Jump to content

Would the Lds Church Be Interest in Researching the Masaya Nicaragua Area for Bom Related Antiques


Recommended Posts

7 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:
Quote
Quote

At least one Nephite sword survived 2,600 years

Nope.  Laban's sword was not created by Nephi.  And it was a kingly artifact, and thefore much more likely to be preserved as compared to the replicas made by Nephi.

Nephi "wielded the sword of Laban" in "defence".

So you are stretching the definition of "Nephite" to include an artifact not created by Nephites?

Quote

He used the sword as a sword. We therefore know that a Nephite sword looks like ... a sword.

And a Nephite pottery shard looks like a pottery shard.

You aren't advancing the discussion by presenting truisms.

Quote

Maybe I am misunderstanding your comments. Are you saying that Nephi made swords that resembled the sword of Laban but those were lost to time, so then the Nephites began using Maya macuahuitls that were related in function to the swords that Nephi made? 

This thread is about whether the Church would be interested in facilitating (funding) archaeological digs in Nicaragua, with the apparent objective being to find "Nephite" artifacts.

My point, echoing Hamblin's, is that we need to first examine our assumptions.  What would a "Nephite" artifact look like?  How would we propose to differentiate "Nephite" artifacts from non-Nephite artifacts?  Unless and until we can do that in a meaningful and coherent way, assertions about what "archaeology" has to say about the Book of Mormon are premature and fatuous.

Quote

This is not a simple matter of history losing a couple dozen Nephite swords.

It's not?  How many swords did Nephi make?

Quote

The problem is that three civilizations carry the knowledge of iron-smelting and sword-making to the New World and subsequently lose that knowledge along with the kilns, slag and tuyeres required to make swords and other metal artifacts.

Hamblin addresses this (quoted above) :

Quote

Significantly, there are no references to Nephite steel after 400 B.C.

Putting all this together, we find the following:

  • The steel sword is a Near Eastern weapon. It is imitated by Nephi in the first generation-although we are not sure if this imitation is of function, form or material-or all three.
  • Steel swords are never again mentioned in the Book of Mormon after this first generation.
  • Steel is mentioned once more, in 400 B.C., in a literary topos list, which is notable also for its failure to mention swords, steel or otherwise.

The minimalist and tightest reading of this evidence is that Nephi had a steel weapon from the Near East. He attempted to imitate this weapon-whether in function, form, or material is unclear. His descendants apparently abandoned this technology by no later than 400 B.C. Based on a careful reading of the text of the Book of Mormon, there are no grounds for claiming-as anti-Mormons repeatedly do-that the Book of Mormon describes a massive steel industry with thousands of soldiers carrying steel swords in the New World.

 

Not sure why you are not addressing this.

Quote

Whether Nephi made 3 swords or 300,000. There's no evidence that anybody in the Americas between 600 BC and 400 AD knew anything about swords, iron and steel.

And again, this speaks more to the limits of the archaeological record, and also to our assumptions about the amount, provenance, and probative weight of such evidence. 

And again, Hamblin's article is very much worth a read on this topic.

And again, I'm not sure why you are not addressing this point.

Quote

The odds are not against finding proof of iron technologies in an iron-age civilization. The Nephites survived until 400 AD, that was only 1600 years ago. Even in corrosive tropical soils, slag and iron artifacts would surely be present.

Again, Hamblin addresses this.

Again, you are not addressing Hamblin.

Quote

If you are arguing that the Nephites lost their ability to work with iron after 200 years in the New World, then I suppose it is possible that we'll never find a Nephite sword. 

How would we identify a sword as having been made by Nephi?

Quote
Quote
Quote

There's no ambiguity what a Nephite sword looked like.

There's huge ambiguity about what a Nephite sword looked like. Would the blade be made of "precious steel" as Laban's was?  Maybe, maybe not. Would the hilt be made of "pure gold?"  Maybe, maybe not. What would be shape of the hilt? We don't know. What would be the shape of the blade? What would the length of the blade be? What would the width of the blade be? What would the thickness of the blade be? Would the blade be straight?  Curved?  Would the bade be double-edged? Single-edged?  

So many questions about the characteristics of ... a sword.

I was responding to the facile assertion that "{t}here's no ambiguity {about} what a Nephite sword looked like."

Yes, yes there is such ambiguity.  Quite a lot, actually.

Quote

Maybe the easier question is, has anything that an expert in swords would identify as a sword ever been found in North, Central or South America?

You mean like the Spaniards, who encountered the macuhuitl in battle?  Would they be "expert{s}?"  From Jeff Lindsay (emphases added) :

Quote

A well known form of these pre-Columbian New World swords is the macuahuitl or the macana. Though the macuahuitl has been described as a "war club with sharp rocks embedded in it" by a Book of Mormon critic, the Spaniards that came to Central America consistently described it as a sword, not a club, as is shown by Matthew Roper in the article, "Eyewitness Descriptions of Mesoamerican Swords," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1996, pp. 150-158. Roper notes that the early Chroniclers of Mesoamerica, Durán and Clavijero, regularly called that weapon a sword {Diego Durán, The History of the Indies of New Spain, trans. Doris Heyden (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994), pp. 66, 76, 109, 135, 139, 150, 152-53, 171, 198, 279, 294, 323, 375, 378, 412, 428, 437, 441, 451, 519, 552-53; Diego Durán, Book of the Gods and Rites and the Ancient Calendar, trans. Doris Heyden and Fernando Horcasitas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971), pp. 124, 178-80, 234, 236; Clavijero said the macuahuitl "was equivalent to the sword of the Old Continent"; Francesco S. Clavijero, The History of Mexico, trans. Charles Cullen, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Budd and Bartram, 1804), 2:165; all as cited by Roper, p. 151}. Many modern Mesoamerican historians also agree that the macuahuitl can be described as a sword {Hubert H. Bancroft, Native Races (of the Pacific States), 5 vols. (San Francisco: Bancroft, 1883), 2:409-10; Philip Drucker, La Venta, Tabasco: A Study of Olmec Ceramics and Art (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1952): 202; Maurice Collis, Cort.és and Montezuma (New York: Avon Books, 1954), pp. 41, 91, 94, 97, 202; Jon M. White, Cortes and the Downfall of the Aztec Empire (New York: Caroll & Graf, 1971), p. 115; Ross Hassig, Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988), pp. 33, 45, 50, 75, 80-86, 90, 92, 96, 101-2, 111, 116, 121, 143, 172, 290 n. 67; Ross Hassig, War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), pp. 7, 112-14, 122-23, 126-27, 137-39, 150-51, 153, 160, 162, 172-73, 177; Hugh Thomas, Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes and the Fall of Old Mexico (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), p. 237; all as cited by Roper, p. 151}.

Among the many eyewitness descriptions of Mesoamerican swords, I'll cite only a few from Roper's lengthy list, following Roper's use of added italics:

The Admiral thanked God for having shown him in a moment samples of all the goods of that country without exertion or exposing his men to any danger. He ordered such things to be taken as he judged most handsome and valuable, such as . . . long wooden swords with a groove on each side where the edge should be, in which the cutting edges of flint were fixed with thread and bitumen (these swords cut naked men as if they were of steel).
{Samuel E. Morison, Journals and Other Documents on the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (New York: Heritage Press, 1963), p. 327.}

Many bands of Indians came along the coast from the town of Champoton, as it is called, wearing cotton armour to the knees, and carrying bows and arrows, lances and shields, swords which appeared to be two-handed, slings and stones. . . .
Then they attacked us hand to hand, some with lances and some shooting arrows, and others with their two-handed cutting swords. . . .
They were carrying their usual weapons: bows, arrows, lances of various sizes, some of which were as large as ours; shields, swords single and double handed, and slings and stones. . . .
They carried two-handed swords, shields, lances, and feather plumes. Their swords, which were as long as broadswords, were made of flint which cut worse than a knife, and the blades were so set than one could neither break them nor pull them out.
Montezuma had two houses stocked with every sort of weapon; many of them were richly adorned with gold and precious stones. There were shields large and small, and a sort of broadsword, and two-handed swords set with flint blades that cut much better than our swords.

{Bernal Diaz, The Conquest of New Spain, trans. J. M. Cohen (New York: Penguin Books, 1963), pp. 22,23,29,142-143,228.}

(The above quotations are from a lengthy list in Matthew Roper, "Eyewitness Descriptions of Mesoamerican Swords," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1996, pp. 150-158.)

Again, this conversation is much more about your assumptions (and apparent goal-post-shifting) than about the subject of swords.

Quote

Again, even if the knowledge of sword making was lost and then the swords disintegrated, the slag, furnaces and tuyeres would still be there, somewhere. 

Again, Hamblin addresses this.

Again, you aren't addressing Hamblin.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
  • Like 2
Link to post
3 hours ago, smac97 said:

slag and iron artifacts would surely be present.

Maybe not. I watched a video about the Ajanta caves in India and related carved cities. They claimed that hundreds of thousands of tons of stone was removed to make the cities and yet there is absolutely no evidence of the the removed stone anywhere within many miles of the place. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
5 hours ago, Ahab said:

Eh, not much pull power there. Better to try to grab someone's attention, such as to say: Book of Mormon evidence in Nicaragua (with or without the question mark)

Misleading. Especially with no question mark. Makes it seem like items have already been found there that may amount to Book of Mormon evidence — which is not what the OP says. 
 

A headline or title that relies on conveying inaccurate understanding as “pull power” is not a good one.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
  • Like 1
Link to post
8 hours ago, smac97 said:

So you are stretching the definition of "Nephite" to include an artifact not created by Nephites?

As usual the thread is growing into a dozen smaller discussions. In summary, we don't know whether or not Nephi was a historical character and whether or not Nephites were a distinct historical group. We can assume a Nephite artifact would have some combination of Israelite, Egyptian and Southern Arabian influences along with influences of the dominant cultures present in whatever geographic model we might be discussing. In other words, we aren't looking for Nephite artifacts, we are looking for artifacts that exhibit the above influences. So let's say we are looking for Book of Mormon artifacts.

The brass plates and the Liahona were used by Nephi. They would be distinct Book of Mormon artifacts. The sword of Laban, as discovered by Joseph Smith in a hill in New York, would be a Book of Mormon artifact. The golden plates, the breastplate, and the spectacles also discovered by Joseph Smith in a hill in New York were Book of Mormon artifacts. All these, and only these, could be considered Jaredite/Mulekite/Nephite artifacts, or Book of Mormon artifacts.

So we have a pretty good idea of what Book of Mormon artifacts look like because Joseph Smith and others described them. We know what a Book of Mormon sword looks like. We know what a Book of Mormon breastplate looks like. We know what Book of Mormon plates look like. We know what Book of Mormon interpreters look like. Had Joseph Smith pulled a macuahuitl out of the Hill we could safely assume that a macuahuitl was a sort of Nephite sword. But he didn't. According to witnesses who claimed to have seen the sword, it had a sheath, blade and hilt.

The question, as it relates to the original post, is: would the Church be interested in looking for evidence of the Book of Mormon in Nicaragua?

I think I would agree with you here, the Church would not be interested because it is unlikely that artifacts that are distinctly related to the Book of Mormon would be found in Nicaragua. Even if steel swords and giant breastplates were found in Masaya, there would be no way of assigning them to a Jaredite or a Nephite.

Quote

My point, echoing Hamblin's, is that we need to first examine our assumptions.  What would a "Nephite" artifact look like?  How would we propose to differentiate "Nephite" artifacts from non-Nephite artifacts?  Unless and until we can do that in a meaningful and coherent way, assertions about what "archaeology" has to say about the Book of Mormon are premature and fatuous.

In a way Hamblin agrees with Jenkins. We've found nothing that we could identify as a single Nephite or Book of Mormon artifact.

Quote

Hamblin addresses this (quoted above) : Not sure why you are not addressing this. And again, this speaks more to the limits of the archaeological record, and also to our assumptions about the amount, provenance, and probative weight of such evidence. And again, Hamblin's article is very much worth a read on this topic. And again, I'm not sure why you are not addressing this point. Again, Hamblin addresses this. Again, you are not addressing Hamblin. Again, Hamblin addresses this. Again, you aren't addressing Hamblin.

I think we do know what Book of Mormon artefacts look like. Problem is, we haven't found anything that looks distinctly "Book of Mormon" in the historical or archeological record yet. 

Quote

How would we identify a sword as having been made by Nephi?

A Book of Mormon sword would be dated to 120 BC when the Nephites found the Jaredite swords cankered with rust. The blade would be made of some form of metal. It would be similar in form and function to swords dating to roughly 600BC in the Middle East. The only description we have of a Book of Mormon sword is that it had a steel blade and a gold hilt.

Quote

I was responding to the facile assertion that "{t}here's no ambiguity {about} what a Nephite sword looked like." Yes, yes there is such ambiguity.  Quite a lot, actually.

Well, we know that King Shule made steel swords, we also know that the blades of swords in the Book or Mormon were made of something that could canker with rust, we also know that at least one sword in the Book of Mormon had a steel blade and a gold hilt. You're right that we don't know much about the length and details of these swords described in the Book of Mormon. But it is clear they were made of metal.

Quote

Again, this conversation is much more about your assumptions (and apparent goal-post-shifting) than about the subject of swords.

"Wherefore, [Shule] came to the hill Ephraim, and he did molten out of the hill, and made swords out of steel."

We know that at least these Book of Mormon swords were made out of steel. The Nephites later found these swords cankered with rusty blades. Where am I goal-post shifting?

Edited by Rajah Manchou
Link to post
4 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Maybe not. I watched a video about the Ajanta caves in India and related carved cities. They claimed that hundreds of thousands of tons of stone was removed to make the cities and yet there is absolutely no evidence of the the removed stone anywhere within many miles of the place. 

Been there and it is as impressive as it sounds. But rock-cut temples like Ajanta and Ellora in India are essentially rock quarries. Like any rock quarry, the cut rocks were removed and put to use in construction all over the place.  

The difference here is that we can see the quarries where the rocks were cut. We can identify the religion of those who carved temples from the rocks. We can read the inscriptions in the rocks.

I suppose it is possible that iron slag and tuyeres were used for other purposes in cities and villages, but that would only make it more likely that we would find the slag.

Link to post
1 hour ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Like any rock quarry, the cut rocks were removed and put to use in construction all over the place.  

Not according to the video. Also there would be masses of small rocks unsuitable for construction that should have been found

Link to post
9 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

Not according to the video. Also there would be masses of small rocks unsuitable for construction that should have been found

Not sure what the video is. There are quite a lot out there about ancient pyramids and alien astronauts and such. Not saying that's the case here but if you have a link I'd be curious to watch it.

India is made of rocks. They are used in construction everywhere and rock is a commodity that could be sold.

If there's one thing I learned while living in India, if it can be useful someone will eventually use it. Over the past 1500 years, I'd guess someone eventually found those small rocks useful, maybe for building roads or serving as the foundation of a temple?

Link to post
On 9/7/2020 at 12:06 PM, smac97 said:

What would a Nephite pottery shard look like?

How would you know?  You seem to think if the Nephites really were, then we'd never be able to detect anything about them because everything that would result from their existence simply blends in with others.  If that's possible, great.  But it hardly resolves anyone of the burden of proof.  As is axiomatic in this realm--the more extraordinary the claim requires the more extraordinary evidence.  

Link to post
1 hour ago, stemelbow said:
Quote

What would a Nephite pottery shard look like?

How would you know? 

I don't.  Nor do you.  Nor does anyone else at present.  That is the point Hamblin has been making for years.

Quote

You seem to think if the Nephites really were, then we'd never be able to detect anything about them because everything that would result from their existence simply blends in with others.

That seems to be the current state of things.

Quote

If that's possible, great.  But it hardly resolves anyone of the burden of proof. 

We're not the ones pointing to archaeology as the be-all-end-all source of evidence for the origins of the Book of Mormon.  Those who are (you, Jenkins, Rajah, etc.) are the ones with the problematic assumptions.

Meanwhile, the Church has proposed that interested parties test the Book of Mormon principally through Moroni's Promise.  Secondary, supplementary evidences are helpful, but not necessary. 

Meanwhile, I think folks like you are struggling with the "CSI Effect" relative to archaeology.  My sense is that your expectations and assumptions about what it can prove, about what evidences about the Book of Mormon can be derived from it, are generally unrealistic and unreasonable.

Quote

As is axiomatic in this realm--the more extraordinary the claim requires the more extraordinary evidence.  

That's not axiomatic at all. 

First, Carl Sagan is not the arbiter of such things. 

Second, there is patent ambiguity in what "extraordinary" means "in this realm."  See, e.g., this article:

Quote

In other instances, the invocation of ECREE has been virtually unintelligible. Tressoldi (2011: 1) described ECREE as a statement that “is at the heart of the scientific method, and a model for critical thinking, rational thought and skepticism everywhere.” Yet in the same paragraph the author conceded that it was impossible to objectively define the term “extraordinary.” He admitted that “measures of ‘extraordinary evidence’ are completely reliant on subjective evaluation” (Tressoldi 2011: 1). It is clearly impossible to base all rational thought and scientific methodology on an aphorism whose meaning is entirely subjective.

ECREE sounds cool, but its utility is quite limited.

More:

Quote

Invocation of the ECREE aphorism tends to confuse more than clarify. Pertinent questions remain unanswered. What is the nature of an extraordinary claim? What qualifies as extraordinary evidence? Should there be two standards of evidence in science? Is there any context in which ECREE can be invoked correctly?

If ECREE has difficulty in being applied in a scientific context, how much more problematic is it when deployed in relation to religious truth claims?  For example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a purported event that happened 2,000 or so years ago.  I don't think ECREE has much utility in evaluating it.  

And here:

Quote

In 1979 astronomer Carl Sagan popularized the aphorism “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (ECREE). But Sagan never defined the term “extraordinary.” Ambiguity in what constitutes “extraordinary” has led to misuse of the aphorism. ECREE is commonly invoked to discredit research dealing with scientific anomalies, and has even been rhetorically employed in attempts to raise doubts concerning mainstream scientific hypotheses that have substantive empirical support. The origin of ECREE lies in eighteenth-century Enlightenment criticisms of miracles. The most important of these was Hume’s essay On Miracles. Hume precisely defined an extraordinary claim as one that is directly contradicted by a massive amount of existing evidence. For a claim to qualify as extraordinary there must exist overwhelming empirical data of the exact antithesis. Extraordinary evidence is not a separate category or type of evidence--it is an extraordinarily large number of observations. Claims that are merely novel or those which violate human consensus are not properly characterized as extraordinary. Science does not contemplate two types of evidence. The misuse of ECREE to suppress innovation and maintain orthodoxy should be avoided as it must inevitably retard the scientific goal of establishing reliable knowledge.

I don't think there is anything close to "overwhelming empirical data of the exact antithesis" of the claimed origins of the Book of Mormon.  To the contrary, I have found the claimed origins to be quite plausible, and also supported by secondary evidences.  I also think that critics of the Book of Mormon are not necessarily obligated to provide a coherent counter-explanation for The Book of Mormon.  But the point is, they have not been able to.  We're coming up on nearly 200 years since the original publication of the text, and yet when the chips are down, and when a well-informed person (like, say, Daniel Peterson) argues for the plausibility of the LDS position, we don't get reasoned responses and rebuttals.  We get glib sarcasm.  We get curt dismissals a al ECREE.  We get unreasoned insistence on archaeology being the end-all source of evidence for (or against) the Book of Mormon.  We get anything but an engagement of the evidence at hand.

Also, my sense is that you are implying that the claimed origins of the Book of Mormon are "novel" and/or "violate human consensus," and are therefore "extraordinary."  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
  • Like 1
Link to post

I think if an object were found in central america, such as a metal sword or other weapon of war, that clearly has its origins in the middle east, I am sure the tune for some would immediately change from the dismal "what do we expect to find" to the more upbeat "wow, we found something."  Anyway, for me, the fact that the church with all its wealth doesn't want to finance an archeological dig in Nicaragua or elsewhere seems to be telling us that the church doesn't have any faith in finding anything of substance.  Otherwise, I am sure the church would be or would have already financed extensive projects to show that the Nephites were actually a people and were actually in the Americas.  Even so, I don't think it matters much.  President Nelson's emphasis on the spirituality of the Book of Mormon and not on any particular geography speaks of where we should be. 

Link to post
23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't.  Nor do you.  Nor does anyone else at present.  That is the point Hamblin has been making for years.

That seems to be the current state of things.

We're not the ones pointing to archaeology as the be-all-end-all source of evidence for the origins of the Book of Mormon.  Those who are (you, Jenkins, Rajah, etc.) are the ones with the problematic assumptions.

Its not assumption to ask those who hold to claim of historicity to support the claims.  Assuming the burden goes with the territory.  

23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Meanwhile, the Church has proposed that interested parties test the Book of Mormon principally through Moroni's Promise.  Secondary, supplementary evidences are helpful, but not necessary. 

Sure.  To determine whether it's scripture.  ti can be scripture, I suppose, and lack historicity.  The claim at focus is not whether it is scripture, but whether it is history.  If its claimed to be history, then those who claim as much have a burden of proof.  If they simply shy away from that burden and say it's not possible to prove but I claim it anyway, then they simply have relinquished the argument.  

23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Meanwhile, I think folks like you are struggling with the "CSI Effect" relative to archaeology.  My sense is that your expectations and assumptions about what it can prove, about what evidences about the Book of Mormon can be derived from it, are generally unrealistic and unreasonable.

What expectations and assumptions are you accusing me of holding?  I think you simply have relinquished the burden therefore claiming defeat.  

23 minutes ago, smac97 said:

That's not axiomatic at all. 

First, Carl Sagan is not the arbiter of such things. 

Second, there is patent ambiguity in what "extraordinary" means "in this realm."  See, e.g., this article:

ECREE sounds cool, but its utility is quite limited.

More:

If ECREE has difficulty in being applied in a scientific context, how much more problematic is it when deployed in relation to religious truth claims?  For example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a purported event that happened 2,000 or so years ago.  I don't think ECREE has much utility in evaluating it.  

And here:

I don't think there is anything close to "overwhelming empirical data of the exact antithesis" of the claimed origins of the Book of Mormon.  To the contrary, I have found the claimed origins to be quite plausible, and also supported by secondary evidences.  I also think that critics of the Book of Mormon are not necessarily obligated to provide a coherent counter-explanation for The Book of Mormon.  But the point is, they have not been able to.  We're coming up on nearly 200 years since the original publication of the text, and yet when the chips are down, and when a well-informed person (like, say, Daniel Peterson) argues for the plausibility of the LDS position, we don't get reasoned responses and rebuttals.  We get glib sarcasm.  We get curt dismissals a al ECREE.  We get unreasoned insistence on archaeology being the end-all source of evidence for (or against) the Book of Mormon.  We get anything but an engagement of the evidence at hand.

Also, my sense is that you are implying that the claimed origins of the Book of Mormon are "novel" and/or "violate human consensus," and are therefore "extraordinary."  

Thanks,

-Smac

Fine.  I dont' really care if ECEE means much or works.  Not really my point.  The point is simply, the claim is made, and the burden falls on he who makes the claim.  Not the other way around.  It's not my job to define for you the expectation of how to support your claim.  You support it.  that's your burden.  If you can't.  If you say, "well, you expect someone to support it, but that means you're being unreasonable" then to me you simply have relinquished the claim.  

Link to post
1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Its not assumption to ask those who hold to claim of historicity to support the claims. 

The problematic assumptions here are how much archaeology can be used as a means of producing evidence for or against historicity.

And those assumptions are very much apparent in your comments, in Rajah's, in Jenkins', etc.

Quote

Assuming the burden goes with the territory.  

Sure.  But the burden of proof is not restricted to pointing to archaeological evidences.

Quote
Quote

Meanwhile, the Church has proposed that interested parties test the Book of Mormon principally through Moroni's Promise.  Secondary, supplementary evidences are helpful, but not necessary. 

Sure.  To determine whether it's scripture.  ti can be scripture, I suppose, and lack historicity. 

I don't think it can.  

Quote

The claim at focus is not whether it is scripture, but whether it is history. 

I agree.  As it happens, though, I think evidence supporting the latter also becomes evidence supporting the former.

Quote

If its claimed to be history, then those who claim as much have a burden of proof. 

Sure.  But again, the "burden of proof" is not restricted to evidences derived from New World archaeology.  Your assumptions about the overall availability and probative value of such evidences are, I think, deepy problematic.

Quote

If they simply shy away from that burden and say it's not possible to prove but I claim it anyway, then they simply have relinquished the argument.  

Nobody is doing that.

Quote

What expectations and assumptions are you accusing me of holding? 

Expectations and assumptions about what New World archaeology can do in terms of producing evidence for (or against) the claimed origins of the Book of Mormon.

The "show me one piece of evidence" canard has been brought up over and over again.  The expectations and assumptions underlying it are, as Hamblin has repeatedly and amply demonstrated, quite problematic.

Quote

I think you simply have relinquished the burden therefore claiming defeat.  

Nonsense.  I have done nothing of the sort.

Quote

Fine.  I dont' really care if ECEE means much or works.  Not really my point. 

And yet you brought it up.

Quote

The point is simply, the claim is made, and the burden falls on he who makes the claim. 

I agree.

Quote

Not the other way around. 

Well, not quite.  When folks like you present alternative, naturalistic explanations as to the origins of the Book of Mormon, then "the burden falls on he who makes the claim."

I have been quite unimpressed and unpersuaded by the pastiche of mutually contradictory naturalistic explanations advanced by the critics and opponents of the Church.

Quote

It's not my job to define for you the expectation of how to support your claim.  You support it.  that's your burden. 

Happy to.  We are doing precisely that.

The point in dispute, though, is the faulty assumption that New World archaeology is the sole or predominant source of "evidence" pertaining to the historicity of the Book of Mormon.  Again, what would a Nephite pottery shard look like?  How would we know it to be Nephite?

Quote

If you can't.  If you say, "well, you expect someone to support it, but that means you're being unreasonable" then to me you simply have relinquished the claim.  

I have said nothing like this.  At all.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
  • Like 1
Link to post

The Church has financed digs in MesoAmerica by financing Ferguson's New World Archaeological Foundation.  At least, for a time.

Grecian, Roman and Viking swords are found all the time.   On display in museums around the world.  

http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/isaw/isaw-papers/9/

 

This Wiki entry on Thomas Stewart Ferguson:  "Thomas Stuart Ferguson was one of the most noted defenders of Book of Mormon archaeology. Mr. Ferguson planned the New World Archaeological Foundation which he hoped would prove The Book of Mormon through archaeological research. The Mormon Church granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to this organization, but in the end, Thomas Stuart Ferguson admitted that although the Foundation made some important contributions to New World archaeology, all his work with regard to the Book of Mormon was in vain. He admitted, in fact, that he had wasted twenty-five years of his life trying to prove the Book of Mormon. In 1975 Ferguson prepared a 29-page paper in which he wrote: 'I'm afraid that up to this point, I must agree with Dee Green, who has told us that to date there is no Book-of-Mormon geography.' In a letter to Mr. & Mrs. H.W. Lawrence, dated Feb. 20, 1976, Thomas Stuart Ferguson plainly stated: '…you can’t set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere - because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of the dirt-archeology.' "

 

I just think Ferguson was looking in the wrong place.

Edited by Bob Crockett
Link to post
42 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The problematic assumptions here are how much archaeology can be used as a means of producing evidence for or against historicity.

By all means, Smac.  Provide evidence for historicity.  I'm not and have not claimed archaeology is the only discipline capable of confirming or support historicity claims.  

42 minutes ago, smac97 said:

And those assumptions are very much apparent in your comments, in Rajah's, in Jenkins', etc.

Sure.  But the burden of proof is not restricted to pointing to archaeological evidences.

it's quite the discpline to verify claims of historicity.  But if you feel there is verification in some other discipline by some other means, great.  Show it.  

42 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I don't think it can.  

I agree.  As it happens, though, I think evidence supporting the latter also becomes evidence supporting the former.

Sure.  But again, the "burden of proof" is not restricted to evidences derived from New World archaeology.  Your assumptions about the overall availability and probative value of such evidences are, I think, deepy problematic.

Nobody is doing that.

Expectations and assumptions about what New World archaeology can do in terms of producing evidence for (or against) the claimed origins of the Book of Mormon.

The "show me one piece of evidence" canard has been brought up over and over again.  The expectations and assumptions underlying it are, as Hamblin has repeatedly and amply demonstrated, quite problematic.

Nonsense.  I have done nothing of the sort.

And yet you brought it up.

I agree.

Well, not quite.  When folks like you present alternative, naturalistic explanations as to the origins of the Book of Mormon, then "the burden falls on he who makes the claim."

What alternative, naturalistic explanations are you thinking of?  If the burden is not met, by demonstrating historicity, what other explanation works?  

42 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I have been quite unimpressed and unpersuaded by the pastiche of mutually contradictory naturalistic explanations advanced by the critics and opponents of the Church.

Happy to.  We are doing precisely that.

The point in dispute, though, is the faulty assumption that New World archaeology is the sole or predominant source of "evidence" pertaining to the historicity of the Book of Mormon.  Again, what would a Nephite pottery shard look like?  How would we know it to be Nephite?

I have said nothing like this.  At all.

Thanks,

-Smac

Thanks for all the words in reply.  I simply have not assumed much of anything.  I simply ask and find the responses wanting in every wit.  If you want to shy away from archaeology to fulfill your burden, fine by me.  But doing so really strains the burden.  It seems to me, Hamblin's concerns were handily critiqued.  Obviously you disagree.  To me Hamblin's concerns simply point out the burden can't reasonable be met.  Unable to meet the burden results in a defeat.  As to whether it's possible to supply support for the claim of historicity, is not the burden of anyone asking for support for the claim.  That is the part of the burden that you must overcome if you want to meet the burden.  

Link to post
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

The point in dispute, though, is the faulty assumption that New World archaeology is the sole or predominant source of "evidence" pertaining to the historicity of the Book of Mormon.  Again, what would a Nephite pottery shard look like?  How would we know it to be Nephite?

It is the most significant source of evidence for an ancient civilization and its social constructs.  Archaeology drives all that trivial nonsense with Margaret Barker and Dever about "real" worship of the divine ancient Israel  Although I am not even remotely close to being an anthropologist, I do read.  I am not aware of any accepted ancient civilization by anthropologists where there is no archeology.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

By all means, Smac.  Provide evidence for historicity. 

From here:

Quote

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."

I will once again note how our critics tend to not listen to what we have to say.  Nothing above is new, and yet here you are, asking for "evidence for historicity," as if none has ever been produced before.

Cue the No True Scotsman fallacy in 3...2...

Quote

I'm not and have not claimed archaeology is the only discipline capable of confirming or support historicity claims.  

Jenkins seemed to be doing that.  But I stand corrected as far as you are concerned.

Quote

it's quite the discpline to verify claims of historicity. 

Or "create plausible grounds for" historicity.  I think think "verify" may be a bit strong.

Quote

But if you feel there is verification in some other discipline by some other means, great.  Show it.  

To "verify" means "to make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true, accurate, or justified."

We cannot "verify" the historicity of the Book of Mormon (and critics can't "verify" their alternative naturalistic explanations for it).  I think what we can do is present an argument for plausibility, while still focusing on the preeminence of Moroni's Promise as the central basis for accepting the Book of Mormon for what it claims to be.

Quote

What alternative, naturalistic explanations are you thinking of? 

Pretty much all of them.

Quote

If the burden is not met, by demonstrating historicity, what other explanation works?  

One that provides a coherent, evidence-based explanation for the origins of the Book of Mormon.

Quote

Thanks for all the words in reply.  I simply have not assumed much of anything.  I simply ask and find the responses wanting in every wit. 

Okay.

Quote

If you want to shy away from archaeology to fulfill your burden, fine by me. 

I want to contextualize archaeology in terms of understanding what it presently can and cannot say regarding the origins of the Book of Mormon.

That doesn't mean "shy{ing} away from" it.  I provide five archaeological evidences in the list above.

Quote

But doing so really strains the burden. 

First, I haven't shied away from archaeology.

Second, you seem to be reverting back to the archaeology-is-the-sole-or-predominant-source-of-evidence-for-the-origins-of-the-Book-of-Mormon way of thinking, despite your previous disclaimer of "archaeology {being} the only discipline capable of confirming or support historicity claims."

Third, "the burden" is not "strained" by acknowledging the limitations of what archaeology can presently tell us about whether there were Nephites.

Fourth, "the burden" is met primarily and predominantly through Moroni's Promise.  Ancillary evidences are helpful, but not dispositive.

Quote

It seems to me, Hamblin's concerns were handily critiqued.  Obviously you disagree. 

I haven't seen that.  Not even close.  So yes, I disagree.

Quote

To me Hamblin's concerns simply point out the burden can't reasonable be met. 

Only if meeting "the burden" is restricted to the current state of Mesoamerican archaeology.  That's what you seem to be saying, while elsewhere denying it.  Weird.

Quote

Unable to meet the burden results in a defeat. 

Sigh.

Again, our critics aren't listening to what we have to say.

And again, there is an implication that "unable to meet the burden" is code for "you can't point to specific precolumbian Mesoamerican artifacts 'verifying' the existence of the Nephites, ergo your position has been 'defeat{ed}."

I think you are jumping to unwarranted conclusions here.  Big time.

Quote

As to whether it's possible to supply support for the claim of historicity, is not the burden of anyone asking for support for the claim. 

Agreed.

But for those who propose alternative naturalistic explanations for the origins of the Book of Mormon, they do have a burden for defending such claims.  This does not seem to be working well.

Quote

That is the part of the burden that you must overcome if you want to meet the burden.  

The Church's "burden" is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to invite people to read and study and pray about the Book of Mormon as a testament of Jesus Christ, and to invite them to make covenants with God through baptism and other ordinances.  The mechanism for meeting these "burdens" centers on Moroni's Promise.  Secondary evidences can be helpful, but are far from necessary.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
  • Like 1
Link to post
48 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:
Quote

The point in dispute, though, is the faulty assumption that New World archaeology is the sole or predominant source of "evidence" pertaining to the historicity of the Book of Mormon.  Again, what would a Nephite pottery shard look like?  How would we know it to be Nephite?

It is the most significant source of evidence for an ancient civilization and its social constructs. 

Generally, yes.  But I'm not sure that's the case for the case of "the historicity of the Book of Mormon," which is a considerably more specific inquiry.  The text is, after all, a religious record, with some specific "historical matters" providing sporadic context.  

48 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Archaeology drives all that trivial nonsense with Margaret Barker and Dever about "real" worship of the divine ancient Israel  Although I am not even remotely close to being an anthropologist, I do read.  I am not aware of any accepted ancient civilization by anthropologists where there is no archeology.  

Sure.  But the issue here is whether Mesoamerican archaeology is presently situated so as to allow us to confidentily identify "Nephite" or "Lamanite" or "Mulekite" or "Jaredite" artifacts (or, contrarily, to exclude such designations).  At present, the answer is, I think, "not really."  From Hamblin:

Quote

Wilson first strives to discredit the Book of Mormon by unfavorably comparing the present state of knowledge about ancient Nephite sites with the state of knowledge about biblical sites. He begins his discussion of Book of Mormon geography by proclaiming that “one might expect that determining the geographical setting of the Book of Mormon lands would be a fairly simple undertaking” (2a). He provides no evidence or analysis to indicate why this dubious assumption should be accepted. In fact, quite the opposite is true. There are several notable examples where precise reconstruction of archaic geographies has proven difficult if not impossible.

The Bible itself is a case in point. For example, modern sites for only 55 per cent of the place names mentioned in the Bible have been identified2—and this from the most carefully scrutinized and studied book in the world. For example, where is Mt. Sinai? There are over twenty candidates. What is the route taken by the Israelites in the Exodus? Again, there are many different theories. These and many other issues of biblical geography are all hotly disputed. Furthermore, the fact that there is widespread agreement on many questions of geography is simply an indication that scholarly consensus has been achieved but not necessarily that the consensus is correct.

...

{W}ithout the continuity of place names between biblical and modern times, only about 36 of the 475 biblical place names could be identified with certainty. But in fact those 36 are identifiable largely because it is possible to triangulate their relationship to known sites, moving from the known to the unknown. It is only because there are numerous biblical sites known with certainty through the continuity of place names that these other 36 sites can be located.

...

The reconstruction of Book of Mormon geography thus faces several difficulties not found in biblical geography. In Mesoamerica there is a discontinuity of toponyms, whereas there is strong continuity in Palestine; inscriptional evidence from Mesoamerica uses symbolic glyphs for cities rather than phonetic transcriptions of the names, whereas inscriptional evidence in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine usually contains a phonetic component; and finally, there is no Pre-Classic onomasticon (place-name list) for Mesoamerica, whereas Palestine has Eusebius’s detailed Onomasticon, as well as those of later pilgrims.  These items allow historians to create a map grid based both on names and distances between sites for key biblical toponyms.  As noted above, a more accurate comparison to Book of Mormon geography is that for Bronze Age western Anatolia, where similar problems of reconstruction exist. Thus, while Wilson’s point that biblical geography is better documented than Book of Mormon geography is readily conceded, that point by no means proves that the Book of Mormon is ahistorical, as Wilson concludes.

If academics/scholars and the world in general can accommodate ambiguity regarding the geography of the Bible, they should also be able to accommodate ambiguity regarding the geography of the Book of Mormon.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to post
4 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

The Church has financed digs in MesoAmerica by financing Ferguson's New World Archaeological Foundation.  At least, for a time.

Grecian, Roman and Viking swords are found all the time.   On display in museums around the world.  

http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/isaw/isaw-papers/9/

 

This Wiki entry on Thomas Stewart Ferguson:  "Thomas Stuart Ferguson was one of the most noted defenders of Book of Mormon archaeology. Mr. Ferguson planned the New World Archaeological Foundation which he hoped would prove The Book of Mormon through archaeological research. The Mormon Church granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to this organization, but in the end, Thomas Stuart Ferguson admitted that although the Foundation made some important contributions to New World archaeology, all his work with regard to the Book of Mormon was in vain. He admitted, in fact, that he had wasted twenty-five years of his life trying to prove the Book of Mormon. In 1975 Ferguson prepared a 29-page paper in which he wrote: 'I'm afraid that up to this point, I must agree with Dee Green, who has told us that to date there is no Book-of-Mormon geography.' In a letter to Mr. & Mrs. H.W. Lawrence, dated Feb. 20, 1976, Thomas Stuart Ferguson plainly stated: '…you can’t set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere - because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of the dirt-archeology.' "

 

I just think Ferguson was looking in the wrong place.

The reality is that even now, less than 4% of all known MesoAmerican archaeology has  been excavated much less "discovered".  Ferguson set his sights unrealistically in thinking that because he did not, despite all his efforts, discover anything, meant that there was no use looking elsewhere.  For example the ruins of El Mirador in Guatemala were discovered after Ferguson's time.  And the dating there is much closer to BoM dates AFAIK.

  • Like 1
Link to post
20 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

The reality is that even now, less than 4% of all known MesoAmerican archaeology has  been excavated much less "discovered".  Ferguson set his sights unrealistically in thinking that because he did not, despite all his efforts, discover anything, meant that there was no use looking elsewhere.  For example the ruins of El Mirador in Guatemala were discovered after Ferguson's time.  And the dating there is much closer to BoM dates AFAIK.

That really isn't a response.  Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence, not the other way around.

Link to post
3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Generally, yes.  But I'm not sure that's the case for the case of "the historicity of the Book of Mormon," which is a considerably more specific inquiry.  The text is, after all, a religious record, with some specific "historical matters" providing sporadic context.  

Sure.  But the issue here is whether Mesoamerican archaeology is presently situated so as to allow us to confidentily identify "Nephite" or "Lamanite" or "Mulekite" or "Jaredite" artifacts (or, contrarily, to exclude such designations).  At present, the answer is, I think, "not really."  From Hamblin:

If academics/scholars and the world in general can accommodate ambiguity regarding the geography of the Bible, they should also be able to accommodate ambiguity regarding the geography of the Book of Mormon.

Thanks,

-Smac

I think that we'd find support for steel in the Americas.  For horses, other than the few odd anachronisms.  

There are dozens of place names in the Bible which are identified today.  Not too ambiguous. 

Link to post
37 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

I think that we'd find support for steel in the Americas. 

Well, maybe.  Matthew Roper has addressed this:

Quote

In his hour-long presentation, Roper analyzed descriptions of steel swords and other sword-like weapons in the Book of Mormon and compared those findings with pre-Columbian swords and cimeters/scimitars (curved swords) known from ancient Mexico and Central America using examples from Mesoamerican art.

One of the earliest criticisms of the Book of Mormon was that Laban's sword couldn't be made of steel because steel-making technology wasn't invented until later. About 30 years ago, Israeli archeologists discovered a meter-long steel sword near the site of Jericho, which dates back to the time of King Josiah, Laban and Lehi. It's now on display at a museum in Jerusalem, Roper said.

But no metal blades have been found from pre-Columbian America, Roper said. In studying the Book of Mormon, Roper has found references to steel swords among the Jaredites and Nephites up to Jacob's grandson, Jarom. There is no mention of steel swords after that, Roper said.

Although Nephi mentions taking the sword of Laban and making others like it (2 Nephi 5:14), it seems the steel sword-making technology was lost and wood-bladed swords became the preferred weapon, Roper said.

"It was apparently an exceptional thing for Nephi or King Benjamin to wield the sword of Laban in defense of their people (Jacob 1:10; Words of Mormon 1:13)," Roper said. "This suggests to me that steel swords were probably the exception not the norm and that among the people of the Book of Mormon metal blades were rare and elite items. If that is the case, other kinds of swords would have been adequate to their needs."

See also these comments by Jeff Lindsay.

37 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

For horses, other than the few odd anachronisms.  

Yes, evidence for horses would be nice.  Jeff Lindsay has some resources.

37 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

There are dozens of place names in the Bible which are identified today.  Not too ambiguous. 

Yes, but mostly through continuity.  Hamblin: "{W}ithout the continuity of place names between biblical and modern times, only about 36 of the 475 biblical place names could be identified with certainty. But in fact those 36 are identifiable largely because it is possible to triangulate their relationship to known sites, moving from the known to the unknown. It is only because there are numerous biblical sites known with certainty through the continuity of place names that these other 36 sites can be located."

To be sure, he said this in 1993.  How much has changed since then?

Thanks,

-Smac

  • Like 2
Link to post
15 hours ago, smac97 said:

We're not the ones pointing to archaeology as the be-all-end-all source of evidence for the origins of the Book of Mormon.  Those who are (you, Jenkins, Rajah, etc.) are the ones with the problematic assumptions.

Whoa there, let's break this down. I propose a Book of Mormon geography that fits squarely in history. This geography permits iron and steel swords dating to the correct time period, it is in fact the only location outside of the ANE where steel swords were present in the right time period. 

Despite the evidence, its a struggle to be recognized because Hamblin and others must dismiss the requirement to even produce evidence of steel swords. Or elephants. Or horses. Or anything at all, because you assume that Book of Mormon artefacts couldn't be distinct enough to be found. 

I disagree. Book of Mormon artifacts like steel swords, and things like horses and elephants, are distinct enough to be identified. The problematic assumptions are not mine.

Link to post
8 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Whoa there, let's break this down. I propose a Book of Mormon geography that fits squarely in history. This geography permits iron and steel swords dating to the correct time period, it is in fact the only location outside of the ANE where steel swords were present in the right time period. 

Despite the evidence, its a struggle to be recognized because Hamblin and others must dismiss the requirement to even produce evidence of steel swords. Or elephants. Or horses. Or anything at all, because you assume that Book of Mormon artefacts couldn't be distinct enough to be found. 

I disagree. Book of Mormon artifacts like steel swords, and things like horses and elephants, are distinct enough to be identified. The problematic assumptions are not mine.

Your geography is at odds with a statement by one of the ancient Nephites to Joseph Smith:

He called me by aname, and said unto me that he was a bmessenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for cgood and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.

 He said there was a abook deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the bfulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;

(JSH 1:33-34)

In order for the Nephites to have lived outside of North American either

1) "this continent" refers to a continent other than North America

2) Moroni was mistaken as to where the Nephites lived or where Joseph Smith lived

3) Joseph quoted Moroni incorrectly

Are there other options? 

To me, Moroni's statement to Joseph that the Book of Mormon inhabitants lived on "this continent" need to be explained away before a search anywhere outside of North America should be entertained.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Quote

...giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. 

In order for the Nephites to have lived outside of North American either:

1) "this continent" refers to a continent other than North America

2) Moroni was mistaken as to where the Nephites lived or where Joseph Smith lived

3) Joseph quoted Moroni incorrectly

Are there other options? 

Native Americans came from where? Asia. So:

4) He said there was a a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang: Asia.

As Smac has pointed out, we don't have all the records associated with the Book of Mormon text. Mormon said himself that he could only write a hundredth part and even then up to 2/3rds of the content was sealed.

From Joseph's Zelph account, it is clear that there were groups of Lamanites and Nephites that aren't even found in the Book of Mormon text. Where did the Prophet Onandagus came from? Who were the White Lamanites? If you consider the theory about the origins of the Native Americans that was popular in New York just previous to the publication of the Book of Mormon, these warring Native Americans buried in mounds in Joseph Smith's backyard were from ... Malaysia. This was a commonplace idea in 1820 New York.

Samuel Mitchill, who offered his opinion on the Book of Mormon characters to Martin Harris, was the leading proponent of the theory that Native Americans were Malay. Mitchill confirmed the Book of Mormon characters were related to the script of a people in the east. He told Martin Harris the name of that people.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
  • Like 1
Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...