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README

README for Brass Plates project

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the Brass Plates project is to determine, as much as
possible, the exact contents of the Brass Plates mentioned in the Book
of Mormon.  The technique for determining those contents is a
combination of textual transmission and scriptural quotes within the
Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon provides detailed descriptions of various groups
which splintered away from other groups.  Sometimes they brought
records with them and sometimes they didn't.  Oftentimes, these groups
rejoined at a later date.  Based on these descriptions, we can
determine approximately how religious texts were transmitted among
these various groups.

The Book of Mormon often appears to quote from the Bible.  In some
places, those quotes appear to be anachronisms.  Such passages are best
explained by positing a third, unknown passage which the Bible and
Book of Mormon are both quoting.

By correlating information about textual transmission and quotation,
one should be able to triangulate the approximate origin of some
quotations.  A subset of those origins will provide contents of the
Brass Plates.

AN EXAMPLE

Run "perl picture.pl" to generate graph.png  This image charts textual
transmission in portions of the Bible and Book of Mormon.  Then look
at quotes.ttl for the scriptures related to "grow up as calves of the
stall".  Pin point each of those verses along an edge of the
transmission graph.  Trace upward along those edges until you find the
most recent, common ancestor.  In this case, the node is labeled "Lehi
leaves Jerusalem".  Based on this textual ancestry, we know that the
phrase "grow up as calves of the stall" originated sometime before
Lehi left Jerusalem.  Because of the edges we traced, we can also
infer that that passage was included in the Brass Plates.

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

Copyright (C) 2009 Michael Hendricks <michael@ndrix.org>

The data portions of this work are licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 United States License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/).  The software portions are
licensed under the MIT License.
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