Comparing Names in the Book of Mormon and the Bible

Much has been said about the origin of the unique names found in the Book of Mormon (BOM). Mormon apologists identify ancient correlates to these names that are not found in the Bible and suggest it is evidence of the BOM’s authenticity (see https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Book_of_Mormon/Names), while critics argue that Joseph Smith simply stole names from the Bible and made a few minor changes to make them sound unique. For me, either argument isn’t particularly important. It could be argued that Joseph simply borrowed names from the Bible and changed them, but the fact that the names in the BOM are similar to other Semitic names is exactly what you would expect from an ancient record written by a people whose entire civilization is built upon the words contained in the brass plates. It would be easier to prove Joseph’s fraud if the names found in the BOM had no Semitic roots whatsoever.

I argue that it would have been easier for Joseph to either copy all names from the Bible or to make them up off the top of his head than to create some of the very creative names in the BOM which utilize various roots of other Biblical names. The following are some examples of BOM names and their Biblical correlates, based on my perusal of the Old and New Testaments. This is not intended to be a thorough review of all names found in the scriptures:

  1. Abish (Alma 19:16) / Akish (Ether 8:17)
    • Achish (1 Samuel 29:2)
    • Abishai (2 Samuel 19:21)
  2. Abinadi (Mosiah 12:1)
    • Abinadab (2 Samuel 6:3)
  3. Ahah (Ether 1:9)
    • Ahiah (1 Samuel 14:3)
  4. Amaleckiah (Alma 46:5)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
    • Isaiah (Isaiah 1:1)
  5. Ammigaddah (Ether 1:15)
    • Ammihud (1 Chronicles 7:26)
    • Gad (2 Samuel 24:5)
  6. Amnihu (Alma 2:15)
    • Ammihud (1 Chronicles 7:26)
    • Abihu (Exodus 24:1)
  7. Amulek (Alma 10:2)
    • Amalek (Exodus 17:8)
  8. Antiparah (Alma 56:14)
    • Antioch (Acts 6:5)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  9. Cohor (Ether 7:20)
    • Kohath (1 Chronicles 23:6)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  10. Com (Ether 1:13)
    • Coz (1 Chronicles 4:8)
  11. Cumeni (Alma 56:14)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
  12. Etham (Ether 1:8)
    • Ethem (Numbers 33:6)
  13. Gazelem (Alma 37:23)
    • Gazez (1 Chronicles 2:46)
    • Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1)
    • Gerizim (Judges 9:7)
  14. Gidgiddoni (3 Nephi 3:20) / Middoni (Alma 22:1)
    • Iddo (2 Chronicles 13:22)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
    • Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
    • Gudgodah (Deuteronomy 10:7)
  15. Giddianhi (3 Nephi 3:12)
    • Giddalti (1 Chronicles 25:29)
    • Gideon (Judges 7:1)
  16. Gilgah (Ether 6:14)
    • Bilgah (1 Chronicles 24:14)
    • Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:4)
  17. Hagoth (Alma 63:5)
    • Havoth (Numbers 32:41)
  18. Hearthom (Ether 10:30)
    • Hotham (1 Chronicles 7:32)
  19. Helaman (Alma 36:3)
    • Heman (1 Chronicles 2:6)
    • Helam (2 Samuel 10:16)
  20. Hermounts (Alma 2:37)
    • Mount Hermon (Psalm 133:3)/(Deuteronomy 3:8)
  21. Jacobugath (3 Nephi 9:9) (I find this one funny because some critics point to city names in the region where Joseph grew up such as “Jacobsburg” as evidence that the Book of Mormon was made up based on his personal experience. Jacobugath’s connection to the Bible, however, is much more compelling than believing Joseph based the name “Jacobugath” on the name “Jacobsburg”)
    • Jacob (Genesis 25:26)
    • Gath (2 Chronicles 11:8)
    • Jotbath (Deuteronomy 10:7)
  22. Jershon (Alma 27:22) (My Speculation: It is interesting to me that Gershom is the name given to Moses’ son because he said “I have been a stranger in a strange land.” The Anti-Nephi-Lehis were also strangers when they were forced out of their own lands and came as refugees to inherit the land given to them by the Nephites, which was called Jershon)
    • Gershom (Exodus 2:22)
  23. Korihor (Alma 30:12)
    • Korah (Genesis 36:5)
    • Shihor (1 Chronicles 13:5)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  24. Lamoni (Alma 19:33)
    • Laban (Genesis 31:1)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
  25. Lib (Ether 1:18)
    • Libni (1 Chronicles 6:17)
  26. Limnah (Alma 11:10)
    • Libnah (Joshua 15:42)
    • Dimnah (Joshua 21:35)
  27. Mahah (Ether 6:14)
    • Mahath (1 Chronicles 6:35)
    • Mahazioth (1 Chronicles 25:4)
  28. Mathonihah (3 Nephi 19:4)
    • Mattaniah (1 Chronicles 9:15)
  29. Melek (Alma 8:3)
    • Melech (1 Chronicles 8:35)
  30. Morianton (Alma 59:5) / Moriancumer (Ether 2:13) (Morianton is another name critics like to point to, claiming it sounds similar to a place in the region where Joseph lived called Moraviantown. Once again, the Biblical connection seems much more plausible
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
  31. Moroni (3 Nephi 8:9)
    • Moriah (2 Chronicles 3:1)
    • Hachmoni (1 Chronicles 27:32)
  32. Mosiah (Omni 1:18)
    • Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:1)
  33. Nehor (Alma 1:15) / Nahom (1 Nephi 16:34)
    • Nahor (Genesis 11:22)
  34. Omner (Mosiah 27:34)
    • Omer (Exodus 16:32)
  35. Omni (Omni 1:1)
    • Omri (2 Chronicles 22:2)
  36. Paanchi (Helaman 1:3)
    • Maachah (1 Chronicles 9:35)
    • Malchi-shua (1 Chronicles 9:39)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  37. Pacumeni (Helaman 1:3)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
  38. Pagag (Ether 6:25)
    • Magog (1 Chronicles 1:5)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  39. Pahoran (Alma 60:1)
    • Paran (Numbers 10:12)
  40. Rabbanah (Alma 18:13) (My Speculation: This word means “great king,” while Rabboni means “Master.” If these words are linguistically similar, it would have been impressive for Joseph to include such an intricate detail of including a Biblical word which refers to someone of authority and modify it to be unique to the BOM. This connection is found in the footnotes of Alma 18:13) 
    • Rabboni (John 20:16)
  41. Riplah (Alma 43:35)
    • Riblah (Numbers 34:11)
  42. Riplakish (Ether 1:23)
    • Riblah (Numbers 34:11)
    • Kish (1 Samuel 14:51)
  43. Shazer (1 Nephi 16:13)
    • Jazer (Numbers 32:1)
  44. Sherem (Jacob 7:1)
    • Sherebiah (Nehemiah 10:12)
    • Sheresh (1 Chronicles 7:16)
  45. Shez (Ether 1:25)
    • Shem (1 Chronicles 1:4)
  46. Shilom (Mosiah 9:6)
    • Shiloh (Judges 21:12)
  47. Shim (Mormon 1:3)
    • Shimeath (2 Chronicles 24:26)
    • Shimrith (2 Chronicles 24:26)
  48. Shiz (Ether 14:17)
    • Shiza (1 Chronicles 11:42)
  49. Teomner (Alma 58:16)
    • Temeni (1 Chronicles 4:6)
    • Omer (Exodus 16:32)
  50. Tubaloth (Helaman 1:16)
    • Tubal (1 Chronicles 1:5)
    • Tebaliah (1 Chronicles 26:11)
    • Ashtaroth (1 Chronicles 6:71)
  51. Zarahemla (Omni 1:14)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles 4:24)
    • Imla (2 Chronicles 18:8)
  52. Zenock (Alma 33:15)
    • Zadok (Ezekiel 44:15)
    • Enoch (Genesis 5:19)
  53. Zenos (Jacob 5:1)
    • Enos (Genesis 5:7)
  54. Zerahemnah (Alma 43:5)
    • Zerah (1 Chronicles )
    • Imnah (1 Chronicles 7:30)
    • Libnah (Joshua 15:42)
    • Dimnah (Joshua 21:35)
  55. Zerin (Ether 12:30)
    • Zeri (1 Chronicles 23:10)
  56. Ziff (Mosiah 11:3) = (My Speculation: what is interesting about this word is that it is an unknown substance that is part of a list of valuable metals such as gold, silver, and copper, that were taxed by King Noah. Alma says that metal plates upon which historical records were written must “retain their brightness” (Alma 37:5). The Biblical correlate “Zif” means “brightness” (biblehub.com))
    • Ziph (Joshua 15:24)
    • Zif (1 Kings 6:1)
  57. Zoram (1 Nephi 4:35)
    • Zorah (Judges 13:25)
    • Joram (1 Chronicles 26:25)

Consistência Interna no Livro de Mórmon: A Árvore de Vida e a Fonte de Águas Vivas

No Livro de Mórmon, o profeta Leí é mostrado uma visão onde ele vê pessoas segurando a uma barra de ferro ao tentar chegar à árvore de vida (1 Néfi 8). O filho de Leí, Néfi, deseja ver a visão de seu pai, e ao ponderar o que ouviu ele é mostrado a mesma visão e uma interpretaҫão de seu simbolismo (1 Néfi 11-14)

Néfi é mostrado a árvore de vida e descreve o seguinte:

  • “E eu olhei e vi uma árvore; e era semelhante à árvore que meu pai tinha visto; e sua beleza era tão grande, sim, que excedia toda beleza” (1 Néfi 11:8)

Néfi vê uma visão de Maria dando a luz ao Jesus Cristo, e depois o anjo que serve como guia para Néfi na visão pergunta-lo se ele soubesse o significado da árvore:

  • “Sabes tu o significado da árvore que teu pai viu?” (1 Néfi 11:21)
  • “E respondi-lhe, dizendo: Sim, é o amor de Deus, que se derrama no coração dos filhos dos homens” (1 Néfi 11:22)

Por alguma razão, porém, algúns versículos depois, ele refere à árvore de vida como “a fonte de águas vivas:”

  • “E aconteceu que vi que a barra de ferro que meu pai tinha visto era a palavra de Deus, que conduzia à fonte de águas vivas, ou seja, à árvore da vida; águas essas que eram um símbolo do amor de Deus; e também vi que a árvore da vida era um símbolo do amor de Deus” (1 Néfi 11:25)

Esta referência à “fonte de águas vivas” de repente aparece sem ser mencionado explícito na descriҫão da visão. Enquanto não sei o significado de usar os símbolos da fonte de águas vivas e a árvore de vida indiferentemenete, o que é mais interessante para mim é que talvez este relacionamento seja aludido centenas de páginas depois em Alma 32.

Alma explica aos Zoramitas que se eles exercerem fé e experimentarem em suas palavras, sua fé no evangelho podiam crescer a conhecimento perfeito que vai tornar-se uma árvore de video de qual fruto pode comer.

Alma diz:

  • “E assim, se não cultivardes a palavra, esperando com os olhos da fé o seu fruto, nunca podereis colher o fruto da árvore da vida. Se, porém, cultivardes a palavra, sim, cultivardes a árvore quando ela começar a crescer, com vossa fé, com grande esforço e com paciência, esperando o fruto, ela criará raiz; e eis que será uma árvore que brotará para a vida eterna.” (Alma 32:40-41)

Aqui não há menҫão à fonte de águas vivas. Porém, a frase “uma árvore que brotará para a vida eternal” é muito semelhante à frase usada por Jesus Cristo ao falar com a mulher de Samaria no fonte de Jacó e ele diz que pode dar-lhe águas vivas, de qual se ela bebesse jamais ter sede:

  • “Mas aquele que beber da água que eu lhe der nunca terá sede, porque a água que eu lhe der se fará nele uma fonte de água que salte para a vida eternal” (João 4:14)

Alma, não fazendo nenhuma menҫão comparando a árvore de vida à fonte de águas vivas, se usa a mesma frase para descrever a árvore de vida como foi usado pelo Salvador para descrever águas vivas. Enquanto esta conexão entre Néfi, Alma, e Jesus Cristo podia ocorrer por chance, creio que é uma chance peqeuninha que Joseph Smith usou as palavras do Salvador arbitrariamente pelo discurso feito por Alma sobre a fé para apoiar a comparaҫão feito por Néfi da árvore de vida e a fonte de águas vivas.

Para mim, é incrível que este relactionamento sinônimo entre a árvore de vida e a fonte de águas vivas, descrito casualmente em 1 Néfi 11, é também encontrado centenas de páginas depois em Alma 32. Para mim, esta conexão é mais um pedaҫo de uma grande colecҫão de evidência confirmando o Livro de Mórmon é a palavra de Deus.

Internal Consistency in the Book of Mormon: The Tree of Life and the Fountain of Living Waters

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi is shown a vision where he sees people holding to a rod of iron while trying to reach the tree of life (1 Nephi 8). Lehi’s son, Nephi, desires to see his father’s vision, and while pondering what he heard he is shown the same vision and an interpretation of its symbolism (1 Nephi 11-14).

Nephi is shown the tree of life and describes the following:

  • And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty” (1 Nephi 11:8)

Nephi sees a vision of Mary giving birth to Jesus Christ, and then the angel who is guiding Nephi in the vision asks if he knows the meaning of the tree:

  • Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?” (1 Nephi 11:21)
  • And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men” (1 Nephi 11:22)

For some reason, however, a few verses later he refers to the tree of life as “the fountain of living waters”:

  • I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God” (1 Nephi 11:25)

This reference to the “fountain of living waters” seems to come out of nowhere since it is not mentioned explicitly in the description of the vision. While I do not know the significance of using the symbols of the fountain of living waters and the tree of life interchangeably, what is most interesting to me is that this casually alluded to relationship may also be found hundreds of pages later in Alma 32.

Alma explains to the Zoramites that if they exercise faith and experiment upon his words, their faith in the gospel can grow into knowledge which will become a tree of life from which fruit they will be able to partake.

Alma states:

  • And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life. But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life” (Alma 32:40-41)

Here, there is no mention of the fountain of living waters. However, the phrase “a tree springing up unto everlasting life” is strikingly similar to a phrase used by Jesus Christ when talking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well and he tells her that he can give her living waters, from which if she drinks she will never thirst again:

  • But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14)

Alma, making no overt reference comparing the tree of life to the fountain of living waters, uses the same phrase to describe the “tree of life” as the Savior does in describing “living waters.” While this connection between Nephi, Alma, and Jesus Christ may have occurred by chance, I believe it is nonetheless an extremely small chance that Joseph Smith arbitrarily used the Savior’s words for Alma’s discourse on faith to support Nephi’s comparison of the fountain of living waters and the tree of life.

To me, it is rather incredible that this synonymous relationship between the tree of life and the fountain of living waters, described almost in passing in 1 Nephi 11, is also found hundreds of pages away in Alma 32. For me, this is one more piece of a larger body of evidence confirming the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

How Joseph Smith faked the Book of Mormon (A Satirical Essay)

The creation of the Book of Mormon was a simple process. First, Sidney Rigdon was motivated to start a new religion and decided to base this new religion’s authoritative text on a historical fiction manuscript about the ancient Americas entitled “The Book of Mormon” written by Solomon Spaulding (died in 1816) who had a similar writing style to his classmate Ethan Smith (who lived in the same town as Oliver Cowdery) who wrote “View of the Hebrews” in 1823 which served as source material for Sidney’s future revisions of the manuscript. Sidney stole the Spaulding manuscript, used “View of the Hebrews,” “the Late War,” “the Golden Pot,” “the Koran,” “the Pilgrim’s Progress,” “the Wonders of Nature,” and many other written works to modify the text and then decided to have someone else print the manuscript and start his new religion for him and so that he could join it later. He sought out Joseph Smith who claimed to see angels, used seer stones, and had been relating stories to his family about the ancient Americas since he was 14.  Sidney convinced Joseph to pretend to be a prophet who could translate ancient gold plates because Sidney decided it would be more believable that the manuscript were produced by a convicted con-man rather than if it were to come through him and he added Joseph’s stories of gold plates and seer stones into the Spaulding manuscript to make it consistent with Joseph’s hokey back-story. Joseph then convinced his family that he had found gold plates and would translate them by hiring the village idiot Martin Harris to write down what Joseph dictated from the manuscript by putting a rock in a hat, cutting a hole in the hat so he could see through and then hid the modified 500+ page Spaulding manuscript between his legs or under a table so he could dictate 30 words at a time and pretend like he was receiving visions from a magic rock because this would be the best way to prove to the world he was a prophet. Harris then lost 116 pages of the manuscript and Joseph couldn’t reproduce them because he would burn a page of the Spaulding manuscript every time he finished dictating a page so that no one would be able to trace the Book of Mormon to the original source. Joseph then waited a year for Sidney to write a new beginning to the Book of Mormon based on the manuscript that he stole from Spaulding who was classmates with Ethan Smith who wrote “View of the Hebrews” who lived in the same town as Oliver Cowdery who Sidney and Joseph eventually sought out to be a replacement scribe because of his knowledge of Ethan Smith who was the source for Sidney’s modifications (and Joseph had also checked out “View of the Hebrews” from his local library). Joseph then began the process of dictating again but not before Joseph further modified the manuscript so it couldn’t be traced back to someone smart like Sydney or Spaulding, so he included grammatical errors such as a superfluous “a” before verbs (i.e., “he was a walking”) and incorrectly using “was” for plural subjects (i.e., “they was”) and also included stories such as the vision of the tree of life which matches a dream had by Joseph Smith Sr. and 19th century treasure-seeker folklore about evil spirits who could move buried treasures to avoid detection. After dictating the Book of Mormon in front of dozens of witnesses (who claimed he had no manuscripts) from a hat with a hole in it to read a manuscript hidden under a table or between his legs which he had modified from a manuscript written by Spaulding who was influenced by his classmate Ethan Smith and which was revised by Sidney, Joseph, and Oliver, Joseph found eight or nine more village idiots to use the psychological concept of “the power of suggestion” to convince them they saw gold plates that never existed. Joseph then tried to betray Sidney by selling the copyright for money, but when no one would buy it he decided to print it and go back to Sidney’s original plan and started his own church which Sidney joined 9 months later and gave Sidney power as his adviser so Sidney could eventually obtain his goal of running the church after Joseph was inevitably martyred.

(Yes, this essay is critical of the many theories critics have come up with to explain the origin of the Book of Mormon)

Autoria do Livro de Mórmon: Frases únicas de vários profetas

Há muito escrito sobre quem é o verdadeiro autor do Livro de Mormon (LDM), tentando responder a perguntas como “Foi Joseph Smith que o escreveu?” “Joseph recebeu ajuda dos outros?” “Alguém além de Joseph o escreveu?” Algumas destas perguntas foram examinadas usando análises de “wordprint” para identificar quem escreveu o LDM (ver fairmormon). Enquanto não sou especialista nem tenho abilidade fazer análises de wordprints, há muitas frases idiomáticas que são encontradas nas palavras dos profetas do LDM que podem contribuir à crenҫa que seria muito difícil para Joseph prestar tanta atenҫão as detalhas dos escritos individuos de cada profeta achado no LDM. Os seguintes são algúns exemplos de frases que são únicas a profetas específicos no LDM:

  1. Em meio a tuas congregacões = Único ao profeta Zenos

O profeta Zenos é citado pelo menos três vezes no LDM e o estilo de cada citaҫão parece muito diferente que os escritos de qualquer outro profeta no LDM. Em esta situaҫão, o profeta Zenos se usa a frase seguinte:

  • “ Sim, ó Deus, foste misericordioso para comigo e ouviste os meus clamores em meio a tuas congregaҫões” (Alma 33:9)

A palavra “congregaҫão” está usado em somente uma outra instância no LDM nos capítulos de Isaías (2 Néfi 24:13/Isaías 14) e é achado apenas uma vez no Novo Testamento (Atos 13:43). A palavra aparece 333 vezes no Velho Testamento, e a mesma frase “em meio a tuas congregaҫões” é achado várias vezes (Números 16:47/Salmos 22:22/Provérbios 5:14). É interessante que esta frase seja achado apenas uma vez no LDM enteiro nos escritos do profeta Zenos, quem viveu muitos anos antes que Leí e sua família escapou Jerusalém, que linguagem é consistente com a linguagem do Velho Testamento.

  1. Desviado o coraҫão = Único ao profeta Zenos

Esta é uma frase interessante porque tem versões semelhantes que são achados algumas vezes no Velho Testamento (se ver 1 Samuel 12:20-21) mas ningumas são achadas no Novo Testamento nem nos escritos de outros profetas no LDM. Contribuindo a esta frase única é que é consistente com a contenҫão que Zenos existiu antes que 500 A.C. e possivelmente antes de Isaías. Os profetas do LDM tipicamente usam a frase “duro de coraҫão.”

  • “crucificam o Deus de Israel e desviam o coraҫão, rejeitando sinais e maravilhas” (1 Néfi 19:13)
  • “E por terem desviado o coraҫão, diz o profeta, e desprezado o Santo de Israel” (1 Néfi 19:14)
  • “não mais voltarem o coraҫão contra o Santo de Israel” (1 Néfi 19:15)
  1. Grande Criador = Único ao profeta Jacó

A palavra “Criador” é usado dez vezes no LDM, e apenas duas vezes no Novo Testamento e três vezes no Velho Testamento. Somente o profeta Jacó adiciona o adjetivo “grande” antes de dizer “criador.” Mesmo que não seja por si mesmo uma coisa maravilhosa, é muito interessante que aparece nos escritos de Jacó em 2 Néfi 9 e trinta páginas depois em Jacó 2. Não é somente único a Jacó, mas é único com a passagem do tempo no processo da traduҫão por Joseph Smith.

  • “porque é requerido do grande Criador que sujeite ao homem na carne” (2 Néfi 9:5)
  • “para que seja cumprido o plano misericordioso do grande Criador” (2 Néfi 9:6)
  • “portanto, em que sois vós melhores do que eles aos olhos de vosso grande Criador?” (Jacó 3:7)
  1. O Senhor Onipotente = Único ao rei Benjamim

Quando o rei Benjamim se convida seu povo fazer convênio tomar sobre si o nome de Cristo, ele e seu povo ambos se referem a Cristo como “o Senhor Onipotente.” A palavra “onipotente” aparece seis vezes no LDM, e todos são achados no discurso do rei Benjamim, e apenas uma vez em todas as outras escrituras (Apocalipse 19:6, “pois já o Senhor Deus Todo-Poderoso reina (a traduҫão em inglês diz “onipotente” em vez de “todo-poderoso”)).

  • “com poder, o Senhor Onipotente que reina, que era e é de toda a eternidade para toda a eternidade” (Mosias 3:5)
  • “a não ser em nome e pelo nome de Cristo, o Senhor Onipotente” (Mosias 3:17)
  • “pelo sangue expiatório de Cristo, o Senhor Onipotente” (Mosias 3:18)
  • “a não ser por meio de arrependimento e fé no nome do Senhor Deus Onipotente” (Mosias 3:21)
  • “por causa do Espírito do Senhor Onipotente que efetuou em nós” (Mosias 5:2)
  • “para que Cristo, o Senhor Deus Onipotente, possa selar-vos como seus” (Mosias 5:15)
  1. O Grande Deus = Único ao rei Ânti-Néfi-Leí

Há muitas vezes em que o Velho e Novo Testamentos tem a frase “grande Deus” (Salmo 95:3/Tito 2:13), mas é usado somente por uma pessoa no LDM; pelo rei Ânti-Néfi-Leí, um Lamanita, em seu discurso ao seu povo convidando-os que fazem convênio a não usar suas espadas para matar seus inimigos. Hà apenas duas outras frases semelhantes no LDM (Helamã 12:8: “nosso grande e eterno Deus”/Helamã 13:18 “nosso grande e verdadeiro Deus”), mas é interessante porque uma dessas frases foi dito por um Lamanita, e o outro por Mórmon, que esteve para escrever sobre Samuel o Lamanita um capítulo depois. É minhia opinião que o rei Ânti-Néfi-Leí se refere ao “grande Deus” por causa da crenҫa Lamanita que existe um “grande Espírito,” que aprendem que é o “grande Deus” quando Amon pregou ao rei Lamôni (Alma 18:24-29).

  • “Agradeҫo a meu Deus, meu amado povo, que o nosso grande Deus em sua bondade tenha mandado estes nossos irmãos” (Alma 24:7)
  • “E eis que agradeҫo a meu grande Deus por ter-nos dado uma porҫão de seu Espírito” (Alma 24:8)
  • “E agradeҫo também a meu Deus, sim, meu grande Deus” (Alma 24:10)
  • “E o grande Deus teve misericórdia de nós e deu-nos a conhecer estas coisas” (Alma 24:14)
  1. O Senhor dos Exércitos = O Senhor advertindo o seu povo de sua destruiҫão

A frase “Senhor dos Exércitos” nunca aparece no Novo Testamento porém é achado frequentemenete no Velho Testamento. No LDM, a frase “Senhor dos Exércitos” aparece ao citar secҫões do Velho Testamento ou nos casos seguintes de citaҫões únicas ao Senhor, achado em Helamã, Jacó, e brevemente em 2 Néfi. Não é achado nos escritos de qualquer outro profeta no LDM a não ser que estão citando Deus.

2 Néfi = Profecias da morte de Cristo

  • “serão tragados pelas profundezas da terra, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (2 Néfi 26:5)
  • “o dia que hé de vir os consumirá, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (2 Néfi 26:6)
  • “Mas eis que se os habitants da Terra se arrependerem de suas iniquidades e abominaҫões, não serão destruitods, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (2 Néfi 28:17)

Helamã 13: 8-21 = Samuel o Lamanita convidando os Nefitas para arrependerem-se

  • “E eis que uma maldiҫão cairá sobre a terra, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos, por causa do povo que está na terra” (Helamã 13:18)
  • “E acontecerá, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos, sim, nosso grande e verdadeiro Deus” (Helamã 13:18)
  • “então chorareis e pranteareis naquele dia, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (Helamã 13:32)

Jacó 2:23-33 = Jacó convida os Nefitas para arrependerem-se

  • “E as libertinagens são para mim abominaҫão; assim diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (Jacó 2:28)
  • “Portanto este povo guardará os meus mandamentos, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos, ou a terra será amaldiҫoada por sua causa” (Jacó 2:29)
  • “Porque se eu quiser suscitar posteridade para mim, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos, ordenarei isso a meu povo” (Jacó 2:30)
  • “E nao permitirei, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos, que o lament das belas filhas deste povo que tirei da terra de Jerusalém suba a mim contra os homens de meu povo, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (Jacó 2:32)
  • “até mesmo destruiҫão; porque eles não cometerão libertinagens como os antigos, diz o Senhor dos Exércitos” (Jacó 2:33)

Do Prophets Know Everything?

This may seem like a silly question with an obvious answer, but nevertheless many members of the LDS church find it a trial of their faith to discover that leaders of the church have been deceived (e.g., Mark Hofmann selling forged historical documents to the church) or that LDS leaders engage in what seem like typical business meetings to discuss church affairs (e.g., MormonLeaks releasing video of the twelve apostles discussing church affairs via PowerPoint).  If the leaders of the church have the spirit of prophecy and revelation, how come there are instances where they don’t have all the answers?

The following is a list of examples in the Book of Mormon that suggest the prophets of God are not omnipresent beings who know what any given member of the church ate for breakfast two weeks ago. While they do receive revelation from the Lord when he sees fit, the prophets, like any other human beings, face the same challenges of mortality:

  1. Alma, the high priest of the church, had to send men to spy on the camp of the rebellious Amlicites, and were surprised to know that they had joined forces with the Lamanites. This is interesting because at a future date Alma was able to predict where the Lamanites were headed when Captain Moroni asked him for help.
  • “And Alma sent spies to follow the remnant of the Amlicites, that he might know of their plans and their plots, whereby he might guard himself against them, that he might preserve his people from being destroyed” (Alma 2:21)
  • “Moroni sent spies into the wilderness to watch their camp; and Moroni, also, knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him desiring him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that the word of the Lord came unto Alma, and Alma informed the messengers of Moroni, that the armies of the Lamanites were marching round about in the wilderness, that they might come over into the land of Manti” (Alma 43:23-24)

 

  1. There are some mysteries which no human knows. For example, no one knows when the second coming and the final resurrection will happen.
  • “Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know—that is concerning the resurrection. Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. Now when this time cometh no one knows; but God knoweth the time which is appointed” (Alma 40:3-4)

 

  1. Alma does not know whether the resurrection will happen all at once. He is therefore left to theorize that he believes that many righteous people will be resurrected at the time Jesus is resurrected.
  • Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ. Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven” (Alma 40:19-20)

 

  1. King Mosiah, Alma, and the priests consulted with each other over the affairs of the church.
  • “And now it came to pass that the persecutions which were inflicted on the church by the unbelievers became so great that the church began to murmur, and complain to their leaders concerning the matter; and they did complain to Alma. And Alma laid the case before their king, Mosiah. And Mosiah consulted with his priests.” (Mosiah 27:1)

 

  1. Nephi and Mormon did not know why they should include the small plates of Nephi into the Book of Mormon record. They only knew that the Lord commanded them.
  • “But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will” (Words of Mormon 1:6-7)
  • “And I knew not at the time when I made them that I should be commanded of the Lord to make these plates…and that the things which were written should be kept for the instruction of my people, who should possess the land, and also for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto the Lord” (1 Nephi 19:2-3)

 

  1. The Brother of Jared, who had conversed with the Lord many times before, did not know that the Lord had a spiritual body.
  • “And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood” (Ether 3:8)

 

  1. Nephi forgot to write about the dead rising from the grave after Christ’s resurrection. 
  • “And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said: Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify…that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many…And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them? And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written” (3 Nephi 23:8-9, 11-12)

 

  1. Mosiah did not know the location or the status of those who went to repossess the land of Lehi-Nephi.
  • “And now, it came to pass that after king Mosiah had had continual peace for the space of three years, he was desirous to know concerning the people who went up to dwell in the land of Lehi-Nephi, or in the city of Lehi-Nephi; for his people had heard nothing from them…And now, they knew not the course they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi; therefore they wandered many days in the wilderness, even forty days did they wander” (Mosiah 7:1, 3)

 

  1. Moroni and Helaman did not know the fate of Pahoran, the governor of Zarahemla during the war with the Lamanites. Moroni assumed that the government was lazy and run by sinners. 
  • Now we do not know the cause that the government does not grant us more strength; neither do those men who came up unto us know why we have not received greater strength…And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country…I, Pahoran…say unto you, Moroni, that I do not joy in your great afflictions, yea, it grieves my soul. But behold, there are those who do joy in your afflictions, yea, insomuch that they have risen up in rebellion against me, and also those of my people who are freemen” (Alma 58:34/59:13/61:2-3)

 

  1. Nobody knows where the ten tribes of Israel are.
  • “And behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea; and whither they are one of us knoweth, save that we know that they have been led away” (1 Nephi 22:4)

 

11. Lehi, and presumably other prophets that existed before, did not know the that “Jesus Christ” would be the name of the Messiah. The name of the Messiah was not known until it was revealed to Jacob by an angel.

  • “Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ—for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name–should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him—for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God” (2 Nephi 10:3)

Does the Book of Mormon Plagiarize the Bible?

Critics argue that the large number of similarities between the Book of Mormon and the Bible suggest that Joseph Smith is guilty of plagiarism. While the characters in the Book of Mormon often give credit to the Biblical authors they are quoting (see 1 Nephi 20-21/2 Nephi 7-8/Mosiah 14/3 Nephi 12-14, 22, 24-25), there are other instances where it seems significant sections of the Bible are borrowed by Book of Mormon characters without citing the original authors (see Moroni 10:8-23/Ether 12/Moroni 7:44-46/Alma 13:14-20). There are many explanations justifying the existence of Biblical passages in the Book of Mormon (click here for my take). The most common arguments are that the Holy Spirit and ministering angels are capable of revealing the same doctrines to people separated across time and location (2 Nephi 29:7-8/Alma 39:17-19), or that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both citing from earlier source material that has been lost over time (1 Nephi 13:23-27/Jacob 5).

Regardless of how authors in the Book of Mormon were able to write passages similar to passages in the Bible, it should be acknowledged that citing another author’s work without giving credit to the original author (plagiarism) is common in the Bible. It is therefore unjustified to fault the Book of Mormon for borrowed concepts without also condemning the Biblical prophets for the same actions.

Here are just a few examples in the Old and New Testaments of prophets plagiarizing each other’s writings:

  1. Armor of righteousness = (Isaiah 59:17)/(Ephesians 6:13-17)/(II Corinthians 6:7)
  2. As sheep having no shepherd = (Matthew 9:36)/(Numbers 27:17)
  3. Babylon is fallen = (Revelation 14:8)/(Isaiah 21:9)
  4. Blot out their iniquities = (Psalm 51:9)/(Isaiah 43:25)
  5. Blot out their name in the book of life = (Psalms 69:28)/(Revelation 3:5)
  6. Both soul and body = (Isaiah 10:18)/(Matthew 10:28)
  7. Days are as a flowers of grass in the field = (Psalm 103:15-16)/(James 1:10)/(1 Peter 1:24)
  8. Day of vengeance = (Luke 21:22)/(Jeremiah 46:10)/(Isaiah 61:2)
  9. Eat, drink, be merry; tomorrow we die = (I Corinthians 15:32)/(Isaiah 22:13)
  10. Fear not what man can do = (Hebrews 13:6)/(Psalms 118:6)
  11. Feet on the mountains who publish peace = (Nahum 1:15)/(Isaiah 52:7)
  12. Feet like brass = (Revelation 1:15)/(Ezekiel 1:7)
  13. Fountain of living waters = (Revelation 7:17)/(Jeremiah 2:13)/(Psalm 36:9)
  14. Give his life a ransom = (Mark 10:45)/(1 Timothy 2:6)/(Isaiah 35:10)/(Jeremiah 31:11)/(Hosea 13:14)
  15. God is a consuming fire = (Hebrews 12:29)/(Deuteronomy 4:24)
  16. God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob = (Acts 3:13)/(Exodus 3:15)
  17. Heaven, earth, and all that in them is = (Acts 4:24)/(Exodus 20:11)
  18. Heaven is the Lord’s throne, and the earth is his footstool = (Matthew 5:34-35)/(Isaiah 66:1)
  19. Heaven rolled together as a scroll = (Isaiah 34:4)/(Revelation 6:14)
  20. Lamb to the slaughter = (Jeremiah 11:19)/(Psalms 44:22)/(Isaiah 53:7)
  21. Light to the Gentiles = (Isaiah 49:6)/(Acts 13:47)
  22. Make intercession = (Jeremiah 27:18)/(Isaiah 53:12)/(Hebrews 7:25)
  23. Mark the righteous on their foreheads = (Ezekiel 9:4)/(Revelation 7:3)
  24. Marvelous are thy works = (Psalms 139:14)/(Revelation 15:3)
  25. Meek will inherit the earth = (Matthew 5:5)/(Psalm 37:11)
  26. Mercy endureth forever = (Jeremiah 33:11)/(Psalms 106:1)
  27. Mountains, fall on us = (Hosea 10:8)/(Luke 23:30)
  28. New name = (Isaiah 62:2)/(Revelation 2:17)
  29. New heaven and new earth = (Isaiah 65:17/66:22)/(Revelation 21:1)/(2 Peter 3:13)
  30. No respect of persons = (1 Peter 1:17)/(2 Chronicles 19:7)
  31. One heart = (Jeremiah 32:39)/(Ezekiel 11:19)/(Acts 4:32)
  32. Perverse and crooked generation/nation = (Deut 32:5)/(Phil 2:15)
  33. Rock of his salvation = (Deuteronomy 32:15)/(Psalm 95:1)
  34. Rod of iron = (Psalms 2:9)/(Revelation 2:27)
  35. Seeing they see not, hearing they hear not = (Jeremiah 5:21)/(Matthew 13:13)/(Ezekiel 12:2)
  36. Signs and wonders = (Deuteronomy 28:46)/(Hebrews 2:4)
  37. Sing a new song = (Revelation 14:3)/(Psalms 144:9)
  38. Sow among thorns = (Matthew 13:7)/(Jeremiah 4:3)
  39. Sun and moon refuse to shine = (Isaiah 13:10)/(Matthew 24:29)
  40. Table of thy heart = (Proverbs 7:3)/(2 Corinthians 3:3)
  41. Tree of life = (Revelation 2:7)/(Proverbs 3:18)
  42. Triest the hearts and reins = (Psalm 7:9)/(Jeremiah 11:20/20:12)/(Revelation 2:23)
  43. Uncircumcised of heart = (Jeremiah 9:26)/(Ezekiel 44:7)/(Acts 7:51)
  44. Imagination of the heart = (Romans 1:21)/(Jeremiah 13:10)
  45. Wax old like a garment = (Psalms 102:26)/(Isaiah 50:9)/(Hebrews 1:11)
  46. Voice sounded like great waters = (Ezekiel 1:24)/(Revelation 1:15)