December 4, 2008

The Book of Mormon is plausible as an ancient document because:

This post is a continuation of the LoGP series "Likening With Care." 

Brant Gardner recently threw a quick list together to argue the Book of Mormon is plausible as an ancient text (not that it is proved to be one).

1) It has a plausible geography that correlates in specific ways with real world geography.

2) It has a plausible political geography that correlates with specific cultural divisions, times, and geography, all in the right times and places.

3) It has a plausible historical setting in that known socio-political trends of the region are appropriately reflected in the text.

4) It has appropriate descriptions of kin-based cities and later city hierarchies (beholding kings) that accurately represent the nature of Mesoamerican political systems but are unlike anything Joseph could have known.

5) It accurately represents the military use of particular weaponry, even though Joseph could not have known how those would have been used in battle arrangement.

6) Accurately represents certain military tactics that were not typical for Joseph's contemporary armies, but which are represented in textual information of Aztec tactics

7) Presents an authentic function of Mesoamerican warfare for tribute relations rather than concepts of victory that come from any nation Joseph Smith would have known.

8)Presents the story of the Mulekites moving from one cultural area and Nephites moving north to find them, creating a clash of languges. This is mirrored in known history by the movement of Zoquean speakers into the Grijalva River valley and meeting with Maya speakers from the south. The time periods for both the secular history and the Book of Mormon history are the same.

That is enough for now.

Where can we get specific demonstrations of these points, Brant?

I have documented them. Unfortunately, they are scattered through 6 volumes.1


Brant Gardner,, March 26, 2008. It deserves note that Gardner's commentary is more substantive than simply demonstrating his above listed hypotheses. Some of these items will be discussed in an upcoming fireside.


Anonymous said...

A relevant quote from the blog, about the faked Dan Rather memos:

"For after having given a listen to the memos' defenders...the picture that emerges is that while the memos might have been able to have been typed on an early-'70s typewriter, their overall appearance is both anomalous for the era and disturbingly consistent with the norms of our own.

"This is, of course, a classic red flag for art historians on the lookout for fakes: not just the anachronistic detail, but that more fundamental anachronism arising from the forger's inability to recognize (and suppress) the impress of his own time. And when I read attempts to explain how the memos could be genuine, they sound just like a tenaciously deluded owner of a painting, purportedly the work of some great old master, who points to one feature after another that can be paralleled in the master's oeuvre, while failing to see how they add up to a whole that is entirely modern in conception."

(Italics added.)

BHodges said...

Anonymous (please refer to the directions on leaving comments as noted above the comment box) I appreciate the quote, thanks!

I certainly agree, and feel Gardner effectively demonstrates the Book of Mormon can plausibly be seen as the work of some great old master(s) as including the fingerprints of modernity (through the translation process which is virtually inevitable in such a project).

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