L. Ara Norwood’s book review, “ Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon at FARMS (FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1990, pp. 187-204) deals with one of the most significant anti-Mormon efforts to explain the Book of Mormon. His review of David Persuitte’s Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon discusses both strengths and weaknesses of Persuitte’s approach. It also shows that Persuitte’s analysis, even if unchallenged, at best accounts for less than 5% of the verses in the Book of Mormon. Further, the scattered parallels Pursuitte points to do nothing to explain away numerous elements pointing to ancient origins (things like chiasmus, Hebraisms, the accurate details from the Arabian peninsula, etc.).
Parallels between unrelated books are easier to find than you might think. I believe that the parallels between the Book of Mormon and Walt Whitmans’s The Leaves of Grass are more impressive than anything you’ll find by reading View of the Hebrews, but that is due entirely to chance since Whitman’s work came long after the Book of Mormon and obviously was not influenced by it (no, don’t try to craft an argument that Whitman was secretly collaborating with Mormons to account for these chance parallels!). The finding of parallels by itself means very little. (For additional discussion on proposed origins for the Book of Mormon, see my Mormon Answers page on Joseph Smith and alleged plagiarism.)
Less than 5% of the Book of Mormon “related” to View of the Hebrews? I bet if I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and worked hard enough, I could find 7% to be “related” to Whitman. But that’s a 7% solution you don’t want to drink.