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Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is the subject of criticism relating to its origin, text, and historical accuracy. Critics of the Book of Mormon claim that the book was fabricated by Joseph Smith.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Contents

Criticism related to the origin

Criticism related to the circumstances of creation

Critics have called into question the circumstances of the books creation, including the existence of golden plates from which the book was purportedly translated.

Criticism related to method of dictation

Critics question the method used to translate the book, including the technique of using seer stones.

Criticism related to plagiarism

Critics assert that portions of the Book of Mormon were plagarized from works including the King James Bible,[7][8] The Wonders of Nature,[9][10] View of the Hebrews,[2][3][11] and an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding.[12][13][14]

Criticism related to the text and language

Criticism related to Reformed Egyptian

Joseph Smith claimed that he translated the Book of Mormon from a language called Reformed Egyptian, yet critics claim that no such language exists.

Criticism related to linguistics

Critics claim that language patterns in the Book of Mormon indicate that it is not of divine origin, but rather was fabricated by mortals.

Criticism related to words that are not consistent with the time period of the story

Critics point out that the Book of Mormon contains many words and phrases that are not consistent with the time frame or location of the stories included in the book.

Criticism related to unusual names that were available to Smith

Criticism related to historical accuracy

Criticism related to flora and fauna

Critics point out that the Book of Mormon contains references to various plants and animals (horses, swine, etc) that did not exist in the Americas at the time of the story.

Criticism related to technology

Critics point out that the Book of Mormon contains references to various technologies (chariots, steel, etc) that did not exist in the Americas at the time of the story.

Criticism related to geography

Map showing the possible lands and sites of the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerica (speculative)

Critics point out that there are many inconsistencies and implausibilities in the story of the Israelites came from the Mid-East to the Americas, and in the geographical descriptions of the lands in the Americas in which the stories take place.

Criticism related to Native Americans and genetics

The Book of Mormon suggests that the Native Americans are descended from people who came to the Americas by boat from the Middle East, yet scientists note that the genetic evidence shows that Native Americans are actually descended from peoples that migrated from Siberia over the Bering Strait.

Criticism involving miscellaneous factual errors

Critics claim that the Book of Mormon contains several factual errors and implausibilities, such as the existence of a river in Saudi Arabia, the existence of synagogues before Babylonian exile, use of precious metals for weights and measures, and knowledge of Hebrew and Egyptian in the Americas.

Criticism calling into question the divine nature of the book

Criticism that Josesph Smith also fabricated the Book of Abraham

Critics point out that Joseph Smith also translated the Book of Abraham, and that the accuracy and method of the translation of that book is widely discredited, so that calls into question the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Criticism related to revisions to the Book of Mormon

Critics assert that the Book of Mormon could not be of divine origin because of the numerous changes that have been made to the text over the years. [2] [3] [4] [5][6][15][16][17][18][19][20]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 91. ISBN 9993074438.  
  2. ^ a b c Brody, Fawn (1971). No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2d ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.  
  3. ^ a b c Krakauer, Jon (2003). Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. New York: Doubleday.  
  4. ^ a b Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 73. ISBN 1568582838.  
  5. ^ a b Beckwith, Francis (2002). The New Mormon Challenge. Zondervan. p. 367–396. ISBN 0310231949.  
  6. ^ a b Cowan, Marvin (1997). Mormon Claims Answered.  
  7. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 72. ISBN 1568582838.  
  8. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 73–80. ISBN 9993074438.  
  9. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 68. ISBN 1568582838.  
  10. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 84–85. ISBN 9993074438.  
  11. ^ Roberts, Brigham H. (1992), written at Salt Lake City, UT, Brigham D. Madsen, ed., Studies of the Book of Mormon, Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-027-2, <http://books.google.com/books?id=EXgFAAAACAAJ&dq=Studies+of+the+Book+of+Mormon>
  12. ^ Howe, Eber D (1834), written at Painesville, Ohio, Mormonism Unvailed, Telegraph Press, <http://www.solomonspalding.com/docs/1834howb.htm>
  13. ^ Spaulding, Solomon (1996), Reeve, Rex C, ed., Manuscript Found: The Complete Original "Spaulding" Manuscript, Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University
  14. ^ Roper, Matthew (2005), "The Mythical "Manuscript Found"", FARMS Review (Maxwell Institute) 17 (2): 7-140, <http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=584>. Retrieved on 2007-01-31
  15. ^ There have been numerous changes to the text of the Book of Mormon between the 1830 edition and modern LDS editions, almost four thousand changes according to one count at 3913 Changes in The Book of Mormon Jerald and Sandra Tanner
  16. ^ The majority of these changes are spelling and grammar corrections: http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/qa/bom_changes.htm
  17. ^ Critics claim that even changes in spelling and grammar are important when considering the claims concerning the translation which were made by Joseph Smith and the witnesses to the book (Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon was "the most correct of any book on earth," and Martin Harris said that the words which appeared on the seer stone would not disappear until they were correctly written): J. and S. Tanner, The Changing World of Mormonism, p. 132
  18. ^ Some critics claim that some revisions were systematic attempts to remove evidence that Joseph Smith fabricated the Book of Mormon, and other revisions were made to hide embarrassing aspects of the church's past: Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 59–80. ISBN 1568582838.  
  19. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 50–96. ISBN 9993074438.  
  20. ^ "Criticism of changes to Book of Mormon". http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm.  
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