How Knowledge is Dissipated in Talks

by Cold Steel 66 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    Ever played F*ck, Marry, Kill?

    Let's see. I'd f*ck a JW, marry a Mormon... then kill myself.

  • Vidiot
    TD - "...heretical thought (i.e. academic honesty)..."

    Beautifully put.

  • Vidiot

    All this is moot, really.

    The WTS doesn't actually "dissipate knowledge".

    It does, however, dispense rhetoric and propaganda.

  • Londo111

    I wish this forum was more welcoming to those of different backgrounds, no matter the reason for their visit here. Antagonism can only alienate and is not helpful to anyone.

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel
    TD » One of John's pet expressions, occurring 19 times in the book attributed to him was αμην αμην λεγω υμιν (Literally, "Truly, truly I say to you.") This phrase is recognized as an idiom today and even in literal translations, modern scholars prefer equivalency of thought (e.g. Most truly, very truly, etc.) over a word repetition abnormal in English. (i.e. truly, truly)

    Thank you for taking the time to explain this. As you note, the term is a New Testament term, or idiom. But Jesus used the term himself on occasion to emphasize that what he was saying was true. Which raises the question of what a translation is. According to Dr. Hugh Nibley, one of our foremost scholars, it's text, in the translator's own words, of what he thinks the original author had in mind. It should not be a slavish transliteration from one language to another. It requires thought and a knowledge of the original text and the person who wrote it.

    In this case, the person who said it in Greek or Aramaic in the Old World, was the same person who was saying it in the Western Hemisphere. He was saying, "Of a truth, I'm saying to you," or "What I'm about to say is true." Most Americans in Joseph Smith's time knew full well what he meant when they read the Book of Mormon. Thus, we argue that the translation was true and transmitted what Jesus had in mind.

    In the Book of Mormon, many words are not translated the way scholars translate text. The terms "Jesus" (Greek for Joshua) or "Christ" (Greek for messiah) are used, even in text written in 600 B.C.E. In another place, "Adieu" was used to translate "a fond, loving farewell." Our early critics said, "Look, the Nephites spoke French!" And "Jerusalem" was used instead of "Bethlehem" to indicate where Jesus was to be born. (In that case, the words "land of Jerusalem" were used by the original writer who knew no one in the New World would know where Bethlehem was. As the Dead Sea Scrolls have revealed, Bethlehem was indeed a city in the "land of Jerusalem.")

    Martin Luther complained of those who criticized his translation of the Bible (his tone was his, not mine, so please take no offense!):

    "Yet why should I be concerned about their ranting and raving? I will not stop them from translating as they want. But I too shall translate, not as they please but as I please. And whoever does not like it can just ignore it and keep his criticism to himself, for I will neither look at nor listen to it. They do not have to answer for my translation or bear any responsibility for it." --Martin Luther

    We put the responsibility of translating with the Lord himself. The question is put to us, is the Book of Mormon a true translation? And we say yes, it was of God. At the same time we have to say that His ways are not our ways. Even in 1830, Joseph Smith knew "Christ" was the Greek word for Messiah" and so forth. He could have fixed it had he meant to deceive, but we have what we have.


    Londo111 » I wish this forum was more welcoming to those of different backgrounds, no matter the reason for their visit here. Antagonism can only alienate and is not helpful to anyone.

    Me, too, Londo. Me, too. Thanks.

  • TD

    Cold Steel,

    I would agree that the BOM has been criticized by people who don't know the first thing about language studies and translation.

    Words like, "Christ" and "Synagogue" might seem odd at first blush, but they are not out of place, given the date of translation. In other words, they were common in the everyday English that Joseph Smith spoke.

    I've presented you with a much more complicated problem than that.

    Although we do have intensives in everyday English (i.e. very, very) people in the 1820's & 30's did not normally preface their statements with "Truly, truly" and they certainly didn't say, "Verily verily."

    It's also very unlikely that Jesus actually expressed himself in those exact words (Even if he was speaking in Greek) given the three other Gospel accounts.

    "Verily verily I say unto thee" is not simply an expression peculiar to John, it is a poor translation of that expression for the reasons I've explained. Joseph Smith's familiarity with it would almost certainly have been via the KJV or a similarly antiquated translation.

    I got a chuckle out of Martin Luther's quote, but to be fair, we don't have anything remotely resembling a critical apparatus for the BOM, given the fact that we don't have the source texts. People like me have to go by the "feel" and examples like I've described here on this thread detract in a big way

    I hope I'm not coming across as abrasive here. Like I've said on other threads, I grew up with Mormons, played with them, went to school with them, dated them, worked with and for them. I get along very well with Mormons and have generally found them to be happy, hardworking, and generous

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    You are not coming across as abrasive, nor objectionable. I don't take offense as a rule because most people just aren't like that and those who are can live their lives as they choose.

    What I'm trying to say is that translation can be done scholastically and spiritually. Translation is not something I use to judge the Book of Mormon as if it's true, there are far more realistic means of judging it. For example, if it falls through archaeologically, historically, doctrinally and so forth, that's far more viable.

    There are many evidences that must be weighed for and against the book. For example, horses are mentioned in the Book of Mormon, but it's a problem because horses weren't known to exist in the New World, or barely. Those are problems. Are the insurmountable? We don't know yet because barely has been found in Mesoamerica fairly recently and the jury's not in yet on horses. I was taught in school that horses were brought here from the new world (and so they were), but there are reports of horse bones being found. The Book of Mormon also doesn't mention snow or ice, which makes it odd that a writer of fiction would leave it out, especially when so many veterans of the Revolutionary War were still alive at the time it came forth. Our archaeologists take it as indicating that the events took place in Mesoamerica, and evidence so far seems to support it. Many things, like roads and cement, had not been discovered there when the book was published. We also have the much of the first book in the Book of Mormon that took place in the old world.

    Ultimately, one must look at all of these things to judge it. The next two decades should either make a great case or very difficult. Only time will tell for sure.

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