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'Inspired fiction' and doctrine and covenants section 27


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23 hours ago, smac97 said:

This passage includes a roll call of biblical prophets: Elias, John the Baptist, Elijah, Joseph of Egypt, Jacob (Israel), Isaac, Abraham, Michael (Adam), Peter, James and John.  I assume this list is not exhaustive.  Moses, Noah and Enoch are all notable biblical figures who are absent from it. 

The two non-biblical figures are, of course, Joseph Smith and Moroni.  

In any event, I am curious if there are any adherents of the "Inspired Fiction" on this board would be willing to share their thoughts regarding the inclusion of the purportedly-fictional Moroni on this list of persons who shall "drink of the fruit of the vine {} on the earth" with Jesus Christ (perhaps at Adam-ondi-Ahman?).

At least half the people named in vv. 6–12 are likely fictional, so there's no problem with Moroni being included with them. Also, these verses were added later by Joseph Smith. None of those figures were mentioned in the original revelation in 1830.

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1 hour ago, Nevo said:

At least half the people named in vv. 6–12 are likely fictional, so there's no problem with Moroni being included with them. 

Which ones do you believe are fictional?

1 hour ago, Nevo said:

Also, these verses were added later by Joseph Smith. None of those figures were mentioned in the original revelation in 1830.

Okay.  And that establishes what, in your view?

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 3/22/2021 at 7:54 PM, smac97 said:

Which ones do you believe are fictional?

I think Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are probably fictional. Elijah may be as well. Elias, an otherwise unattested prophetic contemporary of Abraham, appears to be an invention of Joseph Smith.

The view that the patriarchal narratives contain "substantial historicity" was largely abandoned by biblical scholars and archaeologists over 40 years ago. It is now common for textbooks to discuss the late, legendary character of the stories and basically dismiss their historical reliability. Lester Grabbe, for example, notes that

  • the patriarchal stories have "no direct external confirmation, either epigraphic or literary"
  • "except for Jacob/Israel, the references to the patriarchs are attested in Israelite tradition only late. Apart from the Genesis texts, Abraham and Isaac are little mentioned."
  • "the patriarchal narratives in Genesis in their present form reflect a later time, with many anachronistic details" (Grabbe, Ancient Israel, 52–53)

J. Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes, in A History of Ancient Israel and Judah, essentially write off Genesis to Joshua as "folk traditions" and start their historical investigation with the Book of Judges. William Dever has likewise recently noted that the pentateuchal narratives (including all of Genesis) are "largely useless for historical reconstruction." He continues: "Some of the events narrated in Genesis may have some historical basis, but there is no direct archaeological corroboration. Indeed, the patriarchal stories as they now stand combine so many diverse elements from so many periods that the narratives cannot be dated or placed in any one archaeological phase or historical era. . . . These stories are part of a late literary construct, an attempt to create a prehistory and an identity during the monarchy, one that is beyond our reach. The story is more cultural memory than history" (Dever, Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah, 120).

In a similar vein, P. Kyle McCarter and Ronald Hendel note that "the men and women who appear in Genesis 12–50 are less accessible as historical individuals than as typological prefigurations of the later Israelites and their neighbors. In many cases, they are eponyms; that is, persons from whom the names of the later groups were supposed to be derived" (McCarter and Hendel, "The Patriarchal Age," in Ancient Israel, ed. H. Shanks, 4).

Konrad Schmid writes: "It does not seem possible any longer, by literary-critical means, to get behind the national-historical form of the Jacob cycle we now have, which is intended to equate Jacob with Israel and Esau with Edom, with Laban consequently standing for Aram" (Schmid, The Old Testament: A Literary History, 59). Later, he observes that the Isaac traditions are likely older than the Abraham traditions and that "the present genealogical sequence of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as grandfather, father, and son is probably a basic reflection of the transformations in the political significance of these figures: with the fall of the Northern Kingdom and the dissolution of the sanctuary in Bethel the originally important figure from central Palestine, Jacob, gradually declined in significance in contrast to the Judahite figures of Abraham and Isaac, so that Jacob ultimately took his place at the end of the relational sequence" (85).

According to Schmid, the Joseph story was originally a separate novella probably composed during the exile (perhaps in Egypt), and the "overarching patriarchal narrative containing Genesis 12–50" was "created in the exilic period by means of the redactional joining of these existing cycles plus the Joseph narrative" (123).

Edited by Nevo
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26 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

I would also like to know why this is relevant to the question of whether they are fictional characters or not.  

I don't know if it is relevant. I just thought it was worth noting that these verses were inserted years later by Joseph Smith. They were not part of the original revelation.

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41 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

The verses were published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (see page 180), but not the 1833 Book of Commandments.   I would also like to know why this is relevant to the question of whether they are fictional characters or not.  

In August 1830, when Joseph was met by the messenger that revealed D&C27, Moroni hadn't yet been identified as the angel that revealed the Book of Mormon. 

Every person that encountered Moroni previous to the addition of Verse 5 described an old traveller wandering around Palmyra with golden plates in a backpack and, according to one account, a caged monkey.

I'm not an inspired-fiction adherent, but I see no problem taking the earliest accounts of Moroni and the golden plates at face value while also believing that Joseph was told by a messenger on the road that he'd one day drink some fruit of the vine with someone named Moroni.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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3 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

In August 1830, when Joseph was met by the messenger that revealed D&C27, Moroni hadn't yet been identified as the angel that revealed the Book of Mormon. 

Every person that encountered Moroni previous to the addition of Verse 5 described an old traveller wandering around Palmyra with golden plates in a backpack and, according to one account, a caged monkey.

I'm not an inspired-fiction adherent, but I see no problem taking the earliest accounts of Moroni and the golden plates at face value while also believing that Joseph was told by a messenger on the road that he'd one day drink some fruit of the vine with someone named Moroni.

Not that it means anything....I find the old traveler stories rather endearing.  As for inspired-fiction.....oh fiddle-sticks no!  I think Arab and Chinese geographers have done more than enough to demonstrate how strong a foundation the Book of Mormon has as an historical account/lineage history.  In time I think we'll be seeing more bulls-eye epigraphic evidence as well.  

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36 minutes ago, Douglas Avans said:

Not that it means anything....I find the old traveler stories rather endearing.  As for inspired-fiction.....oh fiddle-sticks no!  I think Arab and Chinese geographers have done more than enough to demonstrate how strong a foundation the Book of Mormon has as an historical account/lineage history.  In time I think we'll be seeing more bulls-eye epigraphic evidence as well.  

As I have already mentioned in this thread, we have plenty of hard evidence for the authenticity of the BofM which can pass scholarly muster.  We need to be able to separate the things we cannot know from those which we can in order to reach even tentative conclusions.

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5 hours ago, Nevo said:

I think Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph are probably fictional. Elijah may be as well. Elias, an otherwise unattested prophetic contemporary of Abraham, appears to be an invention of Joseph Smith.

Whether archetypal, fictional, or real, you are pretty  much doing the same thing as the believers in Holy Writ -- accepting or rejecting at face value, without actual evidence one way or another.  Speculation is fine, but it ought to be acknowledged up front.

5 hours ago, Nevo said:

The view that the patriarchal narratives contain "substantial historicity" was largely abandoned by biblical scholars and archaeologists over 40 years ago. ........................ William Dever has likewise recently noted that the pentateuchal narratives (including all of Genesis) are "largely useless for historical reconstruction." He continues: "Some of the events narrated in Genesis may have some historical basis, but there is no direct archaeological corroboration. Indeed, the patriarchal stories as they now stand combine so many diverse elements from so many periods that the narratives cannot be dated or placed in any one archaeological phase or historical era. . . . These stories are part of a late literary construct, an attempt to create a prehistory and an identity during the monarchy, one that is beyond our reach. The story is more cultural memory than history" (Dever, Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah, 120).

In a similar vein, P. Kyle McCarter and Ronald Hendel note that "the men and women who appear in Genesis 12–50 are less accessible as historical individuals than as typological prefigurations of the later Israelites and their neighbors. In many cases, they are eponyms; that is, persons from whom the names of the later groups were supposed to be derived" (McCarter and Hendel, "The Patriarchal Age," in Ancient Israel, ed. H. Shanks, 4).

Konrad Schmid writes: "It does not seem possible any longer, by literary-critical means, to get behind the national-historical form of the Jacob cycle we now have, which is intended to equate Jacob with Israel and Esau with Edom, with Laban consequently standing for Aram" (Schmid, The Old Testament: A Literary History, 59). Later, he observes that the Isaac traditions are likely older than the Abraham traditions and that "the present genealogical sequence of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as grandfather, father, and son is probably a basic reflection of the transformations in the political significance of these figures: with the fall of the Northern Kingdom and the dissolution of the sanctuary in Bethel the originally important figure from central Palestine, Jacob, gradually declined in significance in contrast to the Judahite figures of Abraham and Isaac, so that Jacob ultimately took his place at the end of the relational sequence" (85).

According to Schmid, the Joseph story was originally a separate novella probably composed during the exile (perhaps in Egypt), and the "overarching patriarchal narrative containing Genesis 12–50" was "created in the exilic period by means of the redactional joining of these existing cycles plus the Joseph narrative" (123).

Speculation is indeed rife, but it is no more than that.  You are giving it substantive value far beyond any evidence (or absence of evidence) to support it.  Frank Moore Cross Jr likewise had this to say:

Quote

The patriarchal traditions were an integral element in Israel’s early epic (although it must be said that the history of the patriarchs has been vastly expanded by later accretions before achieving its present agglutinative mass).  Much of the patriarchal lore is very old, some of it reaching back, perhaps, into the Middle Bronze Age.  As an epic cycle it evidently existed prior to the epic materials recounting exodus, covenant, and conquest.  There is, on the other hand, no reason to believe that the bundle of exodus, Sinai, and conquest themes ever existed detached from or separated from patriarchal epic tradition – save in its purely mythic prototype.  Cross, From Epic to Canon: History and Literature in Ancient Israel (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1998), 47.

The notion that everything about Israel is late is directly contradicted by the library found in 2nd millennium BC Ugarit (Ras Shamra), as has already been pointed out by the best scholarship -- as I have shown in my “Ugaritic Precursors to Israelite Cult,” Sept 2017, online at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lY0DRkTRZbrAp_1JsOvIxDWjQfodYZbk/view?usp=sharing .  It turns out that the Israelites were Canaanites who spoke Canaanite and worshiped a Canaanite god long before the foundation of the Davidic monarchy.  It is nonsense to suppose that everything about ancient Israel is mere invention.                    

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5 hours ago, Nevo said:

............. are probably fictional. Elijah may be as well. Elias, an otherwise unattested prophetic contemporary of Abraham, appears to be an invention of Joseph Smith...............

You have pointed out that Elias did not appear in Book of Commandments 28 (D&C 27), Aug-Sep 1830.  He also did not appear in D&C 133:55, rec'd in Nov 1831.  The latter lists Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and Jesus.

The problem is that the JST/Inspired Revision of the Bible rephrases Mark 9:4 making Elias on the Mount of Transfiguration to be John the Baptist – whom Jesus himself speaks of as “Elijah,” as though it were a title (Matthew 11:13-14), like "Messiah."  Late in his career, Joseph gave a discourse, from which B. H. Roberts' History of the Church VI:254 contains this:

Quote

The spirit of Elias is first,
    Elijah second,
    and Messiah last.
    Elias is a forerunner to prepare the way,
    and the spirit and power of Elijah is to come after,
    holding the keys of power,
    building the Temple to the capstone,
    placing the seals of the Melchizedek Priesthood upon the house of Israel,
    and making all things ready;
    then Messiah comes to his Temple,
    which is last of all.
    Messiah is above the spirit and power of Elijah,
    for He made the world,
    and was that spiritual rock unto Moses in the Wilderness.
    Elijah was to come and prepare the way
    and build up the kingdom
    before the coming of the great day of the Lord,
    although the spirit of Elias might begin it.

Moreover, D&C 110, rec'd April 3, 1836 (at Passover)  was not printed in the D&C in Joseph's lifetime (Warren Cowdery was scribe for that).

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17 hours ago, smac97 said:

Sounds good.

I think a run-of-the-mill atheist who has already affirmatively rejected belief in the existence of God is going to understandably have similar responses to both the origins of the Book of Mormon and the miraculous events described in the Bible.  

The part I don't understand is how religionists - particularly Non-Latter-day Saint Christians - can find the purported origins of our beliefs to be too absurd to take seriously, while at the same time holding to beliefs regarding the miracles in the Bible.  

As for straight-up atheism, I find it untenable from an evidentiary/reasoning standpoint.  Agnosticism seems to be the most reasonable alternative to theism.  And even then, I find one of its core constituent elements untenable: that "the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience."  

Thanks,

-Smac

Self-described atheists don’t believe in “God.” Some have a positive disbelief—they think “God” does not exist for the same reason an Invisible Pink Unicorn does not exist—in addition to being intrinsically unlikely, something can’t be both invisible and pink—it is self-contradictory and this couldn’t exist.

But in general, when someone says they are an atheist, they are saying, “I don’t believe in ‘God’, I.e. I lack belief in God.” 

Theism means believing in God. Atheism is a-theism, i.e. without theism.

When someone judges that the case in favor of theism has not been made, atheism is the logical result. That is how atheists think of the situation, at least.

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5 hours ago, Douglas Avans said:

As for inspired-fiction.....oh fiddle-sticks no! 

I'm somewhere in between inspired fiction and historical record, probably a bit of both. Last night I was listening to the History of the Rechabites, an authentic 4th century Jewish/Christian text and the similarities with the Book of Mormon narrative are unmistakable:

https://youtu.be/kRCFHg1rZt0?t=948

Starting at 15:49, the context for this text is a Christian monk who had asked God to show him where a mysterious group of First Temple tent-dwelling Israelites had disappeared to. The monk, after praying to know their identity and location, was led to an island in the middle of the sea that was inhabited by those tent-dwelling people from Jerusalem. 

Those Israelites told the monk that although they had been separated by great waters from their brothers in Jerusalem, they had inscribed their own history on tablets so that their history would be as salvation for those in Jerusalem. These isolated Israelites, even though they left Jerusalem 600 years before Christ, knew of Jesus and the virgin Mary.

Challenge: listen for 3-5 minutes starting at 15:49, and ask, how did Joseph Smith write a book of fiction that was so similar to a 4th century Jewish Christian text, that had been translated to English after the publication of the Book of Mormon?

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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My take on the Book of Mormon is that it is an ancient history and as such it should not be expected to be totally and completely literal, nor should it be expected to adhere to modern Western standards of historiography and for that matter cartography. One of the most significant lessons in my World History studies was an introduction to the first Sumerian proto-maps. They looked nothing like what I would recognize as a map. The Babylonian Map of the World (circa 700-500 BC, around Nephi and Lehi's time) has Babylon in the middle, bisected by the Euphrates, and surrounded by oceans. I read that and immediately tossed the Zarahemla criteria of "nearly surrounded by water" out the window because Babylon is not surrounded by water, but if they saw it as such, then clearly there are elements to this that I am not perceiving which we must consider when addressing Book of Mormon geographies. For that matter, Susa and Assur appear to me to be mislocated on this map, as well as Habban, so frankly my concern for Book of Mormon cartography is rapidly diminished when I realize that this is the closest we have to a cartographic standard. 

There's also the question of Mormon's own sources. The Book of Mormon was not written along with Nephite history, it was written at the end. I have to wonder at the accuracy of the archives Mormon was working with, I wouldn't think that they were guaranteed. Again, treating the Book of Mormon like an ancient book here. 

Finally, there's the matter of translation methodology. I tend to lean more towards Gardner and less towards Carmack and Skousen in my thinking regarding translation. If Joseph had significant input into the process then that could introduce some natural errors. Brigham Young seemed to think that the Book of Mormon translation was in no way perfect. That could have a lot to do with a lot of common issues. There's also the admittedly out-there but theoretically possible idea that the Lord intentionally obscured certain elements of the Book of Mormon to prevent us from finding Zarahemla and its whereabouts as that would constitute the kind of global theophany that He expressly cannot do for a host of reasons. This would have the downside, for those who care, of making the Book of Mormon functionally untestable. Cry me a River Sidon. 

So, honestly, I don't think everything in the Book of Mormon should be taken as literal, Western-historiographic truth. I think it should be treated as the ancient record that it is, which requires us to revisit our expectations. And, though I am by no means a inspired-fiction advocate, I do think we could afford to recognize that God is not a First-World Westerner and His standards for what can serve as His scripture are  guaranteed not to square with our expectations of hyperliteralist history. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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On 3/22/2021 at 3:21 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

The "inspired fiction" theory is actually a step up from the older claims that the BofM was a horrible read (Twain comparing it to "chloroform in print").  Claims of lack of historicity are now often accompanied by an admission that it contains many high-minded sentiments and beautiful turns of phrase.  After all there are some very well known pseudepigrapha out there  Why can't the BofM be one of them?

However, much the same could be (and has been) said of the Bible.  Or indeed of Homeric Epic.  Great literature does not need to be historically true to be inspiring.  Failure to recognize that is just silly.

We cannot expect everyone to accept the miraculous or the supernatural at face value (if those are even viable categories).  It is not wrong to be skeptical in the face of such enormous (some would say preposterous) claims.  "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (Carl Sagan).

Golly.

Someone should write about just how "preposterous" it is. !! ;)  ;)

 

 

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4 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

 

My take on the Book of Mormon is that it is an ancient history and as such it should not be expected to be totally and completely literal, nor should it be expected to adhere to modern Western standards of historiography and for that matter cartography. 

The Lehites and Mulekites would have encountered more accomplished navigators and more knowledgeable cartographers along the way. Without that extra information, I don't imagine either group would have thought it'd be a great idea to sail their boats into the deep ocean, away from the single landmass known to the Babylonians.

Quote

so frankly my concern for Book of Mormon cartography is rapidly diminished when I realize that this is the closest we have to a cartographic standard. 

The best example of a source of 6th century BC Israelite migrations documented in the 4th century AD is the History of the Rechabites linked above. That text indicates a migration from Jerusalem to an island, nearly surrounded by water.

There's nothing out-of-place or unusual about the internal map of the Book of Mormon as it would have been known in the 4th century AD.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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12 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Golly.

Someone should write about just how "preposterous" it is. !! ;)  ;) ...


What are you doing advocating the views of someone who believes that empirical evidence exists that favors the Book of Mormon? :huh::unknw:  Aren't you the same guy who practically came to the verbal equivalent of fisticuffs a few weeks ago with Ryan Dahle over that issue on another thread?  Personally, I think you two should shake hands and make up (I was gonna say "kiss and make up," but ...  ! :friends:)   Recall, too, that I tried ... completely unsuccessfully, alas, but I tried! :(:blink: ... to defend you by attempting to create room for both pragmatic and literalist approaches, explaining how each might be able to buttress the other even though they are different paradigms.  Alas!, my efforts at peacemaking, bridge-building, and harmonization of different approaches fell on deaf ears!  Whaddayagonnado? :unknw:

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6 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:


What are you doing advocating the views of someone who believes that empirical evidence exists that favors the Book of Mormon? :huh::unknw:  Aren't you the same guy who practically came to the verbal equivalent of fisticuffs a few weeks ago with Ryan Dahle over that issue on another thread?  Personally, I think you two should shake hands and make up (I was gonna say "kiss and make up," but ...  ! :friends:)   Recall, too, that I tried ... completely unsuccessfully, alas, but I tried! :(:blink: ... to defend you by attempting to create room for both pragmatic and literalist approaches, explaining how each might be able to buttress the other even though they are different paradigms.  Alas!, my efforts at peacemaking, bridge-building, and harmonization of different approaches fell on deaf ears!  Whaddayagonnado? :unknw:

LOL, I was referring to Robert F Smith's presentation on how viewing the BOM as "preposterous" can actually be seen as evidence for it.  I linked to the video of his Fairmormon presentation- that should explain what I was talking about.

I love Ryan but we live on different philosophical planets.

Thankew fer yore support, Sur.  It is mah play-jure ta hayve y'all hep me out on dis hayer stuff what is hayrd ta unnerstan!  :friends:

 

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On 3/23/2021 at 7:54 AM, Rajah Manchou said:

Challenge: listen for 3-5 minutes starting at 15:49, and ask, how did Joseph Smith write a book of fiction that was so similar to a 4th century Jewish Christian text, that had been translated to English after the publication of the Book of Mormon?

The 17th Century author who incorporated many elements of Roman warfare into the Book of Mormon had access to the Zosimus manuscript (one apparently existed in Paris at the time) and also incorporated elements of it into his writing.

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7 hours ago, JarMan said:

The 17th Century author who incorporated many elements of Roman warfare into the Book of Mormon had access to the Zosimus manuscript (one apparently existed in Paris at the time) and also incorporated elements of it into his writing.

The Narrative of Zosimus, a 5th century expansion on the History of the Rechabites, was well-known outside the Anglophone world for centuries, particularly in Slavonic and Russian literature.

IMO, The Book of Mormon is another expansion on the History of the Rechabites.

Even Book of Mormon scholars catch that there's something there:  

The Rechabites: A Model Group in Lehi's World, Thompson, Jeffrey P., and John W. Welch
The 'Narrative of Zosimus' and the Book of Mormon, Daniel Peterson

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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45 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

The Narrative of Zosimus, a 5th century expansion on the History of the Rechabites, was well-known outside the Anglophone world for centuries, particularly in Slavonic and Russian literature.

IMO, The Book of Mormon is another expansion on the History of the Rechabites.

Even Book of Mormon scholars catch that there's something there:  

The Rechabites: A Model Group in Lehi's World, Thompson, Jeffrey P., and John W. Welch
The 'Narrative of Zosimus' and the Book of Mormon, Daniel Peterson

I remember feeling that Rajah is on to something associating the Book of Mormon character usually associated with Columbus with Zosimus instead.  I think that was insightful and that his grounds are solid, fwiw.  

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On 3/25/2021 at 8:11 PM, Douglas Avans said:

I remember feeling that Rajah is on to something associating the Book of Mormon character usually associated with Columbus with Zosimus instead.  I think that was insightful and that his grounds are solid, fwiw.  

I hadn't followed that thought at the time, but reviewing it now, there are some interesting similarities between the Zosimus narrative and 1 Nephi 13.

  1. A group of Israelites fled the destruction of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC.
  2. They are led by God across the waters and end up on an island in the sea that was given to them by God.
  3. Around the early 5th century AD, a Saint of God named Zosimus was carried across the waters to establish contact with them.
  4. Zosimus carried the record of this people (another Testament of Jesus Christ) back to Palestine.
  5. Satan, fearing the spread of this secondary testament which would be as salvation to those who read it, challenged Zosimus.
  6. Satan loses the challenge.
  7. For 36 years, Zosimus taught other monks in the desert the contents of that history.

"And all the monks were gathered together and all who heard it, and this testament was read to all of them, and in such life [Zosimus] gave up his soul to God." (source)

Edit: worth mentioning that the number of years Zosimus lived in a cave while he instructed his desert brothers in the content of the Rechabite testament is the same number of years Moroni wandered with the plates: 36. Paul Owen has already pointed out that 421 AD (the closing of the Book of Mormon) is the traditional Catholic date of the death of Saint Mary of Egypt. She was one of the most prominent of the Desert Mothers and a close associate of St. Zosimus. (source)

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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On 3/21/2021 at 6:58 PM, smac97 said:

In any event, I am curious if there are any adherents of the "Inspired Fiction" on this board would be willing to share their thoughts regarding the inclusion of the purportedly-fictional Moroni on this list of persons who shall "drink of the fruit of the vine {} on the earth" with Jesus Christ (perhaps at Adam-ondi-Ahman?).

I do not believe that the BOM is inspired fiction but I would have no problem seeing it that way.

 But I do not think that your argument here refutes that idea one bit. 

Lots of novels, especially historical novels,  mention "real" people.

 And in fact there are a lot of these  about the church. 

The fact that a fictional character is mentioned in different places by the same author, shows nothing. How many times does Harry Potter's name appear in all that series of books?  One could consider that all that is happening here is the creation of a  fictional world like again,  Harry Potter or Star Wars.

 Star Wars itself creates  kind of fictitious religion.

 Add what if The Bible itself is fictitious?

 That could be analogous to a new Batman movie. You want to mix the new characters with the old.

Edited by mfbukowski
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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I do not believe that the BOM is inspired fiction but I would have no problem seeing it that way.

 But I do not think that your argument here refutes that idea one bit. 

Lots of novels, especially historical novels,  mention "real" people.

 And in fact there are a lot of these  about the church. 

The fact that a fictional character is mentioned in different places by the same author, shows nothing. How many times does Harry Potter's name appear in all that series of books?  One could consider that all that is happening here is the creation of a  fictional world like again,  Harry Potter or Star Wars.

 Star Wars itself creates  kind of fictitious religion.

 Add what if The Bible itself is fictitious?

 That could be analogous to a new Batman movie. You want to mix the new characters with the old.

Likewise I don't believe the  Book of Mormon to be inspired fiction. I wouldn't call it "fiction" in any case. But my main reasons for holding to that are the tangible existence of the plates and the presence of a real angel Moroni who talked to Joseph Smith. Those are really my anchors for historicity, and if I'm honest, since I'm not a deontological ethicist and AM a skeptical theist, I could see God creating those situations from thin air in pursuit of a higher goal. It is not beyond God to produce a set of metal plates for His own ends.

Nonetheless, I'm not really committed to that. But it is possible. 

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18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:
Quote

In any event, I am curious if there are any adherents of the "Inspired Fiction" on this board would be willing to share their thoughts regarding the inclusion of the purportedly-fictional Moroni on this list of persons who shall "drink of the fruit of the vine {} on the earth" with Jesus Christ (perhaps at Adam-ondi-Ahman?).

I do not believe that the BOM is inspired fiction but I would have no problem seeing it that way.

 But I do not think that your argument here refutes that idea one bit. 

Okay.

18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Lots of novels, especially historical novels,  mention "real" people.

 And in fact there are a lot of these  about the church. 

But novels are understood to be fictional.  

18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

The fact that a fictional character is mentioned in different places by the same author, shows nothing.

You presuppose that which is in dispute, namely, that Moroni is "fictional."

18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

How many times does Harry Potter's name appear in all that series of books?  One could consider that all that is happening here is the creation of a  fictional world like again,  Harry Potter or Star Wars.

 Star Wars itself creates  kind of fictitious religion.

 Add what if The Bible itself is fictitious?

What if we are all just part of a big computer simulation?

Interposing imponderables doesn't really advance the discussion.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 3/22/2021 at 7:38 PM, Nevo said:

At least half the people named in vv. 6–12 are likely fictional, so there's no problem with Moroni being included with them. [Emphasis added by Kenngo1969.] Also, these verses were added later by Joseph Smith. None of those figures were mentioned in the original revelation in 1830.

Okay.  So do you reject the supernatural altogether, and/or do you have some other explanation for who appeared (or for what happened to) Joseph Smith on September 21, 1823?

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