Saturday, December 14, 2013

Torpedoes of Curious Workmanship

My apologies for the apologetics. But I've seen hints here and there for some grand, new source for the Book of Mormon in a book about the War of 1812 providing the battle information with similar words and events including 2,000 stripling warriors and the liahona and such. I don't want to be rude, but if you don't want to believe the Book of Mormon is not what it or its witnesses say it is, fine. But don't come telling me this new discovery proves anything because it doesn't.

The problem with apologetics and the works that provoke them is the temptation to strain at gnats and swallow camels. There is a good example of this in the comments to what appears to be a very sophisticated and reasonable response by a believer to this new scientifically statistical evidence by non-believers. The discussion can be summed up rather simply. If you believe the Book of Mormon is divine scripture, you will keep having experiences and finding evidences to support that belief. If you don't believe the Book of Mormon is divine scripture, you will keep having experiences and finding evidences to support that non-belief. The choice is up to you.

The book is quite interesting. It's The Late War between the United States from June, 1812 to February, 1815. In the Scriptural Style, G.J. Hunt (New York, 1819). You can find it on Google Books for free, the copyright having long expired. I read several chapters en skimmed the rest.I searched for some particular events of the war and and the specific things supposedly connecting it to the Book of Mormon. Amazingly, things "came to pass" in places and books other than the Book of Mormon and there are words like "stripling" in the English language that are in both books!

Here are some of the examples and you can make your own judgments.

The "curious torpedoes" from p. 195. (Torpedoes in those days were what we would call aquatic mines, not the kind that shoot out from ships or planes.) :

One (1, not 2,000) "stripling" soldier from p. 69:

Two thousand volunteers for General Jackson, from p. 126:

I suppose one could spend an entire academic career comparing each word of each book and writing profound papers about them. I don't mean to disparage historical and critical research. I like to hear the stories, even those about the seer stones and the hat. It's all helpful to sift through. There are numberless theories of how the Book of Mormon could have been created. There can only be one way it actually was. It needs to work for the simplest among us as well as surviving critical examination by academics. I choose to believe Joseph's explanation. It works for me.

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