They were awful cartographers, we know this because there’s not a single map that Joseph Smith showed. However, in order to see the “narrow neck of land”, you MUST be looking at a map. They had no drones back then. No way to get a birds eye view. The only way that they could know it was a “narrow neck of land” was to physically see it from above to realize scale, which they could not, or a map, which they didn’t have.
The Former Mormons (and by this I’m referring to active, believing MFKAM (Mormons Formerly Known As Mormons) usually point to Panama, but if I was a Lamanite scootering back and forth so that I can REALIZE how “narrow” this land gets………I don’t think that would make me think that this was a “narrow neck of land”. That would feel huge to a native walking between both bodies of water.
They talk distances, but never maps.
This was a shelf item for me since I first realized it decades ago, but I never hear it discussed.
would not be a convincing basis for the "narrow neck of land" reference. Theoretically, I suppose it would be possible for them to be aware of it, if we believe the tales about huge populations and cities.
To me the most reasonable analysis was always to assume that Joseph Smith was writing about what he new best, including the geography of the area where he was living, which included a "narrow neck of land" between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
I think Vernal Holley did a good job of identifying several sources of inspiration for the fictional geography and place names referenced in the Book of Mormon (like the Hill Onida in the BoM and a place in Joe's region called Oneida) including identifying many place names that were obviously very similar to what's in the Book of Mormon.
Some apologists claim to have "debunked" Holley's work by pointing out that the place names and geographic features are not exactly the same as described in the Book of Mormon. Well, duh! It's a work of fiction and Joseph Smith wouldn't have consciously tried to place Book of Mormon cities with names similar to modern town names in exactly the same places. The modern names just gave him something to play around with when making up his fictional names. He likely didn't even want people to think that he was writing about the Great Lakes area. But he needed reference points to use as inspiration for his made-up book of scripture -- and that's only for the parts that he didn't just copy outright from other sources.
That always bothered me, as well. But not just the "narrow neck" but also the statement that the land was completely surrounded by water on all sides. They could not have known that unless they had entirely explored the land on all sides, which would have taken several years or decades to see that North and South America are surrounded on all sides by water.
Yes, as Bona Dea said, ancients made maps. But only after exploring and recording what they had seen.
Did God show the Nephites a map that God himself had drawn, or did God simply tell them about it? Usually, when God is the source of information, they say something like "The Lord told me...."
Also, why would these people call an isthmus of 60 miles "narrow" when they had just come from a land (Palestine) that was not much wider than that (from the coast to the Jordan River). The entire isthmus was as large as the country they just came from.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2018 03:06PM by RPackham.
We have had airplanes for a little over a hundred years. We have had maps for ancient times They may not have been as detailed or accurate as ours, but they existed. Ancient people were not stupid and they were capable of mapmaking
bona dea Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > We have had airplanes for a little over a hundred > years. We have had maps for ancient times They may > not have been as detailed or accurate as ours, but > they existed. Ancient people were not stupid and > they were capable of mapmaking
Are you implying that the Nephites described the land as surrounded by water because they had made a map of it?