Jump to content

Steel Bows


3ToedSloth

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

I'm reading the Book of Mormon for the first time and I got to a part in 1st Nephi where Nephi breaks his steel bow while out hunting. So I did some googleing and ended up here at FAIR just today and I've been reading the articles about the subject, but I'm left with one question...

What the heck is a bronze bow? I know a little about how Longbows and recurve bows work, but I'm very unfamiliar with how they were manufactured in the Ancient Near East. So I've tried to do some digging but I can't find any pictures that show an ancient bronze bow. Do we know how they were made? What part of the bow was bronze? Have we found any?

If anyone has some leads, I'd appreciate it. My google skills are failing me.

Link to comment

I don't agree with FARMS on this. Bronze doesn't bounce back as would be required for a bow, it's too brittle and doesn't have tensile strength. I believe that Nephi meant steel bows, as I also believe the OT prophets meant steel bows. Steel was a term for hardened iron.

Psalms 18:34

He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Job 20:24

He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.

2 Samuel 22:35

He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Link to comment

Hi. You might want to check out this site. For those who don't want to follow a link:

Bible and Book of Mormon Steel

Many critics of the Book of Mormon point to its reference to steel as an obvious proof of its fraudulence. These critics claim that steel technology was not known in either Israel or the Americas in 600 BC. However the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible also makes reference to steel and there are many more that reference iron.

  • 2 Sam. 22:35: He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
  • Job 20:24: He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.
  • Ps. 18:34: He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
  • Jer. 15:12: Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?

Newer versions of the Bible consider the use of steel to be a mistranslation. These newer versions of the Bible translate the Hebrew word nechushtan to mean bronze. Critics then contend that the Book of Mormon

Link to comment

I don't agree with FARMS on this. Bronze doesn't bounce back as would be required for a bow, it's too brittle and doesn't have tensile strength. I believe that Nephi meant steel bows, as I also believe the OT prophets meant steel bows. Steel was a term for hardened iron.

Psalms 18:34

He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Job 20:24

He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.

2 Samuel 22:35

He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

I actually watched a History Channel program about Ancient technologies (you will just have to wait until they repeat it again). They spoke to several specialists in Greek bronze working during Alexander the Greats time and found through various archaeological sites bronze weapons including bows. To their amazement the bronze was more pliable and stronger than todays modern steel. They found it not only in bows but many bronze castings from that time. They are at a loss on how it's done as apparently the knowledge has been lost and they cannot reproduce even today. I guess this why they were such badasses in their time i.e... Spartans.

Link to comment

I don't agree with FARMS on this. Bronze doesn't bounce back as would be required for a bow, it's too brittle and doesn't have tensile strength. I believe that Nephi meant steel bows, as I also believe the OT prophets meant steel bows. Steel was a term for hardened iron.

Psalms 18:34

He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Job 20:24

He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.

2 Samuel 22:35

He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Dang it. Steel is a modern term for hardened iron. The word we use comes from a root which means "strong". We use it sometimes this way: "She steeled herself for the race." It doesn't mean that she turned into hardened iron, even figuratively. A "bow of steel" is a bow made of composite materials, possibly including resilient metals, but the best kind of springy materials for bows come from sinews, and thin sheets of horn. Nephi did not have a bow made out of Bessemer-converter-manufactured carbon steel. Something certain anti-Mormons ignorantly try to make this stick as an anachronism to disprove the Book of Mormon -- all the while being horribly guilty of presentism.

But see Wikipedia on this.

Ancient steel

Steel was known in antiquity, and may have been produced by managing the bloomery so that the bloom contained carbon. Steel is mentioned in the Holy Bible: In Jeremiah 15:12 of the Authorized King James Version, it reads: "Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?". However, it seems the Hebrews had no word for "steel" but used instead ????? (istoma) akin to the Greek word ??????? (ot

Link to comment

I thought FAIR removed all references and links to this message board from their site over two years ago?

Go to www.fairlds.org. On the menu at the top right is an option called "FAIR Links". That page has a link to this message board.

Go to www.fairlds.org. At the bottom of the page is an option called "Message Boards". That page has a link to this message board.

There may be more but those are the two I found with a quick check of the FAIR website.

Link to comment

Go to www.fairlds.org. On the menu at the top right is an option called "FAIR Links". That page has a link to this message board.

Go to www.fairlds.org. At the bottom of the page is an option called "Message Boards". That page has a link to this message board.

There may be more but those are the two I found with a quick check of the FAIR website.

Shows how out-of-the-loop I am. Thank you Oremites.

Stu (aka He Who Lives Under a Rock)

Link to comment

I think Nephi's steel bow was just that: a bow made of steel -- probably a composite bow with steel parts. Nephi had the bow while Lehi and his family were wandering in the wilderness before sailing for the promised land, but he broke it and had to replace it with a wooden bow that he made himself. The advantage of a steel recurve bow is that, properly greased, it can be easily stored and still be ready for instant use. This sounds like just the thing that Lehi might have set aside if he envisioned having to flee the country some day. Persian archers of the era did use straight steel bows for exercise, but these were not really intended to be used as weapons.

Nephi did know metal working; he was able to make tools to build a ship. But he evidently could not make steel bows. People in the Middle East and India were experimenting with steel bows in Nephi's time, but their designs were generally unsuccessful. In fact, all of the steel bows owned by Lehi's family failed. The possession of steel bows is evidence of Lehi's wealth that is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Only a very wealthy man would be able to afford such a technologically advanced device.

It would be nearly 200 years before anyone could make a reliable steel bow. And even then it did not have the range or power of a composite recurve bow.

Laban's sword is another matter. I think the original sword of Laban probably really was steel. But it would have been only a few generations before a generation of Nephites who never knew genuine steel would have assigned a new meaning to the word. They heard of steel swords, so they thought their own swords were steel.

Link to comment

As a bower, I always have assumed that the "riser" was the bronze or steel part mentioned in the Book of Mormon and the limbs were a hard wood hence it was easier to break. Also new arrows would then also be needed to be manufactured to match the pull length and strength of his new bow. The following image is of a takedown bow with the riser being the middle section.

coco-yew-hq.jpg

Edited to add this is a modern takedown bow with fiberglass inlays but the concept is the same.

Link to comment

I don't agree with FARMS on this. Bronze doesn't bounce back as would be required for a bow, it's too brittle and doesn't have tensile strength. I believe that Nephi meant steel bows, as I also believe the OT prophets meant steel bows. Steel was a term for hardened iron.

Psalms 18:34

He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Job 20:24

He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.

2 Samuel 22:35

He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Sevenbak

It wouldn't have to have the "bounce back" (spring) as you put it if the riser was the bronze part see my above posts.

Link to comment

Iron can be hardened with temperatures achievable in an ordinary hardwood fire as long as one has bellows. Quenching in cold water produces a strong but brittle blade, but if one quenches the blade in oil instead, the oil burns and slows the cooling of the blade while also adding carbon to the coating, hardening the coating but leaving a more flexible center section of the blade. Blades quenched in this way hold a better edge and are yet more durable due to their increased flexibility, and have a greater resistance to breakage. Due to the carbon content of the exterior, such blades are arguably "steel".

Just as a house of ivory did not mean that the building was constructed of ivory.

Not to mention an "ivory tower"!

Link to comment

Jeremiah mentions steel in Jeremiah 15:12. As Jeremiah was a contemporary of Lehi, why is it a surprise that Lehi also knew of steel? The earliest steel artifacts ever unearthed are steel pots from Anatolia dating to 4000 years old. Steel swords were being made on the Iberian peninsula in Lehi's time. The Chinese of the time also had steel weapons. And as I mentioned earlier, people were trying to make bows out of steel from the time that steel was discovered.

Personally, I think any attempt to discredit the Book of Mormon because it mentions steel is simply a demonstration of monumental ignorance on the part of the critic who brings it up.

Link to comment

In Armenia too, which is a good deal closer geographicaly.

And of course Armenians are and always have been incredible traders. I have personal Armenian friends who are in the import-export business. They say it is in their genes!

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...