[b-hebrew] Hebrew "If-and" construction and the Book of Mormon
kevlds at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 16 12:26:54 EDT 2006
Hello Yonah, thanks for your comment.
== Kevin, I think you're confused.
One thing I should make clear is that this is NOT my argument. I am just
testing it to see if it stands the test of scrutiny. This was forwarded by
an LDS scholar and it hasnt received much attention outside Mormon circles.
== The examples given would *not* be normal English.
Theyre not? Royal Skousens expertise is English, not Hebrew, He is the
scholar who clams to have discovered these Hebraisms in the original
manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. It seems like good English to me to say
if so and so happens then so and so will occur as a result. He argues
that in Hebrew it is common to say if so and so happens, and such and
such will be the result. He argues that at least 14 occurrences of this
phenomenon appear in the original Book of Mormon manuscript (of which only
22% is extant)and that it only makes sense if the text represents a literal,
word for word translation from Hebrew.
It is true that the Book of Mormon claims to have been written in an unknown
language called Reformed Egyptian, but the writers were Hebrew speaking.
The Book of Mormon begins its story as a small family of Jews (during 600
b.c) takes to the sea and travels to the Americas.
One Old Testaments scholar, Margaret Barker, recently emailed me and
Yes, this is normal usage in the Hebrew Bible, but I cannot say that it is
not used elsewhere - I do not have that expertise. If you want to check it
out, consult the massive standard work on the subject: Gesenius' Hebrew
Grammar. I have the second Englsih edition, 1910, but I should imagine that
the referencing system did not alter. You need sections 112 ff and gg, [
also section 159 o] which describe the uses of the 'perfect consecutive'
form of the verb. This just means that the perfect, when prefaced with 'and'
becomes an imperfect. 'The perfect consecutive is frequently employed with
a certain emphasis to introduce the apodosis after sentences or their
equivalent, which contain a condition...' It goes on to give 'if' as one of
the words that can trigger this usage. ... So literally, e.g., 'If you do
something, and I will do it too...'
The thing is there appears to be no other explanation where Smith could have
derived this unusual if-and construction if he were just inventing the
Book of Mormon from his imagination. We have other scriptures that he
claims to have written via revelation but there is not one single example
of the if-and construction that appears in the original BoM manuscript.
This phenomenon was edited out when the BoM was published because it was bad
English, but the original manuscript retains the errors which Skousen
believes is strong evidence that its source is in preexilic Judaism.
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