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Emode as Proof Js Did Not Write Bom


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2 minutes ago, Ryan Dahle said:

Actually, I'm guessing that any perusal of an academic journal will demonstrate that many of their peer-reviewed publications involve topics that are slightly outside of the author's specific academic degrees, but are still within the main field of the author's expertise.

I've never looked into it, but in many ways, I suspect this is actually more of the rule than the exception. Most scholars develop new interests and skills that goes beyond the niches of their formal academic training, especially in areas like linguistics, where a formal knowledge of linguistic principles (such as syntax) can easily directed towards a variety of areas. I don't see any reason that Carmack's formal training doesn't make him exceptionally qualified to evaluate the Book of Mormon's linguistic patterns. 

Are we not entertained?  The exception to the rule has now become the rule.   

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

You haven't given evidence that you understand the linguistic issues very well. I don't expect expertise, but a little more than "Spake appears about 40 times in Shakespeare". That suggests that you might not have a good grasp of the subject matter.

The comparative data will probably appear in journals at some point. I guess you can wait till then to make up your mind.

So as a trial lawyer I deal with many matters outside my expertise.  My undergraduate experience was in computer science and statistical economics (econometrics).  As a trial lawyer I hire many different experts to render opinions:  Metallurgists, psychiatrists, nuclear engineers, hydrogeologists, geologists and more.  I have to master geology enough to elicit an opinion from my expert and explain that opinion to a judge and/or jury.

But what I do know is that to pass muster with the court and courts of appeal, I must show that my experts have sufficient expertise to state their opinions.  A major test is, according to Daubert and corresponding state analogues, is whether their opinion is accepted (or criticized with sufficient expertise) by their peers.   Thus, Fleishman's and Pons' opinions about cold fusion would never pass muster, and haven't, because they have no peer support. 

And so such is the case with Dr. Carmack and, as well, Dr. John Sorenson.  No peer review. The only folks patting them on the back are religious folks.  That means, it isn't a real opinion subject to the rigors of established statistical science.  That means, their opinion is useless to me and many others, and supports only those who need their opinion as a crutch.

And you have zero credibility. 

 

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

Once again, I must point out that you could easily be pulling all our legs.  You're anonymous and you are entitled to zero credibility.

Although I mistook certain of his credentials earlier in the thread, and although we've never met in real life, I know who he is.  You seem to delight in pigeonholing people simply so you can dismiss them ("Meh, s/he's [anonymous/liberal/conservative]!  Who cares what s/he thinks!")  One might think a more careful approach would be more useful in your line of work, but to each his own.

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9 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Although I mistook certain of his credentials earlier in the thread, and although we've never met in real life, I know who he is.  You seem to delight in pigeonholing people simply so you can dismiss them ("Meh, s/he's [anonymous/liberal/conservative]!  Who cares what s/he thinks!")  One might think a more careful approach would be more useful in your line of work, but to each his own.

I don't think much of anonymous posters, that is very true.  They are a category unto themselves.  And, "in my line of work," there aren't anonymous witnesses, lawyers or judges.

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

I don't think much of anonymous posters, that is very true.  They are a category unto themselves.  And, "in my line of work," there aren't anonymous witnesses, lawyers or judges.

It may be true that there are no anonymous witnesses, lawyers, or judges in your profession, but whether he happens to be anonymous here has nothing to do with the quality of his work.  And I notice that my comment on your seeming delight in being able to pigeonhole people simply so you can dismiss them stands unrebutted.  (In fact, you prove my point by saying, essentially, once again, "Meh!  He's anonymous!  Who cares what he thinks!")

P.S.: What if someone who is adverse to you comes to you and says, "Counselor, I know someone who can torpedo your case.  I'm not authorized to reveal who he is, but he can torpedo your case"?  I realize that someone who is adverse to you cannot simply spring such a witness on you and your client as an 11th Hour Surprise (except, perhaps, as an impeachment witness: but I don't think you'd be very happy if your client or another witness who is favorable to you had just finished testifying, only to have someone who is adverse to you completely unravel that witness's testimony).  Except in the case of impeachment, eventually, your opponent would have to lay his cards on the table.  Still, in the interim, would you wave your hand airily and assure your client, "Meh!  Who cares about him!  He's anonymous!" or might you, instead, have at least a few more questions for your client?

Edited by Kenngo1969
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34 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

And you have zero credibility.

That's unfair and untrue. Carmack is a trained linguist who has published in peer-reviewed linguistics journals. He is well equipped to comment on syntax and lexis (whatever that is). His findings on the Book of Mormon have clearly influenced Royal Skousen, who is also a trained and accomplished linguist. So saying he has "zero credibility" is simply false. You're simply resorting to ad hominem and harming your own credibility. 

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So, is champatsch Carmack?  How would I have possibly known that?  I have elsewhere commented that Dr. Carmack had the credentials for most of what he says, but not literary theory.  I have commented that that takes a scholar in Ye Olde English.  He can accomplish that by enlisting such a scholar but not trying to smite it hisself. 

I am not hear to defend my credibility.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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9 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

It may be true that there are no anonymous witnesses, lawyers, or judges in your profession, but whether he happens to be anonymous here has nothing to do with the quality of his work.  And I notice that my comment on your seeming delight in being able to pigeonhole people simply so you can dismiss them stands unrebutted.  (In fact, you prove my point by saying, essentially, once again, "Meh!  He's anonymous!  Who cares what he thinks!")

My "seeming delight" to "pigeonhole" people must lead to lots of justification that I am just wrong.  I am seemingly delighted!

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20 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

So, is champatsch Carmack?  How would I have possibly known that?  I have elsewhere commented that Dr. Carmack had the credentials for most of what he says, but not literary theory.  I have commented that that takes a scholar in Ye Olde English.  He can accomplish that by enlisting such a scholar but not trying to smite it hisself. 

I am not hear to defend my credibility.  

If you don't care about your credibility, how do you presume to get your views across? 

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5 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

It's hit or miss in the BoM and not systemic. EmodE is not the dominant voice here.

You obviously disagree with Carmack & Skousen on that.  Their whole point is that the EModE in the BofM is systematic.  Otherwise, just like hopscotch, EModE occurrences in the BofM would simply be hit and miss.  No statistical charts could be drawn, and no consistent features of the language would be evident.  That is the opposite of what Carmack's many detailed articles have shown.

5 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

If it were you wouldn't have to tease it out of the text or find comparative occurrances.

A scholar must necessarily read the text and locate the instances which demonstrate the grammatical phenomena.  Otherwise he would be irresponsbible.  If your claim is that his evidence is faulty, by all means show that to be the case through a close reading and citation of the text.

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5 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

We have evidence that Smith and Cowdery used these archaic forms outside of the BoM when attempting to sound biblical.

...........this idea the English version of it was actually penned before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock would be most commonly met with a polite, "Ok, sure" and an eye roll.

We have no such systematic evidence.  Anyone can pretend to adopt a pseudo-biblical style.  For a yokel to bring it off successfully, however, is just not possible.  The BofM itself is the best evidence of this, as Carmack & Skousen demonstrate systematically.  I fully expect eye-rolls from those who don't read the evidence -- they have apriori views, in any case, which automatically reject anything scholarly.

5 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

We have the vast, vast majority of evidence in multiple fields clearly contradicting the notion Nephites were a real people rather than a fictional group invented in the 19th c. for the BoM narrative. The overwhelming majority of people who are even vaguely aware of the existence of the BoM don't think twice about it having been authored in the 19th c. by Smith such that .....

Attempts to ground the BoM in actual evidence require appropriating either Mesoamerican or North American native culture and reassigning it to an unattested Middle Eastern Hebrew migration.

While it is true that many people automatically disbelieve the BofM, usually without even reading it, they are not scholars and have made no scholarly assessment of BofM claims.  For scholars, however, there is plenty of evidence to be considered in a host of different fields of study.  I take a look at some of that in my 2014 FAirMormon Conference presentation: http://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PREPOSTEROUS-BOOK-OF-MORMON.pdf .

5 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

The theological content of the BoM is saturated in 19th c. Christianity, including pre-Mormon theology such that the original BoM before the 1837 edits even contradicts distinctly Mormon theological views about the godhead, polygamy, and lacks any of the markets of modern Mormonism as well as any native American religions of the period it claims to represent.

There is practically no reason to assume the BoM is anything but a product of the 19th c.

On the contrary, as Royal Skousen has shown,

Quote

the themes of the Book of Mormon – religious, social, and political – do not derive from Joseph Smith’s time (also an 1831 claim of Alexander Campbell’s), but instead are the prominent issues of the Protestant Reformation, and they too date from the 1500s and 1600s rather than the 1800s – examples like burning people at the stake for heresy, standing before the bar of justice (often called the pleading bar in the 1600s), secret combinations to overthrow the government, the rejection of infant baptism, the sacrament as symbolic memorial and spiritual renewal, public rather than private confession, no required works of penance, and piety in living and worship. Skousen believes that the Book of Mormon would have resonated much more strongly with the Reformed and Radical Protestants of the 1500s and 1600s than with the Christians of Joseph Smith’s time.  https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/nature-original-language-book-mormon-parts-3-and-4-volume-iii-book-mormon-critical-text

Not only is there no evidence to support a 19th century origin for the BofM, but the full panoply of LDS theology is already present in the BofM:  https://www.scribd.com/doc/251781864/BOOK-OF-MORMON-THEOLOGIES-A-THUMBNAIL-SKETCH .

5 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

Dropping into this thread, it's interesting that this discussion arguing for an unknown and clearly deceased participant in the BoM chain of authorship is treated like it's the only explanation available. Its a satirical comedy of errors at best.

A lot of people, both pro- and anti-Mormon, have a lot invested in the 19th century context.  Heck, I used to think that Joseph actually did the translation by putting ideas from the Egyptian text into his own words -- as mediated through his mind by the Holy Ghost.  A kind of biofeedback loop.  New evidence has negated that possibility.  We need to be able to adapt.

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24 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

On the contrary, as Royal Skousen has shown, [the themes of the Book of Mormon – religious, social, and political . . . date from the 1500s and 1600s rather than the 1800s]

Royal Skousen has shown nothing of the sort, Robert. If mere assertion is enough to establish the truth of a claim, then here is Samuel Morris Brown and Terryl Givens:

  • "Whatever else the Book of Mormon is, it's an English-language scripture written for the early nineteenth century. The book reads as if it were aware of the role it would play in antebellum America and the millennial preparations of that country for the restoration of Israel" (Brown, "'To Read the Round of Eternity,' Speech, Text, and Scripture in The Book of Mormon," in Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon, ed. Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman [New York: Oxford University Press: 2019], 179).
     
  • "Where the Bible was remote, the Book of Mormon was immediately relevant to the antebellum New York experience. The Book of Mormon expressed views on infant baptism, church and state, the providential role of the United States, and a dozen other timely issues" (Brown, Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism [New York: Oxford University Press, 2020],134).
     
  • "It is undeniably the case that folk magic, slippery treasures, and emotionally extravagant reactions to conversion all make their appearance in the Book of Mormon and in the popular culture of Joseph Smith's day. Mormons were undismayed by the transparent relevance of the Book of Mormon to nineteenth-century cultural and religious preoccupations . . ." (Givens, The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction [New York: Oxford University Press, 2009], 115-116).
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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

We have no such systematic evidence.  Anyone can pretend to adopt a pseudo-biblical style.  For a yokel to bring it off successfully, however, is just not possible. 

We agree, there is no systemic use of Early Modern English evident Smith's or Cowdery's writings though they apparently sprinkle them into their attempts to sound biblical.

We seem to disagree that the BoM also fails to show systemic use of Early Modern English but instead has them sprinkled throughout. The advocate of a mysterious EmodE contributor finds themselves relying on Smith as the source for the non-EModE  language but is still left with the problem you dismiss above. The obvious explaination is Smith/Cowdery as non-native EModE speakers were not using it subconsciously as a true EModE speaker might have done, so the usage patterns described by Carmack typically involve attempts to show how a high percentage of usages of separate examples vary from that found in texts also not thoroughly EModE. By distilling each example down to separate usage percentiles, he avoids the question of what kind of author we are actually dealing with whose language patterns are across a spectrum.

This isn't the state of evidence that compels one to question why so many other fields are antagonistic or indifferent to the existence of Nephites.

Edited by Honorentheos
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Regarding the theology being saturated with in 19th c. concerns we can turn to Smith's contemporary from the Stone-Campbell movement, Alexander Campbell:

"This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in N. York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies – infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement, transubstantiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious experience, the call to the ministry, the general resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of freemasonry, republican government, and the rights of man. All these topics are repeatedly alluded to. How much more benevolent and intelligent this American Apostle, than were the holy twelve, and Paul to assist them!!! He prophesied of all these topics, and of the apostacy, and infallibly decided, by his authority, every question. How easy to prophecy of the past or of the present time!!"

Edited by Honorentheos
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The religious controversies in the Book of Mormon sound like 19th Century religious controversies because most of them are. But they are also 16th and 17th Century religious controversies. (And 21st Century controversies, for that matter.) There's nothing in the Book of Mormon that wasn't relevant before about 1650. And everything fits better with the 16th and 17th Centuries than the 19th. The clear use of stories from Roman historians Sallust and Tacitus is one example. Abinadi being burned at the stake is a retelling of Michael Servetus' execution by Calvin in 1553. There are several very close, clustered similarities between the two stories. . .just like with the ancient Roman stories, but this likely would not have been on Joseph's radar. The portrayal of the ideal king (and his counterpart) come straight from the "mirrors for princes" genre common to the Renaissance with notable works from the likes of Erasmus and Tyndale. This just wasn't a thing in Joseph Smith's milieu. The struggle between the king-men and republican government is similar to the coup that took place in the Netherlands in the early 1600s. Again, not part of Joseph's world. The Anti-Nephi-Lehi similarities to the pacifist Anabaptists make more sense in the early modern context. Alma's self-baptism in Mosiah 18 even has a famous early 1600s correlate. (I don't know if there is a 19th Century equivalent.) Korihor and the reaction to him has clear early modern similarities in the portrayal of atheists. The all-out war in the Book of Mormon resembles the religious wars of the late 1500s/early 1600s much more than anything Joseph would have been intimately familiar with. I've discussed these and other early modern connections on this board at length. And yet nobody has been able to identify anything in the Book of Mormon (with the exception of a single sentence) that necessarily dates to post-1650. (I've issued a challenge on this point several times.) There are anachronisms aplenty in the Book of Mormon, but none of them are modern anachronisms. The Enlightenment is completely missing. All those great minds and new ideas from the Enlightenment and yet none of them make it into the Book of Mormon.

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7 hours ago, Honorentheos said:

We agree, there is no systemic use of Early Modern English evident Smith's or Cowdery's writings though they apparently sprinkle them into their attempts to sound biblical.

We seem to disagree that the BoM also fails to show systemic use of Early Modern English but instead has them sprinkled throughout. The advocate of a mysterious EmodE contributor finds themselves relying on Smith as the source for the non-EModE  language but is still left with the problem you dismiss above. The obvious explaination is Smith/Cowdery as non-native EModE speakers were not using it subconsciously as a true EModE speaker might have done, so the usage patterns described by Carmack typically involve attempts to show how a high percentage of usages of separate examples vary from that found in texts also not thoroughly EModE. By distilling each example down to separate usage percentiles, he avoids the question of what kind of author we are actually dealing with whose language patterns are across a spectrum.

This isn't the state of evidence that compels one to question why so many other fields are antagonistic or indifferent to the existence of Nephites.

Each such field of scholarly inquiry must be evaluated on its own merits, rather than on personal, subjective antagonisms.

Whether and to what extent Oliver Cowdery and other scribes are to be accused of participating in some kind of hokum or conspiracy with Smith to produce an EModE text has to meet scholarly standards of evaluation.  Not mere speculation.  And I must say, your suggestion here seems pretty wild and speculative.  JarMan and Rajah Manchou seem far more logical in suggesting a Renaissance production of the BofM text.

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8 hours ago, Nevo said:

Royal Skousen has shown nothing of the sort, Robert. If mere assertion is enough to establish the truth of a claim, then here is Samuel Morris Brown and Terryl Givens:

  • "Whatever else the Book of Mormon is, it's an English-language scripture written for the early nineteenth century. The book reads as if it were aware of the role it would play in antebellum America and the millennial preparations of that country for the restoration of Israel" (Brown, "'To Read the Round of Eternity,' Speech, Text, and Scripture in The Book of Mormon," in Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon, ed. Elizabeth Fenton and Jared Hickman [New York: Oxford University Press: 2019], 179).
     
  • "Where the Bible was remote, the Book of Mormon was immediately relevant to the antebellum New York experience. The Book of Mormon expressed views on infant baptism, church and state, the providential role of the United States, and a dozen other timely issues" (Brown, Joseph Smith's Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism [New York: Oxford University Press, 2020],134).
     
  • "It is undeniably the case that folk magic, slippery treasures, and emotionally extravagant reactions to conversion all make their appearance in the Book of Mormon and in the popular culture of Joseph Smith's day. Mormons were undismayed by the transparent relevance of the Book of Mormon to nineteenth-century cultural and religious preoccupations . . ." (Givens, The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction [New York: Oxford University Press, 2009], 115-116).

There is certainly plenty grist there for the mill of contemporaneity, everyone apparently seeing what they want and expect to see.  That is what is truly undeniable.  Richard Bushman disagrees, while Dan Vogel has spent his entire adult life making that very case.  However, the assumptions upon which that case is made are simply false.  We didn't know that before the work of Skousen & Carmack.  It is time to take another look, reevaluate, and to make a paradigm shift.  That may not seem convenient or simple, but it is now necessary.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Each such field of scholarly inquiry must be evaluated on its own merits, rather than on personal, subjective antagonisms.

Whether and to what extent Oliver Cowdery and other scribes are to be accused of participating in some kind of hokum or conspiracy with Smith to produce an EModE text has to meet scholarly standards of evaluation.  Not mere speculation.  And I must say, your suggestion here seems pretty wild and speculative.  JarMan and Rajah Manchou seem far more logical in suggesting a Renaissance production of the BofM text.

Calling for a renaissance-era source for a book published in the late 1820s whose manufacture we know came about at that time is logical? 

The content isn't systematically, consistently EmodE. It is far more logical, practically required for the sake of the evidence, to acknowledge the best explanation is those responsible for it were not native speakers of Early Modern English but rather attempting to replicate the language of the KJV to sound scriptural. The text is not EmodE, but merely contains phrases which vary in their frequency of use inconsistent with your claim. Given the evidence in total, it's clear Smith and Cowdery are far more likely to be the source of these markers than is a ghost.

That said, it is possibly positive you've given up on the source being a pre-Columbian Native American also unattested by evidence. Or is it even more logical to claim the gold plates written around 400 CE by a Native American summarizing the history of a people not found in the archeological record, which were given to a European sometime around 1500 who came up with a translation in Early Modern English unattested to in history, which was then given to Joseph Smith to transcribe who does mention th Native American source but not the European? That this account included a hiccup in production that was quite slow originally with almost all of what was produced from this period being lost, but it then took off when Cowdery came on the scene though this has no bearing on the manufacture of the content of the book?

That's not logic.

The Book of Mormon is clearly a product of the 19th c. It's content are readily explained as such while the evidence it demands to be something other than this is generally manufactured from wishful thinking out of close reading of the text exercises. Kudos to Skousen for getting paid to do the project. But it doesn't force a reframing like you demand.

Edited by Honorentheos
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7 hours ago, JarMan said:

The religious controversies in the Book of Mormon sound like 19th Century religious controversies because most of them are. But they are also 16th and 17th Century religious controversies. (And 21st Century controversies, for that matter.) There's nothing in the Book of Mormon that wasn't relevant before about 1650. And everything fits better with the 16th and 17th Centuries than the 19th. The clear use of stories from Roman historians Sallust and Tacitus is one example. Abinadi being burned at the stake is a retelling of Michael Servetus' execution by Calvin in 1553. There are several very close, clustered similarities between the two stories. . .just like with the ancient Roman stories, but this likely would not have been on Joseph's radar. The portrayal of the ideal king (and his counterpart) come straight from the "mirrors for princes" genre common to the Renaissance with notable works from the likes of Erasmus and Tyndale. This just wasn't a thing in Joseph Smith's milieu. The struggle between the king-men and republican government is similar to the coup that took place in the Netherlands in the early 1600s. Again, not part of Joseph's world. The Anti-Nephi-Lehi similarities to the pacifist Anabaptists make more sense in the early modern context. Alma's self-baptism in Mosiah 18 even has a famous early 1600s correlate. (I don't know if there is a 19th Century equivalent.) Korihor and the reaction to him has clear early modern similarities in the portrayal of atheists. The all-out war in the Book of Mormon resembles the religious wars of the late 1500s/early 1600s much more than anything Joseph would have been intimately familiar with. I've discussed these and other early modern connections on this board at length. And yet nobody has been able to identify anything in the Book of Mormon (with the exception of a single sentence) that necessarily dates to post-1650. (I've issued a challenge on this point several times.) There are anachronisms aplenty in the Book of Mormon, but none of them are modern anachronisms. The Enlightenment is completely missing. All those great minds and new ideas from the Enlightenment and yet none of them make it into the Book of Mormon.

Again, another close reading exercise. The Book of Mormon includes a martyr's tale in the story of Abinidi. Not particularly interesting given Smith would have known of many from Stephen in the NT to the stories of the deaths of the original Apostles and beyond.

Christian pacifism was a topic in Smith's day including espoused by the aforementioned Campbell. The wars in the Book of Mormon are nothing like the English revolution but wars between two opposing nation's that is practically obvious fiction for being between two factions over the course of centuries that reform three centuries after they were claimed to have merged  and disappeared. That's fiction not history. Smith's own contemporaries recognized he was responding to the controversy of their day. It's not complicated, and the reason for making it so is merely to attempt to extract the BoM from it's obvious origin of production at the expense of numerous scientific fields. They don't describe the Americas between 600 BCE to 450 CE, while being quite familiar with the world of Joseph Smith. The religion is that of Smith. The worldview championed in it is that of Smith. It is based on a problematic belief that the Americas had been populated by a civilization wiped out by the "savage" Native Americans. It tells of pre-Columbian American Christians using old world technologies - all of which contradicts the state of the evidence from archeology and anthropology. It demands Genesis be accepted as history, and maintains it was written by Moses. These are just a handful of the ways it fits Smith's context while being at odds with the broader facts that touch on its historical reliability.

The close reading exercise is smoke, not heat.

Edited by Honorentheos
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24 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Calling for a rennaissance-era source for a book published in the late 1820s whose manufacture we know came about at that time is logical? 

Any literary work may be evaluated based on strict scholarly standards, a fact which you pointedly ignore.  The fact that something is published in 1830 tells us nothing of its ultimate origin.

24 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

The content isn't systematically, consistently EmodE. It is far more logical, practically required for the sake of the evidence, to acknowledge the best explanation is those responsible for it were not native speakers of Early Modern English but rather attempting to replicate it. The text is not EmodE, but merely contains phrases which vary in their frequency of use inconsistent with your claim. Given the evidence in total, it's clear Smith and Cowdery are far more likely to be the source of these markers than is a ghost.

Whether Cowdery and other scribes are to be included in the con-job which you suggest is just another off the wall apriori assumption, which has to be proved.   It doesn't pass the common sense test, especially since all manner of people were present during the dictation of the book and none of their descriptions fit your wild speculation.  You are clearly unfamiliar with that process.

The presence of systematic EModE in the BofM is a huge problem for you.  Just waving it away nonchalantly doesn't deal with the facts.

24 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

That said, it is possibly positive you've given up on the source being a pre-Columbian Native American also unattested by evidence.

There are first of all no so-called "native Americans" in the Western Hemisphere.  All are immigrants.  Second, I am a strong proponent of the claims that the Jaredites, Nephites, and Mulekites were actual immigrants from the ancient Near East, and I have written extensively on such matters -- citing my sources, rather than making unsupported apriori declarations.

24 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Or is it even more logical to claim the gold plates written around 400 CE by a Native American summarizing the history of a people not found in the archeological record, which were given to a European sometime around 1500 who came up with a translation in Early Modern English unattested to in history, which was then given to Joseph Smith to transcribe who does mention th Native American source but not the European? That this account included a hiccup in production that was quite slow originally with almost all of what was produced from this period being lost, but it then took off when Cowdery came on the scene though this has no bearing on the manufacture of the content of the book?

That's not logic.

To claim that a set of gold plates engraved in Egyptian is the source of an Israelite document is certainly absurd.  Yet the document is readily available in translation for study and evaluation, which can be ignored without due regard for what has been done already to examine it.  Should we prefer repeating the apriori notions of those with no training in history, linguistics, or archeoldogy?  Or is there a better way?

24 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

The Book of Mormon is clearly a product of the 19th c. It's content are readily explained as such while the evidence it demands to be something other than this is generally manufactured from wishful thinking out of close reading of the text exercises.

I'd be happy to entertain your POV, if and only if it were based on a logical discussion of actual facts.  I have yet to read an argument of the kind you make here which is not based on an apriori set of assumptions, which are then buttressed by cherry picking of contemporary socio-political realities -- along with conspiratorial thinking.

24 minutes ago, Honorentheos said:

Kudos to Skousen for getting paid to do the project. But it doesn't force a reframing like you demand.

Royal Skousen gets paid for being a BYU Professor.  He doesn't get paid for being the head of the FARMS Book of Mormon Critical Text Project (which was begun by me).  Of course there are book royalties.

Moreover, I do not demand any reframing.  What I do suggest is that you and others might like to avail yourselves of the evidence, rather than rejecting it out of hand.

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18 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

I don't think much of anonymous posters, that is very true.  They are a category unto themselves.  And, "in my line of work," there aren't anonymous witnesses, lawyers or judges.

In the blogosphere, Bob, opinions expressed should be evaluated based on merit, not on personality.  This is not a courtroom.

And, in any case, are ad hominems the warp and woof of courtroom procedure?  Or are you just trying to be clever?

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      This doesn't necessarily pose any problems for the Bible but can the same be said for the Book of Mormon?
       
      Take Mark 16:17-18 a late addition to the Book of Mark, words that were never uttered by Jesus but added centuries after by perhaps a well meaning scribe.
      And yet we find Book of Mormon Jesus proclaiming these of same words through Mormon, words that had been added to the Book of Mark by a scribe. Words that were never uttered by Jesus in Jerusalem but were so important to Jesus that He decided to quote some random scribe and tell Mormon to pass them along to everyone reading the Book of Mormon.
      See Mormon 9:24
      But why would Jesus quote some random scribe and deem their words so important that He needed to tell Mormon to include them in the Book of Mormon?
    • By Fair Dinkum
      In 3 Nephi 22:9 we read of Jesus speaking to the surviving populations in the America's upon His appearance in America.  While most of his comments are merely a duplication of his ministry in the Holy Land one bizarre remark stands out in that it confirms the reality of the Universal Flood Myth.
      Why does Jesus mislead His Nephite audience by propagating the flood myth? 
    • By Metis_LDS
      I am not a conspiracy kind of person.  I had a thought the other day that if you really believe the Book of Mormon you cannot state the following:                    All conspiracy theories are false.
    • By Fair Dinkum
      Believers often pose the question, if not from God then how?  How could an uneducated farm boy produce this book on his own without God's hand?  This new book provides an answer to that question.
      Quoted liberally from his Amazon reviews: In a fascinating new book Dr. William L. Davis draws on performance studies, religious studies, literary culture and the history of early American education, Davis analyzes Smith's process of oral composition. Davis provides a plausible alternative explanation for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon from the official narrative.  He explains how Smith was able to produce a history spanning a period of a 1,000 years, filled with hundreds of distinct characters and episodes, all cohesively tied together in an overarching narrative.
      Eyewitnesses claimed that Smith never looked at notes, manuscripts or books, that he simply spoke words of this American religious epic into existence by looking at a Seer Stone.  Davis shows how this long held assumption is not true, that Smith had abundant time between looking at his seer stone to produce his story line and to think through his plot and narrative.
      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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