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canard78

So There's No Archaeological Evidence For The Book Of Mormon?

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Do the macauitls blades rust like the sword blades mentioned in Mosiah 8:11?

The blades mentioned in this passage are not nephite in origin. They are from the jaradites who were likely contemporaries, if not numbered among, the Olmec cultural group. The Olmecs did work in metals. Consequently, the reference you provided is a bulls eye for the book of mormon that is the very type of archaeological proof that the critics are clamoring for but is, not surprisingly, rejected. 

 

I would ask you, how could Joseph know that metal work existed in this part of the world at the time the book of mormon suggests it did? 

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Do the macauitls blades rust like the sword blades mentioned in Mosiah 8:11?

 

According to Ixtlilxochitl, the Aztecs sometimes used iron instead of obsidian to line the edges of their blade. A large quantity of (cold) worked iron has been found from Olmec sites, generally small bits and pieces, iron mirrors and such. They certainly could have used small pieces of sharpened iron along the edges of macuitls, which could rust.

 

A late 19th century commentator who was skeptical of Ixtlilxochitl's reference to iron studded macuitls nonetheless thought that perhaps they used "copper [tempered] to the hardness of steel," a relevant point, given Stargazer's arguments in the preceding comments.  

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Omni, searching for anachronisms in the Book of Mormon is a fun hobby, I am sure, but we do not have the original text.  All we have is a translated text which, regardless of whether God inspired it or not, must needs conform to English vocabulary, grammar and syntax.  God had to choose the words which would be used, and it had to be understandable, so that people could relate to the story. 

 

Were the Jaredite swords actual steel? Hardened copper (bronze)?  Something else?  I have no idea.  The Lord didn't supply the metallurgical details.

 

From my mission I can read, speak and understand German.  While English is a Germanic language, and there are similarities.  But there are things which are easy to express in German that are more complicated in English.  And vice versa.  Ancient languages such as the Nephite version of Hebrew was doubtless quite different from classical Hebrew, and probably contained lots of loanwords from the surrounding non-Nephite populations as well.  And doubtless concepts easy to express in, for example, Nahuatl, but not Hebrew and not English either.

 

My Indian ancestors didn't have a word for horse or for cow.  Since horses and cows vaguely resemble deer they used their word for deer: ku-mi.  When the first Europeans (Spanish explorers) came through the area of today's Butte County, California, the word came through the Konkow (Koyom'kawi) people that these strange men rode on the backs of big ku-mi.  Suppose they wrote this down (they didn't have writing), and you came across the document.  You'd possibly translate this as "The Spanish explorers were riding moose or elk."  And everyone would laugh at you, and think you were reporting nonsense. 

 

I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, obtained through hard work reading and praying.  I don't let the apparent anachronisms bother me.  I don't expect the Lord's work, as expressed through and for imperfect humans, to be perfect, either.

Edited by Stargazer

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Interesting and informative discussion.

As I have pointed out before, it is also interesting to point out something Book of Mormon does not have - words and phrases commonly used by early 19th-century North American writers to describe Native American culture. For example, tomahawk, wigwam, wampum, tobacco and pipes, feathers and beads, deer, bison, eagles, beaver, bear, canoe, tipi, counting coup, war dance, drums, Redskins (not the team), etc.

Edited by Bernard Gui

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Archeology and the BOM falls into the same thing as Egyptology and the BoA to me.

If the evidences out there are as convincing as some like to claim they are, then you should expect to see a good number of non-LDS archeologists that say the evidence suggests that the BOM is an authentic ancient document about an actual group of people.

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Archeology and the BOM falls into the same thing as Egyptology and the BoA to me.

If the evidences out there are as convincing as some like to claim they are, then you should expect to see a good number of non-LDS archeologists that say the evidence suggests that the BOM is an authentic ancient document about an actual group of people.

Why would they even read the Book of Mormon?

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The steel swords mentioned in the KJV Bible in the OT times are reckoned to actually be bronze, not steel.  

 

 

 The KJV translators didn't have the luxury of having a divine translation aid.  Why not just use the correct word knowing the problems the word "steel" would cause.   

 

As I said, the current English word "steel" originally meant hard or durable.  We use the word in its old connotation when we say things like "You must steel yourself for bad news."

 

 

 

I think it's quite clear when reading the references to steel in the BoM that it is referring to the metal.

Edited by omni

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Archeology and the BOM falls into the same thing as Egyptology and the BoA to me.

If the evidences out there are as convincing as some like to claim they are, then you should expect to see a good number of non-LDS archeologists that say the evidence suggests that the BOM is an authentic ancient document about an actual group of people.

"Archeology and the BOM falls into the same thing as Egyptology and the BoA to me." Really?

Museums through out the world have literally hundreds of thousands of Egyptian objects, some penny sized, some as large as a houses. Many of these objects have been dated, the pictures and written work translated, catalouged and exhibited. The three thousand year history with accompanying artifacts are available to any and all who are willing to invest the energy. The written works, taken from stone monuments, papyri, shards and graves are documented in tens of thousands of books.

I fail to see any similarities in the quantities of materials , research done and documented, between what is contained in the BofA or the BofM to that available from the archaeology of Egypt. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Whose swords were these?  They were Jaredite swords, and if they were cankered with rust, keep in mind that bronze does rust: the copper oxidizes on the surface, which actually preserves the underlying metal (unless copper chloride is present, in which case it will eventually destroy the whole piece). 

 

 

 

Yes, I realize these were Jaredite swords which causes even more problems since it was from an earlier time.  Additionally, in Ether 7:9 it does specifically mentions steel swords and nothing about bronze.

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The blades mentioned in this passage are not nephite in origin. They are from the jaradites who were likely contemporaries, if not numbered among, the Olmec cultural group. The Olmecs did work in metals. Consequently, the reference you provided is a bulls eye for the book of mormon that is the very type of archaeological proof that the critics are clamoring for but is, not surprisingly, rejected. 

 

I would ask you, how could Joseph know that metal work existed in this part of the world at the time the book of mormon suggests it did? 

 

What?  The mention of steel swords (Ether 7:9) in a area and time period in which absolutely nothing has been found is now a bullseye? Sorry, I'm not getting it...

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What?  The mention of steel swords (Ether 7:9) in a area and time period in which absolutely nothing has been found is now a bullseye? Sorry, I'm not getting it...

It is a bit difficult to have an intelligent discussion with you when you are so patently ignorant of the  subject matter but seem determined to present yourself as somewhat of an expert. 

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"Archeology and the BOM falls into the same thing as Egyptology and the BoA to me." Really?

Museums through out the world have literally hundreds of thousands of Egyptian objects, some penny sized, some as large as a houses. Many of these objects have been dated, the pictures and written work translated, catalouged and exhibited. The three thousand year history with accompanying artifacts are available to any and all who are willing to invest the energy. The written works, taken from stone monuments, papyri, shards and graves are documented in tens of thousands of books.

I fail to see any similarities in the quantities of materials , research done and documented, between what is contained in the BofA or the BofM to that available from the archaeology of Egypt. Correct me if I'm wrong.

That's not exactly my point. The similarity is this...

Some argue that there are numerous "hits" in JS translation of the papyri and that the weight of evidence is on the side of the BoA being a correct translation of the papyri and/or facsimiles. If such an academic claim were accurate I would expect to see some non-LDS Egyptologists also make that claim.

Some argue that there are numerous "hits" between the BOM and ancient mesoamerican archeology and that the weight of evidence is on the side of the BOM being a true ancient record of a people. If such an academic claim were accurate I would expect to see some non-LDS Archeologists also make that claim.

I'm not saying that the BoA or BOM is impossible or has been 100% disproven, mind you. I'm saying that there isn't a body of physical evidences that make it a highly probable authentic ancient record. It requires faith to believe because the evidences are not there.

Edited by Brian 2.0

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The blades mentioned in this passage are not nephite in origin. They are from the jaradites who were likely contemporaries, if not numbered among, the Olmec cultural group. The Olmecs did work in metals. Consequently, the reference you provided is a bulls eye for the book of mormon that is the very type of archaeological proof that the critics are clamoring for but is, not surprisingly, rejected. 

 

I would ask you, how could Joseph know that metal work existed in this part of the world at the time the book of mormon suggests it did? 

 

This would be interesting, but not a bulls eye, if steel swords weren't mentioned elsewhere in the Book of Mormon.

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It is a bit difficult to have an intelligent discussion with you when you are so patently ignorant of the  subject matter but seem determined to present yourself as somewhat of an expert. 

 

First of all, I've never presented myself to be an expert.  Second, how am I the ignorant one here when you are presenting anachrnoistic uses of metal as being a bullseye? 

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This would be interesting, but not a bulls eye, if steel swords weren't mentioned elsewhere in the Book of Mormon.

According to a word search there are 2, 1Nephi4:9 and Ether 7:9. I'd be interested to know of more than these 2.

 

 http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/search?search=steel+swords&do=Search&anonymous_element_1_changed=search

Edited by rodheadlee

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I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, obtained through hard work reading and praying.  I don't let the apparent anachronisms bother me.  I don't expect the Lord's work, as expressed through and for imperfect humans, to be perfect, either.

 

My only desire is that people are able to make an informed decision about the BoM.  You clearly fall into that category and I'm glad the BoM has been able to provide a benefit to your life.

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What confuses me is that Joseph Smith did translate certain things into names that were not previously known. I'm thinking specifcially of the weights and measures, as well as curelom,cumoms, etc. Why would the same translation process which produced otherwise unknown names with accuracy (which is required for the Nahom/NHM connection to have any meaning) also produce seeming mistakes/inaccuracies such as horses, elephants, steel, etc? I'm interested to know how others have resolved this contradiction.

Edited by yootaw

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When the Lord said he destroyed the Nephite Nation (D&C 3:18) He did a pretty good job of it.

Unfortunately for Dr. Daniel Peterson, he claims evidence can't be found because the Nephite Nation was in a limited area. And yet, despite identifying that limited area in his article, he still can't find it. LOL!

"But limited geographical models were created because the Book of Mormon demands them. As Sorenson demonstrated in his seminal 1985 “Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon,” when all the travel distances and travel times given in the book are analyzed, it’s obvious beyond reasonable dispute that the Nephite/Lamanite/Jaredite lands were relatively small; "

- from the article

Sorenson, whom Dr. Peterson refers, also demands Joseph Smith didn't what he was talking about:

"What may startle some about this situation is that most of what Joseph Smith said or implied about geography indicates that he did not understand or was ambiguous about the fact, as it turns out, that Mesoamerica was the particular setting for Nephite history.."

http://publications.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1099&index=19&keyword=Startle

So this how Dr. Peterson "Defends the Faith" per the title of his article. He defends a Mesoamerica Theory which is critical of the Prophet Joseph Smith. A Joseph Smith who did not understand; a Joseph Smith who was ambiguous.

All because Peterson has identified the correct limited location.

It's great when a LDS Apologist can't defend the Prophet Smith. Then claims he's defending the Faith. The Faith being defended is apparently in a geographical theory.

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Archeology and the BOM falls into the same thing as Egyptology and the BoA to me.

If the evidences out there are as convincing as some like to claim they are, then you should expect to see a good number of non-LDS archeologists that say the evidence suggests that the BOM is an authentic ancient document about an actual group of people.

In a few thousand years what evidence will there be of LDS people within 21st century world culture? Exclude electronic evidence and books to account for technological advances, to make it fair. Where is the LDS pottery? Unique LDS building foundations?

I guess we do not exist.

Edited by mfbukowski

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According to a word search there are 2, 1Nephi4:9 and Ether 7:9. I'd be interested to know of more than these 2.

 

 http://classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/search?search=steel+swords&do=Search&anonymous_element_1_changed=search

 

2 Nephi 5:14-15 "And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people. And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance."

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"2 Nephi 5:14-15 "And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people. And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance."

 

Thanks Thinking, is that it? No more?

Edited by rodheadlee

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When the Lord said he destroyed the Nephite Nation (D&C 3:18) He did a pretty good job of it.

Unfortunately for Dr. Daniel Peterson, he claims evidence can't be found because the Nephite Nation was in a limited area. And yet, despite identifying that limited area in his article, he still can't find it. LOL!

"But limited geographical models were created because the Book of Mormon demands them. As Sorenson demonstrated in his seminal 1985 “Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon,” when all the travel distances and travel times given in the book are analyzed, it’s obvious beyond reasonable dispute that the Nephite/Lamanite/Jaredite lands were relatively small; "

- from the article

Sorenson, whom Dr. Peterson refers, also demands Joseph Smith didn't what he was talking about:

"What may startle some about this situation is that most of what Joseph Smith said or implied about geography indicates that he did not understand or was ambiguous about the fact, as it turns out, that Mesoamerica was the particular setting for Nephite history.."

http://publications.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1099&index=19&keyword=Startle

So this how Dr. Peterson "Defends the Faith" per the title of his article. He defends a Mesoamerica Theory which is critical of the Prophet Joseph Smith. A Joseph Smith who did not understand; a Joseph Smith who was ambiguous.

All because Peterson has identified the correct limited location.

It's great when a LDS Apologist can't defend the Prophet Smith. Then claims he's defending the Faith. The Faith being defended is apparently in a geographical theory.

Maybe if you were less snarky and tried to understand the discussion you wouldn't be so confused

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 The KJV translators didn't have the luxury of having a divine translation aid.  Why not just use the correct word knowing the problems the word "steel" would cause.   

 

Neither did Joseph, to hear you tell it.

 

I think it's quite clear when reading the references to steel in the BoM that it is referring to the metal.

 

Clear to you, not clear at all to me.

 

As to the correct word, if you're arguing from the POV that the book is a divine fiction from the fevered mind of Joseph Smith, then I don't see how I can even argue over it.  I am arguing from the POV that the book is a record translated from a non-English source text, and so I wonder if from that POV perhaps God could have come up with a word better than "steel"?  If you have any suggestions, please enlighten us.

 

I think that God could have come up with a word which accurately described the actual composition of the sword, but would He have come up with one that was unknown to Joseph?  One which would have created an even bigger anachronism, or require metallurgical knowledge beyond that of the people who created the sword?

Edited by Stargazer

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What confuses me is that Joseph Smith did translate certain things into names that were not previously known. I'm thinking specifcially of the weights and measures, as well as curelom,cumoms, etc. Why would the same translation process which produced otherwise unknown names with accuracy (which is required for the Nahom/NHM connection to have any meaning) also produce seeming mistakes/inaccuracies such as horses, elephants, steel, etc? I'm interested to know how others have resolved this contradiction.

Because sometimes the translation was loose and sometimes it was tight. When? Whenever it suits the apologists.

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"2 Nephi 5:14-15 "And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people. And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance."

Thanks Thinking, is that it? No more?

Still using steel to make tools and weapons in around 300BC:

Jarom 1:8

8 And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war—yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations for war.

Also find it interesting that when Jesus teaches the people three hundred years later he talks about rust as a metaphor. Presumably he'd only so that if the people were used to the effect of that (that is, unless Joseph didn't just copy the entire sermon on the mount out of the bible...)

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