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Mormons:what Are The Top 10 Proofs Of Bom Historicity


Olavarria

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I guess Ill have to start it....

1) consistancy despite speed of translation,no contradictions,one draft(minus punctuation insertions).

2)Lehi's Trail: from Jerusalem down the spice trail to NHM to Wadi Sayq(BOuntiful, where ships where launched by ancient arab mariners+all the details in 1 Nephi)

3) Hebraisms

4)Nephi and his use of pre-exilic wisdom tradition/Asherah

5)General correspondance to mesoamerican warfare and civilizational developement ie, Olmec/Jaredites, Nephite-Lamanite/Loawland and high land maya.

6)Volcanism for the right place and time in mesoamerica + similiar language used in egyptian texts to describe volcanism.

7)Egyptian and hebrew names unknowable to Joesph.

# 8, the 3 and 8 witnesses

9) Gadianton gorrilla warfare

10) accurate description of meditarranian olive cultivation.

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Anti's what are the top ten evidences of ahistoricity?

A lack of revelation.

Other points can be argued either way. I personally feel that the bulk of evidences are weighted on the ahistorical side, and thus confirm my lack of revelation.

The strongest evidence for historicity in my opinion would be the presence of "sheum" in connection with grains.

cacheman

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That's enough for me, right there! (but it would be nice if they found evidence of gorillas in North America) :P

Perhaps the Gadianton Pirates (rogue seafarers of ancient Gades or Cadiz) brought

the big apes over on their ships from North Africa, when Votan colonized the Americas.

Uncle "happy Gooogeling" Dale

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I know the BoM is true, via revelation from God.

Now, excluding revelation, what are the top 10 evidences of BoM historicity?

Anti's what are the top ten evidences of ahistoricity?

For:

1. Statements made by witnesses saying that Joseph used no source texts while dictating the BoM (how then did he include such large chunks of KJV text?)

2. Presence of apparent Hebraisms

3. Remarkable internal consistency

4. Depth of theological insight

5. Words like "Irreantum" that may have valid etymologies, possible Hebrew pun (Gazelem)

6. Book contains a fairly accurate Arabian geography/NHM

7. A lot of early testimony claims Joseph Smith accomplished miraculous feats that tend to lend credibility to his ability to translate

8. The concrete expression of the LDS church today is very attractive and in many ways more "Christian" than evangelical churches I have attended

9. Possible ancient literary forms, e.g. "prophetic lawsuit"

10. Evidence that BoM assigned symbolic meaning to cardinal directions consistent w/ ancient cultures

Against:

1. Clear influence of 19th c. ideas and concerns: anti-Catholicism, anti-Masonry, similarity of one scene to camp-meeting revivals, Anselmian reconciliation of justice/mercy, Arminian influence (fortunate fall, atonement as a solution to original sin and depravity), Methodist view on infant baptism, modern soteriology, republican government, etc.

2. 1 Nephi 13's prophecies of the discovery of America and discussion of a great Gentile nation among the natives are popular nineteenth century conceptions and betray a certain Euro-American ethnocentricity.

3. Text contains numerous anachronisms, including resurrection, churches, baptism, infant baptism, fiery hell, Satan, etc.

4. Extensive use of KJV texts, including many that postdate the Book of Mormon. Many of these texts are recast, recontextualized, and reinterpreted. Book of Mormon thus appears to be an attempt to clarify, supplement, and rewrite portions of the Bible.

5. Use of KJV texts pretends to resolve textual problems, by altering italicized words and the like. But it actually retains KJV inaccuracies and translator artifacts, while not really resolving any significant problems.

6. Book of Mormon is too "neat". It appears to wrap up all the theological loose ends, to address the major questions of its day, to paint a picture of salvation history in which there is no theological development to speak of and Christ has been worshipped from the beginning. It does all this with remarkable internal consistency. We have first-hand witnesses of everything; very little of it is written long after the fact. There are prophecies of Joseph Smith, prophecies of the Book of Mormon. It's almost too good to be true.

7. Aspects of its coming forth raise eyebrows. The golden plates are carried off to heaven by an angel. Joseph comes up with a convenient explanation for why he can't retranslate the missing MS pages.

8. The character of its translator was not entirely unimpeachable. He repeatedly lied about polygamy, which he practiced in secret despite his wife's objections (and threatened her with destruction by way of revelation). He received the book by the same method he had used to divine for buried treasure. He was involved in a highly disingenuous "anti-banking" scheme, which, by the way, flopped.

9. BoM contains echoes of 19th century money-digging lore.

10. The entire premise of the Book of Mormon appears to be derived from 19th century speculation by Ethan Smith and others concerning the Hebrew origin of the Native Americans.

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6. Book of Mormon is too "neat". It appears to wrap up all the theological loose ends, to address the major questions of its day, to paint a picture of salvation history in which there is no theological development to speak of and Christ has been worshipped from the beginning. It does all this with remarkable internal consistency. We have first-hand witnesses of everything; very little of it is written long after the fact. There are prophecies of Joseph Smith, prophecies of the Book of Mormon. It's almost too good to be true.

"almost" -- ???

I'm still looking for the hymns, the proverbs, the wisdom literature, the true parables (which are

generally a few lines long -- not four pages of olive trees and vinyards long).

I'm still looking for the ANE specimens of genealogies, ritual worship, legal codes, word-play puns,

and stories of prostitutes hiding spies.

Even before my youthful baptism, the book looked more like a parody of the biblical text than

like a true biblical addition.

Let Mormons believe whatever they choose to believe, but I'll follow rational thinking here.

UD

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It's almost too good to be true.

Well, of course I'm going to disagree with d'Unk here.

I would like to remind you, though, that if the book of Mormon is all it claims to be, then we should expect nothing less than that. Wouldn't you agree?

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Well, of course I'm going to disagree with d'Unk here.

I would like to remind you, though, that if the book of Mormon is all

it claims to be, then we should expect nothing less than that. Wouldn't you agree?

That is something of a tautology -- like saying if a politician is all that he

says he is, what he says must be real and true.

The BoM claims to be a record revealed directly (mostly) from God and soon thereafter

incised into unchanging metal plates -- and the plates soon afterward "hid up" until

shortly before they were translated "by the gift and power of God" by urim and thummim.

That means that the Great and Abominable Church did not have any opportunity to

get hold of the Nephite Record and screw it up, in the way they screwed up the Bible.

So, apart from printer's errors, it should be the most correct book on earth.

And, by extension, the Latter Day Saints claim that if the G&A Church had not tampered

with the Bible so much, for so many centuries, it too would be as perfect as the BoM.

But, only believers believe that -- so again we are back to tautologies.

My thoughts on the matter, are that a "more perfect" Bible would be even less like

the BoM, and not more like it. Joseph Smith tried to make the Bible more like

the BoM, and I think that the product of his and Rigdon's work was an abomination.

Then again, not everybody thinks as I do, I guess.

UD

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6. Book of Mormon is too "neat". It appears to wrap up all the theological loose ends, to address the major questions of its day, to paint a picture of salvation history in which there is no theological development to speak of and Christ has been worshipped from the beginning. It does all this with remarkable internal consistency. We have first-hand witnesses of everything; very little of it is written long after the fact. There are prophecies of Joseph Smith, prophecies of the Book of Mormon. It's almost too good to be true.

Keep in mind that the Book of Mormon was allegedly redacted and abridged by one man and then passed on to his son to finish up. Both of these men were allegedly shown our day in vision, and instructed to pattern the book after our needs. The convenience that you lament would be the inescapably obvious outcome of this situation. Rather than paint a picture of Joseph Smith trying to tie up all the loose ends, I think it shows the book fulfills the implicit intentions of the author.

By the by, I'll be starting up a thread wherein we will evaluate, one by one, the validity of a comprehensive list of these internal evidences of authenticity. I will present what I feel to be a good long list and we will dissect them one by one. As soon as I get this pesky little grant proposal done I will start up this thread.

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I'd echo much of what Her Amun and California Kid said. But if they were my lists, I'd just change a few things:

For

1) The amazingly structured chiasmus and story found in Alma 36.

2) The speed at which the Book of Mormon was dictated and later not needing any major modifications.

3) King Benjamin's address.

4) Continued insights being discovered about the Book of Mormon that seemed fully unknown to Joseph Smith, but fit better with modern understanding. For example, the Amalekites and Amlicites finally being discovered to almost certainly be the same group.

California Kid summed up my againsts very well. Though, I consider the Columbus story to be more in favor of the Book of Mormon than against it.

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Though, I consider the Columbus story to be more in favor of the Book of Mormon than against it.

Well, since the Nephite Record was written BEFORE Columbus' time, it all looks

rather impressive, at first glance.

Then again, the 1830 BoM was published well after Columbus, so non-believers

in the book will naturally cite that fact.

Have any historians specializing in Columbus' period ever looked at the BoM text

and found anything there that was NOT already known about Columbus in 1829?

UD

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The BoM claims to be a record revealed directly (mostly) from God and soon thereafter

incised into unchanging metal plates -- and the plates soon afterward "hid up" until

shortly before they were translated "by the gift and power of God" by urim and thummim.

That means that the Great and Abominable Church did not have any opportunity to

get hold of the Nephite Record and screw it up, in the way they screwed up the Bible.

So, apart from printer's errors, it should be the most correct book on earth.

And, by extension, the Latter Day Saints claim that if the G&A Church had not tampered

with the Bible so much, for so many centuries, it too would be as perfect as the BoM.

But, only believers believe that -- so again we are back to tautologies.

I think it might be more accurate to say only disbelievers believe that. :P We have always allowed for the intereference of the human...Mormon theology does not allow for a God who is channeled by humans. Nor do we think of the Bible in any form as a direct speech of God's. It is a record of the dealings of God as written by humans. Those humans are going to leave things out and mess stuff up all by themselves even before someone else starts tampering. That concern shows up in the BOM and culminates in one of the most beautiful and powerful verses about turning weakness into strength.

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I think it might be more accurate to say only disbelievers believe that. :P We have always allowed for the intereference of the human...Mormon theology does not allow for a God who is channeled by humans. Nor do we think of the Bible in any form as a direct speech of God's. It is a record of the dealings of God as written by humans. Those humans are going to leave things out and mess stuff up all by themselves even before someone else starts tampering. That concern shows up in the BOM and culminates in one of the most beautiful and powerful verses about turning weakness into strength.

What you are pointing out is a fairly recent development within Mormonism.

[edit: erased and reposted below]

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Have any historians specializing in Columbus' period ever looked at the BoM text

and found anything there that was NOT already known about Columbus in 1829?

I was referring to Columbus's deep belief that he was fulfilling prophecy, his interest in John 10:16, and his belief that his voyage furthered divine work. http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=208

However, I do not know if these things we known before 1829.

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I was referring to Columbus's deep belief that he was fulfilling prophecy, his interest in John 10:16, and his belief that his voyage furthered divine work. http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=208

However, I do not know if these things we known before 1829.

very interesting -- this is worthy of a thread of its own

UD

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What you are pointing out is a fairly recent development within Mormonism. I attended my

share of LDS primary, seminary and institute classes -- and Sunday school and priesthood classes

(as a guest) for a total of about 3 years in various localities. I know what I heard and experienced

in those situations -- and it was that the Book of Mormon was the "most correct book" and that it

contains the "fulness of the gospel," whereas the Bible has had many plain and precious parts

removed or muddled by the Great and Abominable Church.

Now perhaps since 1980 things have changed among the Mormons -- but from as recently as thirty

years back I know what I experienced among them. Every time somebody on this Message Board

implies that I am being dishonest about what I learned back then, I feel like throwing a brick through

my PC monitor.

Correct my inaccuracies where appropriate, but do not tell me that Mormonism has always been what

it is today. And do not cherry-pick a handful of old JD quotes to show how liberal and open-minded

the leaders have "always been" concerning the imperfections of the original Nephite Record, prior to

publication on the Wayne Sentinel press in 1830. I know otherwise.

Thank you for your consideration.....

[edit: I see upon a second reading of your posting that you had nothing but good

intentions. Pardon my over-reaction; I read more into your words than was there]

Dale R. Broadhurst

web-host Sidney Rigdon.com

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Well, since the Nephite Record was written BEFORE Columbus' time, it all looks

rather impressive, at first glance.

Then again, the 1830 BoM was published well after Columbus, so non-believers

in the book will naturally cite that fact.

Have any historians specializing in Columbus' period ever looked at the BoM text

and found anything there that was NOT already known about Columbus in 1829?

UD

Well, his journal wherein it states that he felt he was directed by the Spirit of God to the Americas.

Perhaps I spoke too soon. I see this has been addressed to some degree.

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I think it might be more accurate to say only disbelievers believe that. :P We have always allowed for the intereference of the human...Mormon theology does not allow for a God who is channeled by humans. Nor do we think of the Bible in any form as a direct speech of God's. It is a record of the dealings of God as written by humans. Those humans are going to leave things out and mess stuff up all by themselves even before someone else starts tampering. That concern shows up in the BOM and culminates in one of the most beautiful and powerful verses about turning weakness into strength.

Yes, that is also my feeling about inspiration. Which is part of the reason I say the BoM is "neater" than I would expect from a genuine ancient document.

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Uncle Dale:

"almost" -- ???

I'm still looking for the hymns, the proverbs, the wisdom literature, the true parables (which are

generally a few lines long -- not four pages of olive trees and vinyards long).

I'm still looking for the ANE specimens of genealogies, ritual worship, legal codes, word-play puns,

and stories of prostitutes hiding spies.

Even before my youthful baptism, the book looked more like a parody of the biblical text than

like a true biblical addition.

Let Mormons believe whatever they choose to believe, but I'll follow rational thinking here.

UD

To the extent that I understand what you're saying here, I disagree. Unlike the Bible, the Book of Mormon had (for the most part) a single editor/redactor. As such, it includes exactly -- and only -- what that editor felt was appropriate. Under those circumstances, it seems odd to insist that we should expect him to have included this but not that, these but not those, etc. It seems difficult, if not impossible, to predict what a single person should, or should not have decided was appropriate.

I do find it interesting, though, that where the Book of Mormon diverges most drastically from its narrative format (like, for example, the four pages of olive trees you mention) is in those portions that were not redacted by Mormon.

But then, I suppose my thinking must not be as rational as Uncle Dale's. Ah well. I try.

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This dynamic is often overlooked (sometimes intentionally) when criticizing the literary aspect of the book. People point out that many areas have consistent styles despite a claim of different authors. Well, they were redacted by one guy. Sometimes the other author will come through, but often it will not.

http://www.davidgorton.com/Articles/article09.htm

This is an interesting article systematically analyzing the habit of the Book of Mormon to correct itself ("or, in other words"). It breaks down first person writings and abridged books.

It shows Nephi corrects himself only once every 306 verses; Jacob never does; Jarom every fourteen verses; Mormon (1st) every 82; Moroni (1st) never does; in the abridged books, Mormon every 55 verses; and Moroni every 354. In total, Moroni corrects himself once in all 570 verses, and Mormon 76 times in 4,314 verses, for an average of one correction for every 57 verses. Interesting.

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I know the BoM is true, via revelation from God.

Now, excluding revelation, what are the top 10 evidences of BoM historicity?

Anti's what are the top ten evidences of ahistoricity?

The fact that David Whitmer, after leaving the Church, after calling Joseph Smith a fallen prophet, after saying that the church was following the arms of man and not God..TO HIS DYING DAY professed that the BoM was a true scripture of God.

Personally if someone is that torked at the Church and its leadership then you can pretty much trust that such a statement would carry alot more weight as he had more to gain by exposing the BoM as false than holding to its truth.

So, now...excluding revelation and faith someone please provide historocity of the existence of God..... :P (just kidding....thought a little humor would be fun!) <_<

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