Arguments For and Against the Authenticity of the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon and the Seer Stone

Book of Mormon and the Seer Stone

Neutral Arguments

-the arguments about animal anachronisms and metal anachronisms aren’t very good.  They could go either way. On one hand they seem anachronistic. On the other hand, lots of things that once seemed anachronistic are being found to be legit.  Either way they can mostly be explained by a loose translation– they seem neutral to me.

Crappy Arguments

-the idea that the Book was written so fast is proof of its truthfullness is a crappy argument. Many channeled texts which Mormon’s would have issue with, were written with incredible speed. Oahspe (supposedly channeled from light beings in 1850) is a great example. Over 1000  pages channeled in a number of weeks. The Urantia Bible and the writings of other people like Ellen White are other great examples.

Arguments Against

-CES letter issues such as word-for-word King James Bible language, and the mistakes in the King James Isaiah being propagated in the Book of Mormon—what a great chance to correct the predominate translation… but no.

-See Dan Vogel’s stuff on anti-universalism in the B.O.M.  Seems an awful lot like a product of the times.

-The New Testament allusions in the Book of Mormon are incredibly suspect. Whether it be Moroni’s sermon on charity in Mor. 7:x, which shares exact phraseology with Paul, or whether it be the shared Pauline phraseology concerning “dead works” and baptism in Mo.

These references seem to be obviously influenced by someone who had read the New Testament.  And they flow just like the Old Testament allusions. Really what are the chances that was written by chance in 400 AD Mesoamerica?  Find something in India or China like that… very unlikely.

-Verses that predict the three witnesses, and Anthon translation are crazy suspect.  Why would someone in 500 BC prophesy about that?  Its so inconsequential and asinine, it just fits the King James reading of Isaiah, why even put it in there?  I guess its possible, but seems lame.

-Also the prophesy by “Joseph” saying another “Joseph” who is the son of Joseph will restore his words…. totally crazy. Joseph didn’t even prophesy about Christ or David or Moses… and yet he prophesies about Joseph Smith?  Not likely.


Arguments For

-the Book of Mormon’s allusion in the Bible are amazing. Whoever wrote it, knew the bible like a champ. Really in an almost impossible way. Nephi’s allusions to the cities of refuge in Lev, as a justification for why it was OK for him to slay Laban are so subtle.. who would have ever thought about that?

-The mention of “elephants, curloms and cumoms” seems like a pro argument to me. Although its possible Joseph had heard about Mammoths in the New World (they were first publisized in 17xx? – get ref), it seems like a stretch that he would have decided to put them in the book as being “especially usefull for the food of man”.  What are the chances that he knew that they (as well as other extinct megafauna) were a major food staple in the paleoindian diet, and that their extinction seems to be related to climate change (a dearth) and over hunting.

-The idea that Nephi sailed accross the pacific from the Indian Ocean instead of across the Atlantic like the pilgrims doesn’t fit what you’d expect a New Englander who was making up a novel would write.

-The fact that the arrival of true writing in Mesoamerica with the Zapotec script matches so well with my model for the Nephites is  a huge proof. (and that earlier Olmec script is so different).  And that it coincides so well with class stratification and and new system of government and stratified priestly ruling system in Monte Alban, with a two columned temple like Soloman’s.  Seriously crazy coincidences.

-The archaeological evidence concerning how Teotihuacahn was founded matches incredibly well with the story of Pahoran assembling all the people to one location in the Land of Zarahemla to defend against the Gandianton Robbers.