This blog is designed to share research and evidences that I find interesting or informative in regards to the Book of Mormon, Bible, and other standard works. I usually focus on the ceremonial ties between the Israelites the Hopi and those found in Mesoamerica or the possible lands of the Book of Mormon.
In The Cavity of a Rock
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Voices from the dust continued...
In January of 2011 I put together a blog post that I entitled "Voices from the Dust". The purpose of this post is to keep adding other voices from the dust that in some way or another add some sort of relevant insight to the Book of Mormon. This post will focus on two more "voices" that shed light on our understanding of the Book of Mormon. The "voices" I will be covering are the Amarna Letters and the Darius Plates.
The Amarna Letters
The Amarna Letters are a group of letters that were written on clay tablets between Egyptian political officials and those of Canaan and Amurru. They are written in Akkadian cuneiform a writing style from Mesopotamia an area that included Babylon an opposing force to that of Egypt. The tablets were found in El Amarna in Egypt and date back to the 14th century BC during the reign of pharaoh Akhenaten (1350s – 1330s BC). The Book of Mormon states that Jesus was "born of Mary, at Jerusalem" which has been a point of much ridicule towards the Book of Mormon since even the most elementary student of the Bible knows that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and not Jerusalem. LDS scholars have advised that the term "land" refers not only to Jerusalem but the surrounding cities or what we would call suburbs in our own day. Nowhere in the Bible does it refer to the "land of Jerusalem" and this was used quite often to criticize the Book of Mormon as well. The Amarna Letters were found around 1887 and date to much earlier than the birth of Jesus as noted above and prove that the term "land of Jerusalem" was a commonly used phrase used to describe the city of Jerusalem as well as the surrounding areas which would include Bethlehem which is only six miles south of Jerusalem. In the Amarna Letters they refer to the "land" of other Canaanite sites as well proving the use of the term "land of" was common in many settings.
The Darius Plates and stone box (Tehran, Iran)
The Darius Plates were discovered in 1933 at the Persian capital of Persepolis (which is Iran) and date between the years 518 to 515 B.C. The plates are made up of one gold and one silver plate also written in cuneiform and were contained in a stone box crafted to fit the plates. The plates are written in three languages (Babylonian, Elamite, and an older form of Persian) and contain Darius l rule over the Persian Empire. Since the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in 1830 critics have declared that the book is a fraud because Joseph Smith stated that he translated from plates of gold. The critics have declared the book a fallacy because it was well known that no ancients kept records on metal plates. In this matter the Darius plates stand as a testimony that indeed the ancients did use metal plates to keep records and they also stored them in a stone box as did Moroni when he stored the gold plates that contain what we know of today as the Book of Mormon.
The Amarna Letters and the Darius Plates along with those from my previous post (the Lachish Letters, the Nag Hammadi Text, The Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Elephantine Papyrus) all in some way or another add their voices from the dust to testify of the validity of the Book of Mormon.