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NT Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon


enummaelish

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One of the classic arguments raised against the historicity of the Book of Mormon has recently reappeared in a post by Dan Vogel that really deserves its own thread.

The issue Dan raises is one of New Testament anachronisms. As one who has devoted a bit of thought to the subject of inner textual dependence, I would like to offer a few ideas on this claim.

Concerning this issue, the two basic points that I believe one should keep in mind are that (1) Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon in a manner that would specifically reflect the King James Version of the Bible so that the books could become

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Hello Mark:

For arguments sake, what if JS just copied here and there from the english bible and simply wrote the rest with his wit, mixing the two. I think it's raining again:D g again

Well, I suppose one could rationally assume this position if one did not believe the Book of Mormon. My position, based upon spiritual convictions, is that the Book is historical, therefore, I must offer a rational view that addresses the issue of NT anachronisms. This is my attempt.

Love you Too.

David.

:P

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Hi David,

From a simpleton point of view (common sense), doesn't this view make sense, and give a very real explanation to the Isaiah text (including mistakes), french and Greek words, and the total lack of tangible evidence of the peoples, that JS may have just got his bible and started going for it. Remembr the "Electric Cool Aid Acid Test", didn't he write that in like one night, granted he was frying his brain out on LSD, but when motivated one can do alot, and it's not like JS was a busy man. Hey maybe JS was frying on LDS...I couldn't resist, forgive me.

But in all honestly my view explains everything, while your view just creates more cans of worms, like, didn't John W and some one else say that Jseph just relaid the translation, he didn't put it in his own words?

I'm going to say a bad word to many on this site and it is "The Tanners", I read a comparison years ago on NT phrases in the BOM and how they are just turned around or deleted or added to. I know you most likely don't care much for their work but it is very interesting. if you like I'll see if I still have it and give you a reference.

Mark

John 1:12

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Hi,

I have been studying Jerald & Sandra Tanners list. Here's some of my thoughts.

KJV:the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.(John 1:29)

BM:the Lamb of God, who should take the sins of the world (1 Nephi 10:10)

There's several ways to approach this similarity not just plagiarism.

1.Perhap's the New Testament citation contains an inspired allusion to the similar verse from the Book of Mormon.

2.Perhaps God thought the verse needed the words to sound better so cited his own words else where. Its not plagiarism if God had Joseph Smith Jr. borrow from the New Testament that belongs to Him. So the verse could be a modern revision of an ancient text. An inspired interlopation is not plagiarism.

3.The New Testament writing might not be the unique source for the ideas in the verse. I doubt angels in heaven lack knowledge of New Testament ideas & phrases. The Holy Spirit would inspired the phrases use even if they pre-dated the New Testament by hundreds of years.

4.The KJV is an accurate translation of the verse in question.

Basically I am not convinced allusions to other similar scriptures is proof the Book of Mormon is not ancient.

Sincerely,

Dale

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Hi David,

I have no direct proof, there is no direct proof on any view. What I would use as indirect proofs are , it's totally possible without anything working against this view but one of faith, all views I have seen from the LDS camps leave problems else where, my view explains problems such as I noted in my second post. My view also is reasonable in that there is skepticism and problems in just about every move that JS made, it's a never ending maze, with no real proof on any one subject...ie...BOA, Visions, plural marriage, his death, masonry, his teachings on the nature of god etc...etc. All these facts lead to a conclusion on my part that Mormonism is fabricated and problems always exist because of such. I'm sure there are some subjects by Smith that bare no fruits of confusion, but to be honest with you I can't think of one, maybe you can help me here.

So take these "suggestions" and more, and my view on the BOM is the only one that really has no problems with it being a method in which the BOM was "brought forth".

Remember faith is only as valid and the truth of what you put faith in. You can have faith in the Hobbit being a true and real book, it can be sincere and real, but if it is just a story by a man, that is all it is and the expectations derived by such a faith are fruitless. Faith demand some sort of "blindness", for faith is "hope", but true faith should have some sort of "real basis", the BOM does not offer that on any level other than words copied from the bible. (so my circle ends)

take care

Mark

John 1:12

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Hi David,

For arguments sake, what if JS just copied here and there from the english bible and simply wrote the rest with his wit, mixing the two. I think it's raining again:D g again.

Love ya.

With respect

Mark

John 1:12

That makes for an interesting proposition, but is far too oversimplified at this point to be of much theoretical value. There are as many question which it raises than appears to answer. For example:

1. Why those particular NT passages and not others?

2. Why at the various points in the story-line and not other places?

3. Why certain varients between the NT and BoM renderings?

4. How does this factor into the dictation process (what need would ther be to dictate something that could more easily be copied from the NT)?

5. Etc.?

From what I have gathered, these kinds of propositions are most often presented by those who have yet to write a novel, and are thus unfamiliar with how one goes about successfully writing a novel.

It is for this reason that I find many of the things Orson Scott Card (the famed Sci-Fi writer) has said about the Book of Mormon to be so enlightening.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Hi wen

To answer questions

1. Because, those are the ones taht fit at the time.

2. Because that's the way it came out.

3. Because thats the way his mind worked in relationship with his story.

4. Because he was behind the curtain sitting back and dictating while he thumbed through the bible, it makes perfect sense.

5. Give me any book and a curtain and I'll start dictating using the book and my imagination, that would be fairly simple.

JS had a story line already in his knowlage of the bible, so to expound and switch it around comppiled with the standards of the day....this is a very fesable view and very likely.

Mark

John 1;12

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With respect to the Tanner's lists of alleged Book of Mormon anachronsitic borrowings from the New Testament, one should compare Matt Roper's treatment in the Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 3:1:

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=70

One particularly telling quote from Roper:

***

A third problem with the authors' parallels is that they have made no attempt to show where Book of Mormon prophets may have drawn upon Old Testament material, which could have been found on the brass plates. This is certainly an important issue in evaluating the worth of their comparisons. Yet they have failed to include this kind of information in their list. Since I used the same computer media they did, I can only assume that they have ignored those passages altogether. It is unfortunate that they would suppress this information.

Having reviewed the material in question, I conclude that most of the evidence may be divided into three groups:

1. Examples where Old Testament language is equal to or closer to the that of the New Testament passage given by the authors as proof of plagiarism.

2. Examples where Old Testament language can be found which very closely resembles that of the New Testament language.

3. Examples in which the Book of Mormon could have drawn upon Old Testament ideas.

***

Dale offered up this example from the Tanners:

KJV:the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.(John 1:29)

BM:the Lamb of God, who should take the sins of the world (1 Nephi 10:10)

With respect to these, Roper offers this comparison:

1 Nephi 10:10 the Lamb of God, who should take away the sins of the world (1 Nephi 11:21, 27, 31-32; 13:40)

John 1:29 the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world

Genesis 22:8 God will provide himself a lamb

Isaiah 53:6-7 The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. . . . He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.

Also, I find Margaret Barker's discussion of the Servant/Lamb issue in The Risen Lord to be relevant to the charge that Nephi "quotes" the New Testament. In Aramaic, Lamb and Servant have the same consonants, which makes the "Suffering Servant" passage in Isaiah 53 most interesting in this context. Indeed, in light of Barker's reconstruction of First Temple Judiasm, I find that common charge against the Book of Mormon as being too Christian before Christ, as now being some of the best evidence in its favor.

Oh yes, and for most of the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith was not behind a curtain. That arrangement only applied to the Martin Harris as scribe period.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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Hi Kevin,

The Tanners work just shows that it is very possible that JS copied from the NT and OT, seeing that mistakes that were in the KJ version of the bible are also in the BOM it seems likely that was the case.

Tell me the exact way that JS translated the BOM? Explain the process he went through. I believe there is part of the original draft floating around, what does it show us?

Mark

John 1:12

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Hi wen

To answer questions

1. Because, those are the ones taht fit at the time.

2. Because that's the way it came out.

3. Because thats the way his mind worked in relationship with his story.

4. Because he was behind the curtain sitting back and dictating while he thumbed through the bible, it makes perfect sense.

5. Give me any book and a curtain and I'll start dictating using the book and my imagination, that would be fairly simple.

JS had a story line already in his knowlage of the bible, so to expound and switch it around comppiled with the standards of the day....this is a very fesable view and very likely.

Mark

John 1;12

I suppose that with as terribly flippant and obtuse as your original proposition was, I should not have expected your answers to my questions to have evince much, if any, careful thought or depthy analysis.

Apparently, this kind of oversimplistic explanation will suffice in the minds of unbelievers, even when compared and contrasted with the elaborate, coherent, and reasonable explanitory power of the authoritative version.

I can respect that--though I can't see it contributing much towards informing the discussion at hand.

Too each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Enlgund-

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[Mark comments:]

"The Tanners work just shows that it is very possible that JS copied from the NT and OT, seeing that mistakes that were in the KJ version of the bible are also in the BOM it seems likely that was the case.

[Kevin C.] Rather the Tanner's presume plagiarism, and that slants their methods and limits their perspectives. In failing to consider the purported contexts of the Book of Mormon (extending from Jerusalem and First Temple Judaism through the Arabian desert, and into Mesoamerica), they utterly fail to define the problem.

[Mark says] Tell me the exact way that JS translated the BOM?

[Kevin C.] You'll have to ask Joseph Smith. He's the only one who knows. Lacking direct access to him, you might go to FARMS for the Welch and Rathbone paper, "The Translation of the Book of Mormon: Basic Historical Information."

[Mark asks] I believe there is part of the original draft floating around, what does it show us?

[Kevin C.] Do a little homework. Start here.

http://farms.byu.edu/publications/jbmsvolu...ume=11&number=0

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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Hi Wen,

"flippant" and "obtuse", you got me there, us ignat folk back in dem hills just call it horse sense.

In all seriousness did you read all my posts? Sometimes in life you have to just take a step back and open your eyes and just see things as they are. I'm a carpenter and I can remember years ago I was working at Cal State San Bernardino building a wood framed wall and three professors came in and were watching me nail studs together, they had these stupid amazed grins on their faces and one lady said, "oh that's how you do that", I about fell off my ladder laughing, here these people had all this knowledge and not a lick of common sense of how a hammer worked.

Joseph was a common man, with a wild imagination, his pattern in life was shoot first and then wiggle his way out later. Most everything he did, shows this pattern, and in the end it was this pattern that led to his death.

There is no other witness to the BOM people, or teachings, or any other thing that JS taught. To believe Mormonism you have to believe this man from New York and all he said, theres no other way around that. He is the sole witness. There is no other record of what he teaches anywhere that would complement what he brought forth.

That said, although it may be simple in your mind, it's very contrived on his part to pull off what he did. Writing the BOM from what he new about the bible, from what he knew about the American Indians, and then using his imagination was the easy part. I believe the amazing part of the whole Mormon adventure is the way Smith 'marketed the product'. Take that step back and look how he took the BOM and became General, King, and Prophet of a small nation. He had visions that allowed him to have extra wives, have homes built for him, a army, a bank, and even his own money. His theology changed as he grew, from the BOM theology to the teachings of plural gods to man becoming a god.

The view I hold is the only view I've seen that allows all the problems and contradictions that abound in the Mormon faith, and that

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us ignat folk back in dem hills just call it horse sense.

Ah . . but now could you please explain the 11 other witnesses to all of us without a "lick of common sense"?

After that, could you please examine the journals of *many* other early LDS pioneers who had their own inspirational events which convinced them to suffer persecution from the "ignat" folks with a "sense" like yours so you can demean their experiences, beliefs, devoted lives, and even deaths too?

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Hi 1dc,

When I said witness, I meant another witness to Mormonism as a whole, not the witness of JS and his associates. No one from Israel testified that Jews left in boats, no other Mesoamerican testimonies of Jews in the Americas. I said "There is no other record of what he teaches anywhere that would complement what he brought forth." If what he claimed is true, there would be some other tangible proof of such, but there is none, if I'm wrong give me one?

As to the rest of your post that just getting personal, but I understand when you can't answer a thought , just call names, but it's OK I really do understand. I have laid out a very clear possibility of how the BOM came about, and it explains why there is so much confusion on everything the man did.

Remember that the LDS teachers have taught and teach that the Christian church is not the true church and have no Godly authority, I found a quote today in a new old book I found at Deseret Industries today..."Precisely the same causes, the heterogeneous mass of Protestant denominations have no more claim to divine authority, or to a true Christian Church, than the corrupt fountain, whence they emanated..."(Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt. page 320) This was preached behind a pulpit.

Mark

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When I said witness, I meant another witness to Mormonism as a whole, not the witness of JS and his associates. No one from Israel testified that Jews left in boats, no other Mesoamerican testimonies of Jews in the Americas. I said "There is no other record of what he teaches anywhere that would complement what he brought forth." If what he claimed is true, there would be some other tangible proof of such, but there is none, if I'm wrong give me one?

So

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To paraphrase Hugh Nibley, there are a lot easier ways to start a new religion than to write a 500-plus page book full of intricate historical and theological detail and lay it before the public for critical examination.

What I really don't understand is that these detractors insist that God wrote every word of the Perfect, Inerrant Bible using Paul, John, etc. as his mere mouthpieces -- but then refuse to believe the LDS claim that that same God could have spoken those same words and phrases to some other believer over in, say, the New World -- whenever and however He wanted.

Can't have your cake and eat it too, folks.

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Hi, Magyer,

Theres a little more to it than that, like visions, golden plates, mummy's, masonic rites...etc..etc. Like i said writting the book was the easy part, the marketing was the tuff part.

Hi David,

No, I mean another independant sourse, apart from JS and his friends.

Hi Pseu,

Sure it does, it makes more sense than any method I've seen thus far, but I'll read your reference/

Mark

John 1:12

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If "writing the book was the easy part," I'd like to see a similar example in all of history of such having been done, under similar circumstances, with similar results.

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Joseph was a common man, with a wild imagination, his pattern in life was shoot first and then wiggle his way out later.  Most everything he did, shows this pattern, and in the end it was this pattern that led to his death.

There is no other witness to the BOM people, or teachings, or any other thing that JS taught. To believe Mormonism you have to believe this man from New York and all he said, theres no other way around that. He is the sole witness. There is no other record of what he teaches anywhere that would complement what he brought forth.

That said, although it may be simple in your mind, it's very contrived on his part to pull off what he did. Writing the BOM from what he new about the bible, from what he knew about the American Indians, and then using his imagination was the easy part. I believe the amazing part of the whole Mormon adventure is the way Smith 'marketed the product'. Take that step back and look how he took the BOM and became General, King, and Prophet of a small nation. He had visions that allowed him to have extra wives, have homes built for him, a army, a bank, and even his own money. His theology changed as he grew, from the BOM theology to the teachings of plural gods to man becoming a god.

The view I hold is the only view I've seen that allows all the problems and contradictions that abound in the Mormon faith, and that

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Hello Mark:

When I said witness, I meant another witness to Mormonism as a whole, not the witness of JS and his associates. No one from Israel testified that Jews left in boats, no other Mesoamerican testimonies of Jews in the Americas. I said "There is no other record of what he teaches anywhere that would complement what he brought forth." If what he claimed is true, there would be some other tangible proof of such, but there is none, if I'm wrong give me one?

No, I mean another independant sourse, apart from JS and his friends.

I find your approach very intriguing. From previous conversations, I know that you accept the Bible as a spiritual guide. Do you apply this same demand for empirical evidence towards your acceptance of the Old and New Testaments?

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Hi Magyar,

Off the top of my head Islam and Koran, and Scientology and Dianetics. Both are not inspired and have many people deeply convicted in what the books say. Both came from one persons mind reflecting the days issues. The Koran is very close in that it used the Bible as

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