Jenkins 28: The Myth of “Therefore”

Jenkins 28: The Myth of “Therefore” July 23, 2015

Jenkins “responding” to my question here.  My comments in blue.  My original source =

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 dodging and misdirection is getting noisome.  

More of my brief comments are interspersed in blue below.


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 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?  

See what happens here? You take a true statement, namely that NHM was an authentic ancient name, and then add the toxic and spurious “therefore” that accepting that fact constitutes evidence for the Book of Mormon  (and a “hence” thrown in for good measure). You are trying to frame a dichotomous choice between either (a) accepting the documented reality of the ancient name (and therefore, you think, of the Book of Mormon) and (b) rejecting the name, with its well-documented and well researched evidence.

That’s not what I’m trying to do.  I’m trying to understand what you would cause you to accept as authentic BOM toponym, in this case Nahom.  Given the nature of ancient Near Eastern evidence, the Nahom/NHM match–time, region and name phonetics–is as good as it’s going to get.  Given the nature of the evidence, it is impossible to find a better match.  Impossible.  If this is not acceptable to you as “evidence” (not proof) of the Book of Mormon, the nothing ever will be.  And remember, weaker toponymic correspondences than this are regularly accepted by historians of ancient geography, including biblical geography.

This is a bogus choice, for multiple reasons. So what about Nahom?

First, the evidence is of a place that cannot be located, and certainly not with any precision. It is a large area. It refers to a man who is the grandson of a Nihmite.

 Untrue.  As any even cursory reading of the Bible demonstrates, tribal names are also place names in the ancient Near East.  The BOM does not say Nahom was a specific spot or city; it is a tribal region, just like Dan and Manesseh are tribal and regional place names in the Bible.  If we say we buried grandpa in Nebraska, it doesn’t necessarily imply there is a city or a graveyard named Nebraska.  

It is also untrue that the inscription talks about a “Nihmite” as you claim.  It talks about member of the tribe of NHM.  NHM is a tribe/land just as the biblical Dan is a tribe/land.  Anyone with the slightest familiarity with Middle Eastern ethnography knows this.  Furthermore, the text does not read “Nihmite”.  As an ancient Semitic inscription it has no vowels.  It reads NHMY, the Y being the sign of a nisba adjective referring to being of a place or tribe–it means “a man of the tribe/place NHM.”     

Second, and critically, it is also a modern (19th-20th century name) which could have been (and assuredly was) acquired from many maps at the time. If it was just an ancient name, you might be on to something. As it is, as usual, you have nothing.

 Many early 19th century maps?  Evidence please!  No more universalistic assertions allowed.  No more claiming you have no burden of proof.  (How absurd!) You have just as much responsibility to provide evidence for your claims as I do.  Which specific maps, please?  Publication date?  Accessibility?  What language?  Put up or cut the crap.  

“Therefore” the presence of the name in the ancient world proves absolutely nothing whatever concerning the Book of Mormon.

The name Nahom is not on any early 19th century map of which I am aware.  If it’s there, show me.  The name Nihm or Nehem is found on some.  Here is Carsten Niebuhr’s 1794 map of Arabia.

Look at the map, and tell me what would have caused JS to have selected Nehem from all the available place names he could have chosen.  There are several hundred names, and he randomly picks one that is attested in a sixth century BC south Arabian inscription as a place name?  Really?  And why should we possibly conclude that JS would have borrowed a name from a map but change it’s spelling?  What possible motive could he have to do that?  Please read what I say here and engage my actual argument:

Do you find that these rhetorical games actually work with some people? Not adults, surely?

I don’t.  I find your rhetorical games extremely tiresome.   

So, have you stopped inventing your Nephites?

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