Episode 65

Part 3: Textual Analysis Dismantles Book of Mormon Authenticity w/ Dr. John Lundwall

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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About your hosts

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Rebecca Bibliotheca

Rebecca Bibliotheca is a mother or three boys, co-founder of "The Good Book Club," a virtual reading group for post and nuanced Mormons, cohost of "Mormon Media Reviews," and leader of the "Mormon Stories Book Club." She has a Masters of Library and Information Science from BYU and worked for many years at the BYU Library. She and her husband, Tom, also founded a youth theater program that is in its 19th year. Rebecca loves the theater, reading, film, spending times outdoors, church watching and iced coffee!
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Landon Brophy

Landon Brophy is the proud father of four children, two grandchildren, three ATVs and a boat. He's a former military officer, the co-founder of The Good Book Club, a reading group for post and nuanced Mormons, ann international manager for a global defense contractor, and a worldwide traveler. He and his wife founded "Utah Wanderers," an online travel guide to exploring Utah. Landon loves the outdoors, ATVing, boating, flying, reading, observing the "ongoing restoration" and second Saturdays!