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Featured LDS If it is directly from God, he would have good Grammar!!!

Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by Daniel Marsh, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Daniel Marsh

    Daniel Marsh Well-Known Member

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    "
    Since its first publication in 1830, the Book of Mormon has been mocked for what seems to be occasionally poor English and bad grammar. In its original version, for instance, Mosiah 10:15 spoke of people who “had arriven to the promised land”; “they was yet wroth,” reported 1 Nephi 4:4; “I have wrote this epistle,” said Giddianhi at 3 Nephi 3:5; “I was a going thither,” Amulek recalled at Alma 10:8; the original version of Helaman 7:8 and 13:37 referred to events “in them days”; and “they done all these things,” reported Ether 9:29.

    Virtually all, if not all, of these apparent errors have since been corrected. Indeed, many were corrected by Joseph Smith in the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon. But they can’t be altogether hidden, and critics have made light of them for nearly two centuries. A genuinely inspired text, those detractors sniff, would have used correct grammar."
    Editing out the 'bad grammar' in the Book of Mormon

    "MISSPELLED WORDS IN THE BOOK OF MORMON The original edition of the Book of Mormon contained dozens of misspelled words, documenting that the writer had a very poor knowledge of the English language. How could these misspelled words get into a translation allegedly being overseen by the “power of God”? Just a few such errors are listed below. • “journied” (for journeyed; 1 Nephi 4:38; 5:6; 7:6; 18:25; 2 Nephi 5:7; Omni 1:16) • “bellowses” (for bellows; 1 Nephi 17:11) • “feading” (for feeding; Enos 1:20) • “sayeth” (for saith; Mosiah 12:21) • “bablings” (for babblings; Alma 1:32) • “tempels” (for temples; Alma 16:13) • “yars” (for years; Alma 19:16) • “phrensied” (for frenzied; Alma 30:16) • “eigth” (for eighth; Alma 53:23) • “adhear” (for adhere; Alma 60:34) • “eatheth” (for eateth; 3 Nephi 20:8) • “rereward” (for rearward; 3 Nephi 20:42; 21:29)
    ...
    ERRORS IN GRAMMAR There are literally thousands of grammatical errors in the original edition of the Book of Mormon— errors that gradually have been changed in later editions. These take the form of such things as double negatives, incorrect adverbs and adjectives, and incorrect tenses. Note the following examples. • “Behold, for none of these I cannot hope” (2 Nephi 33:9). • “And Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could not understand them” (Omni 1:17). • “And now behold the Lamanites could not retreat neither way” (Helaman 1:31). • “Yea, if my days could have been in them days” (Helaman 7:8). • “And it came to pass that there was certain men passing by” (Helaman 7:11). • “That all might see the writing which he had wrote” (Alma 46:19). • “I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord gave these commandments” (Alma 13:1). [still exists in recent editions] • “They did not fight against God no more” (Alma 23:7).
    “I have wrote to them” (3 Nephi 26:8). • “I were about to write to them” (3 Nephi 26:11). • “...the gates of hell is...” (3 Nephi 18:13). • “...the multitude had all eat” (3 Nephi 20:9). • “I Moroni have written the words which was commanded” (Ether 5:1). • “The law had ought to be done away” (2 Nephi 25:27). • “...which was wrote upon the plates...” (Alma 44:24). • “Adam and Eve, which was our first parents...,” (1 Nephi 5:11). • “...who was the most foremost among them” (Alma 32:5). • “...that there might not be no more sorrow” (Alma 29:2).
    REDUNDANT PHRASES AND WORDS
    http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/book-of-mormon.pdf




    Bad Grammar in the Book of Mormon Found in Early English Bibles
     
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  2. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    Is the Bible perfect? The Book of Mormon does not claim to be perfect:

    (Book of Mormon | Preface Title Page:1 - 2)

    1 Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
    2 An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment–seat of Christ.

    Neither is the Bible perfect.
     
  3. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Is this thread about the Bible? No. It isn't. Stop deflecting.

    The text itself may not claim that, but Joseph Smith famously claimed that it was "the most correct of any book on Earth." Defenders of the BOM and Smith's statement will point out that JS said that with reference to the principles it teaches, not to the grammatical correctness of the text itself, but here's the problem with that: if it is allowed to be nearly unintelligible -- or at the very least, inscrutable -- and still be "the most correct", then what is the point of following it to begin with? Giving it such a pride of place in your spiritual life while at the same time admitting that it does not need to be understandable in order to occupy that place is mere bibliolatry, no different at this level than the faithful Muslim's claims about the Qur'an (which is also thought of by its adherents as the most correct book ever, despite being similarly grammatically obtuse), or the claims of certain 'KJV Only'-type extremely literalist Christians.

    So why then should anyone believe in the BOM over any of these other books that have similar claims and pitfalls? Remember, to this way of thinking the BOM is not just one of many correct books, but the most correct of any book on Earth.
     
  4. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    Joseph Smith did not say the Book of Mormon was perfect, he said most correct, and it is. A person can get closer to God by living the precepts found in the Book of Mormon than in any other book. Many times I have tried to present precepts using only the Bible only to find the Bible lacking the in some important concepts causing people to misunderstand God's precepts.
     
  5. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    I pointed that out in my post, including a link to Fair Mormon apologetics site that makes that point. Please actually read my post if you are going to reply to it.

    That's Joseph Smith's and your opinion, but I don't know why anyone outside of Mormonism should find it in any way persuasive or even all that supportable.

    Many times you have tried to recast the Holy Bible as a Mormon text, and you have always failed, since that is impossible. If anyone is misunderstanding God's precepts, it is Joseph Smith and the followers of the religion he made up.
     
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  6. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    The precepts are true and not made up. God did give us agency which is the right to chose good over evil. He gave us commandments so we could become like God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. We are saved after we endure to the end.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  7. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    That's all very nice, but the topic of this thread is not your testimony as to the supposed truth of Mormonism's precepts, but the grammatical issues found in the BOM.

    Anytime you'd like to actually address those, I'm sure the OP would appreciate it.
     
  8. mmksparbud

    mmksparbud Well-Known Member

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    I just had to say one thing. I do not believe that a message God has given to someone has to be said in perfect grammer. But it most certainly has to be in perfect harmony with the rest of the bible. Moses was highly educated, but God does not always use the highly educated. There are many instances in the bible where scribes were used. Even with spellcheck, I have problemns!I have no objection to them using a scribe---secretary--proof reader---to make the idea presented by God more well said.. And I see no reason why someone today who is not highly educated can not be used by God, simply because his grammer may be less than perfect. I see no reason why a person today can not use a scribe=secretary to write in a more perfect, grammatically correct form. It is the message that is important. The thing is, with the LDS writtings, the messages are not in accordance with the word of God nor share any really lofty, profound messasge that the bible has not already quite succintly stated. JS would have been more believable had he written in the vernacular of the day, using a secretary if needed---than trying to pretend this is the way God spoke to him.

    I had to edit this as there were several mistakes!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  9. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    I have already addressed the topic of this thread. The Book of Mormon had many authors, none of which was God. That being said God did inspire the ancient prophets of the Book of Mormon. The mistakes and grammatical issues are not from God, but they are the mistakes of man. Now I am responding to the comments being made on this thread. I think I have a right to defend my beliefs.
     
  10. Ran77

    Ran77 Senior Contributor

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    Isn't the Bible the standard by which we determine what is right and wrong? To determine what is the word of God and what is not? (If it isn't, then I suggest anyone who believes that is probably in the wrong forum.) Making a comparison to the standard is not a deflection. It is about measuring whatever is being discussed is up to acceptable standards.

    If the discussion were about a specific Christian practice, would you then argue that any mention of what Christ did was not an example for us all, but a deflection?
     
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  11. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    This thread is about the Book Of Mormon.

    Yes it is a deflection, just like your questions are a deflection. If you can't or don't want to answer the OP, then don't bother replying with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense (or at least don't direct it at me by quoting my post).

    But that's not what the OP is about. If we're just talking about what is acceptable according to Christian standards more generally and contrasting those with Mormonism, then every single thread concerning that would conceivably be over in one post, because this is Christian Forums, and nothing in Mormonism is in any fashion acceptable for setting or reinforcing Christian standards, seeing as how they exist separately from Mormonism, same as they exist separately from any other non-Christian religion. Mormonism is not Christianity, and it is not to be treated as though it is by anyone on this website (read the sticky on CF's official position on Mormonism at the top of this subforum), so it would presumably even more of a non-starter than what you are trying to do.

    If this discussion were about a specific Christian practice, then it would be a different discussion than the OP.
     
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  12. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that this thread is about telling God what He would do.
     
  13. Ran77

    Ran77 Senior Contributor

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    According to the title of the thread it is about grammar and what comes from God. That opens it up to more than the Book of Mormon. It is a blanket statement which encompasses anything that is presented as the word of God.

    If the Book of Mormon is to be judged on this matter, then there needs to be a standard by which it is compared. You can call it deflection if you like. It won't change the truth. "A rose by any other name will smell as sweet."

    Your objections make it seem like the Bible might not stand up to scrutiny. That's unfortunate. I have great confidence in the Book of Mormon being the word of God. I invite all people to examine it. To read it. To pray about it.

    I also have great confidence in the Bible as well. Which I also invite all people to examine. To read. And to pray about the words in its pages.


    Quoting out of context does not make for a reputable argument. That's because the argument is based on a misrepresentation. If the Book of Mormon is false, then there should be plenty of actual evidence to support any such claim. Why then should anyone rely on attacking a straw dog?

    Because, as you pointed out, that quote is in reference to the principles it teaches and not the grammatical correctness of the text.


    I have zero problems reading and understanding the Book of Mormon. In fact, I find it quite easy to read. What I do have a problem with is blatant exaggerations. A comment that states the Book of Mormon is "nearly unintelligible" or "inscrutable" has employed a grand exaggeration. Even our critics find it clear enough to allow them to attack our beliefs.

    If the Book of Mormon has flaws, then there is no need for exaggeration. Or quoting out of context. Or any of the other methods that are used in attempts to prove us wrong. The Book of Mormon stands on its own. I don't need to quote out of context or to use outlandish exaggerations to defend it. All I need to do is provide the facts and allow people to make up their own mind about the evidence. I don't need cheap ploys to sway the people reading my messages.


    I have made no such statement. Putting words into my mouth and pretending I said them does not give credibility to your arguments. I let you present your side of the argument and it would be common courtesy for you to do the same.

    Why don't we stick to what I actually post. My actual beliefs. Not straw dogs created by others, presumably because they are easier to attack than the truth.


    Great question. Thank you for asking.

    Anyone looking to find the word of God should believe in the Book of Mormon because God verified the truthfulness of it through the spirit of personal revelation. That's it. That's why.

    All of this debate might be fun for some. And it might be educational for others. But the only way to know the truth is to ask God to reveal it to you.
     
  14. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    It's a blanket statement if you only read the title and ignore the content of the OP, which is about the BOM. The only time Bibles are mentioned is in the link at the very end about how some of the 'bad grammar' found in the BOM mirrors that found in early English Bibles.

    To make it about "grammar and what comes from God", you have to generalize like you're doing here to open up your Mormon apologetics machine to start trashing the Bible in order to salvage their belief in the BOM, as Mormons here always do. Well just because you can do that doesn't mean it's germane. The Bible could be true or false, written well or not written well, and this thread would still be about the BOM. The two (Bible and BOM) are not logically related but to the Mormon apologetics hivemind, which constantly default to "Oh yeah? Well what about the Bible XYZ?"

    If we're not going to take the BOM seriously when told to take it in conjunction with the Bible in matters of faith (after all, as Mormons here and elsewhere love to tell Christians, "we [Mormons] believe in the Bible too!" Uh huh...the Bible as interpreted by your false prophets, seers, and never-revelators, and even then only as a buttress for the Mormon cult, to make it sound more 'Christian'), then why would we take seriously any of the other attempts by Mormons to take and manipulate the Bible to their advantage?

    To compare the Bible and the BOM in any fashion is to believe that there is such a relation between the two that what can be said of one ought to be applied to the other, and that such an application is thereby justifiable because of the connection that two have to each other. Since I don't know any Christian who would believe that they bare any such relation to each other (one is an ancient collection of scriptures; the other is quite obviously a 19th century work made in imitation of the former, but bearing none of the other's hallmarks of actually being an ancient work), there's no reason for any of us to do so.

    No we don't. We already have the standard, and it is easily found in the question "Does the language of the Book of Mormon match the usage that is known during the time of King James of England?", since this is what the Mormons claim by saying that it was written/revealed in 'King James English'.

    The answer to that question, as already shown in my increasingly irritating interactions with your coreligionist He Is The Way, is no. You've confused your cow pie for a rose.

    No, my objection is that poster -- who does not even know what he is talking about when he makes claims about language, so he is hardly fit to judge anything anyway -- is doing what he always does: going off topic onto grounds that he feels more comfortable on from a Mormon apologetics standpoint, whether or not his resulting replies are actually relevant to anything. Nobody was talking about the Bible until he decided to try to shift our focus on to it.

    Again, the Bible could be true or false, or contain any number of grammatical or other errors, and it would say nothing about the BOM, as they come from entirely different eras and linguistic contexts.

    And I invite all people to use the time they would be wasting by reading and praying about the BOM to fold their socks, or repaint that room in their house they haven't gotten around to yet, or do any of the millions of other things that are a much better use of their time.

    You may personally have that, but your religion and its apologetics certainly do not.

    Tell that to your coreligionist He Is The Way, who literally does nothing but this.

    And there is. I've spent many, many hours on this website talking with Mormons and others as to that evidence (primarily in the domain of linguistics, since this is my area of academic training and focus), not that very many have been willing to listen or follow up on anything. Mormons are by and large not interested in the evidence of how things are; they only want those individual things that they can bend and shape to best fit them into their fake websites and books about the 'evidence' for the BOM. It's really sad.

    Gee, you'd think if I were really "building a straw dog", I wouldn't have pointed that out. I guess I'm not good at that, then. Maybe you can show me how to build a better one sometime. :rolleyes:

    Because the vast majority of critics of the BOM do not have the necessary background in linguistics and/or early Christianity that shows how it is inscrutable rubbish. I would say that its losing track of referents (due to its attempt to imitate the language of the KJV, but doing so poorly) is enough for me to at least claim that it was written poorly, but I suppose that's just me...and everyone else who has read it and isn't awed (read: bored) to the point of no longer paying attention as a result of its overload of "And it came to pass"-es, thees, thous, thys, etc.

    I'm not doing either.

    The only method needed to prove Mormonism wrong is the scientific method. That's why pro-BOM propaganda churned out by BYU/FARMS stays as far away from that as is possible, and is considered pseudo-scholarship by those in the fields that Mormonism abuses in the name of adding more examples to its apologetic arsenal (in this case, linguistics, though the same happens with geography, anthropology, genetics, etc).

    If by 'stands' you mean 'utterly falls apart', sure.

    OK, so do that...? I don't know what you want from me. I don't even know who you are, so I don't think I could've used any "cheap ploys" (nor expensive ploys) to sway into doing anything. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    What are you talking about? The post you took the portion in bold from is post #3 in this thread (written in response to a reply by HITW, not you...unless you're HITW's sock puppet account or something), whereas I did not even begin interacting with you in this thread until post #10. Clearly I'm not claiming that you wrote anything you didn't write, since I made that post about a half an hour before you'd even posted in this thread.

    I don't think I need to be lectured about how to post by someone who is confused as to what he's even replying to, and gets all heated about the supposed misrepresentation of what he wrote in a reply that was written to another poster before he had even joined the thread. Sort yourself out, please.

    No one is stopping you from posting your actual beliefs.

    Joseph Smith received no revelation from God. Ever. And neither has any other Mormon 'prophet'.

    What now?

    Mormonism is not the truth. Mormon epistemology is an entirely different topic (one which the Christians here have already spent more than enough time showing the inherent pitfalls of, so I'm sure you can dig up some interesting stuff to read if you search for it in past threads), but without going into that we can only maintain what we always have with regard to all forms of restorationism and their latter-day holy books: No, this is not the truth, and it is not from God. To paraphrase St. Jerome and his 385 AD letter to Marcella in Rome concerning the arrival of the Montanists (the 'original' new prophets) in that city: We do not deny the gift of prophecy itself, only those prophets who prophecies do not accord with the scriptures, old and new.

    Mormonism is one such thing that does not accord with the faith that we have been given in Christianity (and the mismatch is quite deliberate, as I understand it, but that's best served any of the other threads on this subforum that already broach that much wider topic), and the scriptures that are a testament to that faith, so we must reject it.
     
  15. Ran77

    Ran77 Senior Contributor

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    Then it's unfortunate the person starting this thread used that for the title. Both the title of the thread and the content of the first post create the parameters for the topic.
     
  16. Ran77

    Ran77 Senior Contributor

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    Not the point I made. If you have problems with what He Is The Way, has posted, then you need to take it up with them. I made no comment about "King James English."


    Personal attacks are off topic. Shouldn't your posts be about the topic rather than attacking what another member of this forum knows or does not know? Offering your opinion on how much He Is The Way knows does nothing to support your position.

    I also find it interesting when posts resort to telling what the other person feels, thinks, or their motivation. Without having the ability to read minds, no mortal can tell that He Is The Way feels more comfortable on a Mormon apologetics standpoint. I can guess that he probably does, but without him having actually made that statement it is speculation being offered as fact. And if one side of an argument is willing to substitute speculation for fact, then their positioned is weakened. Any other comment that is offered becomes suspect. I have to wonder if it is merely more speculation.

    And participants in these forums routinely switch focus. That is the nature of debate. A topic has many elements and to fully understand said topic, all of those elements must be explored.


    That's a strange argument. Coming from different eras and linguistic contexts does not change the presence of grammatical errors. It just makes them a different kind of error. Since this thread offers that the Book of Mormon should be considered false because it contains grammatical errors, then the only part of your argument that applies to the topic of this thread is whether, or not, the Bible contains, or ever contained, grammatical errors.

    In truth, the presence of grammatical errors in the Bible says something important about the Book of Mormon and this thread. If the Bible has ever had grammatical errors and Christianity, in general, accepts it as still being the word of God . . . then a double standard exists for those who use that same criteria to prove that the Book of Mormon cannot be the word of God.

    It's as simple as that. Not that my comments are meant for you. I suspect that there are participants on the forums who may be looking for the truth and I leave my words for them to read and ponder. If the Bible can have grammatical errors and still be the word of God (which I believe), then the same is true for the Book of Mormon.



    I am wary of any request to convince people that they should not pray to God to know the truth. It is advice that goes against what God has said.

    James 1: 5

    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

    Luke 11: 9

    And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.


    Note that it doesn't say that if you want to know the truth you should fold socks or repaint rooms. This is advice meant to prevent a person from obtaining the truth. If the Book of Mormon is false, then asking God should reveal that. There is no good reason to convince people not to pray about the Book of Mormon except a fear that prayer will reveal the same message that I have presented.


    Opinion.


    Not my reason for being here. I'm sure you are capable of this task.



    Again, speaking for others. Which in turn, creates a straw dog. I am highly suspicious of the integrity of any argument that is based on telling others what they think or believe. I find that I am able to offer plenty of sound arguments to support my views without having to place words in the mouths of others. Any argument based on truth, should be able to do the same.


    Practice makes perfect. Keep on tossing out those straw dogs and I have confidence that you will improve in that skill.


    Doesn't refute my point. If it is as hard to understand as your exaggerated claim suggests, then the vast majority of our critics, who don't have a background in linguistics, wouldn't be able to invent arguments against it from what they have read.


    You just did. And I pointed it out.

    If the Book of Mormon is inscrutable, then critics would not be able to understand it well enough to form attacks against it. Since that is obviously not the case, your comment is an exaggeration. The facts are there for everyone to see. Your posts can claim otherwise, but that doesn't change the truth.


    How odd. I would have thought prayer to be an amazingly effective method for proving the Book of Mormon wrong. Are you indicating that prayer is not reliable? (Asking for clarification on your point.)

    Because I will put it out there, again, that sincere prayer is the only method that a person needs to prove the Book of Mormon right. Not the arguments of men. Not scientific method which changes its mind every few decades. Remember when scientific method proved that the Earth was flat. Or that eggs were bad and bran was good.

    Your argument suggests that seekers of truth should put their faith in the hands of men. Men who determine scientific method and what that method concludes. Men who interpret the data they find. Data that is constantly being updated as our levels of technology continue to increase.

    No thanks. I trust the Big Guy upstairs.


    It's time for dinner. Thanks for the discussion. I enjoyed it.
     
  17. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    I didn't say it was a point that you made. Can you also not read? Is this a problem with Mormons more generally, or just Mormons who post here on CF?

    Follow along, please:

    You wrote "If the Book of Mormon is to be judged on this matter, then there needs to be a standard by which it is compared", to which I responded that we already have such a standard, since the matter in question is the acceptability of the language used in the BOM relative to Early Modern English, since that is what it is claimed to be in Mormon apologetic sources such as The Interpreter article linked in the OP.

    Please stop pretending as though I'm writing to you privately or otherwise limiting my replies to just the things that you have written.

    By no stretch of the imagination is mentioning a poster and saying that they do not know what they are talking about in this very specific domain a personal attack.

    Not when what they don't know about a particular subject directly impacts their ability to make relevant, well-supported claims concerning that subject.

    Perhaps not, but HITW's failed attempts to tear down the work of actual academics with relevant training in the field (as he recently attempted to do with Richard Packham's essay on the linguistic problems of the BOM's faux-KJV language in another thread) do nothing to show that he even slightly comprehends the issues at hand, so it is hardly opinion at this point. My 'attacking' posting did not make him put forward examples he didn't understand that actually helped bolster Packham's point.

    Nobody needs to be able to read anyone's mind to be able to recognize a pattern in their posting.

    No, it's irritation at posting methods being enfolded into criticism of said posting methods and posts because this board thankfully won't allow me to unleash a torrent of expletives in the general direction of Utah/Idaho/Missouri or wherever our Mormon veteran posters are, so I need to think of more controlled ways to deal with the constant disappointment of another post with the word "LOVE" in all caps, or verses cherry picked from the Bible, or chunks of copied text with no evidence of an original thought found anywhere in them, or recourse to the Mormon commandments as though they're anything any non-Mormon should waste even a fraction of a second caring about.

    I'm sure your leaders like Jeffrey Holland and your pseudo-academic apologists like Kerry Muhlestein will appreciate hearing from you on this matter, so that they can stop substituting speculation for fact and forwarding weakened positions as a result of that substitution.

    Not necessarily, although it may. This wasn't the point that I was getting at, exactly, but it is easy enough to understand that what may be received as entirely grammatically acceptable at one stage in a language's development may not be acceptable at another stage in that language's development (this is what is behind the attempt to defend the language of the BOM with reference to Early Modern English bibles, as again found at the last link in the OP). But that's not directly relevant to this, because by "different eras an linguistic contexts", I was referring to the comparison of the Bible and the BOM as original documents, not of the English of early modern translations of the Bible like the KJV in comparison to the BOM (as the Bible of course didn't start its life in KJV English): the Bible is a BC-to-early AD collection of books written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic and thereby reflecting the cultural and linguistic milieu of the late Roman Mediterranean world, whereas the BOM -- due to its lack of supporting documentation submitted before relevant disinterested authorities in the appropriate fields -- cannot be presumed to belong to any particular ancient peoples, times, or places.

    So it's not a direct claim about the presence or absence of grammatical errors, but meant to underline why we should not presume that just because something can be claimed about one, it can therefore be claimed about the other (so the oft-repeated Mormon apologist's refrain of "What about the Bible?" doesn't work here).

    No, for a few reasons:

    (1) You'd have to show where Christians (preferably the OP specifically, since I'm a Christian and I wouldn't argue for the Bible on this basis) had claimed that, in contradistinction to the BOM, the Bible does not contain any grammatical errors.

    (2) Given that the Bible has one of the most robust manuscript traditions of any collection of ancient books, even if you could show (1) -- which I suspect you probably could, if you looked under enough rocks (in a religion that's 2,000 years old and spread across the entire world in a myriad of forms, there's always going to be somebody somewhere claiming whatever you think nobody could possibly claim) -- you'd have to show how the errors that you do find are fatal to the transmission of the revelation itself. This is a much more difficult task, because unlike in Mormonism, we don't have any witnesses to the reception of the revelation who tell of transcriptions that were not allowed to continue unless they were dictated in the exact words that God wanted us to use in conveying that revelation.

    Taken together, this lack of any manuscript tradition substantiating the pre-1830 (or 1827, to be exceptionally accommodating to Joseph's story regarding the supposed discovery of golden plates) existence of the texts that make up the BOM, combined with its highly restrictive translation/revelatory method make any errors found in the BOM much more fatal to its own case than finding any particular errors in the texts of the Holy Bible could ever be. Scribal error doesn't throw our entire religion into question, whereas yours was supposedly so tightly overseen by God or the Spirit or whatever that it at least makes sense to wonder how it is that it could've ever contained any error.

    I'm not saying that it's a slam dunk argument or anything (it isn't, and like I already wrote, I wouldn't have even argued on this basis), but the differences are there, and they're largely there because of Mormonism's own defenses of itself.

    As I've just shown, it's not a double standard. Something that has thousands of manuscripts (maybe hundreds of thousands) from across the last 2,000 years, written in a multiplicity of languages and found in many different places over that time, can stand to have any number of variations or errors relative to an assumed ur-text without any one error-bearing manuscript compromising its transmission or the transmission of the revelation its believers find in it. By contrast, something that has essentially zero manuscripts to substantiate its existence as an actual ancient document, and furthermore has as part of the foundational witness of how it came down to us the idea that it was miraculously protected in translation from having any error whatsoever, is much weaker as a result.

    They're simply not equal as things, so it makes no sense to say that it's a double standard as though they should be evaluated like they are. It's no more a double standard to recognize their inherent inequality (and hence the inappropriateness of the comparison) than it could be called a double standard to not force children in little league sports to compete against world class athletes in the World Series, the Stanley Cup, etc.
     
  18. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

    +10,499
    Oriental Orthodox
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    In no place does it ever say to pray about the pseudoepigraphical books of later religions that would come with the purpose of replacing Christianity, but it does warn us about the coming of those who would preach them and their corrupting messages, as in Matthew 24:24 -- For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

    It is certainly understandable to me why Mormons would prefer highlighting James 1:5 or Luke 11:9 instead, but none of these verses cancel out the others, so the discerning Christian needs to balance warnings about the reality of false prophets with the command to come before God in prayer seeking wisdom.

    Yes, because that was serious advice, and not at all meant to be a tongue in cheek way of highlighting the utter futility of praying for an affirmation from God of something demonic that seeks to overthrow what He has established. My fellow Christians: Don't ask God for the truth! Just fold your socks instead! That was originally on the third tablet given to Moses, before he dropped it 'accidentally' because he, like all good and righteous people, hates folding laundry! :rolleyes:



    Christians who know their faith have nothing to fear from Mormonism, as Mormonism in no way poses a serious challenge to Christianity. It, like all Christianity-based cults, mixes its many lies with the barest coating of superficial truth (e.g., God exists, there is an afterlife, God wants us to follow Him and we should do that, etc.) so as to appear spiritually and doctrinally sound, when in fact it is neither. Particularly as the history of Christianity is not widely taught or known in the western world from primary or even secondary source documents (outside of academic settings or comparatively small numbers of traditional Christians), its continued success in gaining converts is to be attributed more to our own historical ignorance as Christians than to anything inherent or internal to Mormonism.

    There aren't a lot of converts to Mormonism in traditional Christian societies that are outside of the aggressively secularizing and increasingly religiously illiterate west. In Ethiopia (the second oldest state to accept Christianity as its official religion, with the conversion of King 'Ezana in c. 330 AD), there are 1,803 members out of a population of over 100 million people (0.002%). In India, which may not strike most here as a stereotypically Christian country (since it isn't), but which nevertheless was evangelized by St. Thomas in c. 53 AD, there are 14,528 members out of a population of 1.3 billion (about 31 million of which are Christians). In Israel, there are 306 members out of a Christian population of approximately 177,000 (0.002%). In Armenia (the first state to convert to Christianity, under King Tridates III in 301), there are 3,579 member out of a total population of just over 3 million (0.12%). In Malta, one of the most religiously-observant countries in Europe, there are 250 members out of a population of about 457,000 (0.05%). [LDS membership numbers come from this handy article.]

    You get my point, right? I don't think I have to keep doing this. There is more to fear from Mormonism the less someone knows about Christianity (or for that matter, about Mormonism), but by and large most people just don't care for Mormonism either way. Mormonism's entire bankrupt feelings-based epistemology is just a way to get people to set aside their distaste for it (and/or its aggressive sales team, which covid has thankfully kept off of most people's porches) by attempting to reframe the entire enterprise as a way of expressing more trust in God and fidelity to the scriptures, and not...I don't know what else to call it...bothering Him about stuff that is obviously false? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    So it's just opinion that your religion adds the clause "as far as it is translated correctly" to its statement of supposed belief in the Bible? That's interesting. I wasn't aware that that statement is part of the Articles of Opinion.

    Like fun I am. I'm speaking only for me, and what I have experienced in my many hours of mostly fruitless discussions with your coreligionists. The vast majority of Mormons I've interacted with here over the past 5 or however many years have not been interested in anything but what they can attempt to use to buttress Mormon claims. We all saw it several years ago when a different Mormon poster suddenly became enamored with the early Christian apologist St. Justin Martyr for St. Justin's writings in favor of the preexistence of matter, without realizing that this was a holdover from Justin's past as a pagan philosopher, and not something that was accepted by the wider Church in any era. Similar love/hate reactions to other early Christian figures like St. John Chrysostom depended on whether or not the saint was saying something that Mormons could attach to their extremely dim view of the historical Church ("Chrysostom's right: the bishops were out of control!" -- never mind that St. John was himself archbishop of Constantinople!), while rejecting anything he said that contradicted what Mormons assume is among the practices Mormonism 'restored' that had been lost via the great apostasy (as when St. John mocked those who performed 'baptism for the dead', which was known as a practice of gnostic heretics in his time, in the late 4th/early 5th century).
     
  19. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Oriental Orthodox
    Private
    I don't see why. You just told me my business several times in your reply without apparently knowing any better, and yet you apparently think you are offering plenty of sound arguments. Physician, heal thyself?

    Only in your mind am I speaking for others. I don't need to put my words in other people's mouths. I'm not Joseph Smith.

    That it is a poorly-done imitation of the KJV is not an 'invented' argument, though. It's based on the abundance of material in the text that shows a very rudimentary grasp on
    Early Modern English.

    It is inscrutable in the sense that anyone who knows enough about how Early Modern English actually worked would immediately see major grammatical problems with it, to the point of finding it very difficult to parse.

    If, however, you are a modern person -- say, you're not actually writing in the Early Modern English period, but only writing something that you intend to have sound as though it comes from that period -- then you can probably rest assured that your audience will have the same general understanding of it as you have: that using "thee", "thou", "thine", and other by then antiquated pronoun and verb forms is like a verbal shorthand for high-prestige, 'sacred' language. It's a way to sound 'church-y' without having to put all that much effort into it, doth thou knowst what I mean?

    Here's what you Mormons never seem to understand: the rest of us don't have your epistemology behind everything we do, so questions or challenges like this just fall flat. If it were enough to simply pray for an answer concerning the BOM one way or another, then presumably a great many people who ultimately rejected Mormonism but obviously shouldn't have (because it's just so gosh darned true!) would be excused on the grounds of not having the book confirmed through their prayers. And then what? Mormonism is only the true religion for some people? In that case, why does your organization bother sending missionaries anywhere in the first place? Shouldn't you respect GOD enough to respect the fact that these people asked Him for an answer about the BOM/Mormonism, and He said that it is false?

    Funny how that literally never happens, since to admit the possibility would thereby put all of your own prayed-for 'testimonies' under sharp scrutiny, as there's absolutely no way to invalidate the results of this inherently flawed and unreliable method, since I've got God over here telling me that Mormonism is of the devil and I should run from it as from every false gospel, while you and I presume every Mormon feels nothing but good feelings and affirmations when you pray to receive confirmation of the truth regarding the same.

    So whose God or Spirit or whatever is telling the truth: mine or yours? And how do you know? Do you suggest 'dueling prayers' for that, too? How does it ever end?

    And again: when I pray and you and pray (or any other combination of people pray), and we don't all receive the same answer, who got the 'right' answer and how does anyone know that?

    What? The scientific method does not change every few decades. Do you not know what the scientific method is?

    Neither of these things were proven by the scientific method, since the scientific method doesn't prove anything. It doesn't tell you how to interpret data, only the steps involved from posing a question to coming up with a result:

    1. Define a question
    2. Gather information and resources (observe)
    3. Form an explanatory hypothesis
    4. Test the hypothesis by performing an experiment and collecting data in a reproducible manner
    5. Analyze the data
    6. Interpret the data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
    7. Publish results

    No it doesn't. I'm saying that whether or not the BOM and Mormon narrative have any basis in fact is not a question of faith, but of observable real-world phenomena: Are the languages of the Native Americans linguistically related to the languages of the ancient Jews?; Is there any real-world evidence of the existence of 'Reformed Egyptian' at any point in the history of the world's writing systems?; etc.

    At least in so far as concerns my discipline, the answers to anything that is testable and falsifiable has always been no, and if the Mormons or anyone has any heretofore unknown evidence that should cause us to reexamine matters, then they are free to send it to dispassionate leaders in the field. Barring that, the answers will continue to be no.

    The scientific method is based upon the observation of the natural world. Is that really something 'men determine', or is it just something we all do regardless of what we think about Mormonism or anything else that is non-scientific?

    Is that the same Guy Who invites us to "Come, let us reason together", or do you mean Mormonism's 'Big Guy(s) Upstairs'? I don't think the former has any problem with the observation of the natural world that He created in the first place, and the latter I have nothing to do with, so okay.
     
  20. He is the way

    He is the way Well-Known Member

    +282
    United States
    Mormon
    Married
    You said: "We all saw it several years ago when a different Mormon poster suddenly became enamored with the early Christian apologist St. Justin Martyr for St. Justin's writings in favor of the preexistence of matter, without realizing that this was a holdover from Justin's past as a pagan philosopher, and not something that was accepted by the wider Church in any era. Similar love/hate reactions to other early Christian figures like St. John Chrysostom depended on whether or not the saint was saying something that Mormons could attach to their extremely dim view of the historical Church ("Chrysostom's right: the bishops were out of control!" -- never mind that St. John was himself archbishop of Constantinople!), while rejecting anything he said that contradicted what Mormons assume is among the practices Mormonism 'restored' that had been lost via the great apostasy (as when St. John mocked those who performed 'baptism for the dead', which was known as a practice of gnostic heretics in his time, in the late 4th/early 5th century)"

    There was a pre-existence of matter otherwise there would be NO God or universe. God formed the universe out of matter that existed:

    (Old Testament | Psalms 90:2)

    2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

    (Old Testament | Isaiah 45:18)

    18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

    God is NOT nothing. Baptism for the dead did NOT find it's roots in gnostic heretics. Baptism itself is a ordinance from God.
     
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