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A Nazarene Looks at the Book of Mormon Part 2: Lack of Torah Knowledge

A Nazarene Looks at the Book of Mormon
Part 2 Lack of Torah Knowledge
By
James Scott Trimm



The Book of Mormon claims that the peoples which it depicts as coming to the new world kept the law of Moses in all things until the time of Messiah's death:

"And we did observe to keep the judgments,
and the statutes, and the commandments
of the Lord in all things according to
the law of Moses"
(2Ne. 5:10)

"...we keep the law of Moses.." (2Ne. 25:24)

"...They observed to keep the law of Moses..." (Jarom 1:5)

"And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks,
that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings
according to the law of Moses;"
(Mosiah 2:3)

...the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord;
and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God,
according to the law of Moses;
for they were taught to keep the law of Moses
until it should be fulfilled.
(Alma 30:3)

But does the Book of Mormon prove true in this regard? Does it stand the test of Torah? Does its author even display and accurate knowledge of Torah?


THE PRIESTHOOD

In the Book of Mormon, during the time period in which its people supposedly "did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses" (2Ne. 5:10), Nephi consecrates his brothers Joseph and Jacob as priests:

And it came to pass that I Nephi,
did consecrate Jacob and Joseph,
that they should be priests and teachers
over the land of my people.
(2Ne. 5:26)

For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph
had been consecrated priests and teachers
of this people, by the hand of Nephi.
(Jacob 1:18)

Now this Jacob and Joseph were both sons of Lehi (1Ne. 18:7; 2Ne. 2:2) and this Lehi was a Josephite (1Ne. 15:12; 19:24; 2Ne. 3:2-5; Jacob 2:5 & Alma 10:3; 26:36). Thus Jacob and Joseph were both from the Tribe of Joseph and NOT from the Tribe of Levi.

But the Torah is very clear. One must be from the Tribe of Levi and a son of Aharon (Aaron) to be consecrated as a priest (Ex. 28:1; Num. 3:5-13; 16:3-10, 40; Num. 18; also Heb. 7:12-14).

So how could Nephi claim that he and his people "did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses" (2Ne. 5:10) when in fact he was consecrating his own Josephite brothers who were not even Levites, much less sons of Aharon to serve as priests?

Obviously the true author of the Book of Mormon was so ignorant of Torah he did not know that Josephites cannot be consecrated as priests.


THE TEMPLE

During this same time period that the Book of Mormon Peoples supposedly "did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses" (2Ne. 5:10) they also supposedly built a Temple "after the manner of Solomon" on the American continent (2Ne. 5:16). In fact they not only built one Temple but they built several. They built temples in "the Land of Nephi" (2Ne 5:8, 16) and in "the Land of Zarahemla" (Mosiah 1:18) and in the "Land Bountiful" (3Nephi 11:1).

However the Torah teaches that a single unique place would be established for the location of the Temple:

...the place which the LORD your God has
chosen to put his name there....
(Deut. 12:21)

...in the place which he shall choose...
(Deut. 16:16)

"His name" in this case refers to the Ark of God "whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwells between the cherubims."(2Sam. 6:2). This single unique place was the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (2Sam. 6; 1Kings 6 & 8). Now let me repeat the Torah is clear that there is to be only one unique location for the Temple and that the one Temple, once that place was chosen, could only be built in that one location.

But the Book of Mormon peoples supposedly built a Temple in "the Land of Nephi" sometime between 588 and 570 BC (2Ne. 5:16) but by 124 BC they had also built another Temple in "the Land of Zarahemla" (Mosiah 1:18) and by about 34 AD they had built another Temple in "The Land Bountiful" (3Ne. 11:1). And lets not forget much of this time overlaps the time from about 460 BC to 70 AD in which the Second Temple stood in the chosen place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.


SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS

According to the Book of Mormon, during this time that the "Book of Mormon Peoples" were keeping "all things according to the law of Moses" (2Ne. 5:10) they were offering sacrifices including "burnt offerings".

"And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks,
that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings
according to the law of Moses;"
(Mosiah 2:3 see also 1Ne. 5:9 & 7:22)

So now we have non-levitical priests officiating sacrifices at a Temple that is not in the chosen location! It just gets deeper and deeper!


CALENDAR

Although its people supposedly kept the Law of Moses until the time of "Christ" the book places the death of "Christ" on the "the first month, on the fourth day" of their calendar (3Ne. 8:5). This is a serious problem for the Book of Mormon. We know from the "New Testament" that Yeshua's death occurred either on Passover or on the day before Passover. Now Passover occurs on the 14th day following the New Moon for the month of Abib. On ANY New Moon based calendar (i.e. any Torah based calendar) the death of Yeshua would take place no earlier than the 13th day of the month. (On any full moon based calendar it would take place within two days of the first day of the month, so this could not even be a lunar based calendar at all). Thus the Book of Mormon People could not have been observing the Biblical calendar.



CONCLUSION

So now lets return to our key passage:

"And we did observe to keep the judgments,
and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord
in all things according to the law of Moses"
(2Ne. 5:10)

Now even if God had told the Book of Mormon peoples to appoint non-levitical priests and build various Temples in locations other then the chosen place at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and even if He told them to conduct sacrifices and offerings there, and even if He had told them to abandon the Biblical calendar.... The Book of Mormon would STILL be TOTALLY dishonest in claiming that they had done "all things according to the law of Moses" (2Ne. 5:10).


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Views: 337

Comment by Barz Ganya on April 28, 2012 at 8:26pm

It is the religion of the Jews, presented by a people apart, and perhaps more faithful than you may learn from this denouncement. Just because thing is hidden from you doesn't make it untrue.

Comment by Joseph S on April 28, 2012 at 8:38pm

Rebels....If these people are from tribes other than from the House of Judah then they were divorced by Yahweh through the prophet Hoseah and can not 'consecrate' anything legitimately. The divorce of the House of Israel (Ephraim-10 tribes) put all of them outside the covenant and so then the heavens were as brass and not even their prayers are heard (In my opinion). Without a covenant these people are now the same (perhaps worse) as the heathen to Yahweh...He does not bless them. To receive blessing from Yahweh (God) one must be in covenant....Today that would be via the Messiah Yahuhsua. To deny Christ as the only begotten Son of Yahweh Elohim and He as the Risen Savior is to deny the covenant He is between us and "God".....and it means that whoever does deny Him is under condemnation as per Paul's observation. The House of Ephraim/Israel 10 tribes did not get a chance to re-enter covenant with Yahweh until His Son was crucified. The condition of both the House of Judah and the House of Israel was such that the people were perishing. The enemies of Christ had seized the temple in Jerusalem and did not even do sacrifices in proper manner so even the Judahites were failing and except for the remnant there would have been no one righteous, as we find in Luke 1 with Zachariah and Elizabeth. It's my guess that there weren't many of them around.

Comment by Barz Ganya on April 28, 2012 at 9:00pm

It was the Levites who were charged with guilt for leading Israel, Judah, Joseph , etc. into idolatry and they shall bear their punishment. Numbers 18:25, Ezek 44:10.

Judah and Ephraim are to be joined together due to the stick of Joseph BOM, and the BIble, Stick of Judah...

Comment by Mikha El on April 28, 2012 at 9:30pm

Numbers 18 doesn't state anything concerning the Levites about leading any one into "idolatry". You need to reread the text.

and...

Ezek 44 isn't stating the entirely of Levites went astray.

Eze 44:15  “But the priests, the Lĕwites, the sons of Tsaḏoq, who guarded the duty of My set-apart place when the children of Yisra’ĕl went astray from Me, they shall draw near to Me to serve Me, and shall stand before Me to bring to Me the fat and the blood,” declares the Master יהוה.

Is this typical of how those promoting the BOM twist scripture in attempt to prove something they promote? Sad, real sad...

Comment by William Rush Dillingham Jr. on April 28, 2012 at 9:46pm

The Book of Mormon does have ONE advantage over the books we "Scripturalists" like to use. It seems that if anything written in the Book of Mormon becomes inconvenient or "politically incorrect," the powers-that-be in Salt Lake City can have some "revelation" and change it!

Comment by michelleannearle(wisdom) on April 30, 2012 at 5:12am

  MAL'AKI (Malachi) 2:1-7 "And now O priests, this command is for you, "If you do not hear, and if you do not take it to heart, to give esteem to My Name," said YHUH of hosts, "I shall send a curse upon you, and I shall curse your blessings. And indeed, I have cursed them, because you do not take it to heart."See, I shall rebuke your seed, and scatter dung before your faces, the dung of your festivals.And you shall be taken away with it."And you shall know that I have sent this command to you, as being My covenant with Lewi," said YHUH of hosts."My covenant with him was life and peace, and I gave them to him, to fear.And he feared Me, and stood in awe of My Name."The Torah of truth was in his mouth, ...

Comment by michelleannearle(wisdom) on April 30, 2012 at 5:27am

 and unrighteousness was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and straightness, and turned many away from crookedness."For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and they seek the Torah from his mouth,for he is the messenger of YHUH of hosts.

Comment by Eemah Khephzybah on May 20, 2012 at 6:21am

Elder James, Respect to you.  Well, I think you may have a very narrow and dogmatic understanding of the Priesthood.  I say this because you fail to realize that long before Aaron there was a Priesthood that was acceptable by Yahwah.  Consider the many sacrifices made long before the birth of Jacob who later became Israel.  In reality, as I study biblical anthropology, it becomes very apparent to me that it was under Joseph's leadership in Egypt when you brought in his father and his brothers where they actually were taught deeply on the priesthood. Circumcisions and all of these practices were done by Egyptians but Yahweh only allowed specific ones of such practices to be ordained for Israel later on.  It gets deep but please, I believe the Book of Mormon is not at all off course but we simply follow a narrow understanding based on post Exodus activities but not remembering all those who sacrificed animals to Yahweh before Levi was even born.  Consider even Noah when he first came off the ark, did he not make a sacrifice unto Yahweh?

The chief priestly function was to offer a burnt offering is for the Atonement of sin [Leviticus 17:11]: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
Noah and his capacity as priest on behalf of his household:"built an alter unto Yah and took of every clean beast, of clean bird, and offered burnt-offering on the alter [Gen. 8:20]. "Noach built an altar to Adonai. Then he took from every clean animal and every clean bird, and he offered burnt offerings on the altar.  Noah's dedicated priestly covering for his own family elevated his Priesthood authority over mankind. 21 Adonai smelled the sweet aroma, and Adonai said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, since the imaginings of a person’s heart are evil from his youth; nor will I ever again destroy all living things, as I have done. 22 So long as the earth exists, sowing time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease". 

Abraham offered the Ram "For a burnt offering in the stead of his son, which is called to redeem [Gen. 22:13]: 13 Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son. In like manner Job offered burnt offering for his children and like wise by divine direction for three "comforter" when the great trial had passed[Job 1:5]:  And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. in these aid he like instances there was priestly action no less certainly than in that of Aaron or of any regularly appointed priest in Israel [Job 42:8] : Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

 Isaac "built an alter there and called upon the name of Yahweh [Gen. 26:15]: For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth. Jacob also build the Altar for YHWH [Gen 33:20]: And he erected there an altar, and called it EleloheIsrael. In these cases priestly acts were performed by the particulars in their capacity as fathers of the family of heads of clans. from the beginning. Priesthood with it's acts of expiration and of worship was thus recognized as a divinely-instituted office. But in pre-mosaic times there was no special class of priest recognized.

So I find it amazing that when Yahweh stated Israel to be a Kingdom of Priests, that the Mormons may be way ahead of the rest of us as they have established in their community, a nation of Priests under the title of Melchizedek Priesthood based on the Book of Hebrews.. hmmm....

Comment by James Trimm on May 22, 2012 at 10:33am

Yes its not based on the Book of Hebrews. 

I do not know how many times I have to say this.

In the Hebrew the phrase "A priest forever after the order of Mechizadek" does NOT refer to an "order" of priests in the sense of an order of monks.  The literal Hebrew means "A priest forever by the same reason as Melchizadek".  Melchizadek was able to be a priest without being of the tribe of Levi because he received his priesthood BEFORE it was limited to only Levites.   Messiah is a priest "by the same reason" as Melchizadek, because he ALSO received his priesthood before it was limited to just Levites (in his pre-existent state).

This has NOTHING to do with a non-Levitical chain of priests.

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