Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Synagogue" - Apparent Anachronisms Aren't Always Anachronisms

I have heard people state that the use of certain words in the Book of Mormon are anachronistic and, therefore, proof that the book isn't what Joseph claimed it to be.  One of those words is "synagogue" - since that particular word was not coined until after the time period discussed in the Book of Mormon. 

Nearly all of these charges are non-starters for me, for a very simple reason - and I will use "synagogue" as my primary example in this post:

"Synagogue" was the word Joseph knew to use for a place where Jews met to worship. It's probably the only word in his vocabulary that corresponded to that concept. In other words, there probably wasn't any other choice for him.
Given his own description of the translation / transmission process, when his available vocabulary is taken into consideration, many of these issues disappear for me.

1 comment:

Gwennaƫlle said...

I have heard many shaking point to prove the invalidity of the BoM but the translation one just makes me laugh really hard.
I am supposed to be a linguist (which is funny) and I KNOW about translation more than anyone I have heard using this point. All they are exhibiting is their ignorance in the subject.
You got it right. Translation cannot be thought ahead of the time when it is done (obviously, time traveling are expensive these days) or behind because the point of translation is to make a document clear. I mean synagogue? Really? That's all they found? I don't know any high profile translator who, given a definition WOULD NOT have translated this way.

So....if he had made up a word to talk about the same thing (I am thinking for example at the fun translators for Harry Potter had) what would have been their point? That he made up words?

Gosh this one irritates me can you tell? I love hearing good argumentation against the BoM because it forces me to think and ponder and ask question. I really love it. This one just invalidate the whole issue and considering what I know about translation this is actually to me the only intellectual evidence that JS did not do it all alone. So people may come up with various explanations that I take in consideration because they are NOT stupid but the "translation" issue is just boastful ignorance.