[b-hebrew] Hebrew "If-and" construction and the Book of Mormon

Stephen and Rebecca Shead srshead at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 20:09:06 EDT 2006

Strange - not having my hard copy handy, I checked up the online
version of the Book of Mormon -
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/contents - to see the references in
context, and there's neither a "then" nor an "and" there. For example,
Helaman 12:13 says "Yea, and if he say unto the earth -- Move -- it is
moved". Are there different versions??

Stephen Shead.

-------Original Message-------
> From: Kevin Graham
> Date: 08/16/06 12:51:01
> I am looking to get some confirmation about an apologetic that is growing in
> popularity among Latter-day Saints. For those who are not familiar with the
> Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith claims to have translated the text from gold
> plates that were written upon an Ancient Hebrew writer.
> The original manuscripts of the Book of Mormon include weird phrases that
> involve an if-and construction instead of an if-then construction. According
> to Mormon scholar Royal Skousen:
> "In a recent paper I describe two important examples of Hebraisms in the
> original text of the Book of Mormon that do not occur in the King James
> Bible. One example is the use of the if-and clausal construction instead of
> the expected if-(then) syntax of English, as in the following extended
> passage from Helaman 12 where it occurs seven times (thus showing that we
> are not dealing with an isolated transcriptional error):
> if he sayeth unto the earth move and it is moved
> if he sayeth unto the earth thou shalt go back that it lengthen out the day
> for many hours and it is done .
> if he sayeth unto the waters of the great deep be thou dried up and it is
> done.
> This construction is a literalistic translation of the Hebrew-language
> construction, but does not occur at all in the King James Bible."
> For our Hebrew experts out there, is it true that the "if-and" construction
> is a common occurence in the Hebrew Bible, and is it also true that this
> lingustic phenomenon is unique only to Hebrew?

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