Sunday, October 4, 2015

Jerry Grover's Translation of the "Caractors" Document

For a fascinating read on the bleeding edge of Book of Mormon studies, go to Jerry Grover's bookofmormoncaractorstranslation website and download his latest book as a PDF free of charge.
Jerry Grover's Latest Book
If Jerry is on the right track, his translation will be one of the most important pieces of Book of Mormon scholarship in our lifetime. If he is partially on the right track, specialists in ancient Near Eastern and Mesoamerican languages will be able to refine his work and improve the accuracy of his translation. If he is on the wrong track, his work will still stimulate renewed interest in this document attributed to John Whitmer that could lead to a breakthrough. At minimum, my hat is off to him for the sheer audacity of his monumental effort. This guy has what the Yiddish speakers in and around New York City call "chutzpah." This is without doubt the most sophisticated attempt to date to translate the extant copies of characters transcribed from the gold plates.

October 9, 2015 addendum. Neal Rappleye and I today were looking through Stefan Wimmer's 2008 book Palastinisches Hieratisch (Palestinian Hieratic). It has dozens of examples of a writing system used in the Levant about the time of Lehi that renders Hebrew vocabulary and syntax in Egyptian Hieratic script. This seems to be precisely what Nephi describes in 1 Nephi 1:2 as "the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians." Neal has a very good article in Interpreter entitled "Learning Nephi's Language: Creating a Context for 1 Nephi 1:2" that deals with Palestinian Hieratic. Rappleye made two interesting comments: A) "It looks like we have found Nephi's language," and B) "Many of these characters look just like the ones Grover is working with in the Anthon transcript." Wimmer is in Grover's bibliography.