Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Education Week Class Notes: Hebrew Literary Forms in the Book of Mormon and Book of Mormon Central

The Unconquerable Book of Mormon: A Hebrew Specialist Looks at this Sacred Text (by Donald W. Parry) 
[we got there late]
Different Hebrew literary forms that are found in the Book of Mormon

Plural Amplification--  “Magics” (Mormon 1:19)

Construct form – ‘Plates of brass” instead of brass plates  , sword of laban, rod of iron, temple of Solomon, commandments of the Lord.

Ethelbert W. Bullinger, author of Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, published 1898.   A non-LDS scholar.  Found poetic forms and figures of speech. They were found multiple times in the Book of Mormon.

Climactic Poetry.  (Mormon 9:12-13)  Repeated words in a list, that ends in a climax.

325 examples of Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon.  
(Isaiah 22:22)  A, B, B, A.
(Alma 34:10)
(Helaman 6:10)    -iah ending of Zedekiah corresponds with Lord also in the verse.
All of 1 Nephi is a big chiasmus.
It is found all over the Old Testament and it’s all over Isaiah.
It helps people to remember things and it emphasizes things.

Repeated Alternates  A, B, A, B, A, B, A, B,   (1 Nephi 19:10 has four statements and four witnesses in this form)  As flow powerfully by themselves, and the Bs give a powerful list of witnesses.
(2 Ne 29:12)   1 tribes, another tribes, all tribes, all nations.
 The pattern is used for emphasis. 
Essentials of Jesus’ sufferings 1 Nephi 19:9.  The repeated “he suffereth it” emphasizes that Jesus is putting up with all that is put on him.
(2 Ne. 33:6)  I glory in ___, I glory in _____, I glory in _____
(2 Nephi 11:2-3)  three witnesses of the redeemer
Four repeated elements with crucial ending  (Alma 12:33-34)  A, B, C, D, A, B, C, D,
If you think this is easy, try it and let him know how it goes.

At one point, the teacher felt depressed because of the state of the world, then opened the Book of Mormon, and started reading. Kept reading. After nine pages, he felt the Spirit and felt things were going to be okay because the Lord is in charge.  It calmed his soul because of the power of the book.

Hebrew Names discovered in inscriptions on papyri, seals, arrowheads, and clay bullae.:
Aha, Abish, Alma, Ammonihah, Chemish, Hagoth, Himni, Isabel, Jarom, Josh, Jershon, Lehi, Luram, Nephi, Paanchi, Pahoran, Sam, Sariah.
The Alma Scroll, dated 133AD. In a cave of the Judean desert, 13-20 miles away.
From the Cave of the Letters.  “Alma, Son of Judah.”  Shows us Alma was a boy’s name.

Names and titles of God from the Bible (about scriptural text)  multiple names.
King of Israel, king of glory, lamb, lawgiver, lord, maker, man of sorrows, everlasting father., etc. 
Each name tells us about his character, attributes, mission, ministry.
BofM – almighty god, beloved, brazen serpent, Christ the son, eternal judge, god of the whole earth, great creator, great spirit, holy child, holy god, holy messiah, Jesus, keeper of the gate, king.

Parley P. Pratt loved reading the Book of Mormon. Eating was a burden, had no desire to sleep because he preferred reading to sleep.
The book of Mormon will hold us as close to the Spirit as anything I know – Ezra Taft Benson
Sometimes we miss the best parts of the Book of Mormon as we read, seeing the very beginning stuff and missing the main features.

The New Book of Mormon Central” Website: Keeping Up-to-Date on Book of Mormon Research: Features of the “Book of Mormon Central” Website that Allow for In-Depth Study (by Taylor D. Halverson, John W. Welch, Lynne Hilton Wilson)
The website is a massive undertaking with the purpose of giving the Book of Mormon the best website and social exposure it can be given in the media.
We can view ourselves as static people with limited intelligence, or as growing and open to new knowledge that surprises us.
JFK challenged the country to put a man on the moon and 7 years later Neil Armstrong walked on the moon even though people didn't think it was possible.
The website works well because of the dedication of the team, going where the Spirit directs, following direction of general authorities.
This helps us keep up on the latest in Book of Mormon research, even if it was published 40 years ago.  It helps advance the conversation.
Asking why over and over again.
BMC promotes in-depth study
Has resources by topic, resources around questions,
Knowing why is often more important than knowing the what.

Every detail counts for something.
Why did Lehi build an altar and offered sacrifice? Why are we told they traveled for three days? Within 3-days journey, you must make sacrifices at the temple; otherwise you can build your altar and give your sacrifice how you want. They didn't want sacrifice to take a whole week going down and back. This is according to the temple scroll that was written during 1st century BC
Why would Lehi do this?
Are we being told this to understand the importance of obeying quickly?  Would it have been easy? What did they sacrifice with limited supplies?  Teaches about gratitude and making our sacrifices.

Is this seal something that belonged to Mulek? Who was Melkiyahu? Scholars think it was Zedekiah. We think Mulek might be a contraction for this.

Nephi talks about writing with learning of his father and language of the Egyptians. Archeologists are finding writing samples in Israel of scribes writing both Hebrew and Egyptian. Egyptian and Hebrew are sometimes mixed in the same document.

Lehi's dream of the river of filthy water that people fell into and couldn't get out of.
In the Middle East, many lose lives getting caught in a wadi with an unexpected flash flood in a slot canyon.
Maybe the valley of Lemuel was one of these. Maybe this was used as an image for hell too.

How old were the stripling warriors?
We can calculate how many years since the first oath.
They might be 12 years old or younger at the time of the oath, then could be in early 20s. Only the high priest could say whether they were bound by the law (oath) of their fathers or not.

Why did Teancum kill Amalickiah on New Year's Eve (according to their calendar)? This was the day of recreation of order and re-enthronement of the king. If the king is dead, that's a problem.

How many times does plan appear in Alma's words to Corianton?
Similar to significance of ten in scripture. Like the ten commandments. The plan is a ten-fold promise God has made to him.

Book of Mormon Central essays are short and useful for personal study.
How reliable are the pieces that are on this website?
They work hard to only work with sources that have passed muster with reliability and rigor. They are published in known venues and church sources.  Book of Mormon Central was started exactly started because of this.
There is also further reading and footnotes, there are copies of what they are using in the archive.  2156 sources in the archive. This has original scholarship that is the basis of what is being written.
Music, art, and poetry is also being archived.
The extra things are added to be used during our teaching.

Another feature: Book of Mormon text section: It has Royal Skousen's the earliest text of the Book of Mormon.  Lots of versions of the full text.  Different versions.
We only have 20% of the original manuscript.
We have the whole printer's manuscript now. This is free on BofMCentral
No punctuation in original manuscript.
Not all the version agreed with each other. This is part of the experience of dictating. (Anyone can try this themselves)
There are 660 of these things that occur in the Book of Mormon
The interactive text 2013 version of the scriptures
Allowed  to build resources around the scriptures. They are working on an app that has all those things contextually connected to the scriptures.
They intend to build to the size of the phone.

Another app--the KnoWhy App
BMC helps us read the scriptures more insightfully.
KnoWhy app can be found on the Apple app store.
Has all the KnoWhys in it and play videos. Links to all of the resources supporting
The "about us" button
There's a Subscribe button that gives daily or weekly email from the site.
They are writing a KnoWhy book.

Art features
Lots of stuff by Arnold Frieburg, Minerva Tiechert, also original works by others.
Music Features included too on the website