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Book of Mormon Onomastics and Syntax, O My!

Book of Mormon Onomastics and Syntax, O My! November 27, 2021

 

Egypt's largest city, at night
Cairo: Egypt’s capital, the largest city in Africa, and our first married home
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)

 

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Having been unable to connect with the web for the past several days, I’m late to call attention to a number of new things that have appeared on the website of the Interpreter Foundation.  But I managed to connect just a few minutes ago, and my success may last as much as three more tension-filled and exciting minutes.  So here, belatedly, are two of those still relatively new items:

 

Kyler Rasmussen, “Estimating the Evidence Episode 21: On Onomastic Origins”

[Editor’s Note: This is the twenty-first in a series of 23 essays summarizing and evaluating Book of Mormon-related evidence from a Bayesian statistical perspective. See the FAQ at the end of the introductory episode for details on methodology.]

It seems unlikely that the Book of Mormon could have so many names that can be traced to ancient Semitic and Egyptian, and for those ancient meanings to form wordplays and other connections with the text itself.

 

Stanford Carmack, “The Book of Mormon’s Complex Finite Cause Syntax”

Abstract: This paper describes and compares the Book of Mormon’s 12 instances of complex finite cause syntax, the structure exemplified by the language of Ether 9:33: “the Lord did cause the serpents that they should pursue them no more.” This is not King James language or currently known to be pseudo-archaic language (language used by modern authors seeking to imitate biblical or related archaic language), but it does occur in earlier English, almost entirely before the year 1700. In the Book of Mormon, the syntax is always expressed with the modal auxiliary verbs should and shall. Twenty-five original examples of this specific usage have been identified so far outside of the Book of Mormon (not counting two cases of creative biblical editing — see the appendix). The text’s larger pattern of clausal verb complementation after the verb cause, 58 percent finite in 236 instances, is utterly different from what we encounter in the King James Bible and pseudo-archaic texts, which are 99 to 100 percent infinitival in their clausal complementation. The totality of the evidence indicates that Joseph Smith would not have produced this causative syntax of the Book of Mormon in a pseudo-archaic effort. Therefore, this dataset provides additional strong evidence for a revealed-words view of the 1829 dictation.

 

Posted from Cairo, Egypt

 

 

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