Criticism of the Book of Mormon
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Scholars reject Smith's explanation of the origin of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was originally an ancient native-American record written on golden plates, and that God gave him the power to translate it into English. Critics note that there is no physical proof of the existence of golden plates; Smith said that the angel Moroni reclaimed the plates once he had completed the translation. To provide support towards the existence of the plates, Smith included two statements in the Book of Mormon saying that the Book of Mormon witnesses had been shown the plates, and their testimony is typically published at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. While none of these men ever retracted their statement, critics nevertheless discount these testimonies for varying reasons, one of which is because most of these men were closely interrelated. In later years Martin Harris, one of the witnesses, is recorded to have confessed that none of the witnesses saw the plates with their natural eyes but only through a vision.
Most linguists, archeologists, and historians do not regard the Book of Mormon to be of ancient origin. In 1834 a publication by Eber D. Howe claimed that Smith had plagiarized an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding. Scholars today have varying theories about the true authorship of the Book of Mormon, but most conclude that Smith composed the book himself, possibly with the help of Oliver Cowdery, drawing from information and publications available in his time, including the King James Bible, The Wonders of Nature, and View of the Hebrews.
Existence of golden plates
Two separate sets of witnesses, a set of three and a set of eight, testified as having seen the golden plates, the record from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Critics, including Jerald and Sandra Tanner, and the Institute for Religious Research note several pieces of evidence that they argue call into question the authenticity of the experience, including letters and affidavits in which Martin Harris stated that the Eight Witnesses never saw the plates, and that his own witness was more spiritual than physical. Additionally, each of the Three Witnesses (Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer) left the church during Joseph Smith's lifetime and considered Smith to have been a fallen prophet. Harris and Cowdery later returned to the church. However, the Institute for Religious Research disputes the sincerity of their conversion and return.
Apologists note that the witnesses in most cases affirmed their witness until their death, and claim that the aforementioned affidavits and letters are either fraudulent, or otherwise not reliable. In 1881 Whitmer, the one witness who never returned to the church, issued an affidavit reaffirming his testimony of the experience.
Text and language
Historians view the language patterns, phrases, and names in the Book of Mormon as evidence that it is not authentic.
Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon from a language called Reformed Egyptian. Archaeologists and Egyptologists have found no evidence that this language ever existed. However, Hugh Nibley, a Mormon apologist, argues that Reformed Egyptian is actually Meroitic Egyptian.
Furthermore, official LDS church commentary on the Book of Mormon says that at least some ancestors of Native Americans came from the Jerusalem area; however, Native American linguistic specialists have not found, so far to date, any Native American language that appears to be related to languages of the ancient Near East.
Supporters point out the interesting elements of the creation drama that turn up in temple, tomb, or coffin texts from ancient Egypt that is described in detail in the Book of Mormon as the coronation of King Mosiah long before these ancient texts were understood by Egyptologists.
Supporters of the Book of Mormon claim it uses chiasmus—a figure of speech utilizing inverted parallelism—and claim it is evidence to support the book's ancient origin. Critics such as Jerald and Sandra Tanner argue that chiasmus in the Book of Mormon are a characteristic of Joseph Smith's speech pattern and not evidence of antiquity. They cite chiasmus in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Moses which were not translated from an ancient text as evidence.
Critics claim that language patterns in the Book of Mormon indicate that it is merely a repetition of rhetorical patterns found in the Old Testament. They point out that the Book of Mormon contains many words and phrases that are not consistent with the time frame or location of the stories included in the book.
Some critics theorize that Smith derived the account of the golden plates from treasure-hunting stories of William Kidd. Critics base this theory on the similarity of the names from Smith's account—Moroni and Cumorah—to the location Moroni, Comoros, related to Kidd's hunt for treasure. Apologists argue that it was unlikely that Smith had access to this material since at the time of the writing and publishing of the Book of Mormon his family were living in backwoods America, were very poor and there was no public library available to read such a book.
The only thing Joseph Smith ever said about the translation process was "through the medium of the urim and thummim I translated the record, by the gift and power of God." Martin Harris, Joseph's second scribe, and David Whitmer, a witness of Joseph translating the plates to Oliver Cowdery, both describe the process as an exact word-for-word translation.
Modern LDS scholars tend to fall into two schools: tight control and loose control. Those who believe in tight control interpretation believe Joseph had very little leeway in the words used in dictating the Book of Mormon (but without being restricted to exact word-for-word). Those who believed in loose control interpretation believe that "'ideas were revealed to Joseph Smith' and he put them 'into his own language.'"
The significance of the translation process is how errors in the text are defended.
The Book of Mormon claims to be the original writings of Nephite leaders in ancient America, but it contains extensive quotation of the 17th century edition of the King James Bible (KJV) and the Deuterocanonical books, which Joseph Smith's bible had as well. Furthermore, the language of the Book of Mormon mimics the Elizabethan English used in the KJV with 19th century English mixed into it.
Indeed, there are numerous cases where the Nephite writers mimic wording from the New Testament—a document to which they had no access. Below are five examples out of a list of 400 examples created by Jerald and Sandra Tanner:
|Book of Mormon Text||KJV Text|
|"the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world (2 Nephi 9:18)||"the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34)|
|"he judgeth, and his judgment is just" (Mosiah 3:18)||"I judge: and my judgment is just" (John 5:30)|
|"he who is filthy shall remain in his filthiness" (Alma 7:21)||"he which is filthy, let him be filthy still" (Revelation 22:11)|
|"that one man should perish than that a nation should...perish in unbelief (1 Nephi 4:13)||"that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50)|
|"the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire" (3 Nephi 7:8)||"the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:22)|
Here are some parallels with the Deuterocanonical Books and the Book of Mormon. In particular, 2 Maccabees includes the name "Nephi". Examples of purported parallels include:
|Deuterocanonical||Book of Mormon (1830)|
|"We will assay to abridge in one volume.... labouring to follow the rules of an abridgment.... But to use brevity ... is to be granted to him that will make an abridgement." (2 Maccabees 2:25-31)||"I make an abridgement of the record ... after I have abridged the record.... I had made an abridgement from the plates of Nephi.... I write a small abridgement." (1 Nephi 1:17, Words of Mormon 3, 5:9)|
|"They commanded that this writing should be put in tables of brass, and that they should be set ... in a conspicuous place; Also that the copies thereof should be laid up in the treasury" (1 Maccabees 14:48-49)||"And I commanded him ... that he should go with me into the treasury ... I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass" (1 Nephi 4:20,24)|
|"Then the king, in closing the place, made it holy ... many men call it Nephi". (2 Maccabees 1:34,36)||"And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore we did call it Nephi". (2 Nephi 5:8)|
|"And it came to pass ... I dreamed a dream by night" (2 Esdras 13:1)||"And it came to pass ... Behold, I have dreamed a dream" (1 Nephi 8:2)|
The names in the Book of Mormon can be interpreted as problematic. Critics believe Joseph Smith came up with all the names, noting that Joseph owned a King James Bible with a table listing all the names used in the Bible. Many Book of Mormon names are either biblical, formed from a rhyming pattern, changed by a prefix or suffix, or Greek in etymology. Furthermore, Jaredites and Nephites shared names despite the Jaradites being of a different time, place, and language than the Nephites. Lastly, some people would occasionally name their sons after their fathers, something not practiced in antiquity.
Critics discredit the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon. They note various issues, including anachronisms and lack of archaeological and genetic evidence.
Critics point out that the Book of Mormon contains references to various plants and animals (horses, swine, etc.) and technologies (chariots, steel, etc.) that did not exist in the Americas at the time of the story.
Apologists offer varying views on these anachronisms, typically countering them in one of two ways. One claim is that archaeological evidence may exist that has not yet been found. Another is that Joseph Smith used English words in a generic way, sometimes referring to an item other than that which the direct English word would imply.
|Cimeter (interpreted as Scimitar)||Mosiah 9:16||And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle. (See also Enos 1:20; Mosiah 10:8; Alma 2:12; 27:29; 43:18, 20, 37; 44:8; 60:2; Heaman 1:14)||Scimitars (curved swords) did not exist until the 500's.||200-187 B.C.|
|Elephants||Ether 9:19||And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.||Elephants did not exist in America at the time of Ether.|
|Horses||1 Nephi 18:25||And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper. (Horses see 2 Nephi 12:7; 2 Nephi 15:28; Enos 1:21; Alma 18:9, 10,12; 20:6; 3 Nephi 3:22; 4:4; 6:1; 21:14; Ether 9:19; )||Horses on the American continent died out in the Pleistocene and were not reintroduced until the 16th century.||590-589 B.C|
|Steel||1 Nephi 4:9||And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel. (See also 1 Neph 16:18; 2 Nephi 5:15; Jarom 1:8; Ether 7:9)||The Jews did not have steel at the time of this event. Steel was not produced until the invention of Wootz steel in India around the 6th century. Steel did not arrive abroad until the Sri Lankans exported Seric Iron to the Romans, Egyptians, Chinese and Arabs by 500 BC||600-592 B.C.|
|Silk||Alma 4:6||And it came to pass in the eighth year of the reign of the judges, that the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen, and because of their many flocks and herds, and their gold and their silver, and all manner of precious things, which they had obtained by their industry; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel.||The Jews did not have silk at that time.||86-83 B.C.|
|Wheat & Barley||Mosiah 9:9||And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds: with seeds of corn and of wheat and of barley....||Wheat and barley were brought to America by Europeans.||About 200–187 B.C.|
|Sheep||Ether 9:18||and also all manner of cattle, of oxen and cows, and of sheep and of swine and of goats....||Europeans brought sheep to America.||About 2200-600 B.C.|
|Goats||1 Ne. 18:25||both the cow and the ox and the ass and the horse and the goat and the wild goat....||Europeans introduced the first domesticated goats to America.|
|Cattle and Cows||Ether 9:18||and also all manner of cattle, of oxen and cows, and of sheep and of swine and of goats....||There is no evidence that Old World cattle (members of the genus Bos) inhabited the New World prior to European contact in the 17th century AD.|
|Swine||Ether 9:18||and also all manner of cattle, of oxen and cows, and of sheep and of swine and of goats....||Europeans brought the first swine to America.|
|Jeremiah in Prison||1 Ne. 7:14||...and Jeremiah have they cast into prison...||Nephi says Jeremiah was imprisoned sometime before the 8th year of the reign of Zedekiah. However, the Bible does not mention Jeremiah being imprisoned before the 10th year of the reign of Zedekiah.|
|Quoting of Second Isaiah||2 Ne. 7:1||Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away or have I cast thee off forever...||Modern scholars believe Isaiah chapters 40-66 were written during the Babylonian Captivity between 586 B.C. and 538 B.C. Lehi would not have had access to these chapters since he left for the New World around 600 B.C.|
|Apparent Quoting of the New Testament||1 Nephi 22:17||shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:15)||Paul did not write this epistle for another 600 years after Nephi's death.|
The Book of Mormon is held by Mormons to be a historical account of actual peoples living in the Americas. It follows to reason then that evidence of their inhabitance exists. To date, no such evidence has been found. There have been no artifacts of any kind found validating the Book of Mormon, nor any other archeological evidence.
Critics point out that there are many inconsistencies and implausibilities in the story of the Israelites coming from the Mid-East to the Americas, and in the geographical descriptions of the lands in the Americas in which the stories take place. Scholars currently have no definitive location for the Book of Mormon setting, but many believe that Mesoamerica is the location.
Native Americans and genetics
The Book of Mormon suggests that the Native Americans are descended from people who came to the Americas by boat from the Middle East. However, scientists have used techniques involving genetic markers to conclude that Native American genes are East Asian and not Middle Eastern in origin.
Apologists argue that 1) not all Native Americans are Lamanite and 2) the Middle Eastern genes in Native Americans who are Lamanite may have been diluted beyond what can now be detected or lost in time through genetic shifts such as founder effect, bottleneck effect, genetic drift, or admixture.
Some evidence possibly supports DNA relics in genes among Native Americans from areas of central North America originating from European ancestry as early as 15,000 years ago, although this would be much too early for the timescale presented in the Book Of Mormon.
Population size and the Book of Mormon
Critics challenge the viability of the population size and growth of the Book of Mormon people. M. T. Lamb may have been the very first critic to suggest that the Book of Mormon has an unrealistic population growth rate. Modern studies on population size and growth have been done by John Kunich and FARMS writer James Smith. Kunich's analysis agrees with Lamb's that the Book of Mormon presents an unrealistic growth rate for the population, but Smith disagrees, and says that the growth rate is realistic.
Relation to the Book of Abraham
Critics point out that Joseph Smith also translated the Book of Abraham. Unlike the Book of Mormon, fragments of the documents from which Smith translated the Book of Abraham are available for inspection; Egyptologists find no resemblance between the original text and Smith's translation.
Supporters point out that the Church has never claimed that the fragments of papyri which include facsimile 1, 2, and 3 are where Joseph Smith obtained his material for the Book of Abraham. These fragments are from the Egyptian Book of the Dead which was just one of the scrolls from Egypt that Joseph Smith had in his possession. When these fragments were discovered in the Metropolitan Museum many years ago, Hugh Nibley wrote a book called "The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, An Ancient Egyptian Endowment" showing how the fragments that had been discovered had nothing to do with the Book of Abraham but everything to do with Egyptian funeral texts from "The Book of the Dead".
Though most changes are small spelling and grammar corrections, critics claim that even these are significant in light of Smith's claims of divine inspiration. Critics assert that some of these changes were systematic attempts to hide the book's flaws.
- Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon
- Criticism of Mormon sacred texts
- Criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Palmer, Grant H. (2002). An insider's view of Mormon origins ([Nachdr.] ed.). Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 1560851570.
The evidence indicates that the Book of Mormon is in fact an amalgamation of ideas that were inspired by Joseph's own environment (new) and themes from the Bible (old).
- "Gospel Topics: Book of Mormon Translation", LDS.org, LDS Church
- Brodie, Fawn M. (1995). No man knows my history: the life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet (2. ed., rev.and enl., 1. Vintage books ed.). New York: Vintage Books. p. 78. ISBN 0679730540.
- Wunderli, Earl M. (2013). An imperfect book : what the Book of Mormon tells us about itself. pp. 27–28. ISBN 9781560852308.
- Howe, Eber D (1834), Mormonism Unvailed, Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press, p.
- Spaulding, Solomon (1996), Reeve, Rex C, ed., Manuscript Found: The Complete Original "Spaulding" Manuscript, Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, p. , ISBN 1570082979, OCLC 37469063
- Roper, Matthew (2005), "The Mythical "Manuscript Found"", FARMS Review, Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, BYU, 17 (2): 7–140, retrieved 2014-01-13
- Abanes 2003, p. 72
- Tanner 1987, pp. 73–80
- Abanes 2003, p. 68
- Tanner 1987, pp. 84–85
- Brody, Fawn (1971), No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2nd ed.), New York: Alfred A. Knopf, p.
- Krakauer, Jon (2003), Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, New York: Doubleday, p.
- Roberts, Brigham H. (1992) , Madsen, Brigham D., ed., Studies of the Book of Mormon (2nd ed.), Salt Lake City: Signature Books, pp. 323–344, ISBN 1-56085-027-2, OCLC 26216024
- Millennial Star, 6 Feb. 1882, p. 87
- The Return of Oliver Cowdery - Maxwell Institute Papers
- Facts on the Book of Mormon Witnesses - Part 1: credibility and relevancy of witnesses to the Book of Mormon
- "An Address," 27, in EMD, 5: 194.
- Standard language references such as Peter T. Daniels and William Bright, eds., The World's Writing Systems (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996) (990 pages); David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (Cambridge University Press, 1997); and Roger D. Woodard, ed., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2004) (1162 pages) contain no reference to "reformed Egyptian." "Reformed Egyptian" is also ignored in Andrew Robinson, Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002), although it is mentioned in Stephen Williams, Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991). On their website, Bad Archaeology, two British archaeologists, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Dames Doeser, say "The only writing systems to have been recognised in the Americas are those used by the Maya and the Aztecs, neither of which resembles Egyptian hieroglyphs, although Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, produced a scrap of papyrus containing hieroglyphs he claimed to be a Reformed Egyptian text written by the Patriarch Abraham." Bad Archaeology
- Nibley, Hugh. Teachings of the Book of Mormon. p. 13. ISBN 9781621081050.
And at the very same time, the priests who used to be in the former royal court at Napata fled farther to Meroe. There they produced a new type of Egyptian at this time which was Meroitic (I've got a picture of it here). When you compare the Anthon transcripts with Meroitic, it's very impressive. In fact, Brother Bushman back at Brown University (which is one of the four universities in the country where Egyptian has always been a big thing), showed them the Anthon transcript, and Parker immediately recognized them as Meroitic. He said, "They're the closest thing you can get to Meroitic." ... This is the new Egyptian which was invented way up the Nile, way up in Meroe, which is even south of Napata. That's the Nubian kingdom. It's very interesting that so many Book of Mormon names come from way up there.
- Roberts, Brigham H. (1992). Madsen, Brigham, ed. Studies of the Book of Mormon (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City: Signature Books. pp. 63–94. ISBN 1560850272.
- Nibley, Hugh; Rhodes, Michael D; Lyon, Michael P (2009), One Eternal Round, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, pp. 112–113, ISBN 9781606412374, OCLC 465330437
- Lowe, Bob (1998), "A Brief History of Palmyra: 1900's", PalmyraNY.com, Town & Village of Palmyra, NY,
In 1899, the Palmyra King’s Daughters Free Library was begun as a reading room. Two years later (1901) the library was chartered as a lending library and has remained so until the present.
- Wunderli, Earl M. (2013). An imperfect book : what the Book of Mormon tells us about itself. Signature Books. p. 23. ISBN 9781560852308.
- Wunderli, Earl M. (2013). An imperfect book : what the Book of Mormon tells us about itself. pp. 34–35. ISBN 9781560852308.
Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.
- Wunderli, Earl M. (2013). An imperfect book : what the Book of Mormon tells us about itself. p. 37. ISBN 9781560852308.
- Walters, Wesley (1990). The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon. Utah Lighthouse Ministry.
- Brodie, Fawn M. (1995). No man knows my history : the life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet (2. ed., rev.and enl., 1. Vintage books ed.). New York: Vintage Books. p. 58. ISBN 0679730540.
- Tanner, Jerald; Tanner, Sandra. The Case Against Mormonism. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 87–102.
- Abanes 2003, p. 71
- Tanner 1987, pp. 72–73
- Tanner 1987, pp. 95
- Walters, Wesley. The Use of the Old Testament in the Book of Mormon. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. p. 18.
- Wunderli, Earl M. (2013). An imperfect book : what the Book of Mormon tells us about itself. p. 158. ISBN 9781560852308.
- B.H. Roberts noted: "The word [cimiter] is of oriental and uncertain origin and appears in various forms. How it came to be introduced into the speech and writings of the Nephites, and how not used in the other Hebrew literature at an earlier date, is so far as I know, unaccountable. The earliest use of the word I have found is in Gibbon, where referring to the alleged incident of finding the sword of Mars for Attila, he there calls that sword of Mars "cimiter"; but that was about 450 A.D." - from Roberts, B.H.; Studies of the Book of Mormon; Signature Books; Salt Lake City; Second Edition; 1992; page 112.
- Diamond 1999
- Sharon Levy, "Mammoth Mystery, Did Climate Changes Wipe Out North America’s Giant Mammals, Or Did Our Stone Age Ancestors Hunt Them To Extinction?, Onearth, winter 2006, pp15-19
- R. Dale Guthrie, New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions, Nature 441 (11 May 2006), 207-209.
- Editors of the Book of Mormon have dated this comment to between 600 B.C. and 592 B.C. (see the heading to 1 Nephi chapter 7), with the first year of the reign of Zedekiah being dated to 600 B.C.
- Jeremiah 32:1-2
- Tanner, Jerald; Tanner, Sandra. Archaeology and the Book of Mormon. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. p. 64.
Mormon archaeologists are still unable to furnish any real proof that the Nephites ever existed.
- Meldrum, D. Jeffrey; Stephens, Trent. Who are the children of Lehi? DNA and the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books. ISBN 9781589581296.
- See http://www.dnalc.org/view/15188-Native-American-haplogroups-European-lineage-Douglas-Wallace.html
- Metcalfe, Edited by Brent Lee (1993). New approaches to the Book of Mormon : explorations in critical methodology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. p. 251. ISBN 1560850175.
- Metcalfe, Brent (1993). New approaches to the Book of Mormon : explorations in critical methodology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. pp. 231–267. ISBN 1560850175.
- Reynolds, edited by Noel B. (1997). Book of Mormon authorship revisited : the evidence for ancient origins. Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. pp. 255–293. ISBN 093489325X.
- Metcalfe, Edited by Brent Lee (1993). New approaches to the Book of Mormon : explorations in critical methodology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. p. 259. ISBN 1560850175.
- Reynolds, edited by Noel B. (1997). Book of Mormon authorship revisited : the evidence for ancient origins. Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. p. 287. ISBN 093489325X.
- Larson, Charles M. (1992). By his own hand upon papyrus : a new look at the joseph smith papyri. (Rev. ed., 2. print ed.). [S.l.]: Inst For Religious. ISBN 0962096326.
- Abanes 2003, p. 73
- Beckwith, Francis (2002), The New Mormon Challenge, Zondervan, pp. 367–396, ISBN 0-310-23194-9
- Cowan, Marvin (1997), Mormon Claims Answered (2nd ed.), M.W. Cowan, ASIN B0006E7Z2G
- There have been numerous changes to the text of the Book of Mormon between the 1830 edition and modern LDS editions, almost four thousand changes according to one count by Jerald and Sandra Tanner; see: Tanner 1996, Introduction.
- The majority of these changes are spelling and grammar corrections; see: "All About Mormons: Changes to the Book of Mormon", LightPlanet.com, Russell Anderson.
- Critics claim that even changes in spelling and grammar are important when considering the claims concerning the translation which were made by Joseph Smith and the witnesses to the book. Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon was "the most correct of any book on earth," and Martin Harris said that the words which appeared on the seer stone would not disappear until they were correctly written; see: Tanner 1980, p. 132.
- Some critics claim that some revisions are systematic attempts to remove evidence that Joseph Smith fabricated the Book of Mormon, and other revisions were made to hide embarrassing aspects of the church's past; see: Abanes 2003, pp. 59–80.
- Tanner 1987, pp. 50–96
- Abanes, Richard (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, Thunder's Mouth Press, ISBN 1-56858-283-8
- Cowdrey, Wayne L; Davis, Howard A; Vanik, Arthur (2005). Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? The Spalding Enigma. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House. ISBN 0-7586-0527-7..
- Smith, Andrew F. (1971), The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, p. 141, ISBN 978-0-252-02282-1.
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1980), The Changing World of Mormonism, Moody Press, ISBN 0-8024-1234-3, OCLC 5239408. Note that this work is a condensed revision of Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?.
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987) , Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? (self published) (5th ed.), Utah Lighthouse Ministry, ISBN 9993074438, OCLC 17243674.
- Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1996), "Introduction", 3913 Changes in the Book of Mormon (self published), Utah Lighthouse Ministry, OCLC 3906389.
- Wymetal, Wilhelm Ritter von (1886), Joseph Smith, the Prophet, His Family, and His Friends: A Study Based on Facts and Documents, Salt Lake City, UT: Tribune Printing and Publishing Company, pp. 60–61.
- Tvedtnes, John A. (2010), "Was Joseph Smith Guilty of Plagiarism?", FARMS Review, Maxwell Institute, 22 (1)
- Twain, Mark (1872), "Chapter XVI: The Mormon Bible—Proofs of its Divinity—Plagiarism of its Authors—Story of Nephi—Wonderful Battle—Kilkenny Cats Outdone", Roughing It
- Palmer, Grant H. (2002), An Insider's View of Mormon Origins