Richard Packham has pointed out that several Biblical Hebrew names, including Aaron, Ephraim, and Levi are listed as Jaredites in the Book of Ether. He argues that these are anachronisms, since the Jaredites are supposed to have originated from the time of the Tower of Babel, and did not speak Hebrew.
Perennial ex-Mormon gadfly Richard Packham apparently fails to understand that the Book of Mormon is a translation, and translations render ancient words — including names — into modern forms that didn’t exist at the time.
For example, in the New Testament, there are several individuals named “James”, including an apostle and a bishop of Jerusalem. However, there was no name “James” in Greek during the first century A.D.; that word is a late-twelfth century Middle English form of the late Latin Jacomus, which itself derives from old Latin Jacobus. All of these are translations of the Koine Greek ιακωβον (Iakobos), which is a Greek version of the Hebrew יעקב (Ya’aqob), which itself is typically rendered in English as “Jacob.”
So Packham could also argue — erroneously — that the presence of “James” in the New Testament is an anachronism, since its Greek-speaking authors did not know Middle English.
When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he naturally would have rendered ancient names into equivalent English forms that modern readers would understand.
Once again, for the record: The Book of Mormon is a translation. The presence of English (or even French) words in it does not mean that its writers knew English; only that Joseph Smith, the translator did.
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