Does The Book of Mormon Copy The Bible?

I spent some time looking over the Book of Mormon, and although I think the basic story line is kind of simplistic, I think the sermons that are scattered throughout are quite beautiful and insightful. I decided that these sermons are probably what holds the LDS church together. Because the beautiful sermons ring true, I surmised that this is why Mormons believe everything else must be true- even if there is evidence against it. I told my husband that it is too bad that the Book of Mormon isn’t more respected in the world because it does have gorgeous language. I decided that it was disregarded because it was claimed to be a true history. I thought that if Joseph had simply said it was a fictional story it might have become classic literature. My husband was pleased with my assessment.

However, this assessment was dashed. I already had learned that much of the basic outline of the story in the Book of Mormon was taken from The Book of Hebrews and some from the Apocrapha, but I thought the sermons were completely original. Not at all. I learned from the book: An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins that a big chunk of the sermons were taken directly from the KJV Bible and hardly changed at all. Compare the following:

Alma 19:2,5,8-9, 12 to John 11:3-4, 11, 23, 26-27, 39

Mathew 13:3-8 to Alma 32:28-43

Hebrews 3:7-13 to Alma 12:33-36

Hebrews 3:15-18 to Alma 12:37

Hebrews 7:1-4 to Alma 13: 7, 15, 17-19

Heb. 7:22 and 6:19 and 11:8 to Eth 12:4

Moroni just happens to say the exact same thing as Paul on Faith- in the exact same order- compare Paul: 1 Cor 13:2, 4-8 and Moroni 7: 44-46.

Here is more of Moroni copying Paul hundreds of years before Paul was born – (Paul) 1 Cor 12: 4-11 and Moroni 10: 8-17

“We may assume that God reveals similar concepts to different people at different times and that such similarities in theme are to be expected. The lingering question is whether such concepts could be expected to be found in identical sequences of ideas, phrases, and sentences.” Look at the similarities between Paul and Alma’s stories: Both were wicked before their dramatic conversion, both were traveling about persecuting the church when they saw a heavenly vision. Their companions fell to the earth and were unable to understand the voice that spoke. Both were asked in a vision why they persecuted the Lord. Both were struck dumb/blind, became helpless, and were assisted by their companions. They went without food before converting. Both preached the gospel and both performed the same miracle. While preaching, they supported themselves by their own labors. They were both put in prison. After they prayed, an earthquake resulted in their bands being loosed. Both used the same phrases in their preaching.

There are so many other examples, I can’t write them all here- you can read them yourself and get more information from the book: An insider’s View of Mormon Origins by Grant H. Palmer, a three time director of LDS Institutes of Religion in California and Utah, a former instructor at the Church College of New Zealand and an LDS seminary teacher at two Utah locations. He has been active in the Mormon History Association and on the board of directors of the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association. He was the high priest group leader in his ward when he wrote the book.

My husband did find these comparisons to be quite similar and didn’t have a good response.

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9 Responses to Does The Book of Mormon Copy The Bible?

  1. I have not read the books you describe. Even without reading them, I have found similarities between the books that I find disturbing. Others I talk to discount these similarities saying that “of course God repeats himself” or “we obviously weren’t listening the first time” etc. Their worldview won’t allow them to look at the similarities differently. It always comes back to being our (mankinds) fault, it couldn’t be that the books were Josephs creation (rather than an inspired book found in the ground).

  2. BOMC says:

    You still ignore the 20+ witnesses to the translation of the Nephite record, plus 15 witnesses who saw the record, and at least 4 who HEARD THE VOICE OF GOD declare it to be of Him.

    To make the claim Joseph made it up, you MUST find resource for EVERYTHING in that book, since he, in your mind, had to of borrowed ALL ideas from anywhere but the Nephite record.

    TO DATE, no critic has offered a single suggestion where the preaching came from in the Book of Mormon. Until that is done, ANYONE criticizing the Book of Mormon may be fighting AGAINST a PRO-CHRISTIAN book; the ONLY book that confirms the Bible, and the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

    You have never read the Book of Mormon have you? Or asked God if it’s true? Sad, for anyone with discernment knows that Joseph never wrote that Book, nor any of his contemporaries.

    Reg. Palmer, his dishonesty is clear

  3. I don’t think she is saying that everything in the book is borrowed…only that some things are. However, even if only ONE thing is borrowed the whole of it is questionable whether it was borrowed or not. Even if the rest of the book was but was pulled purely from imagination.

  4. BOMC says:

    I’ll save you the trouble of composing a chart comparing the two. If this speaks to you, good luck:

    If you feel the Spirit as Palmer shares his version of “the truth,” by all means come back and testify:

    [audio src="" /]

  5. AB says:

    Try Manuscript Found by Solomon Spalding and see how much remains that isn’t accounted for by other sources aside from the Bible. You could also look into View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith (published in 1823 fairly close to where Joseph Smith lived). Both of these works were created before the Book of Mormon was published or written.

    You could also look into DNA records of Native Americans to see how much ancient Israelite DNA is in their gene pool. You’ll find that 99.4% of the gene pool of Native Americans comes from ancient Siberians (in Russia by the land bridge that connected Russia and North America in ancient times). The other 0.6% comes from Europeans and Africans, and that 0.6% was introduced to the gene pool after 1492 when Christopher Columbus sailed over from Europe (yes, there is technology nowadays to analyze DNA this way). There is no DNA from ancient Israelites in the Native American gene pool. Check out this link if you’re curious:

    The film above will also detail how no archaeological evidence has been found to support any of the Book of Mormon’s claims, even in places where the church has been most sure there should be ancient relics or cities. You also could follow the story of Thomas Ferguson, a Mormon and CIA member, who spent 25 years of his life searching for this evidence and didn’t find anything. Here is another message from the Smithsonian (the world’s largest museum and research complex, often considered to be the best source for archaeological evidence in the world) about this issue:

    If you want further evidence of Joseph Smith being an imposter, research the Book of Abraham. Ancient papyri that were supposedly the book of Abraham in Egyptian that Joseph supposedly “translated” into the scripture accepted by the church today were actually about ancient Egyptian funeral rites. He bought the papyri off of mummified corpses, claiming that they were ancient records written by Abraham.

  6. chris c says:

    I think this problem–one of too many others to comment on–is that you don’t seem to understand the translation process which took place in Joseph’s mind based on Joseph’s vocabulary–not old english, middle english, spanish or german–int o the english phrases in his mind. I’m translating the Iliad right now, so am somewhat familiar with trying to communicate from one ancient culture and language to a modern one– For instace–in the incredible psalm of nephi (describe how that could have possibly be done anyone), he says “O wretched man that I am” (Romans) and later “that giveth to all men liberally” (James). We already know that James was the one scripture Joseph infused himself with–read over and over by his own account–so those were the words in his mind. As to “o wretched man” which actually comes from William tyndale in 1526–65 years before the king james–compare that translation with 100s of more modern ones–in fact no one esle says it as succinctly or better or with as much power. That is the best way to translate, plus, being in the king james–that is in the bible joseph’s mind was flooded with–what words could he use better than Paul’s? Do I think Nephi used the same words of Paul?? I have no idea, but do I think Joseph’s used the very effective words already in his brain cells–absolutely, and it doesn’t bother me at all. The longer sections (Isaiah) –I probably could not make the same argument, but all I am trying to say is translation is very difficult, emotional, sublte–translating “dog” is easy enough, but translating “spiritual things” is far more culturally difficult, and the easy chanted complaints don’t really have an impact–except on you personally of course. If we used Paul’s words (or King James’) all the better. They are beautiful and how could he say them better? Remember we may know where the Sermon on the mount in 3 Nephi came from, but from where came Alma 5, Mosiah 3-5, Jacob 2-3, 2 Nephi 6-10, 1 Nephi 8, 11, 15, Alma 32, Helaman 5 and 14, and on and on and on…
    Finding problems is easy (and any other religion you go to has just as many–even agnosticism, secularism, atheism, let alone “nothing,” protestantism, judaism or catholicism–the same brain which can find issues in one area will find them everywhere…good luck on your search, but don’t settle for any easy answers from one side or the other. Your children could do FAR FAR WORSE that as faithful mormons, even if there are some flaws we don’t seem to want to talk about. Nobody but Jesus was perfect, and if you are seeking perfection, good luck in this world

    • Crystal says:

      It must be mentioned, however, that the portions copied or “recalled” from the KJV contain the exact same errors in grammar and text, even the italicized words are copied over. I haven’t had one person capable of a reasonable explanation for this…

  7. Dan says:

    The book of Mormon does indeed seem to copy the Bible, and it appears as though Joseph Smith may be a false prophet. Since the book has passages the same as Hebrews, 1 Corin. which if book of Mormon were true were written hundreds of years after, it. So the ideas are the same and the words are the same. This is not possible, but be encouraged, if your Mormon “…, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God….(Mark 12:34). However, you must leave Mormonism and accept the Bible only as the word of God it is all that is needed to teach you about salvation. The bible alone brings us to understand the atonement of Jesus Christ for our sins. And let me end this post with Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

  8. Cameron says:

    2 John 1:9-10 …. Those who come to you with a different gospel, do not invite that person to your meeting or home…..

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