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I hope it is ok for me to ask one basic question from a perspective that is important for me. In this period of the 21st century, what is necessary for a faithful Saint to believe about the Book of Mormon? I see nothing in the baptismal or temple recommend interviews about the Book of Mormon, its historicity, etc. For that matter neither is there any general statement about scripture in either interview. No requirements about the Bible, POGP, or D&C. As an aside, maybe someone would also help me with an understanding of what it means to "sustain" in an LDS construct? Not trying to hijack the thread - just curious about the "sustain" part. Thanks

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17 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The opposite is true.

The problem is that the BofM usage of pronouns has more in common with EModE, and that applies to other assumptions about "bad grammar."  EModE in the BofM is way out of line with the KJV rates of usage of many such features, so that the KJV is obviously not the standard being followed.

Could you clarify this. Are you saying 2 Nephi 1:30–32 or 2 Nephi 3:1 are EModE?  I searched through The Interpreter and didn't find any articles addressing those. I also searched for his addressing this inconsistency between the plural/singular 2cd person but couldn't find anything, although that might be because of my lack of google-fu skills.

I think this is important since if there are these variations from expected language that also isn't EModE then that suggests either something else is going on or at least things are more complicated. (I believe Carmack doesn't think the book is only written in EModE so I'm not sure this affects his view)

10 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I hope it is ok for me to ask one basic question from a perspective that is important for me. In this period of the 21st century, what is necessary for a faithful Saint to believe about the Book of Mormon?

I think I addressed this a few days ago in one of the other threads, but I can't find it and some threads proceed so fast I miss posts. So let me give the shorthand version. Typically the Church cares about what you do not what you believe with a few exceptions. Think the Word of Wisdom is nonsense? No one cares unless you stop following it or try to teach others to stop. Think the Book of Mormon is fiction? People might care but ultimately the Church doesn't care unless you start trying to teach others to accept it or pose a problem for people leaving the Church. 

This is typically described as Mormons being focused on orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy. I think that's true up to a point. But in general the focus is on proper behavior and community cohesiveness. Sometimes to a fault. That's not to say orthodoxy doesn't have a place but it tends to be more in debates over materials or how to read texts and typically is more a bottom up phenomena with a few influential GAs having outsized effect. (Think Bruce R. McConkie with his Mormon Doctrine)

Edited by clarkgoble
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15 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The opposite is true.

The problem is that the BofM usage of pronouns has more in common with EModE, and that applies to other assumptions about "bad grammar."  

I think we have to be careful of the "bad grammar" issue. As a language develops, grammar becomes regularized, and forms that were once part of the mix fall farther into disuse--but are not always absent. I have noticed a decline of "ain't" in my lifetime. It was always considered "bad grammar," but it was still in use among some. I hear it less and less (though that might be a feature of what I read and the community I'm in). I also suspect that it will not be long before data is accepted as singular, though grammaticists still insist it is plural.

For the Book of Mormon, it is absolutely full of "bad grammar." The problem is when the judgement is made. For and 1830 and post-1830 educated audience, it is unquestionable that it has bad grammar. However, there are representatives of grammatical features that at one point were part of the language development, and where language in flux, and therefore perhaps not bad grammar--just one of the options. Carmack's argument that the Book of Mormon doesn't have bad grammar is correct if we use a creation date when those Early Modern English forms were part of the development. That is what leads to the dating issue.

However, if we simply look at the reception audience, the bad grammar issue still applies. So it is or isn't bad grammar, only depending upon when one decides to snap the picture.

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13 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I think I addressed this a few days ago in one of the other threads, but I can't find it and some threads proceed so fast I miss posts. So let me give the shorthand version. Typically the Church cares about what you do not what you believe with a few exceptions. Think the Word of Wisdom is nonsense? No one cares unless you stop following it or try to teach others to stop. Think the Book of Mormon is fiction? People might care but ultimately the Church doesn't care unless you start trying to teach others to accept it or pose a problem for people leaving the Church. 

This is typically described as Mormons being focused on orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy. I think that's true up to a point. But in general the focus is on proper behavior and community cohesiveness. Sometimes to a fault. That's not to say orthodoxy doesn't have a place but it tends to be more in debates over materials or how to read texts and typically is more a bottom up phenomena with a few influential GAs having outsized effect. (Think Bruce R. McConkie with his Mormon Doctrine)

Hi Clark: Thanks for the reply. I don't quite understand your third sentence. I am not nit-picking, I just want very much to understand your point. I grew up in a world of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy.  I think the leaders would have said orthodoxy was more important, but they certainly spent more preaching time on orthopraxy! I think this is a very interesting distinction; it gives me a lot to think about.

I just got a sample of a book on Kindle that aims to dig deeply into the theological components of Narnia, Middle Earth, and Hogwarts. It is by a Presbyterian minister! My wife and I read chapters from Narnia to our son every evening. I loved the insights; he loved the stories. I think the author left out the hundred acre woods of Pooh. That doesn't surprise me. Milne wasn't much interested in theology. 

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16 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I hope it is ok for me to ask one basic question from a perspective that is important for me. In this period of the 21st century, what is necessary for a faithful Saint to believe about the Book of Mormon? I see nothing in the baptismal or temple recommend interviews about the Book of Mormon, its historicity, etc. For that matter neither is there any general statement about scripture in either interview. No requirements about the Bible, POGP, or D&C. As an aside, maybe someone would also help me with an understanding of what it means to "sustain" in an LDS construct? Not trying to hijack the thread - just curious about the "sustain" part. Thanks

Understanding that there is no way my opinion represents anything official--I'll offer that personal opinion. I think that the Church expects us to believe that the Book of Mormon, the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price are first scripture, and secondly as part of that definition, are true. The problem, of course, is what true means. 

The Bible is a complicated text. There are parts of it that can be understood against concepts of historicity, and much that cannot. Because all of it is pretty old, it has history even when it lacks historicity. The New Testament is true, even when we know that some of the writers didn't know aspects of what they wrote about (there are errors of history).

What is required about the Book of Mormon? I think we can say that we are required to believe it to be true. I don't know that the requirement is that we believe it historical However, I also believe that many who are giving up on historicity are selling it too short--and giving up too fast. I clearly see antiquity in the text, its construction, and the way it fits into a time and place (according to secular understandings of that time and place). 

I believe that most who declare the Book of Mormon to be true have only a rudimentary understanding of the text or of history. I think there are many for whom historicity is irrelevant--even if they declare it. Since ultimately the trueness of the Book of Mormon lies in its message, if that message is communicated to one's soul and brings one's life closer to Christ--then it is true. Historicity has a place, but it is secondary to the spiritual message of the text.

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13 minutes ago, Brant Gardner said:

I think we have to be careful of the "bad grammar" issue. As a language develops, grammar becomes regularized, and forms that were once part of the mix fall farther into disuse--but are not always absent. I have noticed a decline of "ain't" in my lifetime. It was always considered "bad grammar," but it was still in use among some. I hear it less and less (though that might be a feature of what I read and the community I'm in). I also suspect that it will not be long before data is accepted as singular, though grammaticists still insist it is plural.

For the Book of Mormon, it is absolutely full of "bad grammar." The problem is when the judgement is made. For and 1830 and post-1830 educated audience, it is unquestionable that it has bad grammar. However, there are representatives of grammatical features that at one point were part of the language development, and where language in flux, and therefore perhaps not bad grammar--just one of the options. Carmack's argument that the Book of Mormon doesn't have bad grammar is correct if we use a creation date when those Early Modern English forms were part of the development. That is what leads to the dating issue.

However, if we simply look at the reception audience, the bad grammar issue still applies. So it is or isn't bad grammar, only depending upon when one decides to snap the picture.

Yes, of course.  By the way, "ain't" was not bad usage at all in Elizabethan English.

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Somewhere, years ago I read in a text by a faithful Mormon that 21% of the text of the BOM is made up of quotes (exact, or loose) from the Bible and that Isaiah is the book most widely quoted. Do you all confirm either, or both of those points? I don't have a reference for my remembrance - it just sticks in my mind as something I have read. 

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31 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Could you clarify this. Are you saying 2 Nephi 1:30–32 or 2 Nephi 3:1 are EModE?  I searched through The Interpreter and didn't find any articles addressing those. I also searched for his addressing this inconsistency between the plural/singular 2cd person but couldn't find anything, although that might be because of my lack of google-fu skills.

I think this is important since if there are these variations from expected language that also isn't EModE then that suggests either something else is going on or at least things are more complicated. (I believe Carmack doesn't think the book is only written in EModE so I'm not sure this affects his view)..........................

I'm not in the mood to search Carmack's vast commentary just now, so have a look at the EModE template of personal pronouns  at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Early_Modern_English_personal_pronouns_(table) .

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34 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I hope it is ok for me to ask one basic question from a perspective that is important for me. In this period of the 21st century, what is necessary for a faithful Saint to believe about the Book of Mormon? I see nothing in the baptismal or temple recommend interviews about the Book of Mormon, its historicity, etc. For that matter neither is there any general statement about scripture in either interview. No requirements about the Bible, POGP, or D&C. As an aside, maybe someone would also help me with an understanding of what it means to "sustain" in an LDS construct? Not trying to hijack the thread - just curious about the "sustain" part. Thanks

Look up Sustain in a good dictionary.  It turns out to be a super word.

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Sustain96

1.  To keep up; keep going; maintain. Aid, assist, comfort.
2.  to supply as with food or provisions:
3.  to hold up; support
4.  to bear; endure
5.  to suffer; experience: to sustain a broken leg.
6.  to allow; admit; favor
7.  to agree with; confirm.

This is just what a covenant community should have from its adherents in order to thrive.  We should work together, help one another, and most importantly, put up with the crap.

Alma 32 talks about starting with even a portion of the word, and he does not specify which portion a person begins with.  If historicity is not your thing to start with, fine. 

Personally, I think it is important because the story of the Book of Mormon is what defines and binds this community.  And again, personally, I am impressed with much in the Book of Mormon that seems best explained to be as eye-witness testimony, rather than Joseph Smith spinning a yarn in the manner of a precocious Tolkien or C.S. Lewis.  Personally, as I have nurtured that seed, I have seen much growth, growth for which the whole point is to change the seed I started with.  Not a scandal to be shocked by.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

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1 minute ago, Navidad said:

Somewhere, years ago I read in a text by a faithful Mormon that 21% of the text of the BOM is made up of quotes (exact, or loose) from the Bible and that Isaiah is the book most widely quoted. Do you all confirm either, or both of those points? I don't have a reference for my remembrance - it just sticks in my mind as something I have read. 

Depending on which sections of the BofM are being examined, the number of substantive quotations and allusions is vast. However, I know of no one who has made a count of them.  21% sounds reasonable, but that is pure speculation on my part.

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13 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I'm not in the mood to search Carmack's vast commentary just now, so have a look at the EModE template of personal pronouns  at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Early_Modern_English_personal_pronouns_(table) .

Well I'm familiar with that. I don't see how it addresses the use in 2 Nephi 1:30–32 or 2 Nephi 3:1 where the issue is inconsistent use of the above. 

23 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Hi Clark: Thanks for the reply. I don't quite understand your third sentence.

More or less people with odd beliefs are fully accepted at Church in formal terms. Especially outside of Utah (which is most Mormons) people just don't care. What gets focused upon are actions that are deemed wrong. Things like breaking the Word of Wisdom (or more particularly drinking, smoking, recreational drugs, and secondarily tea and coffee), breaking the law of chastity (i.e. sex before marriage, pornography, etc.), stealing, lying and so forth. Whether you believe the right thing about God's nature or even know much about Church doctrine doesn't matter that much.

I don't want to say it never matters, but when it matters it's almost always due to people teaching others and preaching that the Church is wrong. That is the issue is usually undermining the authority of the Church and it's leaders rather than what is believed. So even when it appears like orthodoxy is important, usually it's actually practice and community and not belief at all.

Now having said that, people are human. If you believe weird things people will look askance at you. There's cliques at Church unfortunately and while they're preached against, people create groups based upon beliefs. But people create groups based upon interests and the like as well. And just like with people's political beliefs, some individual members get heated over doctrinal beliefs. (You see that here for instance) Yet in terms of Church focus, it's really not that big a deal. Which is why you'll frequently see people here berating the old manuals - mostly written in the 70's and 80's - yet in a certain sense not caring too much that they occasionally teach incorrect or misleading things. That's because the doctrinal beliefs aren't seen as that significant compared to ward unity, serving others, and then important performative things like being honest in business, no sex before marriage and so forth.

Edited by clarkgoble
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30 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Somewhere, years ago I read in a text by a faithful Mormon that 21% of the text of the BOM is made up of quotes (exact, or loose) from the Bible and that Isaiah is the book most widely quoted. Do you all confirm either, or both of those points? I don't have a reference for my remembrance - it just sticks in my mind as something I have read. 

I don't know about specific percentages, particularly since the concept of the intertextuality between the Bible and the Book of Mormon is being studied more carefully, and allusions are being added into the mix. However, 20% wouldn't be shocking at all, given the extensive quotations of Isaiah chapters and Matthew (as part of the Sermon at the Temple). Of course, Matthew and Luke are also heavily quoting other material, so the fact of quoting is descriptive without any inherent meaning.

Nick Frederick's work is very important on this topic for the Book of Mormon, and Thomas Wayment has an article coming about intertextuality in the JST with Clarke's Commentary. Both are important to understanding the nature of what Joseph did when translated.

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On 3/15/2019 at 3:37 PM, hope_for_things said:

My comment about it being a fridge theory is independent of the veracity of the actual work you've done.  It could be completely 100% accurate and still be a fridge theory if the majority of Mormon scholars don't find it compelling.  

 The EME theory is a cool theory. Not so cool that it needs a fridge to maintain it.                                                                                                                                       

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The linguistic study from Stubbs seems similar to me as the EME theory. Pattern based linguistic study that seems 100% sure to some but more like identifying animal shapes in clouds for others. Has Stubbs' work caught on at all, or is it going to get brushed away?

 

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On 3/20/2019 at 2:20 PM, Gray said:

It's not a presumption. It's really the only reading that makes sense of all available evidence.

IYHO of course. As I have said, that reading does violence to the text itself. They force that reading onto the text because it is the only one they find that makes any sense to them. But obviously it doesn't fully agree with the text. It causes the vision to fail. Yeshua or "the Mashiach" did not come in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes. Who came? The Hasmonean family - hence the Hanukkah celebration of today. The Maccabees are revered but they failed to meet the prophetic qualification of their savior. The Romans took over. 

Here are two textual pieces their interpretation does not follow, and so does violence to the text:

Daniel 11 - after talking for several verses about the kings of the north and the south, the text then says:

15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.

16 But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.

Why should this text suddenly switch from the king(dom) of the south to the mysterious he that cometh against the king of the north? I proffer because they are wrong, and the text is talking about he who comes against the realm of Grecia back in verse 2:

2 And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.

So who is this king(dom) that stirs up all against Greece in your proper historical interpretation? It is certainly not Antiochus Epiphanes. He was Grecian - a descendant of one of the 4 generals of Alexander the Great who divided up his domain. Who came against the Seleucid kingdom? And the Jews? Yep, it was this unintroduced "he." The great Roman General Pompey from the fourth kingdom to rule in Persia - 1. The Babylonians, 2.The Medes, 3. Alexander and the Greek Seleucids, and the third after Babylon, or the fourth 4. The Romans. To say that the Jews wrote this, and interpreted it virtually all to be talking about Antiochus Epiphanes just is not consistent with what is written. That interpretation is consistent with scholarly misinterpretation, however. 

On 3/20/2019 at 2:20 PM, Gray said:

ETA: Here's someone else's summary of the mainstream scholarship on Daniel's dating:

Scholars (aside from some very conservative ones) almost universally agree that Daniel was written 167-164 BCE, and not during the exile. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to:

  • Errors in the depiction of the Persian court

I believe we have strayed from the point of the thread, but I do not want you nor the reader to interpret my silence as capitulation, so will make this one last response.

I do not know what "errors" are spoken of so cannot comment.

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  • Errors in the sequence of Babylonian and Persian rulers, including a significant role by the fictitious "Darius the Mede"

Darius certainly was not a fictitious king. One can find his engravings still up on a rock wall. It is quite famous. Whether he was Median or not, I don't think we can be certain. Maybe the Darius the Mede was a general who was named after the famous Babylonian king. 

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  • Chronological errors and contradictions throughout, suggesting a complicated literary history rather than a historical basis

See above. I really cannot comment on this more without knowing specific charges. 

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  • Accurate descriptions of regional second-century political events leading up to 167 BC.

I would guess this is a reference to the story of the ships of Chittim coming against the king of the north, interpreted as Antiochus Epiphanes. While it is true that the Ptolemies sent for Roman help, and Antiochus Ephiphanes was greeted with some ships sent by Rome, I believe Italy was not Chittim. Chittim is used in reference to the realm of Grecia in the Book of the Maccabees. King Philip of Macedonia is in the land of Chittim according to that book. So, I charge that the "ships of Chittim" does not accurately refer to this event. The passage is not accurately referring to Antiochus Epiphanes at all. 

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  • Lack of knowledge regarding events from 164 onward, notably including the death of Antiochus IV

I agree insomuch as the events described in the text after verse 16 do not match what the scholars interpret them as. Instead, they are talking about the Roman Empire and Pompey, Caesar, and later Roman events. The chapter must talk about this fourth kingdom in order to be internally consistent. The "vile one" is not Antiochus Epiphanes.

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  • Presence of late Persian and Greek loanwords

Maybe. I will let linguists argue that. Language is highly fluctuating.

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  • Lack of attestation for Daniel (both the character and the book) prior to the late second or first century BC

The Talmud and other Jewish texts are quite late, so it is difficult to counter that argument. There is just no extant body of material dating back that far in the Jewish culture. I venture that other books have the same problem.

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  • Genre considerations: Much of Daniel is written as an apocalypse, a genre that didn't exist before the 2nd century BCE.

Apocalypse just means revelation, and there were certainly prior revelations or prophecies of the end in the Torah and Isaiah. I agree that Daniel is different. It doesn't mean that it wasn't copied by other later Jewish composers. 

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  • Theology considerations: Theological developments like named archangels and an eschatological resurrection emerged very late in Judaism, and cannot be found in earlier biblical writings (even post-exilic ones).

If one believes the scriptures, God's word is revelatory. That is the whole basis for the restored gospel. God reveals more over time - here a little and there a little. So the angel of the Lord, finally reveals his name as Gabriel. He is also revealed as "the man" - sorry couldn't resist the little knock against orthodox interpretation of angels being another type of spirit being. Your argument is essentially that late Jews of the 2nd century  BC wrote Daniel. My theological consideration for you is why would they prophesy their own destruction in Chapter 9 after the Messiah is cutoff in week 69? The thought is preposterous. They viewed the Hasmoneans as their salvation from Greece, and indeed for a time they did successfully set up rule independent of the Seleucids which made an alliance with the Parthians. Why would they prophesy their city would be destroyed in Daniel 9:26? That makes no theological sense from a Jewish perspective. I also point out that it did come true around the time of the Messiah spoken of if one, like me, accepts Yeshua. Your issue with the book comes from trying to force the events of Daniel 11 to occur before the resurrection spoken of in Daniel 12. It is simply an incorrect interpretation which is inconsistent with the text of that chapter itself as I point out above. I agree with you, however, that your "historical interpretation" makes the Book of Daniel untrue. It is either that, or the vision is referring to a later resurrection, and has been misinterpreted by all, because they assumed it must be speaking of Yeshua's resurrection. 

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There is little, if anything, that commends the traditional sixth-century dating.

That's what they say about an early writing of the Torah - that is before the sixth century. I believe its anachronisms are best accounted for by being a product of David's time however. Further. that is consistent with the command in Deuteronomy for the king to write the commandments. If David was a righteous king, he would have followed that commandment, and the scholars would be wrong - again. :) 

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

Somewhere, years ago I read in a text by a faithful Mormon that 21% of the text of the BOM is made up of quotes (exact, or loose) from the Bible and that Isaiah is the book most widely quoted. Do you all confirm either, or both of those points? I don't have a reference for my remembrance - it just sticks in my mind as something I have read. 

I think this is overstated. I've heard that reference before, and I think it's a reference to total chapters as percent of total. As % of words, including Isaiah and the Matthew/Malachi chapter long blocks, it's less than 7% of the total BOM word count. If you throw in all the verse length quotes, you go up a little but not much. The intertextuality, like random phrases of "inherit the kingdom of God", things like that, that adds a lot, but I don't think it's a fair comparison, because there is still a substantial creative effort in including a phrase from KJV into what you're saying in the rest of the verse. Compared to no creative effort when copy/pasting large blocks. I think it's the creative effort that one is trying to get at when looking at that X%. 

 

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3 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Well I'm familiar with that. I don't see how it addresses the use in 2 Nephi 1:30–32 or 2 Nephi 3:1 where the issue is inconsistent use of the above. .................................

Carmack addresses the inconsistent patterns of use in one of his papers, and that is what you need to look for.  Those inconsistent patterns are characteristic of EModE.

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1 hour ago, churchistrue said:

The linguistic study from Stubbs seems similar to me as the EME theory. Pattern based linguistic study that seems 100% sure to some but more like identifying animal shapes in clouds for others. Has Stubbs' work caught on at all, or is it going to get brushed away?

There are very few experts in Uto-Aztecan, and still fewer with training in Hebrew and Egyptian.  Stubbs is likely the only man on Earth with both skills.  So his work will have to be judged on its systematic merits, and its predictive power (the rules he follows imply a great many forms).  Whether that will take place in his lifetime is questionable.

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4 hours ago, Navidad said:

Somewhere, years ago I read in a text by a faithful Mormon that 21% of the text of the BOM is made up of quotes (exact, or loose) from the Bible and that Isaiah is the book most widely quoted. Do you all confirm either, or both of those points? I don't have a reference for my remembrance - it just sticks in my mind as something I have read. 

I will just air my opinion that 21% is not reasonable for the BOM. I would say that might approach reasonableness for the Book of Nephi, I or II for example. 

About Isaiah. Yes, Isaiah is the most quoted prophet by amount of material, and probably frequency. However, even John and NT verses/principles are referred to. If one does not believe in God's prophetic power, this presents a problem for you, since it was allegedly written across the seas from Israel at the time Yeshua was born.

edit - after I posted this  I see ChurchIsTrue beat me to the punch.

Edited by RevTestament
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4 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I will just air my opinion that 21% is not reasonable for the BOM. I would say that might approach reasonableness for the Book of Nephi, I or II for example. 

There are actually thousands of parallels with biblical phrases (long and medium sized) throughout the BofM.  In many cases, a concept and its phrasing are likely present in the text without conscious recognition.  In other cases, the quotations are direct.   You must make your own judgment and then make a count:  You could do that with my three-volume Book of Mormon Critical Text, 2nd ed. (1984-1987), which is available online at https://publications.mi.byu.edu/periodical/orig-farms-bom-critical-text/ .

4 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

About Isaiah. Yes, Isaiah is the most quoted prophet by amount of material, and probably frequency.

Jesus most often quotes Isaiah too.

4 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

However, even John and NT verses/principles are referred to. If one does not believe in God's prophetic power, this presents a problem for you, since it was allegedly written across the seas from Israel at the time Yeshua was born.

edit - after I posted this  I see ChurchIsTrue beat me to the punch.

Intertextuality is very important, not only within the Bible, but between the Bible and other literature.

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2 hours ago, churchistrue said:

The linguistic study from Stubbs seems similar to me as the EME theory. Pattern based linguistic study that seems 100% sure to some but more like identifying animal shapes in clouds for others. Has Stubbs' work caught on at all, or is it going to get brushed away?

I think the difference is that linguists have raised questions about Stubbs. There are reasons to be skeptical. (I’m quite skeptical) while I don’t think Carmack has nailed down his thesis yet it has the advantage of being testable by non-linguists. The problem with Stubbs work is you really have to know both Hebrew and Mesoamerica languages plus have a way of knowing whether his categories are too broad or not. That question of broadness is a big one. While the same question of broadness is raised with Carmack, it seems the bigger question there is remnants of old speech persisting in America. There are ways to give a reasonable test for persistence by looking at the few examples of transcripts primarily from court records. (Hopefully he or someone else does this) The question of broadness is trickier to discern and I’m not sure the best way of doing that. I’m actually writing a post for T&S this weekend that’ll hopefully raise these issues.

My sense is that Carmack is fully aware of that and has tried to only use structures that other scholars have written about. He frequently references them in his papers. That’s not to say some of his structures might not be too narrow. But it appears to me he’s making a good faith effort to pick appropriate structures. Further the number he finds that are old English but not in the KJV or 18th and 19th century literature strongly suggests this isn’t the linguistic equivalent of p hacking.

1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Carmack addresses the inconsistent patterns of use in one of his papers, and that is what you need to look for.  Those inconsistent patterns are characteristic of EModE.

I did spend a fair bit of time looking. I’ll look some more this weekend.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe his thesis is some “bad grammar” is actually old English patterns not that there is no bad grammar in the text or even that the text is entirely old English. (I know Brant touched on that too)

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5 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Could you clarify this. Are you saying 2 Nephi 1:30–32 or 2 Nephi 3:1 are EModE?  I searched through The Interpreter and didn't find any articles addressing those. I also searched for his addressing this inconsistency between the plural/singular 2cd person but couldn't find anything,

Clark, you are referring to the mixing of Y and T forms. I haven't written a whole paper on this, but I have written several sections on the topic as part of several unpublished papers. Now that I think about it some more, I believe that I did publish a few interesting examples related to this topic, three or four years ago; I'll look for it and let you know.  At some point I will write a paper on it, maybe next year. For now, you could read a Roger Terry Dialogue article on the subject, from 2014 I think, but there you will see a discussion of historical usage that is unreliable and generally of little use vis-a-vis Book of Mormon usage.

There are many details to consider and I will only give a few here. First, there is the biblical usage, which is complicated by the underlying languages. For the most part, it looks like the King James Bible has plural T forms along with Y forms, but there is a little singular Y with T forms. If you look carefully in the last three books of Moses and the major prophets, you will find a lot of interesting pronominal switching.

I'll return to this in a couple of hours, with some more examples. For now, consider this, from a Church of Scotland minister and university principal, who died in 1599, Robert Rollock:

1606, EEBO A11010
Should I say to a man lying in darkness, brother, ye are in the light, judgment shall not come on you? No, no: But I will say, the Lord shall come suddenly on thee with judgment to destroy thee.
 

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16 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If any of that had been the case, we would have heard about it.  No such suggestion from the primary parties.  The description of the plates inside cloth on the table included Emma running her thumb along pages:

I have suggested before that you must control your assertions by bringing them into alignment with the actual descriptions, and you have yet to do so.  I long ago assembled most of those primary descriptions, and I think Dan Vogel has come up with even more.  They need to be taken seriously.

As I have said, I read through every account of the translation process as assembled at fairmormon. I was already familiar with many of them. The Emma account that you rely so much upon has several problems. First, it's fifty years after the fact. She is being interviewed by her son and seems to be interested in casting Joseph Smith in a positive light. For example, when asked about plural marriage she said, "No such thing as polygamy, or spiritual wifery, was ever taught, publicly or privately, before my husband's death, that I have now, or ever had knowledge of." This, of course, was a flat out lie and brings into question the other things she said. Also, we have to be careful not to conflate the translation of the 116 pages with the rest of the Book of Mormon. It seems likely to me that most or all of the 116 pages was done with a curtain between Joseph and the scribe. Perhaps he hadn't fully developed his method yet of hiding the manuscript. He would have only needed to hide the manuscript from Oliver for about 60 working days. This isn't as difficult as some have tried to make it seem.

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5 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

This is just what a covenant community should have from its adherents in order to thrive.  We should work together, help one another, and most importantly, put up with the crap.

Alma 32 talks about starting with even a portion of the word, and he does not specify which portion a person begins with.  If historicity is not your thing to start with, fine. 

Personally, I think it is important because the story of the Book of Mormon is what defines and binds this community.  And again, personally, I am impressed with much in the Book of Mormon that seems best explained to be as eye-witness testimony, rather than Joseph Smith spinning a yarn in the manner of a precocious Tolkien or C.S. Lewis.  Personally, as I have nurtured that seed, I have seen much growth, growth for which the whole point is to change the seed I started with.  Not a scandal to be shocked by.

A stunning insight at so many levels.  I need to dig about this for awhile to understand the implications.

Connect the dots, so to speak.  I cannot let you have have last word on this.  It will take awhile.

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16 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

You are bending over so far to create your proposal that it strains credulity. There are just so many accounts on these topics and none of them support your position being possible. I am one of the first that will admit that the accounts of the translation process are not significant, but you seem to ignore the accounts we do have in order to build your hypothesis out of whole cloth. 

I haven't built this out of whole cloth. I've relied on the objects the witnesses reported seeing, ie the hat and the table. None of the witnesses claimed to have seen any writing on the stone. None of the witnesses report being behind the table. You claim I am ignoring accounts of the process. Show me which one(s). 

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