Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

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drumdude
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Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

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https://interpreterfoundation.org/inter ... pbuilding/

His central thesis throughout is that it is mistaken to assume that Nephi and his family were alone in Bountiful, isolated from external raw materials and expertise, and that without these external aids Nephi’s ocean crossing would have been essentially impossible.

To build this ship, Potter suggests that Nephi would have needed a protected harbor, with Potter seeing Nephi’s phrase “go down” as also implying entering a moored ship, and the phrase “put forth into the sea” as implying control over the ship within the protection of a natural harbor. He argues that launching such a large vessel (estimated at 100 tons) would have required building it above the tideline and lowering it into calm water with a ramp, a process which would seal the hull and allow for the building of the deck, following Hebrew and Egyptian boatbuilding methods. For Potter, Nephi would have needed to exit and enter that protected port many times to test the ship and train the crew, implying a breakwater that allowed safe passage.

In Potter’s estimation, Nephi’s youth and technical inexperience would’ve required him to receive specialized nautical and shipwright training at the hands of experts. Though Potter acknowledges that God might have provided this instruction directly, Potter contends that “while the Lord gave Nephi the instructions on how to build the ship, he did not give him the lifetime of experience that shipwrights need to perform their particular craft.” Potter provides similar arguments for the seamanship skills that Nephi would have required for the journey.

All of these arguments require extensive interaction between Nephi’s family and a local population present in or around Bountiful, a fact on which the text appears silent. But Potter suggests the text is ambivalent on that point, and that the entire region was likely to have been populated regardless of which potential Bountiful site one prefers.

I never thought I would see the day when an LDS apologist makes the identical argument that John Larsen made in a Mormon Expression episode, “How to build a transoceanic vessel.” Published in Interpreter, no less!
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Shulem
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

Post by Shulem »

Lehi and his band who made their trip to the Arabian coast would have been little more than scavengers having nothing to bargain or barter for raw materials and professional services offered by a manned seaport. Lehi was broke. He was a bum living off the land and looking for sustenance like a wonderer. He had no money and absolutely nothing of value to offer a seaport. All of Lehi's gold and valuable possessions had been left behind in Jerusalem and fell into the hands of Laban. Lehi left Jerusalem penniless and broke.

1 Nephi 2 wrote:4 And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.

11 Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
1 Nephi 3 wrote:16 Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.

22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things.

24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.

25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.

By the time Lehi and his ragtag band of bumbs made it to the coast by which they lived from meal to meal and finding fresh water and life saving supplies was a daily task, they had nothing. Building a ship was Joseph Smith's silly dream as was Nephi's temple of Solomon which would have been built at Delmarva not far from his original landing.

Also note that the Book of Mormon story fails to tell of what happened to the remains of the ship after they landed. The story says nothing of using the raw materials to aid in building a new settlement and establishing shelter. Neither does the story tell us how many days they were at sea because Joseph Smith couldn't remember the number that surely was on the lost 116 page manuscript. So many holes in the script!

I know the Book of Mormon is pure fiction. It is not true, I so testify.
drumdude
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

Post by drumdude »

I'm sure the ship was taken up to heaven just like the gold plates. Otherwise the indigenous inhabitants (which modern apologetics have to insert because of DNA evidence) would have leaped vastly forward in technology from studying it.
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Shulem
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Home Alone

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By the time Lehi and his ragtag band of wonderers made it to the coast, they had worn themselves out by subsisting off the land for 8 years by living in the wild and even eating raw flesh because they couldn't always cook it. They eventually made it to the coast and there would build a ship. They built a ship on their own. They built it of their own accord and of their own materials and of their own labor. NOTHING is said of outside assistance! They did not construct a ship after the manner of men but in their solitude depended on God to show them how to build it. They were truly alone on the coast in which they founded and named for themselves: BOUNTIFUL,"we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit."

The narrative of the Book of Mormon let's us know that Lehi and his family were truly alone and did not depend on the arm of flesh to aid them because they had the Lord in all things.

They sojourned for 8 years on their own with only the help of God:

1 Nephi 17 wrote:4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.

God prepared Bountiful in which *THEY* named the land in order to preserve their lives on the seashore and aid them in building Nephi's ship. They were alone and depended entirely on the Lord for all things to include divine instructions on how to construct a ship not built after the manner of men. They were alone on the coast just as they had been alone in the wilderness!

1 Nephi 17 wrote:5 And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.

Lehi's party was all alone on the coast. There was no civilization or people to aid them. There was nobody except them. Nephi goes up to a mountain to pray about what to do. He doesn't know where to turn.

1 Nephi 17 wrote:9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?

Ship construction was performed under management of God only. There were no other souls to assist them as they built the ship in their own way.

1 Nephi 18 wrote:1 And it came to pass that they did worship the Lord, and did go forth with me; and we did work timbers of curious workmanship. And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship.

2 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.

Finally, they being alone apart from civilization being separated from all other people they launched the ship all by their lonesome selves.

1 Nephi 18 wrote:4 And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord.

5 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came unto my father, that we should arise and go down into the ship.

6 And it came to pass that on the morrow, after we had prepared all things, much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance, and provisions according to that which the Lord had commanded us, we did go down into the ship, with all our loading and our seeds, and whatsoever thing we had brought with us, every one according to his age; wherefore, we did all go down into the ship, with our wives and our children.

There was no seaport and no outside assistance for Lehi and his family. They were alone. They built the ship not after the manner of man and neither did man aid them or assist them in launching the ship. There is no account of any outside assistance other than that of the Lord showing them what to do. Any inference that man assisted Nephi is the apologetic imagination attempting to make sense of a story that makes no sense.

1 Nephi 18 wrote:8 And it came to pass after we had all gone down into the ship, and had taken with us our provisions and things which had been commanded us, we did put forth into the sea and were driven forth before the wind towards the promised land.

I bear testimony that the Book of Mormon is pure fiction.
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

Post by drumdude »

If a horse can mean tapir, "I finished the ship" can mean "the shipyard built it for me."
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

Post by Shulem »

drumdude wrote:
Mon May 30, 2022 6:02 pm
If a horse can mean tapir, "I finished the ship" can mean "the shipyard built it for me."

AND what did this mystery shipyard provide? There is no mention given in the narrative by which labor and materials could be provided for Lehi and his family. They had wondered and camped aimlessly in the wilderness or 8 years eating raw meat and nuts and berries. The narrative says they came upon the sea. No sign or indication of another people having civilization or industry. They were truly alone. That is what Joseph Smith envisioned while he wrote his novel. They named the land in which they inherited wherein they would build a ship and they called the place, "Bountiful". They were subject only to themselves. They paid no mind whatsoever to others or to the idea that they co-mingled with others. They had nothing of value to barter. They had nothing of value to sell other than their women who could serve as prostitutes but how hardly that makes any sense.

No, I'm afraid there was no shipyard or assistance for Nephi other than what he did by his own strength which was absolute fantasy made up by Joseph Smith just like the temple of Nephi he built in the promised land shorty after landing in Delmarva. It's Mormon silliness. It's madness. It's ridiculous and never happened.
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

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So, of course Nephi's shipbuilding efforts, like the Jaredites' shipbuilding efforts, are on par with Noah's shipbuilding efforts. They are myth. They never happened, and the former two are obviously patterned on the Noah story. Case closed.

And that is actually what makes the story of the Jaredites and Nephi et al. interesting and fun. Rare is the occasion in literature of this kind that technology is described in an accurate way. By way of contrast you should read Caesar's description of the bridge he built and was so damned proud of.

See Caesar Gallic War 4.17-18
17 For the reasons above mentioned Caesar had decided to cross the Rhine; but he deemed it scarcely safe, and ruled it unworthy of his own and the Romans' dignity, to cross in boats. And so, although he was confronted with the greatest difficulty in making a bridge, by reason of the breadth, the rapidity, and the depth of the river, he still thought that he must make that effort, or else not take his army across. He proceeded to construct a bridge on the following plan.​3 He caused pairs of balks •eighteen inches thick, sharpened a little way from the base and measured to suit the depth of the river, to be coupled together at an interval of •two feet. These he lowered into the river by means of rafts, and set fast, and drove home by rammers; not, like piles, straight up and down, but leaning forward at a uniform slope, so that they inclined in the direction of the stream. Opposite to these, again, were planted two balks coupled in the same fashion, at a distance of •forty feet from base to base​4 of each pair, slanted against the force and onrush of the stream. These pairs of balks had two‑foot transoms let into them atop, filling the interval at which they were coupled, and were kept apart by a pair of braces on the outer side at each end. So, as they were held apart and contrariwise clamped together, p203 the stability of the structure was so great and its character such that, the greater the force and thrust of the water, the tighter were the balks held in lock. These trestles​5 were interconnected by timber laid over at right angles, and floored with long poles and wattlework. And further, piles were driven in aslant on the side facing down stream, thrust out below like a buttress and close joined with the whole structure, so as to take the force of the stream; and others likewise at a little distance above the bridge, so that if trunks of trees, or vessels, were launched by the natives to break down the structure, these fenders might lessen the force of such shocks, and prevent them from damaging the bridge.

18 The whole work was completed in ten days from that on which the collecting of timber began, and the army was taken across. Leaving a strong post at either end of the bridge, Caesar pressed on into the territory of Sugambri. Meanwhile from several states deputies came to him, to whose request for peace and friendship he replied in generous fashion, and ordered hostages to be brought to him. But from the moment when the bridge began to be constructed the Sugambri, at the instigation of the Tencteri and Usipetes among them, had been preparing for flight; and now they had evacuated their territory, carried off all their stuff, and hidden themselves in the remote part of the forests.
In this case Caesar has also been accused of stealing the credit from his chief engineer, Mamurra, and of describing the construction of the bridge ineptly.
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Philo Sofee
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

Post by Philo Sofee »

Ya gotta admit, Shulem's reading of the Book of Mormon text is much closer and realistic than all the added extras Potter and Interpreter attempt to put in there in order to try and hope they can make the obviously fictional story appear a wee bit more actual and real world realistic. The apologetic spin on this one is almost as seriously ludicrous as that on the 8 Jaredite barges in Ether. Does anyone remember Dr W.'s detailed analysis of the Jaredite barges here a few years back? I would LOVE to read that thread again. It belongs in the all time classic threads... hey, I shall go look there...
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

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I would be impressed were it not that we have seen this show of shooting fish in a barrel many times. What is baffling is the insistence that literature of this kind emphasize realism in accordance with modern expectations. THAT is what has made apologetics so funny all of these years, not the fact that the Jaredites and Lehi's family did not have realistic accounts of crossing the ocean.

So, yes, kudos for "realism." LOL.
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Re: Interpreter apologists wrestle with Nephi’s transoceanic vessel

Post by Shulem »

Kishkumen wrote:
Mon May 30, 2022 7:00 pm
So, of course Nephi's shipbuilding efforts, like the Jaredites' shipbuilding efforts, are on par with Noah's shipbuilding efforts. They are myth. They never happened, and the former two are obviously patterned on the Noah story. Case closed.

I have to agree with you, Kish.

But the Church presents it as if it really happened and the images it posts on the Church website lead everyone to imagine exactly what Church leaders want and expect from the members.

Image
Image
Image
Image

Behold the shipyard!
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