During July and August, I reviewed all three volumes of TMD and added a few snippets, altered a few aspects to better explain them, and with the assistance of my friend, John Bleazard, who has kindly reviewed each book for me, amended some (hopefully) final spelling and grammatical errors. The Third Edition of Vol. 1 and Second Editions of Vols. 2 & 3 were published on 1st September 2010. Contrary to my earlier decision not to write anything further, something has transpired to make me change my mind and I will mention more about that in a month or two. Suffice it to say for now that there will after all be a ‘Volume 4’ available early in the new year. Watch this space, as they say.
Meanwhile, I have recently been reviewing and considering some Book of Mormon absurdity…
Joseph Smith claims the following was written between 600 and 592 BCE. In the text, Smith has Nephi see the future apostle, John, who is to write material in the book which will “proceed out of the mouth of the Jew” but he gets caught by his own ignorance about the New Testament. Either that or the visiting angel got it all wrong!
In v.21 the angel claims John will write “many things that have been” which must of timeline necessity refer to the period prior to 600 BCE. You will be hard pressed to find any such historical detail in John other than in the first five verses of Chapter 1 which speak briefly of the creation – but offer nothing new compared to extensive Old Testament coverage. Likewise, Revelation is entirely futuristic.
1 Nephi 14:18 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
19 And I looked and beheld a man, and he was dressed in a white robe.
20 And the angel said unto me: Behold one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
21 Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been.
22 And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.
23 Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.
24 And behold, the things which this apostle of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold, the remainder shalt thou see.
25 But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them.
26 And also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them; and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel.
27 And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel.
Note that, as in many other instances throughout his writing in the Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham and the D&C, Smith has God or angels ‘correcting’ themselves, apparently to clarify what they have just said. V.23: “they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew,…”
This style of explaining things is typical of something created on an ‘as you go along’ basis in English ‘speech’ (Smith was supposedly effectively ‘reading aloud’ what God put in his hat), but not usually in the written word. It is definitely not typical of what someone would write when carefully recording what someone (in this case an angel) has actually said; especially as this was supposedly written in reformed Egyptian hieroglyphs. No known hieroglyphs account for such ‘rephrasing’. They just do not work that way. They are picture-signs used to convey the sound (and meaning) of the ancient Egyptian language and not to incorporate retractive explanations. It would actually be almost impossible for any hieroglyphs, reformed or not, to accommodate such retraction.
If you imagine someone carefully inscribing each hieroglyph on to gold plate, it quickly becomes apparent that the process would not allow for having to retract and re-explain a statement. The very idea is preposterous. However, imagine Smith making it up as he went along, pretending to see the words in his hat; then you can appreciate his constant ‘corrections’ in the way things are explained. If you consider Nephi a real prophet, carefully inscribing details of what an angel told him, then the supposed translated text that Smith provides becomes an impossible consideration.
Also, note that whilst most of the verses are written in the future tense, Smith temporarily forgets to do this and this part is written in the past tense, as looked at from the time of Smith when he wrote it. If Nephi had been writing it, it would have been in the future tense as John was yet to be born and the events yet to happen. The hoax is exposed, as ever, in any number of ways.
Apart from the fact that v.26-27 claim others had seen and written things (pre-600 BCE) which will one day be revealed – who knows when, Smith has Nephi learn that the future apostle John will write what he (Smith) already knows is in the Bible. It is therefore not difficult to predict what will be in it. However, his lack of knowledge about the history of the New Testament plunges his Book of Mormon claim into deep and problematic water. The book did not proceed out of the mouth of the Jew (v.23-34); it proceeded out of the mouth of the Romans, long after the time of Christ.
Smith (or Nephi if you must) is probably referring to the book of Revelation and possibly the Gospel of John. What Smith did not know was the truth behind those books. He thought John actually wrote them, just as many Christians still do today. However, the fact of the matter is that is not the case at all, proving Smith’s assertions about Nephi entirely false. The apostle John never wrote anything down at all.
The New Testament includes books ascribed to people who did not write them; the books being written and rewritten, decades to even centuries after the supposed time of Jesus Christ, by people who never knew or even met him. The Gospel of John, which is relied upon heavily in Mormonism, is accepted by many theologians as an unhistorical document, written to describe what they would have liked the Saviour to have been like, rather than a remotely true or reliable account of an individual who actually lived. The book of Revelation is often quoted within Mormonism. It is a book considered by many theologians to have been written by a madman and it was not originally included in the Bible at all. It only later managed to squeeze its way in by the skin of its teeth – on a very narrow vote – in the fourth century CE and it was very reluctantly included when the canon of the Bible was assembled from approximately fifty gospels and literally hundreds of epistles available. Orthodox churches still do not use Revelation for scripture readings during worship. The inclusion of Revelation was and still is actively disputed, but Mormons use it to their convenience. And here, Smith seems to think John wrote it. He most certainly did not. Ergo, the Book of Mormon is nonsense.