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By Fair Dinkum
Biblical scholars have long known that the ending to the Book of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) is not found in the most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses and therefore conclude that this long ending is a late addition to the book and not part of the original manuscript.
This doesn't necessarily pose any problems for the Bible but can the same be said for the Book of Mormon?
Take Mark 16:17-18 a late addition to the Book of Mark, words that were never uttered by Jesus but added centuries after by perhaps a well meaning scribe.
And yet we find Book of Mormon Jesus proclaiming these of same words through Mormon, words that had been added to the Book of Mark by a scribe. Words that were never uttered by Jesus in Jerusalem but were so important to Jesus that He decided to quote some random scribe and tell Mormon to pass them along to everyone reading the Book of Mormon.
See Mormon 9:24
But why would Jesus quote some random scribe and deem their words so important that He needed to tell Mormon to include them in the Book of Mormon?
By Fair Dinkum
In 3 Nephi 22:9 we read of Jesus speaking to the surviving populations in the America's upon His appearance in America. While most of his comments are merely a duplication of his ministry in the Holy Land one bizarre remark stands out in that it confirms the reality of the Universal Flood Myth.
Why does Jesus mislead His Nephite audience by propagating the flood myth?
I am not a conspiracy kind of person. I had a thought the other day that if you really believe the Book of Mormon you cannot state the following: All conspiracy theories are false.
Two months ago someone from my extended family, Richard (not his real name), left the church.
“I believe Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon,” he said.
I spent an hour or so pushing back on this point. I brought up the complex geography of the BOM (“Fiction writers very rarely invent geography, and when they do it’s a very simple geography”); the language (“Who invents something like Reformed Egyptian? If you’re inventing a story about Jews from 600 BC you have them speaking Hebrew”); the various plates (“Someone could write a whole book on the various plates in the BOM alone, the abridgments, the abridgments of abridgments, the large plates, the small plates, what happened to these plates over the course of a thousand years”); the messiness yet internal consistency of the narrative (“Fiction is not messy, it is tidy, organized. But the BOM is untidy, messy, and there are loose ends everywhere. Why? Because it is not fiction"); etc., etc.
But it was all to no effect. Richard has never been a reader, and most of what I said––well, it just didn’t register with him.
But what I said next, did.
“The Book of Mormon was originally rendered in a language Joseph Smith didn’t know.”
“The Book of Mormon, the original text that Joseph Smith dictated, was not written in the English of that day. It was not the King James English of the Bible, nor was it the English of Joseph’s day. It was written in Early Modern English, a language which had been out of use for 200 years by 1827. This was a language Joseph Smith did not know and could not have known.”
Long pause. I’d finally hit on something that Richard could grasp.
"The presence of Early Modern English in the Book of Mormon is proof that Joseph Smith did not produce the book himself," I said.
Maybe it would be more accurate to say that it is a different kind of proof, one that is easily grasped by someone like Richard, who is not going to respond to other proofs.
Not that Richard is suddenly going to return to the church. I doubt that he will.
But the presence of EModE in the BOM, when taken with all of the other proofs, makes it extremely unlikely, really impossible, that JS wrote the BOM.
P.S. - Tried to edit headline but can't.
By Robert F. Smith
A symposium on "EGYPT AND THE OLD TESTAMENT" will be held at the Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst, Gabelsbergerstr. 35, Munich/München, Germany, on 6-7 Dec 2019.
The proceedings will be published as ÄAT (AEGYPTEN UND ALTES TESTAMENT) volume 100.
More on the symposium can be found at https://www.freunde-abrahams.de/aegypten-und-altes-testament/ .
ÄAT's spectrum covers the philological, art historical, and archaeological branches of Egyptology, as well as Old Testament exegesis, the archaeology, glyptics and epigraphy of Israel/Palestine and neighboring regions such as Sinai and Transjordan, literature and history of religions, from the Bronze Ages up to Greco-Roman and early Christian periods, as well as relevant aspects of research history.