There are 17 thoughts on “Revisiting “Sariah” at Elephantine”.

  1. I am perfectly happy to accept that Seriah was a name among a community of Aramaic-speaking Jews living in Southern Egypt under Persian rule in the fifth century BCE.

    What is that supposed to prove about a Hebrew-speaking Jew named Sariah who lived roughly two centuries earlier and not in Egypt or the (then non-existent) Persian empire?

  2. How do you explain “sariah” in this book circa 1822?

    Given this, “only” seems out of place here:

    “While this could simply be due to the limitations of [Page 6]our available data set,17 it is also possible the attestation of ŚRYH as a woman’s name both in the Book of Mormon and at Elephantine and only in these sources, reflects a specifically northern Israelite practice.”

    • It seems relatively obvious that Rappleye was referring to the Hebrew name Sariah, that it had not yet been discovered to counter the criticisms noting that Sariah was not a Hebrew (female) name. Regardless of whether the name existed in English or not, the argument was that it did not exist in Hebrew; thus, his point and discovery.

    • Sure this wasn’t a boy’s name?
      “Sara’s son Sariah Lashbrook’s horse was shot from under him and he was captured while serving in the Confederacy. He was taken to Camp Chase, a prison in Ohio….When she reached Camp
      Chase, her son Sariah begged her to “ask him out of prison” to die.

      • Using the 19th Century US census I find it as both a boy’s name and a girl’s name. The use for girls is much higher than for boys. Also I find it in use as a girls name prior to 1830.

    • The question that brother Rappleye’s article is attempting to answer is: Was Sariah an ancient name? i.e. was it around in 600 BC? The question is not: Was it around in 1822?

      If the answer to the first question is yes (which this article affirms), then it is another drop in the bucket of evidence that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text.

      • The answer to the first question being yes simply means that a name is ancient and was used for both males and females anciently.

        That the name was in use for both males and females, during the time when the Book of Mormon was printed provides a plausible source for that name being found in the Book of Mormon.

        Neal’s statement of “only in these sources” is misleading and could influence some to think that the name Sariah is unique and only found in the Book of Mormon and the Elephantine papyri. If it really were only found in those two sources, that would be a huge drop in the bucket of evidence for the Book of Mormon. But that isn’t the case and in a scholarly journal, it would be appropriate to include the simple fact that the name was in use for both males and females in the United States and Europe before, during and after the Book of Mormon was written.

        • In good faith, I encourage you to read again the paragraph in question. In it, brother Rappleye is discussing Sariah as an ancient male name vs. Sariah as an ancient female name. He points out that Sariah is an ancient male name in other contemporary ancient sources and is an ancient female name in only these two ancient sources. (Thereby leading to a possible connection between the two sources and Northern Israel)

          He is not trying to mislead anybody. He discussed all the relevant ancient sources that refer to Sariah and rightly concluded that only two ancient sources use the name as female. In the context of both that paragraph and the entire article, it is not an omission not note any 1800’s reference to the same name and then speculate that Joseph Smith copied the name from the his environment. Even a small reference to such a thing in the middle of that paragraph would be disjointed, shoehorned, and out of place. And it would correctly be removed by the editors of this or any other reputable scholarly journal.

          • I would very much like to see a response from Neal. I tend to disagree with your reasoning that it would be out of place in a reputable scholarly journal. On the contrary, such clarification is essential to separate this journal from the caliber of publications such as the Epoch Times or the Ancient American Magazine.

            There are many cases where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints have been led to believe that the name Sariah is only found in the Book of Mormon. Here is just one example, written by the founder of this very journal.

            “The name of Lehi’s wife Sariah, for example, previously invisible outside the Book of Mormon, has now been found in ancient Jewish documents from Egypt.”

            Such confusion could be avoided by simply including established facts.

            • I am not Neal, and don’t presume to answer for him. However, I can suggest that your issue with the article is based on an assumption of what its intention might have been, and not what it says. What you are suggesting is that the name Sariah cannot be used as a proof of the Book of Mormon, because it was also possible to derive the name from a modern context. That is correct.

              However, that isn’t what the article is doing. The article begins with an assumption that is based on the assumed audience (LDS) and therefore examines only the ancient context of the name. Thus, it is suggesting that the name Sariah cannot disprove the Book of Mormon. That is quite different from the question you think it is attempting to answer.

              So, it is true that Sariah cannot prove the Book of Mormon true. It is also true that it cannot prove it modern instead of ancient. Since the article attempts only the second, there is no reason to decry what it never attempted to do.

  3. Pingback: Revisiting “Sariah” at Elephantine - The Mormonist

  4. Prove? I doubt it proves anything save that the name is attested in antiquity in a similar region. Rather than wondering what it proves, consider a basketball analogy. Proving might be like scoring a basket. This is more like a blocked shot. It doesn’t change the score of the game for the defenders, but also isn’t a score for the offense.

    Blocked shots don’t add to the score, but no coach would argue that they don’t matter.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

All comments are moderated to ensure respectful discourse. It is assumed that it is possible to disagree agreeably and intelligently and comments that intend to increase overall understanding are particularly encouraged. Individual authors are given the option to disallow commenting or end commenting after a certain period at their discretion.

Close this window

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This