Joseph Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon, published in 1830, had been translated from golden plates that contained the accounts of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. However, a close examination of this book shows a long llist of problems, one of which is the presence of anachronisms. The following are some examples.
i) Reference to synagogues:
The word synagogue or some derivative of it appears at least 25 times in the Book of Mormon.
Alma 16:13: "And Alma and Amulek went forth preaching repentance to the people in their temples, and in their sanctuaries, and also in their synagogues, which were built after the manner of the Jews."
This statement assumes that these inhabitants of ancient America were aware of how the Jews built their synagogues.
Synagogues were an integral part of Jewish society in the times of Jesus as we see in the New Testament. The synagogue was established for the study of the Law, and differed very much from the temple worship of the Old Testament period, which involved many sacrifices in keeping with the Law of Moses. Scientific and archaeological evidence points to the origin of synsgagues as being about the latter part of the intertestamental period.
How could Alma and Amulek know how the Jews built thier synagogues when the Jews themselves weren t building them before Lehi (supposedly) left for the Americas in 600 BC?
ii) St. Peter is quoted hundreds of years too early:
St. Peter paraphrases Moses' words from Deut. 18:15, 18f in
Acts 3:22f. However, I Nephi 22:20 mistakenly represents these words as
Moses' own words! Therefore Peter is accidentally quoted centuries before Acts
was written or Peter had ever uttered his words.
Similarly, the words of Malachi 4:1 appear in I Nephi 22:15 over a century before Malachi wrote them.
iii) Confusion of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant:
The Book of Mormon confuses the Old and New Covenants. It stresses that before the coming of Christ the faithful kept the Law of Moses (II Nephi 5:10; 25:23-25, 20; Alma 30:3), yet they also established churches, taught and practiced Christian baptism, and were conversant with New Testament doctrines and events (e.g. II Nephi 9:23; Mosiah 18:17).
iv) Jeremiah in Prison:
According to I Nephi 1:4, Nephi and his family left Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of King Zedekiah . In I Nephi 7:14 we are told that Jeremiah is in prison. However, according to the Bible, Jeremiah was imprisoned in the TENTH year of King Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:1-2). So... perhaps Nephi was rferring to an event which happened AFTER he and his family left? This might explain the anachronism. But no, this is discounted in light of I Nephi 17:4, which is chronologically some time after the events of I Nephi 7:14.
v) Greek names in a book with no Greek influence:
Why are Greek names and words such as Jonas, Lachoneus, Timothy, and Alpha & Omega found in a book that should have absolutely no Greek influence? Anyone familiar with Old Testament history will know that Alexander the Great's conquests of biblical lands came many centuries AFTER Lehi's supposed departure for the Americas.
vi) Anachronistic Metal Artefacts:
The Book of Mormon mention bellows (1 Nephi 17:11), brass (2 Nephi 5:15), breast plates & copper (Mosiah 8:10), gold and silver currency (Alma 11), silver (Jarom 1:8), and steel swords (Ether 7:9)? However, no evidence indicates that these items existed during Book of Mormon times. In fact, metallurgy did not appear until the 800s AD.
vii) Anachronistic agricultural methods: Livestock
Why does the Book of Mormon mention cattle, cows and calves, bulls, asses,
horses, oxen, domestic sheep, pigs and & even elephants, when in fact none
of these animals existed in America during Book of Mormon times?
The only domesticated animals in pre-Columbian America were llamas, alpacas, guinea pigs, and turkeys (none of which are mentioned in the Book of Mormon).
viii) Anachronistic agricultural methods:Crops
Why are plough-based crops such as barley (Alma 11:7) and wheat (Mosiah 9:9) mentioned in the Book of Mormon when they didn't exist at that time?
ix) Disappearing Place Names:
Why didn't any of the Book of Mormon place names still exist when Columbus discovered America? The place names seem to have existed only BEFORE the Book of Mormon was written, but not after.
x) Seven Day Week:
Why does the Book of Mormon imply a seven day week (Mosiah 13:18) when this calendrical method was unknown in Ancient America?
The above evidence refutes a pre-Columbian authorship date for the Book of Mormon and shows it to be a much later work.
Any comments are welcome.
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