You’re Kidding Yourself if You Think Joseph Smith Wrote the Book of Mormon

joseph smith and the book of mormon

You know how some people just say things to be annoying?

If you have siblings, I’m sure you understand that all too well.

My brother always told me I was adopted – and he would only do it to get me riled up. He knew it wasn’t true.

Here I am – being held by my brother who claimed I was adopted. 😉

No validity to it, it was just easy picking and whenever he felt like trying to get me mad he would toss that one at me.

I feel there are people who do something similar with regards to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

joseph smith and the book of mormon

Say What?

People say all sorts of things – trying to explain away the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

“Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon.”

“Joseph Smith copied the Book of Mormon from the Bible.”

“Joseph Smith copied the Book of Mormon from similar books of his time.”

Just stop it. You know this isn’t true.

Joseph Smith could never do it. It could only come from God.

…the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God.

Hebraisms for Days

Some critics have disparaged the Book of Mormon’s language for being too repetitive. This may lead readers to wonder if it has any literary merit at all.

The following video from Book of Mormon Central demonstrates that the Book of Mormon’s redundancies are actually sophisticated literary features which, in many cases, are similar or identical to literary techniques used by ancient Hebrew authors.

A number of other Hebrew features can also be found in the text. These traits provide remarkable evidence that the Book of Mormon is indeed a masterful work of literature. It just follows ancient, rather than modern literary standards.


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So You Think Joseph Smith Wrote the Book of Mormon?

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13 Comments

  • Your articles are ridiculous. This one takes the cake, and the crumbs, though.
    A quick victim blame, because Mormonism makes victims of most of it’s members (“Just stop it. You know this isn’t true.”), and a “here! Watch this video!”

    You sure know how to convince people of your point of view with logical arguments and compelling content. Not.

  • I think Katy May have read the first line in the Book of Mormon and that is all. Katy, that thing you just tripped on is your pride. I love how folks love to discredit this Holy book of scripture but offer no alternative explanation for its existence and acceptance after these 188 scrutinizing years. I’d challenge Katy to try and write but one single page of scripture like the 500 plus pages contained in the BofM. A book she claims was ‘written’ by an uneducated lad of 24 in 1830. For reference I’ll paste The Book of Mormon Challenge issued by Hugh Nibley to his University students. Looking forward to your effort Katy.
    Since Joseph Smith was younger than most of you and not nearly so experienced or well-educated as any of you at the time he copyrighted the Book of Mormon, it should not be too much to ask you to hand in by the end of the semester (which will give you more time than he had) a paper of, say, five to six hundred pages in length. Call it a sacred book if you will, and give it the form of a history. Tell of a community of wandering Jews in ancient times; have all sorts of characters in your story, and involve them in all sorts of public and private vicissitudes; give them names–hundreds of them–pretending that they are real Hebrew and Egyptian names of circa 600 b.c.; be lavish with cultural and technical details–manners and customs, arts and industries, political and religious institutions, rites, and traditions, include long and complicated military and economic histories; have your narrative cover a thousand years without any large gaps; keep a number of interrelated local histories going at once; feel free to introduce religious controversy and philosophical discussion, but always in a plausible setting; observe the appropriate literary conventions and explain the derivation and transmission of your varied historical materials.
    “Above all, do not ever contradict yourself! For now we come to the really hard part of this little assignment. You and I know that you are making this all up–we have our little joke–but just the same you are going to be required to have your paper published when you finish it, not as fiction or romance, but as a true history! After you have handed it in you may make no changes in it (in this class we always use the first edition of the Book of Mormon); what is more, you are to invite any and all scholars to read and criticize your work freely, explaining to them that it is a sacred book on a par with the Bible. If they seem over-skeptical, you might tell them that you translated the book from original records by the aid of the Urim and Thummim–they will love that! Further to allay their misgivings, you might tell them that the original manuscript was on golden plates, and that you got the plates from an angel. Now go to work and good luck!

  • A single example is the chiasmus (sp?). Joseph Smith did not have an advanced education in writing. He was a simple country boy. He could not have written these forms of archaic poetry. They are very sophisticated. “the natural man …” script is one of the most famous. These forms are common in religious writings as a way of teaching, driving the point. Also, if one has any experience in reading and writing, one will realize there are many different “voices” in the Book of Mormon, reflecting each unique writer. Don’t blame the poor girl who has judged this book without any study of it, she “knows not” what she is doing.

  • Why when there is something so great and beautiful, always is someone against it, and when there is something terrible and destructible no one does something to fixed or help it to be better, are humans more destructible than constructible.

  • If 2 nephi references the Bible, and then later in Joseph smith translations, the previously referenced bible verse is corrected to what it “originally was” why then wasn’t the original reference in 2 Nephi correct? It shows what the original King James text shows…. One of the many examples that this book is not of God.

  • Katy, you are merely giving the opinions of others who, like yourself, have never read and studied the Book of Mormon. You have nothing to base this on other than personal feelings. Be careful when you say something is ridiculous; that statement may come back to haunt you. How would you react to someone who says The Bible is ridiculous? Read the Book in it’s entirety and then you have a right to an opinion. If you say it’s ridiculous that Joseph Smith didn’t write the Book of Mormon, you are basing your opinion on someone else who never read it either.

  • The key argument here is the proposed Hebraisms, so let’s evaluate them:

    Simply by mimicking a scriptural style of writing Gilbert Hunt’s “The Late War” managed to have plentiful examples of cognate accusative, negative questions, construct state, compound prepositions, and adverbials. Thus, these things really can’t be claimed as any sort of powerful evidence for antiquity. A study is also available showing that all these same things show up in the 1833 “Book of Commandments.” Once again showing very clearly that these things do not indicate an ancient document.

    What about Chiasmus? If allowed to provide links, I can provide countless examples of “Chiasmus” in other modern writings. The Book of Mormon’s writing is fairy repetitive and redundant, making it a perfect place for people to construct them out of the text even when there was no intent to create them by the author. Take Alma 36 for example. Most would say it is the most powerful example in the book, and yet even believing scholar Brant Gardner has acknowledge that this “chiasmus” was not actually on the plate text. Another believer, Blake Ostler, has said the same. Although some believers did studies trying to show that this chiasmus couldn’t happen by chance, Wunderli did a very good study in response showing why the criteria used in those studies was problematic, and making some very good points. My point is simply that these things aren’t as powerful as the video makes them out to be.

    But I understand. At one point in my life I too felt that there was no way Joseph could have written this book. My mind was changed.

  • Funny how literary people can see the quality in the Book of Mormon even when they do not believe it. How do you know that reason that the Book of Mormon is widely read today, when other early 19th century writings are not, is for the same reason the Bible is still widely read when other ancient texts are not?

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2019/03/on-the-quality-of-the-book-of-mormon.html?fbclid=IwAR2-vsK4F6G8W3psH3yWyObOfp_mNgiFCGqJyKwpJFNui7CMl5ewNr-YbQM

  • There will never be empirical evidence of the divine nature of the book, though there are many supplementary proofs. As with most things centered in Christ, the evidence comes after the exercise of faith, not before. The Book of Mormon is true scripture, a second witness of the divine mission of Christ, and a fulfillment of prophecy. The only evidence you will ever find, or ever need is the affirmation of the Holy Ghost, who bears witness to the truth of all things. I have no proof of Christ’s divine sonship, or the existence of God, of life after death, or the truth of the Gospel. It does not make them any less true. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” If faith is not sufficient, no amount of worldly proofs will suffice. Lamen and Lemuel were visited by angels and witnessed miracles and still they did not believe. The Book of Mormon is what it is, scripture; Joseph Smith was a prophet; and God’s church was restored by him in these last days. If you want to know, ask God, nothing wavering, and God who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, shall answer you.

  • When someone copies translations of Hebrew text they will necessarily copy its literary forms. This is why the same literary forms that are found in the Bible’s ancient manuscripts are easily found in all translations of the Bible. In fact it is impossible to translate a text without duplicating the structure of the text. A parallelism in Hebrew, for example, will translate into a parallelism in English, German, Farsi, Tagalog and every other language.
    The same holds true, though with less precision, someone simply imitates Hebrew text. It is impossible to imitate any literature without imitating the literary forms that the original literature contains.
    Since Joseph Smith and his conspirators (chiefly Sydney Rigdon) had everything they needed to copy from and to immitate the Bible, it is no big surprise that they actually imitated and copied the Hebrew literary forms found in the Bible (even if they did it inadvertently and/or subconsciously) as they created the Book of Mormon.

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You know how some people just say things to be annoying? If you have siblings, I’m sure you understand that all too well. My...
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