In episode three of this series, Dr. John Knight Lundwall discusses his third thesis, “The text of the Book of Mormon cannot be derived from the description of the gold plates.” Dr. Lundwall re-examines the claim that an ancient, one-thousand-year history was written on a stack of gold plates in an unknown language by looking at the gold plates themselves (as described by witnesses and others). While other critical analysis has been done on this subject, Lundwall reviews the debate and adds some insights of his own.
Specifically, Dr. Lundwall reviews the most common artifacts used by apologists to show writing on metal plates in an ancient Near Eastern or American context, and then shows that every example they use are ritual texts belonging to a different thought-world that this series has highlighted. Instead of supporting the claims of the LDS Church, these examples continue to deconstruct the claims for historicity of the Book of Mormon text.
Finally, Dr. Lundwall discusses the physical properties and measurements of the plates and contrasts that with an analysis of textual density of both ancient examples and modern re-creations. He ends this analysis with a discussion of the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon text, which gives us a description of plates, content, and Joseph Smith’s assumptions about textual density using ancient languages.
Lundwall finishes this podcast with a discussion of several key assumptions Joseph Smith had when constructing the history and text of the Book of Mormon. These assumptions are embedded in the worldview of both the Book of Mormon and Mormonism, and are deeply problematic for claims to historicity and authenticity for the supposed sacred text.
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