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Author Topic: And it came to pass
Itsame
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That I, an atheist, decided to read holy scriptures
And it came to pass that I started with the Book of Mormon
And it came to pass that I opened the first book of Nephi
And it came to pass that I reached the thirteenth chapter of the first book of Nephi
And it came to pass that I grew enraged by the excessive use of the phrase "and it came to pass"...

Anyone else have that problem? [Dont Know]

[ November 24, 2006, 01:56 PM: Message edited by: JonHecht ]

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mr_porteiro_head
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Yes, that phrase is very common in the Book of Mormon. We sometimes make fun of it ourselves.

[ November 24, 2006, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

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Szymon
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You grew enraged? Wow. You grow enraged easily. Ever tried to read Marcel Proust [Wink] ?
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DDDaysh
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OSC actually jokes about it in "Saints".
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Oobie Binoobie
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It must be some kind of filter for Book of Mormon readers. If you can get past 2 Nephi, more interesting stuff with far fewer Aictp's are in store.

'Course I had that problem. But it's like becoming enraged because Jesus said "verily" twice every time he said "verily." In other words, not worth the rage.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by Oobie Binoobie:
Aictp's

That is the best acronym I've seen all day.
[ROFL]

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Itsame
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I just checked online, it occurs in the book of mormon 1,381 times.

Oh, and I wasn't actually enraged, more annoyed.

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Javert
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I imagine it's something like the "begats" in the Old and New Testaments.
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Farmgirl
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King James Version, I presume you are saying.......
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Javert
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I don't keep track of the edition of Bibles I look at, Farmgirl. I just mean the parts where they give incredibly long family listings. Even if they don't use the word "begat", I imagine they're all similar.
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Uprooted
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There was a book out in the 80s, I think, about BYU quarterbacks. It was called And They Came to Pass.
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DDDaysh
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That's hilarious uprooted... I think I would buy that book just cuz of the joke. I'm glad to hear that the Book of Mormon starts moving faster eventually... I'm slowly making my way through it, but Genesis, even with all the "begats" is faster flowing.
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Catseye1979
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Nephi is deffently a better ship builder and king then a writer but al the same I'm glad he wrote despite that fact. Yet I'm always glad when I get to the part when Mormon takes over narration, he's a pretty good writer and easier to read, which is probly why God had him do most the writing.
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Heffaji
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.....that rock & roll was born.....
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RunningBear
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I wish that my Calculus teacher would say that about my tests.
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Itsame
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! Heh, most of the time I am listening to the book of Mormon is during Calculus...
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Uprooted
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Aha, you are listening to it! Much easier to skim over those phrases when you're reading it. ;-)

Your calculus teacher lets you wear a headset in class???

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Occasional
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Well, I have to disagree with most of the comments here; although not so much about the "and it came to pass." By the way, Mark Twain said that if the Book of Mormon was to take out all the "and it came to pass" the book could be a pamplet.

First and Second Nephi are perhaps something you have to grow to like. I really love both of them, even the parts with Isaiah. I mean it is filled with Biblical allusions, Scriptural commentary, family fueds, prophecy, apocalyptics, and theological tidbits. The only other book I like better is Ether.

The Book of Mormon is not to be read like a novel (even if you think that is what it is), because it is a narrative based theological treaties. I learned to enjoy it far more when I dropped the preconcieved notions and daily reading quota and just read for it's teachings. Sadly, there isn't a very good commentary work on the Book of Mormon, other than Hugh Nibley's BofM Lecture series. The problem with him is he likes to work with a lot of isoteria and less on what it is saying.

For an idea of the possibilities of the Nephi books, listen to Margaret Barker's Worlds of Joseph Smith section. She isn't LDS, and it is hard to say how she feels about Mormonism. Here is a taste of what she had to say.

Oh, and I found thisprimer commentary when you get to the Isaiah quote sections.

I am sure you can ask some questions here about the book as you read along. You wouldn't be the first non-LDS who wants to read it after getting to know OSC's writings. Of course, that is unless OSC decides he doesn't want the topic discussed here.

[ November 25, 2006, 10:42 AM: Message edited by: Occasional ]

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Itsame
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Thanks, everyone! My reading/listening has been stunted a bit as my mp3 player broke the other day, but I guess I will listen to it on my computer. I will be sure to post any questions I have on here, as long as OSC doesn't mind.
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Orson Scott Card
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For the novel version, read Memory of Earth, Call of Earth, Ships of Earth, Earthfall, and Earthborn. My version's more readable because it has women in it.
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JLM
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
For the novel version, read Memory of Earth, Call of Earth, Ships of Earth, Earthfall, and Earthborn. My version's more readable because it has women in it.

Not to mention sex, nudity and graphic violence in gory detail.
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airmanfour
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Wow.
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DDDaysh
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JLM... that's called realistic! Besides, I don't remember any of the violence being terribly gory.... it's not like there were intestines spilling out all over the place all the time.

I like the novel versions alot... but I am curious to EVENTUALLY get through the real thing. Then again, one day I intend to get through the ENTIRE old testement too... but I usually get bogged down in the "must not look at the moon unless you've spun around three times" part. ;-)

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pooka
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"It came to pass" actually is one small word in both Hebrew and Arabic. And not all of the books suffer from that.
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rivka
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What word would that be?
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Steev
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"Itcametopass"
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Cashew
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http://www.restoredcovenant.org/Document.asp?CAT=Hebrew+Nature&DOC=Hebraisms+in+the+Book+of+Mormon&PAGE=2
"And It Came to Pass"
"And it came to pass" is probably the most frequently used phrase in the Book of Mormon. This phrase in the idiom of King James English is a render- ing of the Hebrew word vayehee. Its frequent use in the Book of Mormon is consistent with the frequent use of vayehee in the Old Testament Hebrew text. In J. A. Weingreen's A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrezv, the author comments concerning the meaning of this phrase, "This, rather than implying a continuation with what has preceded, has little more force (when translated) then 'now it happened"' (1959:92). This phrase, " and it came to pass," and the frequent use of "and" are two of the most important evidences of Hebrew language structure found in the Book of Mormon.

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rivka
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"Vayehi" would not be "and it came to pass." It would be "and it was." It's just the simple "to be" verb, in past tense singular (actually, it's in future tense, but the prefix "v" also reverses the tense of the verb -- it's called the vav ha'hipuch) with the prefix meaning "and" tacked on the front.

There are at least a couple of verbs that mean "to pass" (or variants thereof) in Biblical Hebrew. That is not one of them.

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Occasional
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Well, Rivka, it seems the meaning is pretty much the same. The difference might be "I did it yesterday" vs. "I did it the other day"
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rivka
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I was objecting to pooka's "one small word" statement. I also object to unnecessary changes in translation, but that's a whole nother story.
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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by JLM:
Not to mention sex, nudity and graphic violence in gory detail.

Huzzah! Sounds like a party. I'll bring the <s>champagne</s> sparkling cider.
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pooka
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I do have Arabic and Hebrew translations of the Book of Mormon (N.B. the Hebrew translation is from the Community of Christ and not the LDS church) that use the little word. "It came to pass" means "it happened that" and not any actual passing. "Then..." would actually be an okay translation, in my opinion.

They even used it for "Wherefore, it came to pass..."

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rivka
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The fact that someone chose it as a best translation, regardless of whether I (or any other translator) might agree with the choice, does not mean that is what the word MEANS.

And yes, I know what "pass" means in English -- there are similar words in other languages, that can refer both to movement through time or space.

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pooka
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But I wouldn't say "happened" and "came to pass" are the same. Though if there were a convention of using one or the other, I might stick with it. I'm saying that Joseph Smith decided to use the King James convention of translating that phrase, which was the same reason the translators of The Book of Mormon into Arabic and Hebrew put it back to vayehi. The translators were, by the way, not church members. At least in the case of the Arabic translation. Like I said, the Hebrew was by a different organization.

Edit: I guess I should ask, is your contention that "and it came to pass" is a bad translation of Wahaditha or the other way around? Also, I checked and the Book of Mormon was actually translated by "Hebrew Translations Inc." and distributed by the Community of Christ. My contention being there was not a motive on the part of the translators to reveal a semitic provenance of the book.

[ December 03, 2006, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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rivka
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I have no opinion on Arabic translation to or from English -- I don't speak the language.

Convention or no, it's not a good translation to/from vayehi. I'm not talking about motive. I could care less. Just about whether it's a good translation.

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pooka
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But in which direction?
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rivka
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Both.
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pooka
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So what would you prefer in each instance?
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rivka
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I already expressed a preference from the Hebrew to English.

As for going from English to Hebrew, I'm not seeing the point, so . . .

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pooka
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But you said "both".
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Lisa
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FWIW, even though "It came to pass" is not a good literal translation of vayehi, it is certainly a good idiomatic translation.

Vayehi, achar ha-devarim ha-eileh literally translates as "And it was, after these things." But that's cruddy English. "And it came to pass, after these things" is better from the POV of English narrative. It captures the intent of the original Hebrew.

When translating, you often have to decide whether to go with literal translations that are stilted and funny sounding in the new language, and don't really convey the original sense of the words, or whether you want to give the original sense without worrying so much about the meaning of each word.

When I was in college, we used to go around looking at every Bible translation we could find, and check out the beginning of Psalms 23. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." One of them, I remember, cracked us all up with, "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need." But truth to tell, that's a valid translation of the sentence, if not the individual words in the sentence.

After all, how would you translate "and it came to pass" into Hebrew if not vayehi.

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