Here's what I think of Nahom.
1. The LDS church has not endorsed any proposed location. Until then, claims made by apologists remain personal opinion and speculative.
2. The proposed link between Nahom and the Nihm tribe and altar inscriptions are based on linguistic assumptions:
The exact equivalency of the root letters cannot be assured. It is probable that the term Nahom was spelled with the rasped or fricative Hebrew letter for "h" (het or chet) whereas the name Nihm, both in modern Arabic and in the ancient Sabaean dialect, is spelled with a softer, less audible h sound... One has to assume, it seems to me, that when the members of Lehi's party heard the local name for "the place that was called Nahom" they associated the sound of that local name with the term *Nahom, a Hebrew word that was familiar to and had meaning for them.
S. Kent Brown, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Vol.8, Iss.1, pp.66-68
3. A linguistic link to Hebrew
is also an assumption, as the Book of Mormon was written in Reformed Egyptian
4. The name of a tribe does not give us a place
a. Today the Nihm tribe reside about 25 miles north of Sana'a, Yemen. This is not evidence that a location named NHM existed in 600 B.C.
b. The 7th-6th century altar inscription that reads: son of Naw'an the Nihmite
is also not evidence that there was a place
called NHM in 600 B.C. We have to make another assumption that the tribe was predominant at the time to have its area of residence called after itself and that is was in line with Lehi's travel.
There is no confirmed 600 B.C. placed called NHM.
5. 1 Ne. 17:4 informs us that the journey from Jerusalem to Bountiful took 8 years. The men took wives in the valley of Lemuel (1 Ne. 16:6-7). The women gave birth around Nahom (1 Ne. 17:1). For this reason, in the Journey of Faith
DVD, S. Kent Brown deduces that it took them 1 year to reach Nahom from Jerusalem. This means Lehi and company spent the next 7 years crossing the Rub' al Khali nearly eastward
to reach Bountiful. If there were a group of Jews traveling down the Arabian peninsula, it's preposterous that they would have abandoned the watering holes of the Frankincense Trail to cross the Empty Quarter. That's suicide, and is a fatal flaw to the Nahom/Bountiful model ignored by apologists.
Edited by jmordecai, 20 February 2011 - 10:07 PM.
Atheism: the belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything, and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.