worthy of debate. I'm somewhat flabbergasted we keep going over the same ground regarding this type of evidence.

As a tool of apologetics, I find it useful to categorize each  BOM evidence categorized according to its "hit" value, going from 1 to 10.  With great reluctance it has been admitted that it is a hit, but you see it as a very low value -- and brush it off as inconsequential.  

We may disagree on that hit value, but as we accumulate these hits and put each one into context, we begin to see a tapestry of evidence which, itself, may be compelling.  It moves us away from a 19th century document, to one which fits comfortably within an ancient context.

Of finding parallels within multiple millennia of ancient languages that include terms in multiple languages that have phonetic similarities to a handful of terms in the Book of Mormon?

A very good point.

Perhaps this is evidence of an outside influence -- nonNephite, such as the Jaredites  I have been puzzled by such examples of ancient languages, and I see this as a possible source.  I looked at sheum, Akkadian for barley, and used in the BOM within the context  of "corn, wheat, barley" and other seeds.  What a remarkable parallel (perhaps referring to amaranth),  but Akkadian?  One possible solution was the Jaredite cultural influence.

 

 

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I'd like to thank Robert F. Smith and Honorentheos for the very interesting discussion because it has caused me to think as I've seen similar discussions play out in the past.  Both of them are much smarter than I am, and I like to observe smart people debating the merits of each other's arguments.  

I'm reminds me of a story line in an episode of "Cosmos - A spacetime odyssey".  In the episode the narrator talks about how humans have evolved to make connections between multiple similar data points.  This skill of figuring out similarities and parallels and making sense of very complex information is an admirable talent.  Cosmos follows the story of Isaac Newton, and I found it interesting that even with Newton's genius and amazing mathematical discoveries, that he was also very interested in Alchemy and solving the mysteries of the bible as it relates to predicting the 2nd coming of Jesus.  So even a genius mind like Newton, who made such incredible discoveries, got side tracked into making elaborate connections in the bible, connections that in reality have no purpose and represent no formula to predict the coming of Jesus through numbers, symbols or any other mechanism.  Newton in essence found connections in the bible that weren't actually there.    

I see this same thing playing out in Mormon apologetics, and elsewhere in society.  Attempts to find ancient parallels in the BoM or in the BoA I find quite complex, detailed and sophisticated.  Scholars finding these parallels are obviously very smart and the detail and sophistication of their work is to be admired on many levels.  This is similar to the work that Newton was doing with his study of the bible.  Ultimately they are finding similarities in the data, and parallels that don't in reality exist.  I honestly think that you could take this same approach and apply it to literature written by J.R.R. Tolken or Shakespeare and find similar parallels to the ancient world.  

 

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I'd like to thank Robert F. Smith and Honorentheos for the very interesting discussion because it has caused me to think as I've seen similar discussions play out in the past.  Both of them are much smarter than I am, and I like to observe smart people debating the merits of each other's arguments.  

I'm reminds me of a story line in an episode of "Cosmos - A spacetime odyssey".  In the episode the narrator talks about how humans have evolved to make connections between multiple similar data points.  This skill of figuring out similarities and parallels and making sense of very complex information is an admirable talent.  Cosmos follows the story of Isaac Newton, and I found it interesting that even with Newton's genius and amazing mathematical discoveries, that he was also very interested in Alchemy and solving the mysteries of the bible as it relates to predicting the 2nd coming of Jesus.  So even a genius mind like Newton, who made such incredible discoveries, got side tracked into making elaborate connections in the bible, connections that in reality have no purpose and represent no formula to predict the coming of Jesus through numbers, symbols or any other mechanism.  Newton in essence found connections in the bible that weren't actually there.    

I see this same thing playing out in Mormon apologetics, and elsewhere in society.  Attempts to find ancient parallels in the BoM or in the BoA I find quite complex, detailed and sophisticated.  Scholars finding these parallels are obviously very smart and the detail and sophistication of their work is to be admired on many levels.  This is similar to the work that Newton was doing with his study of the bible.  Ultimately they are finding similarities in the data, and parallels that don't in reality exist.  I honestly think that you could take this same approach and apply it to literature written by J.R.R. Tolken or Shakespeare and find similar parallels to the ancient world.

Nibley quotes Payne: "There is always danger of a metaphor once adopted becoming the master instead of the servant."

This is a very good example of how a person can use a "standard example" to establish a paradigm, a framework that involves a problem field, background assumptions, methods and standard of solution to dispose of a large body of work without having to do the work.  The underlying issue of whether LDS apologetic efforts really are like Newton's Alchemy does not have to be explored, tested, or demonstrated.  Just assert the metaphor, and poof, ... the metaphor does the work.

"Ultimately they are finding similarities in the data, and parallels that don't in reality exist."

Easy to say.  But difficult to demonstrate, which is why ideological self-reflection is important and difficult.

For instance, I'm not persuaded by the metaphor that this sort of thing does not exist:

http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1382&index=2

or this:

http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1081&index=15

And that's just a bit of my own work.

Barbour points out that every metaphor is unitary, a background for both positive and negative fit, and extensible.  And what Twain says about the right word also applies to the right paradigm, the right framing metaphor:  "The difference between the right word, and almost the right word, is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning."

Just saying

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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57 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Nibley quotes Payne: "There is always danger of a metaphor once adopted becoming the master instead of the servant."

This is a very good example of how a person can use a "standard example" to establish a paradigm, a framework that involves a problem field, background assumptions, methods and standard of solution to dispose of a large body of work without having to do the work.  The underlying issue of whether LDS apologetic efforts really are like Newton's Alchemy does not have to be explored, tested, or demonstrated.  Just assert the metaphor, and poof, ... the metaphor does the work.

"Ultimately they are finding similarities in the data, and parallels that don't in reality exist."

Easy to say.  But difficult to demonstrate, which is why ideological self-reflection is important and difficult.

For instance, I'm not persuaded by the metaphor that this sort of thing does not exist:

http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1382&index=2

or this:

http://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1081&index=15

And that's just a bit of my own work.

Barbour points out that every metaphor is unitary, a background for both positive and negative fit, and extensible.  And what Twain says about the right word also applies to the right paradigm, the right framing metaphor:  "The difference between the right word, and almost the right word, is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning."

Just saying

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Agreed that metaphors are limited, and that this is difficult to conclusively prove.  I try to take a pragmatic approach, and I think that connecting dots that don't actually connect is unfortunate because we're better served trying to connect dots that will result in meaningful advances for society.   In Newton's case, thankfully he did employ his amazing talent to physics and mathematics.  

I mentioned above that finding connections between things is a common human skill.  I think this explains many conspiracy theories as there are enough data points to get lost in the shuffle of trying to connect them all, that people waste time on subjects that aren't valuable.  I personally believe this is the case with some apologetics as well.  

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24 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Agreed that metaphors are limited, and that this is difficult to conclusively prove.  I try to take a pragmatic approach, and I think that connecting dots that don't actually connect is unfortunate because we're better served trying to connect dots that will result in meaningful advances for society.   In Newton's case, thankfully he did employ his amazing talent to physics and mathematics.  

I mentioned above that finding connections between things is a common human skill.  I think this explains many conspiracy theories as there are enough data points to get lost in the shuffle of trying to connect them all, that people waste time on subjects that aren't valuable.  I personally believe this is the case with some apologetics as well.  

As a matter of comparison for the "Apologetics are like Newton's Alchemy... just wasted pattern seeking" versus my examples, "Alma's conversion is like a near death experience and the aftereffects" or "The Book of Mormon fits remarkably well with Margaret Barker's reconstruction of First Temple Theology," the thing I notice is that my metaphors make a set of specific interrelated, testable, predictions.  Your "Newton's Alchemy is like Apologetics" does not make testable predictions.  Rather, it asserts something so general and vague that coming up with any test at all strikes me as futile.  What I asserted in those essays did not involve random parallels, or general parallels, but an elaborate pattern of behavior in the case of an NDE and its after-effects, and a test regarding specific patterns and the right time and place for First Temple Theology to matter.  There is a difference if you stop and think about it.  And that is why Kuhn talks about "Which paradigm is better?"  "Which problems are more significant to have solved?"

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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5 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Newton in essence found connections in the bible that weren't actually there.    

I see this same thing playing out in Mormon apologetics, and elsewhere in society.  Attempts to find ancient parallels in the BoM or in the BoA I find quite complex, detailed and sophisticated.  Scholars finding these parallels are obviously very smart and the detail and sophistication of their work is to be admired on many levels.  This is similar to the work that Newton was doing with his study of the bible.  Ultimately they are finding similarities in the data, and parallels that don't in reality exist.

I would suggest that the same process is found in "pure science" and highly theoretical mathematics.  Does string theory actually exist in reality?

The difference is that they do not give a PhD n advanced apologetics.  Or do they?  Anyway, it's an interesting hobby and who knows where it will lead.  But pulling those connections together sometimes do allow us to answer questions where none existed before.  I think, at least for me, that apologetics have come a long way over the past 35 years that I have been practicing it.

PS  Have you considered that an atomic particle has intelligence?  The Book of Mormon hints that it does.  This idea has opened a whole new understanding of.... well, things.

And the tree of life == is it possible that it follows the laws of chaos, and that is why organisms appear to be related, rather than direct evolution.  The relationship between the bovine and the whale is very puzzling in that regard, is it not?

Edited by cdowis
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On 8/29/2016 at 9:01 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

Your dishonest gobbledygook is a personal style of discourse designed to confuse the issue and avoid the BofM, a technique of misdirection used when the facts are too difficult for you to face in frontal fashion.

Here again you insist that a weights & measures system used in the ancient Near East is to be studiously avoided because it is a complex system.  Yet, any complex system is itself an excellent argument against independent invention when there is clear isomorphism between the two systems. 

It should also be pointed out that Alma 11 takes place over 500 years after the Lehites landed.  Than, as Honorethos pointed out, it says this:

And the names are given by the Nephites, for they did not reckon after the manner of the Jews who were at Jerusalem; neither did they measure after the manner of the Jews; but they altered their reckoning and their measure, according to the minds and the circumstances of the people, in every generation, until the reign of the judges, they having been established by king Mosiah.

So, in addition to the five-century time span separating them from any old world culture or traditions, we are told that they altered the monetary system "in every generation."

That leaves us with some different possibilities:

- The Book of Mormon is correct, and the monetary system described isn't related to the old world system and is an original (and constantly changing) Nephite creation and similarities to old world systems are a coincidence.

- The Book of Mormon is misleading, and the Lehites carried an old world monetary system with them to the new world, introduced it to populations they joined with (replacing their existing monetary system, or wholly introducing a new one), and it remained intact for over 500 years to such a degree that it could be described and correlated to its old world origins.

 

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32 minutes ago, cinepro said:

It should also be pointed out that Alma 11 takes place over 500 years after the Lehites landed.  Than, as Honorethos pointed out, it says this:

I am well aware of the 5 centuries which have passed since Clan Lehi left Judah until the partial system briefly described in Alma 11 (part of a full system promulgated by Mosiah II) -- and I fully quote Alma 11:4 in my FairMormon presentation.  The real difference between me and Honorentheos is that he reads only Alma 11:4, while I read all of Alma 11.  A crucial difference.

Also, as I pointed out to Honorentheos (though he failed to get the point), the Bible makes a lot of claims as well, not all of which are factual -- including folk etymologies -- since the biblical writers and redactors are mere humans who make claims based on their own limited knowledge.

32 minutes ago, cinepro said:

So, in addition to the five-century time span separating them from any old world culture or traditions, we are told that they altered the monetary system "in every generation."

That leaves us with some different possibilities:

- The Book of Mormon is correct, and the monetary system described isn't related to the old world system and is an original (and constantly changing) Nephite creation and similarities to old world systems are a coincidence.

- The Book of Mormon is misleading, and the Lehites carried an old world monetary system with them to the new world, introduced it to populations they joined with (replacing their existing monetary system, or wholly introducing a new one), and it remained intact for over 500 years to such a degree that it could be described and correlated to its old world origins.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, in real history weights & measures systems change through time.  They always have.  Honorentheos apparently denies this objective fact of history.  He lives in a static, synchronic world, while I live in a constantly changing, diachronic one.  However, with such changes we also see some continuities.  Relative values of precious items fluctuate, prices rise and fall based on the law of supply & demand, and names of particular weights & measures can change through time -- even though they often vary according to phonological evolution or borrowing.

The complexities and relationships among such systems can be easily reviewed online.  See for example, the Wikipedia coverage of ancient Mesopotamian systems over thousands of years online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Mesopotamian_units_of_measurement , and then compare that with any other system which interests you.

When scholars examine and attempt to reconstruct full scale systems of this kind, they do not go about it in a by gosh and by golly fashion.  Serious effort is involved.  In the case of biblical weights & measures, for example, we do not have a description of the full system anywhere in the Bible.  It has only been possible to reconstruct it in recent times through archeology correlated with the biblical text.  The BofM is no different.  Why would it be?

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I am well aware of the 5 centuries which have passed since Clan Lehi left Judah until the partial system briefly described in Alma 11 (part of a full system promulgated by Mosiah II) -- and I fully quote Alma 11:4 in my FairMormon presentation.  The real difference between me and Honorentheos is that he reads only Alma 11:4, while I read all of Alma 11.  A crucial difference.

Also, as I pointed out to Honorentheos (though he failed to get the point), the Bible makes a lot of claims as well, not all of which are factual -- including folk etymologies -- since the biblical writers and redactors are mere humans who make claims based on their own limited knowledge.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, in real history weights & measures systems change through time.  They always have.  Honorentheos apparently denies this objective fact of history.  He lives in a static, synchronic world, while I live in a constantly changing, diachronic one.  However, with such changes we also see some continuities.  Relative values of precious items fluctuate, prices rise and fall based on the law of supply & demand, and names of particular weights & measures can change through time -- even though they often vary according to phonological evolution or borrowing.

The complexities and relationships among such systems can be easily reviewed online.  See for example, the Wikipedia coverage of ancient Mesopotamian systems over thousands of years online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Mesopotamian_units_of_measurement , and then compare that with any other system which interests you.

When scholars examine and attempt to reconstruct full scale systems of this kind, they do not go about it in a by gosh and by golly fashion.  Serious effort is involved.  In the case of biblical weights & measures, for example, we do not have a description of the full system anywhere in the Bible.  It has only been possible to reconstruct it in recent times through archeology correlated with the biblical text.  The BofM is no different.  Why would it be?

I feel like we've gone around and around enough if people aren't losing their lunches they have a stomach of steel.

But, just to give it the obligatory push, please keep in mind that evolution doesn't happen in a vacuum, it occurs in an environmental context that influences and leaves fingerprints on the thing evolved. Your theory doesn't fit the New World context, however we care to seek etymologies in Egyptian, Hebrew, the Bible or Epic of Gilgamesh if one will. There's no compelling reason to take up your apologetic and it does more harm than good to establishing the Book of Mormon as ancient by it's methodologies as pointed out multiple times now.

 

ETA: Also, I think between the acknowledgement that a maneh did not equal 56 shekels (an attempt to create a false parallel with the Nephite system) and the gerah equaling 1/20 of a shekel (a division that makes sense in the ancient Babylonian-derived systems but not the model you proposed), we can dispatch with your table.

Edited by Honorentheos
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dr, you probably need to add some discussion if you don't want to get banned for advertising.  See boardguidelines.  

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On 8/30/2016 at 7:51 PM, Honorentheos said:

I feel like we've gone around and around enough if people aren't losing their lunches they have a stomach of steel.

But, just to give it the obligatory push, please keep in mind that evolution doesn't happen in a vacuum, it occurs in an environmental context that influences and leaves fingerprints on the thing evolved. Your theory doesn't fit the New World context, however we care to seek etymologies in Egyptian, Hebrew, the Bible or Epic of Gilgamesh if one will. There's no compelling reason to take up your apologetic and it does more harm than good to establishing the Book of Mormon as ancient by it's methodologies as pointed out multiple times now.

ETA: Also, I think between the acknowledgement that a maneh did not equal 56 shekels (an attempt to create a false parallel with the Nephite system) and the gerah equaling 1/20 of a shekel (a division that makes sense in the ancient Babylonian-derived systems but not the model you proposed), we can dispatch with your table.

As usual, you have misstated what I have done.  I took an already extant model created by non-Mormon biblical archeologists and applied it directly to the partial system described in Alma 11.  Such an overlay makes it abundantly clear that the Nephite leah is equivalent to 1 sheqel, and that the limnah is equivalent to 56 sheqels and equal to an Israelite mina.  You appear (as usual) afraid to do the math.  I admit that such scholarship does harm to the anti-Mormon project, but this is merely one among hundreds of such indications that there really was a Clan Lehi which brought certain aspects of Israelite culture to the New World -- aspects which survived in recognizable form within the Book of Mormon text, as one should expect in such cultural transfer or transmission.  Since it would have been impossible for Joseph Smith to have reconstructed that system (no one knew of it in his day), this is one piece of the preponderance of evidence which shows by secular means that the Book of Mormon is historically authentic.  Since you recognize that fact, you have deliberately set out to falsify and mock the scholarship -- something an honest man would never do.

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      Paradigms shift.  There is a famous philosopher of Science, Thomas Kuhn, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn, who has gotten credit largely for "discovering" paradigm shifts, but that idea had been around for perhaps a hundred years before he came along.
       
      If you aren't familiar with the concept, that wikipedia article is a good place to start.
       
      But because we have been raised with the paradigm that "TRUTH never changes" - a pagan Greek idea- we are stuck with the Neoplatonic sectarian Christian idea that this is the case.
       
      Now we are reaping the damage from accepting the philosophy and theology of the apostasy, and grafting the apostasy "philosophies of men mingled with scripture" into the Restoration "philosophies of men mingled with scripture" with results that leave us with questions like the one bcuzbcuz raises.   This is not a trivial issue, it goes to the core of Mormon doctrine and its interpretation.
       
      So how do we get out of this quandary?   Come on class, pretend we are seminary.  What is the usual right answer to all questions in seminary?
       
      "Pray, follow the spirit, and keep the commandments"
       
      Philosophies come and go, interpretations come and go, science even comes and goes, new paradigms come and go, but God will always communicate with his children.  It is what He does.  It's his job as our Father.  He has to bring to pass our immortality and eternal lives.
       
      You can't do that without communication. 
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