Category Archives: Scriptures

Bows, Arrows & the Book of Mormon

This is just a “holder” post for a discussion I was having over whether references to “bows and arrows” in the Book of Mormon should be considered atlals or actual bows. The main argument is over whether there are bows and arrows in the pre-classical period of mesoamerica. A lot of apologetic works have quoted a few articles saying they were. Most of these end up going back to Bill Hamblin’s article “The Bow and Arrow in the Book of Mormon” from the 90’s.

I brought this up in a discussion primarily due to a Book of Mormon Central article on weapons in early Nephite times. While I really like the Book of Mormon Central stuff I was much more mixed about this article due to using art from centuries after the period of the Book of Mormon in question. I think that bows and arrows in pre-Christian Nephite society is perhaps at best controversial. (Roughly 400 BC – 40 BC) As such I think good apologetics should engage with the mainstream views of the data. There was some pushback to this view, mainly based upon a debate over whether there was consensus over the period of the introduction of the bow and arrow in mesoAmerica.
Continue reading Bows, Arrows & the Book of Mormon

Traditions of the Fathers

The first 50 pages of Brant Gardner’s new book Traditions of the Fathers is available at Kofford Books. Brant wrote what I take to be the best commentary on the Book of Mormon as well as the best discussion of the theory of the translation of the book.

This seems more in depth about the history of the Book of Mormon. So much of what’s written about the history takes the narrative as straightforward. It seems like Gardner reads it via more of what I’d call a hermeneutics of suspicion. I don’t necessarily mean he reads it through a Ricouerian lens. Just that he thinks the text is written and transmitted by finite flawed ignorant human beings rather than be “objective history.” That’s important to how we read the text. He also follows Sorenson in trying to apply a more mesoamerican lens to how we read the text.

I’m really looking forward to this book. So check it out.