Does the presence of anachronisms in the Book of Mormon cast doubt on its authenticity?
General Anachronism Info
BOM and the New Testament
Many things mentioned in the Book of Mormon had either not been invented at the time, or were known to have not existed in North America for at least a thousand years later. These include transparent window glass, scimitars, steel, cattle, horses, elephants, wheat, chariots, and silk, among others.Also, many Greek words from New Testament times appear in the Book of Mormon hundreds of years before the New Testament was even written. These include Christ, Christian, Bible, synagogue, alpha and omega, and several personal Greek names.
Furthermore, the way in which the Book of Mormon talks about concepts like the church, baptism, the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit, all exhibit New Testament ways of understanding them. They include details and applications that were simply not known or written about in the Old Testament during the Book of Mormon time period. Some LDS defenders claim that this is proof that the Bible was corrupted.And finally, there is the presence of language from the King James Bible. The Book of Mormon contains sizable amounts of quotes from the King James Version from both testaments. And this is odd because that is a stylized form of English from the 17th century which neither Hebrews, Nephites, nor Joseph Smith spoke.
Even places where the King James Version mistranslated from the ancient manuscripts were included in the Book of Mormon without being corrected.
Some LDS defenders claim that all of these problems can be explained away by saying that Smith was just translating in a way that would make it easier for modern audiences to understand. For instance, the Book of Mormon uses the French word ‘adieu’. Of course, this could not possibly have been on the Golden Plates, Smith just substituted it himself for the corresponding Nephite word.But this presents a problem when we recall how the Book of Mormon was actually translated. Smith did not literally translate the plates by himself, he looked at his seer stone in his hat where God caused the translation to appear before him, word for word directly from the Golden Plates. The scribe would then write it down, repeat it back to Joseph, and when it was correct, the next translation would appear.
Therefore, the only possibility that might maintain any integrity for the Book of Mormon would be if Joseph Smith went back and edited the original manuscript after it had been completed. But Smith never said he did, and there is no evidence for it. Remember, Smith said that this was the ‘most correct of any book on earth’, it shouldn’t have needed further work.