Saturday, November 23, 2013

More Comments from Readers –Part VII

We seem to be receiving a lot more questions and comments lately and we will endeavor to answer them all; however, it might take a while because of our backlog of articles we are also posting.           
    Comment #1: “There is one verse in Alma that I believe is an editorial slip by Mormon (the 1979 edition eliminates the error). Alma 53:6 formerly read, "The city of Mulek which was one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi" (Book of Mormon Critical Text: A Tool for Scholarly Reference, [Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1984], 2:849). Yet Alma 50:11 and 51:24-27 confirm that the city was actually part of the land of Zarahemla, which lay north of the land of Nephi. This seems to be another obvious mistake in Joseph Smith’s translation or in Mormon’s writing” Bradley G.
   Response: First of all, there is no change in the 1979 publication of the Book of Mormon of Alma 53:6 according to the 1979 printing (© 1979 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Printed in Canada, 9/2008). Secondly, editions of the Book of Mormon were printed in 1830, 1837, 1840, 1841, 1879, 1920, and 1981. A recent conference mentioned there was a new edition this year (2013). There were also new publications in 1905, 1911, and 1979, but there were no changes or corrections involved. There were also two British editions, printed in 1849 and 1852. In addition, the RLDS produced an edition in 1908. Also, FARMS published a critical text of the Book of Mormon in 1984-1987 to show the precise histography of many textual variants (though it was not complete).
Left: 1830 Edition; Center: 1920 Edition; Right: 1981 Edition
   Third, Mormon’s comment about the city of Mulek being in the Land of Nephi was probably made since Mulek was along the east wilderness as part of the narrow strip of wilderness that separated the Land of Nephi (to the south) from the Land of Zarahemla (to the north), and was “one of the strongest holds of the Lamanites in the land of Nephi” (Alma 53:6). When he wrote this, it was not long after his explaining the proclamation sent by the Lamanite king to all his people, “in all his land,” and then stating where those people were and the separation of the Nephites and the Lamanites, and in so doing covered the size and scope of the Narrow Strip of Wilderness and how it wrapped around along the seashore, which was an area occupied by the Lamanites (Alma 22:27). Located in that east wilderness was the city of Mulek, which at the moment of his writing, was a major fortified city controlled by the Lamanites in an area (east wilderness) controlled by the Lamanites and, therefore, was considered in the Land of Nephi (“amongst all his people who were in all his land”). However, later Moroni drove these Lamanites out of the east wilderness and back into “their own lands, which were south of the land of Zarahemla” (Alma 50:7). At this time, Mormon then tells us that the Land of Nephi’s borders were set: “And the land of Nephi did run in a straight course from the east sea to the west” (Alma 50:8), no longer including the east wilderness. As one scholar wrote about this east wilderness: “While Lamanites lived there, the city of Mulek and neighboring areas constituted de facto extensions of the Lamanite-ruled "land of Nephi." As far as I am concerned, Mormon made no mistake, nor did Joseph Smith, it was simply a different time frame involved, in which the Lamanites controlled land as part of their own land that later they were driven out of and the land became Nephite land.
    Comment #2: “Why were converts to the Church in Alma’s time called anti-lehi-nephies? Seems a rather derogatory term. And was there someone named Anti-Lehi-Nephi?” Camille F.
    Response: The word “anti” is a Latin and Greek prefix meaning “against,” or “opposite of,” but is relatively a recent word in actual use. However, the Book of Mormon was written in Reformed Egyptian and would not have contained a Latin or Greek word. Consequently, “Anti” may be a reflex of the Egyptian “nty,” meaning “he of,” “the one of,” which, according to Hugh Nibley, most likely meant “the one of Nephi and Lehi.” This might have been the case in the converted Lamanite king naming his son, Anti-Lehi-Nephi, but the converted Lamanites where called that name after this son who became the king. That is, they were the people of Anti-Lehi-Nephi, the king (rather than be called Lamanites as they had been before their conversion). As for the name itself, it was given to the brother of Lamoni, both were sons of the Lamanite king. Anti-Lehi-Nephi became the king after his father over all of the Lamanite people.
    Comment #3: “I read where it is claimed the Uxpanapa-Chimalapa Wilderness in the Chiapas central depression is the Wilderness of Hermounts. Is this possible?” Claudio U.
Response: You must have been reading Joseph L. Allen’s works. Among other things, he came by this conclusion from “the process of determining whether the wilderness of Hermounts is associated with the Grijalva River or the Usumacinta River is rather simple when information from the Book of Mormon is combined with data from Mesoamerica.” Of course, when we compare some very limited information in the scriptural record with a known place of our choosing, we can make it match one way or another. Allen also wrote of this: At this point, we will assume that the conclusions of John L. Sorenson and others are correct in identifying the Grijalva as Sidon, the Chiapas central depression as the land of Zarahemla, and the site of Santa Rosa on the Grijalva as the city of Zarahemla.” 
    As can be seen, it is all rather pre-determined by these Mesoamericanists who pat each other on the back and give each other praise and awards. However, as has been stated here in numerous posts, Mesoamerican does not meet any of the criteria in the scriptural record about the Book of Mormon Land of Promise. I would suggest you read all 38 verses of Alma, chapter 2 for yourself, and see if there are any determining factors that would allow you to place those meager descriptions and match them to any known area in the Western Hemisphere. Chances are, you could make a case for at least a dozen areas, if not more. The trouble is, Mesoamerican Theorists love to tell you where things were located when they have nothing to go on but their own opinions. The Book of Mormon certainly doesn’t tell us where that wilderness is or was located in any definitive terms.
    Comment #4: “In a group discussion I was told basically that we know that the Jaredites never occupied the land southward but rather reserved it as a massive hunting preserve. And we know from the Olmec historical record that the Jaredites/Olmecs at one time or another lived on the north side of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, on both the west and the east. The Olmec record supports the Jaredite record’s statement that the Jaredites did not inhabit the territory east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the land southward but reserved it for a “hunting refuge.” I got really confused and when I questioned the directions, I was basically ignored” Valeria N.
Response: I don’t wonder you were confused. Obviously whoever was telling you this was a Mesoamericanist. While they know the lands on either side of their narrow neck of land (Isthmus of Tehuantepec) are to the east and to the west, they still line it up with the north and south direction of the scriptural record. The fact is, as the scriptural record tells us, the Jaredites were never south (Mesoamerican east) of the narrow neck; however, the Olmecs were. The Olmecs original homeland and major development area, called La Venta, is in the Mexican state of Tabasco, which is to the east of the Isthmus, which would make it to the south of the Mesoamericanists' Land of Promise narrow neck and, therefore, in the Land Southward, which the Jaredites never were. It is claimed that the Olmec was one of the earliest civilizations to develop in the Western Hemisphere—however, several areas of Andean Peru developed before that time.  The problem lies, in part, with the directions Mesoamericanist use since their land model runs east and west, not north and south like the scriptural record.

No comments:

Post a Comment