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In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:41 PM
Bob, There are a number of finds in archeology, anthropology, demographics, language, etc, which were not know in Joseph Smiths day but which confirm or support details in the Book of Mormon. There are far too many things the Book of Mormon gets right for it to be a fraud. I would be happy to share some of those things with you.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:38 PM
Clark continues” “The hypothesis of human authorship of The Book of Mormon demands that truth claims in the book be judged by what was believed, known, or knowable in Joseph’s backyard in the 1820s. The book’s description of ancient peoples differs greatly from the racist notions of rude savages held by 19th-century Americans. The book’s claim of city societies was laughable at the time, but no one is laughing now. (Ibid) Here, John Clark makes an essential point. Archeology is always incomplete. There never is a time when everything is discovered. In fact very little is ever discovered of what once existed and very little ever will be. That is a very real limitation of archeology. One can always focus on something that has not been discovered. But this approach tends to error. In taking this approach one tends to ignore what has been found. As Clark says, the list of things that have not been found from the Book of Mormon is short.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:33 PM
Mesoamerican archeologist John Clark says: “We will be the first to acknowledge that The Book of Mormon has problems with physical evidence that challenges belief, especially the missing metals, plants, and animals. When some Church members see the list we are advertising here, they despair — perhaps because they don’t know how archaeology works, or better still, doesn’t work. . . . As a tally of major deficiencies, this is a very short list indeed, especially for a book which makes several thousand claims about an ancient American past. It is instructive to remember that biblical archaeologists are still looking for evidence of Abraham and Moses after two centuries of searching, so what are a few misplaced grains, metals, and animals among friends? All of the children of Israel who followed Moses out of Egypt are still missing and unaccounted for archaeologically, but their descendants are our friends and neighbors. My message here is that archaeology is among the crudest of methods for establishing facts and truth, so one should not get over-heated about what has or has not been found at any given hour. By focusing only on missing evidence, one loses perspective. We all know what’s missing. A question we should ask more often is: What has been found? . . . If the book were a hoax there should not be any evidence to support it, not even one bottle cap, hair pin, or cigarette butt. Because of the logic of evidence in this instance, one positive correspondence counts for dozens of missing ones. For example, one documented steel sword trumps several herds of missing horses and elephants. (FAIR Conference 2005)
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:30 PM
The reconstruction of Book of Mormon geography thus faces several difficulties not found in biblical geography. In Mesoamerica there is a discontinuity of toponyms, whereas there is strong continuity of toponyms in Palestine. In Palestine there is a strong continuity of culture. In the New World Nephite culture was destroyed. In Palestine there is a strong continuity of Language. In the New world scholars can read very little of the Pre-Classic Mayan language. There is no Rosetta Stone to unlock the Pre-Classic language. Furthermore, inscriptional evidence from Mesoamerica uses symbolic glyphs for cities rather than phonetic transcriptions of the names, whereas inscriptional evidence in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine usually contains a phonetic component. This means that place names in the old world can be phonetically read but not so in Pre-Classic (Book of Mormon time period) Mesoamerica. And finally, there is no Pre-Classic onomasticon (place-name list) for Mesoamerica, whereas Palestine has Eusebius's detailed Onomasticon, as well as those of later pilgrims. These items allow historians to create a map grid based both on names and distances between sites for key biblical sites. No such help is available for Mesoamerica, the most likely place for Book of Mormon lands.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:30 PM
So out of many hundreds, even thousands of Pre-Classic sites, only a dozen or so are known in inscriptions and those are symbolic rather than phonetic. These were translated between languages by their symbolic name rather than transliterated phonetically. Thus, as Marcus says: "in Nahuatl [Aztec] . . . 'Hill of the Bird' is Tototepec (tototl = bird + tepetl = hill) and 'Hill of the Jaguar' is Ocelotepec (ocelotl + tepetl). . . . 'Hill of the Bird' in Mixtec would be Yucu Dzaa, from yucu (hill) + dzaa (bird); 'Hill of the Jaguar' in Zapotec would be Tani Guebeche, from tani (hill) + guebeche (fierce carnivore).” (Marcus, Mesoamerican Writing, 168) Therefore, even for those few sites for which a symbolic reading can be determined, the pronunciation of the glyphs seems to have been language-dependent. A Zapotec speaker would pronounce the glyph for the place-name of the same site differently than a Mixtec, and both would be different from Nephite pronunciation, even though all three could theoretically be written with variations of the same glyph. All of these problems mean that we will most likely never be able to learn the Pre-Classic names for most ancient Mesoamerican sites. Barring further discoveries, we will therefore never learn from inscriptional evidence how the names of Mesoamerican cities were pronounced in Book of Mormon times. This, then, is a problem which is far more severe for Mesoamerican archeologists than the issues facing old world archeologists who are trying to identify the location of sites mentioned in the Bible. A further difficulty in Mesoamerica is the climate. The dry climate of the Middle East means that parchments, papyri, leather scrolls, and other artifacts can survive relatively intact for thousands of years. In Mesoamerica the wet climate destroys any such materials in a short time. In the dry climate of the Middle East it is easier to see and identify potential archeological sites and easier to travel and to gain physical access to them. There is no jungle to hack through, no cover of trees and roots which not only hide sites but which have to be removed before excavations can begin.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:29 PM
Here is another major barrier to finding Book of Mormon sites which does not hinder Old World archeology: The Book of Mormon time period corresponds to the Mayan Pre-Classic period (Before about 300 AD). There is a severe discontinuity between Pre-Classic place names and the later time periods which are: Classic (about AD 300- AD 900) and the Post-Classic (About 900 AD to about 1520 AD) names and the Colonial Periods (After A.D. 1520). For example, what were the original Pre-Classic Mesoamerican names for sites currently bearing Spanish colonial names such as Monte Alban, San Lorenzo, La Venta, or El Mirador? These and many other Mesoamerican sites bear only Spanish names, dating from no earlier than the sixteenth century. We don’t know their earlier Mayan names. Most of the sites now bear Spanish names or are derived from Aztec names but the earlier Classic and especially the Pre-Classic (Book of Mormon period) names are not known. Pre-Classic Mesoamerican inscriptions are rare and scholars can read very little of it. Most of the Mayan that can be read is from later periods.. Whereas several thousand inscriptions exist from Classic Mesoamerica (A.D. 300—900), Pre-Classic inscriptions (i.e., from Book of Mormon times) are limited to a few dozen. (John S. Justeson, "The Origin of Writing Systems: Preclassic Mesoamerica," World Archaeology 17/3 (1986): 446—47.) To make it even harder, the earliest phonetic spelling was developed around A.D. 400 in Mesoamerica. (Ibid., 452.) All Mesoamerican inscriptions from Book of Mormon times are logograms. This means that all surviving inscriptional toponyms from Book of Mormon times are therefore basically symbolic rather than phonetic, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to know how they were pronounced. Therefore it is possible that some of the pre-classic logogram location names may be Book of Mormon place names but, we can’t tell that because we don’t know how those early place names were pronounced.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:29 PM
The area most likely to be Book of Mormon lands is Mesoamerica. The Conquistadors destroyed Mayan and Aztec cultures and re-named all the cities. The original names are unknown today. One exception is a city in eastern Belize on the Yucatan peninsula. It was never occupied by the Conquistadors and it retains its original name. It is called Lamoni, which is a Book of Mormon name. Another clue to original Mesoamerican city names is the Mayan ritual ceremony depicting their conquest and capture of territories in ancient times. The ceremony particularly celebrates the conquest of a city called Pan cha’lib which means Bountiful. A Nephite city that is described in the Book of Mormon as being conquered by the Lamanites is Bountiful. Coincidence? The Maya had wars among themselves and a number of cities were conquered. This is the same story that we hear in the Book of Mormon and the time periods for the Mayan and Book of Mormon wars match up well. So let’s ask this question: Why might either the Maya, or the Lamanites, be particularly proud of conquering this particular city called Pan cha’lib or Bountiful? They had conquered many other cities. Why celebrate the conquest of this particular city? We read in the Book of Mormon that the city Bountiful was an exceeding stronghold (Alma 53:3-5). This city was particularly hard for the Lamanites to conquer because it was strongly fortified. Therefore, one would be particularly proud of such a conquest. It makes sense that the conquest of this particular city might be memorialized and celebrated and become a tradition passed on to future generations. And that’s just what we find the Maya doing over the city Pan cha’lib or Bountiful.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:26 PM
The Maxwell Institute isn't the only place where the Onomasticon of Eusebius is discussed.
In response to:

My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:22 PM
Ezra Taft Benson, president of the LDS Church, taught: He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth. (See 1 Nephi 11:20.) (From Ezra Taft Benson, "Joy in Christ," Ensign (March 1986), 3–4) Mormon Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland taught: in 2007: "Now, to anyone within the sound of my voice who has wondered regarding our Christianity, I bear this witness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer who, under the guidance of the Father, was the Creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. I bear witness that He was born of a virgin mother, that in His lifetime He performed mighty miracles observed by legions of His disciples and by His enemies as well." Since Mary was still a virgin after the birth she clearly had no sexual intercourse before that time.
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My Apology to Mormon Readers

DHRogers Wrote: Jun 05, 2013 8:21 PM
Arial .
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