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Revisiting The Malay Book Of Mormon Geography

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I've hemmed and hawed about whether I should post this. I acknowledge its a controversial topic, but oh well, some might find it interesting enough.

Disclaimer: For me, the real potential of the Malay model is in demonstrating the consistency of the Book of Mormon as a historical document. Every geographical point, physical object and group of people mentioned in the Book of Mormon has a plausible historical equivalent in Peninsular Siam and the Malay Archipelago. If critics might dismiss the Book of Mormon text as a fantasy, the Malay model could be applied to demonstrate that there is nothing terribly absurd about it. I'm not well versed in LDS revelations on the matter of BOM geography, my interest is in the text as published in 1830. Hopefully this does not disqualify me from weighing in here. As a Mormon, I'm always surprised when people ask me if I'm joking, or trolling with this. I suppose it does look like a parody, but no doubt its been the single most useful tool to expand my understanding of the Book of Mormon. I don't mind the chuckles if someone else also finds it useful.



The map (attached) is big, but I want to allow for some resolution. I've overlaid John Clark's internal map over the region I believe to be related to the Book of Mormon text. I've made only a few modifications, such as moving the River Sidon to the west so that it would line up with the Ta Pi River in Thailand. I feel the move is justified as John Clark's map has the Sidon running uphill through a wilderness. It would be more likely that the Sidon was west of the elevated wilderness between Zarahemla and Sidom. If you want to compare to Clark's original maps I've included them in white boxes in the corners. The locations in larger white font are existing locations with their proposed BOM equivalent in parentheses.

It would be annoying to post everything out at length, so I'll start with only the map. A lot of interesting detail surfaces as the Book of Mormon is compared to the historical accounts of Rammana, Mro, Mon, Funan, Khmer, Karen, Zabaj, Zhenla, Zoram, Kumararupa and other ancient kingdoms/tribes in the region. Iron-age archaeological sites on the Peninsula date back to 600-500 BC. Chinese accounts (240 AD) report hundreds of walled cities with wooden towers. If anyone is interested I'd happily post more. 




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Various traditions within Malay, Sumatra and Java tell of refugees coming from the Red Sea. We know the Lehites would have passed through this region around 600-580 BC.

In support of these traditions, some linguists have suggested a relationship between the languages/scripts in these islands with Egyptian, Phoenician, and Hebrew. I don't know how legit their claims are, but maybe there are some on this board that would have some insight?

"[schroder] gives evidence of a direct Phoenician relationship with the Batak alphabet. he shows a comparison of developments taking place between the Phoenician and the Aramaic alphabet, and shows the same developments taking place in the Batak. He said this is the keystone proof that the Batak alphabet came to Sumatra at the time of the development of this phenomenon, between 700 and 650 BCE. His conclusions confirm that the characterizations of the Batak alphabet represent a transition stage between Phoenician and Aramean."

The History of Java, Sir Thomas Raffles


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