> Sorry, I meant to include this link as well. It
> seems that there were a number of maps with the
> place name "Nahom" in the Arabian peninsula that
> predate the Book of Mormon.
Somebody ought to tell this guy:http://www.angelfire.com/pq/pacumenispages/arabia.html
A snip from the link:
“snip>>>Rarely if ever do we have a situation in archeology when 'X' marks the spot, but in the context of the aforementioned information, I would suggest that this very nearly qualifies as just such a case. The detailed directions of the Book of Mormon, as well as its descriptive lay of the land, matches in minute ways that of the known world of Arabia, locating the Lehite expedition at two specific locations virtually unknown in Joseph Smith's day, but confirmed only recently by science.”
But it gets better, further on he contradicts himself and admits that it was known in Smith’s day, but somehow miraculously knows that Smith did not know it.
"snip>>>….And in fact, even in spite of the evident contradiction, I will agree with you that Nahom and Nahum are the same word, and that Joseph Smith's scribe (accidentally or intentionally, it does not matter) altered the given KJV rendering.”
Now it’s the scribe’s fault, not Smith’s. There’s no mention of where God is in this Divinely Revealed most correct book on the earth. God’s lack of revealing this error to Smith’s scribe and based on the writers apologetic techniques he likely believes God was napping and Smith had a severe head cold that day, causing Smith to be less alert. He allows made up excuses to validate his position, and looks at one similar point, but denounces all the misses that would indicate there is no correlation between NHM and Nahom.
“snip>>Of course, your attempt is to show plagiarism, an understandable contention given your environmentalist presupposition. Be that as it may; given the close proximity of NHM to where Joseph Smith says Nahom should be, with its geographic relationship to Jerusalem and Wadi-Sayq, his is by far a more compelling witness. After all, that is the central question you never directly address - how did Joseph Smith know it was there? It is simply not enough to flatly deny this parallel in the face of this evidence, or at least in so doing, your credibility hovers nearly in the same sphere as the Holocaust deniers. This gaping "Black Hole" (to steal a term) in the development of your alternative theory underscores the paramount and fundamental issues of presupposition and the rigorous pursuit of scientific method.”
Yes folks, this author brings in a holocaust comparison! I only wish he’d use the same scientific method he wants everybody else to use.
“snip>>However, since it is your unwitting contention that Joseph Smith placed the Lehites in the far south west corner, I think it only fair to assume that he also knew about NHM. The question must be, from where? The Astons do a reasonably thorough job in demonstrating the extreme rarity of this knowledge in 1830's scientific community. Perhaps Joseph Smith had the 1762 French Map? Perhaps some other map? This is a possible connection - but what are the odds? Incalculably long. Nor does such a theory answer the entire equation, as any map of the time will fail to identify Wadi-Sayq, not discovered for well over a hundred years later.”
The writer claims that since Tanners assume that according to the book of Mormon the Lehites are placed in the far south west corner, this gives the writer grounds to assume that Smith must have known about NHM. Problem is that God, the alleged prophets source of revelation, would have known that it was NHM and told Smith to write the word NHM, not Nahom, which word Naom has no connection with that location whatsoever. The writer sights long odds that are incalculably long as a reason why Smith wouldn’t have access to the maps of his time, but he doesn’t link the same criteria and uses incalculably looong odds in trying to take an obscure reference of a burial of Ishmael and link it to NHM.
The writer fails to mention what relevance the discovery of Wadi-Sayq is to his story.
“snip>>My point in all of this is that you are using the same method as that used by the Simpson defense, but on the Book of Mormon. Since (I assume) you adhere to the theology of sola scriptura and the doctrine of the closed canon, your presuppositions cannot allow for an historically authentic Book of Mormon, hence you must look, at all costs, elsewhere for explanations as to how Joseph Smith acquired the necessary knowledge to synthesize his story; otherwise your entire theology falters. Your presupposition, then, puts you immediately at odds with scientific method.”
This doesn’t make sense. An example of cognitive dissonance at its saddest. If someone here can make any sense out of what he’s saying, please explain it to me. Is his definition of scientific method merely accepting that the book of Mormon is correct thereby not allowing anyone to look elsewhere for sources where it was derived?
“snip>>It is my understanding that your alternative explanation requires Joseph Smith to obtain information through his early nineteenth century, frontier New York environment. But to argue such a thing - Joseph Smith slavishly pouring over book after book - tacitly admits that the information in the Book of Mormon is factually accurate. I see this as a huge problem for you, for if you can never prove that he read this or that book, or at least provide a reasonable probability for it, the question must inevitably press you harder and harder: How did Joseph Smith acquire his knowledge?”
How on earth is this a huge problem for the Tanners argument? It is more of a problem for this writer. Missionaries, under all the prophets direction, teach that the bom is revealed by God’s wisdom, revelation to the prophet Smith. Since there is no factually accurate account within the bom it shows that not only was God the revelator absent of wisdom or input, but Smith and his group read snipets of information available and spun it into a story. It also shows that Smith was not a good researcher to include specific details, or else he purposely spun a story. I’ve heard it said that if a person wants a story to be believed, make it as peculiar as you can. The more peculiar the story the more believable people think it is.
“snip>>But let us assume, for the sake of this discussion, that the alternative proposals introduced in your article are in fact true; Joseph Smith acquired and studied Geography Made Easy, from which he created or augmented his Arabian journey story. After all, you claim that "in this book, we find everything Joseph Smith would need to make-up a story of a trip through Arabia." Everything? The Hounds of Dogmatism howl no louder than they do here. Where does Geography Made Easy discuss NHM? Where is there a discussion of ancient burial grounds dating to 3000 B.C.? Where is there mention of the highly fertile Wadi-Sayq, with its geographic relationship to NHM, as well as descriptions of its topographical, geological, and flora and fauna composition? The fact is, the author of your so-called "sourcebook" did not even conceive the existence of such places, did he?”
This man can’t think clearly at all. Since there is no discussion of NHM in the book Geography made easy, it would explain why Smith made no discussion of NHM. There was nothing to plagiarize and therefore it didn’t show up in the bom as NHM. Likewise, Smith’s bom made no mention of ancient burial grounds dating to 3,000 bce. The bom doesn’t make reference to a highly fertile ground in relationship to NHM – that’s a stretch of imagination proposed by the apologist. I have not read the book Geography made Easy, but would like to get hold of one and compare that to Smith and this apologist.
“snip>>If Joseph Smith used a certain book (or books) as a source, why did not his contemporary critics accuse him of the same thing you are now accusing him of, i.e., borrowing? After all, they would have had just as much access to whatever book Joseph Smith allegedly used, and they certainly had the ambition to uncover his fraud, as the caustic tone of much of their writing reveals. Can we really pit the cunning of a twenty three year old farm boy with his third grade education against the sophistication and research capabilities of the myriads arrayed against him? But you would have me believe, in the face of this improbability, that for over one hundred and forty years this little borrowing went unnoticed? And in that time, just how many thousands of critics have tried to undermine its claims at every turn? “
It is my understanding that Smith’s contemporaries did accuse Smith of fraud, which is the reason for their disbelief in the bom. It annoys me when an apologist like this one fall back on the old fasle excuse that smith was a 23 yr old farm boy with a grade 3 education and couldn’t have done this. Smith was 25 when the book was published and he was not an ignorant farm boy, as his conniving and conning show that his mind was capable of thinking up many schemes. His original scribe, Harris, had prosperous finances and was known as a visionary fanatic. Harris took papers to Anthon, a professor of linguistics. What kind of knowledge and plagiarism they obtained from the unwitting professor, and then taken back to be used in their book of Mormon, is suspicious in itself. He traded up in scribes to Cowdery, a minister who an educated school principal, and also a publisher and in 1836 became a lawyer.http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/days-never-be-forgotten-oliver-cowdery/11-oliver-cowdery%E2%80%99s-legal-practice-tiffin-ohio
This is not a stupid man by any stretch of the imagination. To think that Smith wasn’t educated and influenced by his scribe is to blindly close one’s eyes to their roles within the organization. Hiram Page studied medicine, not a stupid man. Page, Whitmers and Cowdery were all related through marriage. Whitmer was a businessman, and wondered why Page and Cowdery’s venture to Canada to sell the book of Mormon hadn’t been successful. Perhaps as a more cunning businessman he should have went in their place, with better success of selling the book and spared us all this agony. There is a little debate as to Smith Senior being a mason prior to the book of Mormon. His knowledge and network would have been far greater than the above writer would want you to believe.
“snip>>>But it wasn't until Hugh Nibley's speculations (there is that naughty word again) that such a possible parallel was even considered, and not for many years after that that research was put into it. This all, over a century and a half later, precipitating your efforts to determine what book Joseph Smith used, and voila!, Geography Made Easy! But that book as a source breaks down because the book contains no details pertinent to the Book of Mormon descriptions. Neither does it appear to have been readily available to Joseph Smith's contemporaries, to say nothing of Joseph Smith's access to the book. Thus, based upon such flimsy arguments, that Joseph Smith checked out books from his local library to write the Book of Mormon, you simply cannot convince me to reject the Astons' proposal. Period.”
This writer uses the same speculations he criticizes the Tanners for using. The book of Mormon contains little to no details pertinent to the NHM descriptions either, so I have no idea what type of point this man is trying to use to validate his assumptions. The writer makes an assumption that the book “didn’t appear” to have been readily available to Smith’s contemporaries. Harris travelled to see a linguistic professor, for goodness sake, and the writer doesn’t think they would travel to have access to information that might help their book story? Forget about local library, they were known to have travelled to get information to benefit the book of Mormon. They claim they went to the linguistic Professor Anthon to confirm writings, and we will have to trust their word that they didn’t go to get information and then form it into their book?