Lehi's Trail in the Arabian Peninsula
Posted in Ancient Near East Arabia Arabian Peninsula Book of Mormon Critics Evidence Scholarship

Nahom/NHM: Only a Tribe, Not a Place?

Discoveries from the Arabian Peninsula supporting the existence of a place called Nahom (see 1 Nephi 16:34) have been criticized for only showing that the NHM tribal name existed in ancient Yemen, not a place with that name. The claim is made that tribal names in Yemen were not used as place names, so it makes no sense to think that anyone could have encountered “the place which was called Nahom.” Contrary to such claims, there are multiple examples from antiquity of Yemeni tribal names being associated with places and a recognition from some scholars of Yemen that tribal names can be equated with places. The archaeological evidence of the NHM/Nihm tribal name on ancient altars from Marib makes it entirely plausible that a place called NHM did actually exist in Nephi’s day in a place consistent with the Book of Mormon record.

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Posted in Arabian Peninsula Bible Book of Mormon Critics Evidence

About That Burial Marker in Yemen for a Man Named Ishmael: Impossible That He Was a Hebrew?

Neal Rappleye recently reported that a grave marker in Yemen bearing the name Ishmael could fit the time and place for the burial of Ishmael inn the Book of Mormon. David Bokovoy argues that this is impossible because the marker bears the image of a face, and real Jews forbade images of faces. I discuss why that is an oversimplification of ancient Jewish practices. If cherubim in the Tabernacle can have faces, I suppose a grave marker can, too, as long as no idolatry was intended.

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Posted in Arabian Peninsula Book of Mormon Critics Evidence

“O Captain, My Captain”: Walt Whitman’s Surprising Role in the Ultimate Refutation of All Book of Mormon Evidence

Fond Memories from Before the Blast Back before a massive nuclear logic bomb wiped out Latter-day Saint apologetics a few days ago,  the story behind the map below once counted…

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Posted in Book of Abraham Books Critics Scholarship Scripture Translation

Missing Some of the Most Important Questions, Documents, and Evidences: Part 3 of My Review of Dan Vogel’s Book

In Part 1 and Part 2 of my review on Dan Vogel’s newly published Book of Abraham Apologetics (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 2021), I objected to apparent neglect…

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Posted in Book of Abraham Books Critics Evidence Scholarship Scripture

Many Hits But Plenty of Misses in Vogel’s Book: Part 2 of My Review of Book of Abraham Apologetics

I’m nearly finished with Dan Vogel’s book, Book of Abraham Apologetics: A Review and Critique (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 2021). It’s a fascinating read for those seeking to…

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Posted in Book of Abraham Books Critics Evidence Scholarship Scripture

Just Started Dan Vogel’s New Book: Already Chagrined by the Treatment of Champollion

I just began reading the latest book on the Book of Abraham, Dan Vogel’s Book of Abraham Apologetics: A Review and Critique (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 2021). After…

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Posted in Book of Mormon Critics General Leadership Scripture Social Issues The Church

Rethinking Enemies

One of the challenges for me as I gradually prepare to return to the United States, after my eight years in China, is the animosity here. Too many people treat…

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Posted in Book of Abraham Critics Scripture

A Few Reasons Why Hugh Nibley Is Still Relevant for Book of Abraham Scholarship

I’m grateful to the Interpreter Foundation for publishing my lengthy, controversial, and painful (at least to me) article reviewing the Joseph Smith Papers’ volume on the Book of Abraham, a…

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BOA-Phelps-Letter
Posted in Book of Abraham Critics history Scripture

Kirtland’s Rosetta Stone? The Importance of Word Order in the “Egyptian” of the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language

There may be an important story hidden in one of the easily-overlooked details in the always puzzling Kirtland Egyptian Papers, especially the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (GAEL)…

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JSP-BOA
Posted in Book of Abraham Critics history Scripture

The Twin Book of Abraham Manuscripts: Do They Reflect Live Translation Produced by Joseph Smith, or Were They Copied From an Existing Document?

A number of critics of the Book of Abraham and even some LDS scholars have alleged that a pair of Book of Abraham manuscripts with a few Egyptian characters in…

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