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

Kevin Graham kevlds at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 17 01:07:10 EDT 2006


Hey Travis, thanks for commenting

== But that is not a sound argument. To couple "if" with "and" is normal 
when you are using the sequence to anticipate a yet unintroduced result of a 
  hypothetical pat event.

But what we’re talking about is not just any ole if-and construction. It is 
specifically referring to cause-effect constructions. For example, “If you 
do X, then that Y happen.” The original Book of Mormon manuscript contained 
at least 14 instances where it would read ““If you do X, and that Y happen.” 
The seven examples in Heleman 12: 13-20 are clearly cause and effect 
statements:

13 yea and if he sayeth unto the earth move and it is moved
14 yea and if he sayeth unto the earth thou shalt go back that it lengthen 
out the day for many hours and it is done.
16 and behold also if he sayeth unto the waters of the great deep be thou 
dried up and it is done
17 behold if he sayeth unto this mountain be thou raised up and come over 
and fall upon that city that it be buried up and behold it is done
19 and if the Lord shall say be thou accursed that no man shall find thee 
from this time henceforth and forever and behold no man getteth it 
henceforth and forever
20 and behold if the Lord shall say unto a man because of thine iniquities 
thou shalt be accursed forever and it shall be done
21 and if the Lord shall say because of thine iniquities thou shalt be cut 
off from my presence and he will cause that it shall be so
Compare these to the published version of the Book of Mormon for context: 
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/hel/12

== An example would be "if he sayeth unto the earth move and it is 
moved".... It sounds like it is setting us up for some point to the sentence 
that follows. What does that line go on to say? If there is something 
further to expect and I have already used the coordinating conjunction, then 
"if/and" has served its purpose.

Yes I see what you’re getting at, but the context of the verses indicate 
that these were cause and effect phrases. This usage appears nowhere else in 
any 19th century English text critics can determine. In fact, it appears to 
exist in no English examples anywhere at any time. It only makes sense in 
Hebrew it seems.



>From: trepp at telus.net
>To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Hebrew "If-and" construction and the Book of Mormon
>Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 21:28:40 -0700
>
>Quoting b-hebrew-request at lists.ibiblio.org:
>
> > Send b-hebrew mailing list submissions to
> > 	b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> >
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>Kevin Graham wrote:
>
>
> > >  If ... and seems to be a common English idiom, so I don't see that it 
>can
> > >be exclusive to Hebrew.  To use "if ... then" in any of the passages 
>below
> > >would lead to odd English.  Are you sure it never occurs in the KJV?
> >
> > Well the argument goes like this. The normal usage of "if-then" (i.e. if 
>she
> > calls, then I will go) was found in the Book of Mormon manuscript to be
> > "if-and" (i.e. if she calls and I will go). This makes for poor English, 
>but
> > if being translated from Hebrew, we are told that it makes perfect 
>sense.
> >
>But that is not a sound argument. To couple "if" with "and" is normal when 
>you
>are using the sequence to anticipate a yet unintroduced result of a
>hypothetical pat event. An example would be "if he sayeth unto the earth 
>move
>and it is moved".... It sounds like it is setting us up for some point to 
>the
>sentence that follows. What does that line go on to say? If there is 
>something
>further to expect and I have already used the coordinating conjunction,
>then "if/and" has served its purpose.
>
>Only if there is only an immediate condition in the next phrase, then we 
>see an
>immediate result foretold for the result of the potential thing's 
>fulfillment.
>Generally one could say for one purpose, "if he sayeth unto the earth move 
>and
>it is moved" (setting up for a future condition based on an expressed 
>condition
>of action in the past), or one could say, for another purpose, "if he 
>sayeth
>unto the earth move then it is to be moved" (as giving only a direct
>correlation between a postulated future action and its future yet immediate
>result).
>
> > There is no other way to explain this phenomenon unless of course the 
>person
> > from which this BoM text was translated, was an ancient Hebrew speaking 
>Jew.
> >
>It makes better sense to think otherwise.
>
> > We are told that there are no examples of this phenomenon in any English
> > translation in any English text available to the translator in 1830. The 
>KJV
> > doesn't have any if-and constructions because it is poor English, and 
>was
> > changed to read if-then.
> >
> >
>I always use the "if/and" setup for instructing others what to do if 
>something
>occurs in a particular circumstance, and no one seems to find it unexpected 
>or
>non-standard. I certainly am not influenced by Joseph Smith's writing.
>
>Yours truly,
>Travis Jackson
>
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