2 Corinthians 13:1 – “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established”
What is the Book of Mormon, and how does it compare to the Bible?
“The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture similar to the Bible. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. The Bible principally discusses the lives and teaching of ancient Israel. The Book of Mormon contains the writings of several groups who came to the Americas, including a family who left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. These people were also descendants of the house of Israel. Thus the Bible and Book of Mormon were written by people of the same heritage but in different parts of the world.
Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon is more than a historical account. It contains “the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ: the teachings, doctrines, and prophecies that testify of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
Evidences for the Book of Mormon
Joseph Smith’s lack of education and experience – With two years of formal education and growing up on the American frontier, Joseph Smith did not have the sophistication to write such a book.
Translation process – Joseph never asked what he wrote last, never went back to revise, and verified the spelling of many names to his scribes. He would read a sentence and
have the scribe read it back to him. When it was correct, Joseph would see the next sentence.
Translation speed and complexity – The entire Book of Mormon was written in 75 days with no revisions.
Unmodified testimony – Joseph never denied his assertion that the Book of Mormon was translated from the Gold Plates.
Witnesses – Three witnesses were shown the plates by an angel. Although all three later left the church, none of them ever denied the experience. Eight other men were allowed to hold the plates and see the writing thereon, who also never denied the experience.
Demographics and population – As the Book of Mormon progresses, the population growth is within expected ranges.
Geography – Over 70 different locations are named. Directions and distances are consistent throughout.
Understanding of Arabia – Locations for the valley of Lemuel, Nahum, and Bountiful have been found that match the distance and directions given in the Book of Mormon. In Joseph Smiths’s day, no one thought a place like Bountiful could exist in Arabia.
Ancient non-Biblical Hebrew poetic style – Found throughout the Book of Mormon and is beyond Joseph’s ability to just make up.
Ancient Book of Enoch quoted – the book of Enoch was discovered in 1888 and is quoted in the Book of Mormon, which came forth in 1830.
Weights and Measures – The weights and measures described in Alma 11;3-19 were not used in Josephs time, or today. They are in used by Mayan descendants in Guatemala.
Book of Mormon names – Shakespeare came up with 60 new names. The Book of Mormon brought forth 183 completely new names. All 183 are Semitic, which is the language family that includes Hebrew and Egyptian. There are over 20 exact or near-exact names, not found in the Bible, that have been confirmed to be names in Lehi’s day.
Thieves and Robbers – In ancient Israel, thieves were people in the community who stole from their neighbors. Robbers lived in the wilderness and often banded together to rob and pillage. Their punishment and view by society was very different. The New
Testament translators used thieves for both words. The Book of Mormon keeps the distinction.
Ancient non-biblical Hebrew idioms – Idioms are the way of speaking or putting words together peculiar to a language. Some Book of Mormon Examples of Hebrew idioms are: “turned himself around, ““fallen into the hands of, “‘turned aside their
ears, “and “curious workmanship.”
Septuagint quotes – The Book of Mormon agrees with the ancient Greek version of the bible in phrases that were lost in the Hebrew and King James Bible. Joseph Smith did not know Greek and did not have a copy of the Septuagint in 1829-1830.
Chiasmus, parallelism, and literary structures – Chiasmus was discovered in the late 1800’s. Chiasmus is a unique Hebrew literary form that repeats main concepts from the middle out. Ideas are presented in the order 4, 3,2,1,1,2,3,4. Over 300 chiasmi have been found to date in the Book of Mormon.
Temple building – Non-Jerusalem temple building by ancient Hebrews was thought proof of Joseph Smiths’s fraudulence, but Hebrew temples have since been discovered in Egypt also.
Hieroglyphs – the beginning of Mayan hieroglyphic writing has been traced to Mexico’s Zapotec valley in about the year 600 B.C. which was when the Nephites arrived in the Americas.
Colophon – A colophon is a Semitic literary style often used for introductions. The author states his name, his qualifications, and credentials. The introduction of the Book of Mormon, the entire book of Omni, and Mosiah 9:1-3 are great examples of colophons.
Gold plates – Writing on gold plates was believed a fanciful story in Joseph Smith’s day. Ancient religious writing on gold plates has since been found.
Elephants, horses, and barley – In Joseph Smiths’s day, no one believed elephants, horses, or barley existed in the Americas before the coming of the Europeans. All have since been proven to exist during the Book of Mormon time in the Americas.
Jesus born in the land of Jerusalem – Originally thought to be a blatant error on Joseph Smiths’s part. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The recently discovered Amarna letters verify that Bethlehem was considered part of the “land of Jerusalem” in Lehi’s day.
Lunar Calendar – In the Book of Mormon, time is measured in Moons, which is an indication of the use of a lunar calendar, not Americas’ 12 month solar calendar.
Semitic grammar – Semitic grammar is found throughout the Book of Mormon. “sword of Laban” (not Laban’s Sword), “our women” (there is no Hebrew word for wife or husband), “rod of iron” (not iron rod), “by the hand of” (written by), etc.
Word print analysis – Shows, multiple authors of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Soloman Spalding are not among the potential authors.
Modern style analysis – Every author uses one of sixty-five identifiable patters, involving words like “and,””the,””of,” and “that,”. Statistical analysis gives 1000 to 1 odds against the “one author theory.”
41 Dead Sea Scrolls/Book of Mormon parallels – The Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in the last 60 years and show 41 parallels to Lehi’s group separating themselves from the Hebrews in Israel.
Spiritual witness of truthfulness – Millions of people, including myself, have read the Book of Mormon and received a personal witness of its truthfulness.