Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Comments from Readers – Part V

Here are more comments that we have received from readers of this website blog: 
   Comment #1: “You continually write about Lehi landing on an island, and that it was South America. Are you suggesting South America as a continent would have been called an island? If so, it seems far too large for the geographical descriptions in the Book of Mormon” Clyde W.
Response: Evidently you have missed the many maps we have posted showing South America prior to the rising of the eastern portions when the Andes rose during the crucifixion and the numerous destructive descriptions found in 3 Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite’s prophesy in Helaman.  And not to repeat all that, for it is found in the blog site in earlier postings, I’ll include one map here, showing the basic difference between the “Isle” mentioned by Jacob and the present map of South America.
    Comment #2: “Angkor Wat (the largest temple complex in the world) did not just magically appear on the Malay Peninsula. There was an advanced civilization there (buildings, temples etc.). It was called Zhenla. Add a few letters and you're pretty close to Zarahemla” Sithu Mon
Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia that was built in the 12th Century A.D.
    Response: Evidently Angkor Wat, which means “Temple City” (City of Temples), in Khmer, and is located in Angkor, about 3 ½ miles north of Siem Reap, in the Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. Angkor Wat was built in Cambodia, not the Malay Peninsula, in the 12th Century A.D., during the reign of Suryavarman II (1113 to 1150). Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu (Supreme God of Faishnavism), it was built as the king's state temple and capital city. As neither the foundation stela monument nor any contemporary inscriptions referring to the temple have been found, its original name is unknown, but it may have been known as "Varah Vishnu-lok" after the presiding deity. Work seems to have ended shortly after the king's death, leaving some of the bas-relief decoration unfinished. About 27 years after Suryavararman’s death in 1177, Angkor was sacked by the Chams (Chăm Pa from Vietnam), the traditional enemies of the Khmer.
As for the kingdom of Zhenla, which was an early Khmer state covering what is now (Red Arrow) northern Cambodia (Yellow Arrow: The Malaysa Peninsula where Nephites were supposed to have been) Cambodia and southern Laos (which some refer to as Dvāravatī), was originally a vassal state of Funan, revolting in the latter part of the 6th century, and by 627 A.D., during the reign of Isanavarman I, the previous lords were completely subjugated. It expanded under Jayavarman I in the late 7th century, and by 706 A.D., the kingdom was divided (Land Chenla and Water Chenla) and later in the century fell under the domination of the Sri Vijaya empire of Sumatra—its successor was the Khmer kingdom of Angkor.
    Comment #3: “Writing systems are revised or reformed very rarely. Speech is always changing over time and space, yet we Americans can still understand Chaucer and Shakespeare rather well in writing and comprehend our friends the Brits, Australians, etc. tolerably well in speech and quite well in writing. Therefore, it is surprising to read that Mosiah "caused that [the people of Zarahemla, the Mulekites] be taught in his language" since neither he nor his people could understand them (Omni 17-18), even though the Mulekites had come from Jerusalem only some 300 years later, during which time the spoken language would not have changed all that much. Joseph Smith appears to have known that glottochronology impinges on the credibility of his entire story and this may account for the insertion of an episode which nonetheless is totally unbelievable” Arthur J.
    Response: Let’s see, where to begin…first, the Mulekites came to the Land of Promise within a few years of Lehi, they just landed a distance apart and were unknown to each other, having developed separately in their lands over nearly 400 years before Mosiah “discovered” Zarahemla. Second, language deteriorates rather rapidly under certain circumstances—the main one is where there are no written “records” from which a language can be compared over time as it begins to change. Between Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespear and us (600 and 400 years respectively) has been a continual usage of the same language by an ongoing stream of people with contact with one another throughout this time. That is, the language you cite as not undergone isolation from anyone else during that time. This is a major issue with language changes.
Left: Chaucer’s English is not all that easy to read; had it been “discovered” without knowing it was English, the connection would not have been that simple—to understand the writing of Chaucer most of us would need an interpreter; Right: Shakespeare’s writing is not much easier; most people require college courses to read the actual style of writing, not the modern-day writing of the same wordage that is found in high school classes and undergraduate college classes—but that actual writing style itself
    Chaucer’s “Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote the droughte of March hath perced to the roote, thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,” with the pronunciation of that time, where the vowels are pronounced as in Italian or Spanish, "R"s were trilled or flapped, and words like droughte are pronounced as in German, it might take us a while to realize that we were being told that “When April with its sweet showers has pierced the drought of March to the root, then folks long to go on  pilgrimages.” And this of a language that has had centuries of constant use among us as it evolved to what we use today. Stated differently, the language didn’t just appear out of nowhere, but was in constant usage, and any changes in spelling, grammar, pronunciation, etc., evolved through people slowly so that all understood.
    This was not the case with the Mulekites, whose changes evolved from basically one language to another without any Nephite being aware of the changes in between. You can make this sound simple, but linguists who can make such leaps in understanding have been trained and spend their lifetime studying the changes that have taken place.
    I might also add, having traveled extensively across this country, spending time in 46 states, in the backwoods of Alabama, or the academic halls of Boston, or the ranches of Texas, one hears a language that is far from the same—in fact, I would say that at times, you think you are in a totally separate, non-English speaking land. And for the British, go visit Devonshire, or across into Ireland and say you understand that quite well.
    Comment #4: “From reading your articles each day, it looks like you have sought out every other view out there to compare and consider” Carlie A.
    Response: Actually, I did not seek out other views. I began my studies of this work many years ago by looking at the scriptural record and deciding to let it take me wherever it went. I had no preconceived idea about where the Land of Promise was located, and actually didn’t care where it turned out to be. I simply thought it would be wise to let Nephi and Mormon tell me where they went. In the course of doing this, I ran across numerous other models and theories, as I still do, and my nature is to compare whatever I find written or said about the Book of Mormon to the scriptural record…if it does not match, it is wrong. In the course of all these years, I have made what seems to me to be startling discoveries that for some reason are not understood by others.
    Comment #5: “Why does the Book of Mormon mention Bellows (1 Nephi 17:11), Brass (2 Nephi 5:15), Breast Plates & Copper (Mosiah 8:10), Iron (Jarom 1:8), Gold and Silver currency (Alma 11), Silver (Jarom 1:8), and Steel Swords (Ether 7:9)? No evidence indicates that these items existed during Book of Mormon times. In fact, according to Tom Ferguson: "Metallurgy does not appear in the region until about the 9th century A.D." Dick M.
Response: Metallurgy has not been found in Mesoamerica before 900 A.D. where Mesoamericanist theorists have convinced a large number of people the Book of Mormon was to have taken place; however, since it did not take place there, when something in the real world does not agree, people attribute that to an error in the Book of Mormon when, in reality, it is an error in the location being promoted. Metallurgy has been found in Andean Peru dating to Jaredites times (2155-1936 B.C.). The necklace (left) was dated to 2100 B.C. found around Lake Titicaca. If you are going to look for Book of Mormon evidence, you won’t find it in Mesoamerica. But if you look in Andean Peru, you will find untold evidence.

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