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Emode as Proof Js Did Not Write Bom


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Whenever I see examples I do something as simple as plug the words and phrases into the Ngram viewer and each time I see at least some usage in the early 1800s.  That simply doesn't mean it's nearly impossible for Joseph to have arrived at any of these words or phrases, at least to me.  I suppose it might still be that it's unlikely that Joseph would have picked up these archaic sounding forms in his era, but if they were possibly around somewhere it seems far more likely that Joseph and company came up with them rather than some revived dead guy from the EmodE era did the translation and sent the words into Joseph's brain.   Or if you prefer the idea that God speaks EMod...that seems silly since the book, it is touted, was intended the whole time to be for our day.  As much as I've tried to follow this, read up on it, I never am able to see the point in the end.  If Joseph didn't write it, it doesn't really matter anyway.  It has to be meaningful to begin with.  It has to carry weight beyond those in the religion.  

It arrived on the scene in the 19 C and it appears there's still really no solid reason to see it around before that.  

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It is not "ludicrous" or "fraudulent science" to use statistics to detect the frequency of use of some feature.  In fact it is ludicrous to do otherwise, Bob.

And since when is "had smote" the supposed "best example"?  Carmack discusses the perfect tense in the BofM, as with "had been spake" at Alma 6:8 (cf. "hath/had/have (not) been spake").  He cites William Tyndale's use of "had smote," so that your use of it in Joseph Smith's day is just another red herring (and you do love red herring).  I have noted repeatedly that some aspects of language continue into the future, some do not.  If you want to focus on "had smote," but refuse to provide the statistical rate of usage of it through time, that is a perfect example of "fraudulent science."  If "had smote" continues in use through time at the same rate from Tyndale to today that does not in any way disprove the presence of EModE in the BofM, but only tells us that the phrase is not diagnostic of anything.  We need instead to look at other examples of the perfect tense (as Carmack does).  Otherwise we are merely baying at the moon.

Sorry:  Carmack did not do the study that you suggested.  This is all fraudulent pseudo-babble.   Fawn Brodie in a priest's collar.  

From Champatch in 2017:

Quote

Alma 6:8
according to the revelation of the truth of the word 
which had been spake by his fathers

1646 EEBO A26759 John Bastwick [1593–1654] The utter routing of the whole army of all the Independents and Sectaries
This had not been spake of at all (saith the Author)

1659 EEBO A30566 Jeremiah Burroughs [1599–1646] Christ inviting sinners to come to him for rest
Now the spiritual afflictions have been spake of much in the handling of the former burden,

1699 EEBO A48010 Gentleman in the City Declaration against Antinomian errors
when he tells him that all had approved of it but One, 
and that One had been spake to about it.

If you find new 18c examples of this, please let me know.

OK:

The original Shakespeare is "Truer words hath ne’er been spake. ”   This apparent Shakespeare expert (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/73465/your-day-in-moderate-american-islam-mosque-leaders-tried-to-cut-off-mans-hands-sharia-justice/) says that this phrase is in some Shakespeare search engines .  She points out that this phrase has been used innumerable times over the centuries although sometimes the text says "been spoken."  

Certainly, the phrase "Truer words hath ne'er been spake" has entered the popular venacular and is used often.  If Shakespeare used the source, and common schoolboys (and girls) were expected to know Shakespeare, I can't see why this has any basis for a theory of the Book of Mormon's source text.

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

"Spake" used in Deuteronomy.  "Been spake" in the AV bible in Jeremiah, 1816.  

"Have been spake" in an 1860 prayer book by Henry John Gauntlett:  An 1874 prayer book by Joseph Barnby, in an 1881 article on page 150 in Homiletic Review, a periodical, on page 207 of "The Covenantor: Devoted the Principles of the Reformed Church" in 1858, and much much more.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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On 8/3/2020 at 4:36 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

There are books from around 1540 which are closest to the BofM in style and syntax, but not Bibles.

Would it not be relatively simple to compare the BoM with those books to determine if any of the authors might be a candidate for BoM authorship?

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:
On 8/3/2020 at 5:36 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

There are books from around 1540 which are closest to the BofM in style and syntax, but not Bibles.

Would it not be relatively simple to compare the BoM with those books to determine if any of the authors might be a candidate for BoM authorship?

I mean the big problem here is if we know there are books from around 1540 that match the BoM style and syntax, then whose to say those books weren't around when Joseph and company were around?  What would be interesting, in all of this, is if we find out that a book was in existence in 1540, hidden from the world, for the most part, and that book was the Book of Mormon.  But, come on.  We all know that isn't going to happen.  

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10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There is nothing wrong with such offhand notions.  I myself used to take that view.  However, it is absurd to ask Oaks to write such an article, when actual experts are available.  Grant Hardy, who does not agree with Carmack & Skousen on this, would have been a far better choice.

I assume you've mistaken Dallin D. Oaks for his father. Oaks fils is an "actual expert." He has a Ph.D. in English linguistics.

Quote

Similarly, all of the basic research of Skousen & Carmack took place in complete innocence of possible conclusions. 

Uh-huh.

Quote

Actually, Carmack has spent a lot of time examining 19th century sources, and that only reinforces his data on EModE.  

Well, you've followed this project more closely than I have. But from the articles I've read, it looks like Carmack checks Book of Mormon syntax against databases of tens of thousands of Early Modern English texts and a couple thousand eighteenth-century texts, and then uses a handful of hand-picked 19th-century texts as a control. The results are predictable.

Edited by Nevo
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18 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

Joseph Smith may have had a rudimentary understanding of the KJ Bible and Shakespeare and that would have been plenty of learning to have him create the language of the Book of Mormon.

Perhaps Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress is a better candidate than Shakespeare.

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16 minutes ago, Nevo said:

Well, you've followed this project more closely than I have. But from the articles I've read, it looks like Carmack checks Book of Mormon syntax against databases of tens of thousands of Early Modern English texts and a couple thousand eighteenth-century texts, and then uses a handful of hand-picked 19th-century texts as a control. The results are predictable.

I've recently expanded my set of personal databases to include 200,000 18c texts (ECCO, which I've been checking online for years) and of course I check Google Books, Evans (also have my own database of that), Shaw-Shoemaker (only limited access), JS's early writings, 25 pseudobiblical texts and counting, other Gale databases. The best matching is in EEBO. And the Book of Mormon presents like a written text, not like an oral text, such as The Sorry Tale.

I've found the best matching for the clausal complementation and the past tense and the relative pronouns and the subjunctive shall and the verb agreement and the modal auxiliary usage and the present-tense inflection, etc. in EEBO, in the early modern era.

If you're a strict secularist, then only a constrained set of outcomes are admitted. If not, then you're open to a more diverse set of outcomes.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

Sorry:  Carmack did not do the study that you suggested.  This is all fraudulent pseudo-babble.   Fawn Brodie in a priest's collar.  

From Champatch in 2017:

OK:

The original Shakespeare is "Truer words hath ne’er been spake. ”   This apparent Shakespeare expert (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/73465/your-day-in-moderate-american-islam-mosque-leaders-tried-to-cut-off-mans-hands-sharia-justice/) says that this phrase is in some Shakespeare search engines .  She points out that this phrase has been used innumerable times over the centuries although sometimes the text says "been spoken."  

Certainly, the phrase "Truer words hath ne'er been spake" has entered the popular venacular and is used often.  If Shakespeare used the source, and common schoolboys (and girls) were expected to know Shakespeare, I can't see why this has any basis for a theory of the Book of Mormon's source text.

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

"Spake" used in Deuteronomy.  "Been spake" in the AV bible in Jeremiah, 1816.  

"Have been spake" in an 1860 prayer book by Henry John Gauntlett:  An 1874 prayer book by Joseph Barnby, in an 1881 article on page 150 in Homiletic Review, a periodical, on page 207 of "The Covenantor: Devoted the Principles of the Reformed Church" in 1858, and much much more.

That's not the original Shakespeare, from what I've seen. In fact, I don't find "truer words" in Shakespeare. The above is an archaizing modification of an idiomatic expression.

Yes, "had (been) spake" is a weaker one, needs support from others, but part of the picture. Not a pseudobiblical usage. The Book of Mormon has 13 instances of "had (been) spake". Can you find me a text with even five instances of "«have» . . spake" outside of the early modern era?

I looked for "been spake" in Google Books right now, constrained to the years 1801 to  1829, two false positives came up. Before the Book of Mormon, I know of three instances of "been spake", all in the 1600s. I haven't seen the 1816 AV example before. Could be a false positive. Let's say it isn't, "been spake" was still rare before the Book of Mormon.

Edited by champatsch
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34 minutes ago, Nevo said:

I assume you've mistaken Dallin D. Oaks for his father. Oaks fils is an "actual expert." He has a Ph.D. in English linguistics.

I stand corrected, Nevo.  Was not familiar with Oaks fils.

34 minutes ago, Nevo said:

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

Well, you've followed this project more closely than I have. But from the articles I've read, it looks like Carmack checks Book of Mormon syntax against databases of tens of thousands of Early Modern English texts and a couple thousand eighteenth-century texts, and then uses a handful of hand-picked 19th-century texts as a control. The results are predictable.

I agree that we should have fair and representative statistics.  You are alleging that Carmack has not done due diligence.  You (or someone you cite) should be prepared to make that actual case.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

Sorry:  Carmack did not do the study that you suggested.  This is all fraudulent pseudo-babble.   Fawn Brodie in a priest's collar.  

From Champatch in 2017:

OK:

The original Shakespeare is "Truer words hath ne’er been spake. ”   This apparent Shakespeare expert (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/73465/your-day-in-moderate-american-islam-mosque-leaders-tried-to-cut-off-mans-hands-sharia-justice/) says that this phrase is in some Shakespeare search engines .  She points out that this phrase has been used innumerable times over the centuries although sometimes the text says "been spoken."  

Certainly, the phrase "Truer words hath ne'er been spake" has entered the popular venacular and is used often.  If Shakespeare used the source, and common schoolboys (and girls) were expected to know Shakespeare, I can't see why this has any basis for a theory of the Book of Mormon's source text.

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

"Spake" used in Deuteronomy.  "Been spake" in the AV bible in Jeremiah, 1816.  

"Have been spake" in an 1860 prayer book by Henry John Gauntlett:  An 1874 prayer book by Joseph Barnby, in an 1881 article on page 150 in Homiletic Review, a periodical, on page 207 of "The Covenantor: Devoted the Principles of the Reformed Church" in 1858, and much much more.

Once again, where is your statistical chart?  You are equating single uses in some work here or there with the many uses throughout the BofM.  For you, perhaps statistics constitutes "fraudulent pseudo-babble."  Yet it is the heart and soul of science and scholarship.  It is you who follows the subjective psychohistorical approach of Fawn Brodie.  Just as you do, she eschewed science and scholarship.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Whenever I see examples I do something as simple as plug the words and phrases into the Ngram viewer and each time I see at least some usage in the early 1800s.  That simply doesn't mean it's nearly impossible for Joseph to have arrived at any of these words or phrases, at least to me.  I suppose it might still be that it's unlikely that Joseph would have picked up these archaic sounding forms in his era, but if they were possibly around somewhere it seems far more likely that Joseph and company came up with them rather than some revived dead guy from the EmodE era did the translation and sent the words into Joseph's brain.   Or if you prefer the idea that God speaks EMod...that seems silly since the book, it is touted, was intended the whole time to be for our day.  As much as I've tried to follow this, read up on it, I never am able to see the point in the end.  If Joseph didn't write it, it doesn't really matter anyway.  It has to be meaningful to begin with.  It has to carry weight beyond those in the religion.  

It arrived on the scene in the 19 C and it appears there's still really no solid reason to see it around before that.  

All good points.  However, it is like saying that a murder was committed, but, since we have no motive, we have to disregard the forensic evidence.  The evidence stands on its own, regardless of any outstanding questions we may justifiably have.  One cannot hopscotch his way to an EModE BofM.  The systematic nature of it leaves any offhand examples of later usage out in the cold.  A fact that Bob Crockett just doesn't allow for.

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33 minutes ago, champatsch said:

That's not the original Shakespeare, from what I've seen. In fact, I don't find "truer words" in Shakespeare. The above is an archaizing modification of an idiomatic expression.

Yes, "had (been) spake" is a weaker one, needs support from others, but part of the picture. Not a pseudobiblical usage. The Book of Mormon has 13 instances of "had (been) spake". Can you find me a text with even five instances of "«have» . . spake" outside of the early modern era?

I looked for "been spake" in Google Books right now, constrained to the years 1801 to  1829, two false positives came up. Before the Book of Mormon, I know of three instances of "been spake", all in the 1600s. I haven't seen the 1816 AV example before. Could be a false positive. Let's say it isn't, "been spake" was still rare before the Book of Mormon.

"Spake" appears about 40 times in Shakespeare.   

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Quote

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

The above example isn't a case of the syntax. It's poetic, and "hath been" doesn't group with spake.

But let's stipulate that two of the other late 19c examples given further above are actual instances of the syntax. (I verified another one dated 1907 not too long ago.) Yes, it shows that someone just might generate this item of archaism, but that's far from the end of the story in the Book of Mormon.

JS dictated many different archaizing forms and constructions thousands and thousands of times, and often in ways that match identifiable early modern patterns. That's what we have in the earliest text of the Book of Mormon.

(So far I know of four instances of "been spake" before the Book of Mormon: a1594, a1646, 1646, 1699. What do we have between 1700 and 1830? ECCO has two false positives of "been spake" (no punctuation). Can someone verify the alleged 1816 AV example? Be aware of OCR column breaks.)

Edited by champatsch
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19 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Once again, where is your statistical chart?  You are equating single uses in some work here or there with the many uses throughout the BofM.  For you, perhaps statistics constitutes "fraudulent pseudo-babble."  Yet it is the heart and soul of science and scholarship.  It is you who follows the subjective psychhistorical approach of Fawn Brodie.  Just as you do, she eschewed science and scholarship.

You ask me to run a statistical comparison to refute a canard?  

Any peer agree with Carmack?  I mean, a literary peer?  (He's not a literary peer.)

All too often LDS faith wavers in support of the Book of Mormon.  The most silly arguments are advanced to support it.  

In reality, had Joseph Smith used some 200-year-old text with the Book of Mormon there would have been some witness of it.  There wasn't.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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22 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

"Spake" appears about 40 times in Shakespeare.   

I count 52 in the Riverside edition. The past participle spake isn't in Shakespeare.

Earlier you quoted an unreliable source, now you're confusing readers with irrelevant information.

What we need to find, to argue for JS's authorship, is a late modern text with quite a few of the pervasive syntactic features found in the Book of Mormon. I haven't found that, and I've been looking.

Edited by champatsch
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23 minutes ago, champatsch said:

I count 52 in the Riverside edition. The past participle spake isn't in Shakespeare.

Earlier you quoted an unreliable source, now you're confusing readers with irrelevant information.

What we need to find, to argue for JS's authorship, is a late modern text with quite a few of the pervasive syntactic features found in the Book of Mormon. I haven't found that, and I've been looking.

The problem with Carmack is that he does not have the expertise to make his argument.   

HIs argument depends also upon the presence of a conspiracy to fold in elements of Ye Olde English into the Book of Mormon text in a manner far beyond his apparent expertise.  I've read Joseph Smith's early writings.  He had about a third-grade ability.  There is no evidence of this conspiracy.  All who said they say the Book of Mormon dictated said he didn't have anything before him, including the Bible.

I'm just a lay person, but I've read the original text.  I had a copy.  It is silly in its grammar and syntax.  It is consistent with his grammatical ability at the time but the Book of Mormon is too organized internally for him to simply engage in automatic writing to dictate it.  

All in all, the Book of Mormon is not some text beyond the ability of somebody like Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon to craft.  It is not an extraordinary thing and the text is not some astonishing reproduction of Ye Old English.   I find the doctrines rather interesting and new for the time, however, and I wonder how somebody like Joseph Smith could have thought them up, but perhaps somebody was steeped in the teachings of Alexander Campbell.  

 

Edited by Bob Crockett
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6 minutes ago, champatsch said:

@Bob Crockett, you're an attorney, aren't you?  If so, the following should be relatable for you.
The Book of Mormon has a lot of very old British statutory language/syntax in it, a lot more than it would've, had JS worded it.

So dating ancient documents--attempts to put dates or ranges to when something was written is a pretty complex field for sure.  When the authors are unknown it makes it tough.  When authors are claimed it doesn't necessarily help, as it's been pretty much universally acknowledged that Moses did not write the first 5 books of the OT.  I assume if we had no author for the Book of Mormon and we were uncertain when it came, we might be able to place in an older era than Joseph Smith.  Maybe.  But I'd be curious what various fields of experts would be able to determine following methods used for more ancient works.  You may have some points to suggest it was written in 16th century England.  Other factors may put it right squarely in Joseph's era--as many have argued.  That might suggest, though, that it belongs in the later era because it's more reasonable to think the early elements were added later, than later elements somehow being predicted earlier.  To me, what that suggests is, the syntax that comes from an earlier period, crept into the later writing.  If Joseph was the excellent inspired genius level bricolage organizer, then its likely he wrote it.  Additionally if the words appeared to his mind, or magically glowing in the darkness as he strained at a rock, then it can only be surmised he wrote it.  Every writing, every one does is found in their consciousness.  

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Stylometry requires the intersection of expertise in statistics, linguistics and literature (for the area to be investigated).  Statistics is the easiest discipline to master; the concepts for such study can be learned in any college-level Statistics 101 course.  Linguistics is extraordinarily difficult, and literature needs a lot more than google churching through on-line books.  Dr. Carmack hasn't mastered all these disciplines, for if he had, there'd be peer (I mean, non-member) support for his conclusions.  I think somebody reaching the conclusions Dr. Carmack has reached would have doctoral-level ability in Shakespeare and Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the Tyndal BIble.  There's been plenty of stylometric research into old texts and lots of peer discussion.   None here.   Don't believe it.

I'm a lawyer.  I've used stylometric research in the past.  I based my conclusions about what may pass muster in court.  Dr. Carmack's research won't.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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16 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

It is silly in its grammar and syntax.

First, there are attorneys and well-educated people who don't think the earliest text is silly in its grammar and syntax. They can see the "bad grammar", but see beyond and recognize various complex syntactic structures.

Second, there's a lot of questionable language which wasn't JS's language, like the extra and usage and the object they which syntax. It throws into doubt the whole canard that the bad grammar comes from JS. That's a canard you are apparently enamored of.

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Just now, Bob Crockett said:

The problem with Carmack is that he does not have the expertise to make his argument.   

HIs argument depends also upon the presence of a conspiracy to fold in elements of Ye Olde English into the Book of Mormon text in a manner far beyond his apparent expertise.  I've read Joseph Smith's early writings.  He had about a third-grade ability.  There is no evidence of this conspiracy.  All who said they say the Book of Mormon dictated said he didn't have anything before him, including the Bible.

I'm just a lay person, but I've read the original text.  I had a copy.  It is silly in its grammar and syntax.  It is consistent with his grammatical ability at the time but the Book of Mormon is too organized internally for him to simply engage in automatic writing to dictate it.  

All in all, the Book of Mormon is not some text beyond the ability of somebody like Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon to craft.  It is not an extraordinary thing and the text is not some astonishing reproduction of Ye Old English.   I find the doctrines rather interesting and new for the time, however, and I wonder how somebody like Joseph Smith could have thought them up, but perhaps somebody was steeped in the teachings of Alexander Campbell.  

I think you misunderstand. Acceptance of the EModE data doesn't necessarily mean that Joseph was using a physical EModE manuscript for his dictation. I personally think Joseph translated the text in the manner reported by the witnesses. I just accept the fact that the text that was revealed to him had pockets of systematic EModE features in it. 

Also, Carmack does indeed have the expertise to make his argument. He is probably the most qualified person in the world to comment on such matters because he has both the formal linguistic background and training, and also because he has spent years of applying that expertise to this specific topic. 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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You presume a lot of me.  The canard is Dr. Carmack's conclusions and not the Book of Mormon text.  I have no problem understanding that the First Edition of the Book of Mormon is filled with grammatical issues. I see the Book of Mormon as containing rather sophisticated doctrine and some wording beyond the ken of somebody like Joseph Smith, but not beyond the ken of some sophisticated conspirators of the day.  But, having been educated in game theory in my economics education regime, I don't see that a conspiracy ever existed.  Too many credible witnesses saw the dictation under way, and these witnesses do not admit Dr. Carmack's theory or a big conspiracy theory.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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1 minute ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I think you misunderstand. Acceptance of the EModE data doesn't necessarily mean that Joseph was using a physical EModE manuscript for his dictation. I personally think Joseph translated the text in the manner reported by the witnesses. I just accept the fact that the text that was revealed to him had pockets of systematic EModE features in it. 

Also, Carmack does indeed have the expertise to make his argument. He is probably the most qualified person in the world to comment on such matters because he has both the formal linguistic background and training, and also because and has spent years of applying that expertise to this specific situation. 

Do you understand that IF Dr. Carmack had the expertise to make his argument, there'd be peer support for it?  Peer support and expertise go hand-in-hand, at least from that required in a court of law.  I suppose one could accept voodoo expertise, and that is what Dr. Carmack's work appears to be, but I don't.

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13 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Stylometry requires the intersection of expertise in statistics, linguistics and literature (for the area to be investigated).  Statistics is the easiest discipline to master; the concepts for such study can be learned in any college-level Statistics 101 course.  Linguistics is extraordinarily difficult, and literature needs a lot more than google churching through on-line books.  Dr. Carmack hasn't mastered all these disciplines, for if he had, there'd be peer (I mean, non-member) support for his conclusions.  I think somebody reaching the conclusions Dr. Carmack has reached would have doctoral-level ability in Shakespeare and Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the Tyndal BIble.  There's been plenty of stylometric research into old texts and lots of peer discussion.   None here.   Don't believe it.

I'm a lawyer.  I've used stylometric research in the past.  I based my conclusions about what may pass muster in court.  Dr. Carmack's research won't.

Your observations here, though interesting, aren't accurate. The vast majority of people don't/won't care one bit about these things, if they don't interest them and fit into their current worldview. I showed many things to a globally well-known linguist that I had briefly worked with 20 years earlier. He knew nothing about the Book of Mormon. He told me he thought it had a lot of Early Modern English in it. It didn't affect him beyond that mere observation in any way. He wasn't an anti-Mormon, so he didn't deny the presence of extrabiblical archaism, but he wasn't interested in exploring it further.

I've performed stylometric analyses as part of my work, syntactostylistics, with more than 200,000 texts.

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      If you approach this book without a preconceived axe to grind, you will find solid research explaining how the oral sermon culture of the 19th century either crept into the Book of Mormon as Joseph Smith translated it (from a believer's perspective) or explains how Joseph could have constructed the narrative himself (from a skeptic's). Davis does not take sides and leaves room for both believing and skeptical perspectives.
      Judging the truth of the books claims is not Davis's interest. Rather, he reveals a kaleidoscope of practices and styles that converged around Smith's creation with an emphasis on the evangelical preaching styles popularized by renowned preachers George Whitefield and John Wesley. He allows for the believer to maintain a faithful view of the book.
      In Visions in a Seer Stone, Davis adroitly restores for the modern reader aspects of the now-forgotten sermon culture of Joseph Smith’s 19th-century, burnt over district, world and the well-established rhetorical performance techniques of its preachers. Davis then demonstrates that this oratorical praxis—in which Joseph Smith himself was a participant—illuminates not only Smith’s production of the Book of Mormon as a dictated performance bearing the indicia of these sermon preparation and delivery techniques, but it also illuminates the very text of this LDS scripture itself, both its narrative events and sermon contents.

      Davis details how numerous Book of Mormon narrative features—headings, outlines or summaries, some visible in italics and many others less visible in the text—are not mere textual devices for the reader, but were effective 19th-century sermon performance tools Smith could use to keep track of and produce the narrative as he dictated it. Davis produces an exhaustive list of ministers who wrote about sermon delivery techniques using such headings or outlines—“laying down heads”— with all of them substantially in agreement, having borrowed from each other and from bible dictionaries, such as Adam Clarke's bible commentaries and other sermon manuals, as well as from “Heathen Moralists” such as Plato, Aristotle and other philosophers, rhetoricians and writers from antiquity (see in particular on pp. 42 and 71 as to Bishop John Wilkins and the sources he used as well as his primary techniques to assist the preacher to speak from memory and which enable the congregation to understand “with greater ease and profit, when they are before-hand acquainted with the general heads of matters that are discoursed of”.) Smith incorporated these same rhetorical techniques into his Book of Mormon

      Davis shows that The Book of Mormon narrative contains many examples of its characters also using these oratorical techniques, the most visible formulation of which is found in Jacob 1:4 in which Nephi gives Jacob very explicit instructions on preaching that (other than his references to “plates”) could easily have been inserted into the pages of a 19th-century sermon composition manual: “if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I [Jacob] should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible” (see p. 91). The term Heads while not a familiar to the modern reader would have been quickly recognized by an early 19th century reader as familiar terminology used by the religious orator as topical notes highlighting important points to touch upon in the sermon.

      Although not an active Latter-day Saint himself, Davis writes generously for those still in the fold, providing room for Latter-day Saints to retain their faith in this book of LDS scripture while incorporating Davis’s new findings into a still orthodox understanding of inspired translation as described in LDS scripture, in Doctrine & Covenants 9:7-10. However, as shown by Avid Reader’s Amazon review of this book, apparently not all apologists will be satisfied with this option.

      One reviewer complained that— headings, outlines and summaries have been used for centuries by historians and other ancient writers, including Josephus and Aristotle, and that they would have been available somehow to the Book of Mormon’s ancient authors—is interesting since it actually supports Davis’s thesis. Take the preachers who wrote about the oratorical techniques described by Davis. They themselves, in formulating and promoting these 19th-century techniques, had access to and were informed by these very authors noted a reviewer. (see the note about Bishop Wilkins above, not to mention the pseudo-archaic book genre in 19th-century America that borrowed them as well)! Yet these ancient authors noted by siad reader (both living in Greco-Roman times) are not ancient enough to have informed the Book of Mormon’s purported ancient authors who themselves left Israel before the Babylonian exile, a time when outlines, headings and summaries are not known among ancient scribes and authors (and even LDS apologists now recognize that ancient scribal colophons are not the same thing—see Davis, p. 126).

       
      Davis has identified tell-tale signs within the Book of Mormon that give hints of Smith processes.  He also offers historical reference to Smith's becoming a trained Methodist orator.
      This sounds like a very interesting book and I'm wondering if anyone here has read it and would share your thoughts.
      <-------- Not King Benjamin

    • By Robert F. Smith
      A symposium on "EGYPT AND THE OLD TESTAMENT" will be held at the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, Gabelsbergerstr. 35, Munich/München, Germany, on 6-7 Dec 2019.
      The proceedings will be published as ÄAT (AEGYPTEN UND ALTES TESTAMENT) volume 100.
      More on the symposium can be found at https://www.freunde-abrahams.de/aegypten-und-altes-testament/  .
      ÄAT's spectrum covers the philological, art historical, and archaeological branches of Egyptology, as well as Old Testament exegesis, the archaeology, glyptics and epigraphy of Israel/Palestine and neighboring regions such as Sinai and Transjordan, literature and history of religions, from the Bronze Ages up to Greco-Roman and early Christian periods, as well as relevant aspects of research history.
       
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