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History vs "What Really Happened"- New Article Illustrates the Difference


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3 hours ago, aussieguy55 said:

It seems from entries in Arrington's diary recently published that GAs had a problem with some history coming from the Historical Department.

I would not be surprised;

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Yes, history is a construction. The events are gone forever and can't be brought back. History is the only means at even approaching "what really happened", flawed as it is.

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43 minutes ago, aussieguy55 said:

What would have happened to the earth if the earth really stopped because we all know the sun does not move around the earth? 

That is just a theory my friend. Allow me to broaden your mind.

istock-887259802.jpg

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1 hour ago, aussieguy55 said:

What would have happened to the earth if the earth really stopped because we all know the sun does not move around the earth? 

Major skid marks

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1 hour ago, aussieguy55 said:

What would have happened to the earth if the earth really stopped because we all know the sun does not move around the earth? 

On the other hand, even this is a construction because it literally says the sun stopped.

So projecting what have happened to the EARTH is not compatible with the original statement of what happened to the sun

On yet another hand it could have been some sort of mass vision like this one, or most likely, a legend.  That is my construction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

Either way we are projecting it is possible to find out "what really happened" when we actually have no clue- so now we are making up our own "history" of Joshua and what really happened  ;)

It's human nature

We all create worlds from matter unorganized.  ;)

Look around you.

Anyone live in a tree?

 

 

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If you are suggesting that the sun did not stop rotating around the Earth to aid Joshua in battle then I am afraid we will have to take this outside.

When people believe that everything printed in the Bible came from God, then events like this become impossible to reconcile with reality.  The Bible is filled with such events explained by Bronze Age thinking.  They simply lacked scientific understanding.  The claim that everything in the Bible came from God puts God in an awkward position of also not understanding scientific knowledge.  Something I am not willing to do.  

I will meet you. outside.  I am standing next to the talking donkey.

Edited by california boy
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10 hours ago, Gray said:

Yes, history is a construction. The events are gone forever and can't be brought back. History is the only means at even approaching "what really happened", flawed as it is.

Not quite.  Additional secular means of investigation are constantly being invented (DNA, for example), so that we can see things in a new light.  We may not get absolute certainty, but we can improve our information in some areas to a tremendous degree.  Sometimes the discovery of a new tomb or artifact tells us a lot, giving us a secure date, perhaps, or some other point on which to hang other facts.

Criminal investigators are constantly trying to find out what really happened, and it is crucial that we not simply throw up our hands and declare that it is impossible.  Where would that leave us with criminal prosecution?  It is simply irresponsible to take a nihilistic POV.  Claiming that everything is just fake facts is a political ploy which gets us nowhere, even though the hoi polloi frequently believe such nonsense.

So you are right, Gray:  "History is the only means at even approaching 'what really happened', flawed as it is."

ETA:  Sorry, I forgot to mention another means:  Revelation.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

On the other hand, even this is a construction because it literally says the sun stopped.

So projecting what have happened to the EARTH is not compatible with the original statement of what happened to the sun

On yet another hand it could have been some sort of mass vision like this one, or most likely, a legend.  That is my construction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

Either way we are projecting it is possible to find out "what really happened" when we actually have no clue- so now we are making up our own "history" of Joshua and what really happened  ;)

It's human nature

We all create worlds from matter unorganized.  ;)

Look around you.

Anyone live in a tree?

 

 

I don't know if that has to be literal.  After all, our human language is full of illustrative figurative expressions that aren't meant to be taken literally.

For example, "Time flies when you're having fun!"  Uh, no it doesn't.  Your perception of time speeds up, perhaps.  I believe I have read that talmudic scholars consider the incident with Joshua and the sun to be figurative.  We really don't need to have a Velikovskian literal take on it.  http://www.s8int.com/page35.html  Or do we?

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17 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

There is a fascinating podcast recently published by Interpreter of an interview with Sharalyn D. Howcraft about early foundational documents of Mormonism in which the difference between "what really happened" and how history is recorded.

For those like me who do not like podcasts, there is also a transcript which is a pretty short and totally fascinating read.

I highly recommend both.

"What really happened" as I have said forever is virtually unknowable, so all we are stuck with are historical accounts which may or may not be "true representations"

I say this often to underscore the necessity of being guided by the Spirit in all matters, regarding virtually every document we read as "HIS-STORY" rather than necessarily "what really happened" which in a historical sense is unknowable in most cases.  Observed recorded events like the assassination of Lincoln of course are "facts" and those are another case.

But when it comes to hearsay, questions of motivation, how ideas evolved or what ideas were developed by whomever, we just have to be cautious and in my opinion,  regard everything as a story written by a human being and all human beings have a point to make, prejudices to expose or hide, and in some cases the "truth" is simply impossible to know.

So especially in religious matters, we must follow our "gut" or in more regular Mormon parlance, "follow the Spirit".

This podcast and transcription illustrate these points extremely well.

http://interpreterfoundation.org/a-closer-look-at-the-foundational-texts-of-mormonism-with-sharalyn-d-howcroft/

This link goes directly to the transcript

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/6/d/c/6dcfab4b17c23c6a/LDSP_Sharalyn_D._Howcroft.pdf?c_id=20782383&expiration=1525899791&hwt=88c7d8ed9c3cfaf190629e1f5f8ac493

 

This was a good podcast.  I was able to attend a book signing event where Sharalyn Howcraft and a few other editors and contributors to the book were present and signed my copy.  It was very interesting and I really enjoyed the book and recommend it.  

https://www.amazon.com/Foundational-Texts-Mormonism-Mark-Ashurst-McGee/dp/0190274379/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525961082&sr=8-1&keywords=foundational+texts+of+mormonism

Just a couple questions for you.  When you say that what really happened is virtually unknowable, it gives me the impression that you think all this critical textual analysis is pointless.  Yet at the same time, you say that this podcast was fascinating to read. 

In the past few years I have very much enjoyed learning more about history and critical scholarship on religion and other subjects.  I find it all fascinating, and I also find it important because I believe it gets me closer to "what really happened", and from my vantage point the closer in proximity I can be to accurate history, the better I can understand human nature and the better I will be able to navigate my life and relationships with others.  

To me, these understandings are very valuable and they actually inform my "following the Spirit" or my "gut."  Because I've learned more, I am more capable of making better intuitive decisions about circumstances I'm presented with.  The knowledge becomes a part of my being.  

On the other hand, if we are dismissive of the historians craft, or physics, math, biology, etc. the less capable we will be in making sound decisions through following our gut or following the spirit, because those things are all interconnected.  What we put into our head becomes a part of our system and influences how we perceive everything.  

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Thanks that is interesting

I like this:

Quote

The Lucy Mack Smith history is a product of social publication. That’s probably a term unfamiliar to most readers of Mormon history. It’s a multi-faceted approach to publishing. Social publication is a sense of trying out texts on audiences before broader distribution. For example, Lucy Mack told her son William she had recited the history of the Smiths over and over to the point of destroying her lungs. She decides to commit her history to print. This is very much in the vein of social publication. She’s trying out this text on audiences. She’s telling people a narrative of her family. This telling and retelling essentially is creating a narrative she builds upon each time she tells it. By the time the history is actually written, the history of her family is very much a part of her life and her experience. She’s not building this from scratch because she’s been telling the story over and over again. 

this feels exactly right to me.  I don't now how many times a story in my life unfolds just as she describes.  I'd imagine it's always been this way...it's how we got the gospels in fact.  story builds and at some point, in some cases, it gets recorded in writing.  What's fascinating about history is when we get various accounts of the story.  The narrative forms in one way from one direction or perspective and it forms in another way from another direction.

I do believe there was already mention in this thread about the journals of Arrington:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2018/05/09/new-collection-of-leonard-arringtons-vast-journals-shows-battles-the-mormon-historian-had-with-lds-leaders-over-telling-the-truth-about-the-churchs-past/

It's fascinating to me how much control the Church has tried to maintain over the narrative of people's lives, like Joseph's and others.  It's terrible that ideas are eschewed in favor of that control in so many ways.  It's too bad the Church has spear-headed this type of thing when it comes to history of the Church.

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14 hours ago, aussieguy55 said:

It seems from entries in Arrington's diary recently published that GAs had a problem with some history coming from the Historical Department.

Yes, because it challenged their narrative.  We need to be careful and remain humble enough to follow the strength of evidence especially when it challenges our earlier paradigms.  My goal personally is to be rooted in the best and most accurate descriptions of the world and of history.  While its human nature (the natural man) to reject information that challenges our assumptions for things we hold dear, we need to learn to put off that natural man.  

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6 hours ago, california boy said:

When people believe that everything printed in the Bible came from God, then events like this become impossible to reconcile with reality.  The Bible is filled with such events explained by Bronze Age thinking.  They simply lacked scientific understanding.  The claim that everything in the Bible came from God puts God in an awkward position of also not understanding scientific knowledge.  Something I am not willing to do.  

I will meet you. outside.  I am standing next to the talking donkey.

I will arrive shortly in my chariot of fire pulled by a seven headed dragon with an improbable number of crowns and horns.

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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

On the other hand, even this is a construction because it literally says the sun stopped.

So projecting what have happened to the EARTH is not compatible with the original statement of what happened to the sun

On yet another hand it could have been some sort of mass vision like this one, or most likely, a legend.  That is my construction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

Either way we are projecting it is possible to find out "what really happened" when we actually have no clue- so now we are making up our own "history" of Joshua and what really happened  ;)

It's human nature

We all create worlds from matter unorganized.  ;)

Look around you.

Anyone live in a tree?

The starting assumptions are a problem.  Assuming that this text is even trying to accurately record a historical event, when it likely was not. 

This would be like someone in 2500 years from now reading a Harry Potter book and trying to understand whether God had actually imbued short sticks (wands) with magical powers.  The starting assumption is wrong, Harry Potter is not a historical account, its a different genre of writing. 

The bible text contains many genres of writing, take a look at this list that David Bokovoy shares about the many kinds of genre writing that we find in the Hebrew Bible.  

Quote

The Old Testament contains a variety of distinct literary genres such as law codes, proverbs, satire, erotic poetry, genealogical lists, prophecy, chronicles, and parables (just to name a few). This means that readers of the Bible should not approach a book like Chronicles, for instance, with its emphasis on sources and verisimilitude, in the same way they interpret a book such as Job or Jonah. Without a basic understanding of a text’s specific genre, readers inevitably misinterpret its intended meaning.

https://gregkofford.com/blogs/news/5-things-to-know-before-studying-the-old-testament

 

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18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

There is a fascinating podcast recently published by Interpreter of an interview with Sharalyn D. Howcraft about early foundational documents of Mormonism in which the difference between "what really happened" and how history is recorded.

If a particle of faith is all that is required to get the ball rolling, then so is a particle of truth!

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7 hours ago, california boy said:

When people believe that everything printed in the Bible came from God, then events like this become impossible to reconcile with reality.  The Bible is filled with such events explained by Bronze Age thinking.  They simply lacked scientific understanding.  The claim that everything in the Bible came from God puts God in an awkward position of also not understanding scientific knowledge.  Something I am not willing to do.  

I will meet you. outside.  I am standing next to the talking donkey.

I love today's attitude among the "intellectuals", that we are so much smarter and scientifically advanced compared to those cave dwellers. Mean while they believe nothing exploded into the universe and rocks evolved into humans. 

Equally impossible to reconcile with reality IMO. 

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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Thanks that is interesting

I like this:

this feels exactly right to me.  I don't now how many times a story in my life unfolds just as she describes.  I'd imagine it's always been this way...it's how we got the gospels in fact.  story builds and at some point, in some cases, it gets recorded in writing.  What's fascinating about history is when we get various accounts of the story.  The narrative forms in one way from one direction or perspective and it forms in another way from another direction.

I do believe there was already mention in this thread about the journals of Arrington:

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2018/05/09/new-collection-of-leonard-arringtons-vast-journals-shows-battles-the-mormon-historian-had-with-lds-leaders-over-telling-the-truth-about-the-churchs-past/

It's fascinating to me how much control the Church has tried to maintain over the narrative of people's lives, like Joseph's and others.  It's terrible that ideas are eschewed in favor of that control in so many ways.  It's too bad the Church has spear-headed this type of thing when it comes to history of the Church.

4

That sounds like the stereotype of yesteryear and having very little relationship with the Church's behavior today. 

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33 minutes ago, snowflake said:

I love today's attitude among the "intellectuals", that we are so much smarter and scientifically advanced compared to those cave dwellers. Mean while they believe nothing exploded into the universe and rocks evolved into humans. 

Equally impossible to reconcile with reality IMO. 

Well I am not going to check my brain at the door just because the subject is the Bible.  So if that makes me an "intellectual" then that is a perfectly good attribute that I strive to have.

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10 hours ago, aussieguy55 said:

What would have happened to the earth if the earth really stopped because we all know the sun does not move around the earth? 

There is a video on youtube somewhere by an LDS chap who worked out how this could have been done. He calculated the rate at which the earth would have to slow and speed up again within the time period.

His conclusion? It was possible.

Please don't shout "CFR" at me. Look it up on yotube yourselves if you're interested.

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

That sounds like the stereotype of yesteryear and having very little relationship with the Church's behavior today. 

Really?  I think I see some similarities, even if it's not exactly the same.

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