Sunday, January 6, 2008

Book of Mormon names

I'm kind of jumping ahead of my schedule here, but someone -- I wish I could remember on what website -- recently poked fun at the name of one of the early characters in the Book of Mormon, Sam, the brother of Nephi.

"That's a Yankee name, not a Hebrew one," she wrote.

Well, tell the current leader of North Korea or many other Koreans that Kim is an American girl's name and see what they have to say about that.

Sam, according to the late apologist Hugh Nibley, who spoke Arabic, Egyptian and Hebrew, is a perfectly good Egyptian name, the normal Arabic form of Shem and possibly even a Hebrew dialectic version of that same name.


Anonymous said...

The comment comes from Marian Bodine's article "BOOK OF MORMON VS. THE BIBLE (OR COMMON SENSE)"

Clifford said...

Thank you, Anon. Just goes to show that people who know nothing about Semitic culture, language, etc., are not qualified to criticize a book that purports to be from that milieu.

For example, that strange "Aha" character also found in the Book puzzled me for years.

Some might say Joseph Smith just chopped the "b" off Ahab, a familiar Biblical character.

I disagree. Other Hebrew names appear in full in the Book, such as Jacob, Joseph, Ishmael, Noah and Gideon. Why would the prophet break his style to amputate Ahab?

Far more compelling is the fact that a great, ancient Egyptian general bore that very name.