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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 1:44PM #1
mercedes62
Posts: 36
I heard that Anti means "like"
So the Anti Nephi Lehis were not Nephites but were LIKE them.

Can anybody hear give the reference for this meaning of "anti"

This fits nicely into the meaning of the Anti Christ which is LIKE him but is not Him.

Just wondering where it was I got that definition from.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 3:58PM #2
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206
[QUOTE=mercedes62;803514]I heard that Anti means "like"
So the Anti Nephi Lehis were not Nephites but were LIKE them.

Can anybody hear give the reference for this meaning of "anti"

This fits nicely into the meaning of the Anti Christ which is LIKE him but is not Him.

Just wondering where it was I got that definition from.[/QUOTE]

One has to be careful.  There are words with similar orthographies and sounds but with very different origins and meaning.  "Homo," for example, always evokes a chuckle from my seventh-graders.  They don't know that, in Latin, "homin, homino" means "man."  That's why we have words like homicide, human, humanities, homo sapiens, hominoid, homage, and the like.  But there's an identical Greek word, "homo," which means "the same."  This is the source of a bunch of other words, such as homosexual, homogenize, homophone, etc.

Different languages, different meanings, same spelling.

The Greek word, "anti," means "opposite" or "against."  It has become a common prefix for words like anti-American, anti-Mormon, anti-democratic, etc.  It is the prefix found in the word, "antiChrist."  It literally means, "against Christ."  The nice thing about a word like this is that it's not only Greek but the term, antichrist, was originally written in Greek and is part of the New Testament.  For a nice treatment of this, see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, which is available online at:

http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexi … =500&t=KJV

The word "anti," used in the Book of Mormon, is probably not Greek.  Its exact derivation is anybody's guess.  It is not a word presented for its meaning but part of a name which (giving the book all credit due) would have been transferred directly over from the original language.  It's as if Joseph Smith were repeating a term used by the Nephites, none of whom were speaking English or Greek.  If their language was reformed Egyptian, some Spanglish between Hebrew and Egyptian, the next step would be to look at both languages for words or sounds that would help this word make some sense to us in English.

In the case of both the Hebrews and the Egyptians, the use of vowels was almost nonexistent.  Ancient Phoenicians (developed by the Carthaginians of North Africa) is related to Hebrew, which is related to Arabic.  The Phoenicians are the ones credited for developing a writing system based on consonants, rather than syllables (Sumerian Cuneiform) or pictures/ideas (Hieroglyphic pictographs and ideographs).  It would not be until the Greeks that vowels were inserted.  Our word, "alphabet," is a combination of the Greeks' first vowel "alpha" with the Greeks' first consonant, "beta." 

In the meantime, Hebrews, Canaanites, Egyptians, Arabs and those North-African Carthaginians (who might have been the Phoenicians), had developed a short form of writing, one based on consonants.  This was driven by the needs of trade.  At a time when most people were illiterate, traders still needed to keep inventories and maintain accurate book-keeping.  Hieroglyphic writing took too long and was too complex.  Sumerian Cunieform reduced words to their syllables, but that meant a clerk had to memorize 300 characters.  With a simplified consonantal text, a trader could learn 22 symbols and be able to keep accurate books.  Whatever is meant by "reformed Egyptian" could not have been much different than this.

That being the case, a word written by Joseph Smith as "anti" would have represented a word with a sound similar to an English word Joseph Smith was familiar with.  It's clear, from a basic perusal of the text, that Joseph Smith had no problem borrowing anachronistic terms like "synagogue," "Christ," "apostle" et cetera, if it helped him "translate."  Joseph Smith, after all, had a somewhat limited vocabulary.  But just because the word is written as "anti" in the Book of Mormon, that doesn't mean that's how the word was originally spelled.  Assuming the writers of the Book of Mormon were using a similar method of consonantal writing as their ancestors (and without asking whether pronunciation changed over a thousand years), the word's actual consonantal root would have been NTY.  It could have been anti, onti, unty, oonty, a-anti, a-onti, etc.

Whatever training I have would send me looking for prepositions, which are often used as prefixes.  Look at how Latin uses its prepositions as a source for Latinate prefixes:

ad - to (adverb, a word that modifies a verb)
ante - in front of, before (anteroom, a room one goes through first on the way to another room)
circum - around (circumstantial, surrounding)
contra - against (contradict, to speak against)
extra - outside (extra-territorial, outside the territory)
post - after (postscript)

HEBREW PREPOSITIONS

leefney (before)
eem (with)
ad (until)
akhar (after)
et (with)
el (to, toward)
al (upon, on, above)
beyn (between)
takhat (under, instead of)
min (from, out of)
betoch (within, in the midst of)

No sale.  I don't see anything here.

EGYPTIAN PREPOSITIONS

in - by
m - in
n - to, for
r - toward
mi - like
Hna - together, with
Hr - upon
xnt - at the head of
xr - near
Xr - under
dr - since
tp - atop

I was going to make a list of Coptic and Demotic prepositions but I'm getting a headache.  I need to eat and the sites are just not pulling up as easily as I'd like.  You may want to google coptic and demotic prepositions, to see if you've come up with anything.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 3:58PM #3
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206
Here's something.  While going through Latin, I noticed "ante," a preposition related to, but different in meaning from "anti" but one often pronounced the same way.  It's not impossible that Joseph Smith's dictation would have produced "anti" when "ante" was meant.  "Ante" means "before" or "in front of."  As a prefix, it is often used to mean "prior"  or "prior to."

Let's look at the word, as used in its Book of Mormon context:

16 And now it came to pass that the king and those who were converted were desirous that they might have a name, that thereby they might be distinguished from their brethren; therefore the king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, concerning the name that they should take upon them, that they might be distinguished.
17 And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi-Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.
(Alma 23:16-17)

1 And it came to pass that the Amalekites and the Amulonites and the Lamanites who were in the land of Amulon, and also in the land of Helam, and who were in the land of Jerusalem, and in fine, in all the land round about, who had not been converted and had not taken upon them the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, were stirred up by the Amalekites and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren. (Alma 24:1)

There's at least one blogger out there who thinks the term may have been used by these people to say they were Lehites, not of Nephite origin.  http://mormonmatters.org/2008/03/13/ant … -doctrine/

Reading through Alma 23, the context is that of Lamanites who were converted to the Gospel while living in their homeland.  Upon their conversion, they did not want to be called Lamanites any longer.  On the other hand, calling them Nephites, particularly while living among the Lamanites, would not have been very wise.  The idea was to distinguish themselves from the other Lamanites.  The result, "anti-Nephi-Lehies," can be read one of two ways.  They were either "not" Nephi Lehies (Lehites, not of the lineage of Nephi) or "ante" or "prior to" Nephi Lehies (Lehites whose ancestry predates that of the Nephites, essentially because they descend from Laman and Lemuel).  This latter possibility suggests a politician's use of the language.  What do you call a Lamanite who doesn't want to call himself a Lamanite?  Surely, you don't call him a Nephite.  Perhaps the wisest course is to use the Lamanite mantra, "Our people are older.  They are the original descendents of Lehi."

Here is the genius of this passage.  I don't see any evidence of a Hebrew origin.  I don't see any Egyptian.  I don't see any Nibleyesque arguments that can be made to turn an apple into a banana.  What I do see is a remarkable microcosm of the Restored Gospel.  Anybody can point out obvious similarities between the exodus of the Nephites and the later exodus of the Mormons.  Anybody can point out how the Book of Mormon utilizes a lot of father-son relationships (Lehi/Nephi, Benjamin/Mosiah, Alma/Alma, Mormon/Moroni).  Anybody can point out how Joseph Smith just happened to pen passages in the Book of Mormon speaking of a future Joseph, son of Joseph, and descendent of Joseph, would write many great things.

But here's one of those cool arguments people miss.

The Lamanites, upon their conversion, seek out a name change.  They don't take upon them the name of the Nephites.  They, instead, take upon themselves the oldest name available: Lehi.  But as a word like "Lehites" could be applied to both the Lamanites and the Nephites, they choose a distinction that marks them as "Lehites" but as the earlier tribe.  All Lamanites would have taken pride in the claim that their people were technically older than the Nephites, that their people were the original descendents of Lehi.  But while adopting a similar claim, these converts sought to distinguish themselves from ordinary Lamanites, for an obvious reason.  The Lamanites, as a whole, had fallen away from the original faith.  The Nephites were claiming to have that original faith, but they were a separatist sect, living outside the mainstream of ancient America.  In the world of the Book of Mormon, the vast majority of people are Lamanites, even if - to be a Lamanite - meant to have lost the original faith of Lehi.  In declaring themselves "anti-Nephi Lehies," these people were cleverly arguing that they were Lamanites with the original faith. 

If, after all, a Lamanite could embrace the Gospel, why should he or she give up the heritage of the firstborn son of Lehi?  Why not avoid the racial conflicts between Nephites and Lamanites by proclaiming that the Gospel is not a racial or cultural thing but, as we might call it today, a truly "open" operating system, capable of being plugged into any culture? 

The genius of this story is that it mirrors the restoration narrative.  People who convert to the Gospel reject the systems around them (Nephites, Lamanites) to invent something new (anti-Nephi Lehies) based on something old.  Mormonism claims to have the original Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It looks at Catholicism and Protestantism, not as older brothers but as digressions away from the original Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Mormons are, in their own way, anti-Nephi Lehies.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 3:58PM #4
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206
[QUOTE=mercedes62;803514]I heard that Anti means "like"
So the Anti Nephi Lehis were not Nephites but were LIKE them.

Can anybody hear give the reference for this meaning of "anti"

This fits nicely into the meaning of the Anti Christ which is LIKE him but is not Him.

Just wondering where it was I got that definition from.[/QUOTE]

One has to be careful.  There are words with similar orthographies and sounds but with very different origins and meaning.  "Homo," for example, always evokes a chuckle from my seventh-graders.  They don't know that, in Latin, "homin, homino" means "man."  That's why we have words like homicide, human, humanities, homo sapiens, hominoid, homage, and the like.  But there's an identical Greek word, "homo," which means "the same."  This is the source of a bunch of other words, such as homosexual, homogenize, homophone, etc.

Different languages, different meanings, same spelling.

The Greek word, "anti," means "opposite" or "against."  It has become a common prefix for words like anti-American, anti-Mormon, anti-democratic, etc.  It is the prefix found in the word, "antiChrist."  It literally means, "against Christ."  The nice thing about a word like this is that it's not only Greek but the term, antichrist, was originally written in Greek and is part of the New Testament.  For a nice treatment of this, see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, which is available online at:

http://cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexi … =500&t=KJV

The word "anti," used in the Book of Mormon, is probably not Greek.  Its exact derivation is anybody's guess.  It is not a word presented for its meaning but part of a name which (giving the book all credit due) would have been transferred directly over from the original language.  It's as if Joseph Smith were repeating a term used by the Nephites, none of whom were speaking English or Greek.  If their language was reformed Egyptian, some Spanglish between Hebrew and Egyptian, the next step would be to look at both languages for words or sounds that would help this word make some sense to us in English.

In the case of both the Hebrews and the Egyptians, the use of vowels was almost nonexistent.  Ancient Phoenicians (developed by the Carthaginians of North Africa) is related to Hebrew, which is related to Arabic.  The Phoenicians are the ones credited for developing a writing system based on consonants, rather than syllables (Sumerian Cuneiform) or pictures/ideas (Hieroglyphic pictographs and ideographs).  It would not be until the Greeks that vowels were inserted.  Our word, "alphabet," is a combination of the Greeks' first vowel "alpha" with the Greeks' first consonant, "beta." 

In the meantime, Hebrews, Canaanites, Egyptians, Arabs and those North-African Carthaginians (who might have been the Phoenicians), had developed a short form of writing, one based on consonants.  This was driven by the needs of trade.  At a time when most people were illiterate, traders still needed to keep inventories and maintain accurate book-keeping.  Hieroglyphic writing took too long and was too complex.  Sumerian Cunieform reduced words to their syllables, but that meant a clerk had to memorize 300 characters.  With a simplified consonantal text, a trader could learn 22 symbols and be able to keep accurate books.  Whatever is meant by "reformed Egyptian" could not have been much different than this.

That being the case, a word written by Joseph Smith as "anti" would have represented a word with a sound similar to an English word Joseph Smith was familiar with.  It's clear, from a basic perusal of the text, that Joseph Smith had no problem borrowing anachronistic terms like "synagogue," "Christ," "apostle" et cetera, if it helped him "translate."  Joseph Smith, after all, had a somewhat limited vocabulary.  But just because the word is written as "anti" in the Book of Mormon, that doesn't mean that's how the word was originally spelled.  Assuming the writers of the Book of Mormon were using a similar method of consonantal writing as their ancestors (and without asking whether pronunciation changed over a thousand years), the word's actual consonantal root would have been NTY.  It could have been anti, onti, unty, oonty, a-anti, a-onti, etc.

Whatever training I have would send me looking for prepositions, which are often used as prefixes.  Look at how Latin uses its prepositions as a source for Latinate prefixes:

ad - to (adverb, a word that modifies a verb)
ante - in front of, before (anteroom, a room one goes through first on the way to another room)
circum - around (circumstantial, surrounding)
contra - against (contradict, to speak against)
extra - outside (extra-territorial, outside the territory)
post - after (postscript)

HEBREW PREPOSITIONS

leefney (before)
eem (with)
ad (until)
akhar (after)
et (with)
el (to, toward)
al (upon, on, above)
beyn (between)
takhat (under, instead of)
min (from, out of)
betoch (within, in the midst of)

No sale.  I don't see anything here.

EGYPTIAN PREPOSITIONS

in - by
m - in
n - to, for
r - toward
mi - like
Hna - together, with
Hr - upon
xnt - at the head of
xr - near
Xr - under
dr - since
tp - atop

I was going to make a list of Coptic and Demotic prepositions but I'm getting a headache.  I need to eat and the sites are just not pulling up as easily as I'd like.  You may want to google coptic and demotic prepositions, to see if you've come up with anything.
Quick Reply
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 3:58PM #5
BillThinks4Himself
Posts: 3,206
Here's something.  While going through Latin, I noticed "ante," a preposition related to, but different in meaning from "anti" but one often pronounced the same way.  It's not impossible that Joseph Smith's dictation would have produced "anti" when "ante" was meant.  "Ante" means "before" or "in front of."  As a prefix, it is often used to mean "prior"  or "prior to."

Let's look at the word, as used in its Book of Mormon context:

16 And now it came to pass that the king and those who were converted were desirous that they might have a name, that thereby they might be distinguished from their brethren; therefore the king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, concerning the name that they should take upon them, that they might be distinguished.
17 And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi-Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.
(Alma 23:16-17)

1 And it came to pass that the Amalekites and the Amulonites and the Lamanites who were in the land of Amulon, and also in the land of Helam, and who were in the land of Jerusalem, and in fine, in all the land round about, who had not been converted and had not taken upon them the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, were stirred up by the Amalekites and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren. (Alma 24:1)

There's at least one blogger out there who thinks the term may have been used by these people to say they were Lehites, not of Nephite origin.  http://mormonmatters.org/2008/03/13/ant … -doctrine/

Reading through Alma 23, the context is that of Lamanites who were converted to the Gospel while living in their homeland.  Upon their conversion, they did not want to be called Lamanites any longer.  On the other hand, calling them Nephites, particularly while living among the Lamanites, would not have been very wise.  The idea was to distinguish themselves from the other Lamanites.  The result, "anti-Nephi-Lehies," can be read one of two ways.  They were either "not" Nephi Lehies (Lehites, not of the lineage of Nephi) or "ante" or "prior to" Nephi Lehies (Lehites whose ancestry predates that of the Nephites, essentially because they descend from Laman and Lemuel).  This latter possibility suggests a politician's use of the language.  What do you call a Lamanite who doesn't want to call himself a Lamanite?  Surely, you don't call him a Nephite.  Perhaps the wisest course is to use the Lamanite mantra, "Our people are older.  They are the original descendents of Lehi."

Here is the genius of this passage.  I don't see any evidence of a Hebrew origin.  I don't see any Egyptian.  I don't see any Nibleyesque arguments that can be made to turn an apple into a banana.  What I do see is a remarkable microcosm of the Restored Gospel.  Anybody can point out obvious similarities between the exodus of the Nephites and the later exodus of the Mormons.  Anybody can point out how the Book of Mormon utilizes a lot of father-son relationships (Lehi/Nephi, Benjamin/Mosiah, Alma/Alma, Mormon/Moroni).  Anybody can point out how Joseph Smith just happened to pen passages in the Book of Mormon speaking of a future Joseph, son of Joseph, and descendent of Joseph, would write many great things.

But here's one of those cool arguments people miss.

The Lamanites, upon their conversion, seek out a name change.  They don't take upon them the name of the Nephites.  They, instead, take upon themselves the oldest name available: Lehi.  But as a word like "Lehites" could be applied to both the Lamanites and the Nephites, they choose a distinction that marks them as "Lehites" but as the earlier tribe.  All Lamanites would have taken pride in the claim that their people were technically older than the Nephites, that their people were the original descendents of Lehi.  But while adopting a similar claim, these converts sought to distinguish themselves from ordinary Lamanites, for an obvious reason.  The Lamanites, as a whole, had fallen away from the original faith.  The Nephites were claiming to have that original faith, but they were a separatist sect, living outside the mainstream of ancient America.  In the world of the Book of Mormon, the vast majority of people are Lamanites, even if - to be a Lamanite - meant to have lost the original faith of Lehi.  In declaring themselves "anti-Nephi Lehies," these people were cleverly arguing that they were Lamanites with the original faith. 

If, after all, a Lamanite could embrace the Gospel, why should he or she give up the heritage of the firstborn son of Lehi?  Why not avoid the racial conflicts between Nephites and Lamanites by proclaiming that the Gospel is not a racial or cultural thing but, as we might call it today, a truly "open" operating system, capable of being plugged into any culture? 

The genius of this story is that it mirrors the restoration narrative.  People who convert to the Gospel reject the systems around them (Nephites, Lamanites) to invent something new (anti-Nephi Lehies) based on something old.  Mormonism claims to have the original Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It looks at Catholicism and Protestantism, not as older brothers but as digressions away from the original Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Mormons are, in their own way, anti-Nephi Lehies.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 9:57PM #6
moksha8088
Posts: 4,946
The use of anti does seem misleading because pro-Nephi Lehites would have made sense.  I suspect there was some confusion as to the meaning of anti.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 04, 2008 - 10:00PM #7
moksha8088
Posts: 4,946
Of course,  there could be more to the story.  Perhaps they found that Nephi murdering the sleeping Laban and then stealing his sword to be not of their liking.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 06, 2008 - 3:31PM #8
Desimans
Posts: 280
I don't examine too closely the choice of words in the BoM.  I try to feel what's behind them.  There are many modern languages that do not have direct translations of words or phrases between them, and then one is left trying to convey the feeling behind the original translation even though handicapped by the limitations of the new language.  When I first read the BoM, I took Anti-Nephi-Lehies to mean these people were making a distinction between following the current "Nephite" line, and their choice to follow what they perceived as the original belief system of Nephi son of Lehi.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2008 - 2:09PM #9
moksha8088
Posts: 4,946
Did you know that there are some BYU students who don't want jean shorts to be allowed on campus?

They call themselves the anti-knee-high-levis.
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