There are 25 thoughts on “Nice Try, But No Cigar: A Response to Three Patheos Posts on Nahom (1 Nephi 16:34)”.

  1. As more evidence for the Book of Mormon comes forth, it will enrich the faith of those with a testimony and embitter those that wish it weren’t so. Thank you Bro. Brown for reminders of that which enriches our faith.

  2. I just wish that everyone would realize, in and out of the Church, that the historicity of NAHOM (NHM) as a genuine Book of Mormon site is unimportant. However where is Palmyra and when did Joseph Smith know that Palmyra is in Upper New York? (This assumes that Palmyra is not in fact in Western New York!) There is no way that Joseph Smith, with just a 4th grade education, could have known if Palmyra (PLMR) was in Upper New York or not. If fact according to Wikipedia the term “Upper New York” was not coined until 1901. Sure there could have been in existence 1830 some Jewish redacted (I’m not sure if that is even a word) document written by the hand of Abraham/Nephi that refers to “ Palmyra”. However a google search (even using the advanced option) “proves” no such connection. Without proof of the real PLMR, I refuse to continue to make contributions to the “Friends of Scouting”. Right or wrong that is my position.

  3. If we are going to be experts in ancient Arabian maps, let us first get our own maps right. Palmyra was in Western New York, not upstate New York, a common misunderstanding at BYU. Obviously the insinuation was that the Smiths were looking at money-digging maps, not Arabic maps.

  4. I have a hard time with NHM having any relation to Joseph Smith’s Boof of Mormon because there is simply no proof the people of the Book of Mormon were in the Americas. The NHM evidence is so questionable in isolation that to give it any credence whatsoever one needs some proof, any proof that Nephi, et al were in the Americas. Does anyone have this proof?

    • DJ: I cannot be certain because I know nothing about you, but the kind of requests you are making suggests to me that you don’t have a lot of experience with the nature of archaeological evidence, or perhaps even what historians work with. No one suggests that the NHM information should be used exclusively to determine Book of Mormon historicity. Nothing works that way. However, the evidence does provide an indication that the story told about the Old World portion fits into both a known geography and time. In this case, it fits with even more textual information. The combination of factors is what makes NHM significant.
      In the New World, you suggest that there is no proof. I agree. However, I also understand that there is very little proof of most archaeological reconstructions. In the New World, this is particularly difficult because the association of texts with sites comes mostly after the close of the Book of Mormon. What that means is that rather than proof we need evidence–and archaeologists work with evidence much more often than with proof.
      As for evidence for the Book of Mormon in the New World, there is really quite a bit of it. Based on your question, it seems that you haven’t read any of the articles that provide it. I would encourage you to do so, if you really have an interest. Please do so, however, remembering that the standard of proof is not what they suggest, nor should they, nor should it be expected.

      • With all due respect, there isn’t evidence for BofM historicity beyond remote possibilities. NHM is just another remote possibility in a long line of remote possibilities. So, perhaps the title of this article should be toned down a little bit?

        • Don’t you think “due respect” would include actual investigation of the data? I have been through the data and find that there is case for historicity built on the way one might look at a document to test for historicity. Events occur in the right times and the right places. That is not limited to NHM, but continues through the text. The complex interaction of multiple descriptions with places and times bolsters historicity when those multiple interactions are consistent throughout the text.

          • Of course it includes actual investigation of the data. That’s why I said the so called “evidence” for historicity is in reality merely remote possibilities. NHM could mean a lot of things and nahom is merely one of the possibilities. However, when one looks at what is probable and not just possible, the link to BofM historicity and NHM seem mighty tenuous and not probable.

        • Way to just repeat yourself. Everyone looks at the evidence differently. Plus, your indictment that it is a remote possibility has been said about many things that have turned out to be true. Now that argument could be made for many things that are just plain wrong, but your screen name, constant repeat of the same line of argument, and lack of actually engaging in Gardner’s response is tiresome.
          You obviously made up your mind(which is fine and I respect that you don’t believe their is enough evidence), but your lack of actually engaging with the article or Gardner response suggests that you should save your time in commenting.

  5. Hello all,
    I’m happy to have received this response from Professor Brown to my argument on BoM Nahom. From what I can tell, Brown seems like a nice fellow and he attempts at least to give me some credit for my detailed engagement with LDS scholarship on the subject. I plan on responding to this and other online critiques fairly soon, so please, respectful comments, questions, or criticisms are welcome! In the meantime, I encourage people who have not read my articles for themselves to do so. Strangely, no active links were provided above, so I will do so here:

  6. This is a good article demonstrating the highly improbable reality of Joseph Smith having access to knowledge held by scant few peop,e not only in upstate New York but really in the entire northeastern portion of the United States.
    Shortly after RT’s post, a post I see as being desperate to remove the “rumors” which promote the official Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints’ account of Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon as a “faith promotion” for its fellow believers, Jeff Lindsey made a post which I think showed a highly significant possible flaw in RT’s justification of Lehi’s journey being fabricated by Joseph Smith.
    “For those who value the scholarship behind the Documentary Hypothesis, in spite of many unknowns, here’s the most critical factor that RT is missing in his misapplication of the Documentary Hypothesis: There is significant, credible evidence that Wellhausen was seriously wrong in dating of P. The crafting of the P manuscript, according to one of the world’s foremost scholars conducting research in the details related to the Documentary Hypothesis, occurred before the Exile, probably in Hezekiah’s era, before Josiah and before Nephi. That scholar is Richard Elliott Friedman, who was a student of Frank Moore Cross at Harvard, where he obtained his ThD. He is now the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego, and was a visiting fellow at Cambridge and Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. He is the author of seven books, including the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible? and Commentary on the Torah. He participated in the City of David Project archaeological excavations of biblical Jerusalem and served as a consultant for PBS’s Nova: “The People of the Covenant: The Origins of Ancient Israel and the Emergence of Judaism” and A&E’s “Who Wrote the Bible?” and “Mysteries of the Bible.”
    Let’s consider the credible case made by Richard Elliott Friedman in his award-winning book, Who Wrote the Bible?
    He identifies three serious mistakes that led Wellhausen and others to place P after the Exile. These were:
    The idea that the prophets (e.g., Jeremiah and Ezekiel) do not ever cite material from P.
    The notion that the Tabernacle was not historical but a fiction created after the Exile and inserted into P to provide a rational in the words of Moses for the centrality of the Temple, which is never mentioned in the Pentateuch. The fabricated tabernacle, according to Wellhausen, was created in P to provide an ancient rationale for the Temple.
    The idea that P takes the centralization of worship for granted, as if it were written in a time when there was no doubt that centralization was the norm (i.e., after the Exile).
    Friedman shows how each of these were serious mistakes. Jeremiah and Ezekiel actually do cite P material several times, showing that P existed before the Exile. For example, Ezekiel 5 and 6 provide a lawsuit of sorts against Israel for not keeping their covenant with God, and the covenant referred to is detailed in Leviticus 26, a P source which Ezekiel relies on with many nearly verbatim passages. Ezekiel and Jeremiah use other portions of P as well (e.g., Ezekiel draws upon P elements of the Exodus narrative).”

      • Priestly.= P source
        While I also appreciate the article and his viewpoints on the issue, I think it’s important to remain humble and talk reservedly and cautiously. We are all looking through a cloudy glass in the past.

  7. Kent Brown should treat himself to some Turkish Delight, which he can now probably find close to his current residence, for crafting this interesting and carefully written response to RT.

  8. “all LDS researchers have come to see: that the well-established incense route that Lehi’s party evidently followed ran on the east side of the Al-Sarāt mountains, not the western or coastal side.”
    I don’t agree with you here, Kent, and don’t believe that the Book of Mormon text does either. That is, Lehi’s Clan did not follow the regular, inland Incense Route, but rather the coastal Tihama. Apart from that, your article tells it like it is, and I greatly enjoyed it.

    • Can you give your reasons or your disagreement with Bro. Brown? Can we see a scholarly presentation of your views and citations?

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