Book of Mormon/Archaeology
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This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.
Book of Mormon archaeology
- Critics charge that what is known about ancient American archaeology is not consistent with the Book of Mormon account.
- Sectarian critics often add the claim that the Bible has been "proven" true by archaeology, unlike the Book of Mormon.
- Book of Mormon archaeology compared to that of the Bible—
It is often claimed by other Christians that the Bible is completely supported by archaeological evidence, while the Book of Mormon is supported by none. Neither claim is true. The main article compares and contrasts the archaeological "state of the art" between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. (Link)
- Book of Mormon "anachronisms"—
Critics charge that a specific concept or item was not present in ancient America even though mentioned in the Book of Mormon. However, time and discovery have resulted in greater convergence rather than divergence between the Book of Mormon and what is known about ancient America. (Link)
- Human sacrifice during 4 Nephi time period—Some critics have pointed out that there was human sacrifice taking place in Mesoamerica during the period during which Christ's visit resulted in great peace and righteousness among Book of Mormon peoples. The argument is that Christ destroyed all the wicked cities (3 Ne 8-9) and left the more righteous part of the people. He established his church, which stood up a society of common good and peace that prospered greatly and multiplied across the continents. But there are archeological evidence suggesting the biggest cities practiced human sacrifice and polytheism during the time of great peace. (Link)
- Book of Mormon geography—
Successful archaeology requires an appreciation of how the Book of Mormon situates and relates various places to each other. (Link)
- DNA evidence and the Book of Mormon—
DNA samples taken from modern Native Americans do not match the DNA of modern inhabitants of the Middle East. Critics argue that this means the Book of Mormon's claim that Native Americans are descended from Lehi must be false, and therefore the Book of Mormon is not an ancient record as Joseph Smith claimed. (Link)
- Warfare in the Book of Mormon—
Much of the geographical and cultural information in the Book of Mormon is included in accounts of war. Thus, comparing ancient American and Book of Mormon warfare is enlightening. How does the manner in which war is depicted in the Book of Mormon match up with what is known about ancient American warfare? (Link)
- Thomas Stuart Ferguson—
Thomas Stuart Ferguson went to search for Book of Mormon lands. When he could not confirm their existence, it is said that he lost his belief. Ferguson and the New World Archaeological foundation are often used by critics to demonstrate that there is no "Book of Mormon archaeology." (Link)
- Dee F. Green on Book of Mormon archaeology—
Critics cite a remark from 1969 about Book of Mormon archaeology being non-existent. How do things stand now? (Link)
- Smithsonian statement—
The Smithsonian Institution sends a form letter to those who inquire about their use of the Book of Mormon for archaeological purposes. The National Geographic Society has a similar letter. Critics trot out this letter as proof that the Book of Mormon has no archaeological support and is therefore false. One critic even claims that "generations of youth" in the Church have been taught that the Smithsonian uses the Book of Mormon to guide their research. (Link)
- Hill Cumorah archaeology—
If Mormon chapter 6 is a literal description of the destruction of the Nephites by the Lamanites — approximately 100 thousand were killed by swords and axes — why hasn't any evidence of the battle been found at the site that was traditionally identified as the hill Cumorah in western New York state? If Joseph Smith returned the gold plates to a cave in the Hill Cumorah, why is there no evidence of this cave? (Link)
- Izapa Stella 5 ("Tree of Life" stone)—
Advances in our understanding of Mesoamerican art and iconography have led most LDS researchers with knowledge of the relevant disciplines to be very skeptical about a direct link between the stella and the Book of Mormon. (Link)
Part(s) of this criticism are addressed in a video segment from a forthcoming FAIR production. Click here to see video clips on other topics.