Kevin L. Barney klbarney at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 29 15:46:30 EDT 2000

As one of the faithful, practicing Mormons on the list, let me just
clarify that I do not accept James Harris' attempt to style Old Thamudic
inscriptions as "Old Negev" and then to relate them to petroglyphs found
in the American southwest.  The argument is made in a self-published book,
James R. Harris, assisted by Dann W. Hone, _The Name of God: From Sinai to
the American Southwest.  A Script and Language of Ancient Palestine Also
Found in the Ancient Smerican Southwest_ (Orem, UT: Harris House, 1998),
xxv + 259 pp., with bibliography.  Harris is not a Semiticist, but rather
has had a longstanding interest in American petroglyphs.  This book is
rife with errors and recently received a negative review from a BYU
publication, Stephen D. Ricks, "God's Name?" FARMS Review of Books 12/1
(2000): 1-4.  Ricks is a professor of Hebrew at BYU.

As Dave correctly points out, the proposed dating of the inscriptions
would make them irrelevant to the Book of Mormon (I do though appreciate
your attempt to be delicate, Dave <g>).  I suspect that Harris was more
motivated by involvement with the Epigraphic Society (of Barry Fell fame),
but I don't know this for sure.  In any event, while it is true that James
Harris taught at BYU (I believe he is retired now), this is in *no sense*
a BYU production, and the name of the university should not be affiliated
with these speculative theories.

Kevin L. Barney
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
klbarney at yahoo.com

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