Goodbye to All That

As noted earlier, Jerry Bradford is stepping down as director of the Maxwell Institute, and BYU has chosen a committee to select his successor.  (http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/now-accepting-nominations-and-applications-for-next-institute-director/)  Unfortunately, the mandate of the committee has not been made public, but let’s take a look at what the composition of that committee can tell us about the staying power of the Bradford Junta’s “new direction.”   When academic committees are formed … [Read more...]

How BYU Destroyed Ancient Book of Mormon Studies

I maintain that numerous policies adopted by a wide range of BYU administrators over the past thirty years have had the effect—intended or unintended—of destroying ancient Book of Mormon studies as a fledgling discipline.  Here’s how. College and Department Politics.  Although many people might find it incredible, every single BYU administrator on every level of the administration has explicitly discouraged me from doing ancient Book of Mormon studies in my annual performance (“stewardship”) rev … [Read more...]

Jenkins 28: THE MYTH OF THEREFORE (Original)

Jenkins objected to me interspersing comments with his text.  So here is his original, without my comments.  My response can be found here:  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/07/23/jenkins-28-the-myth-of-therefore/ =================== A nice case study of rhetoric in action!   I love the way you frame a question, in the rich tradition of  “Have you stopped beating your wife?”  You asked this:   My question for Philip is: “If NHM can not be accepted an authentic ancient six … [Read more...]

Jenkins 28: The Myth of “Therefore”

Jenkins "responding" to my question here.  My comments in blue.  My original source = http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/07/22/hamblin-35-time-for-clear-thinking-on-nahom/ Jenkins is "responding" to a question I didn't ask.  My real question is:What additional characteristics or qualities of the authentic sixth century BC south Arabian name NHM would be necessary for it to qualify as an evidentiary match for the BOM Nahom?Please answer the question.  Your constant dodg … [Read more...]

Jenkins 27: Bigfoot?

Here's more from Jenkins.  I suspect he's trying to be funny.  My comments are in blue. If you merely want to passively disbelieve in Bigfoot, or even publicly state that you disbelieve in Bigfoot, then you certainly don't need pay any attention to the topic or the specifics of their claims. However, if I were going to write a book, article, or blog, or engage in a public debate about the existence of Bigfoot, I, personally, feel that my intellectual integrity would compel me to actually read w … [Read more...]

Jenkins 26: Still no Evidence?

This just in from Jenkins.  My comments preceed in blue.  As I've said from the beginning, the question of the historicity of the Book of Mormon is a hermeneutical and epistemological problem.  The problem is not "is there evidence?" but "what constitutes evidence and how should it be evaluated and interpreted?"  Apparently Jenkins does not understand the difference between evidence and proof.  When he says there's no evidence, what he's really saying is that there is no proof.  I agree with him … [Read more...]

Hamblin 35: Time for Clear Thinking on Nahom

Alas, Jenkins' thinking on Nahom is hopelessly muddled. If NHM can not be accepted an authentic ancient sixth century South Arabian place name, and therefor an authentic match with the BOM Nahom–and hence evidence for (though not proof of) the historicity of the BOM–what additional qualities of evidence of place, personal or ethnic names would make it acceptable?     Remember: Coincidence is not an argument, or even an explanation.  It is an excuse. Jenkins claims that Joseph Smith took the na … [Read more...]

Jenkins 25: Answer on Nahom

The following, at the bottom, is from Jenkins, missing my point as usual.  My comments are in blue. Jenkins misunderstands my question.  My question is: what additional qualities would he want from a piece of ancient evidence [in this case Nahom] in order to have it acceptable as evidence for the BOM.  Having the right name, in the right place, and at the right time seems insufficient for you.  So, as a general principle, in order to correlate an ancient inscriptional toponym with a textual topo … [Read more...]

Jenkins 24: Nahom Part Deux

From Philip Jenkins--charming as usual.  My comments in blue. My question for Philip is: "If NHM can not be accepted an authentic ancient sixth century South Arabian place name, and therefor an authentic match with the BOM Nahom--and hence evidence for (though not proof of) the historicity of the BOM--what additional qualities of evidence of place, personal or ethnic names would make it acceptable?   Remember: Coincidence is not an argument, or even an explanation.  It is an excus … [Read more...]

Jenkins 23: Empirical and Objective?

Philip Jenkins posted this on his blog, responding to my discussion of the impossibility of empirical and objective study of history. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2015/07/debating-bill-hamblin/ … [Read more...]