Ep23-The Book of Mormon as a Modern Expansion of an Ancient Source


The Book of Mormon has both obvious 19th century influences and anachronisms as well as very strong evidence for having ancient origins. The Expansion theory, introduced in an article by my father in 1987, looks at all the evidence and tries to come up with a solution that preserves both. I wanted to find out the nuances of the view and see if it still held up. Enjoy!

Links:
Original Article: https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V20N01_68.pdf

Update: http://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive/2005/04/updating-the-expansion-theory/

Response to Criticism: blakeostler.com/docs/criticexpansionth.pdf



Show Notes:

Why can't we just stick to the regular understanding of translation? 
Problems / anachronisms and such that make it so we can't say this

-Baptism, Salvation, The Fortunate Fall, The Atonement, The Concept of Mosiah, The Afterlife, The Resurrection, The Devil,

Secular explanation for how JS came up with the BoM. 'Views of the Hebrews'

Use of KJV

No Archeology supporting

Plates always hidden vs scrolls used for Abraham.

Well then it was all made up right...case closed....
Show supports and accuracies that there is no way JS could have known
-The Covenant Renewal Festival, The Prophetic Lawsuit, The Prophetic Commission and Throne Theophany, Other studies also suggest that some aspects of the Book of Mormon are better explained as ancient rather than nineteenth-century

The Translation Process

We know he used a seer stone in a hat. Were there other methods?
What are some theories? Words appear, visions appear, general ideas appear.

Urim and Thummim, seer stone in hat, dictated

"I suggest that we view the original, ancient text of the Book of Mormon much as scholars view the expansion of the words of the historical Jesus in the New Testament. Joseph Smith gave us not merely the words of the Book of Mormon prophets, but also the true meaning of the text within a nineteenth century thought-world. The translation was not merely from one language into another but was also a transformation from one thought-world to another that expands and explains the meaning of the original text in terms that Joseph Smith and his contemporaries would understand. Translation "by the gift and power of God" thus entails much more than merely rendering from one language to another."

Revelation
"A Mormon Model of Revelation The model of revelation I propose here is that of creative co-participation. It seems to me that the Book of Mormon makes most sense if it is seen as both a revelation to Joseph Smith and as Joseph's expansions of the text. This view requires a theology of revelation focusing on interpretation inherent in human experience. This view is grounded in two fundamental premises: (1) There can be no revelation without human experience and, (2) there can be no human experience without interpretation. According to this view, revelation is continuing, dynamic, and incomplete. It results from free human response to God."

"The ultimate reality in Mormon thought is not an omnipotent God coercing passive and powerless prophets to see his point of view. God acts upon the individual and imparts his will and message, but receiving the message and internalizing it is partly up to the individual. In this view, revelation is not an intrusion of the supernatural into the natural order. It is human participation with God in creating human experience itself. Revelation is not the filling of a mental void with divine content. It is the synthesis of a human and divine event. The prophet is an active participant in revelation, conceptualizing and verbalizing God's message in a framework of thought meaningful to the people. Human freedom is as essential to revelation as God's disclosure."


Some of the doctrinal Points of View seem to be outdated for mormons. Heaven and Hell only concept and Somewhat modalistic views of God?

"Almost every important development in Mormon thought, from the preexistence to salvation for the dead, from polygamy to the notion of Zion, was foreshadowed in the Book of Mormon. Its concepts of atoning grace freely accepted and of morally significant free agency are responsible for much of the distinctive character of modern Mormon theology. The Book of Mormon teachings on social justice and the hope for Zion will continue to shape Mormonism's future. Moreover, Mormons have adopted an interpretation of the Book of Mormon that sees the book as a preparatory gospel to modern Mormonism, much as the Old Testament was a preparatory revelation of Jesus' gospel for Paul. For example, Book of Mormon teachings on the salvation of children foreshadowed the doctrine of salvation and baptism for the dead."

Some may see the expansion theory as compromising the historicity of the Book of Mormon. To a certain extent it does...Expound


Recap and sum up what the implications of this view are...

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