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The Book of Mormon

Book of MormonThe Book of Mormon (properly titled The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ) is a sacred book of scripture that testifies of Jesus Christ and explains the Lord’s dealings with His people in the ancient Americas. Latter-day Saints believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and a companion testament to the Holy Bible. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English in the 1820s, and others have since translated the English version into dozens of languages. The book contains a promise that whoever reads it sincerely, ponders its contents and asks God if it is true will receive that knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Read more)

For a FREE COPY of the Book of Mormon, click here.

Book of Mormon Research

This site focuses on the Book of Mormon and it features many articles written by John A. Tvedtnes. It also includes basic information about beliefs of the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and other interesting topics.

John A. Tvedtnes (MA in Linguistics and MA in Middle East Studies (Hebrew), University of Utah) retired in 2007 as a senior resident scholar with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. He has taught at the University of Utah and at the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies and the BYU Salt Lake Center and has lectured in Israel and the United States. At this writing, he has authored 10 books and more than 300 articles. (Read More)

Hebrew in the Book of Mormon NEW!

In 2010, I was asked to write a couple of articles on the Book of Mormon for a new Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics being prepared by the reknowned scholarly publishing house of E. J. Brill in Leiden, Netherlands. The four-volume set was published in 2013. (Read More)

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

One of the most popular books in the world, after the Bible, is the Book of Mormon.  Since it was first published in 1830, 78 million copies have been published in 94 languages.  More than four million copies were distributed during 1997. (Read more)

The Book of Mormon Helps Us Understand the Bible

One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to lend support to the Bible.  About four centuries after the coming of Jesus Christ to visit the Nephites in the New World, Mormon wrote, “this [the Book of Mormon] is written for the intent that ye may believe that [the Bible]; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also” (Mormon 7:9). (Read more)

The Book of Mormon and Other Ancient Documents

When the Book of Mormon was first published in English in 1830, it seemed rather an anomaly, despite its biblical tone.  No one had ever heard of ancient books being written on metallic plates and hidden in stone boxes.  Moreover, it claimed to have been originally written in a “reformed Egyptian” script by ancient Israelites.  Critics were quick to ridicule these ideas.  But all that changed in the mid-twentieth century. (Read more)

Articles about the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Articles by John A. Tvedtnes

Book of Mormon Criticisms

 

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Did Joseph Smith Write the Book of Mormon?”

 

Metal Records and Stone Boxes NEW!

Thousands of metal records have been found throughout the world, most of them in the Mediterranean region from which Book of Mormon peoples originated. It will take a long time to post all of the information on hand, so please visit often.

To report problems or errors with this web site or its contents, contact john@bookofmormonresearch.org.

10 Responses to “Index”

  1. Teryl Gardner says:

    John – I periodically read where an LDS scholar “admits” that Joseph Smith used the King James Bible in his translation of the Book of Mormon. This idea opposes Emma’s testimony that Joseph did not have any materials as he dictated the text. I have developed a theory regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon, and I wonder if it fits well with what we know of it.

    First of all, I do not believe in “hocus pocus” miracles. I do not believe, for example, that God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Perhaps it was more like when I said, “Let there be a house on this vacant lot,” and there was a house. The glory of God is intelligence, not magic.

    If Joseph looked at the Urim and Thummim or the seer stone and the translation appeared, it must be because some intelligent being, perhaps Mormon or Moroni, prepared the translation and made a conscious decision to render it in Old English. They certainly had plenty of time to do it. I think that this more naturalistic view of miracles may resolve some problems in the translation theories.

    One other problem in the translation process is the account of Oliver Cowdery’s attempt to translate. I can’t believe that the Lord intended either Joseph or Oliver to pray about the meaning of each word or phrase and expect a burning or a stupor to get the translation right. It almost sounds like Morse Code! Can a person’s spirit really respond that fast to changes in spiritual feelings? I understand that actual words appeared that Joseph read.

    I believe that after Oliver failed, the Lord counseled him to more seriously consider his intent before asking Him about it. Oliver saw Joseph translating, and he wanted to try it. He took the easy path, apparently asking Joseph if it was OK, and then asking the Lord to make the words appear. It seems that the Lord wanted Oliver to discover His will for himself, through his own effort. In a way, Oliver’s failure parallels Joseph’s failure to translate after he had a disagreement with Emma. In both instances, the translator gave too little attention to the divine element of the translation process, and spiritual preparation. The Lord did not give Oliver a second chance, perhaps because the lesson had been learned, which was the reason for giving His consent for Oliver to try.

    The evidence is that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon without any materials, without even looking at the Gold Plates, without pauses to see what the Bible wording was. According to Royal Skousen, the evidence suggests tight control over the words that Joseph saw and dictated. Since I am not a scholar, nor do I have access to the materials, my question is, does my view that some being prepared the translation, and my interpretation of the Lord’s counsel to Oliver, take care of the apparent problems? Hasn’t anyone else thought that the translation could have been prepared by Mormon or Moroni, and then simply transmitted to the seer stone, or is such an idea viewed as not being serious scholarship?

    Thanks for your time. Teryl Gardner

  2. john says:

    We agree that Jesus is the only one on whom we can rely for salvation. But you seem not to be aware that the Book of Mormon also testifies of Jesus Christ. Technically, there is no such thing as “Mormonism.” We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we acknowledge Christ as the head of our Church. Mormon is the man who, in the late fourth century AD, abridged the records of his people and called it the Book of Mormon. I suggest you read it before you judge it.

  3. Vincent Setterholm says:

    Hello, Mr. Tvedtnes. I recently read your paper on Isaiah Variants in the Book of Mormon and in it you mentioned that your more detailed study has circulated in an unpublished form. Would you be willing to email me a copy? Thanks for the consideration!

    Cheers,
    Vincent Setterholm

    • john says:

      It was formerly circulated by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, but is no longer available. I hope to revise the manuscript, adding new research, and publish it.

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  6. seo says:

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  7. john says:

    The word templum is Latin and refers to sacred space. We have many Latin words in English. The KJV translators used it to denote the sacred building constructed in Jerusalem by Solomon.

  8. john says:

    I read the Book of Mormon many years before the subtitle was added and the contents were the same as now, describing Nephite history and teachings. Where did you come up with the idea that the book itself has changed just because a subtitle was added? You need to read the book!

    There were two varieties of reformed Egyptian at the time Lehi left Jerusalem, One was called by the Greeks hieratic (meaning “priestly”), the other demotic (meaning “popular” (i.e., of the people). Each was a cursive, with demotic being the most cursive. But the Nephites reformed it even further, as Moroni states in Mormon 9:32-34. Again, where are you getting such strange and incorrect ideas?

  9. Sherrie says:

    Just want to add the point that the Bible has changed way more than the Book of Mormon ever has. Don’t know the details on changes in the Book of Mormon, but as I understand it, they were stuff like adding punctuation? Very minor is all I remember from a talk by a stake president who did know a lot about it.

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