If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

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annotatedbom
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If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by annotatedbom » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:18 am

For Come Follow Me, Lesson 29, Jul 20-26, 2020, Alma 36-38

If I wanted to encourage thought and try to understand devout believers better, I might ask:
What do chiasmuses tell us about the Book of Mormon?

See the Things to consider for this lesson.

And, here’s a list of some other observations about this lesson’s reading.

Enjoy!
A-Bom

TestimonyLost2
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by TestimonyLost2 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:07 am

I don't know if this is the right place for this discussion but you brought it up! :D

Chiasmus is a big one with my FIL. It's slam dunk proof to him that the BoM is true. I've seen folks in the exmo/nom community dismiss chiasmus with a hand wave but I've never seen a thorough discussion on the topic. Do you know of anyone out there who has thoughtfully responded to the "chiasmus in the BoM, checkmate exmos!" stance? Do you have any thoughts on it?

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moksha
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by moksha » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:06 am

Chiasmus is right up there with kosher salt from Utah.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Corsair
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by Corsair » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:56 am

Chiasmus should have been a minor point of confirmation for a historic Book of Mormon. Instead, it's the only thing they have to bolster their position because no physical artifacts have been found. LDS leadership won't even help apologists by confirming the location of events outside of the western hemisphere. Chiasmus is not that interesting and nobody cares outside of the FairMormon crowd.

annotatedbom
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by annotatedbom » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:50 pm

TestimonyLost2 wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:07 am
I don't know if this is the right place for this discussion but you brought it up! :D

Chiasmus is a big one with my FIL. It's slam dunk proof to him that the BoM is true. I've seen folks in the exmo/nom community dismiss chiasmus with a hand wave but I've never seen a thorough discussion on the topic. Do you know of anyone out there who has thoughtfully responded to the "chiasmus in the BoM, checkmate exmos!" stance? Do you have any thoughts on it?
Seems to me this is a great place to ask this. If you follow the link for the Things to consider for the lesson, you’ll see I’ve addressed this. It’s not extremely detailed or deep, but I hit the points that seem relevant to me.

TL;DR - it seems to be a ubiquitous literary structure regardless of whether the text is ancient or modern. I think it lends no credibility to the BoM.

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:36 pm

Good stuff, anotatedbom. Greeks and Romans used chiasmus too. In fact, I think everybody uses it because because it is a pattern that the brain creates naturally when formulating ideas to pass on to others to make a point (just my theory, but I think it would be fascinating to do a study of natural language and see if chiasmus-like patterns appear naturally).

Also, as you point out Alma 36 is a train wreck. It requires a crowbar and ten rolls of duct tape to make it work. Besides, I don't think real chiasmus works like that. The real ones seem to be quite short and deliberate, not rambling and non-uniform like Alma 36. All of the credit for that goes to John Welch, not Alma.

I know someone who came to the conclusion that if something has chiasmus that is a sign that it is really the word of God, so he started looking for them everywhere, and guess what? He found them in the D&C, the PoGP, conference talks... pretty much everywhere he wanted them to be. I wonder what would happen if he tried as hard to find them in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Or Rolling Stones lyrics.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by jfro18 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:43 pm

My favorite example of chiasmus:

Longer Rendering (stolen from https://spoiledmilks.com/2017/01/09/seu ... m-chiasms/)

A “I am Sam… Sam I am … [response]

B Do you like green eggs and ham? … [response]

C Would you like them here or there?… [response]

D Would you like them in a house… with a mouse?… [response]

E Would you like them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox?… [response]

F Would you? Could you? In a car?… [response] You may like them. You will see. You may like them in a tree!…[response]

G A train! A train!.. Could you, would you on a train? … [response]

H … Here in the dark! Would you, could you, in the dark? … [response]

I Would you, could you, in the rain? … [response]

J … Would you, could you, with a goat? … [response]

K Would you, could you, on a boat? … [response]

L You do not like them. So you say. Try them!

Try them! And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.

L’ Sam! If you will let me be, I will try them. You will see. [tries them] Say! I like green eggs and ham!

K’ And I would eat them in a boat.

J’ And I would eat them with a goat…

I’ And I will eat them in the rain.

H’ And in the dark.

G’ And on a train.

F’ And in a car. And in a tree. They are so good, so good, you see!

E’ So I will eat them in a box. And I will eat them with a fox.

D’ And I will eat them in a house. And I will eat them with a mouse.

C’ And I will eat them here and there. Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!

B’ I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you!

A’ Sam I am!”

(Dr. Seuss 1960:3-62)

TestimonyLost2
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by TestimonyLost2 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:58 am

Thanks for the follow up, annotatedbom (and everyone else). I should have clicked your link. Interesting that's it hardly unique to ancient Hebrew.

jfro, love your note of Dr. Seuss' use of chiasmus. That reminds me of the infamous Star Wars ring theory. I remember when I first heard about it, I immediately made the connection to chiasmus. While I didn't think about it too deeply, it helped me realize that folks can and will find patterns in everything.

I doubt I'll ever get into it with my FIL over chiasmus, but I appreciate understanding the holes in his position.

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deacon blues
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by deacon blues » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:48 am

One of my favorites:
Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The Clock struck one,
And down he come.
Hickory dickory dock.

Chiamus is in Mother Goose,
Chiamus is in Dr. Seuss. ;)
God is Love. God is Truth

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jfro18
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by jfro18 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 10:27 am

deacon blues wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:48 am
One of my favorites:
Hickory dickory dock,
The mouse ran up the clock,
The Clock struck one,
And down he come.
Hickory dickory dock.

Chiamus is in Mother Goose,
Chiamus is in Dr. Seuss. ;)
Almost as if chiasmus is a great tool for storytelling.

And, I would add, chiasmus is actually a great to dictate a story because it helps you to keep track of where you began, how you got there, and how you're going to wrap it up with a nice little bow.

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:27 am

I just enjoy the heck out of the fact that the strangites use chiasmus as evidence of the authenticity of the Voree plates and other Strang writings. That is my default example anytime someone uses hebraisms for BOM evidence.

http://www.strangite.org/Chiasmus.htm

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 29

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:01 pm

In the latest FairMormon newsletter there is a review by John Welch of a book by a Jewish scholar named Joshua Berman who argues against the notion that the Torah has multiple authors. His method, as I understand it, is to point out chiastic structures that span multiple verses that include both E and J sources. If the same chiasm contains contribution of both authors, then they must have really come from the same author (e.i. Moses), right? This is an apologetic tactic that might remind you of John Welch's chiasmus mining of the Book of Mormon. Where might Dr. Berman have gotten this idea? John Welsh points out that "the authority cited for that unanimous consensus is none other than John W. Welch." It seems that Mormon apologetic tactics are catching on in other corners. But then, Dr. Berman appears to be a frequent visiting lecturer at BYU-sponsored events and symposia.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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