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Book of Mormon Historicity


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56 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Yes, there is evidence.  Quite a bit, IMO.  The sufficiency and probative value of the evidence is very much in dispute, but the existence of the evidence is pretty hard to deny.

Putting aside "evidence" from the Spirit, I would first point to the text overall.  Its origins need to be accounted for.  I don't think Joseph Smith could have written it at all, let alone in the timeframe involved.  

Second, I would point to the statements of the Witnesses, and to the credbility of those witnesses (starting, perhaps, with Richard L. Anderson's Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses).

Third, I would point to evidences within the text.  Its complexity.  Its narrative structure.  Linguistic elements.  It's internal chronological and geographic consistency.  Hebraisms.  Chiasmus.  Lots and lots of good stuff in here.

Fourth, there are some evidences which have some sort of interaction with or facet touching on archaeology.  See, e.g. this article: Five Compelling Archeological Evidences For the Book of Mormon.  The "five evidences" are:

  • Metal Plates
  • The Nahom Altar
  • Cement in Mesoamerica
  • The Seal of Mulek
  • Barley in the Americas

Of these, the Seal of Mulek seems to be the one that I think critics would be most likely to construe as "archaeological" (read: artifactual) evidence (though the Nahom Altar seems pretty hard to ignore).  But both of these are Old World artifacts, and I think critics want artifacts from Mesoamerica.

Fifth, I would point an interested party to the Book of Mormon Central website: https://bookofmormoncentral.org/

Sixth, I would point an interested party to Jeff Lindsay's "Book of Mormon Evidences" page: https://www.jefflindsay.com/BMEvidences.shtml

Seventh, I would point an interested party to FAIR's page about evidences for the Book of Mormon: https://www.fairmormon.org/evidences/Category:Book_of_Mormon

Eighth, I would point an interested party to the following essays:

These are the resources that immediately come to mind.

Much of what is termed "evidence for the Book of Mormon" is better characterized as "assumptions regarding and interpretations of evidence for the Book of Mormon."

Thanks,

-Smac

I had forgotten about Jeff Lindsay, thanks!

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11 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Because I'm being lazy basically.  This is not a subject that I have spent much time on myself, as it's not one that holds a lot of interest for me, but if posters, who do find this stuff interesting and have spent time in the subject, had references on hand that they could share with me, getting those seemed like a much better use of my time and energy than spending the day (or longer) trying to track them down myself.  :) 

And you have a toddler right?!? Or is she much older than I'm thinking. I'd love to read more information as well!

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15 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I had forgotten about Jeff Lindsay, thanks!

Have you seen Donald Parry’s https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Parallelisms-Book-Mormon-Reformatted/dp/1627301208/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&hvadid=78340256794088&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=poetic+parallelisms+in+the+book+of+mormon&qid=1597093782&sr=8-1&tag=mh0b-20
 

In my opinion it is extraordinary, but we don’t hear too much about it here.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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37 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

But a place with that name in the exact location where the Book of Mormon says it should be?

That assertion imo is not convincing.

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3 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

That assertion imo is not convincing.

That comes down to differences in interpretation and perspective between individuals, imo. As does this whole thing, really.

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6 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

That assertion imo is not convincing.

How about a sign that says "Nephi was here" ?

 

image.jpeg.ba13f2c6359af099553ba1495463fe62.jpeg

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:
Quote

But a place with that name in the exact location where the Book of Mormon says it should be?

That assertion imo is not convincing.

I encourage you to give you this matter some further consideration.  "Joseph Smith cribbed the personal name Nahum from the Old Testament and converted it into the toponym Nahom in the Book of Mormon" is not a very good argument.

Nahom has a number of data points in its favor:

  • Right place (this is a biggie).
  • Right time.
  • Right purpose (relative to BOM narrative)
  • Plausible etymology (relative to BOM narrative)
  • Altars
  • Correlation of location with Bountiful
  • Pre-existed Lehi
  • Date/location of Niebuhr's map and d'Anville's book

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

And you have a toddler right?!? Or is she much older than I'm thinking. I'd love to read more information as well!

She keeps getting older and will be 6 on Wednesday!  Then I have a 7 year old, 15 year old, and 18 year old.  

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53 minutes ago, bluebell said:

She keeps getting older and will be 6 on Wednesday!  Then I have a 7 year old, 15 year old, and 18 year old.  

Love how they each have a sibling close to their age!

Edited by Tacenda
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17 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Love how they each have a sibling close to their age!

It does help I think!  

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7 hours ago, bluebell said:

Thanks!!  How are these videos received by other scientists or academics?  I'm really looking for 'good' evidence and not the weird stuff that is all over the internet.

BMC makes such videos for general consumption, not necessarily for scholars.  However, we had a long and detailed discussion of all the scholarly issues of this particular geography question months ago on this board.  The people who put that video together were directly involved in that discussion.  http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/68649-south-arabian-inscriptions/

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President George Q. Cannon said in the Juvenile Instructor (1891) that the Book of Mormon is neither a history nor a geography book.

I know several active priesthood holders senior in years who do not believe in the BoM being delivered by angelic ministration, etc.  They do believe in the Book's divine inspiration to Joseph.

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7 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

I know several active priesthood holders senior in years who do not believe in the BoM being delivered by angelic ministration, etc.  

Are you saying that they don’t believe Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith?  This would seem to put them at odds with what Joseph himself believed.

Think I’ll trust the guy who was there on this one.

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1 hour ago, ksfisher said:

Are you saying that they don’t believe Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith?  This would seem to put them at odds with what Joseph himself believed.

Think I’ll trust the guy who was there on this one.

Of course, ksfisher.  I am telling you several guys do not require the divinity or angelic witness to the BoM for a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ.  I don't understand it either.

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6 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

That comes down to differences in interpretation and perspective between individuals, imo. As does this whole thing, really.

Only because the state of proposed evidence is so weak.

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6 hours ago, smac97 said:

I encourage you to give you this matter some further consideration.  "Joseph Smith cribbed the personal name Nahum from the Old Testament and converted it into the toponym Nahom in the Book of Mormon" is not a very good argument.

Nahom has a number of data points in its favor:

  • Right place (this is a biggie).
  • Right time.
  • Right purpose (relative to BOM narrative)
  • Plausible etymology (relative to BOM narrative)
  • Altars
  • Correlation of location with Bountiful
  • Pre-existed Lehi
  • Date/location of Niebuhr's map and d'Anville's book

Thanks,

-Smac

I don't think it does, but thanks for your summation.

 

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2 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

President George Q. Cannon said in the Juvenile Instructor (1891) that the Book of Mormon is neither a history nor a geography book.

It is also not an electronics manual, but that doesn't tell us what it actually is.  Moreover, the Bible likewise is not a science textbook -- it is not a geology or biology manual.  Yet, both Bible and BofM contain geographical references with place-names and relative dates of events.  Are such references meant to be no more than fictional elements of fairy tales, such as those invented by J. R. R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin?  Like all fiction, are there real lessons about life to be learned from the inspired author?  Or is it all nonsense?

2 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

I know several active priesthood holders senior in years who do not believe in the BoM being delivered by angelic ministration, etc.  They do believe in the Book's divine inspiration to Joseph.

Sounds a bit schizophrenic, no?

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21 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It is also not an electronics manual, but that doesn't tell us what it actually is.  Moreover, the Bible likewise is not a science textbook -- it is not a geology or biology manual.  Yet, both Bible and BofM contain geographical references with place-names and relative dates of events.  Are such references meant to be no more than fictional elements of fairy tales, such as those invented by J. R. R. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin?  Like all fiction, are there real lessons about life to be learned from the inspired author?  Or is it all nonsense?

Interestingly, Tolkien created Middle Earth with the intention of writing a great founding myth for the British peoples. He drew on Beowulf and Celtic and Saxon legends among other sources. As a devout Christian he introduced Christian themes. What if the Book of Mormon was created for essentially the same purpose? Maybe it's a founding myth for the American Indians. But instead of drawing on Beowulf and other Northern European sources it draws on the Aeneid and other classical sources of the Mediterranean including the bible. And what if it was created by a brilliant and inspired person from early modern times? Would that make it nonsense or still a worthwhile book to study?

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4 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:

President George Q. Cannon said in the Juvenile Instructor (1891) that the Book of Mormon is neither a history nor a geography book.

I know several active priesthood holders senior in years who do not believe in the BoM being delivered by angelic ministration, etc.  They do believe in the Book's divine inspiration to Joseph.

I know several active priesthood leaders senior in years who do believe in the BoM being delivered by angelic ministration, etc.

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51 minutes ago, JarMan said:

Interestingly, Tolkien created Middle Earth with the intention of writing a great founding myth for the British peoples. He drew on Beowulf and Celtic and Saxon legends among other sources. As a devout Christian he introduced Christian themes. What if the Book of Mormon was created for essentially the same purpose? Maybe it's a founding myth for the American Indians. But instead of drawing on Beowulf and other Northern European sources it draws on the Aeneid and other classical sources of the Mediterranean including the bible. And what if it was created by a brilliant and inspired person from early modern times? Would that make it nonsense or still a worthwhile book to study?

It should be fairly easy to identify such a person. Who at that time was knowledgeable and interested enough in the Native Americans to compose such an elaborate founding myth for them?

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36 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

It should be fairly easy to identify such a person. Who at that time was knowledgeable and interested enough in the Native Americans to compose such an elaborate founding myth for them?

It would have to be someone, not only that had an interest in the origins of the Native Americans, but someone with a vast knowledge of the bible. Maybe someone who had spent a lifetime studying it and had become renowned for his biblical writings and knowledge. Someone who had written plays about things such as Joseph in Egypt, Adam in the Garden, and Christ's suffering on earth. Somebody very knowledgeable about warfare, maybe someone who had written extensively on the subject.  Maybe someone who was a historian who had written the history of his native homeland. Especially if that history included such things as a coup against the republican government by people looking to set up a king, great wars, religious strife and persecution. It would have to be a Protestant, an Arminian to be sure. Someone that hated Calvinism but was tolerant towards Judaism. Someone that opposed infant baptism. Someone committed to the ethical nature of Christianity over its stuffy rites. Someone who admired the pacifist Anabaptists, but wasn't Anabaptist or strictly pacifist himself. Someone that had lived through great wars, massive destruction, and senseless loss of human life on a massive scale. It would need to be someone familiar with the law, perhaps even having practiced it for some time. The person would need to be very familiar with the classical writers of the ancient greco-roman world in order to weave in so many elements from Sallust, Tacitus, and other writers. Someone who was deeply committed to Christianity and good government, who thought the two should go hand in hand. It would have to be someone who knew Hebrew and who was familiar with chiasmus and other poetic forms. Someone who was a family man, particularly with several sons. If only I could find someone who fit that profile I think we could identify our author.

Edited by JarMan
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