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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:49 am 
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Exiled wrote:
I think we are witnessing a robbery in progress. How much has Skousen taken from the interpreter over the years?

About $246,000 through the third quarter of 2019. I would estimate about $260,000 through the end of 2019.

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I have a new theory: Inter-dimensional, shape-shifting Nephites. These guys could travel through space and time and take on pretty much any form one can think of and they are known for their inventive theories about ghost committees. In fact, here is one posing as Dr. Skousen:

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Excellent! How about a caption contest?


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:48 am 
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I think it's obvious to serious scholars that the Ghost Committee comprised the best and brightest in the Lord's army .....

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:06 am 
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Dr Moore wrote:
And now it all makes sense, but it makes no sense at all. The theory or anything resembling it has got to be the absolute most absurd idea I have ever heard in my entire life in Mormonism!

honorentheos wrote:
They just need to find anything that distracts from the obvious 19th C. parallels in the book and viola! How could Joseph have known?

Ah, yes, when it comes to parallels the apologists either hate them or love them. When it comes to the Book of Abraham translation they love parallels -- any and all of them! But when it comes to the Book of Mormon translation the parallels are an indictment showing that Smith was a thief.

Double-minded dishonest Mormon apologists are hypocrites and liars who live under a guise of deception.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:15 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:08 pm 
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Dr Moore wrote:
And now it all makes sense, but it makes no sense at all. The theory or anything resembling it has got to be the absolute most absurd idea I have ever heard in my entire life in Mormonism!

Also, given that Skousen has now publicly asserted that Joseph was NOT the translator, has he not by implication fulfilled the $100 challenge?


Funny how the 100B is the same story. He absolutely believes both are true; but he thinks absent an official disclosure, the prospect should be considered ridiculous. Quite honestly, the translation committee is the best part of the theory; if there is any chance of the membership will take to it, it will be thanks to the stories of the reformers behind the veil.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:08 pm 
God

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So l know i cannot untangle what my brain is calling out "holy ____ Batman" about Skousen's theory-perhaps it is a hypothesis by now, but one thing is absolutely clear-he needs a brain scan desperately!

and why the wedding band on his left forefinger?

just askin'
k


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:18 pm 
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I see that the Proprietor went into damage control yesterday over Dr. Moore's disturbing discovery.

Now, there are many viewpoints that have been posted here regarding Skousen's work, it isn't the monolithic narrative that the Proprietor suggests. However, I haven't seen any views that line up with the Proprietor's recounting of the speculations going on here, where Skousen is said to not himself believe in the Book of Mormon as a historical text.

That is false. The Blog policy of not linking to "anti-Mormon" sites is quite convenient because he can simply make up whatever he wants without any citations and his followers believe him.

What has been said by some of us, is that several aspects of Skousen's position lay the groundwork for legitimizing a fictional theory. William of Ockham didn't realize he was laying the groundwork for a-religious skepticism when he questioned whether a group of things should rightfully itself be considered a thing. Just the way it goes in life.

I only speak for myself here, and admit I personally hold an ambitious version of this theory. I believe that Stephen Smoot, or a young future apologist like him, will have a "Saul of Tarsus" moment and discover the dots can be connected in a different paradigm, and become a great advocate of a faithful, inspired fiction theory, where the Book of Mormon is a story, but given by divine means that can't be explained to Joseph Smith.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:54 pm 
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Weirdly, I think there are far more damaging things that have been said about Skousen's project, and those are all being avoided / dodged by "Sen." For example, the fact that the Interpreter Foundation has sunk so much money into the project, despite the fact that the project was apparently opposed by the Brethren (or maybe those Brethren are no longer among the living?). Remember that Midgley recently said that "Mormon Voices" was established by the General Authorities as a means of funneling money to the Mopologists. So, does that basically mean that tithe-payer dollars are funding this ridiculous "Ghost Committee" research?

And, come on: how is a fictional-yet-inspired Book of Mormon worse that one that was written by a "Ghost Committee"? I can't help but wonder if this is yet more crap meant to prop up the defunct and utterly worthless LGT.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:26 pm 
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The ghost committee or whatever they claim re EmodE has been an embarrassment so far. How can one attach themselves to such a silly theory and continue on? I would be hiding, running away or doing whatever to dissociate myself from this fiasco. Yet, they defiantly persevere.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:23 am 
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Going through the comments on the SeN counterpart, there are a variety of responses. None, including the OP, grasp the point explicitly, but nevertheless some of the comments are revealing. Some of the faithful don't like Skousen's theory. Abinadi burned at the stake as a 15th century witch burning goes against previous FARMS theories that held death by beating someone with burning sticks was an ancient american practice.

a couple other comments:

travis scott wrote:
Either the angel and plates existed or they didn’t. If the latter how could the work be positively inspired.


Exactly. A real angel is more important than the historicity of the Book of Mormon. The plates could have been a prop, and the Book of Mormon a work of fiction, but the miraculous nature of Moroni is the divine fingerprint, not historicity. Historicity only matters in the indirect sense of "how could Joseph have known about that ancient fire stick execution practice of mesoamerica?" If you have something else that can't be explained to take the place of ancient words and practices, such as 15th century words and practices, then pressure to be ancient is off. Take it or leave it.

Mr Midgley goes on and on and on with what he remembers about liberals and inspired fiction, what a yawn fest. Nothing to do with the OP. He does point out:

Midgley wrote:
Royal has demonstrated that those word were there in that media for our own world...If we had those plates and could "translate" them we would likely have a difficult time making much sense of the translation.


Pretty silly, but, he's likely reaching for Nibley's observation that it was a good thing the Angel took back the plates because we'd just argue over the translation. Little did Nibley know that apologists today don't really care about the right translation, so long as it reveals the text is ancient, and so having the plates would be the ultimate benefit to the apologists. A set of gold plates provably ancient that equate roughly to the text of the Book of Mormon such that Joseph "couldn't have known" yet, the story itself was fictional -- they'd take that any day of the week over what they have now.

I do wonder why he feels we contemporary people wouldn't be able to come up with a meaningful translation, but the ghost committee who did a translation into 15th century culture knocked it out of the park in terms of relevancy for people today?

I think Midgley is having a tough time synthesizing this material, and it's very possible he'll be around long enough, to accidentally fall prey to a future inspired fiction theory.

oh, on a lighter note, Mr. M did note some important evidence for an ancient Book of Mormon in the ancient practice of "remembrance".

Mr. Midgley wrote:
The wife, who is a very gifted cook, who does not fix the appointed meal, has forgotten. Hence not keeping the commandments entails forgetting and hence turning away from God


Now that's psychologically fascinating.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:31 am 
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I always wondered what the 3 Nephites were doing by tarrying. I thought they wanted to stay to help people. This has got to be one of their accomplishments. They traveled around the Americas for a thousand years after Moroni died helping people get unstuck from thickets, and what have you, until the EmodE period wherein they set sail to England to learn the language and wrote the Book of Mormon. That product then was taken up into heaven by Moroni and held in reserve until the long awaited day of the Lord rang in. Joseph said a prayer out loud in the woods and suddenly the heavenly hosts knew the time was night at hand. Moroni made his visits. he used his powers given from God to make words glow on a rock, because doing that really resonated with Joseph. He could have done it any old way, really. And tada! the Book of Mormon.

The buried plates were relics, not used in the translation that the 3 Nephites did, nor were they used by Joseph. I mean they were only needed to give the impression or make Joseph think the words he wrote were written down by someone in history.

That is one marvelous work and wonder, indeed. I'm glad Skousen figured this stuff out. This whole time we thought God did something. As it were He just showed up to announce his Son in Joseph's dream. "It's Jesus" He says and disappears again never to be heard or seen since.


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:55 am 
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Stem wrote:
I always wondered what the 3 Nephites were doing by tarrying. I thought they wanted to stay to help people. This has got to be one of their accomplishments. They traveled around the Americas for a thousand years after Moroni died helping people get unstuck from thickets, and what have you, until the EmodE period wherein they set sail to England to learn the language and wrote the Book of Mormon. That product then was taken up into heaven by Moroni and held in reserve until the long awaited day of the Lord rang in. Joseph said a prayer out loud in the woods and suddenly the heavenly hosts knew the time was night at hand. Moroni made his visits. he used his powers given from God to make words glow on a rock, because doing that really resonated with Joseph. He could have done it any old way, really. And tada! the Book of Mormon.

The buried plates were relics, not used in the translation that the 3 Nephites did, nor were they used by Joseph. I mean they were only needed to give the impression or make Joseph think the words he wrote were written down by someone in history.

That is one marvelous work and wonder, indeed. I'm glad Skousen figured this stuff out. This whole time we thought God did something. As it were He just showed up to announce his Son in Joseph's dream. "It's Jesus" He says and disappears again never to be heard or seen since.


It's awesome that grown adults still create fanfic. And let me tell you something, if you mess with their head canon they really, really don't like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:26 pm 
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Stem wrote:
I always wondered what the 3 Nephites were doing by tarrying. I thought they wanted to stay to help people. This has got to be one of their accomplishments. They traveled around the Americas for a thousand years after Moroni died helping people get unstuck from thickets, and what have you, until the EmodE period wherein they set sail to England to learn the language and wrote the Book of Mormon. That product then was taken up into heaven by Moroni and held in reserve until the long awaited day of the Lord rang in. Joseph said a prayer out loud in the woods and suddenly the heavenly hosts knew the time was night at hand. Moroni made his visits. he used his powers given from God to make words glow on a rock, because doing that really resonated with Joseph. He could have done it any old way, really. And tada! the Book of Mormon.

The buried plates were relics, not used in the translation that the 3 Nephites did, nor were they used by Joseph. I mean they were only needed to give the impression or make Joseph think the words he wrote were written down by someone in history.

That is one marvelous work and wonder, indeed. I'm glad Skousen figured this stuff out. This whole time we thought God did something. As it were He just showed up to announce his Son in Joseph's dream. "It's Jesus" He says and disappears again never to be heard or seen since.


This is quite brilliant Stem and it really has me thinking. How can we get something like this to a fictional book of Mormon? The three Nephites will be the most vexing challenge. I don't think Mormons are connected to the history in the Book of Mormon, with the exception of the three Nephites. Setting that problem aside, Mormons are very connected to ideas about the spirit world, and a spirit world committee made up of the reformers, with perhaps some of the signers of the Constitution will definitely connect.

I regret that I discouraged my Mormon friends from sending me right-wing emails and Mormon chain fluff. Many, many years ago, as a joke, I wrote a fake Mormon fluff email and got some circulation with it. I'm really thinking now is the time for a fake Mormon chain email (meaning, make it looks like it's been circulated substantially) that begins with a Stake President's encounter with the spirit world, gets into the Constitution signatories to legitimize the 'translation committee', get a hook into Skousen's work, kind of get a picture going here with the reformers and the founders of America doing great works in the spirit world, and then suggest the Book of Mormon as a great epic, taken from the great library of the spirit world. Mormons are quite familiar with the book Return from Tomorrow, they use that to fill in scenery of the spirit world and that book talks about a great library where the most important books of the universe are assembled. The word "fiction" of course wouldn't be used, but if presented just right, as an epic taken from these grand works from beyond the galaxy, then it might seem grander than had it been merely a history on this boring planet. Moroni of course, was real, and brought the plates as a prop to Joseph Smith. Not sure it would get into that, that would be background info -- God communicates to man in the language of their time, and that was the language of Joseph Smith's time.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:56 am 
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Stem wrote:
I always wondered what the 3 Nephites were doing by tarrying. I thought they wanted to stay to help people.

They may have been assisting Puck in carrying out Oberon's plan against Titania. You would need to consult with Professor Skousen about the exact 15th Century details.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:23 am 
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Desperate to maintain the antiquated Limited Geography Theory as the only game in town, the SeN proprietor got Skousen to write him a letter assuring everyone that he believes it's real. Yeah, we already knew that. But anyway, this new post also both affirms and denies the translation committee.

One comment reads:

dCyl wrote:
I think the reason the half-humorous suggestion has legs with some Latter-day Saints is that it is actually a pretty touching thought, given Tyndale's history. There would be a certain fittingness to it.

Which, of course, doesn't mean there's actually anything to it.

But I have some personal basis for believing that some answers to prayer and some revelations involve a human channel on the other side of the veil, not just this side.


I totally agree, and it's the most marketable part of the whole project.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:27 am 
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“Therefore, I conclude that is none other than John Dee who revealed to young Joseph that Moroni held his trumpet thusly!”

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:34 am 
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Magnificent! The Ghost Committee gains holy ground through Professor Skousen’s expounding on their Great Work.

I can see the missionaries of the future. Instead of reading A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, they will tote A Creative and Cultural Translation!

The question, I suppose, is how one is to interpret the word “creative.” As you all note, it can indicate a complete fiction written by the Ghost Committee. Or, does it mean the these ghosts of the Early Modern era have transmitted to Smith their own interpretation of events in Ancient America? If so, how can we know whether they got anything right and did not impose a Western European narrative that does not belong?

I am also wondering whether Red Jacket was not caught up into heaven to confer with the Ghost Committee about the Great Spirit. He was still alive during the period of Smith’s translation. He died just three months before the Mormon church was founded. His understanding of the Great Spirit would have been very useful to the Ghost Committee.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:52 am 
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Instead of "ghost committee" I wonder aloud whether Skousen might prefer "spirit helpers."

If the work of teaching and instructing the dead incorporates human personality, knowledge and judgement, then why not other activities too?

Whereas a "committee" implies delegation to be in charge of the outcome (ie, God abdicates), "helpers" merely help, feeble and mistake-prone as they may be. God remains editor with final say on what to allow and what to correct before publication, ie transmission beyond the veil.

Angels, including Joseph's, *do* come to earth on various specific errands from God. If on earth, why not behind the veil also?

I remain fascinated that post the loss of the far-more-than-116 lost pages, Joseph resumed translation with, among other things (including re-introducing Christ to the people and the prophets), Ammon explaining in detail the concept of a "seer." The text offers that the gift of a seer is nothing more than authorization to look into the interpreters, and thus see the past, present and future. Greater than a prophet, but the gift itself appears only God's permission to look:

Mosiah 8:13 wrote:
And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.


In other words, a seer = an authorized reader.

My perspective was clarified by the message from Skousen to Peterson:

Skousen to Peterson wrote:
Your write-up does represent my view. The Book of Mormon is an account of real people and real events, but its translation is not a literal one. And its discourses may also be creative, such as the Sermon on the Mount as a conglomerate of various statements Jesus made at different times, as they are found in Luke, for instance. (I discuss this issue in my newest book). A similar example, for instance, is found in the New Testament which says that Jesus “sat at meat” (a cultural, creative translation of the Greek ‘to recline (at meal)’. Jesus indeed ate the last supper with his disciples, but not as Leonardo di Vinci portrayed it, sitting around a table (or on only one side of a long table). But I believe the last supper nonetheless occurred even though the King James translators typically translated it this way, culturally and creatively, as “sitting at meal”. The King James translators were definitely not moving towards creating a fictional collection of the gospels. A good example of a “cultural, creative translation” in the Book of Mormon, I believe, is the reference to “the bar of God”; legal bars date from Medieval times, yet interestingly the term is used in the Book of Mormon to refer only to our future day of judgment, not to synchronic events in the Book of Mormon itself (which would make its use there anachronistic).

By the way, what I heard in my mind was “This really happened!” (in the singular, not the plural). Ah, another creative translation, which I fully accept as the same as what you stated.


Fair enough, Skousen's "creative and cultural translation" label side applies, in his mind, to

(1) culturally sensitive descriptions of events that happened
(2) the use of certain anachronistic phrases to represent phrases that were actually uttered
(3) sermons that were actually delivered

Some of Skousen's examples make sense stand-alone, but taken together it all seems to very strongly contradict (a) what Joseph said about the book itself and (b) strong links between literal events in the book and literal events claimed by Joseph, and (c) literal interpretations of passages by modern prophets and apostles. Case after case of wanting to have it both ways.

His "pleasing bar" example is very interesting. It's anachronistic, obviously -- Moroni could not have said that, literally, which is a problem. In fact, just that one example disqualifies the BofM from being a literal translation, as Skousen points out.

But, then what did Moroni actually say? I mean, guess Skousen means to imply that the actual phrase would be garbled and nonsensical to us modern readers. Really? The final judgment of God, coming from a fully-developed Christian culture, wouldn't work in literal Nephite translation, of all things?

And now that the door is opened, how far does this hallway go? Do we get to cherry pick what we can and cannot de-literalize? Pleasing bar is out, but what other stuff might be out too, then? It doesn't take long before the special, "plain and precious" parts do, indeed, become inspired fiction. Who knows where it leads, but since Skousen wants to open the door a crack, he's going to have to allow others to swing it wide open.

I mean, taken far enough, we can legitimately ask whether the Nephites actually practiced Christianity... did they, or was that also a creative and cultural translation? Maybe they worshiped an owl who sacrificed itself for all the other owls, but that's a creative and cultural translation of Christ. Maybe?

Does Skousen mean to suggest -- back on the "pleasing bar" anachronism -- that the Nephites had such a confusing legal judgment process (including its lawyers and judges) that the final scene would come off garbled and nonsensical if translated literally? Why wouldn't the translator, or Moroni, just explain this confusing custom to us then? The scene is, after all, the penultimate situation for all mankind, prior to kingdom assignment, right? Rather important to communicate clearly, if the Nephite custom shed some special insight, no? I mean, think about all of the tiny details the BofM shares about its peoples, customs, cultures, all shared and re-shared in plainness, for far LESS important concepts than the final judgment of God. Why leave that one to a patently non-literal translation, a crude Medieval anachronism, but not the other relatively meaningless minutia instead?

Having it both ways sure takes a lot of effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:31 am 
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Dr. Moore wrote:
But, then what did Moroni actually say? I mean, guess Skousen means to imply that the actual phrase would be garbled and nonsensical to us modern readers. Really? The final judgment of God, coming from a fully-developed Christian culture, wouldn't work in literal Nephite translation, of all things?


This is a truly damning observation. I'm going to have to think about it some more.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen: creative and cultural translation
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:56 am 
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Skousen wrote:
And its discourses may also be creative, such as the Sermon on the Mount as a conglomerate of various statements Jesus made at different times


A random Jr. apologist wrote:
I think that is what Royal is saying, but I have questions about "its discourses may also be creative, such as the Sermon on the Mount as a conglomerate


DCP wrote:
I'm inclined to see the Sermon on the Mount as a unity, as well.


Skousen wrote:
Your write-up does represent my view.


Correction: the write-up didn't represent his view.

ETA: The slippery slope. The Sermon on the Mount really happened iff the Sermon on the Mount is a unity. That would be a standard orthodox view. Skousen believes the Sermon on the Mount really happened as a conglomerate, but since DCP believes that Skousen believes that "The Sermon on the Mount really happened", "The Sermon on the Mount really happened iff the Sermon on the Mount is a unity" is false. DCP believes the Sermon on the Mount really happened, and personally believes it happened as a unity, but he admits it's possible to believe the Sermon on the Mount is a conglomerate and also believe that The Sermon on the Mount really happened. This is one giant step toward a future fictional theory.

_________________
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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