Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part II

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
    Comment #1: “If there was such a connection between Lehi and Nephi with the Egyptians, why don’t we see Egyptian influence in the city of Nephi that Nephi built with that of Egyptian construction” Denzel L.
    Response: Actually, there is considerable examples, but let me show you one that is unique and not expected to be found just anywhere, and that is the joining of large stonework, for which both Egyptian construction and that of the city of Nephi (Sacsayhuaman) and other Nephite sites are well known.
The two photos on left are in Ghiza, Egypt; the two right photos are in Peru (top: Sacsayhuaman; bottom: Machu Pichu; Top: Earthquake notching, a rare joining technique not found in many areas; Bottom: Folding technique, a unique joining of corners where a stone is curved, or “folded” around the corner
    You can also see the same technique of “metal block-ties,” the recessed connector brackets used to tie large stones together out of site once set—they are found both in Egypt and Peru (Tiahuanaco and Ollantaytambo); and also “quarry-marks” for splitting stone (drilled into rock along straight, evenly spaced lines) found in both Menkaure’s Giza and also Aswan in Egypt and at Cuzco (city of Nephi) and Machu Pichu. There are also numerous examples of “maneuvering protuberances” on large stones at Menkaure’s pyramid at Giza and at the Aswan granite quarries in Egypt as well as in Peru at Ollantaytambo. There are others, and though archaeologists ignore these comparisons and science holds to the dogma there is no connection between Egypt and Peru, several such unique connections are easily found and as connections between Egypt and Peru cannot be disregarded.
    Comment #2: “The parallels in Book of Mormon phraseology suggests a single author, not the various writers indicated in the various books within it” Sylvia S.
    Response: When something is abridged, it means a single author (Mormon) took all the writing of the others (from Mosiah to Mormon) and placed it in his own words. Obviously, phraseology would be the same from the one single abridging writer. His son, who would most likely have very similar phraseology abridged Ether and Moroni. Only Nephi, Jacob, Enos down through Omni could be different, which is only about 1/5th of the overall writing. It should also be kept in mind, from Nephi through Moroni (since Moroni abridged Ether), we are dealing with a closed society of a singular language unaffected by outside languages, groups or people. The similarity is more of a proof to its authenticity than a rebuke.
    Comment #3: “You seem to have a belief that Nephi built his ship by himself and the help of his brothers, yet it seems clear that for him to have done so, he would would have needed a nearby population for construction help. He could not have built the ship without expertly trained carpenters, ropemakers, shipbuilders, sailors” Cheryl D.
    Response: There are many who think that way, especially since the Irish Adventurer Tim Severin’s book, The Sinbad Voyage, showed that in constructing the Sohar, which was completely man-made, using traditional boat-building techniques, under the direction of Ali Manikfan, who reconstructed an ancient Arab trading ship, for a 5,965-mile, 7 ½ month voyage in 1981 from Oman, across the Sea of Arabia to the Malacca Straits, and on to Canton, China. It took one year to build the 88 ½ feet long ship, using coir to sew the planks of its hull in the same way that ancient Maldivians had built ships.
Left: Ali Manikfan, the builder of (Right) The Shofar, the type of ship used by Sinbad the Sailor, and the ship itself was based on a drawing of a boom (type of dhow) in a 16th century A.D. Portuguese manuscript
    However, it should be kept in mind that Nephi tells us a couple of things thst should show the fallacy of this idea: 1) Nephi’s ship was built in 600 B.C., approximately 2100 years before this style ship was known (at least 1000 to 1100 years before Sinbad’s claimed time); 2) Nephi did not build his ship after the manner of men (1 Nephi 18:2); and the timbers (which would have included how they were made and connected) were not worked after the manner of men (1 Nephi 18:1). Consequently, the manner in which Sofar was built, the length of time and the craftsmen needed really is not applicable; 3) Nephi had 3 brothers, Zoram, 2 brothers in law, and several nephews of at least teenage years, not to mention his younger brothers, and perhaps some women who would have made other parts, rigging, sails, etc.
    All of this was done under the design and manner in which the Lord instructed Nephi—it is not likely that experienced craftsmen would have been amenable to building a ship being instructed by a novice, no matter where he claimed to have gotten the design and method. It seems far more likely that this ship was built without the involvement of anyone outside Lehi and Ishmael’s family and those who came with them. It is also not a good idea to start adding things to the scriptural record that are neither written in it, or implied by suggestive writing.
    Comment #4: “If another model of the Land of Promise had overwhelming compelling evidence that it was the correct model, I could accept that the internal evidence that it was an isle of the sea was part of the imperfections of men that the BoM title page admits. But the other models all fall flat on their face over and over, and this model (of South America) comes through over and over. This should be the model taught at BYU” George W.
    Response: I couldn’t agree with you more—but don’t hold your breath until it happens.
    Comment #5: There is no way Jacob or Nephi could have known they were on an island. Even a land only a couple of hundred miles wide would not have been understood to them as an island. Maybe much later in time, say around Mosiah or Alma’s time when the Nephites were building on the east coast—but in Alma, I think he was assuming it was an island because they came by sea” Denny B.
    Response: “Given the course the winds and currents would have taken Nephi’s ship, when they turned up into the Humboldt Current, it is possible they could see from that viewpoint the land they saw was disconnected from another land at least in the south. But once moving up the land, they would not have known anything more. On the other hand, when they left the site of their first landing and Nephi took those who would go with him northward, and if they came to the area now known as Cuzco (Sacsayhuaman) as we have written here, it would have been basically on the east coast (very close to it) at the time and certainly a knowledge of the west and east coasts would have become well known in Jacob’s time, as well as having seen the southern disconnect. An island might have been surmised from this and the Spirit testified to its accuracy to them as Prophets.  On the other hand, Nephi could have been shown that in one of his vision sequences when he was shown the coming of the Europeans; or Lehi could have been told that by the Spirit and passed it on to Nephi. The point is, Jacob knew it and Nephi acknowledged that it was correct by writing it down in the record.”
    Comment #6: Time Dating" is measure with several techniques not just Carbon dating. Half-Life methods are also statistically correct. A culmination of the sciences are used to make significant claims like the age of the universe or earth. The only thing you are correct about, is the fact that Scientist do hold their noses up at unsubstantiated claims and will only accept the claim after substantial review and testing has been done according to the guidelines of the Scientific Model. In other words, PROVE IT! You know, just like we have proved we breath air, or how fruit spoils, (that's called "radioactive decay")
    Response: Rather than take up room here to repeat something I have written an entire  book about and would take a lot of repetition to repeat sufficient here to answer your comment, let me just direct you to the book Scientific Fallacies & Other Myths.

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