Comparing Isaiah and the Book of Mormon (Part 2)

The following is a list of differences between chapters of Isaiah found in the Herald Heritage Reprint (1973) of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon (BOM) and the King James version (KJV) of the Bible. The list will include comparisons between”Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5″ (2 Nephi 6:16-18/7-8) and Isaiah 49:24-26/50-51/52:1-2.

Text that is found in the BOM but not in the KJVwill be bolded, underlined and italicized. Text that was excluded from the BOM that was found in the KJV will have a line through it.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 6:16-18) and Isaiah 49:24-26

24 (Isaiah). “For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?”

25. “But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for the Mighty God shall deliver his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 7) and Isaiah 50

1. Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever? For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors is it to whom I have have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you?…”

2. “wherefore, when I come came, there was was there no man?; when I called, yea, there was was there none to answer?

3. “O House of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke, I dry up the sea, I make their rivers a wilderness and their fish to stink stinketh, because the waters are dried up there is no water; and they die because of for thirst.”

4. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O House of Israel. When ye are to him that is weary, he waketh morning by morning…”

5. “The Lord God hath appointed opened (it is changed back to “opened” in later editions) mine ear, and I was not rebellious…”

8. “And the Lord He is near, and he that justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me, and I will smite him with the strength of my mouth…”

9. “For Behold, the Lord God will help me. And all they which who is he that shall condemn me?, behold lo, all they they all shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.”

10. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord; that obeyeth the voice of his servent; that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

11. “…walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks which that ye have kindled…”

“Second Book of Nephi: Chapter 5” (2 Nephi 78) and Isaiah 51-52:1-2

1. “Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.”

2. “Look unto Abraham, your father; and unto Sarah, she that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

4. “…and I will make my judgment to rest for a light thing (deleted in later editions) of the people.”

7. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written is my law…”

8. “Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord: awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old…”

11. “…and come singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy: and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”

12. “I am he; yea, I even I am he that comforteth you: Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man which that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made like unto as grass;”

15. “But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: the Lord of Hosts is my his name.”

16. “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have hath covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Behold, thou art my people.”

17. “…thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out;”

18. “and There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons that she hath brought up.”

19. “These two sons things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? thy desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword: And by whom shall I comfort thee?”

20. “Thy sons have fainted, save these two: they lie at the head of all the streets…”

21. “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, and but not with wine…”

22. “Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury…”

23. “But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which I have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over…”

Isaiah 52: 2 “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem…”

Some “textual errors” in the Book of Mormon also found in the Bible

The Book of Mormon is often criticized as being full of grammatical errors that have been changed over the years. What is rarely acknowledged, however, is that many of the “errors” are also found in the King James version of the Bible. The following compares changes made from the first edition of the Book of Mormon to the 1981 edition.

  1. An extra “for” which was deleted in later editions of the Book of Mormon

a. “and their precious things, for to perish in the wilderness” (1 Nephi 2:11)

b. “the daughters of the Lamanites did gather themselves together for to sing” (Mosiah 20:1)

c. “And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come” (Matthew 11:14)

d. “he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16)

e. “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him” (Luke 15:1)

f. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31) (See also Acts 8:27/11:2/12:25/15:6/16:4/17:15/20:1/22:5/Romans 13:6/II Corinthians 2:9/Psalm 75:1)

2.  A superfluous “a” which was deleted 

a. “As I was a journeying to see a very near kindred” (Alma 10:7)

b. “and there he found Muloki a preaching the word unto them” (Alma 21:11)

c. “For he had only one daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying” (Luke 8:42)

d. “thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee” (Psalm 73:27)

e. “in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing” (I Peter 3:20)

3. A superfluous “that” which was deleted

a. “wherefore, after that I have abridged the record of my father” (1 Nephi 1:17)

b. “because that he was a visionary man” (1 Nephi 2:11)

c. “And after that the angel had spoken unto us, he departed.” (1 Nephi 3:31)

d. “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments” (Acts 1:2)

e. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8)

f. “And Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak” (Acts 24:10)

4. Changing “exceeding” to “exceedingly”

a. “I, Nephi, being exceeding young” (1 Nephi 2:16)

b. “when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceeding great” (1 Nephi 3:25)

c. “and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine” (1 Nephi 4:9)

d. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth” (Matthew 2:16)

e. “And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow” (Mark 9:3)

f. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death” (Mark 14:34)

5. Switching past tense with present tense

a. “And I saith unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things” (1 Nephi 17:50)

b. “he was also wroth; and he saith: Who is Abinadi” (Mosiah 11:27)

c. “And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream” (Matthew 2:13)

d. “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city” (Matthew 4:5)

e. “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them” (Mark 2:17)

6. Changing “which” to “who” and “whom”

a. “pointing their fingers towards those which had come at and were partaking of the fruit” (1 Nephi 8:27)

b. “Behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, which are chosen to minister unto thy seed” (1 Nephi 12:8)

c. “show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, which are of the house of Israel” (2 Nephi 29:14)

d. “even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48)

e. “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question” (Matthew 22:35)

e. “there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death” (Mark 9:1)

Exaggerated Similarities between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon (Part V)


This similarity, like the others, fails to account for the complexity of the Book of Mormon and the contradictions between the two works. VOTH claims that the Native American tradition about a sacred book that was taken from them is similar to the Lost Tribes of Israel being exiled and fulfilling the prophecy of Amos 8:11-12. The BOM claims that the Nephites had brass plates that contained the writings of the prophets up until the reign of Zedekiah and were used to preserve the commandments of God and preserve the language of the people while in the Americas. I will now give a more in-depth analysis of the differences between the two works to show that Joseph Smith did not copy Ethan Smith’s work.

VOTH states:“Doctor Boudinot gives it as from good authority, that the Indians have a tradition ‘that the book which the white people have was once theirs. That while they had this book things went well with them; they prospered exceedingly; but that other people got it from them; that the Indians lost their credit; offended the Great Spirit, and suffered exceedingly from the neighboring nations; and that the Great Spirit then took pity on them, and directed them to this country” (Smith,1825,, p. 47 [p. 115]). This tradition, according to VOTH, is no doubt proof that the Native Americans have a memory of their time in ancient Israel and their being exiled. Because of their wickedness, they lost the word of God and were attacked by the surrounding nations, but God had mercy on them and directed them to the Americas.

This quote comes as an isolated paragraph in a long list of “evidence” proving that Native American traditions have their origin in ancient Israel. He continues by stating that the Native Americans have traditions of the “longevity of the ancients” (p. 47) [p. 115] such as Adam and Methuselah, that there was a great flood and those who survived built “a great canoe” (p. 48) [p. 116], that they built a high place and “lost their language” (p. 48) [p. 116], that their ancestors “had a common father” with “twelve sons”, like the Biblical Jacob (p. 48) [p.116], that they had a “sanctified rod, which budded in one night’s time” like the rod of Moses (p. 48) [p. 116], they have feasts similar to pentecostal feasts (p. 48) [p.116-117], they never eat the “hollow of the thigh” of what they kill (p. 48) [p. 117], they give the first of their harvests to the Great Spirit (p. 49) [p. 119], they offer burnt sacrifices (p. 49) [p. 119-120], they have traditions of Abel being murdered by Cain (p. 49) [p. 120-121], they have a high priest who wears sacred ornaments and is anointed with bear’s oil (p. 49) [p. 121], the high priest makes a yearly atonement for sin (p. 50) [p. 121], they fast, abstain from sex and purify themselves before going to war (p. 50) [p. 122], they bury their dead with their fine belongings (p. 51) [p. 125], etc. Based on these descriptions from VOTH, it seems that Ethan Smith is using a shot-gun approach to find every single Native American tradition that bears any similarity to the traditions of ancient Israel. It is no wonder, then, that the Book of Mormon and VOTH would deal with such similar subject matter, even though they are completely separate and unique works.

Ethan Smith argues that the Native American traditions of a sacred book that was taken from them is in fulfillment of Amos 8:11 about the Lost Tribes of Israel having a famine of “hearing the words of the Lord.” He never argues that the Natives had the Old Testament with them in the Americas, but that these traditions refer to their time spent in ancient Israel (p. 47) [p. 115].

Ethan Smith gives more details about this Native American tradition:

It has been stated that the Indians have a tradition that as they once, away in another country, had the old divine speech, the book of God; they shall at some time have it again, and shall then be happy” (p. 53) [p. 130]. Once again, VOTH argues that the Native Americans believed they had a sacred book in their homeland, and not in the Americas.

Not only does VOTH argue that the Natives are referring to the Bible that was taken away from the Ten Tribes of Israel when they became exiled, but he also argues that the Native Americans may have had Jewish Phylacteries that were worn on the forehead in ancient Israel. He states:

An old Indian informed him that his fathers in this country had not long since had a book which they had for a long time preserved. But having lost the knowledge of reading it, they concluded it would be of no further use to them; and they buried it with an Indian chief” (p. 90) [p. 223]. Ethan Smith goes on to argue that this preserved book may have been Phylacteries, or pieces of parchment that were worn on the forehead which contained select verses from the books of Moses. Ethan Smith then goes on to argue that such a phylactery may have been found in his present day, but they somehow were misplaced by those who found it.

Ethan Smith describes the phylacteries further: “The writer conversed with Rev. Mr. Frey (the celebrated Jewish preacher in this country) upon this subject; who could give no account of the incident from any Jewish custom. He in formed that the Jew s have a custom of burying their leaves of phylacteries when  worn out and illegible; as they had also any old leaf of a Hebrew bible. They would
roll it up in some paper, and put it under ground from respect. But these leaves were w hole and good, and w ere sewed up (as has been stated) in thick raw hide, and with the sinews of some animal; a thing which no Jew in Christendom would have done.” (p. 90) [p. 222]. The description bears no resemblance to the origin of the Book of Mormon or the Brass Plates, nor any of the other records mentioned in the Book of Mormon or LDS history.

We conclude then the wearing of these phylacteries was a noted custom in Israel at the time of their final expulsion from Canaan. And it is natural to believe that Israel, being in exilement, would preserve these fragments of their better days with the utmost care. Wherever they went then, they would have these phylacteries with them. If they brought them to this country, they would keep them with diligence. They would most naturally become some of the most precious contents in their holy ark…old Indian in Stockbridge to Dr. West, that his fathers had buried, not long ago, a book which they could not read. And it may give a striking view of the vigilant care of the Watchman of Israel, who never slumbers…to bring to light that outcast people, who were to be exhibited to the world in the last days” (p. 90-91) [p. 223-225]. The fact that the Lost Tribes of Israel had the writings of Moses before being exiled, and that the Native Americans may have had Jewish Phylacteries shows that this similarity is nothing like the sacred records spoken of in the Book of Mormon.

The Brass Plates most resemble the supposed ancient Native American traditions, but the similarities are very broad and do not suggest that ideas had to have been stolen from VOTH in order to write the BOM. The Brass Plates found in the BOM are a complicated record different from anything described by VOTH. The two accounts of sacred books differ significantly in time, location, content, and purpose.

Lehi was commanded to get the Brass Plates from Jerusalem. “For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.” (1 Nephi 3:3). This occurred around 600 B.C. which was after the expulsion of the Ten Tribes.

Plates of Brass contain (1 Nephi 5:10-16):

  1. The “five books of Moses,” gave an account of creation, Adam, and is a record of the Jews to the reign of Zedekiah
  2. The prophecies of Jeremiah
  3. A genealogy of Lehi’s and Laban’s fathers
  4. Lehi prophesies that the Brass Plates will go to all the nations of his seed: “These plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindred, tongues, and people who were of his seed. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time…insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.” (1 Nephi 5)
  5. The Brass Plates are similar to the Bible but the Brass Plates have more records. (1 Nephi 13:23) “The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews…and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many
  6. Nephi took the sacred records with him when his people fled from the Lamanites: (2 Nephi 5:12)= “And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass…
  7. The Brass Plates were important in preserving the language of the people. (Omni 1:14)= “And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
  8. They were written in the language of the Egyptians. (Mosiah 1:4)= “For he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings…

The Brass Plates refers to many scriptures and prophets that are not found in Bible: (1 Nephi 19)

  1. Prophecies of Joseph: There will be a remnant of his seed that will be preserved. A seer will be raised with the same name.
  2. 3 Nephi 10:17= “Behold, our father Jacob also testified concerning a remnant of the seed of Joseph. And behold, are not we a remnant of the seed of Joseph? And these things which testify of us, are they not written upon the plates of brass which our father Lehi brought out of Jerusalem?
  3. Prophecies of Jacob: Saw a ripped portion of Joseph’s coat, which had been preserved, and prophesied that a righteous branch would be preserved while the rest would be destroyed.
  4. Prophecies of Zenos: Christ will be buried in a sepulcher/three days of darkness which would be a sign of his death to those on the Isles of the sea. (Alma 33:13) “Ye must believe what Zenos said; for, behold he said: Thou has turned away they judgments because of they Son.”
  5. (Alma 33:3-11) Prophecies of Zenock: God will come to earth and will be killed by wicked and will be raised up/ (Alma 33:16) “For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou has bestowed upon them because of thy Son…and because the people would not understand his words they stoned him to death.
  6. Prophecies of Neum: Jesus will be crucified.
  7. Ezias: Prophesied of Christ, along with Zenos, Zenock, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

In Summary:

VOTH lost book:

  1. Identified as possibly referring to the Phylacteries used by ancient Israelites.
  2. Identified as the Bible, but it was lost after the expulsion of the Ten Tribes from Canaan because of their wickedness.
  3. The ten tribes may have brought phylacteries to the new world.
  4. They forgot how to read them and then sealed them up in leather bags and buried them.
  5. They were written in Hebrew.
  6. They were most likely carried in small sacks, which is similar to the Ark of the Covenant.
  7. They were possibly written on old dark yellow parchment similar to Arab parchment (p. 91).

BOM Plates of Brass:

  1. 5 books of Moses
  2. Prophecies from Moses to Jeremiah and reign of King Zedekiah
  3. Genealogy of Lehi’s fathers
  4. Written on brass plates
  5. Written in Egyptian
  6. Additional prophecies from unknown prophets Zenos, Zenock, Neum, Ezias, and unknown prophecies from Joseph and Jacob.
  7. Prophets prophesied of Jesus Christ, his death, and his Resurrection.
  8. Brought from Jerusalem to the Americas.