‘Beware of false prophets’, Matt. 7. 15.
The book of Mormon is a book, written in the English language that claims to be a translation of an original written between B.C. 600 and A.D. 421.
First, we ask, where are the documents in the original language from which the English translation of the Book of Mormon was made? They do not exist! Confronted with this amazing fact we are fobbed off with the tale that an angel took them to heaven, (preface to the Book of Mormon). In contrast, copies of all parts of the Bible in the original languages have come down to us by the hundreds. For example, the Dead Sea scrolls provided copies in Hebrew of parts of all the Old Testament books, except Esther, which are a thousand years older than previous copies. Over the centuries a great scholastic apparatus has been built up to correlate these copies of Scripture to produce accurate text of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages. In the case of the Book of Mormon such a linguistic apparatus is non-existent.
Second, we must ask in which language was the original of the Book of Mormon written? We are informed that it was written in reformed Egyptian (The Book of Mormon, Mormon 9. 32). No such language has ever existed! No documents or monuments have ever used it. It is unknown to the scholarly world. No word, or syllable, or letter of it is to be found anywhere. In contrast, we know that the Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Chaldae for the Old Testament, and in Greek for the New Testament. These are historical languages that have grammars and lexicons available for all to study and use. The Bible originated in known languages, but the Book of Mormon claims an original in a language that never was.
Third, the Book of Mormon claims to speak of historical events in the North American continent. So it names nations, civilisations, places, events, dates and all the paraphernalia of human society. In all the historical, and archeological researches made to corroborate these not a shred of evidence has been discovered to substantiate any thing. It is all fictitious! In contrast, the social background of the Bible is confirmed by history and archeology. This history of the peoples, places and events of the Bible can be found in hundreds of books.
As the Book of Mormon has no historical foundation, no original documents and no known language, it is shown to be nothing more than a nineteenth century ‘novel’. Whether Joseph Smith wrote the ‘novel’ or copied it from a previous ‘novel’ is irrelevant to the fact that the Book of Mormon is merely a fantastic ‘novel’. As such its divine authority is nil.
Finally, the Book of Mormon perpetuates a gigantic anachronistic blunder. While claiming to be written between B.C. 600 and A.D. 421, it quotes extensively from the Bible known to the world as the Authorised Version of A.D. 1611!