Thursday, November 1, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part XXVII

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first one hundred and eight comments were answered in the previous 26 posts, the one hundred ninth and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #109 “Did you know that between 2004 and 2007, a Purdue University archaeologist, Kevin J. Vaughn, discovered a 2000 year old hematite mine near Nazca, Peru. Although hematite is today mined as an iron ore, Vaughn believes that the hematite was then being mined for use as red pigment. There are also numerous excavations that included iron minerals. He noted: "Even though ancient Andean people smelted some metals, such as copper, they never smelted iron like they did in the Old World...Metals were used for a variety of tools in the Old World, such as weapons, while in the Americas, metals were used as prestige goods for the wealthy elite.” B.G.O.
Response: The key word in what you wrote is “believes.” Though Archaeologists cannot “know,” they are notorious in creating an entire culture, civilization, and history out of very minimal artifacts and what they “believe” about them. First people say there was no iron smelting in the New World during Book of Mormon times, then when such is found, they claim it was for pigment, and certainly not for weapons and tools. I would love to have such a crystal ball as these folks seem to have. The discoverer of “Mina Primavera” mine said, “"Because mining is an extractive industry, it tends to destroy archaeological evidence, but it demonstrates that iron ores were important to ancient Andean civilizations." In fact the Western Hemisphere’s oldest iron mine was found at San Ramon in northern Chile, along with prehistoric mining tools, showing the earliest known mining activity in the Americas, and dating at least to the second millennium B.C.
A 2,000-year-old mine dubbed Mina Primavera has been discovered on a steep, rocky slope in southern Peru, offering proof that an ancient people in the Andes mined iron ore long before the Inca Empire, archaeologists say
Comment #110 “Your Book of Mormon talks about chariots, yet there is no evidence to support wheeled vehicles in Mesoamerica and South America. The Curator of Ethnography at the American Museum of Natural History in New York has said, “we see that the prevailing mode of land transport in the New World was by human carrier. The wheel was unknown in pre-Columbian times.” Although the Incas used a vast network of paved roads, they are so rough, steep and narrow that they appear to be unsuitable for wheeled use. Bridges that the Inca people built, and even continue to use and maintain today in some remote areas, are straw-rope bridges so narrow (about 2–3 feet wide) that no wheeled vehicle can fit. Inca roads were used mainly by chaski message runners and llama caravans. Mormon scholar William J. Hamblin has suggested that the chariots mentioned in the Book of Mormon might refer to mythic or cultic wheeled vehicles.” Gennady
Response: First, there are two problems with your comment: 1) What has been found in Mesoamerica is of no importance to a discussion of wheeled chariots in the Book of Mormon, and 2) the period of the Incas, therefore what they did or didn’t do, is also of no importance to the events in the Book of Mormon, since the Inca existed from around 1400 to 1532 A.D. when they were conquered by the Spanish. Now, to your comment: 1) whether the wheel was known in the Americas prior to the Spanish is a very debatable concept, one that may never be fully determined, therefore what a curator believes or this or that historian, archaeologist, etc., believes is of little merit toward a provable fact, after all, it took hundreds of years to find evidence of chariots in the Red Sea to support the escape of the Israelites; 2) the so-called Inca roads, which existed for over a millennium before the Inca came to power, were basically smooth, and serviceable to wheeled vehicles, but over the 2000 years and more to our day, thousands of earthquakes have made “smooth places rough.” Still, the roads and highways in the Andean area are remarkable, especially when considering that they are some 2000 to 2500 years old and, in some places, still relatively smooth, especially those around Lake Titicaca. When the Spanish arrived, they noted the smoothness of the roads and compared them to those of Rome, upon which wagons moved and chariots raced for a thousand years; 3) the Andean roads are steep in places, even stepped in areas in the mountains, and narrow in some places where they were cut through solid rock. However, most of the roads were flat, solid, and very wide—some as wide as a modern four-lane highway; 4) the rope bridges would be too narrow for a chariot, however, the Spanish found they could ride horses across at a good clip two abreast—in fact they were amazed at the sturdiness of the rope bridges once they were upon them, though they were fearful to cross them when viewed from a distance; 5) what William J Hamblin thinks about cultic and mythical chariots and the animals that are depicted in art and legend pulling them, is of no consequence to matters in the Book of Mormon, and is certainly no creditable authority on the subject. Now having said all that, let’s consider the basic uses of the chariot in the scriptural record. Ammon records having ridden in King Lamoni’s chariot, drawn by horses, in the Land of Ishmael (within the greater Land of Nephi), and of meeting Lamoni’s father, the king over all the land, who also was in his chariot. These chariots are mentioned in connection with transportation between two cities in the lands—a land described as a more or less flat plateau between mountains. The second usage of the chariot is when the Nephites were to bring their chariots, animals, belongings, etc., to a central area where they were to provide a common location against the Robbers who later came down out of the hills to attack them. Again, this area is described as a more or less flat area in the center of the land in some type of very large valley. There is no mention of chariots being used in the mountain areas, or taken on very long trips, etc. It should be kept in mind that the Jews in Israel had horses and knew the chariot, but mostly walked long distances—it would not be unusual for the same attitude to prevail among the Nephites. It should also be noted that horse warfare was not introduced among Lehi’s descendants until long after the demise of the Nephites when the Spanish arrived. Even among the American Indians of North America, the horse, while in great use among warriors for raids and battle, etc., was not used by anyone other than warriors—not by women or by older men, who walked long distances while being guarded by warriors on horseback, often with horses used to pull travois, Hollywood movies notwithstanding.
Horses pulling travois were rarely ridden, but led, usually by a squaw walking beside it. Almost all early pictures of Indian migrations showed horses used specifically for hauling travois or packed with goods
Comment #111 “How do you reconcile the fact that Jacob uses the name "Christ" as a new term, and from this point on the word "Christ" is used almost exclusively in the Book of Mormon, while Richard Packham argues that the Greek word "Christ" in the Book of Mormon challenges the authenticity of the work since, Joseph Smith clearly stated that, "There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates.” Even Hugh Nibley seems to have a problem with it and postulated that the word "Messiah" could have been derived from Arabic rather than Hebrew, although Arabic is not mentioned as one of the languages in which the golden plates were written.” Marcell.
Response: Jacob himself tells you that matters “were shown unto me” (2 Nephi 10:2), and that “the angel spake unto me” and told Jacob that Christ “should be his name.” Thus, from that time forward, with the Nephites knowing the name of the future birth and mission of the Messiah, Savior, etc., the name “Christ” was thereafter used. What name that was in the Nephite language, or how it was written in Reformed Egyuptian is not known; however, it translated into English as "Christ." Is it considered unusual that the Creator of all things, the God of the Universe, the Savior of all mankind, would not know by what name he would be called when he came into this world “to fulfill all righteousness”? It always amazes me that critics find such trivial and ridiculous things to make issues over.
Comment #112 “Critics Jerald and Sandra Tanner and Marvin W. Cowan contend that certain linguistic properties of the Book of Mormon provide evidence that the book was fabricated by Joseph Smith. They cite, among others, linguistic anachronisms such as the Americanized name "Sam".” Gerard.
Response: First of all, a series of articles was posted in this blog a while back dealing with the Tanners and others claim to Book of Mormon anachronisms. As for Sam--it was an ancient Egyptian name, and meant “uniter” and in some cases, a title, such as Sam Tawi or Taui, as used by Tehuti-mos III after his accession (Heinrich Brugsch Bey, Egypt Under the Pharaohs (1891), found a sculpture representing him in the act of kneeling and adoring the sacred animal. His official names, Sam-Taui and Mastu-Ra, were inscribed upon the tablet); there is also evidence of the Amulet of the Sam, made out of Lapis lazuli and other hard substances, was found in swathing of mummies. Sam was also an ancient Hebrew name meaning “God has heard.” It is also of Persian origin, where its meaning is "a character in Shahnameh,” the Book of Kings, an epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi. The name dates back long before Lehi.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part XXVIII,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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