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Adam Clarke Bible Commentary Influence in the Book of Mormon?


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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

So his 33 examples where he compared the JST, the KJV, and the Adam Clarke commentary aren't "directly contrast[ed]"?  Or are you reading something different than I did?

He does not directly compare to Clarke.  They are paraphrased comparisons.  Why is that.

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

He does not directly compare to Clarke.  They are paraphrased comparisons.  Why is that.

As I've said previously (I think in this thread), this is a claim where all the cards are on the table, we can look at all the evidence for ourselves.  It is very easy for you and me or anyone to compare the JST changes against the KJV and against the Adam Clarke Commentary (it's online).  And anyone who has looked at the Clarke commentary will understand why you just can't compare the two in every single case, because it is by definition a commentary, with pages and pages of sermon material as well as commentary about the text.  And Jackson does quote the commentary when possible and quotes the Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon study and he presents evidence why the argument for Joseph relying on the commentary falls flat.  

Take Jackson's discussion of Luke 23:32 as an example:

Quote

Luke 23:32

Clarke’s KJV: there were also two other malefactors led with him to be put to death

Joseph Smith’s KJV: there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death

JST: there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death

Adam Clarke’s edition of the King James Bible reads as noted above. He states that this verse “should certainly be translated two others, malefactors. … As it now stands in the text, it seems to intimate that our blessed Lord was also a malefactor.” Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon state, “Apparently in deference to Clarke, Smith rendered the problematic line in precisely the same way,” that is, by inserting the letter to change “other” to “others.”70

But there is nothing here “in deference to Clarke,” and the lack of care with which Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon treat this example is troubling. Unlike Clarke’s Bible, the edition of the KJV that Joseph Smith used in preparing his revision already has “others.” Joseph Smith did not change this verse at all. He simply read it as it appeared in his Bible, and his scribe wrote it down.71

When it is possible to quote Clarke he does so. 

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45 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

Unlike Clarke’s Bible, the edition of the KJV that Joseph Smith used in preparing his revision already has “others.” Joseph Smith did not change this verse at all. He simply read it as it appeared in his Bible, and his scribe wrote it down.71

It isn't the fact that Smith did not change the verse that makes it obvious he is using Clarke, it is the fact he had his scribe write it down. Why even have the scribe write it down if Smith is not looking at Clarke?

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42 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

It isn't the fact that Smith did not change the verse that makes it obvious he is using Clarke, it is the fact he had his scribe write it down. Why even have the scribe write it down if Smith is not looking at Clarke?

Sorry, I'm not following your logic.  If Joseph dictated it then that proves he was looking at the Clarke commentary?

Look at the Joseph Smith Bible for Luke chapter 23, here.   Compare that to the dictated text here.  The scribe wrote down everything, including verses that had no changes at all.  So what is your point?

As I said, we can all check this out for ourselves.  Why argue against the evidence?

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49 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Why even have the scribe write it down if Smith is not looking at Clarke?

Because Smith was looking at his own KJV if I understood the post correctly.

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

Because Smith was looking at his own KJV if I understood the post correctly.

That is correct (see links above).

Edit:  I love the Joseph Smith Papers project, it makes things so accessible.  

Edited by InCognitus
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Well, I'm happy to look at whatever objective data she produced.  But her interpretation of the data carries little weight with me.

I hope she has a change of heart.

Thanks,

-Smac

I’m reading Jackson’s Interpreter piece right now. The sense I’m getting is that we were snookered by the Wayment study, with everybody who cared at all about it hopping onboard and nobody really bothering to look at it critically. Even Jackson himself cited it approvingly in Pearl of Great Price Reference Companion before getting around to taking a close look at it. Now, from what I can tell, he pretty much rejects it in toto. 
 

The question I have to ask: Is this an instance of scholarly group think? What lessons should we draw from it? 

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4 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

Kent Jackson's piece is a poorly-written piece of offal. 

He does not directly contrast the JST rendition of the KJV against the Adam Clarke rendition.  It seems he wants to avoid direct comparison.

He claims that Joseph Smith had plenty of other changes in the BIble not explained by Adam Clark which, as I have observed above, is not proof of anything relevant.

 

2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

As I've said previously (I think in this thread), this is a claim where all the cards are on the table, we can look at all the evidence for ourselves.  It is very easy for you and me or anyone to compare the JST changes against the KJV and against the Adam Clarke Commentary (it's online).  And anyone who has looked at the Clarke commentary will understand why you just can't compare the two in every single case, because it is by definition a commentary, with pages and pages of sermon material as well as commentary about the text.  And Jackson does quote the commentary when possible and quotes the Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon study and he presents evidence why the argument for Joseph relying on the commentary falls flat.  

Take Jackson's discussion of Luke 23:32 as an example:

When it is possible to quote Clarke he does so. 

Oh come on.  You can't see the obvious?

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3 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Sorry, I'm not following your logic.  If Joseph dictated it then that proves he was looking at the Clarke commentary?

Look at the Joseph Smith Bible for Luke chapter 23, here.   Compare that to the dictated text here.  The scribe wrote down everything, including verses that had no changes at all.  So what is your point?

As I said, we can all check this out for ourselves.  Why argue against the evidence?

You are correct. I was thinking about the method Smith used for revising the OT which was only to note when there were changes made. Since they were copying the entire text in the NT, my reasoning does not apply. 

Edited by CA Steve
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23 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

Kent Jackson's piece is a poorly-written piece.

I know he is retired, but working in the Department of Religion doesn't really provide training or ability to do much of anything. 

He does not directly contrast the JST rendition of the KJV against the Adam Clarke rendition.  It seems he wants to avoid direct comparison.

He claims that Joseph Smith had plenty of other changes in the BIble not explained by Adam Clarke which, as I have observed above, is not proof of anything relevant.

Perhaps his thesis is correct, but I need something other than what he has written to be convinced.

Yeah, and BYU's powers-that-be hire the university's religion faculty off the street.  It's not as though they ever actually learn to do anything before they get there.  It's embarrassing, really. :huh::unknw:

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I will add it is odd when it comes to these religious discussions, people tend to see themselves on sides, and then draw conclusions favorable to those sides.  Once someone puts out a new piece or argument supporting one side vs another, we tend to treat the latest as the final word.  My hunch is, this isn't the final word.  I suppose Wayment and Lemmon saw many of the same things Jackson mentions too.  They simply saw their case as fairly solid, based on everything they had dug into, which of course Jackson could not have touched.  Perhaps their problem is publishing small snippets of their findings, or perhaps Jackson has more of a point then they anticipated, in that there is little evidence to conclude Joseph used Clarke.  Of course, what I get from Jackson's piece is, there is far more to say, and far more to look into.  Jackson's critique seems fairly cursory to me--not that he doesn't raise some interesting points.  Wayment/Lemmon's 17 examples seem far less convincing, even if they seemed underwhelming initially.  I'm finding myself half curious in wondering if there is more to other long forgotten commentaries.  The other half of me finds little use in the bible rendering by Joseph to start with.  Its hard to get excited about something that feels useless.  

But...I do think it's been pointed out. Some of the tenuous sounding connections made by Wayment/Lemmon seem even stronger than many of the tenuous sounding connections many apologists seemingly consider solid or unassailable.  I suppose that's what we get, when we see sides, and people letting their bias drive their evaluations.  

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Yeah, and BYU's powers-that-be hire the university's religion faculty off the street.  It's not as though they ever actually learn to do anything before they get there.  It's embarrassing, really. :huh::unknw:

I agree.  I understand the need to teach a religion class to the students and to train seminary teachers, but beyond that they lack the critical academic skills to render an opinion. LIke Jackson. 

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3 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I will add it is odd when it comes to these religious discussions, people tend to see themselves on sides, and then draw conclusions favorable to those sides.  Once someone puts out a new piece or argument supporting one side vs another, we tend to treat the latest as the final word.  My hunch is, this isn't the final word.  I suppose Wayment and Lemmon saw many of the same things Jackson mentions too.  They simply saw their case as fairly solid, based on everything they had dug into, which of course Jackson could not have touched.  Perhaps their problem is publishing small snippets of their findings, or perhaps Jackson has more of a point then they anticipated, in that there is little evidence to conclude Joseph used Clarke.  Of course, what I get from Jackson's piece is, there is far more to say, and far more to look into.  Jackson's critique seems fairly cursory to me--not that he doesn't raise some interesting points.  Wayment/Lemmon's 17 examples seem far less convincing, even if they seemed underwhelming initially.  I'm finding myself half curious in wondering if there is more to other long forgotten commentaries.  The other half of me finds little use in the bible rendering by Joseph to start with.  Its hard to get excited about something that feels useless.  

But...I do think it's been pointed out. Some of the tenuous sounding connections made by Wayment/Lemmon seem even stronger than many of the tenuous sounding connections many apologists seemingly consider solid or unassailable.  I suppose that's what we get, when we see sides, and people letting their bias drive their evaluations.  

I too find it interesting in how posters have divided into one of two sides based on their biases.  Here is what we are left with.  Either you believe that 01. Joseph Smith received divine inspiration and received revelation to correct scribal errors in the Bible and was able to produce a more correct version of the Bible, restoring the Bible to its original intended text found in the original manuscripts that formed the Bible or 02. That he borrowed from other sources that were available to him and that we know he had access to, which includes Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary, sprinkled with his own intellect and good luck at having been able to make changes to many of the same exact places commented on by Clarke. 

I tend to see the JST as a human endeavor, so I guess that puts me in Camp #2

 

Edited by Fair Dinkum
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2 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I too find it interesting in how posters have divided into one of two sides based on their biases.  Here is what we are left with.  Either you believe that 01. Joseph Smith received divine inspiration and received revelation to correct scribal errors in the Bible and was able to produce a more correct version of the Bible, restoring the Bible to its original intended text found in the original manuscripts that formed the Bible or 02. That he borrowed from other sources that were available to him and that we know he had access to, which includes Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary, sprinkled with his own intellect and good luck at having been able to make changes to many of the same exact places commented on by Clarke. 

I tend to see the JST as a human endeavor, so I guess that puts me in Camp #2

 

Its a good camp to be in.  We usually have the best food.  

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1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I too find it interesting in how posters have divided into one of two sides based on their biases.  Here is what we are left with.  Either you believe that 01. Joseph Smith received divine inspiration and received revelation to correct scribal errors in the Bible and was able to produce a more correct version of the Bible, restoring the Bible to its original intended text found in the original manuscripts that formed the Bible or 02. That he borrowed from other sources that were available to him and that we know he had access to, which includes Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary, sprinkled with his own intellect and good luck at having been able to make changes to many of the same exact places commented on by Clarke. 

I tend to see the JST as a human endeavor, so I guess that puts me in Camp #2

But this kind of false dichotomy distorts reality and forces a person to choose one side or the other, doesn't it?  In reality there are a multitude of possibilities, all evident in the Joseph Smith history and in the lives of anyone else who has received revelation from God.

Consider the last General Conference, when President Nelson spoke on the gathering of Israel.  He said, "I have studied the gathering [of Israel], prayed about it, feasted upon every related scripture, and asked the Lord to increase my understanding."  He said he was led to new insight "with the help of two Hebrew scholars" about the meaning of the word Israel.  That insight brought about new understanding to him, and he expounded on how that meaning can apply to all of the work of gathering Israel.  So he prayed for increased understanding, and he was led to scholarly sources, and he received increased understanding, some of which became the subject matter for his talk in conference.  Given your two choices above, where does this fit?  Was this all merely a scholarly endeavor, or was the Spirit leading him on the path to greater understanding?   It's not just a simple black and white answer, door number one or door number two, like you describe above.

And for Joseph Smith, the path to revelation in his life began by reading a verse of scripture.  Reading from a book is an academic exercise.  But it led to him seeking the Lord in prayer and he received further revelation from there.  So it's not just only revelation on one side and only academic sources on the other, that's a false dichotomy.  Revelation comes by faith and as a result of our searching and willingness to come to a greater understanding of the things of God, from whatever sources are available to us.  Consequently, I would have no problem with the idea that Joseph may have used the Adam Clarke commentary in the process of creating the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, because that would just be another valid catalyst that could lead to greater understanding and further revelation.  But so far I haven't seen any convincing evidence that he did that.

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2 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I too find it interesting in how posters have divided into one of two sides based on their biases.  Here is what we are left with.  Either you believe that 01. Joseph Smith received divine inspiration and received revelation to correct scribal errors in the Bible and was able to produce a more correct version of the Bible, restoring the Bible to its original intended text found in the original manuscripts that formed the Bible or 02. That he borrowed from other sources that were available to him and that we know he had access to, which includes Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary, sprinkled with his own intellect and good luck at having been able to make changes to many of the same exact places commented on by Clarke. 

I tend to see the JST as a human endeavor, so I guess that puts me in Camp #2

 

I'm a believer, and a former Bishop.  I think Jackson's article about Clarke is ludicrous.  He's untrained.  Not peer reviewed.  

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10 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I'm a believer, and a former Bishop.  I think Jackson's article about Clarke is ludicrous.  He's untrained.  Not peer reviewed.  

Deal with his arguments and demonstrate why you think his article is "ludicrous".  Attacking the person doesn't deal with what he wrote (and at least he's using his real name, so you can't use that against him).  All the cards are on the table.  Engage with what he said and explain where you think he is messed up.  That's what peer review is all about. 

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5 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

I agree.  I understand the need to teach a religion class to the students and to train seminary teachers, but beyond that they lack the critical academic skills to render an opinion. LIke Jackson. 

Whoosh!!!!!

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44 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

But this kind of false dichotomy distorts reality and forces a person to choose one side or the other, doesn't it?  In reality there are a multitude of possibilities, all evident in the Joseph Smith history and in the lives of anyone else who has received revelation from God.

Consider the last General Conference, when President Nelson spoke on the gathering of Israel.  He said, "I have studied the gathering [of Israel], prayed about it, feasted upon every related scripture, and asked the Lord to increase my understanding."  He said he was led to new insight "with the help of two Hebrew scholars" about the meaning of the word Israel.  That insight brought about new understanding to him, and he expounded on how that meaning can apply to all of the work of gathering Israel.  So he prayed for increased understanding, and he was led to scholarly sources, and he received increased understanding, some of which became the subject matter for his talk in conference.  Given your two choices above, where does this fit?  Was this all merely a scholarly endeavor, or was the Spirit leading him on the path to greater understanding?   It's not just a simple black and white answer, door number one or door number two, like you describe above.

And for Joseph Smith, the path to revelation in his life began by reading a verse of scripture.  Reading from a book is an academic exercise.  But it led to him seeking the Lord in prayer and he received further revelation from there.  So it's not just only revelation on one side and only academic sources on the other, that's a false dichotomy.  Revelation comes by faith and as a result of our searching and willingness to come to a greater understanding of the things of God, from whatever sources are available to us.  Consequently, I would have no problem with the idea that Joseph may have used the Adam Clarke commentary in the process of creating the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, because that would just be another valid catalyst that could lead to greater understanding and further revelation.  But so far I haven't seen any convincing evidence that he did that.

So you’re in camp #1 🤪 But seriously Smith either was inspired in his bible or he was not, it’s not that difficult.

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11 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

So you’re in camp #1 🤪 But seriously Smith either was inspired in his bible or he was not, it’s not that difficult.

No, it is more complex than that.  Using academic sources as a catalyst to receive inspiration does not mean the process of producing the Bible version is not inspired.

Edit:  I'm trying to understand your thinking on this.  You put me in camp #1 even though I allowed for academic sources in the process.  Did you categorize me that way simply because I allowed for some revelation in the process?   How much allowance for revelation or use of academic sources puts a person in camp #1 or camp #2?

Edited by InCognitus
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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

Deal with his arguments and demonstrate why you think his article is "ludicrous".  Attacking the person doesn't deal with what he wrote (and at least he's using his real name, so you can't use that against him).  All the cards are on the table.  Engage with what he said and explain where you think he is messed up.  That's what peer review is all about. 

 His article is ludicrous.  I'm not saying he's ludicrous.  I don't know anything about cards or what that has to do with my challenge to his article.  I'm not aware of any peer review and he's not claiming it.

Don't accept at face value everything an apologist writes in defense of the Church.  Some of it is terrible.  Encourage the best.

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

 His article is ludicrous.  I'm not saying he's ludicrous.  I don't know anything about cards or what that has to do with my challenge to his article.  I'm not aware of any peer review and he's not claiming it.

Don't accept at face value everything an apologist writes in defense of the Church.  Some of it is terrible.  Encourage the best.

So deal with his arguments.  Explain why he is wrong instead of attacking his credentials.  Can you do that?

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21 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

So deal with his arguments.  Explain why he is wrong instead of attacking his credentials.  Can you do that?

I've explained it above. 

1.  No peer review.

2.  Usually, no direct comparison between Clarke and the JST other than paraphrasing.

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21 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I've explained it above. 

1.  No peer review.

2.  Usually, no direct comparison between Clarke and the JST other than paraphrasing.

So in other words, in answer to my question about dealing with his specific arguments, your answer is "no", you can't do that.  Instead you generalize and give a sweeping dismissal of his article based on nothing more than your own opinion.  

I gave an example and provided the original source material so you can examine the merit of his argument directly.  Why can't you do the same thing?   I realize that blanket dismissals are much easier, but isn't doing that directly contrary to your recommendation to not accepting everything at "face value"?  You are expecting us to accept your dismissal based only on your vague claims.

All of the source documents for this topic are available to everyone.  It's all on the internet, and this is part of the peer review process.  It is a work in progress.  Why not participate in that process by providing some substance to back your claims and engage him on his specific arguments?

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