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CHAPTER 1 — About the Mormons
1It was originally believed that the
events described in the Book of Mormon occurred in North
America. Most Mormons who come to your door believe this. However,
since no archaeological evidence has surfaced, Mormon scholars also consider
Central America as a possible setting. However, this theory has serious
problems, as we shall see in Chapter 3.2TIME, August 4, 1997. p. 52.3Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Mormonism:
Shadow or Reality? (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Mission, 1982).
The Tanners are former Mormons who have written many books on Mormonism and
have one of the best known ministries to Mormons. For information, you
may order from your bookstore, call Utah Lighthouse Ministry at (801) 485-8894,
or reach them on the internet at www.utlm.org. Judy Robertson. No Regrets (Indianapolis:
Light & Life Communications, 1997). Judy and her husband, Jim, are
also former Mormons. Jim is a former Bishop. For information, you
may order from your local bookstore, call the author at (602) 833-2537, or
reach them on the internet at www.concernedchristians.org. Henry L. Ropp. Is
Mormonism Christian? (Joplin: College Press Publishing Company, 1995).
These books discuss the doctrines and problems of Mormonism in depth.
4For a defense of the Trinity, see
What to say to Jehovah's Witnesses when they knock on your door.
CHAPTER 2 — The Bible is Reliable
5Bruce M. Metzger. The Text Of The
New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 36.6Norman L. Geisler & William E. Nix.
From God to Us (Chicago: Moody Press, 1981), p. 157.7A. T. Robertson, An Introduction to the
Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1925),
p. 22, and N. L. Geisler and W. E. Nix, General Introduction to the
Bible (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), p. 365. Bruce M. Metzger gives
no accuracy percentage but in the Introduction to The Greek New
Testament, Third Edition (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1985), he
explains that textual variants have been assigned a letter of "A," "B," "C,"
and "D" to indicate the degree of certainty for the particular variant.
On p. xiii he states, "By far the greatest proportion of the text represents
what may be called an A degree of certainty."8For a complete listing, see Gleason L.
Archer & G. C. Chirichigno. Old Testament Quotations in the New
Testament: A Complete Survey (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983).9Bruce K. Waltke in "The Reliability Of
The Old Testament Text," Willem A. VanGemeren, ed. New International
Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, Volume 1 (Grand
Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), p. 65.10This was certainly a problem with the
Septuagint. For a brief article on the Septuagint, see G. W. Bromiley,
ed. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume Four (Grand
Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993), pp. 400-409.11Such changes are obvious within the
Samaritan Pentateuch in which the Samaritans made minor changes to justify some
of their differences with the Jews.12As is evident in the Qumran tradition in
the Dead Sea Scrolls which contains different spellings and grammatical
structures than the standard Hebrew of the day.13New American Standard Bible14New International Version15Geisler and Brooks. When Skeptics Ask
(Wheaton: Victor Books, 1990), p. 198.16The Smithsonian's official statement may
be obtained by request to: Anthropology Outreach Office, Department of
Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History MRC 112, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, DC 20560.17Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
(England: Penguin Books Ltd, 1989), p. 202.18William M. Ramsey. The Bearing of
Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (London:
Hodder and Stoughton, 1915), p. 222.19A. N. Sherwin-White. Roman Society
and Roman Law in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1963),
CHAPTER 3 — Archaeology and the Book of
20Dr. Ray Metheny, Professor of
Anthropology, BYU. Address at the Sixth Annual Sunstone Theological Symposium,
Salt Lake City, 8/25/84.21Dr. Dee Green, Former Editor of the
University Archaeological Society Newsletter "Book of Mormon Archaeology: The
Myths and the Alternatives," in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought,
4, No. 2 (Summer 1969), pp. 77-78.22Dr. David Johnson, Professor of
Anthropology, BYU. In a personal telephone conversation, 7/23/97.23Dr. John Clark, Professor of
Anthropology, BYU. In a personal telephone conversation, 7/25/97.24Copies of the reply letters from the
National Geographic Society and Boston University were provided by Jim and Judy
Robertson of Concerned Christians.25Mosiah 1:4; Mormon 9:32-33; Also see
Joseph Smith History 1:64.26Joseph Smith. History, verses
51-52. Hill Cumorah is located in Manchester, New York, about 25 miles
east of Rochester. Smith lived in Palmyra, about five miles away from the
hill.27A personal telephone conversation on
September 8, 1997.28John L. Sorenson, Assistant Professor of
Anthropology & Sociology, BYU. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon
Thought, 1, No. 1 (Spring 1966), pp. 145-246.29Dee Green, General Officer, Univ.
Archaeological Society. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 4, No.
2 (Summer 1969), p. 74.
30 John L. Sorenson, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon
Thought, 4, No. 2 (Summer 1969), p. 81.31Dr. Hugh Nibley, quoted by Dee Green.
Book of Mormon Archaeology, p. 75.
CHAPTER 4 — The Book of Abraham
32Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon
Thought. Vol. III, No. 2 (Stanford: Dialogue Foundation, 1968), p.
68. To order back issues or request a subscription you may write to:
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, P. O. Box 658, Salt Lake City,
UT 84110 or call (801) 363-9988.33Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon
Thought. Vol. III, No. 3, p. 111. In a footnote on the same
page Baer said, "The identification is now certain. It was immediately
evident the 'Facsimile From the Book of Abraham No. 1' of the PGP [Pearl of
Great Price] was copied from P. JS I. The interpretation proposed by
Joseph Smith for the first two lines of text in P. JS XI corresponds to Abraham
1:4-2:6 . . . . The fact that the name of the owner is identical in both
papyri, and that the left edge of the P. JS I appears to fit the right edge of
P. JS XI (see n. 15)—that is, that they are parts of the same scroll—confirm
this."34Ibid., pp. 130-132. The Book
of Abraham reference is 1:11.35Dialogue, Vol. III, No. 2, p.
86.36Addison G. Wright. The Literary
Genre Midrash (Staten Island: Alba House, 1967), p. 51.37See Louis Ginzberg's monumental
anthology, Legend of the Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication
Society).38Dr. Mark Lee Raphael, Professor of
Religion at the College of Willam and Mary in a personal telephone
conversation, September 2, 1998.39Margolis and Marx. A History Of The
Jewish People (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society Of America,
1927), p. 603.40Ibid., p. 605.41History of the Church, vol. II,
p. 388. You may order History of the Church from any Mormon
bookstore or call Mormon book dealer Deseret Bookstore, ZCMI Center,
36 S. State St., Salt Lake City, UT 84111, (800) 453-4532. In an article
for Dialogue, Vol. III, No. 2, Louis C. Zucker, Professor of English
and Lecturer in Hebrew at the University of Utah said " . . . there is little
doubt that Joshua Seixas was the ablest Hebraist . . . in the 1830's" (p.
45). Interestingly, Seixas was a relative of Gershom Mendez Seixas, the
leader of Shearith Israel, the first Jewish congregation mentioned above.42You can do this as well. See
Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr., & Edward Cook. The Dead Sea
Scrolls (New York: Harper San Francisco, 1996). This is an English
translation of all of the Dead Sea Scrolls available to date.
The English translation of the Genesis Apocryphon is found on pp.
74-84. For an Aramaic original with English translation including an
informative introduction and commentary, see Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S. J. The
Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1 (Rome: Biblical Institute Press,
1971). R. H. Charles. The Book Of Enoch (New York: The Macmillan
Co., 1942). Michael E. Stone, transl. The Testament Of
Abraham. The Greek Recensions (Missoula: University of
Montana, 1972). A short summary of the Apocalypse of Abraham
with bibliography may be found in James H. Charlesworth. The Pseudepigrapha
And Modern Research With A Supplement (Chico: Scholars Press, 1981).43History of the Church, vol. 2,
p. 236. The introductory statement to the Book of Abraham is an
excerpt from History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 235, 236, 348-351 and
says, "A Translation of some ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands
from the catacombs of Egypt. - The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt,
called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus."44History of the Church, vol. 2,
pp. 238, 286, 320.45Dr. Nibley in a personal telephone
conversation with this author on August 19, 1997.461 Corinthians 15:14, 17.
CHAPTER 5 — Mormon Evidences
47Mormons appeal to Moroni 10:3-5 found
in the Book of Mormon: "Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall
read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye
would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from
the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these
things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these
things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the
name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a
sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ he will manifest the
truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of
the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."48Islamic scholar, Ajijola claims that
"the transformation wrought by the Holy Qur'an is unparalleled in the history
of the world and thus its claim to being unique stands as unchallenged today as
it did thirteen centuries ago. . . . No faith ever imparted such a new life to
its votaries on such a wide scale." Alhaj A. D. Ajijola. The Essence
of Faith in Islam (Lahore: Islamic Publications, Ltd., 1978), pp.
100-101.49For a critique of Islam see Norman L.
Geisler and Abdul Saleeb. Answering Islam (Grand Rapids: Baker Books,
1995). For a debate between a Muslim and Christian, see Josh McDowell and
John Gilchrist. The Islam Debate (San Bernardino: Here's Life
Publishers, Inc., 1983). For an audio taped debate, see Jamal Badawi and
William Craig. The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity: A
Muslim-Christian Dialogue (Madison: InterVarsity Audio, 1997). This
tape can be ordered by calling 1-800-828-2100.50See Luke 4:5-7 where Satan offers to
give Jesus the kingdoms of the world if he will worship him.
CHAPTER 6 — Conclusion and Application
51For a defense of Jesus resurrection,
see Michael R. Licona. Cross Examined (Virginia Beach: TruthQuest
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