A Question From A Non-Mormon About the Translation

A Question Non-mormon Translation - Mormon Doctrine Studies - Posted: 5th Jul, 2014 - 1:13pm

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Pearl of Great Price and the facsimilies obtained by Joseph Smith
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Post Date: 26th Jun, 2014 - 8:58pm / Post ID: #

A Question From A Non-Mormon About the Translation

A Question from a non-Mormon

Name: Brick

Comments: I am not a Mormon, but I have a copy of the "Book of Mormon" at home, and have read parts of Doctrines and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. As I have read the book of Mormon I have noticed that there are large sections of the book which copy almost word for word from the King James version of the Bible. I find this to be very strange.

The Book of Mormon was supposedly copied from Golden Plates which were inscribed a couple of thousand years ago in "Reformed Egyptian". Why would these same plates translate word for word in King James English? Also, it is a known fact that the King James translators made errors when translating some of the Hebrew/Greek words in several places---yet these same errors appear in the Book of Mormon which was translated from plates thousands of years old! Also, the King James translators also added "helps" to certain verses which appear in italics which are not part of the original manuscripts-----yet these also are directly translated into the book of Mormon! (As though someone were copying directly from the King James Bible, not golden plates, and therefore copying all the errors and additions that are found in that version of the Bible).

One verse, 1 John 5:7 is now known not to be part of any original manuscript, and was added to the King James from overzealous translators---yet the book of Mormon paraphrases this verse in 3 Nephi 11. I do not mean to be contentious here----truly---this is not my purpose for coming. I really am interested in finding out if any of you have ever thought how strange it is that Matthew 7(And many other chapters from the New Testament) would be exactly transliterated in 1611 English, with all the translating errors and additions, into the book of Mormon word for word, along with several other places in the same book? Did Moroni, or whoever chiseled those golden plates know two thousand years ahead of time what errors would be made by King James translators in 1611 and thus add them to the plates? Highly unlikely! ;D

I will be completely honest----after seeing this for myself I have been led to believe that the Book of Mormon cannot be the Word of God---but is the clever work of a man. The odds that those plates would have all the errors, additions, and wording of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible translators is just not believable. I would like to hear your opinions on this of course. ;)

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29th Jun, 2014 - 12:44pm / Post ID: #

Translation the Non-Mormon From Question A

The interesting thing about your Post is that you entitle it a "question", but you seem to have all the answers, thus you're just stating opinion rather than having an actual question.

Post Date: 29th Jun, 2014 - 8:45pm / Post ID: #

A Question From A Non-Mormon About the Translation Studies Doctrine Mormon

Name: Brick

Comments: Dear Administrator----

I think if you reread the post you will see that there are several questions in it that I would like to see explanations for. I even ended asking for others opinions on it. The whole post is actually a question---the question being how can one accept the book of Mormon as the Word of God if it appears to have places that are copied exactly from the 1611 King James Bible? How could those who chiseled the golden plates a couple of thousand years ago have known what errors and additions there would be to a Bible that was to be written in 1611? Because the wording from that edition is copied word from word in some places including the mistranslations, and additions in italics as they appear in the Bible of 1611--yet they are somehow ALSO on golden plates supposedly inscribed 2000 years or more before that. My question is---how is that possible?

Post Date: 2nd Jul, 2014 - 10:36pm / Post ID: #

Translation the Non-Mormon From Question A

Name: Brick

Comments: Since this is a non-Mormon thread I want to continue to ask a few more questions. I hope you don't see this as "hate-filled"--it is not. I am truly asking questions---and I am asking them based on statements I am making that I know will be controversial to believers in Mormon doctrine. I hope those who read don't take offense-----I am asking the same things many non-Mormons ask once investigating the book of Mormon---it is really just a natural thing to do.

So, here goes:

Here's one more question, although you can call it a statement if you'd like to.

The Old Testament and the New Testament are both written from literally hundreds and hundreds
of ancient fragments and texts that God made sure were saved from destruction through time. The Dead Sea scrolls confirmed that many of these fragments contain the same message that was given thousands of years ago. God has made sure that there is plenty of evidence that the Bible was indeed written over a period of thousands of years. 40 authors added to this great and historic Word of God.
Also, much of the Bible is PROVEN historically, cities appearing where the Bible says they did, and cultures discovered through archaeology proving that these people mentioned in the Bible existed.

But the Book of Mormon has no evidence to be garnered from fragments which were written thousands of years ago. In fact, there is nothing historic to be investigated except for writings made 1820 and after! Thewhole book is to be accepted on the word of one man, Joseph Smith, who said he had in his possesion "golden plates". Then we have a "testimony of three witnesses" who never really saw the plates, but testify that what is written down from them is real. Then there is a testimony of 8 persons also, who also never saw the plates but testify that what Joseph Smith said was true. But there are no other "fragments" that have been found after Joseph wrote this all down in 1820. In fact, these plates are no longer in anyone's possesion--we have to take the word of Joseph that they did indeed exist.

One question is----do you really believe God would work that way? Would he indeed reveal everything in that book to only one man, then take away all the evidence for these "plates", and leave neither fragment nor clue afterwards? Why would the Bible have SO MUCH evidence archaeologically and historically to prove that it has been around for thousands of years, while the book of Mormon must be accepted as coming from Golden Plates which we have no "proof" ever really existed? Why would God have so much evidence in place to verify that the Bible is extremely old, yet leave nothing but the testimony of one prophet and a few witnesses he convinced that the Book of Mormon is true?

Have you ever thought that you are putting your whole eternal destiny into a doctrine that ONE MAN claimed was true without any other verifiable archaeological or historical evidence that any of the peoples he wrote of ever really existed? There is no archaelogical proof the Lamanites or Nephites ever really existed. Yet we know the Israelites, Philistines, Egyptians, etc. Existed for sure---too much evidence exists to deny these people were real. Yet no valid archaeologists say that there is any proof whatsoever that the Lamanites, or Nephites were a real people, accept for archaeologists who are Mormons of course! and even they hope that "one day" more evidence will be found. They must admit that there is no real proof that has been found "yet" that can verify the massive civilization that supposedly existed as is mentioned in the book of Mormon. There is just no verifiable archaeological evidence.

Am I ranting? I don't mean to----I am seriously asking how one can put their whole eternal destiny into belief in a book that in no way can be historically proven? Again, please do not take offense, or think this is spoken in a hateful or mocking manner---I truly am stating and then asking these things based on my own inquiries after reading the Book of Mormon and questioning it's origins.

3rd Jul, 2014 - 7:37pm / Post ID: #

Translation the Non-Mormon From Question A

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But the Book of Mormon has no evidence to be garnered from fragments which were written thousands of years ago.

What kind of evidence are you looking for?

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Then we have a "testimony of three witnesses" who never really saw the plates, but testify that what is written down from them is real.

Have you read the testimony of the three witnesses?
That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi…And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true.

Did you miss read that?

Is that not good enough evidence?

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Then there is a testimony of 8 persons also, who also never saw the plates but testify that what Joseph Smith said was true.

That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship.

Its pretty clear that the Three Witness saw the plates. The story is even better. The plates where actually show to two of the Witnesses at one setting and the once with the last witness, but they all agree on what they saw. This one done by the power of God (The angel is the one that brought the plates and showed them).

The 8 witnesses were pretty much the same, expect it was Joseph Smith that brought them before them. Each witness could look at the plates as they wanted. This wasn't just an art show?

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In fact, these plates are no longer in anyone's possesion--we have to take the word of Joseph that they did indeed exist.

That's the way the Lord wanted it.
Testimony of God doesn't come from seeing God, it comes from those that know the truth about God. To have a faith is not seeing completely! The Book of Mormon is true not because of the Gold Plates but because of the spirit of God that is felt as they are read.

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Am I ranting? I don't mean to----I am seriously asking how one can put their whole eternal destiny into belief in a book that in no way can be historically proven? Again, please do not take offense, or think this is spoken in a hateful or mocking manner---I truly am stating and then asking these things based on my own inquiries after reading the Book of Mormon and questioning it's origins.

Has God been proven? What Evidence do you have that God is there?
There is more to the Bible then just location and places and names. Its how it brings one closer to God. How one knows the principles that are being taught in the book are true. The key is through revelation! Yes through prayer and answers to prayers! How does one know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is even needed?
We can prove locations, rivers, streams, mountains all day, but that doesn't do anything if the book doesn't teach us of God's plan.

4th Jul, 2014 - 11:16pm / Post ID: #

A Question From A Non-Mormon About the Translation

-Well, if you are truly asking I hope you are also truly open to the answer. I'm sure that many here will attempt to answer you. Have you asked God about it?

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Post Date: 4th Jul, 2014 - 11:17pm / Post ID: #

A Question From Non-Mormon the Translation

Name: Brick


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".. .. And they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven... "

You will notice----they said they saw the plates by the power of God, and that an "angel" brought them down and showed them to them. They do not say they saw them while Joseph had them in his possesion. In fact, the farmer, Martin Hariis, admitted he hadn't really seen them, but that he knew that Joseph was an upright fellow, etc. ----he said this to a Professor of Linguistics (Professor Anthon). He took "copies" of the characters Joseph had written from the supposed plates, not the plates themselves. Joseph Smith said Anthon verified they were authentic, but Anthon later said that was not true, and he felt that Harris, the farmer, was the victim of a "fraud" that was being used to obtain money from the sale of his farm.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that anyone kept records on "plates"----but all records were kept on scrolls and parchments. That is why there are so many "fragments" of these scrolls available as proof that scripture has existed for thousands of years. With Mormonism there are no "fragments" or historical evidence of any kind. We only have Joseph's word and the word of a few witnesses (Who are mostly people who are related such as the Whitmer's and Smith's). We have only their "word" that ancient "plates" existed. No other "plates" have ever been found---no additional "fragments" from the Lamanites or Nephites----nothing----zip!

Please check this out:


Joseph Smith's Translation Graded
Joseph Smith's translation has been checked by world renown Egyptologists and it has been proven to be bogus. As early as 1861, claims were published declaring that Smith's translation was "entirely incorrect," (A Journey to Great Salt Lake City Vol. 2, p. 539, cited in Joseph Smith, Jr. As A Translator, p. 19, [Modern Microfilm Reprint]).

Then in 1912 the Episcopal Bishop of Utah, Rev. F. S. Spalding, sent copies of the Book of Abraham facsimiles to, "a number of the foremost of present day Egyptian scholars, eight in all," including professors from German, British and US universities (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. 2. P. 138).

Spalding's work culminated in a powerful book, Joseph Smith, Jr., As A Translator, and spawned banner headlines in the Dec. 29th 1912 New York Times denouncing the Book of Abraham as a hoax.

Mormon defender, Dr. Hugh Nibley, writes:

"For the benefit of those readers who may have forgotten some of the details of 1912, it may be recalled that Bishop Spalding asked eight Egyptologists what they thought of Joseph Smith's interpretation of the Facsimiles in the Pearl of Great Price. You can imagine what their answers were" (Improvement Era, January, 1968, p. 18).

Even Nibley's most pessimistic reader may not have fully imagined the scorn of Spalding's eight scholars. Dr A. H. Sayce of Oxford, England wrote:

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"It is difficult to deal seriously with Joseph Smith's impudent fraud. His fac-simile from the Book of Abraham No. 2 is an ordinary hypocephalus, but the hieroglyphics upon it have been copied so ignorantly that hardly one of them is correct"

"Number 3 is a representation of the Goddess Maat leading the Pharaoh before Osiris, behind whom stand the Goddess Isis. Smith has turned the Goddess into a king and Osiris into Abraham" (F. S. Spalding, Joseph Smith, Jr., As A Translator, p. 23).

Dr. W. M. Flinders Petrie of London University wrote, "It may be safely said that there is not one single word that is true in these explanations" (Ibid p. 24).

Dr. Arthur C. Mace, Assistant Curator for the Department of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explained, "The `Book of Abraham,' it is hardly necessary to say, is a pure fabrication. "

"Joseph Smith's interpretation of these cuts is a farrago of nonsense from beginning to end. Egyptian characters can now be read almost as easily as Greek, and five minutes' study in an Egyptian gallery of any museum should be enough to convince any educated man of the clumsiness of the imposture" (Ibid p. 27).
While it may have taken more than five minutes of study, even many faithful Mormons have been shaken when faced with the evidence.

One Mormon, Naomi Woodbury, wrote a touching letter to the editor published in the August, 1968 issue of the independent Mormon periodical, Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought.

She said,
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"I myself studied Egyptian hieroglyphics at UCLA several years ago in the hope of resolving some of the problems connected with the `Book of Abraham' in Joseph Smith's favor. Unfortunately, as soon as I had learned the language well enough to use a dictionary I was forced to conclude that Joseph Smith's translation was mistaken, however sincere it might have been. It belongs to a kind of literature which is alien to Christianity and to our Church"
(Page eight)

Joseph Smith's Papyri Found
Prior to 1967, the science of Egyptology expose much of Joseph Smith's abilities as a translator, but many questions were left unanswered. Joseph Smith's captioned "explanations" of the three facsimiles were known to be bogus but the direct connection between facsimiles and the text of the Book of Abraham itself was unknown. Also, the quality of the reproductions of the facsimiles printed in the Book of Abraham was too poor to read much of the accompanying text.

Egyptologist Richard A. Parker writes:

"The ancient Egyptian language can be called completely decipherable. The pictures you sent me [of the Book of Abraham facsimiles] are based upon Egyptian originals but are poor or distorted copies. Many of the hieroglyphs are recognizable but so many others have been so poorly copied that the illustrations cannot be read. (B) The explanations are COMPLETELY WRONG insofar as any interpretation of the Egyptian original is concerned" (Letter from Richard A. Parker, Dept. Of Egyptology at Brown University to Marvin Cowan dated March 22, 1966 The Case Against Mormonism, Vol. 2, p. 133).

All doubts were laid aside when the original papyri were rediscovered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and presented to the Mormon Church by Dr. Aziz S. Atiya (Improvement Era, January, 1968 p 12).

It has been established without question that the actual characters that Joseph Smith used in translating the Book of Abraham were contained in Fragment XI of the collection.

Complete translations of the Joseph Smith papyri have been made by recognized Egyptologists. Their unbiased, expert translations prove that Joseph Smith's "translation" was a hoax.

It has been proven that the Book of Abraham collection is nothing more than a common collection of Egyptian funeral documents that are based on pagan myths related to Egyptian idolatry (See: Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1968 pp. 109-34).

Do you want to put your eternal destiny into the hands of a "prophet" who was willing to perpetrate a false translation of this book, knowing none could translate it correctly at the time? How many of his other "claims" can be trusted? Think about it seriously.

Post Date: 5th Jul, 2014 - 1:13pm / Post ID: #

A Question From Non-Mormon the Translation Mormon Doctrine Studies

Name: Brick

Comments: Dear Admin. ----

Yes I have. And the Lord has always answered the same. He says to confirm it by his Word. Now, since the Bible has been around (Complete) for at least 1600 years, and the Book of Mormon was first published in 1830 (Appx) I will consult the Bible first. The Bible says "We walk by faith, and not by sight"--this therefore condemns any practice of "feeling" some confirmation in one's "bosom". We can easily be mislead by our feelings, so we should in no way rely on them.

In Galatians 1:8,9 is a very sobering scripture:

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"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed".

To me it is amazing that this verse is in the New Testament. I have a copy of the Book of Mormon at home and it's title is "THE BOOK OF MORMON" and under this it says "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".
We know that the Book of Mormon was revealed to Joseph Smith by the angel Moroni. And the Book of Mormon is "another testament" of Jesus Christ. And Joseph Smith said that the book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth--because he felt the Bible had errors in it----he actually put the Book of Mormon as MORE AUTHORITATIVE than the Bible is! I'm not saying this---Joseph did:

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"I told the brethren, [the twelve Apostles] that the Book of Mormon was the most correct book of any on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book. "
--Joseph Smith, Jr., JSHC 7 Vol., 4:461

Now, this book, given by an angel to Joseph is held by the Latter Day Saints to be greater than the Bible in authority. This is EXACTLY what Paul was CONDEMNING in Galatians 1:8,9. Jude said that the Gospel had been "once for all delivered onto the saints"---he said this 2000 years before any book of Mormon was written. Why would "another testament" even be necessary? God completed his Word with the Book of Revelation. Galatians 1:8,9 I believe is very prophetic---it foresaw "another gospel" which was going to be delivered by an angel----and Satan himself can appear as an angel of light.

Interestingly, the three witnesses all left the church---I am not saying they refuted all Mormon teaching---but it is interesting that the very three witnesses used to verify the faith, later left it.

I was reading 1 Nephi last night and read up to chapter 20 which is a direct word for word copy of Isaiah 48, and then chapter 21 which is an exact word for word copy of Isaiah 49, and thought how far different the real word of God (Isaiah 48 and 49) sounds compared with the first 19 chapters of 1 Nephi. And I thought "I could do that. It might take a bit of practice, but if you can get the King James English down pretty well, one could definitely write a story pretty easily". So, I started my own book----of course, it needs a little work, but using the "and it came to pass" preface to many sentences does help. Mind you, I just came up with this little start of a story 5 minutes ago. If I had some time, and could really apply myself, I might be able to produce a story that is believable enough to become an actual book (Just need a few people to say they are witnesses and I am on my way):

The Book of 1 Brick (From the book of Destiny, a sacred record of the ancient people, written on tablets of clay, and found in the cave of Nubro in the Arizona desert, after the angel Frenotoz revealed their location onto Brick, to be deciphered and proclaimced in these last days for the Glory of God, as an end of all things is near):

"And it came to pass that I, Brick, dreamed a dream, or that is, I saw a vision. And
there appeared before me a being clothed in white, whose brightness was as the sun
when it shines in all of it's strength. And his voice was as the sound of many waters.

And it came to pass that I, Brick, fell to the ground as one dead, as fear lay hold of me
because of the vision, and because of the fierce countenance of the one who stood before
me. But he said unto me 'fear not', and lay hold of me, and immediately my strength returned
to me, and the great fear that possessed me was gone. And it came to pass that as my strength
returned, I did stand once again, and waited for what more the being in the vision would say.

And it came to pass that the angel proclaimed, 'I am Raphaele, and am sent from the presence of God in answer to your prayers, and am come to show you that for which you asked, and that you may gain great wisdom regarding your people, and that which shall pass in the last days'. And he said "Behold!" and I saw a flaming cauldron, filled with blackness and flame. And he said "Behold!" and I saw a cistern filled with water, clear as crystal, and I immediately knew in the vision that the water was for healing, and was greatly to be desired. And it came to pass the angel asked me "Do you know what the cauldron filled with blackness and flame doth represent? And dost thou know what the cistern filled with water clear as crystal doth represent? And I said 'No my lord'. And I was grieved in my heart that I did not understand. And the angel explained the meaning of the cauldron and cistern, and many other things also did he explain, which I cannot write of on this tablet at this time, but will reveal later on the other clay tablets which are for a record for the prophecies given to my people. "

----I would continue on a bit more in this frame---throwing in a bit about my brethren rebelling against the Lord, and how faithful I was in praying for them etc. And then I would insert an exact copy of Isaiah 50, and then return to the story once again. I actually think it wouldn't be half bad. ;)

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