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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:52 pm 
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The fact that there appear to be textual similarities between the book of Mormon and the text of the 3 witness statement as per the link in the OP is cause for concern as per my last post. The fact that the text of the 8 witness statement has been altered after the fact is cause for concern. The witnesses statements themselves regarding their testimony does not bear on these concerns. IMO


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:38 pm 
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why me wrote:
Chap wrote:

Half a minute. The witness statements are supposed to be what real living people set down as a record of what they have seen. These are human voices speaking, or they aren't what they claim to be. By reason of that fact, they couldn't be more different from revelation.


None of the witnesses contradicted their statement in the book or mormon. Nor did they ever deny what they saw and felt with their hands. . . End of story.


Beginning of story.

John Whitmer: "I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. ...they were shown to me by a supernatural power" (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 307)


http://www.mormonthink.com/witnessesweb.htm#sumof11

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Beginning of story.

John Whitmer: "I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. ...they were shown to me by a supernatural power" (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 307)


http://www.mormonthink.com/witnessesweb.htm#sumof11[/quote][/quote]



In other words, they saw the plates and handled them with their "Spritual Eyes".

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:54 pm 
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dblagent007 wrote:
lulu wrote:
This was answered in a prior thread. The statement of the 8 is in Cowdery's handwriting and is part of the printer's BofM manuscript. That is stated on another page on the JSPP site.

Ah, thanks.

http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSumma ... ust-1829#1
I dug the link out of the Decent Post on Proof and Evidence at Sic et Non thread
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=23924

The 2nd 1/2 of the thread has a lot about the 8 witnesses.

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"And the human knew the source of life, the woman of him, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, 'I have procreated a man with Yahweh.'" Gen. 4:1, interior quote translated by D. Bokovoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:42 pm 
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lulu wrote:

Beginning of story.

John Whitmer: "I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. ...they were shown to me by a supernatural power" (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 307)


http://www.mormonthink.com/witnessesweb.htm#sumof11


End of story:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7002 ... ormon.html

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We are “to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all…”
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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:08 am 
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why me wrote:
lulu wrote:

Beginning of story.

John Whitmer: "I now say, I handled those plates; there were fine engravings on both sides. ...they were shown to me by a supernatural power" (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 307)


http://www.mormonthink.com/witnessesweb.htm#sumof11


End of story:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7002 ... ormon.html

Middle of story - please engage specificly, directly and substantively with the "supernatural power" issue in your next post on this thread. Thanks in advance.

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"And the human knew the source of life, the woman of him, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, 'I have procreated a man with Yahweh.'" Gen. 4:1, interior quote translated by D. Bokovoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Joe Geisner wrote:
http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2012/06/who-authored-the-three-witness-statement/

WOW, just WOW. That Royal admits Smith is the author of the witness statement is ... to my mind...just WOW!

After reading Metcalfe, Vogel and Marquardt's works I had come to this conclusion, but to have a BYU prof and believing Mormon admit this is quite ground breaking I believe.

This is up there with the BYU boys admitting the Indians all came from Asia and not the Middle East.

I realize FAIR/MI/FARMS will say they have always said this and all Mormons know this, but I think this is a huge admission.


I'm curious, can you provide links, info etc. on the works by the names I've bolded in your quote?

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Really fascinating stuff, Joe. You may be interested to know that, a couple of years ago, I was told by an "informant" that Skousen had "royally" pissed off some of the Powers-that-Be in Salt Lake City over his work on the Book of Mormon. I'm sure you can understand why: Skousen's work effectively argued that his own critical version of the Book of Mormon is/was more "authoritative" than the one overseen by Joseph Smith himself. If I'm not mistaken, Skousen ignored GA recommendations and went ahead with his publication in spite of what they told him.

Wow! I hadn't heard this, but it sounds quite believable. You have to hand it to Skousen for having the courage to stand up against "The Brethren". Compare what Skousen did to what Peterson et al did in the Dehlin "hit piece" affair.

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Joe Geisner wrote:
Thanks Doc.

All of my friends have nothing but good things to say about Royal. The consistent thing that is said about Royal is that he is the only scholar found at the Maxwell Institute. My guess would be that Royal is such a classy person, he would never suggest such a thing.

Good points, Joe.

I also think it's very telling that Skousen has stayed completely away from the whole Book of Abraham controversy. No doubt he is smart enough to know there is no way to defend Joseph Smith when it comes to the Book of Abraham debacle. At least if one wants to retain his academic credentials.

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Joe Geisner wrote:
http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2012/06/who-authored-the-three-witness-statement/

WOW, just WOW. That Royal admits Smith is the author of the witness statement is ... to my mind...just WOW!




I don't see where he says Smith is the author. What I see him saying is because there is similar phraseology in text of Book of Mormon and 3 witness statement that whoever wrote the Book of Mormon also wrote the 3 witness statement. Since Book of Mormon was (allegedly) revealed (?) to Smith..then it follows the 3 witness statement must have been revealed to Smith. That's not following the evidence where it leads that's working backwards from with an assumption the Book of Mormon is revealed text.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:23 pm 
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marg wrote:
I don't see where he says Smith is the author. What I see him saying is because there is similar phraseology in text of Book of Mormon and 3 witness statement that whoever wrote the Book of Mormon also wrote the 3 witness statement. Since Book of Mormon was (allegedly) revealed (?) to Smith..then it follows the 3 witness statement must have been revealed to Smith. That's not following the evidence where it leads that's working backwards from with an assumption the Book of Mormon is revealed text.


I think Frodo picked up on Royal's piece and what this means for the witnesses statement.

From my reading, I believe Skousen has completely remove the three witnesses from the testimony, he completely removes them from the words that were supposed to be authored by them. His findings and evidence show that they had no part in this testimony.

I recognize that Skousen claims Smith received every word from God through the seer stone and each word was found on the gold plates. He is also claiming that the testimony came the same way. But these are still Smith's words, whether they came from God or came from his mind, they are Smith's words, not Cowdery, Whitmer nor Harris.

As for how Joseph Smith wrote in this time period, I think Smith didn't know how to write any other way but in Biblize. Consider his epistle, introducing young Orson Pratt to the Colesville Saints in 1830. Or consider the preface to the Book of Mormon (removed in later editions) written in 1829 Joseph uses the phrase, "that they did read contrary from that which I translated and caused to be written . . ." Immediately after he quotes the Lord (Who also happens to speaks in the Elizabethan or "King James Bible" form), Joseph finishes the preface in his own words, which now include the phrases, "that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing," and "the plates of which hath been spoken . . ." (Rick Grunder was kind enough to point this out to me)

Phil Barlow in his Mormons and the Bible points out this about Smith's ". . . generous use of biblical phrases and ideas in his first written revelation reinforces the notion that the Prophet's mind was by 1828 immersed in biblical language, whether by personal study of scripture, by listening to sermons, by natural participation in the biblical idioms of family conversation, or by some combination of these. His religious vocabulary may, in part, gauge how thoroughly biblicized the vernacular of his culture had become." [Barlow, 24, referring to what is now canonized as D&C 3 (July 1828, regarding the loss of 116 pages of Book of Mormon dictated text)]


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:35 pm 
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GR33N wrote:
I'm curious, can you provide links, info etc. on the works by the names I've bolded in your quote?


This is a major request. Can you explain what direction you would like to study. If you are wanting to immerse yourself in this study, then I highly recommend New Approaches to the Book of Mormon and American Apocrypha. This is serious work on a serious subject.

Here is one link to get you started:

http://signaturebooks.com/2012/03/book- ... revisited/


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:11 pm 
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lulu wrote:
Middle of story - please engage specificly, directly and substantively with the "supernatural power" issue in your next post on this thread. Thanks in advance.


John and the other Whitmers were knee deep in the mormon story. Gold plates, translation process, visions...all of these supernatural events were very much a part of their lives at that time. It would not be a stretch for John to say that he was shown the plates by a supernatural power since the plates originally came from a supernatural power.

And this would be the same for spiritual eyes. Those who were knee deep in the story, could use this expression after telling people over and over again just how it all came about and what they saw.

It comes with the times and with the turf.

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Joseph Smith


We are “to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all…”
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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Joe Geisner wrote:

I think Frodo picked up on Royal's piece and what this means for the witnesses statement.

From my reading, I believe Skousen has completely remove the three witnesses from the testimony, he completely removes them from the words that were supposed to be authored by them. His findings and evidence show that they had no part in this testimony.



It would be impossible to remove the witnesses from the statement since they saw the statement and did not contradict it. They supported the statement throughout their lives. As they also supported their experiences with the book. Their part in the testimony is that they supported the testimony.

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I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.
Joseph Smith


We are “to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all…”
Joseph Smith


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:02 am 
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why me wrote:
Joe Geisner wrote:

I think Frodo picked up on Royal's piece and what this means for the witnesses statement.

From my reading, I believe Skousen has completely remove the three witnesses from the testimony, he completely removes them from the words that were supposed to be authored by them. His findings and evidence show that they had no part in this testimony.



It would be impossible to remove the witnesses from the statement since they saw the statement and did not contradict it. They supported the statement throughout their lives. As they also supported their experiences with the book. Their part in the testimony is that they supported the testimony.


So when a number of them later claimed they only saw the plates spiritually, do you class that as supporting the statement?

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:43 am 
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Joe Geisner wrote:

From my reading, I believe Skousen has completely remove the three witnesses from the testimony, he completely removes them from the words that were supposed to be authored by them. His findings and evidence show that they had no part in this testimony.


He assumes the Book of Mormon was revealed by God to Smith, therefore God also revealed the 3 witness testimony to Smith. His finding is that the writer of the Book of Mormon had a hand in writing the 3 witness testimony..therefore for both the writer is God.

It seems to me you are saying if one takes God out of the picture..based on Skousen's findings..it means all that's left is the assumption Smith must have written the 3 witness testimony. But actually if we take God out of the picture..that doesn't leave using Skousen's findings... with a reasoned conclusion that therefore Smith must have written the 3 witness testimony. Once we take out the assumption of "revealed text" which Skousen used to eliminate Cowdery as a potential writer of the testimony...then Cowdery is back into being a probable candidate. And it's possible even Whitmer had a hand. So Skousen's finding and evidence..don't lead to Smith only, his findings lead to a writer/writers of the Book of Mormon..or contributors to the Book of Mormon..likely wrote the 3 witness testimony. The most likely candidates are Smith and Cowdery but possibly others helped.



Quote:
I recognize that Skousen claims Smith received every word from God through the seer stone and each word was found on the gold plates. He is also claiming that the testimony came the same way. But these are still Smith's words, whether they came from God or came from his mind, they are Smith's words, not Cowdery, Whitmer nor Harris.


That is your assumption, that Smith is the only candidate using Skousen's findings. But as I said, take out the assumption of "God/revealed text" used by him to eliminate Cowdery..and Cowdery is back as a probable candidate..because that was the only thing he used to eliminate Cowdery.

Quote:
As for how Joseph Smith wrote in this time period, I think Smith didn't know how to write any other way but in Biblize. Consider his epistle, introducing young Orson Pratt to the Colesville Saints in 1830. Or consider the preface to the Book of Mormon (removed in later editions) written in 1829 Joseph uses the phrase, "that they did read contrary from that which I translated and caused to be written . . ." Immediately after he quotes the Lord (Who also happens to speaks in the Elizabethan or "King James Bible" form), Joseph finishes the preface in his own words, which now include the phrases, "that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing," and "the plates of which hath been spoken . . ." (Rick Grunder was kind enough to point this out to me)


Joe you are assuming Smith is the sole author of the Book of Mormon. Really what Skousen's evidence indicates is that the writer/writers of the 3 witness testimony contributed to the writing of the Book of Mormon. Likely candidates include Smith, Cowdery, Whitmer. Harris doesn't appear to be a likely candidate. That's what the evidence leads to as opposed to Skousen's conclusion which invokes God..an unnecessary and extraordinary assumption.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:11 am 
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marg wrote:
Joe you are assuming Smith is the sole author of the Book of Mormon. Really what Skousen's evidence indicates is that the writer/writers of the 3 witness testimony contributed to the writing of the Book of Mormon. Likely candidates include Smith, Cowdery, Whitmer. Harris doesn't appear to be a likely candidate. That's what the evidence leads to as opposed to Skousen's conclusion which invokes God..an unnecessary and extraordinary assumption.


Marg,

Thank you very much for the thoughtful response. I think you have made an excellent argument against my interpretation.

My major issue with your response is that for me all evidence points to one author of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith. I have read most of the arguments for other authors, but none of it sits well with me. As Phil Barlow articulates so well, Smith was already writing in "King James Bible" form by 1828.

I don't think the evidence can replace Smith; for me, the preponderance of the evidence points to Smith.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:20 am 
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:smile:
why me wrote:
lulu wrote:
Middle of story - please engage specificly, directly and substantively with the "supernatural power" issue in your next post on this thread. Thanks in advance.


John and the other Whitmers were knee deep in the mormon story. Gold plates, translation process, visions...all of these supernatural events were very much a part of their lives at that time. It would not be a stretch for John to say that he was shown the plates by a supernatural power since the plates originally came from a supernatural power.

And this would be the same for spiritual eyes. Those who were knee deep in the story, could use this expression after telling people over and over again just how it all came about and what they saw.

It comes with the times and with the turf.

That's a good argument. Not that I agree with it :smile: . Part of the magic world view was that there was little separation between the supernatural and the natural.

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"And the human knew the source of life, the woman of him, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, 'I have procreated a man with Yahweh.'" Gen. 4:1, interior quote translated by D. Bokovoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:00 am 
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Joe Geisner wrote:
Marg,

Thank you very much for the thoughtful response. I think you have made an excellent argument against my interpretation.

My major issue with your response is that for me all evidence points to one author of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith. I have read most of the arguments for other authors, but none of it sits well with me. As Phil Barlow articulates so well, Smith was already writing in "King James Bible" form by 1828.

I don't think the evidence can replace Smith; for me, the preponderance of the evidence points to Smith.
I'll let Marg respond to this, but you do realize that it was Joseph Smith that did the translation so it would have been in his words and a 19th century production as a result. I really don't understand the expectation that it would be anything other than that. The question is only if it was inspired or not and the Book of Mormon directly addresses that issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:17 am 
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Tobin wrote:
Joe Geisner wrote:
Marg,

Thank you very much for the thoughtful response. I think you have made an excellent argument against my interpretation.

My major issue with your response is that for me all evidence points to one author of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith. I have read most of the arguments for other authors, but none of it sits well with me. As Phil Barlow articulates so well, Smith was already writing in "King James Bible" form by 1828.

I don't think the evidence can replace Smith; for me, the preponderance of the evidence points to Smith.
I'll let Marg respond to this, but you do realize that it was Joseph Smith that did the translation so it would have been in his words and a 19th century production as a result. I really don't understand the expectation that it would be anything other than that. The question is only if it was inspired or not and the Book of Mormon directly addresses that issue.


But the Book of Mormon is not in "his [=Smith's] words", that is, the idiom of 19th century upstate New York.

Instead it is written in a language that I can only describe as a transparently inexpert attempt to imitate the kind of English found in the King James Bible, an attempt made by someone who does not properly understand how the grammar of early 17th century English actually worked.

And as for it being "Joseph Smith that did the translation" - do we have to lay out, yet again, that the earliest accounts of how the text produced do not describe Smith as looking at the Reformed Egyptian text, somehow coming to know its meaning, and hunting for English words to express it, a process that we might have called 'translation', even if we have no idea how Smith came to know that meaning? Instead they describe Smith as having the correct English words revealed to him ready made.

That left no room for Smith's own diction to play a role - and as already pointed out, the text clearly attempts to distance itself from the way Smith and his family actually talked.

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 Post subject: Re: Joseph Smith wrote witnesses statement
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:29 am 
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Tobin wrote:
I'll let Marg respond to this, but you do realize that it was Joseph Smith that did the translation so it would have been in his words and a 19th century production as a result. I really don't understand the expectation that it would be anything other than that. The question is only if it was inspired or not and the Book of Mormon directly addresses that issue.

Do you realize that one can read a translation and determine the languages of the original and how many authors there were.

Does that work for the Book of Mormon?

_________________
"And the human knew the source of life, the woman of him, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, 'I have procreated a man with Yahweh.'" Gen. 4:1, interior quote translated by D. Bokovoy.


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