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in the world of Mesoamerican archaeology as people have learned more and more about the Olmecs and the Mayans work like the reports recently given by John Clark at the Library of Congress show that the old criticisms of what people used to think went on in Mesoamerica have proven wrong but the world that is depicted in the Book of Mormon is being accommodated and supported more and more as those bits and pieces are accumulated we don't have definitive proof yet but the composite of all of the the factors that are being accumulated support the Book of Mormon and tend to diminish the old criticisms in significant ways now sometimes people have criticized the Book of Mormon saying that it talks about Nephi coins and coinage wasn't really invented until after Lehi has left Jerusalem there have been no coins found in ancient America because they didn't exist and they don't exist in the Book of Mormon the header note – alma 11 which describes Nephi coinage is almost certainly wrong the header is a modern edition and has nothing to do with the text it certainly isn't unusual that people will read that section of the Book of Mormon and assume that it's coins but we do that with the Bible – we will read ourselves back into it and make assumptions about the early culture based on what we believe and so we read these things and we've to say oh it must have been coins but those headings were not on the plates from from our understanding some of the modern brethren put those headings to try to give us kind of a guide within the actual text itself it mentions different ways it describes pieces of metal it says nothing about them being stamped or minted which is what makes a piece of metal a coin there's no reason to expect to find any fight coins because I don't think they ever existed and the Book of Mormon doesn't claim they do the actual idea of these differing weights being used as as a weight system in the monetary system it's actually in the Mesopotamian the Akkadian and the old Babylonian come to think of it this is how they used their money was through weight in fact even the Israelites used weights initially the Bible mentioned some most common was what's called a shekel which comes from the verb to weigh actually is a verb meaning to weigh we know that coinage first appeared apparently in Lydia and what is today modern Turkey or Anatolia and and you see in some burials clearly the transition which which occurs after Lehigh's departure by about a century or so from the new world you see mixed hordes of stamped minted coins and also specific weights of metal that are not shaped minted or stamped so there was an evolution there in a sense people went from from fixed weights of metal to actual coins Lehi left just before that change took place and that's what we have in this weights a measure section of chapter 11 it's part of a big picture of the legal reforms it explains why those weights and measures were initiated at that time and they conform with what one would have expected from the ancient world we always have the problem of trying to impose on the text our own imagination of things you have to read the text very carefully and try to filter out your own cultural presuppositions ancient people didn't necessarily live think or act exactly the same way we do it was not a big industry to be sure but metallurgy never is there is mention of fairly low-level metallurgical practice in the Book of Mormon there's no evidence that it was a huge deal that they had massive foundries or anything like that these things may have been very small whether we will find them or not we don't know we haven't found them yet the metal remains one of those interesting problems in the Book of Mormon but there are suggestive clues that metalworking and metals knowledge of metals existed in the Americas very early we do know that metals were around that they knew about them going back to the Olmec people in the so Qian language you can reconstruct a word for metal so we know that they had a word for metal it was important to them it was sufficiently important that it got passed on and those terms are shared but they've been modified in each of the languages which points back to an original word from metal we haven't found it because there are no inscriptions from that period but those those variant words all have to have come from a common source otherwise how to explain that the same word occurs in all the different languages but linguistic evidence tells us that there was metal archaeology has yet to corroborate that we're dealing with the translation in the text so when it when it is translated as steel or as brass or as copper whatever is translated even the King James translators was translating one type of Steel into the terms of another that didn't exist back then we usually think today of steel as being a metal that's produced under using the Bessemer system but that was not always in place in the word steel is very old in English steel and Joseph Smith's day meant something quite different than just today we're dealing with the translation the point is there was some kind of metal production as far as a full-blown oh gee there isn't a lot of evidence at this point in mesoamerica and see this is the other point of archeology what we don't know today we really could discover by tomorrow or next year or whatever the flip side of this the other problem with archeology is what we do know today could very well be completely wrong tomorrow if you're going to live by the sword of archeology be prepared to die by it a lot of people have pointed to the existence of barley in the Book of Mormon as evidence of its untruth but in fact pre-columbian domesticated barley was found in the New World study in 1983 found that barley in America has now been genuinely discovered in an archeological dig I believe in Arizona archeologists found some remains of pre-columbian barley so we know it existed we didn't know that prior to the 1970s Joseph couldn't have learned that from that archeological dig again it was a little bit too late for him to have profited from it critics of the Book of Mormon for a long time pointed out that it's not credible because it speaks of pre-columbian wheat and barley in the new world but since then there's been pre-columbian barley discovered in in Arizona near Phoenix from a whole come civilization that dates around 300 BC to around 1000 AD and also on early woodlands cultures in Illinois in Oklahoma pre-columbian barley has been found and that also suggests that the jury ought to remain out on other grains and so on that I mentioned in the Book of Mormon just because you haven't found it doesn't mean you won't find it and just because you haven't found that doesn't mean that it didn't exist you may never find it again in the acidic soils and the heavy rainfall of Mesoamerica a lot of disappear how many remains of ancient plants do you actually find from pre-columbian times almost none likely during the long period of wars that took place particular towards in the Book of Mormon when it doesn't appear that they're doing a lot of farming the wheat and barley would have had difficulty surviving apparently barley did if what we have found in in Arizona and Illinois in Oklahoma came from that which is brought over by you Lehi and his family but we know there were other trends Oceane transatlantic crossings before you know in addition to the highs there is evidence of horses horse bones been found in a number of archaeological digs in historical strata for example there are some caves in Mexico that have Mayan artifacts in association with horse bones notably the low tomb caves they've almost always been discarded because the archaeologists assumed on the basis of ideology or preconceived opinion that that must be site contamination those horse bones can't belong there and if they've been found at the right levels we're hoping that at some point these can all be located and radiocarbon tested preliminary results seem to indicate that those horse bones due date in fact book mormon times there were a few others that were found to be pre-columbian but post Book of Mormon that's significant because the claim has long been made that there were no horses in the new world from about 10,000 BC until the time of the Spanish arriving here so it was sold from Columbus initially in 1492 and then followed by others but in fact there are a number of them that have been found in say the 11th century the 13th century there before Columbus but they're after Book of Mormon so they can't use this evidence for the Book of Mormon but warned that did they come from so it is not a done deal to suggest that there were no horses in the American Book of Mormon times there's considerable evidence for horses it's just been little-noticed the the suggestion that taper at appear has is referred to in the Book of Mormon by the word horse has met with a lot of ridicule from a lot of people who strikes me are actually a fairly ignorant of anthropology and linguistics it's very common for a group that moves into a new area when they see a strange animal to give it the name of an animal that's more familiar to them I'll give you some examples when the Romans first encountered elephants they called them Luca boss Lucania encou because for some reason they reminded Romans of cows now an elephant obviously isn't a cow when the Greeks went into Egypt they encountered a really strange animal they call it hippopotamus what does a hippopotamus means it means a river horse hippopotami are not horses but the Greeks called them horses and still in German the word for a hippopotamus is an eel ferrant a Nile horse so you look around you see this very very commonly it's it's so common as to be uncontroversial sea horses are not horses prairie dogs are not dogs groundhogs are not hogs this happens all the time people see an animal it reminds them of an animal they already knew and they give it that animal's name when the American Indians first encountered conquistador horses they called them deer and the tapir itself is very similar in a lot of ways to to a small pony or something like that it's often compared to a pony in fact one word that was common in Mexico about 60 years ago for the for the tapir was the unti Brule a former borough that had been a borough before and had now become a tapir so you hear people ridiculing that on the grounds that they're too small and so on and so forth they're talking about familiar tapers they've maybe seen but the Baird's tapir grows to be about 700 pounds it's about the size of a donkey and it's not at all unconceivable that's somebody looking at that didn't know what it was might call it a horse their land also is full of silver and gold neither is there any end of their treasures their land is also full of horses now there is there any end of their chariots I was not talking about the Nephites this is a passage from Isaiah yeah it says compare Isaiah 2 and the first verse says the word that Isaiah the son of a mote saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem he doesn't say here concerning Mexico and Guatemala so far no direct evidence of chariots there are roads in a lot of places that suggest heavy traffic they might have been developed not just for foot travel but for some kind of wheeled travel case of Amman and the layman hiking we don't know what the nature of that chariot it's possible and I'm just thinking out loud here that the word chariot may not mean exactly what we picture again we always have to be open to the possibility that it's it's not quite what we've imagined to be a chariot the word for chariot in Hebrew is very similar to the Arabic word for boat and they simply mean in both cases something that's written that doesn't say necessarily it looks like Ben Hur is chariot it might be a different kind of thing altogether I'm not saying that's the case I'm just saying when you're looking at ancient documents you have to be prepared for the for the idea that that your mental picture may be wrong that what you imagine from the movies may not be actually correct absolutely it depends on the time period you go back far enough you find elephants the evidence for elephants is is very controversial it's been usual received opinion that elephants died out quite a few thousand years before the Book of Mormon story begins but as it turns out there are some who still survived on Wrangel Island which is off the northeastern coast of Siberia and the latest of them is some 1700 BC which is well within Jared ight times well I doesn't prove that there were some farther south in the Americas but we certainly should expect it they could have been there has been for a long time for decades now a minority of zoologists archeologists and so on who argued that elephants actually did exist in the Americas up until something like 2000 BC which is just about right for the Book of Mormon because we're talking about Jared I'd elephants not any fight elephants anything that you're looking at for elephants he is only relevant to the earliest time period the fights don't seem to have them they never mention them but the Jared i'ts do not commonly but they're there so that puts us a little closer to the time period when we know that there were mammoths in the area and so if this minority of archaeologists and RKO biologists is correct then the Book of Mormon has been vindicated on that point well of course the opening chapters of Genesis cover the creation of the world that's large but but for the most part the historical sections of the Bible cover a very small area essentially what is today's Israel we've known for many years that in Arabic and in Hebrew the name nee home which is the name of the place where Ishmael died and was buried in first Nephi chapter 16 is related to the Semitic roots meaning to mourn to sorrow to suffer but what a team of German archaeologists found and other LDS scholars have dealt with in great detail is that a few years ago the name nee home was found on three Kattabomman inscriptions on altars in northeastern Yemen exactly at the point where one would expect to find Lehi and his party turning in a near easterly direction and moving across the Arabian Peninsula that's the place where the Book of Mormon says that Ishmael dies and was buried we now know from this record that there was a place in these inscriptions known as nay home in the time of Lehi in precisely that region it's possible that Joseph Smith lucked out and Naomi you can never rule that out absolutely but it seems to me the odds of vanishingly low it has to be understood that for about 50 years since he only wrote his Lehi in the desert there's been wide agreement among latter-day Saint scholars on roughly where the path of Lehi went inland from the Red Sea and then turning due east and arriving in a place on the Arabian Sea coast the finding of mam it's not simply a matter of finding a tri continental route that is vintage Arabic or vintage Semitic it's that it's in a place that is consistent with those prior theories the theories of Lehigh's route already existed we didn't invent them suddenly to match the place nee home that had been found they were already there the place in the home was found in the location where we expected it to be found and if you go due east from nem or now you arrive at really the one place on the Arabian Sea coast that fits all the requirements for Lehigh's bountiful that it seems to me is a very unlikely thing to accomplish by sheer chance it's possible that he could have seen it on a map I don't rule that out there was a map published in 17m in 1815 that that indicated nem on on the Arabian Peninsula there's no evidence as far as I know of that map existing in North America by the 1820s some people have suggested since there's a copy in the Dartmouth College Library that Joseph Smith or Hyrum Smith who once went to a school connected with Dartmouth or a Solomon Spalding even who graduated from Dartmouth used that map to formulate the Book of Mormon trouble is according to Dartmouth College itself they only acquired that map in late 1930 or early 1931 which is I think a little bit too late for Joseph Smith to have used it I'm routinely written to by critics of the church who say there simply is no place in Arabia that can be called bountiful well it so happens that when they're writing to me on my computer at home I'm sitting under a blown-up picture of bountiful what I consider to be bountiful in Arabia and believe me it looks very very nice and a picture is worth a thousand words the fact is the place exists people have been there it meets all the criteria for a bountiful and this notion that Arabia is nothing but sand dunes and barren wastes is simply not true you've and the Arabian Sea coast with the monsoon rains you actually have some very fertile areas that's what made the civilization in Yemen possible where the Queen of Sheba came from it's very different from inland Arabia where the Bedouin live these were settled civilizations down there that depended on heavy rainfall Alma's 710 is often cited by critics as evidence of Joseph Smith's incompetence that the the poor guy didn't even know where Jesus was born this assumption that he was born at Jerusalem and of course any schoolboy knows that he was born it's precisely the problem with a non critical reading of the Book of Mormon text because the Book of Mormon doesn't say he was born in Jerusalem it says he was born at the land of Jerusalem we don't have evidence in the Bible of a land of Jerusalem around the city of Jerusalem but we do have it in extra biblical literature there are materials for example from about 1200 BC that refer to a place called beat Lakme which is almost certainly Bethlehem as being a city of the land of Jerusalem then you have materials that report to come from the time of Jeremiah and in that document the Jews are taken captive from the land of Jerusalem phrase doesn't occur in the Bible but does implicitly occur in the Book of Mormon was Bethlehem part of the land of the Bible well even today if you go to Bethlehem you realize it's essentially a suburb Jerusalem of course back then was the main political cultural historical religious center of the Jews Bethlehem is how far away from Jerusalem what six miles of course it's going to be in the land of Jerusalem and in the time of Lehi it was apparently an area that was that was controlled by the town of the city of Jerusalem which had a sphere of influence around that was called after it the land of Jerusalem so it isn't a mistake it's not saying that Jesus was born in the city of Jerusalem it's saying he was born in the land of Jerusalem and that we now know fits the ancient usage there's no question about the scope of the geography of the Book of Mormon because there are hundreds of statements and inferences in the book or from the book that say it had to be a limited area I believe was very confined in what is called Mesoamerica with a narrow neck of land being the Isthmus of Tehuantepec I know that many latter-day saints think it took place all over North and South America but the vast majority of Book of Mormon scholars and even though some general authorities believe it took place in a very limited area the distances that were involved in their references suggest that it could not their territory could not have been the greater than say five or six hundred miles at the outside long and a couple of hundred miles wide all of the events referred to in the Book of Mormon took place there the best evidence there is the distances they have to travel for example you've got one instance where I think it's the greatest amount of days it took to travel was twenty-two days and then there's another account where traveling from the Lamb and I capital which ironically was the city of Nephi to the Nephi capital which was the city of Zarahemla took 12 days well that's not a lot that's not a great distance not thousands of miles that the book does not say does not claim does not hit that so there is a geography around a narrow neck of land that accommodates all of the movements and all of the distances and but it limits it to a few hundred miles an extent it was obvious too early members of the church talked about Al and northward land southward the narrow neck of land it was the most obvious conclusion of the world to assume that that meant North America South America and then Central America the Isthmus of Panama but in fact would you look at the distances in the Book of Mormon of which there are great many given a few days journey here a few days journey there you realize this area can be more than a few hundred miles on any side it's a very small area again much like biblical Israel or Palestine the fact is we all believe John Sorensen believes John Clarke believes I believe that that we probably have found Book of Mormon cities we just don't know because there aren't inscriptions informing us of what their names were we don't know the names of these cities I'm not aware of any of them in Book of Mormon times where scholars know the native name for that site when the Maya began carving the glyphs into stone so that we they were preserved one of the things that they were carved into stone is called an emblem cliff and the emblem glyph is a set of pieces of information all put together that long ago scholars recognized where it was specifically connected to a certain site it hasn't been until I think the last ten years or so that they've been able to apply some phonetics to some of those emblem cliffs and retrieve some of the earlier names the knowledge of those names again has to come after 8250 because that's when they started carving them most are going to come after four hundred eighty four hundred you have to be lucky enough to find one that we can interpret and you've probably got a handful the next issue with the handful of glyphs that we can identify is that they all come from areas that are outside of what's considered the geography for actual Book of Mormon peoples now pulling his outside the area that the John Sorensen's for example identifies as Nephi delay my night lands Palenque has nothing to do with Book of Mormon in the geography that I espouse Palenque belongs in the East wilderness of the Lamanites and Palenque was nothing little not even a town just a kind of a village until after 400 AD so that's again a straw man it's it's not a serious point he could have stood in st. Louis and made the same point about st. Louis it was built much later it has nothing to do with the Book of Mormon and it's therefore not an evite city before say a thousand ad we know none of them the last article I looked up indicated that there I think thirty some-odd emblem glyphs where we knew the emblem glyph which means that the maximum number of names that we could know would be thirty and I don't think we know that many classic difference between the old world in the new world absolutely true for the old world people have been there they've lived there they passed the names on didn't happen in the new world new world had a lot of different conditions there were a lot of different people coming through conquering the area and then on top of all of that you get the conquest by the Spaniards so there are a number of things that have happened in the new world but the end result is we have very little continuty of names most of the names that we have for cities in the Central American area are either Spanish or they are some Spanish version of perhaps an Aztec name well the Aztecs again are coming in somewhere around 1200 or 80 1200 they're passing their names onto things because that's what they called them based on their culture they're handing that to the Spaniards and the Spaniards are basing their government in Mexico City and so they get adopt the names based on the Aztecs so even down in Guatemala where it's which is pure Maya country a lot of the names that you're going to find are based on Aztec rather than Maya languages so there simply isn't the continuity in a lot of cases there isn't even continuity of people's motika Hall is one of the more famous archaeological sites no continuity to the to the modern day this was a tremendous site but if you know if for instance we were to compare to call to something that happens in the old world this is Babylon not Jerusalem this is under the ground this is destroyed this is nobody's living there anymore and it isn't the only one the major sites of the Classic Maya had were abandoned long before the Spaniards showed up and the people totally forgotten what the names were so there wasn't much of a chance to have the local memory that you do in the old world we can envy it but we can't replicate it according to latter-day Saint scholars who have made the most study there are some candidates that are in conflict with each other there more than one candidate which one is the right one remains to be seen in my own work on the geography which I believe is the most extensive indicates to me that there is one candidate for the river Sidon that is much more likely than any other to be the correct one and that's a great harbour River in southern Mexico it could be that I'm wrong I've been wrong before on a pointer to but the evidence is strongly in favor of that over any other candidate wars are not always visible in the archaeological records you don't find a lot of battle sites with ancient remains of weaponry for example unless you already know that there was a battle at the site and you look for it you go out looking for it we have to realize first of all that archaeologists do not just go out and dig anywhere they please don't go out in the middle of the jungle in the middle of the desert and say oh this looks like a good place that's excavate here unless you know where to look how you gonna get them the DNA evidence points in various directions actually a lot of evidence does point to Asia so there's certainly some who came from Asia there's a recent Thai that's been made by some professors over in California suggesting that Polynesians came here rather than the other way round which is what tour Heyerdahl had believed but there are evidences actually for immigrations from various parts of the old world most of them from the Orient but there's some also from the Mediterranean Basin including Land of Israel Egypt and so on Book of Mormon does not exclude other people from those who came to the new world and we've had a number of LDS scholars prominent LDS scholars as well as a number of general authorities in the early days of the 20th century who specifically stated that we latter-day saints should not believe that the Nephites and Lamanites and Jared ice and mule attacks were the only ones who came to the American continent but in fact there were many who came from other places and they even allowed that yes Asiatics could easily have crossed the Bering Strait as has been believed and could account for a lot of the population of Nate Americans for example cherem were told that cherem who came to speak with jacob had his big discussion with him he's just introduced by the words there came a man among the people of Nephi came a man among the people of Nephi sounds like he wasn't of the people of Nephi and yet he was clearly a expert in their language in fact Jacob specifically states that he was a he was expert in the language of the Nephites well you wouldn't say that of a native speaker all native speakers are expert in their language but it would suggest that here's a man whose native tongue was not the one used by the Nephites and yet he knew Nephi well he had learned it and therefore he was able to convince some people dissuade them from their religious things I also see idolatry as a good sign in the Book of Mormon of other people being neighbors to the Nephites you don't just give up a belief in a God who created the earth and everything else and switched to worshipping a stone or a wooden carving or something like that this is not an idea I can't imagine a Christian or a Jew of today believing in the Bible and in the God of the Bible suddenly deciding that he's going to worship idols it would have to come from somebody else you'd have to learn that from somebody who was always already worshiping these idols so that to me tells me that there were other people who passed that on John Sorensen know whom you know has written of wonderful article asking the question when Lehigh's party arrived in the land did they find others there was in the Journal of Book of Mormon studies and I think it's a must read everybody has to look at that he discusses a lot of the evidence for other people being here even before the Nephites arrived people once criticized the Book of Mormon because it spoke of the building of a temple in the land of Nephi of course the book of Deuteronomy says that temples shouldn't be built outside of Jerusalem but there was a particular reason why the Deuteronomists wanted to concentrate the worship of Jehovah at one shrine in Jerusalem we now know from archaeology that the reason they had to push so hard to concentrate all of the worship of Jehovah in one place was precisely because they were building shrines and temples outside of Jerusalem and that that was perfectly ordinary for most other Israelites it's true that that in Judaism now it's unthinkable that it that a temple be built outside of Jerusalem but the fact is among ancient Jews that was clearly not impossible to conceive we know for example of the temple in Tel Arad to the south of Israel knew bear Sheva in the Negev and that's a temple that everyone acknowledges was a Jedi Temple was devoted to to joke over a yaw way and there's no question that it was built by pious Jews even more striking to me as a temple was built in the 400s in Egypt on the island of feel a in the Nile near aswan a lot of Jews fled to Egypt following the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC they settled in various places in two of those places they actually built temples one of those was built in Lyon topless and one of them was built in Feli which is called elephantine II by the Greeks elephant city basically these two sites were approved by the priests in Jerusalem but the elephant team papri themselves discuss how the Jews in Egypt asked for permission from the others in Jerusalem and they were granted the permission to build that temple we have the letter from the high priest in Jerusalem authorizing the construction of the temple so it's still preserved so we know the temples could be and were built by devout Jews outside of Jerusalem so when the the Nephites arrived in a new world one of the first things they need to do in order to live the law of moses is to have a temple and they've been commanded to keep the law of Moses they even went to the great lengths of getting the brass plates so that they would have the law of Moses well you can't run the system of law under the law of Moses without a temple so it's perfectly natural and appropriate that they would build a temple in their new city it's wrong to impose current Jewish ideas on ancient Jews you always have to be aware that ancient people may have thought differently about these things than we do that's that's a common mistake throughout this video is to impose out a modern image on an ancient text so these were they were certainly not apostate the case in Egypt for example as shown by the fact that the high priest officially granted them permission to build the temple lehigh functions in some ways in priestly fashion we also know that sacrifices could be offered by a non erinite priest if he was a certain distance away from Jerusalem so in a number of days travel also of course from a latter-day Saint point of view the people of Lehi would have had the Melchizedek Priesthood among them which grants them the right to officiate in all the ordinances of the Aaronic priesthood so for us theologically that's not a problem he Bree isms in the Book of Mormon is is truly one of the most enjoyable exciting evidences for at least if nothing else at least another cultural context that Joseph Smith himself did not possess around so uh he Bray ism is a word that scholars used to describe a literary device or a linguistic element in The Book of Mormon that makes better sense in Biblical Hebrew than it does in English these of course are very exciting for us to discover because they provide evidence that in fact the Book of Mormon is a translated work that it derives from a source that has connections with the ancient Near East the world of the Bible there have been a great many Hebrew is found in the Book of Mormon I'll point to one that happens to be one of my favorites and that's what's what I call the if and conditional sentence in in English we never say if you don't study hard and you will fail the test if you if you go out on that on that ledge and you're gonna fall off we say if sometimes we say if then if if he doesn't come by eight o'clock then we'll know he's not coming at all in Biblical Hebrew though you often say if and in the book of Genesis I did a quick survey once and I found six occurrences of the if an conditional sentence in the Hebrew of Genesis it never shows up in English translations because it's bad English in the original manuscript of the book of Mormon though you get a cluster of if and conditional sentences in Helaman and you actually get it in the famous promise of Moroni in rouen I ten four on five it's eventually taken out by Joseph Smith presumably because he reads it and thinks this is not English it's no it's like no English that any English speaker has ever spoken as far as we can tell what it may be is in effect a kind of contamination from the original language into the English translation anybody who's translated a lot knows that that happens you start getting into the rhythm and though the word the sentence structure of of the original language pretty soon your English begins to sound vaguely German or it'll take on a Spanish hue or something like that you have to go through and clean it up it just happens it's the way it the way it occurs and and so I think that's what you may be seeing there is the the effect of an underlying Hebrew text upon upon the language of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon in Biblical Hebrew relationships between two nouns are often created through what we refer to as a construct state so two nouns are placed together where a preposition of is technically not necessary although it's there from a literal perspective so expressions in the Book of Mormons such as plates of brass which would normally appear in English as brass plates or river of water which would of course in English appears it typically as as is just as simply a river or something of this sorted some of these literary devices are reflected in a translation of the Book of Mormon so a cognate accusative as a literary device that appears in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament it's when an author uses the same word for both a verb and a direct object cognate means similar and accusative refers to the direct object in a sentence so for example Semitic authors will use a poetic literary phrase such as dreamed a dream these sorts of things do appear in the Book of Mormon there are many examples in the Book of Mormon you have Lehi saying behold I have dreamed a dream or in other words I have seen a vision the dreamed a dream is a really obvious cognate accusative the scene of vision is a little less obvious but I suspect in the originally it was I've seen a seeing I've dreamed a dream I've seen a seeing these are things that do appear in the Book of Mormon and suggests a connection with the Hebrew Bible that I think is what's going on there it's it's a classic Arabic / Hebrew cognate accusative it's possible it's something like the cognate accusative crept in through that path it's impossible I think for an if and conditional sentence to have crept in that way because as I've said if an conditional sentences are never translated in English as if and conditional sentences the King James translators systematically anglicized those conditional sentences as any good translator would do unless he gets caught up and simply over literally over literalizes his translation which is I think what may have happened in the case of those passages in the Book of Mormon you simply don't have a way of Joseph who didn't read Hebrew getting access to the patterns of Hebrew conditional sentences there are other things that can't be explained I think the question of CAI Asmus for example chiasma is a style where you go through a list of terms in one order and then turn around and go through the same list in the opposite order CAI Azam's can be found in lots of different literature's and languages but it tends to be used the most extensively in Hebrew and in the Old Testament in particular where it has been studied far more extensively than in any other body of literature one would have to think that if the Book of Mormon is in fact a record of ancient Israelites it should have CAI Asmus in it and indeed it does of the writers in the Book of Mormon who use CAI Asmus the best such as Alma and King Benjamin we find they're some of the best examples of Cosmos anywhere in world literature a short chiasm is the kind of thing you might pick up from reading the Bible and having an ear for style a long chiasm like Alma 36 or even the entire book first Nephi is the kind of thing you just don't notice casually and in fact scholars didn't begin writing about about kya Asmus in the Book of Mormon until essentially too late for Joseph Smith ever to have noticed it and although the repetition doesn't work for us as Westerners there was something about it it was quite pleasing to those people in the world of the Bible and this these same sorts of forms then appear all throughout the book and work a work and dreamed a dream and judge a righteous judgment which of course suggests that there is a cultural literary and linguistic connection between the Book of Mormon and the Bible you I think we shouldn't get hung up on the title it simply means Egyptian that's been modified changed in some way actually there are several Egyptian scripts we're all aware of the hieroglyphs which are the oldest and first texts that the Egyptians wrote in that form mostly designed to be carved into stone but there are two cursive versions also there's hieratic that was used and then demotic demonicus is really cursive has lots of ligatures and they made it so one could write it very speedily very quickly if one knew that writing style and it came into use about 800 bc so that was a couple centuries before Lehigh's time the Book of Mormon is very clear that the writing system they use has been changed during their stay in the new world as you shouldn't expect to find old world evidence for it not for their particular reformation of Egyptian it's a unique writing system unique to them and they say nobody else can understand our language normally what the critics do is they'll go out and they'll ask scholars Egyptologist usually do you know anything about reformed Egyptian script what is that and they'll say well I've never heard of it well natural because in Mormon chapter 9 where on I specifically says it was called by them by the Nephites they called it reformed Egyptian that didn't mean if the Egyptians called it that did reformed Egyptian exist well the book Mormon would be evidence that it does is it possible that that Egyptian has been modified in other ways in other places absolutely Coptic for example the language a little allergic language of the Christian Church in Egypt is reformed Egyptian that's written in a modified Greek alphabet with Egyptian characters for that matter you could argue that some of our own letters or reformed Egyptian in English the letter M may just be the ears of an owl in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics the owl was pronounced M and now we have this little M thing that's the the ears on the top of the Owls hand so our language is modified yes anyone he's tried to read Beowulf from a thousand years ago in English it's English but it's unreadable unless you've had special training so the language of the Nephites in isolation for a thousand years from Jerusalem probably impacted by languages around it referring to things that nobody in Palestine had ever seen is going to change it changes pronunciation it changes vocabulary it changes in innumerable ways so saying that a language had changed and become a different kind of language is absolutely plausible and I'd submit that it's even evidence for Joseph Smith's authenticity as a prophet because he was a very unsophisticated kid I don't know that he knew that language has changed over the course of time language changes in a thousand years and the script that goes with it is likely to change at least someone to go with it so we really have no clue what reformed Egyptian might have been the Egyptians and the Israelites were not always enemies in Lehigh's time in fact they were friends the Bible makes us very clear as a matter of fact it's probably an oversimplification say that the Egyptians and the and the Hebrews were enemies they were also on occasion trading partners they were neighbors Egyptian was one of the great languages of the period Hebrew was not so a person who was engaged in commerce as Lehi seems to have been probably would have had to learn the language of the wider world of Commerce an Egyptian was certainly one of those languages as it was the Jews were very friendly with Egypt at that particular time they may not have been at the time of the Exodus but they certainly were in the highest time back you may not like the foreign policy of the country that speaks the language but you may be forced by economic necessity or ambition to learn the language that they speak some have objected that using Egyptian to write holy scripts who write texts religious texts would be unknown and unheard of among the Israelites because they would only write in the holy language which was Hebrew but actually we do have examples of of biblical text written in Egyptian characters the earliest of these is from the 4th century BC so not too terribly long after Lehigh's time it's a text written in Egyptian demotic but it's the words are not Egyptian the words are our make but they're not using the Aramaic alphabet which is the same as Hebrew instead they're using the demotic way of writing and part of that text is Psalm 20 I'm not sure there's ever been a time when people haven't been able to translate the languages of the Bible Greek is still a living language Hebrew was a living language in a sense among the Jews even in their Diaspora they used it for liturgical purposes and for writing sacred texts and that kind of thing and so we've always known Hebrew and Greek so the old world languages as far as being able to read them and translate them and of course having tests that we could read and translate I've been around thousands and thousands of years on the other hand the languages of Mesoamerica apart from a few indigenous peoples essentially died out and they have to be learned now as learning languages and the glyphic language the language of the inscriptions it has to be taught in graduate schools years the new world is a very different situation we haven't had very many texts and dating to anywhere near Book of Mormon times the texts are really quite rare we only have relative handful of texts on monumental architecture from the Maya where they carved the glyphs in stone most of those are starting after 80 to 50 we have indications that they painted some of those early or even into 100 BC and some tomorrow a recent finds like the Sun Bartolo glyphs our ability to read those probably read accept and really make a breakthrough since 1970 somewhere in the early 70s people finally dug out the work of Eureka no toes off it was a Russian did the work that actually cracked the code of the Maya glyphs but people didn't know it for a long time didn't want to accept it because he was a Russian had he been an American we might have been much happier about it but they finally realized he was probably right renewal of all kinds of interest in that happened in the early 70s since then there's been an explosion and more and more glyphs are being read every day interestingly enough however they're reading the version of the glyphs from 8250 and later when they find these glyphic texts from 100 BC they're finding that although they seem familiar and they might be able to cogniser glitter – they can't read those yet so moving even 300 years back in time with a similar culture they're finding their ability to read it has gone back to near zero and we have to start over the Bible is absolutely not been 100% established by archeology there's still a great many questions archaeological questions particularly about the early chapters of Genesis for instance but also about the Exodus about the origins of the Israelite monarchy we've only recently found actual inscriptional evidence of the house of David and even that still is in some quarters controversial and then of course matters like the resurrection of Christ was simply not accessible not amenable to archaeological proof or disproof so no and in many of the cities sites in the Bible is still unknown or a dubious you have great advantages in the Bible because a lot of these place names still exist today and they're recognizably the same jericho for example the archaeology of the bible has found Jericho unfortunately Kathleen Canyon Dam Canyon the most magnificent archaeologist of Jericho and several studies since her time have demonstrated extensively there were no walls I think living Hope Ministries is clearly using a double standard they don't allude to any of the archaeological problems of the Bible they overstate the archaeological problems the Book of Mormon they don't cite from archeologists who say we haven't found evidence for this for this for this or for this they don't cite archaeologists and scholars who say there was no early Judaic monarchy there some have actually claimed that the history of the monarchy doesn't begin until after the Babylonian exile that all the previous biblical stories are fiction those are the kinds of arguments that are going out there in the real world in the movement that's strongest in Israel now amongst their archaeologists is that the Bible is not very reliable and that movement is gaining ground in Israel it's tragic to see it when I lived in Israel every archaeologist believed the story of the Bible even if they didn't believe the miracles they believed the events they believed the places today that's going by the wayside and it's kind of tragic if if biblical archaeology is proving the Bible my question is what is it proving about the Bible are Protestants willing to accept the fullest ramifications of what archaeology is so-called proving but Living Hope Ministries gives its audience the false picture that the Bible has been 100% proven true that simply is not the case it's completely irresponsible and in a way very disingenuous to to portray it in a way that is was false people often fail to grasp the limitations of archaeology I remember a major illustration made a major dig that was illustrated in National Geographic a number of years ago they had a four-page fold-out showing this marvelous city of El Mirador in may in the lowlands and an archaeologist friend of mine looking at that gorgeous painting of all the priests their feather plumes and huge cities in the avenues and so on said be not much that's really based on it was based on two archaeological trenches that had been dug about 50 yards long about ten feet deep and the rest was extrapolation it was all inferences drawn from what they'd found there he said imagine that Salt Lake City or even Provo have been buried over for a thousand years of 2,000 years and somebody digs a couple of essentially telephone booth size holes into it and reconstructs the entire social and intellectual cultural life of the town from that I mean those are the limitations that archeologists work with they're always guessing the guesses can be more or less informed but they're imperfect and most data isn't found my overall impression is that it doesn't give an accurate portrayal the subjects it doesn't give both sides of the issue it presents a Bible that's perfectly established by archaeology which is false and a Book of Mormon that is totally refuted by archeology which is also false so it creates a simplistic and and on the whole fairly disingenuous picture distinctly unimpressed with it but the basic reason was that it had the illusion of giving you some scholarly information without actually doing it it made things seem that they were answering certain questions or providing certain types of information when actually it wasn't as accurate as it ought to have been so there were too many places in it where it was much more illusion than reality that it was much less scholarship and much more showmanship they hold the Book of Mormon to claims that it doesn't make they suppress LDS arguments on behalf of the Book of Mormon it's not really a you can't rely on this as an accurate picture of the situation without looking or examining any of the scholarship on the Bible they will present information about the Bible as though this is uncontroversial and then they'll talk about the Book of Mormon where they don't begin with that particular assumption so the Bible starts with the assumption that's correct and they start with the Book of Mormon with the assumption that it's incorrect they start with the assumption that everything is correct accurate and true and uncontroversial in the Bible and assume that everything is incorrect untrue and completely controversial for the Book of Mormon there's no serious engagement in this film with any evidence on behalf of the Book of Mormon they create a caricature a straw man which is easy to shoot down and easy to destroy but it's also not true life pretty much they were discussing and arguing with what I would call popular culture ideas about the Book of Mormon that have to be at least 50 years old they've missed scholarship within the last 50 years well I certainly doubt that I'd be shocked if they did I would expect that they have some passing acquaintance with it whether they're acquaintances came to because they had heard something or because whoever was doing the film gave them a little bit of information I really couldn't tell you but it certainly would wouldn't be surprising that they had a passing acquaintance now would they have had a good acquaintance with the best arguments with the way that we understand the text the most recent information that's been done within let's say the last 20 years no I sincerely doubt that they would have known that there were a lot of very honest people who were telling you for instance all of the archaeologists from Israel absolutely honest in what they were saying absolutely truthful and what they're saying and wasn't what they said it was the implication that was made from what they said it is very easy to take true statements and put them in such contexts that even though they are true they seem to say something that they may not and that's what was happening with those archaeologists those archaeologists know a lot about Israel I didn't see any of them that knew a heck of a lot about the new world when you make too many assumptions about the new world based on the old world you make a lot of mistakes because it's a very very different animal when you get when you cross the ocean my experience with these people is that they for example want to establish what Christianity means by quoting specific proof texts from the New Testament ignoring the old and when they quote from the New Testament they quote usually Paul and they'll quote things like Paul talking about being saved by grace being saved by our faith in Christ they don't quote Jesus even because Jesus is the one who says it tells them what Commandments are supposed to obey actually it's comical in a way I mean to to me it's comical and it would do it would be comical I suppose everybody weren't for the fact that unfortunately these people do influence others to not look into the restored church in its scriptures most of the criticisms leveled against the Book of Mormon actually were already in place in the period of 1832 to 34 when some of the major halftime Mormon books came out and for some reason they're still being used you know I would be embarrassed if I were from one of these anti-mormon ministries but they continue to use things that have long since been disproved but the one thing is sure they never keep up on the scholarship about the Book of Mormon they do not have a clue in fact they try to dissuade people from even reading things they'll say oh don't read anything put out my farms those guys aren't real scholars when someone find out that oh yes we are real scholars we do publish in non-lds scholarly venues we publish with the Society of biblical literature the Pontifical biblical Institute and others such non-lds scholarly venues then they say oh okay there are scholars but only when they're not writing about the Book of Mormon when people tell me there's no evidence at all for the Book of Mormon they simply haven't paid attention there's a lot of evidence for the Book of Mormon in the old world and the new world john Sorensen's written extensively on this John Clark has has recently taken to lecturing on this topic an eminent Mesoamerican archeologist he sees an increasing rapprochement if you will an increasing convergence of the Book of Mormon with the kind of evidence we're finding in Mexico America very very interesting story that many of the things that that were problematic in the Book of Mormon in certainly in 1830 even in 1930 or in 1950 now seemed to be better established by archaeology when the new world archaeological foundation began working the Chiapas depression looking for pre-classic ruins the Book of Mormon suggested that they ought to be there according to the reading that these people were giving to it they they thought that it was referring to that area sure enough there are runs there they date to the right periods they seem to show certain characteristics that make them fit Book of Mormon stories that are in the right relative location to one another most things all fit so yes there is evidence now is there proof no there's not proof that will compel you to believe but proof is extremely rare in any kind of archeology or history for that matter you can build up plausibility x' you can build up probabilities you sell them come up with something that absolutely proves something is there evidence though yeah there's a great deal of evidence what mormon makes sense as plausible history the whole thing seems right it makes sense there's very little in it apart from the explicitly religious events the miracles and the visitations and so on then a secular historian would find at all troublesome so Dan Peterson is lying the problem first and foremost with the Book of Mormon is it's secular history first of all I'm not a liar and it's it's really a violation of sort of academic decorum to call someone a liar you have to have awfully good evidence for that and he doesn't you can say so-and-so was wrong he's mistaken you could even I suppose say his interpretation is idiotic but to call someone a liar is a really strong attack and and frankly I did not find it very amusing but the fact is that that either Tom Murphy or his handlers misrepresented my position the little clip that they show is from a lecture that I've given in Koch I don't know scores of times and the point that I'm making is a very simple one I'm not talking about whether the evidence is all there to prove the Book of Mormon true I'm not talking about whether there might be things that critics might find to level against the Book of Mormon good grief anyone who knows what I've written and said about the Book of Mormon over the past roughly 20 years knows that I'm fully aware of criticisms of the Book of Mormon of archaeological and historical problems in the Book of Mormon and so on and so forth I've been addressing them for two decades what I was saying in that in that particular point that the Tom Murphy or his handlers either misunderstood or chose to distort and misrepresent is simply this I was making a stylistic point I was making a point about the way the Book of Mormon reads it's it's a sober book that apart from the miracles and the visitation of Christ and so on in it it's a book that reads rather like a secular history I was making the point that the is not straining for a fact it doesn't it isn't full of pseudo oriental romanticizing if you read novels from the 19th century that try to set themselves in ancient Rome or in or in ancient Israel Ben Hur for example they're really straining to give you a sense of the exotic book Marvin doesn't strain that way it's very matter-of-fact my point was that it reads in a matter-of-fact way it reads like real history it has that style that feel that's an entirely different question from the one he claimed I was talking about and I'm entirely right he's entirely wrong and I was not lying and I'd be willing to discuss this with Tom Murphy or anybody else anywhere any time I don't think if Tom Murphy twere to apply a single standard instead of a double standard to the Bible in the Book of Mormon that he'd be able to sustain belief in the Bible and to be perfectly honest I have no idea what Tom Murphy's own beliefs regarding the Bible are it's clear that the people sponsoring the DVD are evangelicals Thomas Murphy though has never actually come clean in any of this videos about what he himself thinks when for example he argues about DNA that DNA disproves the Book of Mormon or makes the Book of Mormon unlikely he's relying on DNA studies that that actually posit immigration to the new world many many thousands of years before most evangelicals would put Adam and Eve and he's relying on DNA studies that presume a separation of humans from chimpanzees several million years ago this is something that I think his handlers at Living Hope Ministries probably wouldn't approve of and yet I suspect very strongly that Tom Murphy believes in those things this is another area where I think the film is not being entirely forthright let's hear what Tom Murphy actually thinks about the Bible let's hear what Tom Murphy thinks about the implications of DNA theories for Genesis for example the fact is that in religion the evidence is never going to be clear enough I think that's by design to force us to compel us to faith to force us to obey the Lord we're given roughly equally poised possibilities there's good evidence in some respects and evidence is lacking in other respects what the Lord is really trying to figure out I think is what do we want what kind of people are we placed in a situation where we can choose either side what do we want to do what do we want to be what kind of people do we want to be and so he gives us this situation where we can listen to what our inner spirit tells us or we can trample on it there are still those who even with the vast amounts of evidence that we have for for even the biblical record still refuse to believe isn't it nice that we are still allowed to have our freedoms to be human to continue learning to either believe or disbelieve I will grant that to them ultimately the science the history the archeology are not going to force us to believe they're not going to compel us they're not going to give us absolutely rock-solid foundations for our faith that's not to say that evidence is irrelevant that you shouldn't use your mind then coming to a conclusion about what's plausible and what's not but I think there's no Christian out there really who's come to a testimony of the resurrection of Christ because he or she was compelled to by archaeological evidence that evidence doesn't exist belief proof the ideas you prove it to me you prove it to me you ultimately have to say that the Jesus of the Bible in effect calls to me summons to me speaks to me and that I believe this is true I think the evidence doesn't rule it out I think there's evidence for it enough for me to make a rational decision to go with that ultimately the decision to believe in in Mormonism has to believe in Christian in general comes down to spiritual impressions from God now there are too many the evidence preponderance wouldn't would lock are you so strongly against Joseph Smith be me the author of the text and intellectually if you seriously study the Book of Mormon you can come to no conclusion other than the Book of Mormon was exactly what Joseph Smith claimed it to be the records written by ancient Hebrew prophets translated by the gift and power of God I think that it strains credulity to suppose that Joseph could have done the research to put all these things together or alternatively that Joseph did it by sheer chance no no how are you kidding now there is one explanation that I really get a kick out of out there there's a fella dive correspondent with from time to time who believes that an unnamed group an uncertain number of people had an unspecified time in an unidentified place for motives that are unknown did all the research for the Book of Mormon and then for reasons that he can't explain gave the manuscript to Joseph Smith and allowed him to publish it without giving them credit for reasons that he also doesn't explain now if you do that you can claim anything because his group could have been anywhere and there could have been two five thousand of them doing research at all times this is the kind of theory that's unfalsifiable it's just silly but if you get into the real world if you look at people like well Solomon Spalding has been proposed as an author or any of the others they just don't have the wherewithal I like a point that Hugh Nibley made he said it's not a question of who wrote the Book of Mormon in the nineteenth century the question is whether anybody in the nineteenth century could have written the book at all and his answer was no and that's my answer to there's different kind of testimonies you can have you can gain an intellectual testimony by studying the text and and looking at the Hebrew is ins and so forth and getting that kind of a testimony I suppose there's a testimony that's a testimony head I suppose you could say and there's a testimony the hands that come from studying its principles and teachings and living them and see what effect they make in your life and that's an important kind of testimony to have as well ultimately the foundation of our testimony has to be a testimony of the heart not just a heads in the hands but the heart and by the heart I mean the witness that comes as you study that text and invite the spirit direct your thoughts and feelings and receive the confirmation it's the Word of God I think it's important to realize that when latter-day saints talk about testimonies they're not merely talking about receiving intelligence from their own hearts they're talking about personal revelation from God that's a different matter can we trust our own hearts maybe not although in many cases were told to follow your heart it's not always a bad thing but it's not a matter of trusting our hearts it's a matter of trusting God it's a matter of trusting what God tells us and we're not the first people in the Christian tradition to think that in some ways God will speak to our hearts you remember the disciples on the road to Emmaus who after they've had the encounter with Jesus say did not our hearts within us burn you know we should have known we knew it was Jesus because our hearts told us so do you believe it it's true I believe that what come on was true of all my heart you're talking about real silk no real silk is produced by silkworms that are feeding on mulberry trees that's not a new world thing but cloth that has the same texture or the same feel the same characteristics of silk is very terrible anything any kind of a plant fiber that's the tree worked and processed can get a silty kind of a texture with it with enough work there are plants in Guatemala particularly a tree that produces a cotton like fiber that was used to produce fabric that looks very silky the question is why was it the word that was ever there whatever they were doing translated his silk in the Book of Mormon and it's likely that Lehi and his family knowing silk not that they would call it silk oh I wish millions have been spent looking for evidence of the book Omaha man that would have been so much fun but in fact it's not true it's not even remotely true I think what they have in mind is the new world archaeological foundation that was established at BYU back in the 50s the new world archaeological foundation was forbidden from the very start by its charger for overtly looking for Book of Mormon things and it always involved non-mormon archaeologists he was never an attempt much less a failed attempt as I've heard claimed to find evidence for the Book of Mormon the one thing really Book of Mormon related about it is that it chose to look in an area in Chiapas for pleat pre-classic ruins because that was the area and the period where the people who organized it on the LDS side thought it was most likely to find Book of Mormon related materials but it was never given a specific charge to look for a book of Mormon stuff was always forbidden from doing so never ever ever published on Mormon issues always straightforward very highly respected mainstream Mesoamerican archaeology by contrast huge amounts of money have been spent on searching for biblical sites and so on if if you scratch almost any Israel you'll find someone who's been out on dicks it's it's a passion it's a hobby Moshe Day on the great Israeli general was a passionate archaeologist and it's free time and that's very common it's very easy to do as I say you can live in Jerusalem and go out to major archaeological digs within a half an hour or less they're right there in the city and so everybody does it and because of the vast interest in the Bible all around the world and its vast importance in Western civilization there's always been lots of money for archaeological digs there comparatively speaking I'm sure a lot of Palestinian archaeologists lament the lack of money but it's nothing