Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ammon and the Waters of Sebus: Mesoamerican Culture Fills in Some Book of Mormon Gaps

Ever been puzzled by the strange events in Alma 17-19 regarding the Nephite missionary Ammon, the dramatic battle scene at the Waters of Sebus, and the ways of King Lamoni and his people? Why was Lamoni so interested in bringing this Nephite enemy into his family or court? Why couldn't the powerful Lamanite king deal with the raids of a band of thieves? Why had no armed guards been sent, and why did it not occur to his servants to fight and slay the thieves? Why did Lamoni execute his own servants when the flocks were scattered by these incompetent thieves who scattered rather than stole flocks? And why were family members of the thieves and even some of the thieves themselves hanging around the household of the king afterwards? Weren't they afraid that they would be recognized and arrested? The story, inspiring as it is, doesn't make a lot of sense to us given all the gaps that seem to be there.

Interestingly, a knowledge of Mesoamerican culture may help fill in the gaps and make the story more intelligible to us. So argues Brant Gardner in
"The Case for Historicity: Discerning the Book of Mormon's Production Culture." I recommend his article for many reasons, but I find the small section on Ammon and the Waters of Sebus especially interesting. Here are some of his thoughts:
Mesoamerican political tensions supply the missing content [in this story]. Maya kings balanced their own power base against competing lineages. The translated texts tell of some instances that appear to indicate a change in the power balance, with a new lineage assuming the throne and creating a new dynasty. Historian David Drew describes the problem for the Maya kings:
Increasingly recognized today...is the likelihood of a constant, dynamic tension between the ruler, along with the family group, the royal lineage that surrounded him, and other powerful and long-established lineages within a city state. The centralizing success of royal dynasties almost certainly obscures the extent to which kings depended upon and negotiated with other political factions. For each dynasty of the Classic period had in earlier centuries been merely one among many such patrilineages or kin-groups. It is impossible to know with any precision how ruling lines established themselves at the end of the Preclassic period--as war-leaders, perhaps, or as mediators in local disputes. However they came by their authority, they could only have maintained it through consent and co-operation, despite the impression of absolute power that their monuments create. From the eighth century, at Cop�n in particular, there is some evidence of the negotiation that must have gone on behind the scenes. There is little reason to believe that this kind of jostling was not seen in earlier centuries too.[David Drew, The Lost Chronicles of the Maya Kings (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 324.]
All aspects of the story of Ammon at the waters of Sebus make perfect sense against the backdrop of a Mesoamerican king struggling with competition from a powerful rival lineage. Note that when the king is discussing the incident with Ammon he asks: "tell me by what power ye slew and smote off the arms of my brethren that scattered my flocks" (Alma 18:20, emphasis added). While it is possible that the phrase "my brethren" is extremely generic, it would be very unusual to presume robbers as "brothers" of a king, and equally as unusual to include anyone outside of the city as one's "brothers." These thieves really are "brethren," and that is the whole reason for the trouble. Now let me retell the story against the backdrop of political tensions with Lamoni's "brethren."

Ammon comes before the king and asks to be a servant. Ammon is a Nephite and therefore not only an outsider but an enemy. The king offers to make him family by marrying one of his daughters. If Ammon had accepted, he would also have accepted rule by the new family and therefore be under the king's control. By refusing, Ammon continues to be an outsider and therefore potentially uncontrollable. The king decides to place Ammon in a position where this condition of being outside the city's political intrigues might be advantageous: He sends him to water the flocks at Sebus.

The dumb thieves who don't get much from their raids are actually getting everything they want. Key to understanding the story is that whatever ruse was employed to allow the fiction that they were robbers, the reality was that they were well-known to the servants and to the king. They were members of the rival lineage who were attempting to alter the balance of power. By scattering the king's flocks they were embarrassing the king and therefore diminishing his appearance of total control. Because the rival lineage was sufficiently powerful, the king could not move against them directly without creating civil war. Therefore, the king could not send armed guards. If he killed the members of the competing lineage it would break whatever illusion of cooperation there was and instigate civil disorder. The guards cannot defend themselves for the same reason that the king could not send troops.

The king could not, however, allow the situation to completely embarrass him. Therefore the fiction of thievery is either created or allowed to remain. Because something had to be done to restore the king's honor in the situation, the guards are punished for their "failure." The king places the failure on the guards and executes them to demonstrate that he is still controlling the situation.

Along comes Ammon, who is an outsider to the political intrigue. Ammon is not a member of either lineage and as an outsider would be unaware of the identities of these "brethren" thieves or the delicate political situation; he is a wildcard in a high-stakes game. The king deliberately puts him into a situation where it is possible--even probable--that he will use his sword, where all other servants have held theirs. It is quite possible that the king expected Ammon to do some damage, but ultimately fail to protect the flocks. From the king's perspective, any damage that Ammon did would improve the king's standing in the political impasse by gaining more revenge without the political cost--because it was done by an outsider.

When Abish finds many relatives of the robbers as well as the brother of the slain "thief" close by, we have our confirmation that this is a delicate political dance. Only if the family is part of the royal court would so many relatives of outlaws be that close to the home compound of a king. That a family of a thief is that close to the king tells us that the thieves were also that close. The thieves at the waters of Sebus were not from another city. They were not miscreants ostracized from this city. They were of a family that was sufficiently prestigious that it spent time in close proximity to the king. It had to be a competing royal lineage.

This reinterpretation of the events against a Mesoamerican cultural background creates sense from the near nonsense of the contextless account. Our analysis of Book of Mormon politics tells us that not only do the structural elements trace more firmly to a Mesoamerican context, but that the Mesoamerican context provides needed information that fills in the gaps between the assumed understanding of the writer and the reader.
This is one of those numerous little gems in the Book of Mormon where the text is "smarter" than any nineteenth-century forger could have been. In this case, what might look silly to a reader in 1830 or our day begins to make a lot more sense when we important new knowledge from the ancient world. The possibility of delicate intrigues between rival noble lineages in King Lamoni's own court and extended family help explain much in Alma 17 and 18. Kudos to Ammon for being a much better wildcard than Lamoni expected, and kudos to Brant Gardner for the Mesoamerican insight.

117 comments:

plvmetz said...

Jeff,

One other interesting cultural point is that the "flocks" are never identified as a particular animal. The domesticated animals the spaniards found in Mesoamerica (along with dogs) were the domesticated turkey and the muscovy duck. "Flocks" may indicate a social animal, but one that will scatter. Though we don't know what the "flocks" were, in my mind I see Ammon & coworkers chasing something faster than a modern domesticated turkey but not as fast as a wild turkey either. In any case, it seems that we don't know what animal they were taking care of.

Seth R. said...

Also keep in mind who Ammon is, and where Lamanite culture is at this point.

Ammon is essentially a prince. Son of King Mosiah. When Lamoni learned this, it may be that he saw an opportunity to create a political alliance with Zarahemla with increased trade.

A rather progressive viewpoint for a "bloodthirsty savage."

But keep in mind that the Lamanites, by the books of Mosiah and Alma are no longer really savage, or even particularly indolent. Certainly, they aren't a bunch of violent hunter-gatherers.

By the reign of Mosiah and Noah, the Lamanites had already started to show signs of progressiveness. King Laman appears to have been something of a reformer who united competing factions, and started establishing trade and commerce among the different Lamanite communities - for the first time apparently.

Then you get the infusion of the "wicked priests of King Noah" into Lamanite culture. As much as the Book of Mormon criticizes these wicked priests, their arrival among the Lamanites appears to have sparked a rather extraordinary cultural advance of Lamanite society. Language and writing progressed, history was taught and learned, and probably new religious and political ideas as well. It was for good reason that Laman was so impressed with Amulon.

Basically, the Lamanites are making a rather landmark societal transformation at this time. They are open to new ideas, they are learning new things, they are reinventing themselves politically.

It is this volatile mix that Ammon and his brothers unwittingly walk into. Circumstances couldn't have been better. Under previous generations of Lamanites, an enlightened and forward-looking king like Lamoni could not have existed.

Lamoni was already looking for new ideas, and new ways of doing things. He envisioned his people making some big advances. Ammon came at the perfect moment and handled himself with enough political shrewdness and restraint (unlike his brothers) that he was able to capitalize on this openness.

No one really pays much attention to the Lamanites as a people when they read the Book of Mormon, but I think the hints of their story present in the Book of Mormon are almost as interesting as that of the Nephites.

Eric Nielson said...

Thank you for passing this along!

Ryan said...

Jeff: awesome post. Thanks!

Seth said...
Ammon came at the perfect moment and handled himself with enough political shrewdness and restraint (unlike his brothers) that he was able to capitalize on this openness.

I agree that Ammon handled himself admirably, but I'm not convinced that the "openness" was universal. The apostates brought lots of good ideas and progress to the Lamanites, but they were still apostates:

3 Now the Lamanites of themselves were sufficiently hardened, but the Amalekites and the Amulonites were still harder; therefore they did cause the Lamanites that they should harden their hearts, that they should wax strong in wickedness and their abominations.

There is no mention of apostate Nephites anywhere among Lamoni's people. They are not hanging around Lamoni's court, they have not asked Lamoni permission to build synagogues, etc. In contrast, Ammon's brothers basically run into apostates right off the bat, and they're not exactly interested in honest discourse.

5 Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?

There were perhaps better ways to open up an area than walking into the apostates' synagogues preaching to them first. On the other hand, sad experience shows that they would have ended up "Bible bashing" with apostates no matter who they tried to teach -- those guys would have dropped everything to come and harass.

(those verses are from Alma 21 BTW)

Seth R. said...

True enough Ryan. I'm probably being too hard on Aaron and co.

I've just always found it interesting that while the Book of Mormon is pretty harsh on Amulon, "secular" history probably would have viewed him as an important progressive.

Ryan said...

From the Brant Gardner exerpt:
Ammon is not a member of either lineage and as an outsider would be unaware of the identities of these "brethren" thieves or the delicate political situation; he is a wildcard in a high-stakes game.

You know, I think Ammon somehow *did* manage to nose out the political situation.

Recall that, after the flocks are scattered the first time he suggests that they gather the flocks back together instead of fighting. Nobody could fault shepherds for gathering their scattered flocks, so that would be a politically neutral action. Then, when the marauders come back to scatter the flocks again, Ammon again keeps the other servants in a neutral position by leaving them to surround the flocks while he -- alone -- fights a couple dozen aggressors.

Seth:
"secular" history probably would have viewed [Amulon] as an important progressive.

The apostates definitely brought ideas and progress with them, but it always struck me as a side effect of their real goals. They needed a strong economic structure to get filthy, stinking rich like they wanted to be (by taxation, not their own work, of course), and they needed a strong political structure to be able to unite the Lamanites for their planned conquest of the Nephites. Plus, sharing their knowledge would get them an "in" at every level of society, again giving them the power, praise and prosperity they craved.

They did manage to do a lot of good, in spite of themselves, but it's difficult to say whether the secular good the apostates brought outweighed the spiritual damage they did.

When you factor in their hostile takeover of the Lamanite government and pouring the nation's resources into an ultimately futile war of conquest, with ghastly casualty levels, I think their net contribution is definitely negative and the Book of Mormon is rightly harsh.

Just imagine what could have been if they brought only progress without the bad!

Seth R. said...

"The apostates definitely brought ideas and progress with them, but it always struck me as a side effect of their real goals. They needed a strong economic structure to get filthy, stinking rich like they wanted to be (by taxation, not their own work, of course), and they needed a strong political structure to be able to unite the Lamanites for their planned conquest of the Nephites. Plus, sharing their knowledge would get them an "in" at every level of society, again giving them the power, praise and prosperity they craved."

Sounds like the economic history of Europe summarized in one neat paragraph.

lehislibrary said...

Here is a video of Gardner discussing this topic at the 2004 FAIR conference.

http://lehislibrary.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/by-small-and-simple-things/

Ryan said...

Sounds like the economic history of Europe summarized in one neat paragraph.

Touchée.

Anonymous said...

Does the article:

* contain archaeological confirmation for the Nephite missionary Ammon?

* contain geographical confirmation for the Waters of Sebus?

* contain archaeological confirmation for King Lamoni?

I would have found an article on the locations of Mount Doom, Munchkinland, and the town of Bedrock more compelling.

Archaeological confirmations for biblical place names and people go back thousands of years. Can Mormons point to _even one solitary example_ from archaeology for _any_ New World place name or person mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2710547/k.AECB/DA111.htm

ARCHAEOLOGY: BIBLICAL ALLY OR ADVERSARY?
by Paul L. Maier

[snip]

While archaeology is a powerful testimony to the accuracy of the Word of God, the same cannot be said for the Book of Mormon. Not only is there no archaeological
evidence for a language such as "reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics," there is no archaeological support for lands such as the "land of Moron," which you find in Ether 7:6. Nor is there any archaeological evidence to buttress the notion that Jaredites, Nephites, Lamanites all migrated from Israel to the Americas. On the contrary, both
archaeology and anthropology demonstrate conclusively that the people and places that are
chronicled in the Book of Mormon are little more than the product of a fertile imagination.

[snip]

===
David Buckna

Steve Smoot said...

Anon:

To compare Book of Mormon and Bible archeology is to compare apples to oranges. Observe the following from Professor Hamblin:

http://www.farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=jbms&id=25

Steve Smoot said...

Anon:

Answer me the following questions:

1. How can you show that "both
archaeology and anthropology demonstrate conclusively that the people and places that are
chronicled in the Book of Mormon are little more than the product of a fertile imagination"? I would like to see your evidence for this claim. As a matter of fact, I am dying to see it. My salvation even depends on it, does it not? Quick now, time is running short.

2. What is your response to the following on "reformed Egyptian"? http://americantestament.blogspot.com/2008/07/reformed-egyptian.html

3. How does archeology confirm that the biblical narrative contains the Word of God? The Iliad mentions a number of cities and locations that have been confirmed by archeology; should we therefore worship Zeus and the other Greek gods?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Bookslinger said...

There's no archeological evidence for the Hebrews being held slaves in Egypt, then released en masse. So I guess we need to delete all references to the Exodus, and therefore Moses from the Bible.

Those Egyptians were notorious record-keepers, and there's just no record at all of the descendents of Jacob/Isaac/Abraham being in Egypt for 400 years.

And since Moses claimed authorship, or is attributed authorship of the first 5 books of the Bible, we need to throw out Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

And Jesus claimed to have fulfilled the law of Moses, and replaced the law of Moses with a higher law. And Jesus claimed to be the "I am" who gave the law to Moses. So if you throw out Moses, then you logically have to count out Jesus of Nazareth too.

Yup, there's absolutely no archeological evidence that Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt.

By the way, there are 100's maybe thousands, of pieces or instances of evidence in Latin-America supporting Book of Mormon claims.

Quetzalcoatl, the serpent God. And the legend of the white god who would return. The carving of the tree of life in the mountainside in Peru. The pallisades and forts indicating fortified cities, which weren't discovered until many years after Joseph Smith was mocked for describing fortified cities. Paintings of two races of people, light and dark skinned. Statues around temples showing men wearing what looks suprisingly like Mormon temple clothes.

There there's the certain carved stone, I forget what they call it, that by itself has about 100 similarities to things in the Book of Mormon.

Oh, and barley, don't forget barley. They found a strain of barley in an archeological find that proves they had barley back then. This was after everyone said there was no barley in the Western Hemisphere until Europeans arrived, and that Joseph "got it wrong." Well, the discovery of ancient barley shows that Joseph "got it right" after all.

So this whole "there's no archeological evidence" claim is just balderdash. Yes, there is archeological evidence. Not of everything, but bit by bit, it is accumulating.

Then there are the funny names in the Book of Mormon that people thought were made up, because there was no record of them used anywhere in the world. But, then archeological finds in the OLD WORLD show that many of those weird names really ARE Hebrew names.

Then there's the whole "books on metal plates", which was unheard of. Then archeological finds in the OLD WORLD discover, ta da....., records on metal plates, stored in stone boxes even.

Then they discovered stone boxes in the Western Hemisphere too.

It just keeps adding up.

Seth R. said...

Any archaeologist can tell you that the amount of "evidence" that actually survives from ancient civilizations is incredibly small. You only get a fraction of what was actually going on at the time. Most such evidence is either lost or destroyed.

To try to make conclusions based on lack of evidence, particularly in matters of archeology, is completely misguided.

It is quite possible that the entirety of the Book of Mormon civilizations vanished without a trace. It's happened to other civilizations, and could easily have happened here as well.

Seth R. said...

Not to mention...

If all it takes for you to accept the Book of Mormon is to find the word "Zarahemla" in some Central American ruin, then you are an incurable moron. Yet that seems to be what you are suggesting. "If only we had some Nephite artifacts, I could buy this story of yours, but alas, there aren't any and I must believe you are all frauds!"

Really? That's all it would take to win you over to Mormonism? Just a few corroborating archaeological finds?

Are you really that shallow?

Latter-Day James said...

"Nor is there any archaeological evidence to buttress the notion that Jaredites, Nephites, Lamanites all migrated from Israel to the Americas."

I don't believe it is claimed that Jaredites came from Israel but from the location of the Tower of Babel.

Funny these guys making statements but not having read or studied the Book of Mormon thoroughly yet.

Anonymous said...

I repeat...

Archaeological confirmations for biblical place names and people go back thousands of years eg. the Pilate Stone indicates Pontius Pilate [Pontius Pilatus] was the prefect of Judea.

Can Mormons point to _even one solitary example_ from archaeology for _any_ New World place name or person mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

Even one.

If not, why not?

---
David Buckna

Dan Knudsen said...

I posted the following at Mormon Mentality on June 13 (comment #19) but it is applicable here--maybe someone will know where I found it.

At present there is nothing Archaeological that proves the Book Of Mormon. The antis put out that the only things that Archaeology verifies are horses, steel, city names, et. al.; however, it also studies the culture. There are evidences of things Joseph Smith couldn’t possibly have known, or guessed. I saved the following on March 15, 2008, and in my sloppiness failed to cite the source and author. I “remember” that it was from an article in FAIR, or FARMS (something like that–-I feel like a real dummy):

The Book of Mormon is full of ancient Near Eastern and Mesoamerican cultural details. I will mention one more item in closing because it impressed on me how hard it is to pay attention to subtleties in the book. Recall the incredible story of Ammon teaching King Lamoni. Ammon’s deeds in defending Lamoni’s property gained him audience before this dumbfounded monarch, and Ammon had to break the protracted silence of this meeting by voicing the King’s thoughts, which only deepened the King’s wonderment, and perhaps his fear, all of which led to the following dialog in Alma 18:

24. And Ammon began to speak unto him with boldness, and said unto him: Believest thou that there is a God?

25. And he answered, and said unto him: I do not know what that meaneth.

26. And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?

27. And he said, Yea.

28. And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?

29. And he said: Yea, I believe that he created all things which are in the earth; but I do not know the heavens.

30. And Ammon said unto to him: The heavens is a place where God dwells and all his holy angels.

31. And king Lamoni said: Is it above the earth?

32. And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men ….

We’ve all read or heard this dozens of times. Have you ever thought that this was an incredibly bone-headed question for Lamoni to ask? That thought finally penetrated my thick skull a decade ago. Can you imagine asking a preacher whether the heavens are above the earth? I can’t. This dialog is beyond my cultural understanding. What is going on? I submit to you that the question makes sense in a Mesoamerican setting in which most of the gods resided under the earth. In this brief dialog between a Nephite Prince and a Lamanite King, we are given a precious glimpse into Lamanite beliefs. A small thing, perhaps, but in terms of correspondences, it surpasses Nibley’s famous bulls-eyes in The Book of Mormon and is a lunar landing - a 240,000 mile long-shot that hit the spot perfectly, succinctly, silently, and effortlessly. The Book of Mormon has hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of such gems tucked away in its narrative. We wish you happy hunting for other gems and invite you all to read and enjoy the book. It is an ancient book, its history is intriguing, and its message of Christ is true and redeeming.

Dan Knudsen said...

The same arguments have been used against Biblical Archaeological studies in the past. One thing that makes it easier to find Archaeological evidences for the Bible is the continuous settlement of many of the places, with the same names, so that it is known where to look; another is that that work has been going on for hundreds of years--give Book Of Mormon Archaeology another hundred years and then compare what has been found. Until then comparisons between them can’t fairly be done. It’s similar to comparing Artur Rubinstein’s piano skills at the height of his career, with someone just starting out of college. Rubinstein’s playing had a lot of problems in his 20s and there were a lot of justifiable complaints, which were overcome after years of hard work. When that first find is discovered, a lot of people will have a lot of obligations to fulfill--which now they hope are forever safe from having to be fulfilled. Only time will tell.

Seth R. said...

"Can Mormons point to _even one solitary example_ from archaeology for _any_ New World place name or person mentioned in the Book of Mormon? Even one. If not, why not?"

As I already mentioned, it doesn't matter in the first place David.

But as a Mormon, no I can't.

Why?

Firstly, because we don't know where it happened. The book itself doesn't say. So we have no clue where to look. Whereas Biblical scholars have known EXACTLY where to look for evidence for centuries.

Secondly, because the Bible took place in one of the most heavily documented and best archaeologically-preserved locales in the entire world - the dry and arid Middle East.

The Book of Mormon is believed by many to have taken place in more of a jungle climate. In the jungle, stuff rots out, rusts away, and generally vanishes without a trace. South and Central America are some of the worst documented areas in the world where we know advanced civilizations existed. The record doesn't exist because it all rotted or deteriorated in the climate and surroundings.

Even if there was a freaking massive civilization down there, it's easily possible there would be nothing to find. Zilch, nadda.

And this is not unusual in the field of archeology.

Third, the civilizations in the Book of Mormon were wiped out with no continuity of record for us to trace.

Comparing the Bible with the Book of Mormon as far as archeology is just plain stupid. They are utterly different archaeological and historical problems. You can't solve one using the methods of the other. It's dumb to even make the comparison.

Steve Smoot said...

"If not, why not?"

Did you read the link I provided? That explains why. Furthermore, Brant Gardner's new excellent commentary series on the Book of Mormon "Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon" also splendidly details and documents the relationship between archaeology and the Book of Mormon.

Anonymous said...

Bookslinger said:

"There's no archeological evidence for the Hebrews being held slaves in Egypt, then released en masse. So I guess we need to delete all references to the Exodus, and therefore Moses from the Bible.

Those Egyptians were notorious record-keepers, and there's just no record at all of the descendents of Jacob/Isaac/Abraham being in Egypt for 400 years."

Dr. Paul L. Maier writes at:

http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2710547/k.AECB/DA111.htm

[snip]

No Israelite Sojourn in Egypt or Exodus Therefrom? Critics make much of the supposed fact that there is no mention of the Hebrews in hieroglyphic inscriptions, no mention of Moses, and no records of such a mass population movement as claimed in the biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt. This fact is questionable. The famous Israel Stele (an inscribed stone or slab) of Pharaoh Merneptah (described more fully below) states, Israel his seed is not. Furthermore, even if there were no mention whatever of the Hebrews in Egyptian records, this also would prove nothing, especially in view of the well-known Egyptian proclivity never to record reverses or defeats or anything that would embarrass the majesty of the ruling monarch. Would any pharaoh have the following words chiseled onto his monument: Under my administration, a great horde of Hebrew slaves successfully escaped into the Sinai Desert when we tried to prevent them?

The ancient Egyptians, in fact, transformed some of their reverses into victories. One of the most imposing monuments in Egypt consists of four-seated colossi of Rameses II overlooking the Nile (now Lake Nasser) at Abu-Simbel. Rameses erected the colossi to intimidate the Ethiopians to the south who had heard correctly that he had barely escaped with his life at the battle of Kadesh against the Hittites, and so they thought Egypt was ripe for invasion. The story told on the walls inside this monument, however, was that of a marvelous Egyptian victory!

No Moses? The very name Moses is Egyptian, as witness pharaonic names such as Thut-mose and Ra-meses. The ambient life as described in Genesis and Exodus is entirely consonant with what we know of ancient Egypt in the Hyksos and Empire periods: the food, the feasts, everyday life, customs, the names of locations, the local deities, and the like are familiar in both Hebrew and Egyptian literature.5

[snip]

Also, go to:

Boyd's Handbook of Practical Apologetics
http://books.google.ca/books?id=XJdW4GCwX-UC

and click on: "Preview this book"

Then scroll down from pages 135-231for archaeological information related to both the Bible.

The Book of Mormon supposedly covers the time period circa 600 B.C. to 421 A.D.(www.pbs.org/mormons/timeline/)

but as Maier writes: "...in The Book of Mormon, proper names of places and people have no substantiation from outside sources."

No substanciation.


David Buckna

Anonymous said...

Typo. I meant to say:

Then scroll down from pages 135-231for archaeological information related to both the Old and New Testaments.

Seth R. said...

David,

Amazing how much like Mormon apologetics Christian apologetics sounds.

That sounds almost like something straight off FAIR's website.

Steve Smoot said...

""...in The Book of Mormon, proper names of places and people have no substantiation from outside sources.""

False. A lot has been done on Book of Mormon names. Hugh Nibley, Paul Hoskisson (sp?), John Gee, John Tvedtnes, Matt Roper, et al have all done studies on such. See their works on the FARMS website for more information.*

* This is what happens when afternoon laziness sets in. You don't want to hunt down specific links, etc. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've visited the FARMS website before. In none of the articles could I find a single example from archaeology for any New World place name or person mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Would someone more familiar with the FARMS website care to give one example?

---
David Buckna

Anonymous said...

I also visited the FAIR website

http://www.fairlds.org

and found articles such as:

Debating the Foundations of Mormonism: The Book of Mormon and Archaeology
by John E. Clark, Wade Ardern, and Matthew Roper

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2005_Debating_the_Foundations_of_Mormonism.html

which doesn't contain a single example from archaeology for any New World place name or person mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

I am having trouble showing the full weblink.

After

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2005

add:


_Debating_the_Foundations_of_Mormonism.html


to complete the link.


David Buckna

Latter-Day James said...

"but as Maier writes: "...in The Book of Mormon, proper names of places and people have no substantiation from outside sources."

No substanciation."

Here's one.



Not that it will change your mind but here is an outside source. Found on Jeff Lindsay's LDSFAQ.



http://www.jefflindsay.com/bme20.shtml

Latter-Day James said...

O I forgot, what about Nahom? Here is another link...

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/pdf.php?filename=NzU2ODg3MTYtMTAtMi5wZGY=&type=amJtcw==

Steve Smoot said...

Anon:

Please, I beg you to read the first link I gave you. I will even post it again here:

http://www.farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=jbms&id=25

Anonymous said...

re: Nahom

At present there's no agreement among scholars whether or not NHM = Nahom.

Nice try.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahom

[snip]

Link between Nahom and NHM

[edit] Criticisms of connection
Known criticisms include the following (Vogel 2004, p. 609):

The fact that the Book of Mormon does not explicitly mention contact with outsiders during Lehi's journey.
It is suggested that the pronunciation of NHM is unknown and may not relate to Nahom at all.
It has been suggested that Joseph Smith simply created the name Nahom as a variant of the Biblical names Naham (1 Chron. 4:19), Nehum (Ne. 7:7) and Nahum (Na. 1:1), although this fails to account for the plausible placement of the actual location of NHM relative to the description of Lehi's journey in the Book of Mormon narrative.

[edit] Availability of information on NHM to Joseph Smith
Critics state that Joseph Smith could have learned about the existence and location of NHM from existing 19th century sources. Libraries available to Joseph Smith would have been the Manchester Public Library and the library at Dartmouth College, at neither of which Smith was a member. Of the books dealing with the ancient Near East that were available in the Manchester library before 1830, LDS scholars suggest that none of these would have given Smith good information on ancient Arabia, and that they would have provided him with inaccurate information even if he had been able to gain access to them (Peterson). When Smith was five years old, his family moved to Lebanon, New Hampshire and lived there from 1811 to late in 1813, just down the road from Dartmouth College. The Dartmouth library acquired a copy of Robert Heron’s translation of Niebuhr’s work (which had information regarding NHM), but not until 1937. Therefore, this information was not available in its library during the time that the Smith family lived in the town of Lebanon (Brown 2001).[9]


[edit] Vowel variance and pronunciation
Some have said that the link between Nahom (or Nehhm, as spelled in Niebuhr's work) and NHM is invalid because the vowels between the names Nahom and Nehhm do not match (Tanner & Tanner 1996, p. 183).[10] Others indicate that modern vowel variance is to be expected because Hebrew does not have written vowels.[11] The current pronunciation of the location and tribal area is said to be Nihm rather than Nahom. Some critics state that the time from Ishmael's death to now is not long enough to account for the change in pronunciation (Vogel 2004, p. 609), although scholars indicate that historical variation in root pronunciation (possibly due to Arabic influence) may allow for this change (Barney 2003).[12]

===

David Buckna

Mormanity said...

Since when are anti-Mormon writers like the Tanners and Vogel scholars on Semitic languages? The fact that these outspoken critics of the Church might try to ignore the plausible link between Nahom (with a Semitic root of NHM) and NHM itself is hardly grounds for dismissing the archaeological evidence that NHM was an ancient burial site and an ancient tribal name in an entirely plausible location based on First Nephi and modern scholarship about the Arabian Peninsula. "No agreement among scholars" - you're right, it is a nice try.

The dismissive anti-Mormon response to the large body of scholarship on the Arabian Peninsula related to First Nephi, like the dismissive anti-Mormon response to the large body of scholarship on the witnesses of the Book of Mormon and to everything else that ought to raise an honest eyebrow or two, gives us a pretty clear indication about the response we could expect to something like the unearthing of an ancient Mesoamerican stela in a modified Semitic script engraved with something like "Welcome to Zarahemla, land of the Nephites." Dozens of anti-Mormon writers and even some real scholars would be quick to point out that the "biased Mormon interpretation" of the writing is rife with methodological errors, and that real scholars agree that it may actually be a totem for a warrior-god ("wa-Zar") named "Ah-hem-la" from the land of the Na-Affy clan, utterly unrelated to any mythical Mormon claims.

Seth R. said...

Dave, I see you are pretty much ignoring the points I made in my posts above.

Is it safe to say that you just don't have a good answer for them?

Why exactly are you making archeology a definitive issue for faith anyway? I've already said why you are sadly misguided for doing so, and you seem to be trying to pretty much ignore the issue and hope it will go away.

So do you have an answer, or would you rather play around with trivial technicalities some more?

Anonymous said...

No evidence in the New World for the Book of Mormon? For starters, what about the evidence from volcanism and the tie to 3rd Nephi? Pretty impressive stuff.

Bookslinger said...

Anon (David Buckna):

You mean we gotta have archeological evidence in order to have faith?

Have you told the Hindus this? Do they have archeological evidence for Krishna and Shiva?

Here in Indianapolis, some of the super-genius-level scientists at Eli Lilly are Hindus. I've met some of them; they are super-cool, and I admire them for their smarts and their faith. (And a good number of people at Lilly are Mormon, too.)

How do you think a Hindu scientist would (or should) react to your assertions that people need archeological evidence to support their religious beliefs?

Since you're touting archeological evidence that supports the Bible, do you actually believe the Bible?

And if you do believe the Bible, do you believe the Bible mainly due to the archeological support?

How do you think Bible-believing missionaries (of whatever Christian denomination) should go about trying to lead non-Christians unto Christ?

Should such Bible-believing missionaries start out teaching the archeological evidence, and then teach Christ? Or should they teach Christ first, and then, if the person they're teaching accepts Christ as the Savior, present the archeology prior to the convert's baptism? Should the missionaries say (to the potential convert), "Uhm, we can't baptize you until you also believe in this archeological evidence" ?

Anon/David, if you're trying to save us poor deluded Mormons from unscientific religious beliefs, please be consistent and also go after other religions too.

Have you visited any Hindu blogs recently?

Anonymous said...

Bookslinger asked:

"You mean we gotta have archeological evidence in order to have faith?"

First of all, my faith is in the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit)--not in any "god", or in any church organization. That said, archaeological discoveries have directly corroborated specific places, people, and events in the Bible.

For example, in the 1970's the Ebla tablets were unearthed in northern Syria. Ebla Tablet 1860 mentions the five cities of the plain as trading partners of Ebla: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. These 5 cities are mentioned in the same order in Genesis 14:2.


David Buckna

Seth R. said...

David, did it ever occur to you that the great amount of archaeological corroboration done on the Bible actually makes Christianity MORE vulnerable to attack and not less?

Anonymous said...

Seth R. asks:

"David, did it ever occur to you that the great amount of archaeological corroboration done on the Bible actually makes Christianity MORE vulnerable to attack and not less?"

How do you know that's true? And if more vulnerable to attack, from whom?

In the big picture it matters not.

As Paul Maier said in the article I referenced earlier:

"Let the debate continue, but let all the evidence be admitted. Ever since scientific archaeology started a century and a half ago, the consistent pattern has been this: the hard evidence from the ground has borne out the biblical record again and again — and again. The Bible has nothing to fear from the spade."

David Buckna

Bookslinger said...

David, So how were people supposed to believe in God and Christ before the archealogical discoveries?

And what about evidence of the divine miracles at the heart of the gospel of Christ?

What evidence is there (archelogical or otherwise) that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God, that he died for our sins, and that he rose from the dead? There is no hard, physical or scientific evidence for those essential points of faith.

And logically speaking, the truth or falsehood of secular, temporal, mundane, or tangible details contained in a compendium of ancient documents (ie, the Bible) has no bearing on the veracity of the spiritual concepts of the existence of God, Jesus as Savior, the Atonement, and the resurrection.

There are some minor deviations between the various oldest copies of the the Old Testament and New Testament in existence. The oldest manuscripts vary slightly. Which is right? If they disagree, then for each point of disagreement, one is right and the others are wrong. Do the minor "mistakes" in some copies annul the whole copy?

No.

In other words, if any temporal details of the Bible were to turn out to be inaccurate, God would still be God, Jesus would still be the Savior, and the Atonement and resurrection would still be real.

There is no archeological or any physical evidence for those essential spiritual things. They have to be taken on faith.

The closest thing we have as evidence is the written testimony of people who have been dead a long long time, and we don't have the original documents of their testimony, only copies of copies. So we're having to take on faith the idea that the copyists (for the most part) didn't lie or conspire and that some group of people didn't just make it all up.

I've obtained my personal spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon much the same way that I obtained my personal spiritual witness of the Bible. I prayed about it, and got an answer to my prayers.

I prayed in 1972 to know if there was a God and a Jesus and got an answer. At that point I started believing in the Bible due to the spiritual witnesses I received. I didn't have to study archeology or Biblical history.

In 1982 I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true like the Bible. Did that stuff really happen?

And the same voice or Spirit or force, speaking in the same manner, in the same powerful, personal, and unmistakable manner, communicated to me the knowledge (not just the idea or belief) that the events of the Book of Mormon really did happen, and that the God of the Bible appeared to a new prophet just like he appeared to old prophets.

Wow.

I don't intend to disrespect book-learning and scholarly study. But what Paul wrote is true, spiritual things are spiritually discerned.

Anonymous said...

In regards to nahom and the "impossible" vowel shift of how the area is pronounced today and that such a vowel shift could not happen after 2600 years I find really hard to believe. I have no background in linguistics but I do recognize that after the fall of the Roman empire, several separate but related languages emerged (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romansh, Romanian not to mention the dialects that exist in each of those languages) and after the dissolution of the Islamic Empire, several unintelligible regional dialects emerged (Libyan Arabic versus Egyptian Arabic versus Iraqi Arabic). Can you point to the paper that linguistically details how it is impossible for a 600 BC variant of nahom could not be the present day pronunciations of the the root NHM?

As a side note, I would also be interested in seeing the same sort of study that proves a vowel shift from the root of Ramses can be applied to Moses.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Latter-Day James said...

"1) Jesus' own preaching 2) The book of Acts states there were hundreds of _eyewitnesses_ to the risen Christ. 3)Then later, the preaching of the gospel by the disciples, including Peter, Paul, etc. 4) The circulation of copies of the gospels and letters that now comprise the New Testament, etc."

We can say the same thing about the Book of Mormon.

1. Jesus' own preaching
2. Hundreds if not thousands of eyewitnesses to the risen Christ in the Americas. 3rd Nephi, Book of Mormon.
3. Preaching of the Gospel by the 12 Apostles in this hemisphere. This is also found in 3rd Nephi ch 12.
4. Keeping of records on plates of metal that were eventually translated by a modern day Prophet into the Book of Mormon.

I want to add more.

Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Christ on this earth.

Testimony of the modern 12 apostles.

Testimony that Thomas S. Monson now is the prophet, the mouthpiece of God on this earth.

Ongoing revelations through modern day prophets.

If I am to use your standard of belief then my points above should be ample for you as well. But a testimony, a witness, can not be left out or refuted.

Ryan said...

Wasn't it just a few days ago we had somebody dissing on the Bible as a reliable historic record, and the "hundreds of witnesses" in the book of Acts was blown off as the writings of conspirators?

Ah, yes... here it is.

It would be interesting to watch that Anon crumble under the force of David's iron-clad arguments about Bible historicity.

Bookslinger said...

David,

Since you asked for _archeological_ evidence of the Book of Mormon,

I again ask you for _archeological_ evidence of the spiritual and miraculous things in the Bible.

(I don't think there is any such physical evidence. Therefore I draw the parallel that since _faith_ is required to believe the spiritual aspects of the Bible, similarly, _faith_ may just as rightly be requested and required to believe the Book of Mormon.)

So far, you've merely quoted/referenced the Bible itself. That's circular reasoning, isn't it?

Moreover, the Bible is not _archeological_ evidence anyway. The oldest copies are still copies, not originals. There is no documented chain of posession from the originals to the extant copies.

I believe the Bible, so don't get me wrong. I love the Bible. I study the Bible. I've given out dozens of free Bibles to people in many languages.

But quoting the Bible to support the Bible doesn't work when at the same time you're demanding independent _physical_ evidence to corroborate the Book of Mormon.

There is no independent _physical_ scientificly measureable and observable evidence to corroborate that the Savior died for our sins and rose from the dead. (However, there is spiritual evidence that one can obtain through prayer, reading the scriptures, repenting, obeying God, etc.)

If you're going to use human testimony (verbiage) from the Bible as opposed to hard physical evidence to document things, then the 11 witnesses of the gold plates that Joseph Smith Jr translated 180 years ago would carry more weight than the relatively poorly documented witnesses from 2000 years ago.

That would be because their (the 11 witnesses) original written testimonies are still extant, and the chain of possession of those documents is well known, and their testimonies were repeated to even more people (including non-believers) who further documented the repetition of their testimony.

We have much more evidence that Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris were real people who solemnly testified of what they saw, and we have originals of their writings.

We have no originals from Peter, James, John, Paul, etc. We have no chain of posession of their documents and subsequent copies. We have no originals from people who gave second hand testimony of what they heard from the mouths of Peter, James, John, Paul, etc.

Hence, here is my statement:

The faith that a non-believer (in the Book of Mormon) must exercise to come to a belief in the Book of Mormon is no greater than the faith that a non-believer (in the Bible) must exercise to come to a belief in the Bible.

Archeology does not bring men unto Christ. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon do.

Seth R. said...

David, even if you accept the historical reality of Jesus and accept the historical reality that he rose from the dead, that still doesn't make a person obligated to worship him.

So Jesus rose from the dead? Well, that's unusual, but it doesn't mean I'm obligated to worship him does it.

All it really proves is that he has "super powers." He could be a space alien right? No reason to "worship" him at all. And this is even if we accept all your vaunted historical data as true.

In the end, all your touted historical data doesn't amount to thimble-full of spit in the question of faith. Even if the Bible is historical, it proves nothing. It forces me to believe in nothing.

So Jesus has super powers? So what? So does Superman. If Superman really existed, would I be obligated to worship him?

Historical data is a shallow and silly reason for making faith choices. Which is why I consider most of your arguments and criticisms to be quite beside the point.

I happen to believe in Jesus, but it certainly isn't because of silly historical checklists.

Bookslinger said...

David, Upon reflection, I think some of my earlier comments were a bit snarky. I'm sorry.

I admire people who express faith in the Son of God as the Savior, and who try to follow his example.

I need to do a better job at that.

Dan Knudsen said...

As has been said before: Let the Book Of Mormon be put on equal ground with the Bible (i.e., allow an equal amount of time for studying and searching for proofs compared to the amount of time the Bible has had; and, also allow for the survival of evidence differences between a moist, jungle climate, compared to a dry, desert climate) and then compare results. An honest comparison, without these allowances, is impossible at this point. For those who refuse to grant this equality, their motives, fairness, and honesty appear to be highly suspect.

Anonymous said...

test... my last 2 comments from this morning (July 21) have still not appeared.

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

Bookslinger said:
"In 1982 I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true like the Bible. Did that stuff really happen?"

"And the same voice or Spirit or force, speaking in the same manner, in the same powerful, personal, and unmistakable manner, communicated to me the knowledge (not just the idea or belief) that the events of the Book of Mormon really did happen, and that the God of the Bible appeared to a new prophet just like he appeared to old prophets."

A Christian has no reason to pray about the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.

Galatians 1:8-9 says: "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

Mormons will argue that the Book of Mormon is not another gospel but another testament of Christ. But if this is true, why do Mormons worship a god so entirely different than that of the Bible?

Their god is a god of flesh and bones (D & C 130:22) whereas the God of the Bible is an invisible Spirit (John 4:24, Hebrews 11:27). Their god was once a man (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345) while the God of the Bible was _always_ God (Psalm 90:2). 2 Nephi 25:23 says man is saved "by grace...after all we can do" but the gospel of the Bible says we are saved by grace because of Christ's righteousness.

Christians are to test the spirits, not pray over them. I John 4:1 states: "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

The Bible presents several tests for prophets. One of them is that a true prophet of God is 100% accurate (not 99.9% accurate or 83%accurate) whenever he makes predictions in the name of God:

Deuteronomy 18: 20-22

But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death."
You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

In 1832 Joseph Smith prophesied that a temple would be built in Independence, Missouri "whuch temple shall be reared in _this_ generation. For verily _this_ generation shall not pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord" (D & C 84:4-5). To this day there is no such temple.

He also said the U.S. Civil War "would be poured out upon all nations" (D and C, 87:2) and that the war would not free the slaves (J of D, 10:250)

---

David Buckna

Seth R. said...

"Galatians 1:8-9 says: "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

Which is either Paul talking only about altering that SPECIFIC epistle, or it is just him saying that we should not go beyond the basics of Christ's atonement. None of which Mormons do, so that argument doesn't apply to this discussion.

"But if this is true, why do Mormons worship a god so entirely different than that of the Bible?"

We don't. Our God is compatible with the Bible. It's just not compatible with your narrow-minded read of the Bible. That's all.

"whereas the God of the Bible is an invisible Spirit"

Those scriptures do not require that conclusion.

"Nephi 25:23 says man is saved "by grace...after all we can do" but the gospel of the Bible says we are saved by grace because of Christ's righteousness."

Only if you obsess over Romans, and ignore most of what Jesus said. Jesus himself happened to be a pretty big fan of righteous works. But my experience is that a lot of Evangelicals would rather listen to Paul than Jesus.

"The Bible presents several tests for prophets. One of them is that a true prophet of God is 100% accurate (not 99.9% accurate or 83%accurate) whenever he makes predictions in the name of God:"

Then what do you do with Jonah? He prophesied in the name of the Lord that Ninevah would be destroyed. It wasn't.

"He also said the U.S. Civil War "would be poured out upon all nations" (D and C, 87:2) and that the war would not free the slaves (J of D, 10:250)"

All of which happened. The war didn't free the slaves, as another century of horrible discrimination (supported by Southern Baptists, I might add) proves. And war was poured out on all nations. And the ruling US government - the Whig party - was destroyed and never rose again.

David, are you done yet?

Or would you like to pull another random quote from the latest piece of anti-Mormon crap literature at your local Christian bookstore?

I also notice that you STILL haven't answered my original questions.

Typical anti-Mormon tactic. Whenever you feel like you are losing an argument, change the subject to something else. Or simply throw out objections until your opponent gets tired of answering you.

Your objections weren't even on-topic to this blog post in the first place, and you keep changing the subject.

What's next? Polygamy? Mountain Meadows massacre? Moon men?

Again - are you done yet?

Anonymous said...

Seth R. writes:

"Our God is compatible with the Bible. It's just not compatible with your narrow-minded read of the Bible. That's all."

Where in the Bible (or in the book of Mormon for that matter!) does it state:

* Jesus and Lucifer are brothers
* Man’s “fall” in the Garden of Eden was a good thing eg. a fall _upward_
* Mary had sexual relations with “God” (while in the form of a man) so that she could give birth to Jesus
* “God” (Heavenly Father) only refers to the god/God of planet Earth
* Mormons have the hope of becoming gods/Gods of _their_ own planets and produce “spirit children”, who will then be born physically on that planet
* There are millions/billions? of planets in the universe, each with their own god/God [polytheism]
* Man evolved into a god/God [the idea that God was once a man]

Concerning the last point, the Bible teaches the exact opposite: God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ (not that man became a god/God!)

John 1:1-3; 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made....

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(verse 14)


David Buckna

Seth R. said...

That doesn't answer the issue. You're just throwing out random scriptures and assuming that your interpretation of them is the only possible interpretation.

And you still haven't answered the original question as to what history and archeology has to do with faith.

Mormanity said...

David, your last comment is offensive, misleading, and genuinely non-Christian, in addition to being off-topic. Parroting these kind of anti-Mormon cliches intended to mislead others is not the sign of an intellectually honest attempt to engage others. It's a lame attempt to smear. You know that insinuations about how Christ was conceived have nothing to do with official Church doctrine. Our canonical sources state that God was the Father and that Mary was a vigin. Speculation beyond that is unwarranted. The Lucifer/Jesus = brothers attack is another carefully crafted attempt to shock and mislead. Drop it. It's old and unbecoming a Christian.

I suggest you find a different place to ply your craft. I'm not interested in this kind of insincere dialog here.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said:

"And you still haven't answered the original question as to what history and archeology has to do with faith."

I _did_ answer the question, but apparently you didn't like my answer. My faith is in the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit)--not in any "god", or in any church organization. That said, archaeological discoveries have directly corroborated specific places, people, and events in the Bible.

Dr. Paul L. Maier, Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, is considered one of, if not THE world's leading historian on the first century A.D. (Near East) and the author of "In the Fullness of Time: An Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church" (1998Kregel, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI.)
I urge you to read it.

Maier has said: "I think the most difficult job in the entire world would be that of a Mormon apologist. Such a one must try to defend beliefs for which there is no evidence--archaeological, historical, geographical, or scientific--from external sources to corroborate what is claimed within the Book of Mormon on any matters not derivative from the Old Testament."

David Buckna

Seth R. said...

David, you're not getting it.

I didn't ask you to cite some scholar who thinks the Bible is historically accurate. I asked you why I should give a flip in the first place. I've told you why this historical quest you're promoting is silly, and you still have to yet to respond.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said:

"Then what do you do with Jonah? He prophesied in the name of the Lord that Ninevah would be destroyed. It wasn't."

God said in Jeremiah 18 that he wouldn't bring judgment if that nation turns from its sin. Nineveh _did_ turn from its sin after Jonah gave them the warning from God. The people of Nineveh repented and God relented.

Jonah 3: 1-10

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."
Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city—a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

---

David Buckna

Seth R. said...

It really doesn't matter if you can find an excuse in Jeremiah. Jonah said it, in the name of the Lord. It didn't happen. End of story.

Did Jonah say "you'll be destroyed unless you repent?"

He did not. He said "you will be destroyed within forty days."

Didn't happen. The Ninevites didn't have access to the Book of Jeremiah. Why would a passage in that book be relevant to this discussion?

Anonymous said...

Seth R. writes:

"Didn't happen. The Ninevites didn't have access to the Book of Jeremiah. Why would a passage in that book be relevant to this discussion?"

Why? to show that God is compassionate to those who repent of the sins, that's why!

Did you not read Jonah 3:10?

"When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."

That, my friend, gives the context.

http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp17.htm

[snip]
The fulfillment of the threat of judgment was contingent on the Ninevites response. Again we must remember- Scripture says Jonah spoke what God told him to (3:2). What this shows us is that God loves to give mercy instead of judgment. Repentance appeals to God’s mercy.
In Mt.16 Jesus tells his generation that rejected Him “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah”
===

"A [Bible] text without a context is a pretext." -- Walter Martin

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

Seth R. said:

"All of which happened. The war didn't free the slaves, as another century of horrible discrimination (supported by Southern Baptists, I might add) proves. And war was poured out on all nations. And the ruling US government - the Whig party - was destroyed and never rose again."

Here is what Joseph Smith prophesied:

"Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations"
(D&C: Section 87:1-6) Also RLDS Church History, Vol. l, pp. 262-263)

One response I found on the net:

[snip]

[Although the Civil War did occur, it was never "poured out upon all nations" and did not lead to "a full end of all nations." Also, slaves did not rise up in rebellion against their masters. In other words, a lot of this prophecy never in fact came to pass. And the part that did aparently come to pass, the starting of the Civil War in South Carolina, and the Southern States fighting the Northern States, was something that could easily have been discerned as early as 1832, as the political situation was indeed very volatile at that time in South Carolina. The war was certainly not "poured out upon all nations", and we still have nations in the 21st century, and had them after the Civil War too, so there was no "full end of all nations". Therefore the prophecy is false.]

[snip]
===
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States

[snip]

Emancipation as a reality came to the remaining southern slaves after the surrender of all Confederate troops in spring 1865.
...
Legally, the last 40,000 or so slaves were freed in Kentucky[74] by the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in December 1865.
Slaves still held in New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Maryland and Missouri also became legally free on this date.
===

David Buckna

A Mississippi Saint said...

"Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
[so far, all true]
And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.
[Since the middle of the 19th century, there have been few years unmarred by war and these wars have been more destructive and more global than all those that went before]
For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
[Still true]
And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.
[Free blacks and escaped slaves were incorporated into units in the Union Army and fought against the CSA]
And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.
[Could this also refer to the Indian wars and uprisings that consumed the US Army from the end of the Civil War until the beginning of the Spanish American War?]
And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God,
[This is ongoing at least since the end of the Civil War...there are few places in the world untouched by war or natural disasters. Reminiscent of the Savior's words in Matthew 24, maybe?]
until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations"
[When the Savior comes to rule upon the earth, there will be no nations, just the Kingdom of God. at least, that is my understanding]

So you see, I can interpret the prophecy different than David or any of his sources. However, my interpretation does not determine the truthfulness of the prohecy. The Pharisees misinterpreted Isaiah's prophecies regarding the Savior's birth and thus failed to recognize the true Messiah.

If your testimony of Christ and his restored Gospel is based on a spiritual witness by the Holy Ghost, these weak, common "anti-" arguments fall under their own weight.

I have often asked individuals who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints how they know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and rarely have I ever heard an answer that comes close to claiming a spiritual witness from God himself through the power of the Holy Ghost.

I don't understand how the non-biblical doctrine of sola scriptura stands and how so many can place an arbitrary limit on a loving God's word to his children. He is God and, by definition, is all powerful. If he wishes to add to his word, who are we to reject that. Seems rather arrogant.

And don't get me started on the non-biblical doctrine of the Trinity, which is based on Hellenic philosophies mingled with scripture while at the same time selectively ignoring other scriptures that are contrary to the expressions of the nature of God found in the Nicene and other creeds.

David, it may be time for this conversation to end. You will not persuade me/us and I do not think any of us will persuade you. We may need to agree to disagree. I should probably be prayerfully seeking someone who is ready to hear the message of the Restored Gospel rather than spending my time waiting to see what well-beaten anti path you run down next.

Adieu,
-MS Saint

Seth R. said...

Of course Jonah 3:10 gives us context.

You think I disagree with God's decision in that case? Of course I don't.

But it shoots your assertion that a prophet can never prophesy something that doesn't happen, so full of holes that it just isn't useful. You should abandon this attack strategy with respect to Joseph Smith.

As for the Civil War prophesy...

Yeah? So what? Nothing you've said addresses my explanation in the slightest. I've read the prophesy in question. As far as I'm concerned, Joseph pretty-much nailed it.

War was poured out upon all nations. In one mere generation, the world would descend into the bloodiest century it had ever seen with two World Wars. "All nations." Check.

Like I said, the Civil War freed the slaves in legal status only. Oppression of the slaves, Jim Crow, the same subservience, continued well into the 20th century. So your objection there is dead on arrival. And the "slaves" did eventually rise up against their masters, led by a man named Martin Luther King Jr.

Yup, looks like it all happened to me. You've completely failed to establish that any part of that prophesy failed to take place.

Maybe Joseph himself thought it would take place a bit sooner, but hey, Christ's own apostles were pretty darn convinced his "Second Coming" would occur in their lifetimes, so it's happened before.

Are you done yet? Because this discussion has nothing to do with the original post. We're only here because you decided to shotgun as many unrelated anti-Mormon talking points into one comments section as you could. Do you have any more simplistic, one-sided, irrelevant, and unrelated arguments to make?

Bookslinger said...

Seth, I think we should go easy on Brother Buckna. Because he's parroting very old and very basic Anti stuff that was easily refuted long ago, I think he only recently discovered or was exposed to Anti literature, and hasn't really processed or gone into any analysis of what he's read/parroted. In other words, he's just a "baby Anti."

He reminds me a bit of NM when he first discovered how "easy" it was to "prove" the Mormons wrong. "Hey! Look at all this stuff that shows how the Mormons are wrong!"

David, why don't you go to some atheist blogs and work on them? They have more need of your enlightening. If you can "prove" Mormons wrong, then you could just as easily prove atheists or any non-christian religion wrong too, right?

And don't forget all the other religions that you might consider false, such as Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Confucionism and Hinduism.

There are many times more atheists than Mormons. Your efforts might produce more results there.

Seriously, exactly why are you picking up and running with the "anti-Mormon" ball?

Once you realize there are some real sinister motives behind some (or most) of the people who wrote that anti-Mormon hate literature you've been parroting, you'll come to a very different realization about LDS beliefs.

I urge you to really study that anti-Mormon stuff, and learn how its authors have twisted, misrepresented, and in some cases just outright lied about what LDS beliefs are.

Then ask yourself, "Why did they (the anti-Mormon authors) twist, misrepresent, and lie?"

A relative sent me an anti-Mormon book soon after I joined the LDS church. I could easily refute it just with what I had read in the previous 2 or 3 months. It was so obvious that the author(s) were either incredibly sloppy and lazy, or else they intenionally lied and misrepresented things.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said:

"War was poured out upon all nations. In one mere generation, the world would descend into the bloodiest century it had ever seen with two World Wars. "All nations." Check."

Now you bring in the two world wars? Good grief! Smith's prophecy clearly states these "wars" will begin with the rebellion of South Carolina. To say that these 20th century wars had any connection with the rebellion at South Carolina defies reasoning. The irony is that you've taken Smith's own words out of context.


David Buckna

Seth R. said...

There is no timeline in the revelation itself David, the only timeline here is the one in your own head.

Just because your fun little counter-cult book assumed a timeline doesn't mean it's logically required.

What about Jesus prophesies of the last days? The apostles all thought he was talking about a few decades away. Turns out over a thousand years have passed. Do you discount what Jesus said just because it happened to take a long time?

Dan Knudsen said...

David--You showed that Jonah’s prophecy was repealed by the Lord, when the situation changed. Joseph Smith’s prophecy of the temple to be built in Missouri was also repealed because the situation changed; however, those who use this prophecy to condemn Joseph Smith don’t know how to read footnotes--or they don’t want to do that as it would ruin their argument, even though it would be honest and show some actual scholarship in their research:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.” (Doctrine and Covenants 124:49)

Jesus is said to have been the greatest prophet; however, he made an important prophecy that didn’t come true:

“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39-40)

This prophecy’s fulfillment had to be important since Jesus said it was to be the only sign given of Himself.

Let’s see now, Jesus died Friday, about 3:00 pm, and was buried at sunset, about 6:00 pm; He arose before sunrise, 6:00 am, on Sunday, as Mary arrived at the tomb as it was beginning to dawn and Jesus was already gone. Where are the three days and three nights when he was in the ground? Three days and three nights would be 72 hours, unless something is cut out somewhere, and the above scenario is about 36 hours in length. I suppose somebody could count Friday, day, as a day, then Friday, night, as a night, Saturday, day, as a day, and Saturday, night, as a night; however, it’s really stretching it to count any of Sunday, as the day didn’t start until sunrise. Technically, the day began at sunset, so Friday night was actually Saturday night, and Saturday night was Sunday night, so that you’ve then got Friday, day, Saturday, night and day, and Sunday night, which is 2 days and 2 nights--really stretching it to count Friday day, since the burial was at sunset, the beginning of Saturday. Where is the other night and day? If they didn’t happen then Jesus was a false prophet, since the prophecy didn’t come true, and therefore, in the same class as you say Joseph Smith is.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Why was this commandment given? What is the point? How can we become perfect like God is and then not become like He is?

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17)

Is this another nonsense scripture that means something other than what the words in it mean? God has children and when they grow up they become something else than He is? How does that make any real sense? Offspring of animals and humans grow up to be like their parents; but offspring of God don’t grow up? What a fraud God has perpetrated on us! What, then, is the point in keeping His commandments? No wonder there are so many atheists today, who can’t see wasting their time with God. Doesn’t God have the power to exalt His children? You believe that He’s all-powerful, but yet He can’t do this, or won’t do this, and yet He loves us so much? It’s amazing that this horrible God of the Mormons really is all-powerful and can do anything He wants to do, as long as we obey His commandments, after accepting Christ’s atonement. It sounds to me like there really is only one God, but most people can’t fully accept Him--so their teachers preach a lesser gospel that they can accept, but it also has lesser rewards--and therefore they won’t/can’t get the rewards promised to the Mormons--if they (the Mormons) keep His commandments. And this lesser God has changed from what He was in the Bible, when he spoke to prophets to give His will to the people--He’s done with his work and is resting, or off on a trip, or has become an invalid, or too old, or something. If you want to worship only part of God, that’s your choice, but don’t condemn us for worshiping all of God.

Anonymous said...

Dan Knudsen said:

"Let’s see now, Jesus died Friday, about 3:00 pm, and was buried at sunset, about 6:00 pm; He arose before sunrise, 6:00 am, on Sunday, as Mary arrived at the tomb as it was beginning to dawn and Jesus was already gone. Where are the three days and three nights when he was in the ground?"

From "The Resurrection Factor" (1981, Appendix A) by Josh McDowell:

[Many people have questioned the accuracy of Jesus' statement that "just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."(12:40) They ask, "How could Jesus have remained in the tomb three days and three nights if He was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday?"

The accounts of His death and resurrection as given in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John indicate that Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday, before sundown, which is the beginning of the next day for the Jews, and resurrected on the first day of the week, which is our Sunday, before sunrise.

This puts Jesus in the grave for part of Friday, the entire Sabbath, and part of Sunday. In other words, he was in the tomb two full nights, one full day, and part of two days. Since this is clearly not three full, 24-hour days, do we have a problem of conflict with the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew? (12:40)

Jesus is recorded as saying, "The Son of Man will rise again after three days," and "He will be raised again on the third day"(12:40)--expressions that are used interchangeably. This can be seen from the fact that most references to the resurrection state that it occurred on the third day.

Also, Jesus spoke of the resurrection in John (2:19-22), stating that He would be raised up in three days (not the fourth day). Matthew (27:63) gives weight to this idiomatic usage. After the Pharisees tell Pilate of the prediction of Jesus, "After three days I will rise again," they ask for a guard to secure the tomb until the third day. If the phrase "after three days," had not been interchangeable with "the third day," the Pharisees would have asked for a guard for the fourth day."

That the expression "one day and one night" was an idiom employed by the Jews for indicating a day, even when only part of a day was indicated, can be seen also in the Old Testament.

For example, 1 Samuel says "For he had not eaten bread or dunk water for three days and three nights," and in the next verse, "My master left me behind... three days ago." (30:12,13)

Just as clearly, Genesis (42:17) shows this idiomatic usage. Joseph imprisoned his brothers for three days; in verse 18, he speaks to them and releases them, all on the third day. (2)

The phrase "after three days" and "on the third day," are not contradictory, either to each other or with Matthew (12:40), but simply idiomatic, interchangeable terms, clearly a common mode of Jewish expression.

Another way to look at "three days and three nights" is to take into consideration the Jewish method of reckoning time. The Jewish writers have recorded in their commentaries on the Scriptures the principle governing the reckoning of time. Any part of a period was considered a full period. Any part of a day was reckoned as a complete day. The Babylonian Talmud (Jewish commentaries) relates that "The portion of a day is as the whole of it." (3) The Jerusalem Talmud (so designated because it was written in Jerusalem) says, "We have a teaching, 'A day and a night are an Onah and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it.'"(4) An Onah simply means, "a period of time."

The Jewish day starts at 6:00 in the evening. Dr. Custance points out that, "It is generally believed that this method of reckoning was originally based upon the fact that in the week of Creation, the first day began with a darkness which was turned into light; and thereafter each 24-hour period is identified as 'the evening and the morning'- in this order (Genesis 1:5,8, etc).(5)

The "three days and three nights" in reference to Christ's period in the tomb could be calculated as follows: Christ was crucified on Friday. Any time before 6:00 p.m. Friday would be considered "one day and one night." Any time after 6:00 p.m. Friday to Saturday at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday when Crist was resurrected would be "one day and one night." From the Jewish point of view, it would make "three days and three nights" from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning.

Even today we often use the same principle in reference to time. For example: Many couples hope their child will be born before midnight December 31. If born at 11:59 p.m., the child will be treated by the IRS as being born 365 days and 365 nights of that year. This is true even if 99.9% of the year has elapsed.]

===
David Buckna

Seth R. said...

"The phrase "after three days" and "on the third day," are not contradictory, either to each other or with Matthew (12:40), but simply idiomatic, interchangeable terms, clearly a common mode of Jewish expression."

Sounds nice David, but whenever Mormons try to use language exactly like this in defending OUR beliefs, people like you almost always say we're "stretching" or "being lame," or "unwilling to accept the truth."

Why does the Bible get the benefit of the doubt, but not the Book of Mormon?

Makes it look like you're playing favorites and using a double-standard.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said: "Why does the Bible get the benefit of the doubt, but not the Book of Mormon?"

Time and time again the Bible has shown itself to be historically accurate and internally consistent, whereas the book of Mormon has not.

If the book of Mormon really is "another testament of Jesus Christ", why does it contradict the Bible on certain points? And why do some writings in your Doctrine and Covenants, Journal of Discourses, etc. contradict verses in the Book of Mormon?

To again quote Paul Maier, "there is no evidence--archaeological, historical, geographical, or scientific--from external sources to corroborate what is claimed within the Book of Mormon on any matters not derivative from the Old Testament."


David Buckna

Seth R. said...

Like I've already said, the Book of Mormon doesn't contradict the Bible. Just you're own preconceived notions of the Bible.

It is also not internally inconsistent, nor has it been undermined by the historical data. You're just repeating the same mindless talking points you said earlier. If you're just going to repeat yourself, I suggest we end this conversation and quit threadjacking Jeff's blog.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said: "Like I've already said, the Book of Mormon doesn't contradict the Bible. Just you're own preconceived notions of the Bible."

Here are just two of several examples where the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible. Both examples below are from the book of Ether.

Ether 1:34-37 says there was a group of people at the tower of Babel who didn’t want their language confounded, and so, they say, God decided not to confound it. This contradicts Genesis 11:9 which states the language of ALL the earth was confounded.

In Ether 1:43 the Jaredites are promised by God that they will be the greatest nation on earth and that there would be no greater nation. However, in Genesis 15: 1-5; 17:1-9; 19; 18:17-18; Romans 2:2 this promise is made to Abraham and his descendents.

David Buckna

Seth R. said...

Are you kidding me David?

That's the best you can do?

Those aren't even doctrinal disagreements! That's just piddling little nit-picking stuff. It's not even an important difference.

Quit acting like a 13 year old. This isn't a game where you get to laugh at the teacher every time he gets a little tongue-tied, or gets caught in a minor error.

Grow up.

Seth R. said...

Not to mention that neither of those examples are even problematic in the first place.

So the language of everyone on earth was confounded except for two families?

Big whoop dee doo. Who cares?

Not to mention the possibility that the confusion may not have applied to "every" homo sapien on the face of the planet, but could have only applied to people living in the vicinity of the Fertile Crescent, and it STILL would have looked like "all the world" to the authors of that story in Genesis.

As far as the author of Genesis was concerned, the whole world was confounded.

Tell me why I'm supposed to be disturbed by the possibility that he may have overlooked a couple dozen people. Because I'm not seeing it.

The Book of Mormon is perfectly fine with the Bible. It may include things the Bible does not mention or cover, but it is certainly not contradictory to it.

Seth R. said...

As for the "great nation" promise, none of the verses you provided contradict Ether 1:43. The Genesis passages never ever say that Abraham's posterity would be the nation of which there are "none greater," just that it would be "great." Not any logical conflict there to begin with (unless I missed the specific verse you were referring to).

Romans 2:2 doesn't even talk about the promise to Abraham, so I think you probably had a typo there.

Besides, stop and think about it for a second. Suppose that the Lord promises to two geographically separated individuals that they will "become a great nation" of which "there will be none greater." Can God logically promise this?

Yes.

Both nations might be pretty-much equally great (assuming you could even accurately measure "greatness" - which we can't). No logical contradiction whatsoever.

By the way Jeff, I think I'm obsessing a tad much over this exchange. Feel free to tell me to stop any time you feel like it. It won't hurt my feelings any. I'll even let David have the last word.

Dan Knudsen said...

I really don’t care how the Jews counted days, because they were wrong in many things, especially in rejecting Christ as their Messiah. What I think is most important is how God defined what a day is; take a look at the creation, as narrated by God:

IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth....
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day....
...And the evening and the morning were the second day....
And the evening and the morning were the third day....
And the evening and the morning were the fourth day....
And the evening and the morning were the fifth day....
...And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:1, 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)

(So, by the end of the third day there had been three evenings and three mornings--no bits and pieces were listed.)

Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17)

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40)

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:9-10)

This shows that Jesus knew that a day was 12 hours long; therefore, a night had to be 12 hours long, so that the length of a day and a night was 24 hours, and the day started at the same time each cycle. Jesus’ knowledge of this is correct since He was the Creator:

IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)

The Creation was listed as consisting of six days, each of which consisted of an evening and a morning being an entire day. Using that as a pattern then, since Jesus said He was to be in the heart of the earth “three days and three nights” I’ll believe Him and use His definition of a day, instead of what the Jews did, or what Christian apologists, who never spoke to Jesus, give as their opinion of what Jesus meant. It’s plainly stated in the Bible, which traditional Christians say is infallible. So, my opinion is that Jesus is right and your authorities are wrong. You are free to choose which you’d rather believe.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said: "As far as the author of Genesis was concerned, the whole world was confounded."

"Tell me why I'm supposed to be disturbed by the possibility that he may have overlooked a couple dozen people. Because I'm not seeing it."

If you think the author of Genesis "may have overlooked a couple dozen people" then you obviously don't have a very high view of the Bible.

Until God confused the languages at Babel (Genesis 11:7-9), “the whole earth was of one language” (Genesis 11:1). It seems the writer of the book of Ether mistakenly thought there were many different languages at Babel and that God confounded them while sparing the language of the Jaredites. Again, Genesis says that people spoke only one language, and God confounded the people by creating different languages.

http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/5822/

The Tower of Babel account affirmed by linguistics
by K.J. Duursma

seth r. said:

"The Book of Mormon is perfectly fine with the Bible. It may include things the Bible does not mention or cover, but it is certainly not contradictory to it."

Another example of the book of Mormon contradicting the Bible is Alma 7:10, which states Mary’s son was born at Jerusalem, contrary to the prophecy concerning the Lord’s birth at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)and the fulfillment of that prophecy in Matthew 2:1.

Jeff Lindsay says at
http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_BMProblems.shtml#jerus

["Alma 7:10 gives a prophecy that Christ would be born "at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers." Here and in many other passages, Jerusalem is described as a land, not just a city. Bethlehem is a tiny suburb of Jerusalem, just 5 miles away from the heart of the city. Not only does Bethlehem properly fall within the "land of Jerusalem," making the Book of Mormon correct, but use of that term is surprising evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.....Finally, critics ought to realize that if we must condemn the Book of Mormon for stating that Christ would be born "at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers," then they must also reject the Bible because it says that Amaziah "was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David" (2 Kings 14:20), and the city of David is Bethlehem (see Luke 2:4, 1Samuel 20:6)."]

The expression “land of Jerusalem” never occurs in the Bible. Matthew 2:6 states Bethlehem is in “the land of Judah”. Judah is the “land” whereas Bethlehem (Luke 2:4) and Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:3; Matthew 5:35) are each described as a “city”. Bethlehem and Jerusalem are never confused in the Bible. Both cities are mentioned in Matthew 2:1, with not the slightest hint that the two were the same place, or that Bethlehem is within the "land of Jerusalem”.

While it's true Jerusalem is called “the city of David” in 2 Kings 14:20, and Bethlehem is called “the city of David” in Luke 2:4, it’s not because they were the same city, or because the biblical writers had them confused.

Bethlehem was called “the city of David” because it was the birthplace of David (1 Samuel 17:12), and when the ancient city of Jebus was conquered by David, his name was attached to it in honor of the event (1 Chronicles 11:5,7).

From wikipedia: "Jebus is the name of the Canaanite fortress on the Temple Mount during the time of King David. The name refers to the large threshing floor on the Temple Mount around which the fortress was built. David conquers Jebus and establishes Jerusalem on its place as the new Israelite capital. The threshing floor was subsequently purchased by David as the site of the Temple."

While David was at the “stronghold” (Jerusalem – v. 5), the Philistines were at Bethlehem (v. 16). These two cities were viewed as distinct in the time of David and also in the time of Christ.

Not only is the supposed author (Alma) in error in identifying the city of Christ’s birth, he didn’t know the difference between the word “city” and “land”.

See also:
Two Bethlehems?
http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2273


David Buckna

Seth R. said...

David, since we could argue about this is circles for fifty more comments, I'm ending it now.

Goodbye. It's been an utter waste of everyone's time talking to you, and for that, I apologize to everyone else reading this.

Anonymous said...

seth r. said:

"David, since we could argue about this is circles for fifty more comments, I'm ending it now."

So long, Seth.

Then maybe someone else can then answer this question: Can God dwell in a person's heart? According to Alma 34:36, the answer is yes. But according to Doctrine and Covenants, section 130:3, the answer is no:

3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.
---
Which is it?


David Buckna

Dan Knudsen said...

“And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” (Alma 7:10)

Even if no one else referred to Bethlehem as being in the land of Jerusalem, those in the Book Of Mormon did, and that’s what counts; it doesn’t contradict the Bible. The Book Of Mormon culture was different, so referred differently than they would have when living in Palestine. When you are 5000 miles away from a small place it’s common to refer to the large city near by. When I was in Europe I told people I was from Salt Lake City, even though I live 45 miles south of it, but it made no difference as they understood. They did the same thing when telling me where they lived. Our daughter and her husband lived in Hungary a year and when we went to see them we said we were going to Budapest to see her, although they were living is a small city 20 miles away.

FAIR has a similar explanation:
http://en.fairmormon.org/50_Answers
15. Why does the Book of Mormon state that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when history and the Bible state that he was born outside of Jerusalem, in Bethlehem?

Bethlehem is in the direct area of Jerusalem, being only about seven miles apart. El Amarna letter #287 reports that "a town of the land of Jerusalem, Bit-Lahmi [Bethlehem] by name, a town belonging to the king, has gone over to the side of the people of Keilah." The Book of Mormon gets the ancient usage exactly right: the town of Bethlehem is in the "land of Jerusalem," especially from the perspective of someone writing in the Americas.

And, here is more:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon_anachronisms/Jerusalem_vs_Bethlehem

BYU professor Daniel C. Peterson pointed out the absurdity of this argument:

To suggest that Joseph Smith knew the precise location of Jesus' baptism by John ("in Bethabara, beyond Jordan" (1 Ne. 10:9) but hadn't a clue about the famous town of Christ's birth is so improbable as to be ludicrous. Do the skeptics seriously mean to suggest that the Book of Mormon's Bible-drenched author (or authors) missed one of the most obvious facts about the most popular story in the Bible — something known to every child and Christmas caroler? Do they intend to say that a clever fraud who could write a book displaying so wide an array of subtly authentic Near Eastern and biblical cultural and literary traits as the Book of Mormon does was nonetheless so stupid as to claim, before a Bible-reading public, that Jesus was born in the city of Jerusalem? As one anti-Mormon author has pointed out, "Every schoolboy and schoolgirl knows Christ was born in Bethlehem." [Langfield, 53.] Exactly! It is virtually certain, therefore, that Alma 7:10 was foreign to Joseph Smith's preconceptions. "The land of Jerusalem" is not the sort of thing the Prophet would likely have invented, precisely for the same reason it bothers uninformed critics of the Book of Mormon.[1]

It is important to note what Alma's words were. He did not claim Jesus would be born in the city of Jerusalem, but "at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers."

Thus, the Book of Mormon makes a distinction here between a city and the land associated with a city. It does this elsewhere as well:

* the land (Alma 2:15) and city(Alma 6:1) of Zarahemla;
* the land and city of Nephi (Alma 47:20).

This is consistent with the usage of the ancient Middle East. El Amarna letter #287 reports that "a town of the land of Jerusalem, Bit-Lahmi [Bethlehem] by name, a town belonging to the king, has gone over to the side of the people of Keilah."[2]

Thus, Joseph Smith gets it exactly right — the town of Bethlehem is in the "land of Jerusalem." In fact, Bethlehem is only 5 miles south of Jerusalem: definitely "in the land," especially from the perspective of Alma, a continent away. Even locals considered Hebron, twenty five miles from Bethlehem, to be in the "land of Jerusalem."
Conclusion
Critics have not proven anything in raising this point, except perhaps another literary evidence for the Book of Mormon. While a forger would likely overlook this detail and include Bethlehem as the commonly-understood birthplace of Jesus, the ancient authors of the Book of Mormon use an authentic term to describe the Savior's birthplace—thereby providing another point of authenticity for the Book of Mormon.
Endnotes
1. [back] Daniel C. Peterson, "Is the Book of Mormon True? Notes on the Debate," Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins, edited by Noel B. Reynolds, (Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1997), Chapter 6 ISBN 093489325X ISBN 0934893187 ISBN 0884944697. off-site GospeLink GL direct link
2. [back] James B. Pritchard, editor, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3d ed. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969), 489, translation by W. F. Albright and George E. Mendenhall; cited by D. Kelly Ogden, "Why Does the Book of Mormon Say That Jesus Would Be Born at Jerusalem? (I Have a Question)," Ensign (August 1984): 51–52. off-site

Anonymous said...

Seth,r. said,


"Goodbye. It's been an utter waste of everyone's time talking to you, and for that, I apologize to everyone else reading this."





Don't apologize, you have just shown what Shaken Faith Syndrome have to deal with as anti-mormon will pick at any thing to try to steal your testimony.

Anonymous said...

David Buckna: said,

"Can God dwell in a person's heart?"

Not that I think you care but the Holy Spirit will dell in a persons heart as a witness of the Father and the Son. I think you know the answer but just like to play around to make yourself feel smart. I think you are smart.

Anonymous said...

In recent years a few biblical scholars and archeologists have dared to propose a revolutionary idea: that the Christmas story celebrated by Christians around the world identifies the wrong Bethlehem.

In this view, Joseph and Mary travelled the few miles from Nazareth to the Galilean Bethlehem because they were returning to stay with Joseph's family for the birth of their child. Joseph, says Chilton, met Mary after moving from his village to Nazareth in search of work. This account avoids the improbable mammoth journey south and explains the important early Christian remains in the Galilean Bethlehem.


But why would Matthew, writing several decades after Jesus's death, switch Bethlehems? The reason, surmises Chilton, is that Matthew wanted to create an early piece of Christian propaganda to win Jewish converts. Bethlehem near Jerusalem is mentioned as the hometown of King David. Matthew, knowing that it says in the Old Testament that the Messiah will come from the House of David, hoped to establish a credible link between Jesus and King David through the figure of Joseph.

Privately, both Yeger and Fleischman believe their village is the true site of Jesus's birth, though they say attempts at proving it with archeological digs have been stymied. Yeger is far from concerned. "Do we really need need a fight on our hands with the Vatican? Let the other Bethlehem have the glory."

I don't care where it is located but I point the above out to show David Buckna that not all archeologists agree on all of the locations of the Bible. But I am sure he knows this being an all knowing one.

Anonymous said...

http://en.fairmormon.org/50_Answers
15. Why does the Book of Mormon state that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when history and the Bible state that he was born outside of Jerusalem, in Bethlehem?

Bethlehem is in the direct area of Jerusalem, being only about seven miles apart. El Amarna letter #287 reports that "a town of the land of Jerusalem, Bit-Lahmi [Bethlehem] by name, a town belonging to the king, has gone over to the side of the people of Keilah." The Book of Mormon gets the ancient usage exactly right: the town of Bethlehem is in the "land of Jerusalem," especially from the perspective of someone writing in the Americas.
===============================
But Bethany is even _closer_ to Jerusalem than is Bethlehem, yet the gospels make frequent reference to Bethany as a separate village. Here's one of several references to Bethany:

John 11:18 (KJV)

Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
---
18 Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem (NIV)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethany_%28Jerusalem%29

Bethany (Hebrew) is recorded in the New Testament as the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, as well as that of Simon the Leper. Jesus is reported to have lodged there after his entry into Jerusalem, and it was from Bethany that he parted from his disciples at the Ascension. Bethany is commonly identified with the village of al-Eizariya located about 1½ miles to the east [1] of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives.

---
David Buckna

Dan Knudsen said...

The main reason is because it’s the Bible, which was the local source so it had to distinguish such things for those who walked those roads. As said before, it makes no difference how anyone else said it, the Book Of Mormon people said it their own way. You condemn the Book Of Mormon when it’s like the Bible and you condemn it when it’s not, so it’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t--all according to your whims and varying standards used to judge it.

How about the Bible’s accuracy? Take the following examples, for instance:

And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. (Genesis 32:12)

For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return... (Isaiah 10:22)

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered... (Hosea 1:10)

Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: (Romans 9:27)

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (Revelation 20:8)

So how many grains of sand are there on earth? Here’s an estimate:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/539329.html
"So how many grains of sand are there in the world? You could start off by trying to guess how many grains of sand there are in a spoon of sand. Use a magnifying glass to count how many grains fit in a small section. Then, count how many of those sections fit in your spoon. Multiply the two numbers together to get an estimate.
"Using this same principle, plus some additional information, mathematicians at the University of Hawaii tried to guess how many grains of sand are on the world's beaches. They came up with 7,500,000,000,000,000,000, or seven quintillion five quadrillion grains of sand."

Estimates of total world population for 8 thousand years are about 100 billion (http://www.prb.org/Articles/2002/HowManyPeopleHaveEverLivedonEarth.aspx), which would be about one 7-billionth as much as the grains of sand. The above biblical estimates are many times less than this estimate. So how accurate is the Bible? Use the same standards you use for judging the Book Of Mormon, or else you are a blatant liar.

Anonymous said...

Dan Knudsen said: "The main reason is because it’s the Bible, which was the local source so it had to distinguish such things for those who walked those roads. As said before, it makes no difference how anyone else said it, the Book Of Mormon people said it their own way. You condemn the Book Of Mormon when it’s like the Bible and you condemn it when it’s not, so it’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t--all according to your whims and varying standards used to judge it.

How about the Bible’s accuracy? Take the following examples, for instance:

And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. (Genesis 32:12)"
===
Dan, do you know what a similie is? A similie is a figure of speech using "like" or "as". The similie "like the sand of the sea" and "as the sand of the sea" is used several times in the Bible to refer to: large, numerous, too numerous to count, etc.

See:

The Children of Noah: Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times

http://books.google.ca/books?id=kX7YXtI4POkC

Click on: "Preview this book", then
scroll down to pages 101-102
[Similies and Parables]

http://www.raystedman.org/leadership/smith/ch11.html

Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore...and in your seed all the
nations of the earth shall be blessed...(Gen. 22:17,18 NASV).

Here we see how his name Abraham (father of a multitude) really applies. By implication his will be an earthly family (depicted by "sand"), a heavenly family
(depicted by "stars"), and universal blessing to all nations through his seed which is Christ (see Gal. 3:16 NASV). For even further emphasis we find the same promise repeated in Genesis 15:5 and restated to Isaac and Jacob in Genesis 26:4 and 32:12.
So our investigation of the Hebrew meaning of Abraham's name really pays off. He is indeed "father of a multitude," both physically and spiritually.

http://www.preceptaustin.org/Observation.htm

A simile is a figure of speech in which the subject is compared to another subject, for example, "as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs".

Frequently, similes are marked by use of the words "as" or "like". A simile is a word picture that draws a comparison between two things. The idea behind figures of
speech is that a picture is worth a thousand words. But remember for accurate Biblical interpretation, one still needs to interpret the figure of speech in the context in which it is found. Figures of speech are not an encouragement to let your imagination run wild. Whatever "picture" the figure of speech is intended to paint
is best evaluated by a careful examination of the context.
===
Dan Knudsen said: "So how accurate is the Bible?"

VERY accurate.


David Buckna

Dan Knudsen said...

“But remember for accurate Biblical interpretation, one still needs to interpret the figure of speech in the context in which it is found. Figures of speech are not an encouragement to let your imagination run wild. Whatever ‘picture’ the figure of speech is intended to paint is best evaluated by a careful examination of the context.”

But, when it comes to the Book Of Mormon all such considerations fly out the window (another figure of speech)? It can’t say that Jesus was to be born “at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers” since that’s not exactly saying Bethlehem, but just the general location within seven miles of the city of Jerusalem, as has been established was done at that time, and in that area of the world; however, it’s okay for the Bible, multiple times, to grossly exaggerate by billions of times the size of a population because it’s using a simile? As stated before, you have to allow the Book Of Mormon the same freedom of expression allowed the Bible, or you are a blatant liar!

So, substituting “what the Book Of Mormon says” for “the figure of speech” and “Book Of Mormon” for “Biblical” in your quote above, the same applies for the Book Of Mormon. When you “let your imagination run wild” and try to bend what the Book Of Mormon says to fit your preconceived notions and/or desires, instead of what its context shows it to mean, you become a liar. Using only part of a truth (but not all of that truth) to deceive makes that use of part of a truth into a lie.

Anonymous said...

Dan Knudsen said:

"But, when it comes to the Book Of Mormon all such considerations fly out the window (another figure of speech)? It can’t say that Jesus was to be born “at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers” since that’s not exactly saying Bethlehem, but just the general location within seven miles of the city of Jerusalem, as has been established was done at that time, and in that area of the world;"

Dan,why won't just admit that the book of Mormon got it wrong? I repeat: Not only is the supposed author (Alma) in error in identifying the city of Christ’s birth, he didn’t know the difference between the word “city” and “land”.

Dan Knudsen said:

"however, it’s okay for the Bible, multiple times, to grossly exaggerate by billions of times the size of a population because it’s using a simile? As stated before, you have to allow the Book Of Mormon the same freedom of expression allowed the Bible, or you are a blatant liar!"

Are you kidding me? The Bible did NOT "exaggerate by billions of times the size of a population". It's obvious (by not to you) why similies are used by writers, not only in the Bible, but in secular literature g. poetry, short stories, etc. The irony is that the very first scripture you quoted even says his seed "cannot be numbered"--which is another way of saying too numerous to count.
The similie "like the sand of the sea" and "as the sand of the sea" is also an excellent example of hyperbole--deliberate exaggeration for dramatic effect.

Using a figure of speech is completely different from the obvious _geographical_ error mentioned in Alma 7:10.

When a person resorts to attacking the Bible (saying it contains inaccuracies/errors) he has done nothing more than unbelievers have done throughout history. True followers of Jesus Christ don't attack the Bible, they revere it as God's Word. Jesus said:"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)

David Buckna

Dan Knudsen said...

Did you bother reading the FAIR quotes above? Just because the exact words you want used to describe something aren’t used doesn’t make it wrong--except in your opinion and those who have a similar ax to grind, and are limited in their ability to think outside of their box. There are many ways possible to describe something. It still makes no difference when one such description doesn’t meet with your approval. A culture different from yours has the right to describe things the way they do, whether you understand that description, or agree with it, and even though you insist it can only be done by your narrow definition of what is acceptable. People in different ages often did things differently than we do, and maybe we’re now more brilliant than they were. The fact that the Nephites weren’t the only ones to describe places the way they did (see FAIR quotes above) does throw a lot of cold water on your fire. Your refusal to acknowledge that anything could be done, not meeting your ideals, and still be true in its description, makes your honesty and sincerity highly suspect. You are barking up the wrong tree, using the same worn-out arguments used over the past 180 years, all of which have long since been refuted. Try to come up with something new and innovative, showing something more than a lack of thinking though an idea. I believe the Bible at least as much as you do, but probably more, since I have the Book Of Mormon, as an added witness, to confirm its truths.

A Mississippi Saint said...

As the author Mark Twain is noted to have said - "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."

Dan, you obviously have a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as well as a great familiarity with the scriptures.

David, you obviously revere the Bible above the authority of God to add to his own word if he desires (or at least when it comes to the Book of Mormon) and apply both circular reasoning and the "enticing words of man's wisdom" (1Cor2:4) to support your arguments. And for some reason, the findings of an archaeologist are very important to your point of view regarding the Book of Mormon.

In gaining a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, the Book of Mormon, or anything else for that matter, since God is the author of truth, we would be good to follow Paul's counsel - "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:9-14)

It matters not whether there is archaeological proof of either the Bible or the Book of Mormon. If the Spirit of God has revealed the truth of the Word of God to you personally, the lack of any evidence to support the scriptures would not have any bearing on your testimony.

By David's standard, if war or natural disaster were to destroy the Biblical lands to the point that all archaeological evidence of the Bible was destroyed, the Christians of future generations would be unable to substantiate their faith.

But if they rely on the Spirit of God, by the power of the Holy Ghost they may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)

-MS Saint

P.S. - Someone very wise once asked me the following question: If you had to choose between the Holy Scriptures and a living Prophet of God (you could not have both), which would you choose?

My answer is a living Prophet of God. Any other thoughts?...

Anonymous said...

David Buckna, said:


"When a person resorts to attacking the Bible (saying it contains inaccuracies/errors) he has done nothing more than unbelievers have done throughout history. True followers of Jesus Christ don't attack the Bible, they revere it as God's Word. Jesus said:"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)"

True followers of Jesus Christ don't attack the Bible, they revere it as God's Word and they don't pretend to have all the facts about what archeology has found. You would rather prove the Bible gospel with man made facts rather than have faith and a testimony of the Holy Spirit. I know that many man made facts of the Bible are correct and many are incorrect but I have a testimon of the Holy Spirit that the Bible and the Book of Mormon is true so it would not bother me if all the facts turned against both of them. It does not sound like you would be able to say the same.

Anonymous said...

780,000-year-old site located on the banks of the Jordan river in northern Israel. First discovered in the 1930s, Gesher had been the site of several excavations that provided archaeologists with crucial information about how and when Homo erectus moved out of Africa, most likely through the Levantine corridor that includes Israel. "One of the rarest prehistoric sites in the world," it featured a remarkable level of organic preservation that archaeologists had not encountered at any other contemporary site in Europe or Asia.

Misliya Cave, southwest of Mt. Carmel, has been excavated by teams of anthropologists and archaeologists from the Archaeology Department of the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University since 2001. In 2007, they unearthed artifacts indicative of what could be the earliest known Homo Sapiens. The teams uncovered hand-held stone tools and blades as well as animal bones, dating to 250,000 years ago, at the time of the Mousterian culture of Neanderthals in Europe.

The history of the region later claimed by the states of Judah and Israel offers particular problems for the modern historian. Because of the association of this area with the scriptural accounts found in the Bible, there is a tendency to view the history of the southern Levant from an almost purely biblical perspective, giving scant attention to the post biblical period. Archaeology of the area has tended to be viewed principally through the biblical account, making it difficult to understand its history within the modern archaeological context of the Ancient Near Eastern region as a whole.

It has also been argued that the Israelites were themselves Canaanites, and that "historical Israel", as distinct from "literary" or "biblical" Israel, was a subset of Canaanite culture.

For example, Mark Smith [4] states "Despite the long regnant model that the 'Canaanites' and Israelites were people of fundamentally different cultures, archaeological data now casts doubt on this view. The material culture of the region exhibits numerous common points between Israelites and 'Canaanites' in the Iron I period (ca. 1200-1000). The record would suggest that the Israelite culture largely overlapped with and derived from 'Canaanite' culture.... In short, Israelite culture was largely Canaanite in nature. Given the information available, one cannot maintain a radical cultural separation between Canaanites and Israelites for the Iron I period."



Smith continues, “The change in the scholarly understanding of early Israel’s culture has led to a second major change in perspective, which involves the nature of the Yahwistic cult. With the change in perspective concerning Israel’s ‘Canaanite’ background, long held views on the Israelite religion are slowly eroding. Baal and Asherah are part of Israel’s ‘Canaanite’ heritage, and the emergence of Israelite monolatry was an issue of Israel breaking from its own Canaanite past,and not simply of avoiding ‘Canaanite’ neighbours.

The nature and precise dates of events, and the precision by which they may be stated, are subject to continuing discussion and challenge. There are no biblical events whose precise year can be validated by external sources before the possible attack by Pharaoh Shoshenk I, identified with the biblical Shishak (=striker) in 925 BCE. This record, however, shows the Pharaoh's raid was directed more against Israel rather than Jerusalem, as the Bible suggests, and no rulers of the area are listed in Egyptian records. The first independent confirmation of the biblical record is the early 9th century BCE with the rise of Omri, King of Israel. Therefore, all earlier dates are extrapolations and conjecture. Furthermore, the Bible does not render itself very easily to these calculations: mostly, it does not state any time period longer than a single lifetime and a historical line must be reconstructed by adding discrete quantities, a process that naturally introduces rounding errors. The earlier dates presented here, and their accuracy, reflect a maximalist view, in that it uses the Bible as its sole source.

Others, known as minimalists, often dispute that some of the events happened at all, making the dating of them moot: for instance, if the very existence of the United Kingdom is in doubt, it is pointless to claim that it disintegrated in 928 BCE. Philip Davies , for example, shows how the canonical biblical account can only have been composed for a people with a long literate tradition such as found only in Late Persian or early Hellenistic times, and argues that accounts of earlier periods are largely reconstructions based mainly upon oral and other traditions. Minimalists tend to accept those events that have independent archaeological corroborations; see for example Mesha Stele. Their argument comes in the earlier period where the biblical account seems most at odds with what has been discovered by modern archaeology.

Another problem is caused by disagreements about terminology of historical periodization. For example, the period at the end of the Early Bronze Age or the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age is called EB-MB by Kathleen Kenyon, MB I by William Foxwell Albright, Middle Canaanite I by Yohanan Aharoni, and Early Bronze IV by William Dever and Eliezer Oren.

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, even if there were no mention whatever of the Hebrews in Egyptian records, this also would prove nothing, especially in view of the well-known Egyptian proclivity never to record reverses or defeats or anything that would embarrass the majesty of the ruling monarch."

Sounds like his statement is what Mormons have been saying about facts about the Book of Mormon in the Americas. Just because you can not find it does not mean it does not exist. Plus Buckna you need to look into the work done on the first part of the Book of Mormon and findings of the middleast. But I am sure you will reject these findings out of hand because you really do not want to be honest.

Anonymous said...

Buckna,

Lamanai is a Mayan city in Belize that fits with the Book of Mormon but I am sure you would reject any and all findings because you are not looking for the truth or facts just your view of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Lamania city in Belize.


I've visited the FARMS website before. In none of the articles could I find a single example from archaeology for any New World place name or person mentioned in the Book of Mormon.

Would someone more familiar with the FARMS website care to give one example?

---
David Buckna


Now repent and be saved.

Latter-Day James said...

Who was that "Repent and be saved" at the end of your last comment directed to DB? It is a little assuming as well as prideful and judgmental to think that you know who should be repenting. What should we be repenting of exactly? Studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Having a testimony of restored scripture? Or just not agreeing with you?

David Buckna reminds me alot of Teranno. Not acknowledging answers given as well as throwing out "new stuff" when something is answered. Trouble is the new stuff is really old.

Anonymous said...

"Who was that "Repent and be saved" at the end of your last comment directed to DB? It is a little assuming as well as prideful and judgmental to think that you know who should be repenting. What should we be repenting of exactly? Studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Having a testimony of restored scripture? Or just not agreeing with you?"

We all need to repent, mostly me. Repent of not taking a honest look at what the Mormons have to offer and trying to prove the Bible with archeology or other science. I love all the findings on the Bible and the Book of Mormon but I don't recall reading where Christ said that we should wait for the archeology proof to come in on the scriptures before we follow Christ or the Bible. I do think I need to repent but should anyone else?, only if they feel they need to.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mormanity said...

David, I object again to your off-topic posts and your obvious intent to criticize rather than engage in discussion. It's time to find a different board to populate with your random jabs.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

"Buckna,

Lamanai is a Mayan city in Belize that fits with the Book of Mormon but I am sure you would reject any and all findings because you are not looking for the truth or facts just your view of the Bible."

Don't Mormons believe a) Lamanai was named after King Lamoni? b) that King Lamoni lived circa 90 B.C.? If that is what they believe, wouldn't the timeline be off [Lamanai was occupied as early as the 16th century B.C.]

One poster at http://www.mormonapologetics.org
states:

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?s=8030523cba7b5f266006c8d8b7282e82&showtopic=34138&st=20&p=1208418726&#entry1208418726

[snip]

[I have actually been to Lamanai. Maybe tonight I will post some pictures. Lamanai is a beautiful site. what is most striking is all of the hills--which are not really hills but ruins that have not been excavated yet. There are a couple of large temples and one you can climb up. Those things are steep! Lamanai is most famous for this face:

Lamania is located above the banks of a crocodile infested river and the name Lamanai, if I remember correctly, means crocodile. Many of the temples and other stuff have carvings and images of crocodiles on them. To get to the ruins today, you have to come down the river. You can still see the crocs in the river today. I recommend a trip.

From my visit to the site, I saw nothing there that had anything in common with the story of the book of Mormon. The time lines of occupation for the city do not even remotely match the time lines of the Book of Mormon. Last I read the Book, King Lamoni was not associated with crocodiles in any way.]
===
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamanai

Lamanai (from Lama'an Ai, "submerged crocodile" in Yucatec Maya) is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and was once a considerably sized city of the Maya civilization, located in the north of Belize, in Orange Walk District. The site's name is pre-Columbian, recorded by early Spanish missionaries, and documented over a millennium earlier in Maya inscriptions as Lam'an'ain.

[snip]

Lamanai was occupied as early as the 16th century BC.
===

David Buckna

Anonymous said...

"From my visit to the site, I saw nothing there that had anything in common with the story of the book of Mormon."

That sold me you are my savior, thank you so much from saving me from the mormons because as soon as I heard the name Lamanai I knew the Book of Mormon was true. You have showned me the errors of my ways. You have been of such help going over all the same old tired arguments and have showned me that I no longer need to worship and follow Christ. Thank you so much. Keep up the good work and in you spair time try and get a job.

Anonymous said...

A Mississippi Saint said: "And for some reason, the findings of an archaeologist are very important to your point of view regarding the Book of Mormon."


Robert M. Bowman writes in his article:

http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0046a.html

[snip]

[...it is necessary to observe that the basic historicity of the Bible as an ancient document referring to real places and real people never needed proving by archaeology because it was never in doubt (even if it has been disputed on certain details). We have always known where Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, Egypt, Rome, Athens, Crete, and many other such biblical places are located. We have extrabiblical records and books that have survived the centuries referring to Nebuchadnezzar, to Augustus Caesar and Tiberius, and even to such persons as John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. The apologetic usefulness of archaeology to the Christian has been in filling in the disputed details, not in authenticating the Bible as an ancient collection of basically historical books.]

[The situation is much different with the Book of Mormon. No one had ever heard of Zarahemla, Nephi, Manti, Cumorah, or Mormon until 1830, and still none of the Book of Mormon place names can be positively identified. None of the persons described in the Book of Mormon is known from other sources to have actually existed, except certain figures in the Bible (Isaiah, Malachi, Christ). In every way the evidence for the basic authenticity of the Bible is direct, tangible, and undisputed even by knowledgeable unbelievers. By contrast, the alleged "evidence" for the Book of Mormon is all indirect, hypothetical, and convincing only to Mormons.]
===
David Buckna

Anonymous said...

Yes once I finished my 30 year study of the Bible and knew that all the facts were proven I turned over my life to Christ. Facts about the Bible are the only things that prove as a witness of The Christ. Buckna you are so special. You have shown me I do not need the witness of Holy Spirit any more.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Yes once I finished my 30 year study of the Bible and knew that all the facts were proven I turned over my life to Christ. Facts about the Bible are the only things that prove as a witness of The Christ. Buckna you are so special. You have shown me I do not need the witness of Holy Spirit any more."

What do you mean when you say "Holy Spirit"?

LDS - "A spirit man. He can only be at one place at one time... " (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, p. 359.)

or,

according to the Bible, the third person of the Trinity/Triune God (Acts 5:3-4).


David Buckna

A Mississippi Saint said...

I understand that you can actually go and see the places mentioned in the Bible, but what if you couldn't? Does that make the Bible any less true. I would say not.
However, the writings of the Bhagavad Gita or of Confucious and even the Qu'ran may also cite actual places that really exist or did exist. Does this make them true or the Word of God? I would say not.

By your arguments, it seems that you are making archaeological evidence necessary to the substantiation of one's faith. To ask a question that has been asked before... If there was a preponderance of archaeological evidence found tomorrow that validated the Book of Mormon, would you then become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Why or why not? I would really like to hear your answer.


As far as your question to Anon regarding the Holy Spirit...
I believe you need to check your scripture reference on Acts 5:3-4. It doesn't attempt to define the Holy Ghost at all.

This is what I mean when I say the Holy Spirit (I can't speak for the Anon @ 6:58pm).

Instead of hearkening back to Elder McConkie, let's read what the Doctrine and Covenants states: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him." (D&C 130:22-23)

I cannot reconcile the extra-biblical doctrine of the Trinity with the New Testament, particlarly scriptures like this: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16&17)
or
"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (John 5:19)
or
Stephen's dying testimony:"But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55-56)
and all of the 17th chapter of John.

So, I will stick with the nature of God as revealed to a living prophet in the latter-days. For more info, see Elder Holland's conference address - The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent from the October 2007 General Conference:

http://lds.org/conference/talk/
display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html
(You will need to cut and paste these together)

-MS Saint

Anonymous said...

Mississippi Saint, said:

"This is what I mean when I say the Holy Spirit (I can't speak for the Anon @ 6:58pm)."

"Instead of hearkening back to Elder McConkie, let's read what the Doctrine and Covenants states: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him." (D&C 130:22-23)"

This is Anon on the Holy Spirit and you spoke for me very nicely. Thank you.

Mormanity said...

David, your deceptive comments are absolutely unwelcome here. Please stop it. You know full well - YOU KNOW IT, MAN - that we believe that the Holy Ghost is the 3rd Person of the Godhead. Your misleading quotation from Bruce R. McConkie deliberately excises information to create a bone of contention. Here is the beginning of McConkie's entry on the Holy Ghost: "The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Personage of Spirit, a Spirit Person, a Spirit Man, a Spirit Entity. He can be on only one place at one time . . . though his power and influence can be manifest at one and the same time throughout all immensity.

He is the Comforter, Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit of Promise, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of the Lord, and Messenger of the Father and the Son, and his companionship is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy. . . ." (Mormon Doctrine, p. 359)

Please find another place to promulgate your deceptions.

A Mississippi Saint said...

David,
I know that you have been chastened by Jeff on this post and have since moved onto Jeff's most recent post, which was seemingly inspired by your behavior here. I am hoping that you will read this and answer my question. Many commenters have provided their answers to your questions, yet you have failed to answer many of their's.

So, I ask again, if tomorrow's headlines announced that a preponderance of evidence in support of the Book of Mormon had recently been discovered, would you then join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Why or Why not?

-MS Saint

Anonymous said...

A Mississippi Saint said:

"David,
I know that you have been chastened by Jeff on this post and have since moved onto Jeff's most recent post, which was seemingly inspired by your behavior here. I am hoping that you will read this and answer my question. Many commenters have provided their answers to your questions, yet you have failed to answer many of their's.

So, I ask again, if tomorrow's headlines announced that a preponderance of evidence in support of the Book of Mormon had recently been discovered, would you then join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Why or Why not?"

If by "evidence" you mean confirmed, undisputed archaeological evidence
eg. specific names of New World people and places mentioned in book of Mormon [eg. Zarahemla]inscribed on stone monuments, tablets, coins, pottery, etc. then I would accept each discovery as historical. That said, I still would not join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because 1) of all the false prophecies of Joseph Smith, the LDS founder. According to Deuteronomy 18:18-22, even one false prophecy makes a prophet a false prophet.

2)Mormon doctrine conflicts with the Bible-and the Book of Mormon!-on the most fundamental issues eg. Mormon doctrine teaches that there are multiple Gods/gods, humans can become Gods/gods, Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer, God was once a man, God the Father had a body of flesh and bone, eternal marriage, etc.

3) in places, the Book of Mormon contradicts logic (eg. Ether 6 states that it took 344 days for a boat to reach the New World; even a 10 mph wind could take a boat around the world three times!)

For the sake of brevity, the above are the main reasons why I wouldn't join the LDS church, plus reasons mentioned in my other posts.

Now my question to you:

Over the years headlines have continually announced archaeological evidence in support of the Bible eg. the Ebla tablets. Also, Mormon doctrine has been shown to contradict the Bible.

So why don't you join a Christian church where the Triune God is recognized and worshipped?

Isaiah 43:10
"You are my witnesses, declares the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me."

David Buckna

A Mssissippi Saint said...

DB,

Thank you for your reasons...

It seems that archaeology is not so important after all. Thank you for wasting our time.

You would accept valid, authenticated archaeological evidence as historical data that supports the Book of Mormon, but would reject the instrument (Joseph Smith) through which that information was first presented to the world. If today, there is no evidence and it has been that way since Joseph Smith received and translated the plates and published the Book of Mormon but tomorrow there is evidence, it begs the question how Joseph Smith knew it. a good guess?

As for your reasons (which I don't question your right to have, you have not yet brought up a prophecy that fails your test.

DB said "Mormon doctrine conflicts with the Bible-and the Book of Mormon!"
all your points have been raised and answered before, if not in these comments then other places. Try Jeff's FAQs.

DB said "in places, the Book of Mormon contradicts logic"
-Seriously, I am supposed to take the Jaredites' long sea voyage as a contradiction in logic. Are you an expert in ancient nautical navigation?

To answer your question:
"So why don't you join a Christian church where the Triune God is recognized and worshipped?"

Because the Triune God (I'm assuming that by this you mean the traditional Trinity doctrine developed beginning in the 4th century AD) is an extra-biblical theory that fails to answer the questions I raised in my comment on July 28, 10:21pm.

It is interesting that so many Christians today, especially those who abide by sola scriptura, overlook the contradiction created by their belief in the post biblical creeds. If these creeds are inspired, then God still talked to man after what became canon was closed, seeming to indicate that continuing revelation is needed and the bible is not all there is. If the Bible is God's last word and all canon is closed, the the creeds should not be held as having any bearing on Christian doctrine.

If I ever lost my testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ ou would not find me in any Christian church that teaches that God is incomprehensible and without body, parts or passions.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. - John 17:3
How am I to know Him if he is incomprehensible...

I know that God lives, that he is my literal Father in Heaven and that he loves me. I know that Jesus Christ is the only begotten of the Father in the flesh, that he performed the miraculous atonement for the sins of the world and, thus, is my Savior. He was crucified and then resurrected with a perfected body. Because of this I will also live again after death and through repentance and the gift of forgiveness (masde possible by the Atonement of Christ), I can be cleansed from my sins and return to the presence of my Father in Heaven.

MS Saint

Anonymous said...

A mssissippi saint said:

"To answer your question:
"So why don't you join a Christian church where the Triune God is recognized and worshipped?"

Because the Triune God (I'm assuming that by this you mean the traditional Trinity doctrine developed beginning in the 4th century AD) is an extra-biblical theory that fails to answer the questions I raised in my comment on July 28, 10:21pm.

It is interesting that so many Christians today, especially those who abide by sola scriptura, overlook the contradiction created by their belief in the post biblical creeds. If these creeds are inspired, then God still talked to man after what became canon was closed, seeming to indicate that continuing revelation is needed and the bible is not all there is. If the Bible is God's last word and all canon is closed, the the creeds should not be held as having any bearing on Christian doctrine.

If I ever lost my testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ ou would not find me in any Christian church that teaches that God is incomprehensible and without body, parts or passions.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. - John 17:3
How am I to know Him if he is incomprehensible..."
-----------------------------------

To mssissippi saint: So you're saying the Trinity is incomprehensible? If so, do you also say water is incomprehensible? Is water one thing or three things? Liquid water, ice, and water vapour are all chemically identical[H20] yet each takes a different form. If water, which covers 3/4 of our planet, exists in three forms, why is your mind closed to the possibility that God is Triune and exists in three forms? (1 X 1 X 1 = 1 God) In contrast, Mormons believe in 1 God/god + 1 God/god + 1 God/god = 3 Gods/gods.

http://www.afcministry.com/Trinity_Doctrine.htm

[snip]

Other things that we have in our everyday lives that are triune is water. Water is one substance that can be liquid, gas, and solid distinctly or all at the same. The following quote is from the late Dr. Walter Martin: "It is a well-known fact of chemistry that plain water, when placed in a vacuum under 230 millimeters of gas pressure and at a temperature of 0 degrees Centigrade, solidifies into ice at the bottom of the container, remains liquid in the center and vaporizes at the top! At a given instant the same water is both solid, liquid and gas, yet all three are manifestations of the same basic substance or nature: H2O - hydrogen: two parts; oxygen: one. If one of the simplest of all created substances can be three in manifested form and yet remain one in nature, then the Creator of that substance can surely be Father, Son and Holy Spirit - three Persons and one Nature - without any violation of logic or reason whatever if He so wills."

If an egg, a peach, and water can have three distinct things and all be one at the same time, than the Almighty should have no problem. The word Trinity is way of explaining the belief in one God revealed through three distinct persons. Some people get all hung up on the issue of the Bible teaching there is only one God. No where does the Bible state God is only one person, but it does say God is one in Deuteronomy 6:4. The word for one there is the Hebrew word Echad, which means a composite unity. For examples of this consider Genesis 1:5, Genesis 2:24, Ezra 2:64, Ezekiel 37:17 where the same Hebrew word Echad is used and means one in unity, not in number! The Bible teaches there is one Church but many members and there is no problems with understanding this, yet when it comes to God some seem to have problems.
----

David Buckna

Mumsy said...

Does it seem to anyone else that David B, in his efforts to have his own way, is starting to sound quite frantic, or even hysterical? Maybe we should just let him rave on and see if he implodes.

A Mississippi Saint said...

DB,

I didn't say God was incomprehensible, the doctrine of the Trinity does. I thought you would know that. At least documents such as the Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) and the Athanasian Creed state such. The website you reference appears to water down this idea (not even mention it) to make the doctrine more acceptable. Which could lead us to another discussion regarding the need for a living prophet of God on earth to help reconcile the many different beliefs present within the believers of Christ, but that is another subject.

Your description of the Trinity, especially in reference to the Hebrew term Echad, actually match up very well with the LDS belief that God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are indeed one (2 Nephi 31:21), in spirit and unity. But at the same time we believe that these three members of the God head are in fact separate individuals. This knowledge, restored to the Earth, through the Prophet Joseph Smith reconciles the apparent contradictions in the Bible, wherein one verse states that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are one God while another clearly indicates that they are separate.

Just as you mentioned that the church is to be...
"one in unity not in number",
but is made up of many members (who are separate individuals), so is the Godhead.

You may wish to examine your beliefs. Your description actually sounded more like LDS doctrine rather than that of a Trinitarian Christian (with the exception of the old standby egg/peach/water argument, which seems to be the Christian apologist's standard answer to attempt to explain a doctrine that defines itself as incomprehensible).

To restate, I defy the Trinitarian doctrine that states that the 3 members of the Godhead are somehow the same individual in different forms. It fails to account for too many New Testament scriptures that indicate otherwise. Early Christians like Arius saw and addressed this and for such were anathematized by the Council of Chalcedon.

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. - D&C 130.

Continuing revelation is a necessity and is nowhere opposed in Holy Scripture. God is the same today as he was yesterday.

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. - Amos 3:7

MS Saint

gb said...

Jeff,

I came across this news article and realized it had important content regarding the Book of Mormon statement that Jesus would be born "at Jerusalem"

From the article; "A seal impression belonging to a minister of the Biblical King Zedekiah which dates back 2,600 years has been uncovered completely intact during an archeological dig in Jerusalem's ancient City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said on Thursday.

. . . .

"The excavation at the history-rich City of David, which is located just outside the walls of the Old City near Dung Gate, has proven, in recent years, to be a treasure trove for archeologists."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331162371&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Apparently, modern day Jews recognize the "ancient City of David" as a suburb of Jerusalem.

Bookslinger said...

David,
Do you have your own blog/website where people can read all your pontifications in one place? That would be interesting for you to do that. Don't hot link it here, as Jeff doesn't allow hot links to anti-mormon sites, but you could give the name or other information so that it can be googled and found easily.

I think it would be worthwhile to spend some of your time on your own web site.

Bookslinger said...

Mr. Buckna:

Here are some other basically pro-Mormon sites where I think some Mormons might be interested in seeing your views and opinions. I would suggest that you leave some comments over there, as they may not have already been exposed to the unique way in which you present your views.

www.ByCommonConsent.com

www.TimesAndSeasons.org

www.MormonMentality.org

http://thegooddemocrat.wordpress.com

http://faithpromotingrumor.wordpress.com/

www.ldsliberationfront.net

www.newcoolthang.com

www.feministmormonhousewives.org


Jeff, I think all those claim to be "pro-mormon" blogs, though some may be on the theological liberal side of the fence. Let me know if you don't want to link to any of those, and I'll redo the comment without them.

Mr. Buckna: by the way, what are your theological opinions of the modern Feminist Movement as currently represented in America? My goodness, have you seen what those Feminist Mormon women are saying? I think all good Christians need to be aware of the outlandish things they write about.

Quetzalcoatl said...

What is the point about discussing archaeological evidence for claims of a book that was written in the 19th centuy? Many of the claims quoted in favour of the BoM are very general observations: cities and scripture wre inferred by Smith because he knew about these things from biblical records. Other sources of knowledge about ancient Mesoamerica come from reports about the Aztecs which were available to Smith as well. Other "evidence", as for example geography is often taken from very generalized remarks about landscapes which fit many regions.
Any association of mesoamerican culture with BoM anecdotes is purely "top down", which means, they take the BoM as irrefutable truth and therefore interpret anything out of Mesoamerica according to this.
In fact it is quite the same as looking for evidence for U.F.Os, Atlantis ot the racist theories of the Nazis - you always find what you are looking for, because your point view has already predetermined the result of any examination.

cheers

Seth R. said...

Quetz,

I could say the exact same thing about your preconceived notion that the Book of Mormon must be a hoax. You will find evidence to support your prejudices.