It is currently Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:32 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 325 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:20 am 
Hermit
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 7492
Location: Cave
Aero wrote:
People that have a hard time getting small, easy stuff right tend to carry that over to the big, important stuff as well. If my doctor can't diagnose strep throat correctly, how can I possibly trust them to diagnose liver cancer. I'm just not sure how you can trust that they are getting the "key doctrinal principles" right. It makes it even more difficult when those become the issues that are hard to test for accuracy. You are trusting people that get all the small, easy stuff wrong to be right about the most important stuff. Seems like a giant gamble to me with pretty long odds.


I agree Aero. But here's the thing; there's an inverse relationship between the importance of the religious claim and its tractability. Remission of sin and exaltation? Really big and important, but totally intractable and untestable. If Joseph Smith or even Jesus Christ for that matter entered into a purely metaphysical ministry where they declared the right answers to eternity-impacting questions, then it's like, take a number; who doesn't have an answer for this kind of stuff? Not to say doctrinal nit-picking and navel-gazing can't get an NRM off the ground, but it's especially difficult for someone who is an outsider. If you're the pope, then you can make a really big deal about images and icons when heavy politics loom in the background. But just some random dude? It really helps to have a gimmick. Something not important in the grand scheme of things, but tractable for observers. Healing the sick, raising the dead, and even disappearing from a tomb are great options for those both present and past. Even today, Christian apologists argue for the legitimacy of the miracles as evidence for Christ's authenticity.

Had Joseph Smith kept his message confined to the core doctrines that are apparently important to salvation, the totally untestable metaphysical stuff that isn't too culturally bizarre like faith, repentance, and baptism, then he'd never have secured a single follower. It's all the tangible stuff -- translating ancient documents. Why did Martin Harris go to Charles Anthon? These followers of Smith are totally invested in his magic. THAT is what buys the credibility for them to support otherwise untestable metaphysical claims. Oh, you don't think baptism by the restored priesthood is important? Then explain how Joseph Smith translated the plates in such a short time! For Mormonism, it all hinges on the miracle. Not because the contents of the miracle are core, but because that's what establishes the credibility of the prophet in a tangible way.

When apologists and enlightened Mormons to varying degrees disassociate themselves from Joseph Smith's bizarre stuff and focus on "faith and repentance" it's among other things, a bait and switch. This is the switch, while all esoteric elements of Mormonism that got the Church off the ground were the bait.

Those of us who follow UFOlogy to a degree see similarities. There was this contactee guy in the 70s who took photos of spaceships called Billy Meier; really crystal clear photos and impossible to believe, yet initially, the photos were pretty well faked and wasn't easy to for skeptics to say with certainty how they were fabricated if they were a hoax. As Meier's popularity grew, his story fleshed out, and aliens communicated new-age type information to him about the dangers of nuclear war and importance of peace etc. There is to this day a big deal made about his revelations. As time went on, some of his photos get debunked with better precision, as technology improves and incentives rise to debunk. I've seen disciples argue: Yeah, some of these photos have been debunked, but these other photos haven't yet, and what about everything he said about the star people?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:49 am 
High Priest

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:55 am
Posts: 373
Aero wrote:
People that have a hard time getting small, easy stuff right tend to carry that over to the big, important stuff as well. If my doctor can't diagnose strep throat correctly, how can I possibly trust them to diagnose liver cancer.


I'm not sure that's true for a variety of reasons. First medical doctors often are only good at the diagnosis they do a lot. So it's rather common to expect a cardiac specialist to be poor at diagnosing throat infections. This is why it's usually better not to trust a GP and go directly to a specialist. I remember with my son going to several doctors due to poor sleep and constant sinus infections. None of them diagnosed a problem. Went to an ear, throat and nose specialist and they put my son in for surgery the next day because there was such a problem.

The principle applies more broadly. The way we evaluate knowledge depends upon our skills, and our skills are freshest in the areas we do the most or that are easiest to discern. So to return to my example, I'd expect that ear, throat and nose specialist to be able to diagnose a broken bone because that's fairly easy and something he likely remembers from medical school even though he might not remember how to diagnose cardiac problems.

So in terms of basic principles I think what you espouse just isn't accurate to how humans remember or have skills.



Quote:
I'm just not sure how you can trust that they are getting the "key doctrinal principles" right.


My principle though is that we shouldn't just trust them but find out for ourselves. So I think they're getting the basics right because I investigate. I never advocate blind faith although I do think we should pay very close attention to what they say. I also think there is a burden of proof we have to overcome before rejecting what they say as a mistake. (Although that does occasionally happen)

Quote:
You are relying on someone that is supposed to be THE expert on the planet at speaking with God while admitting they are less than 20% accurate.


I have no trouble with that. That's certainly much better than most other groups.

I'll confess I just don't understand those who demand infallibility when we don't expect that anywhere else.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:22 pm 
God

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:25 pm
Posts: 5598
Aero wrote:
People that have a hard time getting small, easy stuff right tend to carry that over to the big, important stuff as well. If my doctor can't diagnose strep throat correctly, how can I possibly trust them to diagnose liver cancer.

ClarkGoble wrote:
I'm not sure that's true for a variety of reasons. First medical doctors often are only good at the diagnosis they do a lot. So it's rather common to expect a cardiac specialist to be poor at diagnosing throat infections. This is why it's usually better not to trust a GP and go directly to a specialist. I remember with my son going to several doctors due to poor sleep and constant sinus infections. None of them diagnosed a problem. Went to an ear, throat and nose specialist and they put my son in for surgery the next day because there was such a problem.

The principle applies more broadly.

I don't understand how your anecdote about specialists vs. generalists is related to Aero's concerns about having a hard time "getting small, easy stuff right" and whether that relates to getting "the big, important stuff right as well." They are two different concepts.
ClarkGoble wrote:
The way we evaluate knowledge depends upon our skills, and our skills are freshest in the areas we do the most or that are easiest to discern. So to return to my example, I'd expect that ear, throat and nose specialist to be able to diagnose a broken bone because that's fairly easy and something he likely remembers from medical school even though he might not remember how to diagnose cardiac problems.

So in terms of basic principles I think what you espouse just isn't accurate to how humans remember or have skills.

Are you advocating that prophesy is a learned and remembered skill? If so, then are you suggesting that the reason they are not getting the little stuff right is because that part of the skill of prophesy is the hardest to discern? Or are you suggesting that it is because they don't remember much about what they learned about that part the skill of prophesying?

I think your example here has carried you far astray from the actual issues.

Aero wrote:
You are relying on someone that is supposed to be THE expert on the planet at speaking with God while admitting they are less than 20% accurate.

CB wrote:
I have no trouble with that. That's certainly much better than most other groups.
What other groups are you referring to? Why would it matter what other groups do? Is revelation judged on the basis of who has the highest number of correct "hits"?
ClarkGoble wrote:
I'll confess I just don't understand those who demand infallibility when we don't expect that anywhere else.

What other area are you considering comparable to those who call themselves "prophets, seers, and revelators," and say they are the only church with the authority from God? Why wouldn't you expect more from that group?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:36 pm 
God

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:43 pm
Posts: 11570
ClarkGoble wrote:

I'll confess I just don't understand those who demand infallibility when we don't expect that anywhere else.


Find some and let us know. This is a straw-man. Your problem is just how unreliable Prophets are at getting things right they claim are from God.

Quote:
My principle though is that we shouldn't just trust them but find out for ourselves.


How? Supposedly they are doing the subjective private experiences you are, and they are viewed as being much better at it then the average active member. This is why shared knowledge and evidence is so superior to private. Shouldn't shared knowledge take precedence over private which is very subjective and prone to being wrong for many reasons?

_________________
42


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:43 pm 
Sunbeam

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:35 am
Posts: 78
Location: A galaxy far far away
ClarkGoble wrote:
This is why it's usually better not to trust a GP and go directly to a specialist.


Aren't the prophets the very specialists you speak of when you talk about someone speaking for God? If they aren't the specialists, then who is? These aren't general practitioners getting strep throat right and getting a cardiac diagnosis wrong. These are cardiologists failing to get people's pulse right most of the time. Yet you still trust them when they try and diagnose heart failure.

Quote:
My principle though is that we shouldn't just trust them but find out for ourselves. So I think they're getting the basics right because I investigate. I never advocate blind faith although I do think we should pay very close attention to what they say. I also think there is a burden of proof we have to overcome before rejecting what they say as a mistake. (Although that does occasionally happen)

What would the burden of proof be to reject the prophets and how do you go about obtaining it?

At the end of the day, you trust yourself more than you trust the prophets. Based on that alone, they are irrelevant. Why not just rely on your own communication with God since you deem it more reliable and trustworthy in the end?

Quote:
I have no trouble with that. That's certainly much better than most other groups.

Except for scientists which you admit are more reliable. Yet almost every time that both scientists and prophets have given opinions on a subject, the scientists disagree with the prophets.

Quote:
I'll confess I just don't understand those who demand infallibility when we don't expect that anywhere else.

Maybe because no one else is claiming to speak with and on behalf of God. If they did, I'd expect the same kind of infallibility. Wouldn't you agree that God should be the ultimate source of truth over any other human or group of humans on the planet? Therefore, anyone claiming to speak to and for that supreme source of truth should also be held to the supreme standard of reliability. That's why no one else is expecting that degree of infallibility from other sources. There is nothing that is comparable to God.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:02 pm 
High Priest

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:55 am
Posts: 373
Lemmie wrote:
I don't understand how your anecdote about specialists vs. generalists is related to Aero's concerns about having a hard time "getting small, easy stuff right" and whether that relates to getting "the big, important stuff right as well." They are two different concepts.


Aren't they an example of an expert who can miss small stuff while getting big stuff right? It's that proposition alone it was designed to argue.

Quote:
Are you advocating that prophesy is a learned and remembered skill?


I think so, although other things affect it too. Although that's not necessary for the argument which is just about a single premise for Aero's larger argument.

Quote:
If so, then are you suggesting that the reason they are not getting the little stuff right is because that part of the skill of prophesy is the hardest to discern? Or are you suggesting that it is because they don't remember much about what they learned about that part the skill of prophesying?


I was only addressing an argument not making a broader claim.

However I'm a thoroughgoing fallibilists so I think there's always lots of ways to get things wrong. I'm not sure we have to point to one reason. For instance we know from the translation process that when Joseph had a fight with Emma he wasn't able to translate. Assume that's not a black/white issue but admits degrees then ones conflicts and sins presumably will interfere. (Indeed that's a common LDS teaching that pops up in many lesson manuals)


Quote:
I think your example here has carried you far astray from the actual issues.


I can address the argument for an issue without necessarily engaging the full issue.

Quote:
What other groups are you referring to? Why would it matter what other groups do? Is revelation judged on the basis of who has the highest number of correct "hits"?


My only argument was about needing infallibility for trust. I claim that thesis is wrong and provided examples where we trust people with reasonable rates of error. So it's a narrow claim and argument.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:11 pm 
High Priest

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:55 am
Posts: 373
Aero wrote:
These aren't general practitioners getting strep throat right and getting a cardiac diagnosis wrong. These are cardiologists failing to get people's pulse right most of the time.


I'm not sure I'd agree with pushing the analogy that way. Again though the argument is just to deal with a particularly narrow claim that was a premise for an argument you made.

Quote:
What would the burden of proof be to reject the prophets and how do you go about obtaining it?


Not sure what you're asking. Burden of proof more or less just refers to where the argument has to be made. That is in the absence of evidence I assume the brethren are correct. As soon as I have evidence I have to evaluate that. Personally I think that a reasonable level of evidence is needed to decide they are wrong. But what that evidence would be would obviously depend upon the particular claim. So say evidence for evolution tells me little about evidence for some historical anecdote being accurate.

Quote:
At the end of the day, you trust yourself more than you trust the prophets.


I trust evidence. I'm not sure that's myself, beyond it being myself that has to make the judgment. But since to trust the prophets I also have to make the judgment I'm not sure I can escape from myself being involved.

Quote:
Why not just rely on your own communication with God since you deem it more reliable and trustworthy in the end?


Because God doesn't give me communication on everything and my ability to discern varies as well too. Plus the evidence I have for any particular topic varies. Then there are the hermeneutic questions of interpretation. There's a lot of places for things to go wrong.

Quote:
Except for scientists which you admit are more reliable. Yet almost every time that both scientists and prophets have given opinions on a subject, the scientists disagree with the prophets.


I'm not sure that's correct. But again, I have to look at the evidence in question (including the evidence of what scientists or prophets actually are saying) Plus of course I only think prophets get that burden of proof when they are acting as a prophet. We can always debate when that is which takes more evidence.


Quote:
Maybe because no one else is claiming to speak with and on behalf of God. If they did, I'd expect the same kind of infallibility. Wouldn't you agree that God should be the ultimate source of truth over any other human or group of humans on the planet? Therefore, anyone claiming to speak to and for that supreme source of truth should also be held to the supreme standard of reliability.


I don't see how that follows logically.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:26 pm 
God

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:25 pm
Posts: 5598
ClarkGoble wrote:
Lemmie wrote:
I don't understand how your anecdote about specialists vs. generalists is related to Aero's concerns about having a hard time "getting small, easy stuff right" and whether that relates to getting "the big, important stuff right as well." They are two different concepts.


Aren't they an example of an expert who can miss small stuff while getting big stuff right? It's that proposition alone it was designed to argue.

?? That wasn't your argument at all.
ClarkGoble wrote:
First medical doctors often are only good at the diagnosis they do a lot.

This argument really doesn't seem to be making your point. It would probably be better to let it go rather than to keep trying to twist it into shape.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:45 pm 
Sunbeam

Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:35 am
Posts: 78
Location: A galaxy far far away
ClarkGoble wrote:
Aero wrote:
These aren't general practitioners getting strep throat right and getting a cardiac diagnosis wrong. These are cardiologists failing to get people's pulse right most of the time.

I'm not sure I'd agree with pushing the analogy that way.

Why not? Prophets are the very definition of specialists in speaking with God, right?

Quote:
Quote:
What would the burden of proof be to reject the prophets and how do you go about obtaining it?

Not sure what you're asking. Burden of proof more or less just refers to where the argument has to be made. That is in the absence of evidence I assume the brethren are correct.

Why do you assume that? You've admitted that they are wrong much more often than they are right. Shouldn't the default assumption be that they are wrong since you admit they are wrong over 80% of the time?

Quote:
As soon as I have evidence I have to evaluate that. Personally I think that a reasonable level of evidence is needed to decide they are wrong.

How do you feel about all the evidence that says that the Book of Mormon is not historical or that the Book of Abraham is not contained in the scrolls that Joseph said he translated them from?

Quote:
So say evidence for evolution tells me little about evidence for some historical anecdote being accurate.

How do you feel about evolution? Do you agree with the scientists or the prophets?

Quote:
Quote:
At the end of the day, you trust yourself more than you trust the prophets.

I trust evidence. I'm not sure that's myself, beyond it being myself that has to make the judgment. But since to trust the prophets I also have to make the judgment I'm not sure I can escape from myself being involved.

You are the final judge of that evidence. You make the determination whether you will believe the prophets or go a different way. That makes your judgement the ultimate decider. You put your own judgement of the evidence over everyone else's.

Quote:
Quote:
Why not just rely on your own communication with God since you deem it more reliable and trustworthy in the end?

Because God doesn't give me communication on everything and my ability to discern varies as well too. Plus the evidence I have for any particular topic varies. Then there are the hermeneutic questions of interpretation. There's a lot of places for things to go wrong.

If you ability to discern varies, yet is the ultimate decider of what you believe, how can you trust that you got the right answer especially when that answer goes against known evidence coming from sources you believe to be more accurate than prophets?

Quote:
Quote:
Except for scientists which you admit are more reliable. Yet almost every time that both scientists and prophets have given opinions on a subject, the scientists disagree with the prophets.

I'm not sure that's correct. But again, I have to look at the evidence in question (including the evidence of what scientists or prophets actually are saying) Plus of course I only think prophets get that burden of proof when they are acting as a prophet. We can always debate when that is which takes more evidence.

Can you give me a few instances where prophets have been right and scientists have been wrong? Or even easier, where prophets and scientists have agreed? The list is pretty long for stuff that they don't agree on. I guess I could start that list if you really want me to, but I'm pretty sure you have a good idea about what is on that list.

Quote:
Quote:
Maybe because no one else is claiming to speak with and on behalf of God. If they did, I'd expect the same kind of infallibility. Wouldn't you agree that God should be the ultimate source of truth over any other human or group of humans on the planet? Therefore, anyone claiming to speak to and for that supreme source of truth should also be held to the supreme standard of reliability.
I don't see how that follows logically.

I don't see how you can make the claim that it doesn't follow logically.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: A Reason For Faith: Problematical Apologetics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:51 pm 
Dragon
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:15 am
Posts: 5081
Location: The Land of Lorn
There is a claim in the book that says,
Quote:
Some may feel that we also need to account for Joseph Smith believing the plates were genuine. Although he was a prophet, he was a man who could make mistakes. Joseph Smith believed that the Holy Ghost could warn him of trouble and help him discern truth from falsehood,


The part about the Holy Ghost is true. According to what Joseph himself wrote in his "revelations" we absolutely do need to account for Joseph believing the plates were genuine. And yes, EVERYONE makes mistakes. But this is a broad generalization, that is why we need to analyze Smith's teachings and what he claimed about his prophetic office.

So... they try to limit this and claim that Joseph could pretty easily (in my opinion) be deceived.

Think about it. Joseph is claiming that he can "translate" ancient records. His followers explicitly believe this. Yet, Don's theory has NOTHING to do with this. It is about a casual comparison. Yet they make the statement that Joseph Smith believed that the HG could warn him of trouble and help him discern truth from falsehood and brush it off. I've discussed this and why I believe it is important.

Also, what about translating? What is translating? It is more than just a casual comparison.

Here are Clayton's words, vs. what Don said that Joseph got from the GAEL, matches in Blue.

Quote:
[Clayton] They contain the history of the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt,  

[GAEL Haeoophah] Honor by birth, kingly power by the line of Pharaoh; possession by birth;

[Clayton] and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth.  

[GAEL Haeoophah] one who reigns upon his throne universally—possessor of heaven and earth, and of the blessings of the earth.


They claim,

Quote:
The character named “Ha e oop hah” in Joseph Smith’s “Egyptian Alphabet” can be seen as the same character featured prominently on the top of one of the Kinderhook plates, and the reported content of Joseph Smith’s translation from the Kinderhook plates can be substantially drawn from that character’s definition in the “Egyptian Alphabet.” It may be that the “portion” of the Kinderhook plates that Joseph Smith translated on or before May 1, 1843, was no more than this single character from the top of one of the plates. It appears that Joseph Smith shared this same translation with the group of men who met a few days later. (Hales, Laura Harris. A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History (Kindle Locations 2699-2703). Deseret Book Company/RSC. Kindle Edition).


First, the content that Clayton gave cannot be "substantially drawn from that character". One can see that there are only two points of similarity. The words " of Pharaoh", and the words "of heaven and earth".

If Clayton and Joseph had the GAEL in front of them, why would Clayton need to paraphrase? He could simply have copied exactly what the "translation" was. But the majority of what is under the Egyptian word "Haeoophah" is not found in Clayton's translation. Joseph claimed that "the person with whom they were found", received his kingdom from the "ruler of heaven and earth". The "Haeoophah" definition claims that they would be described as "the possessor of heaven and earth" but it doesn't mention the "ruler of heaven and earth". Joseph claimed that he was descended from Ham, yet they cannot link any of that grapheme with the rest of Joseph's "translation". I don't see how what Joseph "translated" can be "substantially drawn" from that one character. In fact, it cannot. That is why it is important to know how Joseph translated things, which I'm going to discuss below.

Also, we do not know what Joseph said to his visitors A WEEK LATER. To claim that Joseph shared this same translation with those men on that date is simply not in the evidence. If Joseph shared a "translation", why doesn't Emmons mention it?

They also write,

Quote:
It is reasonable to place the Kinderhook-plates episode in the same context as the Book of Mormon—that Joseph Smith was either translating or pretending to translate the Kinderhook plates by the power of God. The problem with this common assumption is that it ignores the evidence that Joseph Smith had a personal interest in languages, that he spent considerable time studying languages, that he engaged in traditional translation without claiming divine aid, and that he approached the Kinderhook plates in precisely this fashion.


Wow. It's all been settled then. They continue...

Quote:
Joseph Smith and Translation by Revelation

Joseph Smith’s interest in language grew naturally out of his earlier prophetic projects. He had translated the Book of Mormon in 1828 and 1829.36 According to the Book of Mormon, the golden plates had been written using “reformed Egyptian” characters to express the Hebrew language.37 From the time he translated this passage forward, Joseph Smith may have seen a relationship between the Hebrew and Egyptian languages. From 1830 to 1833, Joseph Smith and his scribes worked on a “new translation” of the Bible. Starting with the King James Version, they made several expansions and hundreds of revisions to the text, some by revelation and others, such as small grammatical changes, which may have been considered to be the result of human reason rather than revelation.38 In the summer of 1835, Joseph Smith and others in Kirtland, Ohio, purchased four Egyptian mummies and a collection of papyri. Using the papyri, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham by the divine gift of revelation.39 He translated Abraham 1:1–2:18 in Kirtland; then he resumed his translation several years later in Nauvoo. His journal reports that he was “translating” the Book of Abraham and then “translating and revising” on March 8–9, 1842—about one year before he translated from the Kinderhook plates. Some of the explanations of the illustrations that accompanied the published Book of Abraham used Hebrew words—again linking Hebrew and Egyptian.40

Joseph Smith and Traditional Translation

Joseph Smith’s translation work with the Egyptian papyri in 1835 heightened his more traditional interest in ancient languages. In addition to the Egyptian papyri themselves and the Book of Abraham translation manuscripts, there are several other manuscripts from this period that are clearly related to both. These documents, commonly called the “Kirtland Egyptian Papers,” are in the handwriting of Joseph Smith and others who were helping him at the time. One of these documents is a bound volume titled “Grammar & Alphabet of the Egyptian Language,” with a spine labeled “Egyptian Alphabet.” The “Egyptian Alphabet” is really more of a lexicon—a sort of dual-language dictionary with Egyptian characters and corresponding definitions or interpretations in English.41 It is uncertain why or how these documents were made, but many of the character interpretations are clearly related to content in the Book of Abraham. Because of this, some people view the documents as the translation key for Egyptian by which Joseph Smith produced the English text of the Book of Abraham. Critics of Mormonism especially favor this hypothesis because the English interpretations of the Egyptian characters do not match the definitions given by Egyptologists.42 Another hypothesis is that Joseph Smith first received the Book of Abraham by revelation and then tried to figure out how to translate Egyptian by matching papyri characters to the Book of Abraham text. Before Joseph Smith acquired the papyri, scholars in New York and Philadelphia had tried to translate them but could not.43 Champollion, the French linguist, was just beginning to figure out how to translate Egyptian using the Rosetta Stone. Perhaps Joseph Smith was attempting the same process, using the revealed Book of Abraham and the papyri as his “Rosetta Stone.”44 (Hales, Laura Harris. A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History (Kindle Locations 2522-2558). Deseret Book Company/RSC. Kindle Edition.)


This whole thing about Joseph being a "secular" translator is simply not borne out by the evidence. Oh, Joseph studied Hebrew and Greek and German. But did he ever attempt to translate ANY ancient documents from those languages? Not that we know of. In fact according to Henry Caswell, Joseph wasn't so familiar with Greek that he mistook it for Egyptian. Whether or not that is true, Joseph never even tried to translate Caswell's book in any kind of traditional way. The Mormons simply denied Caswell's account of the visit. If Joseph had tried to do that, I'm sure they would have said so. But they didn't. Here is what Richards supposedly said about it later,

Quote:
It will be recollected by some, that a Mr. Caswell, professing to be an Episcopal minister, came to this city some twelve or eighteen months ago. He had with him an old manuscript, professing to be ignorant of its contents, and came to Joseph Smith, as he said, for the purpose of having it translated. Mr. Smith had a little conversation with him and treated him with civility, but as the gentleman seemed very much afraid of his document, he declined having any thing to do with it.


Joseph just declined to have anything to do with it. He didn't say, "hey, that's Greek". This was a chance for them to credit Joseph for having known Greek and just say that Caswell was making things up (which they did anyway). But why isn't there any interest on Joseph's part to translate the Greek or identify it as such? What, Caswell went there with the Psalter and then just didn't show it to Smith? That makes no sense. Caswell said he spoke to Willard Richards who claimed that "sometimes Mr. Smith speaks as a prophet, and sometimes as a mere man." So they admit that Joseph said something about the Psalter if this is true. But where is there any INTEREST in translating the document? Or attempting to do a secular translation? There isn't any. (according to the Mormons).

Then, in the article on the KP, they claim that Joseph "translated" the Book of Abraham, and how did he do it a year earlier? Not by any secular means, but how? By "revelation"...

Quote:
Truly the Lord has raised up Joseph the Seer of the seed of Abraham out of the loins of ancient Joseph, & is now clothing him with mighty power & wisdom & knowledge which is more clearly manifest & felt in the midst of his intimate friends than any other class of mankind. The Lord is Blessing Joseph with Power to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of God; to translate through the urim & Thummim Ancient records & Hyeroglyphics as old as Abraham or Adam, which causes our hearts to burn within us while we behold their glorious truths opened unto us.

Joseph the Seer has presented us some of the Book of Abraham which was written by his own hand but hid from the knowledge of man for the last four thousand years but has now come to light through the mercy of God. Joseph has had these records in his possession for several years but has never presented them before the world in the english language untill now. But he is now about to publish it to the world or parts of it by publishing it in the Times & Seasons, for Joseph the Seer is now the Editor of that paper & Elder Taylor assists him in writing while it has fallen to my lot to take charge of the Business part of the esstablishment. (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Vol. 2, 1841–1845, p.155).


When it comes to actually translating an ancient document, what does Smith do? He goes to his tried and true method, his stone. Yet they claim,

Quote:
It is reasonable to place the Kinderhook-plates episode in the same context as the Book of Mormon—that Joseph Smith was either translating or pretending to translate the Kinderhook plates by the power of God. The problem with this common assumption is that it ignores the evidence that Joseph Smith had a personal interest in languages, that he spent considerable time studying languages, that he engaged in traditional translation without claiming divine aid, and that he approached the Kinderhook plates in precisely this fashion.


He engaged in translation exercises to be sure. Again, what ancient documents did Joseph actually translate that way? None. The one instance of this where he could have shown us that he was interested in translating that way, the Psalter incident, doesn't. And we don't have to even believe Caswell to get this. According to the Mormons, Joseph walked away from it. So what was different about the KP?

Then, Joseph "translates" the Book of Abraham and goes back to the stone and "revelation". There is no evidence that Joseph ever was interested in Champollion, or what he was doing, or that he tried to translate Egyptian by any secular means at all. And the Grammar, what was that? Christopher Smith wrote a fascinating article in 2009 that really helps us to understand it and how it related to the "translation" of the Book of Abraham.

Smith writes,

Quote:
The textual evidence strongly suggests that Joseph Smith was the primary author of the Alphabet and Grammar documents and that he used them as a translation key for portions of the Book of Abraham. The implication is that he conceived of the Alphabet and Grammar documents as products of revelation.


I concur with Smith's assessment here, but it is important to note that Smith didn't need to do this, to "translate" the Book of Abraham. When he first saw the papyri, according to Oliver Cowdery,

Quote:
The morning Mr. Chandler first presented his papyrus to bro.-Smith, he was shown, by the latter, a number of characters like those upon the writings of Mr. C. which were previously copied from the plates, containing the history of the Nephites, or book of Mormon.

Being solicited by Mr. Chandler to give an opinion concerning his antiquities, or translation of some of the characters, bro. S. gave him the interpretation of some few for his satisfaction. For your gratification I will here annex a certificate which I hold, from under the hand of Mr. Chandler, unsolicited, however, by any person in this place, which will show how far he believed bro. Smith able to unfold from these long obscured rolls the wonders contained therein:

"Kirtland, July 6th, 1835."

"This is to make known to all who may be desirous, concerning the knowledge of Mr. Joseph Smith, jr. in deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic characters, in my possession, which I have, in many eminent cities, shown to the most learned: And, from the information that I could even learn, or meet with, I find that of Mr. Joseph Smith, jr. to correspond in the most minute matters."

(signed)

"Michael H. Chandler."

"Travelling [Traveling] with, and proprietor of Egyptian Mummies."


Why would Joseph do anything different with the Kinderhook Plates? What happened with them is uncannily similar to what happened above with the papyrus. And Joseph constructed the GAEL from "revelation". What is the timeline for the Book of Abraham and Joseph's interest in languages?

The "Manuscript History of the Church" contains the following two entries for the month of July 1835:

I [Joseph Smith], with W. W. Phelps and O. Cowdery, as scribes, commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics.

The remainder of this month, I [Joseph Smith] was continually engaged in translating an alphabet to the Book of Abraham, and arranging a grammar of the Egyptian language as practiced by the ancients. (Courtesy of Mike Marquardt https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Smith-Egy ... 1560852321)

Here are some of his diary entries,

Quote:
October 1[st] 1835 This after noon labored on the Egyptian alphabet in company with Br[other]s O[liver] Cowdery and W[illiam] W. Phelps. The system of astronomy was unfolded [to us].

October 7, 1835 This afternoon recommenced translating the ancient reccords.

Monday, 19th At home. Ex[h]ibited the records of antiquity to a number who called to see them.

October 29, 1835 While at the Doct[or's], Bishop E[dward] Partri[d]ge came in in company with President Phelps. I was much rejoiced to see him. We examined the mum[m]ies, returned home, and my scribe commenced writing in /my/ Journal a history of my life, concluding President [Oliver] Cowdery['s] 2d letter to W[illiam] W. Phelps, which President Williams had begun.

November 9th 1835 Wednesday morning, 11th At home. Attended School during school Hours. [I] returned home and spent the evening around my fire side teaching my family the science of grammar.

Tuesday, 17th Ex[h]ibited some /the Alphabet/ of the ancient records to Mr. Holmes and some others. Went with him to F[rederick] G. Williams to see the Mum[m]ies.

Friday, November 20, 1835 At evening, President [Oliver] Cowdery returned from New York bringing with him a quantity of Hebrew books for the benefit of the school. He presented me with a Hebrew Bible, lexicon and grammar, also a Greek Lexicon and Webster's English Lexicon.

President Cowdery had a prosperous journey according to the prayers of the Saints in Kirtland.

Saturday, 21st At home. Spent the day in examining my books and studying my /the/ Hebrew alphabet. At evening met with our Hebrew class to make some arrang[e]ments about a Teacher. It was decided by the voice of the School to send {page 47} to N[ew] York for a Jew to teach us the language, if we could get released from the engagement we had made with Doct[or] Piexotto to teach the language, having as[c]ertained that he was not qualified to give us the knowledge we wish to acquire.

Monday, 23d Several brethren called to converse with me and see the [Egyptian] records. Rec[eive]d a letter from Jared Carter. Spent the day in conversing and in studying the Hebrew language. This has been a stormy day. {page 48}

Tuesday, 24th At home. Spent the fore noon instructing those that called to inquire concerning the things of God, in the last days. In the after noon we translated some of the Egyptian records.

Wednesday, 25th Spent the day in Translating. To day Harvey Redfield and Jesse Hitchcock ar[r]ived here from Missourie. The latter says that he has no doubt but that a dose of [p.68] poison was administered to him in a boll [bowl] of milk, but God deli/vered him/.

Thursday, 26th At home. We spent the day in transcribing Egyptian characters from the papyrus. I am severely afflicted with a cold. Today Robert Rathbone and George Morey arrived from Zion.

Friday, 27th Much afflicted with my cold, yet able to be about. I am determined to overcom[e] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Spent the day in reading Hebrew at home.

Saturday, 28th I am conciderably recovered from my cold. I think I shall be able in a few days to translate again with the blessing of God.

December 3, Spent the day at home [and] devoted some time in studying /the/ Hebrew language

December 7. 1835 Spent the day in reading the Hebrew. Mr. John Hollister called to take the parting hand with me and remarked that he had been in darkness all his days, but had now found the light and intended to obey it; also a number of brethren called this Evening to see the records. I ex[h]ibited and explained them to their satisfaction. We have fine sleighing.

Tuesday morning the 8th At holm [home]. Spent the day in reading Hebrew in company with President Cowdery, Doct[or] Williams, Br[other] H[yrum] Smith, and O[rson] Pratt.

December 10, This evening I spent at hom[e]. A number of brethren called to see the [Egyptian] records which I ex[h]ibited to them. They were much pleased with their interview. {page 62}

Monday, 14th This morning a number of brethren from New York call[ed] to visit me and see the Egyptian records. Elder [Martin] Harris also returned this morning from Palmyra, N[ew] York. Br[other] Frazier Eaton of the same place called to pay us a visit. A verry fine man. Also Sister Harriet How[e] called to pay us a visit.

December 16, 1835 Returned home, Elder McLellen, Elder B[righam] Young and Elder J[ared] Carter called and paid me a visit with which I was much gratified. I ex[h]ibited and explained the Egyptian Records to them and explained many things to them concerning the dealings of God with the ancients and the formation of the planetary System. They seemed much pleased with the interview.

Wednesday, 23d In the forenoon at home stud[y]ing the Greek Language. Also waited upon the brethren who came in and exhibiting to them the papirus. In the afternoon visited Brother Leonard Rich with the relatives of Bro[ther] Oliver Cowdery. Had not a very agreeable visit for I found them {page 88} filled with prejudice against the work of the Lord and their minds blinded with superstition and ignorance &c.

Saturday, 26[th] Commenced studeing the Hebrew Language in company with Bro[ther]s Parrish and Williams.

Monday morning, January 4th 1836 Meet [met] and organized our Hebrew School according to the ar[r]angements that were made on Saturday last. We had engaged Doct[or] Piexotto to teach us in the Hebrew language when we had our room prepared. We informed him that we were ready and our room prepared. He agreed to wait on us this day and deliver his introductory lecture. Yesterday he sent us word that he {page 98} could not come untill Wednesday next.

January 12, 1836 This after noon a young man called to see the Egyptian manuscripts and I ex[h]ibited them to him. He expressed great satisfaction and appeared verry anxious to obtain a knowledge of the translation.

Thursday morning the 14th At 9 o'clock, meet the Hebrew class at the School room in the Chapel [Kirtland Temple] [p.103] and made some ar[r]angements about our anticipated Teacher Mr. J[oshua] Sexias [Seixas] of Hudson, Ohio.

Monday the 18th Attended the Hebrew School. This day the Elders' School was removed into the Chapel [Kirtland Temple] in the room adjoining ours. Nothing very special transpired.

Tuesday, 26[th] Mr. Seixas ar[r]ived from Hudson to teach the Hebrew Langu[a]ge. I attended upon the organizing of the class for the purpose of receiving his lectures on Hebrew grammar. His hours of instruction are from ten to eleven A.M. and from two to three P.M. His introduction pleased me much. I think he will be a help to the class in learning the Hebrew.

Saturday, 30[th] Attended school as usual, and waited upon several visiters and showed them the record of Abraham. Mr. Seixas our Hebrew teacher examined them with deep interest and pronounced them to be original beyound all doubt. He is a man of excellent understanding and has a knowledge of many languages which were spoken by the Antints [ancients]. He is an honorable man so far as I can judge as yet.

February 1, 1836 Had an other interview with Mr. Seixas our Hebrew teacher and related to him some of the dealings of God to me and gave him some of the evidences of the work of the latter days. He list[e]ned candidly and did not appose. {page 149}

Wednesday, 3[rd] Attended our Hebrew lecture A.M. and studied with O[liver] Cowdery and Sylvester Smith. P.M. received many visiters and showed the records of Abraham. My father blest three with a patriarchal blessing. Eld[er] A[lvah] Be[e]man handed in the names of seventy of his quorem, designed for another seventy if God will.

Feb 29th, 1836 This after noon Professor Seixas returned from Hudson and brought a few more Bibles and one grammar of his 2d edition. The weather is warm and our Sleighing is failing fast.

Wednesday March the 2nd Persued my studies as usual. At 7 o'clock in the evening, the first class met agreeably to the request of Mr. Seixas at Eld[e]r O[rson] Hyde's to spend one hour in translating. Dismissed and returned home.

March 11, This evening our class met at Mr. Seixas' room and spent an hour in our Studies. Class dismissed and retired except the school committee who tarried and made some ar[r]angements with Mr. Seixas about continuing longer with us and bringing his family to this place.

Tuesday the 29th Attended school, which was the last day of our course of lectures in Hebrew by Professor Seixas


That's the end of the Hebrew studies with Sexias and the Book of Abraham "translation" for Joseph, until Nauvoo. Christopher Smith writes,

Quote:
In his letter to William Frye, Cowdery interpreted one vignette from the Ta-shere-min papyrus by appeal to Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews.30 Cowdery was likely reading Josephus as the project proceeded and offered insights into the ancient histories of Egypt and Israel. Josephus, for example, refers to Egypt as Mestre (apparently a Greek rendering of the Hebrew name for Egypt, Mizraim) and the Egyptians as Mestreans.31 The GAEL calls Egypt Ah=meh=strah and the Egyptians the Ah meh strahans, apparently Egyptianizations of the names from Josephus.32 Thus Smith likely absorbed this suggestion from Cowdery, then, added his own prophetic touch.33


So the link of Hebrew and Egyptian is Joseph using some Hebrew words and trying to convert them into Egyptian words with his "prophetic touch"! Is this being a legitimate translator or just a con man claiming to know ancient Egyptian?

They write,
Quote:
True to his intentions, Joseph Smith maintained a passion for and intermittent study of languages for the rest of his life. In addition to Hebrew, he studied Greek, and in Nauvoo he occasionally cited the Greek New Testament in his sermons.48 He also frequently used Latin phrases in sermons and letters.49 Hales, Laura Harris. A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History (Kindle Locations 2578-2581). Deseret Book Company/RSC. Kindle Edition.


Was the phrase summum bonum really Joseph quoting Latin from being familiar with that language, or was it a phrase that was used by the people of his time? Here is an example from Webster's 1828 dictionary,
Quote:
TRENCH'ER, n. A wooden plate. Trenchers were in use among the common people of New England till the revolution.
1. The table.
2. Food; pleasures of the table.
It would be no ordinary declension that would bring some men to place their summum bonum upon their trenchers.


This is the only example of Joseph using a Latin phrase that they give. And sure, Joseph used some Greek words. And they give the references of a few instances where Joseph did this. But what does Joseph say, when he quotes some of these phrases? Why is he doing it?

Quote:
The grand Council set [sat?] at the head and contemplated the creation of the world, some will say, the scriptures say so & so, but I will show you a text out of an old book containing the four languages, the german is here what does this text say, yoakabeam, the son of Zebedee, the bible says James the son of Zebedee, but this says Jacob son of Zebedee 21 ch 4th ver Matthew The Dr says (I mean Dr of Law not of physic) If you say any thing not according to the Bible we will cry treason, But if ye are not led by revelation how can ye escape the damnation of Hell, here we have the testimony of four I have the oldest Book in the world & the holy Ghost I thank God for the old Book but more for the Holy Ghost.


So Joseph had a parallel Bible or something like it and would take some phrases out of it for his speeches. He studied Hebrew for a few months in 1835-36, a little Greek and German. Yet, what does he say here, that he is more reliant on the Holy Ghost than any language translation.

The GAEL came from the mind of Joseph Smith. He had reviewed and "translated" more of the Book of Abraham just a year before the KP were shown to him. Why would he need to use it, to get the partial "translation" he gave to Clayton? Clayton does not mention any lexicons, or traditional translation tools. All the comparisons come later after Joseph points in the direction of the papyri and the Book of Mormon characters. He not only had the Book of Mormon, but he had just finished his Book of Abraham. What better way to promote it as authentic than to link it with the papyri and his already "translated" materials?

This seems to be what he did two years earlier when he showed William Appleby the Boturini Codex on May 7, 1841. According to his diary/autobiography, Appleby arrived in Quincy, Illinois aboard the steamer "Fulton" on April 29, 1841, and arrived in Nauvoo the next day. He went to visit Joseph on the 5th of May, and wrote that "Today I paid Br. Joseph a visit, received instruction concerning "Baptism for the Dead," read the revelation as given by the Lord last January concerning the same, and Recorded in the "Book of the Law of the Lord," viewed four mummies, one male and three females, brought from Ancient Thebes in Egypt, -saw the rolls of papyrus, and the writings thereon, taken from off the bosom of the Male Mummy, being some of the writings of ancient Abraham and of Joseph, that was sold into Egypt. The writings are chiefly in the Egyptian language, with the exception of a little Hebrew. ... Joseph appears to have been the best scribe. Appleby then provides some "extracts from the Papyrus" and give a brief history of the papyrus and how Joseph acquired them. After viewing them and receiving instructions relative to Baptism for the Dead, Appleby went out to the Mississippi and was baptized for some of his dead relatives.

The next day, Joseph showed him the Boturini codex and Appleby wrote,

Saw a representation of the travels of "Lehi" and family from Jerusalem, (as recorded in the Book of Mormon, when he came to this continent) represented by Hieroglyphics, containing near twenty feet in length, and one foot in breath. Their footsteps are particularly laid down, the productions of the soil represented, where they traveled through the places of their encampments, and the Boat in crossing the "large waters" (p. 79) Their landing on this continent, Lehi's circumcising his sons &c. The Representations were found engraved on Rock, in South America, and "fac Similies," taken there from, on Paper, and presented to Joseph Smith by a gentleman of New York City. (p. 80)

The next day (May 7th), he wrote that he "Saw the record, and read from the same containing an account of the ministrations of the Angel "Moroni", to Br. Joseph..." and "read part of the New Translation of the Bible". He then received his patriarchal blessing from Hyrum Smith. (From William I. Appleby, Autobiography and journal, MS 1401, Church History Library).

So Appleby is visiting with Joseph on consecutive days and viewing his translations and histories and "revelations", and is told that the Boturini Codex is a representation of the travels of Lehi. This was two years before Kinderhook. A year later, Joseph continues his "translation" of the Book of Abraham and publishes what he has finished up that time.

Joseph as "secular" Translator. Did Joseph engage in traditional translation without claiming divine aid? That's not what he says.

I found the article "The Translator and the Ghostwriter: Joseph Smith and W. W. Phelps," that Chris Smith mentions in his article very interesting. This stood out to me:

Quote:
By 1835, Smith added direct translation from the Egyptian to his repertoire, analyzing, and then translating into what became the book of Abraham a collection of funerary papyri purchased that summer at Kirtland, Ohio. During his sustained encounter with the papyri, Smith also organized a Hebrew School in Kirtland, an amplification of his School of the Prophets under the tutelage of Joshua Seixas, a freelance Hebraist visiting Oberlin College but with connections to the conservative Andover Seminary in central Massachusetts.3 Upon the place to which the Saints fled after the Missouri Mormon War of 1838 Smith also bestowed a Hebrew name (Nauvoo). Smith would continue to study Hebrew, often with the help of Jewish convert Alex Neibaur, until the end of his life. As evidence of familiarity with Greek, he puzzled through the etymology of the word paradise in an 1843 sermon exploring life after death.4 In his last two public sermons (the King Follett Discourse and the Sermon in the Grove), he undertook a radical retranslation of the first sentence of the Hebrew Bible to explain his vision of God’s nature.5 In the same sermons he gave his listeners to understand that he could decipher Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and German.6 http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewc ... monhistory

But as I mentioned above, here is how Smith "translated" the word "paradise", and notice the reference to "divine aid"...

Quote:
Spirits of prison. The Holy Ghost reveals it. Spirits in the world of Spirits which Jesus went to preach to. God ordained that he who would save his dead should do it by getting together {page 245} as with the Jews. It always has been when a man was sent of God with the Priesthood and he began to preach the fulness of the gospel that [he] was thrust out by his friends. They are ready to butcher him if he teach[es] things which they had imagined to be wrong. Jesus was crucified upon this principle.

I will turn linguist. Many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelation of the Holy Ghost to me. Ponder "This day thou sha[l]t be with me in paradise." Paradise, [a] Modern word, don't answer to the original word used by Jesus. {page 246} Find the origin of Paradise. Find a needle in a hay mow. Here is a chance for a battle ye learned men. Said Jesus, for there is not time to investigat[e] this matter. For this day you will be with me in the world of Spi[ri]ts. Then I will teach you all about it. Peter says he went and preached to the [p.385] world of Spirits so that they would receive it [and] could have it answered by proxey by those who live on the earth &c. Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, p.384


So how is Joseph a "linguist" here in any traditional sense of the word? He is not. He cannot seem to separate the Holy Ghost from his "translations". I mentioned this above and also showed that this is the same with the King Follett Discourse. Joseph would simply make something up, and claim it was from the "Holy Ghost", and then try and explain it by claiming to be a "linguist". I've shown that Smith was completely wrong, paradise is an ancient word.

On the 16th of June Joseph did it again, and notice how he claims to be able to "translate" correctly using "divine aid":

Quote:
The Prophet read the 3rd Rev. text 6th. v. & made us K & P. unto God & his Far to him be glory & dom. for evermore 2—.

It is altogr. correct in the translatn. —now you know that of late some have sprung up & apostat. & they declare that Pro bel[ieves]. in a plurality of Gods 4—&c. & behold a very great secret they cry it has been my intentn. to take up this subjt. & show what my Faith is in the matter—I have contemplated the saying of Je[sus] as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be at his 2nd. coming & if it rains I'll preach—the plurarlity of Gods—I have selected this text I wish to declare I have allways—& in all congregats. when I have preached it has been the plurality of Gods it has been preached 15 years—I have always decld. God to be a distinct personage—J.C. a sep. & distinct pers from God the Far. the H.G was a distinct personage 5 & or stake president & these 3 constit. 3 distinct personages & 3 Gods—if this is in accordance with the New Test.—lo & behold we have 3 Gods any how & they are plural any how—our text says the apost[les] have disc[overe]d. that there were Gods above—God was the Far. of our Ld. J.C. —my object was to preach the Scrip—& preach the doctrine there being a God above the Far. of our Ld. J.C.—I am bold to declare I have taut. all the strong doctrines publicly—& always stronger that what I preach in private—John was one of the men & the apos. declare they were made K. & P. unto God the Fatr. of our Ld. J.C. it reads just so hence the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any doctrine—it is all over the face of the Bible, it stands beyond the power of controversy—a wayfaring man though a fool need not fail—Paul says there are gods many & Lords many -I want to set it in a plain simple manner—but to us there is but one God pertaining to us, in all thro all,—but if J. Smith says there is Gods many & LDS. many they cry away with him crucify him mankind verily say that the Scrip [i]s with them—Search the Script & & they testify of things that apostates wod blaspheme—Paul if Jo Smith is a blasphemer you are—I say there are Gods many & LDS many but to us only one & we are to be in subject to that one & no man can limit the bounds, or the eternal existence of eternal time—hath he beheld the e[terna]l. world. & is he authd. to say that there is only God he makes himself a fool—& there is an end of his career in knowledge he cannot obtn. all knowledge for he has sealed up the gate to

some say I do not interpret same as you—they say it means the heathen God. Paul says there are Gods many &c it makes a plurality of Gods any how—witht. a revn. [without a revelation] I am not going to give the God of Heaven to them any how—you know & I testify that Paul had no allusions to it—I have it from God & get over it if you canI have a witness of the H.G—& a test. that Paul had no allusion to the heathen G. in the text—Twice I will shew from the Heb. Bible & the 1st. word shews a plurality of Gods—& I want the apostate & learned men to come here—& prove to the contrary an unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew—Berosheit &c In the begin. rosheit—the head—it shod. read the heads of—to organize the Gods—Eloiheam Eloi. God in sing. heam, reanders Gods I want a little learning as well as other fools


On the 12th of May, Joseph turned German "linguist". Here is what he said,

Quote:
I shall read the 24th. ch of Matthew and give it a litteral rendering and reading, and when it is rightly understood it will be edifying (he then read & translated it from the German) I thought the very oddity of its rendering would be edifying any how—"And it will preached be; the Gospel of the Kingdom in the whole world, to a witness over all people, and then will the end come." I will now read it in German—(which he did, and many Germans who were present said he translated it correct) the Savior said, when those tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man, who should be a witness over the whole world, the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world; it has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries, new things, for my hearers—just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood just at that time, I have the greatest right—the Germans are an exalted people. the old German translators are the most correct; most honest of any of the translators, and therefore I get testimony to bear me out in the revelations that I have preached for the last 14 years—the old German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew translations all say it is true, they cannot be impeached, and therefore I am in good company—all the testimony is, that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people—has the Gospel of the Kingdom commenced in the last days? and will God take it from the man, until he takes him, himself? I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ— ... Woe! Woe! be to that man, or set of men, who lift up their hands against God and his Witness in these last days. ... all men who are mortal, dwell in everlasting burnings; you cannot go any where, but where God can find you out; all men are born to die & all must rise, all must enter eternity—in order for you to receive your children to yourself, you must have a promise, some ordinance some blessing in order to assend above principalities or else it may be an angel —they must rise just as they died—we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory, the same loveliness in the celestial glory where they all enjoy alike—they differ in stature, in size—the same glorious spirit gives them the likeness of glory and bloom —the old man with his silvery hairs will glory in bloom & beauty —no man can describe it to you—no man can write it — when did I ever teach any thing wrong from this stand? when was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart hence and am no more seen —I never told you I was perfect—but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught—must I then be thrown away as a thing of nought?—I enjoin for your consideration, add to your faith, virtue, love &c I say in the name of the Lord, if these things are in you, you shall be fruitful. I testify that no man has power to reveal it, but myself, things in heaven, in earth and hell —and all shut your mouths for the future—


See the context? See how Smith claims special knowledge by "divine aid" in translating?

The German reads,

Und es wird dieses Evangelium vom Reich verkündet werden in der ganzen Welt zum Zeugnis für alle Völker, und hierauf wird das Ende kommen.

The English translation reads,

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all peoples, and the end will come.

Smith's translation reads,

"And it will preached be; the Gospel of the Kingdom in the whole world, to a witness over all people, and then will the end come."

Then Smith gets this out of it,

Quote:
the Savior said, when those tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man, who should be a witness over the whole world, the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world


How does this make the German any more clear that the Greek? Where does he get his information that the German translators are more "honest" or accurate? What Smith translated, isn't even close to what he says it REALLY means. Was Joseph really good at translating or was he simply a rank amateur who pretended to be a master of languages? What he publicly took credit for, was ghostwritten by William W. Phelps! http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewc ... monhistory

The Phelps article indicates the latter. Smith simply had Phelps ghostwrite his speeches where he uses words in other languages to show off his claimed linguistic talents and he throws a few phrases into his speeches once in a while.

Quote:
Careful review of the scribal activity of William Wine Phelps in the last year or so of Smith’s life points to and illuminates several important aspects of Smith’s creative work. First, it demonstrates his reliance on a ghostwriter for the bulk of his published political statements and correspondence, though his doctrinal statements do not necessarily show the same evidence of ghostwriting. The well-documented drafting of the Bennett correspondence during the writing of several similar political statements seems to provide a reasonable overview of the process by which Smith “wrote” several of the late documents attributed to him. Smith assigned topics, providing some guidance on the content required, then reviewed the productions of his lieutenants before final approval.

Second, that Smith allowed Phelps to continue to include what are now embarrassing multilingual asides in his official correspondence
provides a glimpse of both men’s desires. Language as a sign of erudition or access to biblical mysteries mattered a great deal to both
of them. Not to be left behind by seminary-trained ministers or erudite scholars, they hoped to demonstrate their familiarity with ancient language and texts. Though many writers of the era adorned their phrases with snippets from foreign languages, few could compete with Phelps’s excesses. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewc ... monhistory


I believe that his having people run and fetch his lexicon, etc. were so he could use them as props. What is missing from Sylvester Emmons account? Richards or William Smith ran to get his Hebrew Bible and Lexicon, but Emmons doesn't mention them. Only that they did comparisons with Smith's "Egyptian Alphabet" that he took from the gold plates or invented later in Kirtland. And if he is by some chance using the GAEL to get his "translation", it was revelatory material that he made up himself! So the whole act was a bogus prophet using his own bogus material to "translate" bogus plates. Do real prophets make up bogus Alphabets and Grammars by "revelation"? Do amateur translators do that? Nothing about what Smith did was normal.

Quote:
It is quite possible that he attempted to translate the Kinderhook plates, not as a prophet, but as a linguist. (Hales, Laura Harris. A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History (Kindle Location 2589). Deseret Book Company/RSC. Kindle Edition)


What kind of a linguist though? A PROPHET linguist who gets his "translations" from the Holy Ghost as he claims to be using normal means of translating? A linguist who gets material from a ghostwriter? A linguist who makes up phony alphabets and uses them to claim he is legitimately translating what he thought was an ancient artifact?

I'll let the readers decide.

_________________
"I have the truth, and am at the defiance of the world to contradict me if they can." ~Joseph Smith
"The Sots combine with pious care a monkey to enshrine." ~ Mormonism Unvailed, 1834.
I've got things/stuff/jobs to do and when I'm done I may/may not choose/decide to respond/reply/post/comment again. Or not. But maybe? ~Jersey Girl


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 325 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], CameronMO, consiglieri, Dr. Shades, Exiled, fetchface, Stem, Yahoo [Bot] and 25 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Revival Theme By Brandon Designs By B.Design-Studio © 2007-2008 Brandon
Revival Theme Based off SubLite By Echo © 2007-2008 Echo
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group