Shulem cracks the code for The Book of Lehi/116 Lost Pages!!

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Got the book!

Post by Shulem »

What a hoot! Don Bradley's book "The Lost 116 Pages Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories" just arrived and it looks daunting. 292 pages ands the print is quite small.

So, what is in this book that Bradley knows that I need to know?

Hmmm.
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Don Bradley

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In the Introduction:

Don Bradley wrote:Because the models used in this book are probabilistic, they are capable of being improved indefinately, and doubtless will be over time -- including by some readers of this book.

Oh, I agree. Let us press on...

Shulem is here.

;)
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Don Bradley

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And so, Bradley's Introduction explains how his methodology is best suited to "get at the text" rather than to get "behind the text."

I was disappointed that he failed to capitalize the The in the name of the Church. That always stands out like a sore thumb. Oh well, it seems that it's a common error that everyone does except for me!

The Introduction boldly states that Bradley's work is that of "scholarship and not of inspiration." He acknowledges that his empirical conclusions will be subject to revision pending further light and knowledge from additional sources --including, I dare say, Shulem's killer inspiration? :twisted: Bradley states he wants to "shed light on scriptures" but I dare say that in order to do this one must think outside the faith box. One must KNOW the scriptures themselves to be a hoax. One must be a master critic and scholar -- like Shulem!

Buckle up! It's time to go on a ride.
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Don Bradley

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Bradley begins chapter 1 by using the old familiar parallel game! He attempts to simplify/justify the golden plates being buried up for centuries only to be uncovered and discovered by Smith through the instrumentality of the original ancient author who just so happened to be an angel appearing to him on multiple occasions. So, in order to make it sound believable or consistent with the bible and show it wasn't a singular or fantastical act that was nothing new under the biblical sun, Bradley introduces a parallel to make it all seem biblical and right in line with how God operates. But it's an apologetic faith promoting TRICK that bears no true link to biblical things!

Bradley tells about the story of priest Hilkiah and the discovery of the Book of the Covenant found in the temple within a compartment of the Ark of the Covenant and how it was brought to the attention of righteous King Josiah. We are informed that this discovery of Moses's lost record was apparently found in the ark within the Jerusalem temple and is somewhat reminiscent or similar to how the gold plates were discovered buried at the top of the hill by Smith through the instrumentality of an angel. This supposedly accords like a wonderful biblical precedent in showing the Book of Mormon was brought forth like records of old. King Josiah uses the new found book that was supposedly secreted by Moses in the ark centuries before to assist in reforming spirituality and religion by making a new covenant with the people much like Joseph Smith did with his gold bible. The two are supposed to compliment each other and show how God performs his work through the discovery of ancient records. But to top it off, Bradley notes how Josiah's work was prophesied earlier centuries before his birth, so also was Joseph Smith's role in working a reformation also predicted by his grandfather as well as in ancient times in the Book of Mormon. Thus Smith became like a "new Josiah" in modern times! Everything is made to seem so biblical! It's a miracle!

All THIS is an old apologetic trick and does nothing, absolutely nothing, to strengthen the claim of finding gold plates at Cumorah thanks to an angel. It is faith promoting material (BS) crafted to try and make Joseph Smith and his gold bible look biblical. Thus we see how the Book of Mormon is completely dependent on apologetics.
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Don Bradley

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I offer a few more comments pertaining to Bradley's apologetic decorations for chapter one in which imaginary parallels are elucidated in effort to produce faith in making Smith's circumstances look miraculously biblical. I have to hand it to Bradley, he is feeding faithful Mormons who cling to anything and everything in order to make Smith appear authentic and genuine.

So, Joseph Smith is now likened to King Josiah who brings to light the lost record from the ark kept within the temple under the direct supervision of the high priest. Bradley now references the gold plates as the "new book of the covenant" in reference to the first book kept in the ark. Bradley will even go further to liken Joseph Smith as the high priest who kept the ark holy in the presence of God. But first, how about another parallel? Mormon apologists love to invent parallels!

Bradley makes an odd comparison between Moses's lost Book of the Covenant and the gold plates. He does this by pointing out the composition of the books in question and ark/boxes they are kept in. But Bradley admits that reversing the composition is necessary in order to make a comparison. He is simply trying to make them of the same class -- sacred records being kept by sacred means.

The reversal in composition of the the materials in question is based on Moroni's gold plates being placed in an ark made of stone compared to Moses's stone tablets being placed in an ark of gold. Bradley is attempting to make the gold plates look biblical because Moses's tablets and records were kept in an ark/box decorated and made of gold. So, both Joseph Smith and Moses are alike because gold was involved with sacred records! Give me a freaking break! :x

But if that's not enough, Bradley takes it a step further to include a parallel how Joseph Smith is likened to the high priest in the temple because only the high priest can enter into the holiest place and lay hands on the ark much like only Joseph could lay fleshy hands on the gold plates. So, the parallel now become a sort of prophecy in showing Smith was simply a fulfillment of a role like that of the biblical high priest! Bradley explains how Israel's sacred Ark of the Covenant and holy things of the temple were draped with a veil or wrapped when removed from the temple sanctuary and kept from the public eye just like Smith's gold bible was wrapped in cloth and kept from the eyes of everyone including his own wife and father.

The parallel also takes into consideration of how Joseph visited the hill Cumorah on an annual basis during a certain time of year was likened to the high priest performing the sacred rituals involved with the annual Day of Atonement. Joseph Smith was simply doing what the ancient high priest did in the bible! Bradley concludes with how taking the gold bible home from the hill Cumorah could be likened to the festival rites and rituals performed by the high priest in saving Israel from its sins.

All of this, of course, is apologetic trickery and BS. It's designed to make Smith's story seem biblical and produce ties between them that really don't exist.

I find it shameful. So much for chapter one! Jesus Christ!
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Re: Don Bradley

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Shulem wrote:
Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:30 pm

Bradley makes an odd comparison between Moses's lost Book of the Covenant and the gold plates. He does this by pointing out the composition of the books in question and ark/boxes they are kept in. But Bradley admits that reversing the composition is necessary in order to make a comparison. He is simply trying to make them of the same class -- sacred records being kept by sacred means.

The reversal in composition of the the materials in question is based on Moroni's gold plates being placed in an ark made of stone compared to Moses's stone tablets being placed in an ark of gold. Bradley is attempting to make the gold plates look biblical because Moses's tablets and records were kept in an ark/box decorated and made of gold. So, both Joseph Smith and Moses are alike because gold was involved with sacred records! Give me a freaking break! :x
Chiasmus! Checkmate critics. :lol:
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Re: Don Bradley

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Shulem wrote:
Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:30 pm
The parallel also takes into consideration of how Joseph visited the hill Cumorah on an annual basis during a certain time of year was likened to the high priest performing the sacred rituals involved with the annual Day of Atonement. Joseph Smith was simply doing what the ancient high priest did in the bible! Bradley concludes with how taking the gold bible home from the hill Cumorah could be likened to the festival rites and rituals performed by the high priest in saving Israel from its sins.

In chapter two, more ridiculous faith promoting parallelism is brought to bear. Oh how the faithful must be eating this up!

Bradley makes a big deal of the timing when the plates were (allegedly) removed from the hill Cumorah and secured in Smith's possession during the Mosaic Feast of Trumpets. So what, who cares, who gives a damn? But Bradley goes on as if all this is significant and relates how in a couple of weeks (15th) is the date for the Mosaic Feast of Tabernacles and Day of Atonement. Behold, Smith recovering the plates from Cumorah summons up the rites and rituals of the Jewish bible! Look how spiritual and prophetic this has all become! The gold plates are being recovered during the same calendar month in which Moses and the Jews gave consecration to God and fulfilled those rites. Give me a break!

Don Bradley, p. 19 wrote:The themes of trial and journey commemorated in the feast on October 6, 1827, intertwined with what was then occurring in the lives of those working to bring forth the book of plates . . . . And the message Joseph sent to Martin that first day of the Feast of Tabernacles was that Martin was to undertake storied sacred journey . . . . Joseph and Emma's period of trial and affliction in protecting the plates—from when they lifted the plates from their hilltop ark to when they got them safely away from their adversaries—was thus an even forty days. Like each of the previous dates on which they took a new step in the process of bringing forth the golden plates, the timing had biblical significance. Moses endured forty days of fasting on the sacred mountaintop to acquire the sacred tablets he would place in the Ark, paralleling the larger forty years of Israel's affliction in the wilderness.

So, Bradley seems to suggest that Joseph Smith is fulfilling Mosaic scripture via parallelism. But with that he has to take into consideration all that is required to fulfill the rites of those feasts as prescribed by Mosaic law in Leviticus chapter 23 which includes all manner of animal sacrifice which things were done away by Christianity. So, trying to find a parallel by plugging the feasts into the dates Smith secured the plates is nothing but pure BS on Don Bradley's part -- faith promoting nonsense!
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Don Bradley

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There is a clear and marked difference between how Don Bradley interprets and understand WHY Martin Harris was selected to participate in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon via the translation of the gold plates. Bradley explains how the angel promised Joseph that he would receive assistance in keeping the plates from harm and later publish the writings after they were translated. Bradley cites Harris who testified that an angel told Joseph "to go look in the spectacles, and he would show him the man that would assist him." Needless to say, Joseph went and looked into the spectacles and saw "Martin Harris, standing before him." This is also confirmed later by Joseph's mother who attested that he looked into the interpreters and saw Martin through them.

But, I have another idea in which to base how Joseph selected Martin regardless of whether he looked into magic spectacles or stones or, whatever the hell he did in process of divining. When Joseph Smith saw Martin Harris, all he saw was $$$ and a man that could be easily fooled by his cunning practice and arts.
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Don Bradley

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I would like to add that Bradley's efforts in finding fantastic parallels between Smith uncovering the plates and things that occurred in the bible is not necessarily scholarship but falls more in line with wishful inspiration on his part. He stated at the opening of his book that inspiration was not his work as is his scholarship. But so far he is taking what scholarship he's presented and decorating it with window dressing to make it look as if Joseph Smith is mirroring the past and fulfilling all manner prophecies in which Smith never said anything. Is Bradley now filling the role of the prophet Joseph Smith and revealing prophecies that Smith never knew? To my knowledge, I am not aware of Smith having ever alluded to a Mosaic connection between the ark and the plates and how the timing of certain feasts correspond with Smith finally getting the plates on a certain month of the year. And the bit about the plates being wrapped in cloth being symbolic of covering the ark is simply over the top nonsense.

That is why I class elements of Bradley's work as faith promoting BS but on the other hand I have found his scholarly material very useful. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to slam Don personally but I'm finding serious fault with his methods. If Don expects to be taken seriously by nonbelievers and critics then making stuff up out of thin air is not the way to go about it.

And so, tomorrow I will be headed to Florida for a vacation so you may not hear much from me for a while.
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Re: Don Bradley

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It was just last month that Philo Sofee did a podcast and provided a thread on this forum referencing that podcast with the so-called "Sealed Book" prophecy. I was the only person to respond to the thread:

by Philo Sofee » New evidence Isaiah 29 - The Sealed Book - is a fake prophecy Invented by Joseph Smith

I was pleasantly surprised to see Don Bradley's book, chapter two, explain something somewhat in line with my own ideas of Smith's use of Isaiah's sealed book -- a so-called Mormon prophecy of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon via the gold plates. As a critic of the Book of Mormon and one who is empowered and beyond being deceived by Mormon fraud, I know the Book of Mormon is pure fiction and Joseph Smith preplanned the theme with much forethought in what the Book of Mormon would consist of before he ever translated a single word to Martin Harris.

The Isaiah/Nephi prophecy of the sealed book was indeed part of the original scheme in which Smith would later include when pretending to translate the plates. Bradley seems to be spot on and in line with the idea that Smith was on to this particular idea BEFORE the plates were translated. So for Bradley, it must have come as a surprise to Joseph Smith when he translated Nephi's prophecy of the sealed book only to learn that the book was talking about him! But for me, it was all part of Smith's scheme to apply Isaiah's sealed book reference to himself and his gold book before he ever commissioned Harris to set out to New York to have the characters examined by learned men.

Here are few points Bradley makes:
  • "It appears that Joseph Smith anticipated the 'the learned' would be helpless to make sense of the characters, and that he sent the characters, not to have them translated, but to fulfill the words of Isaiah and thus, stepping into this prophecy as its unlearned man, acquire power to translate them himself."
  • "Near the beginning of his mission the young prophet Joseph took Isaiah's prophecy as a plan of action."
  • "When asked years later by an interviewer if he had seen the Isaiah 29 connection at the time of his first visit to Anthon, Martin reportedly responded that he had not, 'but that Joseph Smith had shown that chapter to him after his return.'"
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