Book of Mormon Evidences? B E W A R E !
I recently came across an article by Jeff Lindsay (Url below) that presents what sounds like some compelling evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Though I could give a point-by-point critique of it, I won't at this point. Two basic comments should suffice for now.
First, a specific example: Jeff would like us to believe that since there have been artifacts with Hieratic Egyptian on them found by archaeologists, that means "Reformed Egyptian" exists. He doesn't say it in those words, but that is the idea. You figure it out. I don't buy it. When a genuine ancient document is discovered, be it the Book of Mormon or some other item, and it is written in "Reformed Egyptian"...then I will believe the language existed. Hieratic Egyptian does not equal Reformed Egyptian - we have samples of both and they are not the same.
Second, the heart of the matter. Jeff states that perhaps the most compelling evidence he has found is that the Book of Mormon's description of the Arabian Peninsula at the time Nephi and his family began their travels fits with the real geography of the time based on recent findings about that area. And I say that this may be true. (I also would suggest all the evidence is not in on the matter of how much info the real author of the Book might have had access to.) But even if he had none on the natural level...that is not the issue.
We are dealing with a book that claims to have been written SUPERNATURALLY. It also claims to be in agreement with the Bible, which indicates that there are two primary sources of power in the supernatural world. So the question is, which source of power wrote the Book of Mormon? The fact is, Satan and his demons would know what the geography of the Arabian peninsula was thousands of years ago. The fact is too, there are other writings of a religious nature written by demons or evil spirits (that judgment call based on Biblical principles and truths). The phenomenon of automatic handwriting existed long ago, and has been expanded in the recent decades by the addition of automatic typing. Check your search engine on line for "The Urantia Book", and you will see a book that is of a religious nature, claims to have come from some beings no longer alive, and yet does not support the Biblical view of Jesus Christ and salvation. I know of a woman (can't remember the last name; first name Marilyn) who wrote some best sellers perhaps in the 70's by means of automatic typing via a "spirit guide." But the themes were new age... UFOs having people in them who want to take over in us, for our own good, but there was no identification of these beings with God or Christ or the Holy Spirit or angels. Sounds like evil spirit control to me...
If Jeff's "evidence" shows anything, it is that we need to BEWARE of this book because it fits the above pattern. See my pages on "Facts and Feelings: Evaluating the Book of Mormon" for a whole LOT of evidence that the book does NOT meet the BIBLICAL tests that we should be applying to it to determine if it is from God. Evil spirits know history; they don't know the future. And I also have on line a list of the prophecies of Joseph Smith that failed.
There are some things in the Book of Mormon that fit with the Bible because I believe the author wanted it to look like the Bible. Satan will tell you 9 truths if he can accomplish his purpose by the 10th (false) statement. And that is the case with the Book of Mormon, and the 10th statement is the LDS plan of salvation. When God says, "THIS is the key to the gate of heaven"...and the LDS say, "NO....THIS OTHER KEY is the right one"...there is a major problem. The Bible indicates we enter the presence of God (like the LDS Celestial glory) by GRACE through FAITH in the blood sacrifice of Christ...period. The LDS indicate that it is gained by FAITH in Christ (his ability to help us measure up; not faith in the shed blood as sufficient) plus our works/obedience (and that nullifies the concept of grace). These are two opposite plans...conditional faith in the blood...no grace until you qualify, which means... no grace. No matter how much truth or good or even supernatural goings on exist in Mormonism, when it comes to eternity, its plan will lead those who follow it to the Lake of Fire, for its redefinition of grace puts it under the curse of Galatians 1.