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David Bokovoy on Deutero and Trito Isaiah in the Book of Mormon


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31 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I think its easy to definitively demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not in Early Modern English.

What is the best match for the tenses used in the Book of Mormon? Present, past, future, perfect. Early modern or late modern?

Interestingly, though it's a text set down in writing in 1829, the vocabulary and syntax are a best fit with early modern usage and patterns. The fit is so much better than what we see in any pseudobiblical text. The Book of Mormon is also a scriptural-style text, so of course it isn't going to be a good match with non-scriptural early modern texts.
 

Awhile back I looked for more examples between 1546 and 1873 of counsel meaning 'consult', thinking because the OED missed the later example you found that their volunteers might've missed others ("Yes: believing their story, and not having counselled God first, he [Joshua] entered into a league with them"). I haven't been able to find another one yet. Have you found any others? We need a chain of examples to argue for persistence over conscious imitation/revival.

Have you ever found a later instance of but if meaning 'unless' — later, that is, than the OED's current latest example of 1601, matching mh0319 usage.

Also looking for "of which/whom hath/has been spoken" in the 1700s and early 1800s (not from LDS sources, to avoid the possibility of influence/contamination). So far the latest known date is 1686 (the simpler "of which/whom is spoken" persisted into the early 1700s, with a known outlier by a German in 1786).

Also looking for "«cause» X that X shall/should (adv.) <inf.>" language after the latest date currently verified, 1713 ("to put his fear into them, and cause them that they shall not depart from his ways"). The Book of Mormon has 12 of these.  Any input along these and similar lines would be appreciated.

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2 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I reject that notion. I think its easy to definitively demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not in Early Modern English. The most basic premise  in that argument is the fact that we don't place limits on how early a text was written by using the earliest language that exists in the text but rather on the latest language that exists in the text.

Ben McGuire

The text could have been reworked to some degree: perhaps while it was being copied. A small amount of “later” stuff doesn’t shift the date of the bulk of the work. 

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40 minutes ago, JarMan said:

The text could have been reworked to some degree: perhaps while it was being copied. A small amount of “later” stuff doesn’t shift the date of the bulk of the work. 

The true value of a theory (and some might say the only value of a theory) is the effect it can have on someone that doesn't already believe it.

So tell me: what is the value of your new "reworked EmodE" theory to someone that isn't already committed to the idea that the Book of Mormon is true? You might be thinking that the more complex this theory gets, the more convincing it is because that makes it less likely for 19th century authors to have created it. But I'm not sure it works that way for someone who doesn't already believe in the supernatural nature of the creation of the book.

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12 minutes ago, cinepro said:

The true value of a theory (and some might say the only value of a theory) is the effect it can have on someone that doesn't already believe it.

So tell me: what is the value of your new "reworked EmodE" theory to someone that isn't already committed to the idea that the Book of Mormon is true? You might be thinking that the more complex this theory gets, the more convincing it is because that makes it less likely for 19th century authors to have created it. But I'm not sure it works that way for someone who doesn't already believe in the supernatural nature of the creation of the book.

I'm not pushing any ideology with my theory. Three years ago when I started to study it seriously I was an active, committed Mormon. And I was for another couple of years. But over the last year or so I have come to the point where I am quite skeptical of LDS truth claims. This happened for other reasons, by the way, and not really anything to do with the EmodE hypothesis. So I don't have either a pro- or anti- axe to grind on this issue. My ideology is not driving my theory. The evidence is. I'm simply following the evidence. The linguistic evidence, as I best understand it, is that the Book of Mormon is almost entirely early modern in origin with a very small amount of later stuff. Let's pretend for a minute that we were talking about any other text without all of the baggage of the Book of Mormon. The best interpretation of the data I can come up with is that it was written in early modern times and re-worked a little bit later on.

But it's really the content of the Book of Mormon that convinces me its origin is early modern. I can find nothing (except perhaps one sentence) that indicates any knowledge acquired after about the 1630's or 1640's. The content is extremely consistent with certain circles in the late 1500's and early 1600's and is unlike Enlightenment or post-Enlightenment thinking. So if the Book of Mormon really is a book from the 1630's or 1640's, particularly if it was produced by a well-known historical figure, this would be a monumental discovery. It would open up the Book of Mormon to study from a wide range of scholars and historians and I think this would be a very positive thing for the world.

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4 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I reject that notion. I think its easy to definitively demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is not in Early Modern English. The most basic premise  in that argument is the fact that we don't place limits on how early a text was written by using the earliest language that exists in the text but rather on the latest language that exists in the text.

Ben McGuire

That is generally a good rule, Ben, and scholars often use latest events to date a text -- provided those events are not inserted later.  Adding the linguistic analysis of Ron Hendel and Shalom Paul (whom I met at BYU back in the 1980s), is very useful. The problem is that we don't actually know what form the Hebrew took in Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah, except as mediated by the Massortetic Text.  Did the disjuncture caused by the destruction of Jerusalem and the Exile interfere with the unsullied transmission of the Hebrew text?

Even more important is the question about whether the traditional KJV form of Isaiah quotations in the BofM does tell us the actual linguistic form in Hebrew.  Especially since the BofM claims that they exist solely in an Egyptian form in the Brass Plates.  One approach is to dismiss that with the assumption that the Brass Plates is merely a fairytale.

Finally, the presence or effective absence of EModE in the BofM has to be established based on the statistical significance of systematic features of EModE.  If such extinct features are not systematically present in large numbers, then we can certainly disregard such claims.  Such a presence cannot simply be dismissed with the wave of the hand, even if some earlier features occasionally appear in later texts.

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5 hours ago, champatsch said:

What is the best match for the tenses used in the Book of Mormon? Present, past, future, perfect. Early modern or late modern?

Is there language in the text that is later than Early Modern English? If there is, then the text cannot be Early Modern English, and your argument is irrelevant. Yes, it may incorporate elements which are Early Modern English. But this does not make the text-as-it-is an Early Modern English text.

To put it into a biblical context, we don't date a Hebrew text based on the earliest Hebrew words and forms that we find in the text - those can be borrowed or copied from earlier texts and sources. We work from the most recent language and forms to determine the date of the text that we read. We may use the earlier language to argue that it incorporates an earlier text, or that the text before us represents a revision of an earlier text. But it doesn't change the fact that the text that we have isn't a text from that earlier period. We can always find earlier language in later texts. We don't as a general rule, find more recent language in earlier texts. The argument that you raise is even more problematic in this sense, since it is much easier to identify the introduction of new language than it is to identify when language disappears from the grammar and vocabulary. Language has something of a shelf life - even after it moves out of style, simply because the population that understands that language doesn't disappear overnight.

The negative argument is to simply demonstrate the same forms in contemporary literature - even one or two will tend to disprove the idea that it must be considered Early Modern English. And just as importantly, if the text is deliberately using archaic language as a feature to encourage its intended audience to read and understand it in a certain way, then the inclusion of the archaic language cannot be construed as evidence of earlier authorship. When we combine these issues with the clear fact that the Book of Mormon does include language which post-dates the Early Modern English period, it makes the idea that the text is Early Modern English more than highly problematic.

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1 hour ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

It isn't merely a small amount of "later" stuff. There is a significant amount of later stuff. This is one of the major issues with the theory. There has been no real effort made to identify all of the language which cannot be Early Modern English. So perhaps you could enlighten me. What percentage of the Book of Mormon text is exclusively Early Modern English?

The easiest data set is common words and phrases. Skousen lists the following as not being early modern in origin:

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Thus far we have found a few word uses, phrases, and expressions that seem, from the evidence gathered thus far, to have been used only in later English: 

A descendant of (with a plural subject) 

“they are a descendant of the Jews” (2 Nephi 30:4) 

An eye singled to (singled rather than the expected single

“for God will that it shall be done with an eye singled to his glory” (Mormon 8:15) 

Morrow month 

“on the morrow month I will command that my armies shall come down against you” (3 Nephi 3:8)

Murmur with (non-participatory with

“the people began to murmur with the king because of their afflictions” (Mosiah 21:6) 

Visit your destruction 

“and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction” (Helaman 13:10) 

Wax strong in years 

“they had many children which did grow up and began to wax strong in years” (3 Nephi 1:29)

Since publication of that paper, "morrow month" and "murmur with" have been found leaving only 4 phrases. The phrase "an eye singled to" is likely a scribal error. That leaves only 3. These are likely to be found eventually, as well 

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Finally, the presence or effective absence of EModE in the BofM has to be established based on the statistical significance of systematic features of EModE.  If such extinct features are not systematically present in large numbers, then we can certainly disregard such claims.  Such a presence cannot simply be dismissed with the wave of the hand, even if some earlier features occasionally appear in later texts.

The problem, Robert, is with your notion of "extinct features". They aren't extinct if we can find them in contemporary literature. And for the most part, I can.

Ben McGuire

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26 minutes ago, JarMan said:

The easiest data set is common words and phrases. Skousen lists the following as not being early modern in origin:

Since publication of that paper, "morrow month" and "murmur with" have been found leaving only 4 phrases. The phrase "an eye singled to" is likely a scribal error. That leaves only 3. These are likely to be found eventually, as well 

This doesn't work, of course, because it isn't enough to say that the language has its origins in Early Modern English. That is meaningless in this context. The question is whether or not we can find (as I just noted) contemporary usage that is more or less the same. We don't care if we can find stuff in the 16th century. We care if we can find it in the 19th century. Did the first readers understand the text fairly well? Did they not understand all of these extinct forms? Did they misunderstand the text because of the archaic language?

Ben

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Has  Skousen's work been peer reviewed by any non-mormon scholars?  sincere question  I don't know.

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19 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

This doesn't work, of course, because it isn't enough to say that the language has its origins in Early Modern English. That is meaningless in this context. The question is whether or not we can find (as I just noted) contemporary usage that is more or less the same. We don't care if we can find stuff in the 16th century. We care if we can find it in the 19th century. Did the first readers understand the text fairly well? Did they not understand all of these extinct forms? Did they misunderstand the text because of the archaic language?

Ben

You said there was a significant amount of later stuff. By this I supposed that you meant stuff that didn't occur in the language until after some point in time. Maybe 1750? What later stuff did you have in mind?

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1 hour ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

Is there language in the text that is later than Early Modern English? If there is, then the text cannot be Early Modern English, and your argument is irrelevant. Yes, it may incorporate elements which are Early Modern English. But this does not make the text-as-it-is an Early Modern English text.

Since language is a stream, naturally some elements will continue on into the future.  That is not the crucial question.  What we really want to know is whether there are grammatical features which statistically peak in the EModE period, and diminish later (excluding reprints of EModE works in later times).  Moreover, we especially want to know whether there are EModE features which are non-biblical which appear systematically in the 1829 BofM, but not in the KJV and not in the 19th century.

Stan Carmack discerns several pervasive features of EModE in the BofM:  A personal relative pronoun pattern,  heavy finite clausal complementation and modal usage, non(pseudo)biblical subjunctive shall usage (syntactic subjunctive), periphrastic past, and verbal system.

For example, Carmack says that EModE affirmative did, and periphrastic did appear at very low rates in KJV, pseudo-biblical, and modern writing.  Thus EModE affirmative past tense syntax appears 2,000 times in the 1829 BofM -- 27% of the time in past-tense contexts, while the 1611 KJV uses it less than 2% of the time.

EModE plural “mights” in the Book of Mormon is quite heavy and almost always noncontextual, unlike rare modern usage -- with our/your/their mights, in their mights.  EModE the more part”: Rare in KJV, and not in pseudo-biblical writing.  the more part of them, the more part of it, the more parts of X.  EModE "fountain of all righteousness" (John Calvin) is most common in the 16th century, but rare in the 19th,  Similarly for EModE "demands of justice."  Archaic usage such as but if = 'unless', whereby = 'why?', counsel = 'consult', depart = 'divide', belove = 'love (active)', mar, break = 'hinder, stop', give = 'describe, portray', rebellion = 'opposition', reserve = "preserve," idleness = "meaningless words or actions," etc.

1 hour ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

To put it into a biblical context, we don't date a Hebrew text based on the earliest Hebrew words and forms that we find in the text - those can be borrowed or copied from earlier texts and sources. We work from the most recent language and forms to determine the date of the text that we read. We may use the earlier language to argue that it incorporates an earlier text, or that the text before us represents a revision of an earlier text. But it doesn't change the fact that the text that we have isn't a text from that earlier period. We can always find earlier language in later texts. We don't as a general rule, find more recent language in earlier texts. The argument that you raise is even more problematic in this sense, since it is much easier to identify the introduction of new language than it is to identify when language disappears from the grammar and vocabulary. Language has something of a shelf life - even after it moves out of style, simply because the population that understands that language doesn't disappear overnight.

The negative argument is to simply demonstrate the same forms in contemporary literature - even one or two will tend to disprove the idea that it must be considered Early Modern English.

But the opposite is clearly true!!  If exceptions are so rare, the EModE of the basic text is actually affirmed.

1 hour ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

............... if the text is deliberately using archaic language as a feature to encourage its intended audience to read and understand it in a certain way, then the inclusion of the archaic language cannot be construed as evidence of earlier authorship....................

This is a very odd suggestion.  Why would anyone deliberately use EModE as the primary mode of transmission for the BofM?  Just doesn't make sense, Ben.  In addition, Carmack has maintained that there is so much archaic and obsolete syntax and lexis in the Book of Mormon that one cannot find a 19th-century writer who was sufficiently grounded in philology, theology, and many other things so as to be able to produce the text.  No one in 1829 even knew that there was a category of Early Modern English -- a later scholarly understanding..

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55 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

The problem, Robert, is with your notion of "extinct features". They aren't extinct if we can find them in contemporary literature. And for the most part, I can.

Ben McGuire

That's a good thing, Ben, and all of those should be listed (unless merely a reprint of an EModE book), then examined to determine the statistical significance.  If they are rare, we need to know, since in a language stream not everything becomes extinct.

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31 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

Has  Skousen's work been peer reviewed by any non-mormon scholars?  sincere question  I don't know.

Are you referring to Prof Skousen's multivolume work on the FARMS Book of Mormon Critical Text Project, including his Earliest Text published by Yale University?  Do you have any of those volumes, or have you read any of them?

Or are you referring to the heavy series of articles by Dr Stan Carmack in the Interpreter on the Early Modern English phenomenon in the Book of Mormon, upon which Prof Skousen has also commented extensively?  See this video, if you have no idea what I am talking about, https://youtu.be/5KfoSVsH7Vg .

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6 hours ago, cinepro said:

The true value of a theory (and some might say the only value of a theory) is the effect it can have on someone that doesn't already believe it.

So tell me: what is the value of your new "reworked EmodE" theory to someone that isn't already committed to the idea that the Book of Mormon is true? You might be thinking that the more complex this theory gets, the more convincing it is because that makes it less likely for 19th century authors to have created it. But I'm not sure it works that way for someone who doesn't already believe in the supernatural nature of the creation of the book.

JarMan and Rajah Manchou could just as well argue for the creation of the BofM in Early Modern times by someone like Hugo Grotius or John Dee as a fictional pseudepigraphon (a tautology, but not everyone knows what pseudepigrapha are).  In fact, the claim that the 1829 BofM is EModE in nature does in no way provide apologetic value, but only confuses matters.  This is more a matter of following the evidence wherever it leads.

Indeed, anyone who is silly enough to believe in the supernatural already finds himself behind the 8-ball of reality and natural law -- which is the heart of LDS theology.

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7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That is generally a good rule, Ben, and scholars often use latest events to date a text -- provided those events are not inserted later.  Adding the linguistic analysis of Ron Hendel and Shalom Paul (whom I met at BYU back in the 1980s), is very useful. The problem is that we don't actually know what form the Hebrew took in Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah, except as mediated by the Massortetic Text.  Did the disjuncture caused by the destruction of Jerusalem and the Exile interfere with the unsullied transmission of the Hebrew text?

Even more important is the question about whether the traditional KJV form of Isaiah quotations in the BofM does tell us the actual linguistic form in Hebrew.  Especially since the BofM claims that they exist solely in an Egyptian form in the Brass Plates.  One approach is to dismiss that with the assumption that the Brass Plates is merely a fairytale.

Finally, the presence or effective absence of EModE in the BofM has to be established based on the statistical significance of systematic features of EModE.  If such extinct features are not systematically present in large numbers, then we can certainly disregard such claims.  Such a presence cannot simply be dismissed with the wave of the hand, even if some earlier features occasionally appear in later texts.

How do you account for the later english in the book of mormon?  If the book was translated by a person(s) from the EmodE times, how did this person(s) know of the later forms of english contained in the book of mormon?  It isn't completely EmodE, right?  So, isn't this like finding machine guns being used in the war chapters in Alma?

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14 minutes ago, Robert J Anderson said:

How do you account for the later english in the book of mormon?  If the book was translated by a person(s) from the EmodE times, how did this person(s) know of the later forms of english contained in the book of mormon?  It isn't completely EmodE, right?  So, isn't this like finding machine guns being used in the war chapters in Alma?

As pointed out by JarMan above, that depends on whether there are in fact items which are authentically new expressions or grammatical forms from a later time.  JarMan listed examples of claimed later expressions and noted that several had been found in an earlier period.  That leaves very few, and those may in fact end up on our earlier list.  There are whole dictionaries of such later expressions.  Can you find several legitimate ones?  If the BoM is indeed a 19th century product, it should be very easy to demonstrate uniquely later words and phrases.

John R. Bartlett, ed., Dictionary of Americanisms. A glossary of words and phrases, usually regarded as peculiar to the United States (N.Y.: Bartlett and Welford, 1848), online at https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryofamer00bart#page/n5/mode/2up .  2nd ed. (Boston: Little Brown, 1859), online at https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryofamer00bartiala?ref=ol , 3rd ed. (1860), online at https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryameri00bartgoog?ref=ol .

John Pickering, A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to The United States of America, 2nd ed. (Boston:  Cummings and Hilliard, 1816).

 

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11 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

Is there language in the text that is later than Early Modern English? If there is, then the text cannot be Early Modern English, and your argument is irrelevant. Yes, it may incorporate elements which are Early Modern English. But this does not make the text-as-it-is an Early Modern English text.

To put it into a biblical context, we don't date a Hebrew text based on the earliest Hebrew words and forms that we find in the text - those can be borrowed or copied from earlier texts and sources. We work from the most recent language and forms to determine the date of the text that we read. We may use the earlier language to argue that it incorporates an earlier text, or that the text before us represents a revision of an earlier text. But it doesn't change the fact that the text that we have isn't a text from that earlier period. We can always find earlier language in later texts. We don't as a general rule, find more recent language in earlier texts. The argument that you raise is even more problematic in this sense, since it is much easier to identify the introduction of new language than it is to identify when language disappears from the grammar and vocabulary. Language has something of a shelf life - even after it moves out of style, simply because the population that understands that language doesn't disappear overnight.

The negative argument is to simply demonstrate the same forms in contemporary literature - even one or two will tend to disprove the idea that it must be considered Early Modern English. And just as importantly, if the text is deliberately using archaic language as a feature to encourage its intended audience to read and understand it in a certain way, then the inclusion of the archaic language cannot be construed as evidence of earlier authorship. When we combine these issues with the clear fact that the Book of Mormon does include language which post-dates the Early Modern English period, it makes the idea that the text is Early Modern English more than highly problematic.

The production history of the Book of Mormon is, of course, different from other texts, so a lot of what you write here is irrelevant. Nor are we interested in vague general discussions. We're more interested in the data. Still waiting for you to find late modern examples of specific items mentioned above and mentioned in NOL. That could be helpful. And it would be helpful if you could find modern texts with the Book of Mormon's verb complementation or relative pronoun or nominative absolute or agentive of or non-3sg {-th} or subjunctive shall or more part or subordinate that patterns.

You like to be a contrarian, when possible. And you use the Early Modern English label to be one. In the final analysis, it's not even necessary to label the language. It's only used as a convenience because it's more often than not fitting. What's important, until it's specifically refuted, is that the text has quite a few patterns and usage that are archaic though non(pseudo)biblical. These indicate that JS wasn't the author. Where you direct the discussion deliberately distracts from these striking realities.

Edited by champatsch
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10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That's a good thing, Ben, and all of those should be listed (unless merely a reprint of an EModE book), then examined to determine the statistical significance.  If they are rare, we need to know, since in a language stream not everything becomes extinct.

Robert, this needs to be done BEFORE we assert that the Book of Mormon is an Early Modern English text. This is the negative check that is necessary to make such an assertion.

And it hasn't been done.

From where I sit, the problem is that I can repeatedly find examples of this sort of thing everywhere I look - and because the searchable data-set of texts contemporary with the publication of the Book of Mormon continues to improve, the task only gets easier. For any specific phrase or construction, the rarity of its use in English in 1830 (and afterwards) is as good now as it canl ever get - and for most of them, the rarity will decline as our digital, searchable collections get better.  And this means that a great deal of what is asserted to be problematic language in an 1830 authorship model (whether a translation or not isn't particularly important to this point) isn't in fact all that problematic. And this is a reasonable conclusion since its first readers don't seem to have struggled all that much with the language itself either.

This issue that you point out also exists at the other end of the time spectrum, doesn't it. That we can date some specific constructs to an early occurrence within a time frame that Jarman likes doesn't mean that it was common. How quickly do new terms move in to the language stream? When the Book of Mormon contains vocabulary that, as far as we can tell was coined by Shakespeare - doesn't this make that language naturally quite rare in that time period? Understandably, we run into problems in terms of gauging frequency once we get early enough (there simply isn't as much written, published, or surviving - and certainly not as much that exists in easily searchable digital formats). But at the same time, finding one or two sources that put a construct into an Early Modern English time frame, and continuing the notion of a language stream, is this really Early Modern English, or is it rather early Modern English (if you get the distinction). You may recognize that language is more of a continuum, but there are several here who don't seem to recognize this in their arguments.

And all of this still avoids the bigger problem which exists when we start to actually question the function of the text, the nature of its audience, how the text was used and read. Is the presence of undetstandable but archaic language part of the larger rhetorical staging of the message? This was, as lots of people have noted, a not uncommon rhetorical feature of texts at the time (even if others were not executed so well). There is this intuited leap going on here from the identification and use of Early Modern English language in the Book of Mormon to some sort of necessary Early Modern English authorship - and quite frankly, it doesn't make any sense on many levels.

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1 hour ago, champatsch said:

The production history of the Book of Mormon is, of course, different from other texts,

How so?  I think that can be agreeable, but it depends on in what way is it different.  

Quote

so a lot of what you write here is irrelevant. Nor are we interested in vague general discussions. We're more interested in the data. Still waiting for you to find late modern examples of specific items mentioned above and mentioned in NOL. That could be helpful. And it would be helpful if you could find modern texts with the Book of Mormon's verb complementation or relative pronoun or nominative absolute or agentive of or non-3sg {-th} or subjunctive shall or more part or subordinate that patterns.

Who wants to do that?  These discussions always get frustrating because someone always wants to turn the burden around.  If the EmodE elements, or should I say EmodE-sounding elements, were non existent other than found in the BoM in 1830, then one must ask, if there were completely wiped from any text known in 1825, how do we know it now?  

Quote

You like to be a contrarian, when possible. And you use the Early Modern English label to be one. In the final analysis, it's not even necessary to label the language. It's only used as a convenience because it's more often than not fitting. What's important, until it's specifically refuted, is that the text has quite a few patterns and usage that are archaic though non(pseudo)biblical. These indicate that JS wasn't the author. Where you direct the discussion deliberately distracts from these striking realities.

If so, I don't even see how that matters.  If you say, "well it proves JS didn't write it"...anyone can say, so?  If JS then who?  If you say it must have been God or by the power of that mighty one, then it's your burden to assume still.  I don't see the point in getting into the weeds of whether these odd sounding elements in the BoM even mean it's an EmodE text.  It doesn't matter.  In the end, the story still lacks historicity.  It's still seeming less inspiring to anyone who doesn't already assume inspiration, for the most part.  It's still just a tedious sounding work with some elements of interesting story telling.  And every part of it can be understood by anyone living after 1830.  

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38 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

For any specific phrase or construction, the rarity of its use in English in 1830 (and afterwards) is as good now as it canl ever get

What does this mean?

When was finite complementation most common, something the Book of Mormon has in spades. There are independent linguistic articles on this.

What time period fits the pers. relative pronoun usage? Only around 1600. How about the other things I just mentioned. You either don't know what you're talking about or you're deliberately misrepresenting the data.

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

As pointed out by JarMan above, that depends on whether there are in fact items which are authentically new expressions or grammatical forms from a later time.  JarMan listed examples of claimed later expressions and noted that several had been found in an earlier period.  That leaves very few, and those may in fact end up on our earlier list.  There are whole dictionaries of such later expressions.  Can you find several legitimate ones?  If the BoM is indeed a 19th century product, it should be very easy to demonstrate uniquely later words and phrases.

John R. Bartlett, ed., Dictionary of Americanisms. A glossary of words and phrases, usually regarded as peculiar to the United States (N.Y.: Bartlett and Welford, 1848), online at https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryofamer00bart#page/n5/mode/2up .  2nd ed. (Boston: Little Brown, 1859), online at https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryofamer00bartiala?ref=ol , 3rd ed. (1860), online at https://archive.org/stream/dictionaryameri00bartgoog?ref=ol .

John Pickering, A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to The United States of America, 2nd ed. (Boston:  Cummings and Hilliard, 1816).

 

Has anyone looked to see how much of the book of mormon is in post EmodE English?  Shouldn't the answer be zero if the book of mormon was, as claimed, a translation from EmodE  times?

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12 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

EModE "fountain of all righteousness" (John Calvin) is most common in the 16th century, but rare in the 19th,  Similarly for EModE "demands of justice."

The phrase "demands of justice" was not rare at all in the nineteenth-century, as a cursory glance at virtually any database of nineteenth-century texts will attest.

Here is just a small sampling of publications from the 1820s using the phrase in discussions of Christ's Atonement: 

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/t7vm44096&view=1up&seq=22&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015067250574&view=1up&seq=16&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044054765060&view=1up&seq=74&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.ah67cw&view=1up&seq=65&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044077882447&view=1up&seq=58&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433068246846&view=1up&seq=89&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=njp.32101066134774&view=1up&seq=151&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.ah6kga&view=1up&seq=67&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hxjh24&view=1up&seq=18&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.ah6myx&view=1up&seq=30&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.ah6n14&view=1up&seq=285&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.ah6c24&view=1up&seq=187&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.ah5nfs&view=1up&seq=72&q1="demands of justice"

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nyp.33433070796580&view=1up&seq=117&q1="demands of justice"

The phrase "fountain of all righteousness" was less ubiquitous than "demands of justice" but was by no means unavailable to Joseph Smith. It appears in Adam Clarke's commentary on the Bible, for one.

Edited by Nevo
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18 minutes ago, Robert J Anderson said:

Has anyone looked to see how much of the book of mormon is in post EmodE English?  Shouldn't the answer be zero if the book of mormon was, as claimed, a translation from EmodE  times?

We can never achieve zero on any phenomenon of that kind, but we should be able to demonstrate statistical peaks and valleys diachronically.  Achieving zero assumes that we know everything and control the data, which we do not.

Also, an 1829 BofM in EModE does not imply "translation."  Also possible is the original creation of the BofM the same way Tolkien produced his wonderful tall tales.

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