Words in the BoM? Mormons pls answer...

I was reading the Book of Mormon today and finished up to the Book of Mosiah (yip! :yup: ), but during my reading time, I did have some problems with some of the words used…

The first word was Christ. SINCE the Nephites and Lamanites where an Israelite tribe, the word Christ would not have been with the people. Perhaps Messiah, but the word Christ should not have been there since it didn’t exist.

The second big concern for me is the word Bible found around the end of 2 Nephi. Again, assuming that the Nephites and Lamanites were true tribes of Israel, the word being Greek was never invented at all. It should not have been in the writing assuming that the prophesying was in the languages of the peoples…

Now, I was told by my third pair of Missionaries (my daily attendance of Mormon Seminary seems to attract this) that this was because the words were revealed to them during the prophecies, which I unpersuadingly nodded. I feel that the information given to me was slightly dissatisfactory…

I was also told to pray over the truth of the Book of Mormon again…

ANYWAYS I know I should go to a Mormon forum myself, but this is much easier. If you’re Mormon and you can answer this credibly, I would be greatly relieved!

[quote=silverwings_88]I was reading the Book of Mormon today and finished up to the Book of Mosiah (yip! :yup: ), but during my reading time, I did have some problems with some of the words used…

The first word was Christ. SINCE the Nephites and Lamanites where an Israelite tribe, the word Christ would not have been with the people. Perhaps Messiah, but the word Christ should not have been there since it didn’t exist.

The second big concern for me is the word Bible found around the end of 2 Nephi. Again, assuming that the Nephites and Lamanites were true tribes of Israel, the word being Greek was never invented at all. It should not have been in the writing assuming that the prophesying was in the languages of the peoples…

[/quote]

You will find many more discrepancies as you read further into the BOM. Horses and Honey Bees present in the American continents predating the European influences by 1500 years, words and phrases only found in King James Version of the bible also found exactly in the BOM. As you read you will notice the uncanny plagiaristic similarities between the BOM and KJV. The KJV that is used by the CoJCoLDS is one of the poorest English translated bibles from the earliest existing manuscripts in Hebrew, Greek, and the Latin Vulgate. Almost all of the improper translations in the LDS KJV are found in the BOM.

Now, I was told by my third pair of Missionaries (my daily attendance of Mormon Seminary seems to attract this) that this was because the words were revealed to them during the prophecies, which I unpersuadingly nodded. I feel that the information given to me was slightly dissatisfactory…

If that were the case and the words were revealed by the holy spirit during the “translation” of the book, you might want ask the Missionaries how a directly translated book would need to have over 4000 changes throughout its 180 year history. Ask about the 1981 change of the phrase “white and delightsome” to “pure and delightsome”.

I was also told to pray over the truth of the Book of Mormon again…

ANYWAYS I know I should go to a Mormon forum myself, but this is much easier. If you’re Mormon and you can answer this credibly, I would be greatly relieved!

I think that any time we are humble and in prayer with our lord we receive a warm feeling, but a burning in the bosom I think comes from when we receive the Eucharist at mass, not an answer as to whether or not the BOM is true. I hope this helps.

God Bless,
ex-mo

Yes, I’m just finishing up the Book of Mosiah myself. We don’t know what word they actually used since the book was written in Reformed Egyptian, not English. But when Joseph Smith translated the book he chose to use the word “Christ”.

Same answer. Whatever word Nephi used to describe the writings of the Old World prophets Joseph Smith translated into the word “Bible”.

I’m sorry you don’t like the answer. But really, if you assume for a minute that the book really is what it claims to be - and ancient text which Joseph Smith translated into English through the power of God – then it should be pretty obvious that Joseph Smith might have chosen the word “Christ” to describe the Savior and the word “Bible” to describe… um, the Bible.

[quote=silverwings_88]I was also told to pray over the truth of the Book of Mormon again…

[/quote]

Well, have you prayed about it?

If you sincerely pray about it and God tells you its all a figment of Joseph Smith’s wild imagination then I suggest you move on and conclude it a hoax. But if you receive an answer from God that it’s true than I suggest you pursue a different course.

Naturally this all assumes you believe in a God that answers prayers, as I do. If you don’t you likely won’t receive an answer either way.

[quote=ex-mormon]. Ask about the 1981 change of the phrase “white and delightsome” to “pure and delightsome”.

God Bless,
ex-mo
[/quote]

So what does “white and delightsome” mean?

[quote=Casen] Yes, I’m just finishing up the Book of Mosiah myself. We don’t know what word they actually used since the book was written in Reformed Egyptian, not English. But when Joseph Smith translated the book he chose to use the word “Christ”……Same answer. Whatever word Nephi used to describe the writings of the Old World prophets Joseph Smith translated into the word “Bible”.

[/quote]

Your response is untenable. We know the Book of Mormon was “translated” one - word - at - a - time. Joseph Smith “saw” a given word appear in his hat. If he translated in this manner he didn’t “choose” anything! That leaves us with two possibilities, either he is lying and he made the whole thing up, or the Nephites actually used the words “Christ” and “Bible”.

Ah, the inevitable self righteous LDS response. If you pray about the LDS Church and you don’t get an answer or the “right” answer it’s because:

-You don’t believe God answers prayers
-You aren’t sincere in you request (my favorite…because it really allows one to feel that they truly are superior in their sincerity)
-You haven’t repented of some grave sin
-You haven’t prayed long enough or hard enough
-You haven’t humbled yourself enough(another good one…it lets one feel truly good about how humble THEY are)

There are more that I’ve heard that don’t come to mind at the moment. I submit that God doesn’t simply whisper in our ear, the moment we ask, the truth or falsity of every possible belief system in the world(St. Paul’s comment about “itching ears” comes to mind here). Faith MUST be accompanied by reason or it’s blind.

Silverwings is doing the right thing by questioning inconsistencies in the BOM. That is the prudent thing to do. She should question the inconsistencies no matter what religion she is investigating. God wants us to SEEK him with our minds and our hearts. That takes time in a complex world. There are no easy ways to find the truth. God expects us to do the hard work of finding it.

[quote=Tmaque]Your response is untenable. We know the Book of Mormon was “translated” one - word - at - a - time. Joseph Smith “saw” a given word appear in his hat. If he translated in this manner he didn’t “choose” anything! That leaves us with two possibilities, either he is lying and he made the whole thing up, or the Nephites actually used the words “Christ” and “Bible”.
[/quote]

Todd,

None of your possibilities make much sense for a believing mormon, so perhaps you could try to be a little more imaginative? :slight_smile: Let’s assume that you are right that Joseph Smith didn’t choose the words but they were given to him. Then the translation aid could have mapped a Nephite word or name to vocabulary Joseph Smith would understand. Therefore “Bible” is not necessarily Nephite terminology for the modern Bible.

Nice thoughts on the rest of your post about doing the “hard work” and accompanying faith with reason. Sounds a lot like the only canonized description of the Book of Mormon translation process.

Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-8a

7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
http://scriptures.lds.org/themes/graphics/spacer.gif
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right. . .
later,
fool

Sorry, I’m not following. If the words were indeed “given” to Joseph through revelation then why couldn’t the words “Christ” and “Bible” be given to him during the translation process? If the Nephites had a word to describe their future Savior who would one day come to visit them, why couldn’t that word be translated to “Christ” either by Joseph’s own decision OR through the revealed translation process?

Yes, God expects us to put forth some effort. Hence, Moroni’s admonition to read, ponder and pray about the book. But the promise is that if you do those things you’ll receive an answer. Do you believe God answers prayers or not? If you believe he does and have concluded the book is the work of Joseph’s creative imagination then why not pray about it and see if God concurs. If he confirms your belief then why waste any more time reading it? In summary, I agree God expects us to put fourth effort but I also believe in a God that hears and answers prayers and I find it strange that a Catholic of all people would discourage someone from praying about something.

By the way ex-mormon, if you have read the Book of Mormon you should know that the Bees mentioned in the Book of Mormon are in the Old World setting, before the Jaradites traveled to the New World.

[quote=Casen]Sorry, I’m not following. If the words were indeed “given” to Joseph through revelation then why couldn’t the words “Christ” and “Bible” be given to him during the translation process? If the Nephites had a word to describe their future Savior who would one day come to visit them, why couldn’t that word be translated to “Christ” either by Joseph’s own decision OR through the revealed translation process?

Yes, God expects us to put forth some effort. Hence, Moroni’s admonition to read, ponder and pray about the book. But the promise is that if you do those things you’ll receive an answer. Do you believe God answers prayers or not? If you believe he does and have concluded the book is the work of Joseph’s creative imagination then why not pray about it and see if God concurs. If he confirms your belief then why waste any more time reading it? In summary, I agree God expects us to put fourth effort but I also believe in a God that hears and answers prayers and I find it strange that a Catholic of all people would discourage someone from praying about something.
[/quote]

You’re assuming that I have never prayed about the Book of Mormon because I’m not LDS. That is understandable coming from your LDS paradigm, and the need you have, based on the Moroni text, to demonstrate that God answers faith questions in this manner.

Let me assure you that I have prayed about it, fasted about it and would have re-committed myself to the LDS Church had I received an answer from God that it, and/or the LDS Church was true. I still ask God daily, to guide my life and, despite my misgivings, if he were to show me how the truth could be found in the LDS Church I would return.

I am not discouraging anyone from praying. On the contrary. Prayer is crucial to a relationship with God and we should seek the truth through prayer. But, I believe it is also very important that people study, learn, and discern before praying for, and expecting, some sort of psychosomatic “answer” from God. I think expecting an answer of this sort, and using such an answer as the primary means of determining truth is a lazy way out of earnestly seeking God.

[quote=Casen]By the way ex-mormon, if you have read the Book of Mormon you should know that the Bees mentioned in the Book of Mormon are in the Old World setting, before the Jaradites traveled to the New World.
[/quote]

Casen,

I have read the BOM, maybe you need to reread the book of Ether, If they brought swarms of honey bees why did they not intend to use them in the new world? It was easy for the Spainards to introduce the european honey bee to the Americas, why not the Jaradites? How do you explain the horse and cattle issue in the Americas prior to the Spainards introducing them?.

God Bless,
ex-mo

[quote=Catholic Dude]So what does “white and delightsome” mean?
[/quote]

In 2 Nephi 30:6, the original version of the Book of Mormon said that if Lamanites accepted the true gospel, “…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.” After 1981, the term *“white and delightsome” was changed to read “pure.” *

I hope that answers your question Dude.

God Bless,
ex-mo

[quote=ex-mormon]In 2 Nephi 30:6, the original version of the Book of Mormon said that if Lamanites accepted the true gospel, “…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.” After 1981, the term *“white and delightsome” was changed to read “pure.” *

I hope that answers your question Dude.

God Bless,
ex-mo
[/quote]

Ex-mo,

Long time, no see from you. Welcome!

While your observations are no doubt correct, why do leave out the fact that “white” was originally changed to “pure” in the 1840 edition? This change done by no less than Joseph Smith who probably realized that using white was a quaint Hebraic metaphore for purity, and that the change was needed to circumvent overly literalistic modern readings. Later editions reverted back to the earlier readings because those texts worked off the 1837 edition.

I suppose I am equally vulnerable to the charge of leaving out information. Good thing a more balanced picture emerges when both sides present information they feel is pertinent.

later,
fool

Wow, this is all indeed interesting. One could say that all these changes in the BoM could merely be by word-choice and grammatical tenses (I still see irregular relapses between -eth into -s in third person singular verbs in the BoM). However, concerning honeybees, horses and the Jaredites, I would like to see that issue cleared up as I pass over it in my reading.

But I do say, if the Old Testament alludes to Jesus and the Bible without using these Greek words, I still do not see why this would be possible with the Nephites despite it perhaps being in accord in Joseph Smith’s translation.

Concerning my update on praying over the BoM; I had a deeper feeling (and actually cried in recognising the humility) over the consecration of the Eucharist rather, so perhaps I need more time. As much as the BoM is quite a ravishing story (King Benjamin’s address is very powerful) I hope to see my inquiries in the future to be cleared off.

And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen :wink:

Not having the original language manuscripts of the Book of Mormon make it hard to answer your question with a great deal of definiteness. The text of the Book of Mormon as we have makes much more descriptive statements about Christ and the Bible than the Old Testament, which you correctly note only allude to such.

For example, the Book of Mormon text describes prophets having some detailed visions about Christ and the Bible production. Even if you replaced “Christ” and “Bible” with more vague ones, given the other details that accompany them, a translator/editor would recognize what the best current words convey the meaning, even if this introduces anachronisms.

Much of the Book of Mormon was edited by Mormon, who was a prophet after Christ. Presumably such a prophet like him or Joseph Smith could be inspired with a way to better make concepts understood by modern audiences. Biblical translators are shy about claiming such inspiration so they stick more closely to the textual criticism. Also we note that since the OT is shared by divergent faith traditions – Judaism and Christianity-- it is beneficial to leave allusions to Christ and the Bible vague in OT translations. This increases the amount of dialogue between these two traditions.

And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen :wink:

Amen :wink:

[quote=silverwings_88]I was reading the Book of Mormon today and finished up to the Book of Mosiah (yip! :yup: ), but during my reading time, I did have some problems with some of the words used…

The first word was Christ. SINCE the Nephites and Lamanites where an Israelite tribe, the word Christ would not have been with the people. Perhaps Messiah, but the word Christ should not have been there since it didn’t exist.

The second big concern for me is the word Bible found around the end of 2 Nephi. Again, assuming that the Nephites and Lamanites were true tribes of Israel, the word being Greek was never invented at all. It should not have been in the writing assuming that the prophesying was in the languages of the peoples…

Now, I was told by my third pair of Missionaries (my daily attendance of Mormon Seminary seems to attract this) that this was because the words were revealed to them during the prophecies, which I unpersuadingly nodded. I feel that the information given to me was slightly dissatisfactory…

I was also told to pray over the truth of the Book of Mormon again…

ANYWAYS I know I should go to a Mormon forum myself, but this is much easier. If you’re Mormon and you can answer this credibly, I would be greatly relieved!
[/quote]

The BoM is full of those type of inconsistencies - the image of the cross being known to Israelites who left Palestine before the Hellenistic period would have brought knowledge of crucifixion, the use of modern Greek in the Book of Abraham, etc. I don’t know that anyone has ever made an entire list of the historical and linguistic ‘problems’ with the BoM but no proof is likely to sway the mainstream LDS members - although it does cause defection often in the company of LDS scholars (sometimes seldom made public if the numbers cited by those who do go public, without desire to harm their colleagues by ‘outing’ them, are to be believed).

There is also the problem with strictly late 18th-early 19th century phrases being ‘translated’ into a tongue which is written to sound like 17th century English from ancient plates said to contain characters of “Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic” origin.

The usual answer that I’ve gotten from most LDS is that Smith did not so much “translate” as simply write, word for word, what God revealed to him. As this theory brings up other problems, some LDS stick with the less strict “translation” and the anomalies are explained away by different methods.

[quote=mormon fool]Ex-mo,

Long time, no see from you. Welcome!

While your observations are no doubt correct, why do leave out the fact that “white” was originally changed to “pure” in the 1840 edition? This change done by no less than Joseph Smith who probably realized that using white was a quaint Hebraic metaphore for purity, and that the change was needed to circumvent overly literalistic modern readings. Later editions reverted back to the earlier readings because those texts worked off the 1837 edition.

I suppose I am equally vulnerable to the charge of leaving out information. Good thing a more balanced picture emerges when both sides present information they feel is pertinent.

later,
fool
[/quote]

Thankyou MF,

I have had a very busy summer with family, work, teaching RCIA, and KoC. I have missed the discussions on this board and FAIR.
Yes it was changed in the 1840 edition to “pure” from “white” then back to “white” again. The reasons are not clear for this change, but the reference you quote is incorect with relation to it being used and a Hebraic metaphore for purity in this context. The context refers to skin tone note spirituality:
[left]The book of Mormon says in 2 Nephi 5:21, “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, and they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.”

3 Nephi 2:15 says, “And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites.” This is obviously a reference to skin color.

I hope this clarifies my point!

God Bless,
ex-mo[/left]

[quote=Casen]Yes, I’m just finishing up the Book of Mosiah myself. We don’t know what word they actually used since the book was written in Reformed Egyptian, not English. But when Joseph Smith translated the book he chose to use the word “Christ”.
[/quote]

Casen,

I thought, from reading a number of FARMS articles, although “Reformed Egyptian” is mentioned in Morm. 9: 32 - “And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the areformed• Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.” - that the ‘more complete’ languages of the characters found on the plates were, in fact, “Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic”?

[quote=From JS-H] "63 Sometime in this month of February, the aforementioned Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn off the plates, and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances, as he related them to me after his return, which was as follows:

64 “I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic; and he said they were true characters. He gave me a certificate, certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him."
[/quote]

I’ve never been able to assemble a list of just which materials were translated when, transcribed by whom, translated with or without the plates being present, the manner of translation (i.e., with U&T, seer stone(s), illuminated in hat, et al.), etc. If you know of such an explanatory chronology existing - perhaps available on the Internet - I would love a link to same.

[quote=ex-mormon] Thankyou MF,

I have had a very busy summer with family, work, teaching RCIA, and KoC.
[/quote]

What’s KoC?

Yes it was changed in the 1840 edition to “pure” from “white” then back to “white” again.The reasons are not clear for this change

I think a reasonable inference can be drawn about the 1840 edition. Joseph Smith edited the Book of Mormon for clarity and “pure” better represents the Book of Mormon’s intended message to a non-Hebraic audience. So we know the 2 Nephi 30:6 passage underwent Joseph Smith’s careful consideration. It is hence clear that the “pure” rendition of this passage provides the context for interpretting “white” found in other related passages.

With that note, I see no valid argument that the other passages can control the interpretation of 2 Nephi 30:6. “White” and “white skin” both are Hebrew metaphors for purity. Physical skin color has nothing to do with spirituality as the Book of Mormon stresses time and time again. Physical skin color changes were merely a side effect (or mark) of the curse and not the curse itself. The actual curse was just “a separation from God” as a result of personal wickedness. Physical skin changes were likely the result of natural–like assimulation with another nation-- and not supernatural processes. Negative passages about the Lamanites are based on stereotypes of cultural traits observed by biased political enemies.

later,
fool

If you want a good chronology that would cover at least some of the above, see:

wasatchnet.net/users/ewatson/BoM.htm

The only thing I would question is how much got done before Oliver Cowdery arrived. I suspect there was a slow down because Joseph Smith had to switch translation tools.

[quote=ben_dy]I don’t know that anyone has ever made an entire list of the historical and linguistic ‘problems’ with the BoM but no proof is likely to sway the mainstream LDS members - although it does cause defection often in the company of LDS scholars (sometimes seldom made public if the numbers cited by those who do go public, without desire to harm their colleagues by ‘outing’ them, are to be believed).
[/quote]

I find it problematic to dismiss faithful Mormon scholars on the grounds that they are hiding their true loyalties. “Coming out” is quite profitable these days. BYU might be selective about what they publish, but there are enough independent forums to get an idea where people stand on issues.

The record on scholar retention is mixed, but some general observations can be made. Consider the set of LDS scholars with advanced degrees in relevant fields (DNA science, archaeology, history, biblical studies) to Mormon Studies that publish their findings and establish a reputation. First I will make a list (not exhaustive).

Egyptology/
pro – Gee, Rhodes
con – Ashment, Thompson

DNA
pro – Whiting, McClellan
con – Murphy, Southerton

history
pro – Bushman, Bachman, Backman, Bitton, Ashurst-McGee
con – Quinn, Vogel, Palmer, van Wagoner, Compton(?)

Archaeology
pro – Sorenson, Clark
con – none

literary criticism studies
pro – Welch, Goff, Ostler
con – Larson, Charles, Wright

Of course if I were to be more exhaustive the “pro” people greatly swamp the “con”. But what is telling is that almost all the “cons” are either cultural mormons or athiestic/agnostic. None of them are joining other denominations. It goes without saying that their naturalistic methods will work against Christianity and the Bible too.

later,
fool

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