Joseph & All Things Semitic ENGLISHPresentation Transcript
Caveat: This presentation is a work in progress by Douglas Earl, who is nothing more than a person who reads the information in this field of research and either copies or extrapolates the information to reach the conclusions listed in these presentations. They are subject to change and correction almost weekly and may or may not be correct. They certainly are not totally correct and are not the thinking of any recognized LDS Church leader nor do they represent the position of the LDS Church. They only represent some of the thinking that is out there at this time and is currently being discussed. These presentations can be copied, changed and used so long as this caveat is understood and included.
Joseph SMITH the Prophet of the Restoration D & C 124:1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up , that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.
His Contemporaries Wrote:
Orson Pratt said about the Prophet’s schooling: “He could read and write a little, and that was about the amount of his educational acquirements.” JD 18:157
W.W. Phelps, a Canandaigua newspaper editor, said in a letter to E.D. Howe, Jan. 19, 1831 that Joseph Smith was certainly a person of limited abilities in common learning—but his knowledge of divine things, since the appearance of his book, has astonished many. (Phelps later joined the church)
Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration Emma Said: “Joseph at that time of his life could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well worded letter; let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon” “He had neither manuscript nor book to read from” “If he had had anything of that kind he could not have concealed it from me.” “ I am satisfied that no one could have dictated the writing of the manuscripts unless he was inspired; for, when acting as his scribe, your father would dictate to me hour after hour; and when returning after meals, or after interruptions, he would at once begin where he left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. This was a usual thing for him to do. It would have been improbable that a learned man could do this; and, for one so ignorant and unlearned as he was, it was simply impossible.”
On April 5, 1829 Oliver Cowdery became the scribe of Joseph Smith in the translation of the Book of Mormon The translation of the Book of Mormon began again, probably with the Book of Mosiah, April 7, 1829 and about 75 days later the entire translation was completed. This Book was essentially written, start to finish, in 75 days.
Language of our Fathers
1 Nephi 1:1-4: (1) Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father ;...
(2) Yea, I make a record in the language of my father , which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians .
When Nephi talks about the language of his fathers, the father he is referring to is Joseph sold into Egypt—so the book is written in the language of the Egyptians.
The Learning of the Jews
2 Nephi 25:5 yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah, for I came out from Jerusalem, and mine eyes hath beheld the things of the Jews , and I know that the Jews do understand the things of the prophets, and there is none other people that understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews like unto them, save it be that they are taught after the manner of the things of the Jews .
Learning of the Jews: The Hebrew writers wrote in a distinctive language style. They also wrote in a manner that the physical history teaches a spiritual principal, such as a parable or an allegory. The terms Hebrew parallelism and Chiasmus are used to define this style of writing. Allegories Parables Hebrew Parallelism Chiasmus
The Brass Plates
In What language were the brass plates written?
Mosiah 1:4 For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates (the brass plates); for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to the children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time. Joseph Smith was right, the language used was Egyptian , not only for the brass plates, but also Reformed Egyptian was used for the Gold Plates.
SEVERAL LANGUAGE ISSUES
L anguage of my father : which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians (part of the larger ProtoAfricaAsiactic language group) .
SEMITIC– This is the language group that comes from SHEM, one of the three sons of Noah. “ This family includes the ancient and modern forms of Akkadian , Amharic , Arabic , Aramaic , Ge'ez , Hebrew , Maltese , Phoenician , Tigre and Tigrinya among others.” Wikipedia)
Jews under the political domination of the Egyptians for 3,000 years.
Hebrew Parallelism-The manner of the Jews
Old Testament samples of Hebrew Couplets & Parallelism
Isaiah 2:9 and 2 Nephi 12:9 The mean man boweth not down The great man humbleth himself not Isaiah 5:20 & 2 Nephi 15:20 Wo unto them; that call evil good and good evil that put darkness for light and light for darkness that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter
What Is a Chiasmus? And Why Was this form used, especially in Hebrew writings? (or Jewish writings, written in Egyptian?)
(a) Save me
(b) Oh my God
(c) For thou hast smitten
(d) all my enemies
(e) On the cheekbone
(e) The teeth
(d) of the wicked
(c) Thou hast broken
(b) To Yahweh
(a) The Salvation
(a) No man can serve TWO MASTERS
(b) for either he will HATE the one
(c) and LOVE the other
(c) or else he will HOLD TO the one
(b) and DESPISE the other
(a) Ye cannot serve GOD and MAMMON
Chiasmus –Book of Mormon
(a) the land SOUTH was called Lehi
(b) the land NORTH was called Mulek
(c) which was after the son of ZEDEKIAH
(c) for the LORD did bring
(b) Mulek into the land NORTH
(a) and Lehi into the land SOUTH
Zedekiah= My Lord is righteous No one at the Time of Joseph Smith understood this to be a form of writing, largely attributed to “after the manner of the Jews.”
(a) My Son, give ear to my word V. 1
(b) Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper– V. 1
(c) Do as I have done V 2
(d) Delivered fathers out of bondage v 2
(e) He surely did deliver them – V 2
(f) Trust in God V 3
(g) Supported in their trials V 3
(h) I know this of God V 4
(i) Born of God V 5
(j) Destroy the church of God V 6
(k) Lost the use of limbs V 10
(l) Fear of presence of god V 14
(m) Pains of a damned soul V 16
(n) Alma remembers one Jesus Christ V 17
(o) CHRIST WILL ATONE FOR THE SINS OF THE WORLD V 17
(n) Alma calls on one Jesus Christ v. 18
(m) Joy as exceeding as was his pain V 20
(l) Alma’s soul longed to be with God v. 22
(k) Regained the strength of his limbs V 23
(j) Desire to bring souls to God V 24
(i) Born of God 26
(h) The knowledge I have is of God V 26
(g) Supported under trials vs. 27
(f) Trust in Him– V 27
(e) He will deliver me - V 27
(d) Delivered fathers out of bondage–V 28
(c) Know as I do know- V 30
(b) Keep the commandments and ye shall prosper – V 30
(a) This is according to his word – V 30
Chapter 36 of Alma And Yet We Find It All through the Book of Mormon.
Here Are the Clues to a Great Mystery!
When was the 1 st Book of Nephi Written?
Thirty Years After the Start of the Journey!
Why was it included in the Book of Mormon?
Martin Harris lost the 116 pages of the Book of Lehi
Did Mormon know why it was included?
He said it was for a “wise purpose,” that he did not know.
Why is the phrase “my reign” included in the heading?
Because Nephi was “the King of his people” by the time it was written
Now Look at the Construction of the 1 st Book of Nephi and See if you can figure out what happened.
The Book of 1 st Nephi: What do you See?
(a) Lehi’s dream leads him to Prophesy Warnings to the Jews - Ch 1
(b) The DEPARTURE from Jerusalem – Ch 2
(c) Nephi accomplishes great FEAT, obtains brass plates Ch 3-5
(d) ISHMAEL joins the group with his daughters
(e) THE TREE OF LIFE – Ch 8
(f) Lehi prophesies about the OLD WORLD & Christ Ch 10
(g) NEPHI’s VISION OF CHRIST Ch 11
(f) Nephi prophesies about the NEW WORLD & Christ – Ch 12-14
(e) THE TREE OF LIFE (interpreted) - Ch 15
(d) Sons of Lehi marry daughters of ISHMAEL & ISHMAEL dies -Ch 16
(c) Nephi accomplishes a great FEAT by building a ship- Ch 17
(b) The DEPARTURE from the Old World – Ch 18
(a) Nephi WARNS the Jews and quotes the PROPHECIES of Isaiah – Ch 19-22
The reason that Nephi started 2 nd Nephi was because this Chiasmus was done…
The 22 Chapters of 1 st Nephi are a Chiasmus.
During the first thirty years of the journey Nephi had other troubles and he did not write his history.
Besides, Lehi was the original leader and Lehi was writing the history, the Book of Lehi.
Nephi did eventually write the 30 year history once he was the king.
In the meantime, in the classic Hebrew tradition, the history was recited, memorized, repeated, and well known among the people, because it was reduced to a form called Chiasmus.
The people knew this story by memory. This was an oral tradition of the people.
A Few Other Items Unknown at the Time of Joseph Smith
That there were ruins and/or civilizations in Mesoamerica. This did not come to light generally in North America until 1840, 11 years after the translation
The names in the Book of Mormon were mostly new nouns in 1829, i.e. Korihor, Pahoran, Paankhi, Ammon, Manti, plus names ending in “ihah or iah.”
The writings in the Book of Mormon are Semitic (middle east- Egypt, Hebrew, etc) and Joseph Smith did not know what that meant.
In the 75 days it took Joseph to translate the Book of Mormon, he came up with 183 new names.
“ All or nearly all can be shown as Semitic names (Nibley “Lehi in the Desert)
Characteristics of Semitic Language
1 . Semitic writing is recorded and read from right to left.
2. There are no capital letters.
3. There are no paragraphs
4. They use “Function words.” (“ands instead of commas”)
5. They use the Cognate accusative “dreamed a dream”
6. They use a connective word in numbering.
7. Sentence structure “thy sins are forgiven thee ” -poor English but good Egyptian
8. Semitic “idioms.” Like our “he gets under my skin”
9. Our “Junior” vs. the Semitic “the younger.”
Semitic writing is recorded and read from right to left.
Joseph said that when he was translating the plates it was awkward to move from right to left.
How would he have known that this is Semitically correct?
It certainly was not known to him at the time of the translation.
There are no capital letters.
Joseph Smith and his scribes did not know which words to capitalize.
The original manuscript left many proper names uncapitalized, including the name Jerusalem.
There were no paragraphs or Punctuation Marks
The original manuscript (translation) had few separations. In fact, it was basically one big long sentence.
There were no paragraphs, and no punctuation until they were added by the typesetter John H. Gilbert, who worked for Grandin Printing.
This is Semitically correct.
They use “Function words.”
Consider the use of the word AND : “But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanities and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plundering, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work.” Helaman 3:14
To be Semitically correct, it had to contain 17 “ands.” We would have used one “and” and many commas.
“ and it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.”
The “ and’s and his’s (pronouns) must be there to be Semitically correct.
They use the Cognate accusative
Another use of function words is the use of the cognate accusative—where the verb and noun are matched.
Many phrases in the Book of Mormon such as:
“ dreamed a dream .” or “ worked a work .”
The Semitic Numbering System
If Joseph Smith were writing a book he would have said “and it was 427 years since Lehi left Jerusalem.”
The Semitic language would say “ And it was 400 and 20 and 7 years since Lehi left Jerusalem.”
“ And it came to pass that two hundred and seventy and six years had passed away, and we had many seasons of peace; and we had many seasons of serious war and bloodshed. Yea, and in fine, two hundred and eighty and two years had passed away, and I had kept these plates according to the commandments of my fathers; and I conferred them upon my son Amaron. And I make an end.” Omni 1:3
Semitic Sentence Structure
In Enos 1:5 it reads “Thy sins are forgiven thee.”
We would have more correctly written “Your sins are forgiven.”
In the Semitic language, the sentence would not mean anything without the “thee.”
This might be poor English, but Joseph was translating from the original language.
The phrase “and it came to pass” is poor English but good Egyptian.
Idioms are characteristic of languages and all languages have them. Like “He gets under my skin,” or “A poker face.”
Some Book of Mormon Idioms have Semitic meanings.
“ He stretched forth his hand ” –he didn’t just reach out. (Alma 32:7)
Others: “ Lowly in heart ,” “ stiffnecked people ,” Fountains (a Semitic word for springs and streams) “ Many Waters ,” a Semitic word for oceans, “ turned aside their ears ,” (meaning they forsook the Lord), “ by the hand of ” (meaning written by) and “ having dwelt ” (meaning came from)
Junior & Senior
We refer to father and son of the same name as Senior and Junior (Joseph Smith Sr. and Joseph Smith Jr.)
There is no Junior or Senior in the Semitic language.
In the Semitic language, it is stated as “ younger ” or “ son of ” as “Alma, who was the son of Alma ” (Mosiah 28:20)
We Now Know So Much More About the Names of the Book of Mormon
Recently discovered lists of names that Nebuchadnessar brought back to Babylon from Palestine show: “ The name Aha, which a Nephite general bestowed on his son, means ‘warrior’ and was borne by the legendary first hero king of Egypt. Himni, Korihor, Paanchi, Pakumeni, Sam, Zeezrom, Ham, Manti, Nephi and Zenoch are all Egyptian hero names .” (D.H. Thomas)
Paankhi was a popular Egyptian name in the seventh century B.C. but it was not known until the end of the last century.
The most frequent theophoric (an element in a proper name which derives from a name for God, like EL) element in the Book of Mormon and Egyptian names is AMMON .
A large portion of Book of Mormon names end in iah and ihah . The same is true of Palestinian names of Lehi’s time but of no other.
The names that are not Egyptian, are Arabic, Hittite, or Greek. This corresponds with the purported origin of the book.
Lehi is a real personal name, unknown at the time of Joseph Smith.
The Egyptian names even fall into the Old World statistical pattern with an absolute predominance of the name Ammon , with Manti second in order, and a heavy emphasis on names beginning with “ Pa ” and high frequency of elements “ mor ” and “ hor .”
“ Word Prints” analysis- Show the Book of Mormon to have had Several Writers
There are 3 statistical techniques that make up the science of “ Word Prints .” 1) Multivariate analysis of variants, 2) Cluster analysis & 3) Discriminate or classification analysis
This type of analysis was used to determine who wrote the federalist papers and whether new “Shakespeare” documents were actually written by him.
As applied to the Book of Mormon we find that “26 major writers” have been identified.
The writings we attribute to Mormon are 174,610 words or 65.1% of the book. Nephi wrote 54,688 or 20.4% of the Book.
Joseph Smith said “I did not write that book. I translated that Book.”
“ Word Prints” and the Book of Mormon
“ Not a single time does the word print of Joseph Smith ever correspond with the word print of Mormon.” (allexperts.com)
“ The chances that any one person living in the 19 th century wrote the Book of Mormon is greater than 100 billion to one.”
“ The chances that any combination of persons living in the 19 th century wrote the Book of Mormon are over 10 billion to one.”
The chance that any one writer of any time ever wrote the entire Book of Mormon is greater than 1 billion to one.”
MORMON ABRIDGED THE BOOK 65% of the Book of Mormon was his actual writing. Was Mormon a “dot your I’s and cross your t’s” scholar or was he a general?
The Typos & Corrections in the Writing of the Book of Mormon Give Us a Major Witness The word “rather” is used 32 times in the Book of Mormon Several of these uses reflect Webster’s definition of rather as a word that means “more correctly speaking.” What happens if you are writing the Book of Mormon on the gold plates and you make a mistake? If Mormon engraved an incorrect character on a sheet of gold, he had no way of deleting that character and inserting the correct one. His potential problem of correcting errors was compounded because he engraved on both sides of the sheet of gold.
What if we look through the Book of Book for instances where corrections were made? The following passages were written by Mormon during the abridgement process: Mosiah 7:8 And it came to pass when they had been in prison two days they were again brought before the king, and their bands were loosed; and they stood before the king, and were permitted , or rather commanded , that they should answer the questions which he should ask them. Alma 2:34 And thus he cleared the ground , or rather the bank , which was on the West... Alma 36:14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children , or rather led them away unto destruction... (he hadn’t actually killed them) Alma 50:32 Now behold, the people who were in the land Bountiful , or rather Moroni , feared that they would hearken to the words of Morianton...(here they changed the whole thought in mid sentence) Alma 54:5 Behold, Ammoron, I have written unto you somewhat concerning this war which ye have waged against my people , or rather which thy brother hath waged against them, and which ye are still determined to carry on after his death. These are just some of the examples of the use of rather to clear up an obvious error by the writer.
Mormon corrected his word choice errors in the following scriptures with the simple use of the word “ or ” as a way of introducing a correction and then finishing the sentence. Mosiah 1:10 Alma 43:16 Mosiah 2:31 Helaman 4:22 Alma 43:18 Mosiah 7:1 Alma 44:23 Alma 19:19 Mosiah 7:18 Alma 45:13 Mosiah 11:18 Helaman 11:24 Alma 46:10 Mosiah 18:17 Alma 47:2 3 Nephi 1:29 Mosiah 22:6 Alma 49:3 Mosiah 25:2 3 Nephi 3:14 Alma 49:9 Mosiah 29:41 Alma 49:13 3 Nephi 7:1 Alma 4:19 Alma 52:25 Alma 6:3 3 Nephi 12:1 Alma 53:3 Alma 9:1 Alma 54:3 3 Nephi 28:37 Alma 10:14 Alma 54:6 Alma 11:1 Mormon 2:1 Alma 56:13-14 Alma 11:46 Alma 57:8 Alma 35:15 Alma 12:1 Alma 58:9 Alma 12:31 Alma 34:13 Alma 58:20 Alma 14:11 Alma 59:3 Alma 24:19 Alma 16:16 Alma 61:8 Alma 17:22 Alma 23:6 Alma 63:15 Alma 17:29 Helaman 2:13-14 Alma 22:19 Alma 18:37 Helaman 3:33 Alma 19:14 Alma 21:20
Here is an example, which just happens to be my favorite typo in the Book of Mormon “ And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace , or they buried their weapons of war, for peace .” Alma 24:19 Clearly Mormon realized his error in speaking of “weapons of peace” when he should have used the wording “weapons of war,” which he correctly uses in many other places in the Book of Mormon.
So What? What was Joseph Smith to do? Oliver Cowdery dutifully recorded all the words of Joseph, including these facetious “whoopsies.” They could have been corrected by Joseph Smith, or Oliver Cowdery. These mistakes are evidence of: (1) the divine nature of the record itself, (2) the fact that it had multiple authors and (3) that Joseph Smith was a prophet translator.
Why? The only place the “whoopsies” occur is in the writings of MORMON !!! They are not found among the books of the small plates of Nephi, which Mormon did not abridge. They are not found among the writings of Moroni, or any of the other 23 contributors to the Book of Mormon. The “whoopsies” represent a distinctive element in the writing style of Mormon—but of none of the other writers associated with the Book of Mormon including Joseph Smith. Ted D. Stoddard
Bronze Plates from 14 October 109 A.D. The plates are an official military diploma granting citizenship and retirement benefits to a Roman soldier, Marcus Herennius Polymita, and his family. Finally, Joseph Smith and Metal Plates 5” x 7” (Book of Mormon 6 “ x 8”)
This is a picture of the box that Hyrum built to keep the golden plates in for Joseph 6”x6”x8”
Gold Plates These gold sheets date back to the late 6th century BC and the inscriptions are the oldest historical source from pre-Roman Italy. Two of the gold sheets are in the Etruscan language, while the third is in Phoenician.
hese gold sheets date back to the late 6th century BC and the inscriptions are the oldest historical source from pre-Roman Italy. Two of the gold sheets are in the Etruscan language, while the third is in Phoenician. The content of the longest of the Etruscan inscriptions (37 words) is the same as that for the Phoenician one, though the translation is not literal. It is an important document for the understanding of the Etruscan language. The inscription on the two sheets is a dedication of a sacred place to the Phoenician goddess, Astarte, associated with the Etruscan Uni by Thefarie Velianas, King of Caere according to the Phoenician inscription. This last inscription also bears the purpose for the dedication: to give thanks for the help received by the donor three years before, on the occasion of his ascent to power. In the shorter of the two Etruscan inscriptions, the same character is mentioned for some rituals which had taken place in the same sacred area. This sacred place has been identified with the oldest (B) of the sanctuary s temples; on one side of the temple, in the small sacred precinct (C), the gold sheets were found in 1964, carefully folded with the nails used to put them up in the temple. The Phoenician dedication by the King of Caere bears historical evidence through a contemporary document, of the deep alliance between the Etruscans and the Carthaginians in the period of the great expansion of Carthage in the Mediterranean Sea. From this same period is the first Roman-Carthaginian treaty, which Polybius reported and dated to 509 BC. King of Caere bears historical evidence through a contemporary document, of the deep alliance between the Etruscans and the Carthaginians in the period of the great expansion of Carthage in the Mediterranean Sea. From this same period is the first Roman-Carthaginian treaty, which Polybius reported and dated to 509 BC.
Gold Plaque of Darius 600 BC
Joseph Smith was an instrument in the hand of the Lord . ( Hebrew Noun Construction style )
Though unlearned, he was used by the Lord, to bring the Book of Mormon and Gospel to the earth through divine inspiration.
The prophet knew nothing personally of actual existing ruins or ancient civilizations in the Americas.
The prophet knew nothing of Chiasmus, Hebrew dualism or the Hebrew (Semitic) manner of writing.
The world in 1829 lacked a knowledge of metal plates, word print analysis, how to interpret Egyptian hieroglyphs
Joseph Smith, The Prophet of the Restoration
Over the last 176 years, knowledge has come to the world, that was not available at the time of the translation of the Book of Mormon, which helps us to appreciate the greatness of this man, Joseph Smith, the gospel he restored, and the writings he made available to us.
That’s It For Now.
The Olive Culture
The 5 th chapter of Jacob presents the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees. The methods of horticulture are consistent with those used anciently in the near East. In the 1820’s there was no olive culture in the United States. The first English translation of an essay on olive horticulture was made in 1852 from a text originally written in French in 1820.
Hebrew Construction & Syntax
The “Construct Noun Phrase:”
The noun phrase consists of noun + of + noun, hence “ the Garden of Eden
.”“ The Book of Moses ” instead of Moses’ Book. “ the children of Israel ,” instead of Israel’s children. “ The hand of the Lord ,” instead of the Lord’s hand.
The Book of Mormon follows this proper rendering of Hebrew into English in such descriptions as “ the plates of brass ” or “ the plates of gold ,” never “the brass plates” of “the golden plates.” These modern equivalents are not found in the text of the Book of Mormon. This provides further proof of ancient origins.
Other examples: “ the name of Christ ,” or “ the doctrine of Christ ,” rather than Christ’s name or Christ’s doctrine.
Also: “ the beasts of the field ” “ the fowls of the air ,” and “ the fishes of the sea ,” (D & C 29: 24, 59:16)