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Dangit Dave, I hate it when you go and do this to me (us)! I used to like the idea that the "canonized" version of the First Vision had the wrong date on it, and that 1823 or 1824 made much more sense because A) Joseph would have been a bit older and more mature, thereby adding credibility to his claims of receiving visions, and B) less time between the event in the grove and the beginning of his ministry allows less room for him to re-think what happened in the grove. Alas, leave it to Quinn to dig up this latest. Gotta love him for that.

So, after skimming through this new article, I guess I'm back to the 1820 date (dangit!).

Dave, this is cool. Keep it coming.

I never understood what the whole hullabaloo was over the date anyway. Goes to show that the absence of evidence can't really be taken as evidence of absence. I know historians really want to be able to piece together the past and get excited when they think they have found a new revision, but how perfectly can we really create the past if we were not there? Sometimes even if we were. HIstory is a worthy study. We can certainly learn from the mistakes of the past, but I never understood what was to be gained about the assumed date of the revival being different from the 1838 account. And the point is ...

It seems like a lot of work for some pretty small minutia.

Doc, I disagree. Walters, especially, used the discrepancy to (successfully in many circles) discredit Joseph's theophany. Quinn opens it right up to show that Walters was disingenuous at best with his evidence and outflanks the conservative scholars. I find it really quite significant.


Certainly I agree this shows Walters was disingenuous. Happily this is a good thing, and the fact that it was Michael Quinn who discovered it certainly bolsters its credibility in academic circles. I just wonder which circles did this argument stand for so long as convincing.

I would think a "neutral" party might have realized the argument did not "prove" anything when it was first made. I don't understand why this was ever considered "proof" in the first place.

Admittedly, I am not extremely well read on the this, but it seems to me that Walters argued that because the major revival he referred to was in 1823-24 that therefore everything Joseph said had to be a low down dirty lie. I don't understand that logic. I guess it works if you are predisposed to believe everything Joseph said was a lie, but academically and objectively it really does not seem to me to prove anything one way or the other.

Reading between the lines of Quinn's article, I seemed to sense some hostility toward Bushman's work. (Hostility is too strong a word, but I can't think of a softer one just now.) The quotes Quinn chose to use from Bushman seem calculated to make him look inept. The Bushman quotes Dave selected above cast him in a much more favorable light.

Maybe I'm reading too much into Quinn's writing. Is it normal to cite authorship of a book with quotes? Bushman "with"
Woodworth (see notes 199 and 217). Does Quinn think Bushman cheated Jed Woodworth by not listing him as a full co-author? Maybe the "with" is a normal practice that I just hadn't noticed before.

Bradley, Bushman actually went out of his way to give Woodworth credit for his research and editing assistance. I think Quinn was doing the same thing, expressly acknowledging Woodworth's role in doing the research and footnotes.

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