The Book of Mormon, Isaiah and The Dead Sea Scrolls

My husband purchased a DVD about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I think he wanted to watch this DVD with me because he thought it would have something on it that would validate Mormonism. However, after watching it for several hours the only thing that he could come up with was this:

“So they found the book of Isaiah among the Dead Sea Scrolls and it is almost (95%) just like the KJV of the Bible and just like the direct quotes of Isaiah from the Book of Mormon, so the critics who say Jospeh Smith just copied a modern version of the KJV of the Bible are wrong because this ancient text has the same translation.”

However, he missed the biggest problem to Mormonism with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith wrote a different version of the book of Isaiah, which is supposed to be the pure, original translation. In my Book of Mormon in the footnotes for 2 Nephi Chapter 12 it states: Comparison with the King James Bible in English shows that there are differences in more than half of the 433 verses of Isaiah quoted in the Book of Mormon, while about 200 verses have the same wording as KJV.

So, if the Book of Mormon were true than the Dead Seas Scrolls version of Isaiah should match the Book of Mormon version (or at least allude to parts of it), but it doesn’t. It just matches the King James Version translation we have today. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain the oldest copy of the Old Testament ever found and are 1,000 years older than any other original copy (dating before Christ). My point is better explained here.

There is another issue in that Isaiah is said to have had several authors which goes against 1 Nephi 19:23-24, but I will have to look more into that.

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15 Responses to The Book of Mormon, Isaiah and The Dead Sea Scrolls

  1. BOMC says:

    Have you lived the teachings in the Book of Mormon?

    Is there a doctrine in that Book that is heretical?

    If the Holy Book of Mormon is pro-Jesus, and you are found bashing it, which side are you on?

    Have you questioned the Bible in like manner? Are you using a double standard?

    Here are some variables to be aware before judging:

    a. Which version of Isaiah was on the Brass Plates?
    b. Did Nephi make any copying errors when he copied Isaiah?
    c. Who translated the Book of Mormon Isaiah into english? Joseph didn’t, he merely dictated the already translated english. Did that translator, whoever they were make copying errors?
    d. Joseph’s scribes. Did they make errors in recording the Isaiah words that Joseph spoke?
    e. Printer. Did the type-setter make any errors setting the Isaiah type?

    There were at least FIVE opportunities for variations to occur, none of which involving fraud.

    “Of the 478 verses in the Book of Mormon quoted from the book of Isaiah, 201 agree with the King James reading while 207 show variations.”

    Consider the work of pro-researchers and see if bashing the Book of Mormon using the Isaiah card is justified:

    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=2

    • Good Bill says:

      To BOMC: Many of your questions are irrelevant and in some cases illogical, and therefore there’s no point in answering them.

      However, I have to reply to your “variables”, just because the omissions are so glaringly obvious. In answer to “c”, according to JS’s contemporaries, including JS’s wife and at least one scribe, God supposedly translated into English. The words appeared to JS as if on papyrus, right?

      And in regard to “d”, the words supposedly didn’t disappear until the scribe had them right, also according to the mentioned sources.

      Lastly, in regard to “e”, the type setter reported how closely JS watched the whole process. And after it was printed, there was never any mention of any mistakes, as surely there would have been.

      The bottom line is that the BOM is a fraud, and those that truly want to find God must seek Him in spirit and in TRUTH.

    • WSaar says:

      When the missionaries are walking around speaking to people out on the street, why are they not teaching about the magic stone in the hat that Joseph Smith and the witness’s verified that he used?. The church insists that he translated the book of Mormon from the gold plates. But the church is not telling the truth Even the witnesses claimed that the plates were not always available when joseph smith was translating words to them. They verified he would put a stone in a hat, then place his face in the hat, and claimed that he was able to receive words and phrases directly from it . . Why doesn’t the church teach that? . If Emma Smith even claimed that joseph gave them translation in that way, why is the church refuting that? Who is telling the truth here? The true church? Or the true prophet Joseph Smith?. One side can’t be telling the truth. You cannot have two contradictions and both be true. The other contradiction is regarding the Book of Abraham. The “true” church claims it was written by divine inspiration and revelation. That is a contradiction from what Joseph Smith and the early prophets and early church taught. Joseph Smith said nothing of the sort. He said he translated it the conventional way, word for word…..he claimed the writing on the scrolls was written directly by Abraham’s own hand. Who is telling the truth? Why did the church lie to its members and say that the Book of Abraham is inspired by revelation from God, when that is a complete contradiction of the early church, and its true prophet Joseph Smith? I asked some missionaries about this, and they had no answer. They even said they knew nothing about it. How can that be that I know more about it than a missionary?

  2. Jenny says:

    I read this post, saw the above comment, and reread the post. I don’t see anything that would constitute “bashing” the book of Mormon. I see questioning, pondering, trying to figure things out… But not bashing.
    Also in regards to the question “Have you lived the teachings in the Book of Mormon?” That doesn’t even make sense. The teachings that we live as obedient Mormons are either in D&C or have come from the mouth of the Prophets. There is nothing in the BOM about homosexuality, abortion, alcohol use, temples & garments, fast Sunday, tithing settlement, family home evening, or Joseph Smith and his many wives.
    I understand that many TBM’s think that you must be living a sinful life to ever even think of questioning the book of Mormon. So obviously you must be some porn addicted, pot smoking, lesbian atheist if you would take the apostate step as to ask the question “Why is this?”
    OF COURSE she has lived the teachings of the church. Why else would she care so much? Why else would she write a blog about it?

  3. Justin says:

    Go to http://www.mormonthink.com and your eyes will be truly opened.

  4. Ron says:

    Sarah, in 2001, I was reading the Book of Mormon and had one of the most amazing spiritual experiences of my life. A lot of that had to do specifically with the Isaiah in 1st Nephi. It is far to complicated to go into much detail in this note to you. However, I can tell you that I see it differently than anyone I have either met or read the writings of. I have a very unique insight to just exactly what Isaiah’s message is. I want you to know that I know that Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, as written by Nephi, and translated through Joseph Smith is not only true, it was meant for the people of our day, and it is significantly important to the Latter-Day Saints, and a main key to my testimony of the Book of Mormon. If you are interested to know more, I would be happy to speak directly with you.

    • sarah says:

      Ron,

      My husband also had an amazing spiritual experience while reading the Book of Mormon. In fact that is why he is still a believing Mormon despite all of the evidence that proves Mormonism is fraudulent. The problem is that there have been people who have had amazing spiritual experiences meditating, doing drugs, winning a tournament, visiting a spiritual place (like a giant buddha), near death experiences, during sex, reading the Koran, out of body experiences, hearing a heart-warming story (even if not a true story), or about people doing good deeds, etc. My point is that having a spiritual high where you have a shift of consciousness and feel your whole body consumed with love is not uncommon – this is because our brains contain chemicals to create these types of experiences when connected with strong belief about the activity one is engaged in. It is about totally believing in the magic and spiritual significance of the story or activity, etc. Truth comes from reason, not from feelings. If everyone just went by feelings to find truth their would be no science, no justice, no progress and only irrationalism. Feelings are a tool to help us get along, but we were also given a brain so we could direct our feelings toward rational and positive action. Feelings can be dangerous (for example the feelings of nationalism among nazis) or the feelings that make some people cheat on their spouse (but it felt so right!). Feelings can never be used in a court of law as evidence of anything! Feelings also can’t be used to scientifically prove anything. The church teaches us to rely on spiritual experiences to find truth and to ignore common sense and reason. They tell you to be wary of the learned and only look to leaders and feelings to tell you the “truth”. Unfortunately this is also what they tell you in mind-controlling cults.

  5. Ron says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for the reply:) I can see you put a lot of thought and passion into your words. I tend to agree with much of what you said. I first want you to know that this is the first time I have ever done anything like this. I came to this site because I have had a passion for this Isaiah stuff for about 11 years now, and I just wanted to see what might be out there. Interestingly enough, nothing even close to my insight. If you will reread my first comment to you, you will not find anything that suggests that my experience was based on “feelings”. My insight is based on reason and written evidence. It is systematic in its approach. I have not found anything to indicate that what I understand is not absolutely true. To make a long story short, I read 1st Nephi chapter 20 for about 3 weeks straight all day long and deep into the night. It was by doing this that I discovered a “key” that was necessary to understand in order to have the rest of it make any sense. The reason I spent so much time with that chapter was because in 3rd Nephi 23:1 it says,”behold, I say unto you that ye ought to search these things, yea a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently, for great are the words of Isaiah”. When I first read that, I was a little put out because I could never understand a thing the guy was saying, and here it was a commandment to study him. So, after much thought, I started reading from 1st Nephi again, and when I got to chapter 20, I read it over and over and over. It has actually been one of the best and worst things that has ever happened to me. I actually used to wake up quoting Isaiah from a dead sleep. What I understand absolutely blows the idea of several authors to Isaiah right out the window. I am no scholar or greatly educated individual, but I know what I know, and it is amazing to me. If you are of a strong opinion to just say it is a farce, then I am waisting my time and your time. But if not, and you are sincere in wanting to know if it is true, and learn something that you will not learn anywhere else, it will be opened before your very eyes. As I said, If you are interested to know more, I would be happy to speak directly with you. God bless you Sarah!

  6. Jim says:

    Sarah, it sounds like you’ve given an ample amount of time to studying things that prove Mormonism is false. i guess the question I have to ask is if you’ve given at least the same amount of time and effort in finding out if it is true? And doing it in the way that would please the Lord. Prayer, fasting, and study. It’s hard work and we’re expected to do it humbly.
    Yes, there are so many things out there to contradict. It’s really a test of our faith. But when you know the Holy Ghost has truly testified to you of something that is true, then nothing else matters.
    Years ago, when Mark Hoffman came out with his forged papers, it made a lot of people question their beliefs. I was young at the time and in college, and someone wise told me to hold true to my testimony and time would prove all things. It didn’t take long either for him to be proven false.
    Hang in there. It’s not worth giving up the best things in life just because we don’t have all the answers now.

    • sarah says:

      Thank you for your comment Jim. Yes, I gave 35 years of my time to studying and praying about Mormonism while I was a believing Mormon, far more than I have spent researching the problems which has only been a few years. The truth is that you do not know what pleases the Lord or if there really is a Lord, or if there is a test, you are just copying what others have told you. The truth is that prayer, fasting and study are not a way to find truth. If they were, than that would be the method scientists would use to find out facts. Prayer, study of prescribed material, fasting (and testimonials) can be used as a way to manipulate emotions and feelings. There is evidence that this works by simply looking at all other religions and cults with strong adherents. They KNOW they are right based on feelings and emotion indoctrinated into them through teachings, prayer, fasting and study of their specific doctrines. You might feel that you know that your version of feelings and emotions are the right ones, and the other people have the wrong feelings and that you have had overwhelming emotions that make you know the truth, but many other people say the same thing. It doesn’t mean anything. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Santa Clause was real when I was 5, it didn’t make it true. In addition, Mormonism does not encompass the best things in life. For me, all of my worst decisions revolved around the influence of Mormonism including (1) not standing up for myself against a bully who tortured me for years as a child, but trying to turn the other cheek and ignore and forgive (2) being judgmental towards others, preachy, feeling superior and excluding people who didn’t live like I thought they should (3) wasting huge amounts of time wondering why I was so unhappy when I had the church and went to the temple so frequently (4) getting married too young and having lots of kids right away when we didn’t have any money leading to misery and depression (5) feeling excruciating pain and suffering when my husband and children did not follow all the Mormon rules. It is interesting how all my pain and suffering over other people’s behavior disappeared magically when I no longer thought what they were doing was a sin, but rather just normal behavior that most of the population does (occasional drinking at a dinner out, rated R movies, not attending church every week) and does not make them bad. In fact my husband and children are successful, kind, hard-working, loving, devoted, etc. but all I could see were the flaws. (BTW my husband is still a believer even though he doesn’t follow the rules, but my older children are not). When I was finally free to let go of other people’s behavior and let them live how they wanted to live and let go of my own personal judgment and could make the choices I wanted to make and not the misguided ones my church told me to do, I felt free and happy for the first time in my life.

  7. Rey says:

    Hi Sarah, Please visit http://www.iglesianicristo.net and let me know what you think.

  8. Don says:

    I find you very intellectually shallow. I would not follow what you believe because of your intellect if you were advocating Mormonism either. You should stop blogging, which you have appeared to do. Thank you.

  9. mike says:

    all that the Hoffman incident showed was that the church was wiling to buy something and hide it if it was detrimental to the status quo. If they were really prophets how come they could not tell he was a forger ?

  10. EG says:

    Every negative thing said about the Book of Mormon, claims of Joseph Smith, doctrines, can be used against any religion.
    And atheists do use the same criticisms against mainstream Christianity that critics use against the LDS religion. So LDS critics are using a double standard which makes them hypocrites.
    There is nothing wrong with questioning, the problem is how one questions and the motive and sincerity behind it.

    I had issues with the LDS religion. I studied the doctrine and compared it to every other religion and the Bible and other ancient scriptural writings. I am not the only person who has done this, and I did not do it to prove the LDS wrong or out of anger and ill will.

    I found that the LDS religion is the only religion that follows and teaches both the Old and New Testaments. And its doctrines are closer to the NT than any other religion. It took two years for me to study and compare.

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