July 22, 2015

Here’s something new from Jenkins.  I’m providing two comments here in blue. 1- From the beginning of this discussion I have insisted that the fundamental problems are epistemological, hermeneutical and methodological, not evidentiary.  The problems center around interpretation of evidence, not the evidence per se.  Jenkins seems unable to grasp this fundamental point.  He insists that we provide “credible and plausible” evidence.  This is progress of a sort.  At least tacitly, he seems to have agreed that there is evidence for the BOM… Read more

July 22, 2015

My friend Stephen Smoot sent me the following, which I believe is germane to the discussion of Book of Mormon historicity. ================== A note on the limits of archaeology from a post-modernist Mormon apologist … no, wait, that’s a conservative Roman Catholic priest. Archaeology does not, and cannot, claim to know all about the places it excavates, or the people who lived there. The nature of the finds–––scattered, broken, and accidentally preserved by the fortunes of time and weather, or… Read more

July 17, 2015

In another classic example of moving the goal post after the touchdown has been made, Jenkins writes (here at bottom) Oh, and on one other point. I complained about your statement that, “Neal Rappleye has posted a bibliography of non-LDS academic publications dealing favorably with ancient Book of Mormon studies.”  You reply: “None of these “publications” (i.e. journals or publishers) are LDS.  Some of the authors are LDS.” Oh my, what a total night and day difference! So in other… Read more

July 17, 2015

Dan Peterson makes some important points about the debate I’m having with Jenkins.   Unfortunately, given his track record, Jenkins won’t read it. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865632671/Book-of-Mormon-apologetics-and-scholarship.html Read more

July 17, 2015

Below is Jenkins comments.  My response comes first in blue. ===== For the purposes of argumentation I will broadly accept Jenkins’ definitions, given below.  He then claims: The key is observation.  … Exactly.  Since we cannot directly observe the past, the study of the past is necessarily non-empirical.   The past does not currently exist. As you rightly say, though, it has left traces that do – in the form of archaeological remains, documents, inscriptions, whatever – and those traces can be subjected… Read more

July 17, 2015

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/07/08/hamblin-27-the-entrada-of-ad-378/  So there’s lots of wars described in the Book of Mormon in the 360s/370s, and lots in real world Maya history around the same time. This would be an impressive match or correlation if the Maya were a peaceful bunch whose lives were seldom rocked by wars and invasions, which would not be the case. They had war after war, invasion after invasion, and dynasties changed and fell frequently. It would be hard to point to a twenty or… Read more

July 17, 2015

Jenkins repeatedly asserts that I, and all other LDS authors on the historicity of the Book of Mormon are pseudo-scholarly apologetic hacks.  Every single one of us.  That’s bad enough.  But when he calls me a Post-Modernist, I’ve had enough.  Them’s fighting words!!!!! Jenkins claims: Hamblin’s point was NOT that all data involved needs to be interpreted” but rather that “History–in the sense of the actual human past–does not exist.”  Actually, that was exactly my point–data from the Past needs to be interpreted precisely because… Read more

July 13, 2015

Here are some recent comments from Philip Jenkins.  My responses are interspersed in blue. ==================== http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticmirror/2015/07/10/hamblin-29-rappleye-ambs-bibliography/ So Bill, do I take it that you have now handed this debate over entirely to Neal Rappleye? No. So you have given up? This is important. I agreed to debate you. I am not starting a multiple sided war against every apologist who comes out of the woodwork. As I mentioned in my last post to you, Rappleye is a very weak debater,… Read more

July 10, 2015

The productive Neal Rappleye has written another excellent mini-essay on the methodological and interpretative issues related Jenkins claims about ancient BOM studies.  Read it here. He also notes the forthcoming publication next month of Brant Gardner’s new book Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History.  Knowing Gardner’s fine work, I am confident this will be a “must read” on the issue of the historicity of the BOM. Alas, given his track record, I am quite confident that Prof. Jenkins… Read more

July 10, 2015

Prof. Jenkins has repeatedly claimed that the ancient Book of Mormon studies is not a “real” discipline because (allegedly) it’s findings are not published by non-LDS scholars and journals.  Anyone familiar with the field knows this allegation is simply untrue, most notably with Givens’ Bye the Hand of Mormon, published by Oxford. Neal Rappleye has posted a bibliography of non-LDS academic publications dealing favorably with ancient Book of Mormon studies.   Read more

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