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June 26, 2015

As is typical in on the web, this debate is starting to spin out of control and splinter into numerous tangents.  I am therefore going to limit comments even further.  I am going to stick to the point of this debate, not start another twenty.  Sorry.  If you’d like to discuss a topic of your particular interest, you can start your own blog. To Recap: 1- Prof. Jenkins steadfastly refuses to accept the existence of ABMS, even for the sake of argument.  As far… Read more

June 25, 2015

Prof. Jenkins has very begrudgingly agreed to allow, under extreme duress and purely for the sake of argument, that there might be something we could possibly call “discredited ancient Book of Mormon cranky pseudo-science.”  I consider this a small victory.  Very small. If Dr. Jenkins will, for the sake of argument, at least pretend to take the ABMS discipline marginally seriously, we can perhaps move on.  I’m very skeptical.  His position renders the well of discourse perpetually poisoned.  I’m not asking… Read more

June 25, 2015

The following was published here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865622426/The-authenticity-of-scripture.html I’m presenting it so Dr. Jenkins can understand where I’m coming from on the topic. =========== J.R.R. Tolkien presented his “Lord of the Rings” to the world as fiction, and, thus, it’s “authentic” because it’s exactly what it claims to be — a fictional tale describing imaginary people, events, objects and places. The book of Deuteronomy, by contrast, presented itself not only as history, but as inspired history. If the story of Moses and the Exodus is… Read more

June 25, 2015

The following was published here. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865621380/Historicity-and-the-problem-of-getting-at-the-past.html I’d like to know if Dr. Jenkins agrees or disagrees. ============ When discussing the meaning of scripture, people often raise the question of historicity. Unfortunately, this is a complicated topic with many distinct yet overlapping issues — issues that are frequently misunderstood or conflated. Historicity essentially means that a person mentioned in an ancient text really lived, that an event really happened, that a place actually existed. Thus, historicity relates to questions such as,… Read more

June 25, 2015

For the sake of argument, let us grant not just that Ancient Book of Mormon Studies (ABMS) is a respectable academic discipline, but also that it is so active. Dr. Hamblin reports, for instance, “1-  There are dozens, if not several hundred of qualified scholars publishing on ABMS.   2- The bibliography in the field amounts to hundreds, and perhaps several thousand items.   3-  Several professional journals are dedicated to ABMS.   4-  Several conferences are held each year… Read more

June 25, 2015

Dr. Hamblin and I may differ on many things, but on two points we speak as one. I echo entirely his remark that there is indeed life outside blogging, and that one would be an idiot to let the activity dominate one’s life. (I hope I don’t put words in his mouth there). Also, he states precisely the reasons why the assumptions that divide us may be too wide to allow any kind of meaningful debate or exchange. “Until we… Read more

June 25, 2015

I have been mulling over a debate I am having with Dr. Hamblin. Briefly, he believes that Ancient Book of Mormon Studies (ABMS) is a real academic discipline, and I don’t. He writes, for instance, “Certainly more professional academic research work is done each year on the Book of Mormon, than, say, Old Persian studies. By any objective standard, this is a thriving and independent academic discipline.” I do now have an explanation to my puzzle, namely that he clearly has… Read more

June 23, 2015

Guest comment: My friend and colleague John Gee presents a timely observation on the difficulties of drawing conclusions from the absence of archaeological data. http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-archaeology-of-council-of-nicaea.html I should note that there is far more epigraphic evidence from Nicaea than there is for all of Preclassic Mesoamerica (= period of the Book of Mormon). Read more

June 23, 2015

Several commenters (whose comments I have not posted due to the “Rules of Engagement”) have taken me to task for not addressing whatever topic they think I should be addressing according to their time table. I suppose I need to remind them that this is my blog.  And, believe it or not, I have a life outside this blog.  In fact, I’m working on all sorts of projects which I actually find more interesting.  So I limit the amount of time… Read more

June 23, 2015

This is a response to Jenkins comment on my “Peer Review” (which can be found in the comments here) I note again the Prof. Jenkins is not in a position to declare that “no scholars outside that area (eg Mesoamericanists) need to know anything about [ABMS], because it is not a genuine discipline.” I find this wildly puzzling. He knows he doesn’t have to take ABMS seriously because other people, who know essentially nothing about the Book of Mormon don’t… Read more




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