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Moroni (really Joseph Smith) the Mormon Apologist.

Moroni (really Joseph Smith) the Mormon Apologist.

MikeKnoles

After 1000 years I'm surprised he remembers the name of the language and that it seems it hasn't evolved at all.


Mediocratic_Oath

The Book of Mormon is truly a tour-de-force of bad linguistics.


MikeKnoles

Tolkien did far better with Middle Earth


Death_Bard

He was primarily a linguist.


MikeKnoles

A cunning linguist! I'm sorry. I had to


ZeldaWindsong

There really should be some significant language shift after 1000 years, even with written records available.


MikeKnoles

And somehow the Lamanites, I mean native Americans, knew nothing about it. It's all suspicious


hyrumwhite

The first draft of the BoM sounded like something a country boy would have written. With stuff like "king lamoni was a coming to the city". The BoM as it exists today is ~3000 edits later (and it still sucks, lol) but I'd guess the "imperfections" spiel exists because Smith knew he had some major structural and grammatical errors throughout the text. On a slightly unrelated note, these scriptures prevent the "inspired translation" viewpoint and reinforce the literal translation viewpoint. The language it was written in shouldn't have had an effect on imperfections if Smith was just downloading the book from God instead of doing a word for word translation.


ManateeGrooming

I’ve never thought about that. Nice work.


Footertwo

Wow, *Egyptian*… very exotic. Much mystery. Has tingles. Feeling so special. Secret knowledges.


thomaslewis1857

Not sure about this. The prevailing though not unanimous view is that of the [Mosiah priority](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosiah_priority), with Mosiah written first and so Moroni was written before Nephi. Proper understanding of Egyptian remained elusive in the early 19th century [see here](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decipherment_of_ancient_Egyptian_scripts). In any event there is much to be said for the characters being deformed alpha numeric characters common in our day, rather than reformed Egyptian, so Anthon was unlikely to give a correct (or sensible) interpretation of meaningless symbols, which he in fact [noted](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthon_Transcript). Perhaps Joseph was merely trying to play the victim, against the day when the defects of the Book of Mormon became apparent.


TruthIsAntiMormon

True and so the Nephi coming first in order of translation could be problematic (I am a fan of the Mosiah priority except for that pesky lost Book of Lehi and the claimed fact that Nephi had abridged it in front of HIS book before beginning what is 1 Nephi) but that still leaves the Anton fiasco occurring in 1928 prior to Mormon being translated.


thomaslewis1857

Ok, I see. And thus Joseph at least had some external corroboration (in the Anthon episode) by the time of Mormon 9 that the characters on the plates were not able to be be translated by secular learning. It seems that Mosiah 1:4 is the plainest reference to an (unreformed) Egyptian writing, moreso than 1 Ne1:2, and the timeline of the Mosiah Priority would allow the change you speak of between Mosiah 1 and Moroni in Mormon 9.


TruthIsAntiMormon

And that itself is interesting because you have again the "in effect" 1st book mentioning the language and making it the focus (while claiming it was actually the 2nd book in sequence) . Then you have Mosiah 1 focusing on language again that also corroborates with the Mosiah Priority theory of translation. It's almost as if the person who in reality authored the Book of Mormon was guiding it's focus and content according to events surrounding the lost 116 pages and compensating for the Anton episode. The whole introduction and first chapter of Nephi being written as if no Book of Lehi existed or at least didn't exist with any content other than the "vision", should be its own observation. In a book that supposedly started with another Book and ended with Moroni, these little "tied to the 1820's translation events" ripples that appear to affect the content of a supposedly "closed/sealed/completed" book from 400AD really stick out like a sore thumb.


S_Joshua

I’d never heard of the Mosiah priority before. Is there a video that explains it well that you’d recommend? The Wikipedia entry was very interesting, and I saw it cited Brett Metcalf so I hoped he’d spoken about it. Thanks!


thomaslewis1857

I don’t know of a video on it, but [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/mormon/comments/bgjm60/mosiah_priority/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf) is a detailed post from u/ImTheMarmotKing that deals with the subject.


PaulBunnion

So, not only could Nephi smelt ore to produce steel, was a blacksmith, was a shipbuilder, an architect/stonemason so he could build temples, he was also a linguinist and knew not only Hebrew, but Egyptian and a form of Egyptian. He could read and was proficient in writing it. Such a talented man at such a young age when they left Jerusalem. Why did they not use hebrew? Hebrew does not have vowels. It would have taken up a lot less space than a bunch of Egyptian pictures. Why was Nahom (NHM) in Hebrew and not reformed Egyptian? Why doesn't NHM mean Nihim, or Noham, or Nuham?


TruthIsAntiMormon

And why is Jesus called Jesus and Christ in the Book of Mormon instead of Joshua and Messiah when those are Greek New Testament words. Worse, there's a land called the land of Joshua in the Book of Mormon. But you want to read some real bullshit Mormon apolgetics? Read the article on why 1st through 3rd Century Greek names and phrases exist in the Book of Mormon.