Ethan, and Joseph, Smith

This was mentioned in another thread, but I found it fascinating.

Ethan Smith lived in Poultney, Vermont, the same town as Oliver Cowdery, who later served as Joseph Smith’s scribe for the Book of Mormon. Ethan Smith also pastored the Congregational church that Cowdery’s family attended from 1821 to 1826 while he was writing View of the Hebrews.

Numerous scholars have identified the significant parallels between View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon. In 1922 B.H. Roberts (1857–1933), a prominent LDS apologist and historian,[11] was asked by the LDS Apostle James E. Talmage to answer a non-believer’s five critical questions. He produced a confidential report that summarized eighteen points of similarity between the two works.[12]
In a letter to LDS Church president Heber J. Grant and other church officials, Roberts urged
“all the brethren herein addressed becoming familiar with these Book of Mormon problems, and finding the answer for them, as it is a matter that will concern the faith of the Youth of the Church now as also in the future, as well as such casual inquirers as may come to us from the outside world.”[13]
Roberts’ list of parallels included:
extensive quotation from the prophecies of Isaiah in the Old Testament;
the Israelite origin of the American Indian;
the future gathering of Israel and restoration of the Ten Lost Tribes;
the peopling of the New World from the Old via a long journey northward which encountered “seas” of “many waters;”
a religious motive for the migration;
the division of the migrants into civilized and uncivilized groups with long wars between them and the eventual destruction of the civilized by the uncivilized;
the assumption that all native peoples were descended from Israelites and their languages from Hebrew;
the burial of a “lost book” with “yellow leaves;”
the description of extensive military fortifications with military observatories or “watch towers” overlooking them;
a change from monarchy to republican forms of government; and
the preaching of the gospel in ancient America.[14]

I have read some attempted rebuttals by Mormons, but the rebuttals are weak and depend on Mormons not looking into things for themselves.

Interesting. Do you have a like to where you quoted this from? I would like to read more.

Here’s all anyone needs to know… :slight_smile:

lol…some of the weak apologetics I warned you about…

no one who truly thinks on their own will buy the apologetics he just presented…

“all anyone needs to know”?

That’s called tunnel vision and choosing to be blind.

“all anyone needs to know” is a weak and dismissive phrase.

God gave us the ability to use our intellect for a reason. No need to put it on ice or to keep in small…

A Jesuit Priest was the man behind the understanding of the Big Bang theory. No need for “all you need to know”…

Never be that blind, never be that “all I need to know” in your intellect.

B. H. Roberts

David Persuitte

Ethan Smith himself.

Vernal Holley

Wait-- there is more.

David Persuitte

Vernal Holley

Maybe I ought to change my logon to defenderofthefaithwithotherpeoplesscholarship :stuck_out_tongue:

If he has ears, let him hear. If he has eyes, let him see.

That about sums it up. If you cannot hear the truth, then you are deaf to the Lords words. If you cannot see the truth, then you are blind to the Lords works. Some people just frustrate me with their ignorance.

All gaz keeps posting is the weak apologetics I mentioned. I can only assume, since Gaz posts this stuff, that he does not read what he posts.

Yes he does. I believe it was SteveVH and I that asked him about this in another thread. he must not know his own religion that well or doesnt want to know the truth about his faith. Sad.

Not only sad, but a form of Prosteltyzing.

He/she is not engaging in the conversation, but merely regurgitating someone else’s thoughts. It kind of borders on spamming too.

Let us also not forget that FAIR/FARMS,Maxwell Institute, and all of the mormon apologetic sources are in a downward spiral since Dr. Peterson got fired.

if you’re going to “answer” a question, they might want to use a stable and reliable source.

Nothing in your link addresses JS reading and taking View of the Hebrews as a starting point for his own work of fiction The Book of Mormon.

and to show the weak apologetics is this quote from his link:

“Critics postulate a link between Ethan Smith and Oliver Cowdery, since both men lived in Poultney, Vermont while Smith served as the pastor of the church that Oliver Cowdery’s family attended at the time that View of the Hebrews was being written. Beyond speculation based upon this circumstantial evidence, there is no indication of a connection between View of the Hebrews, Oliver Cowdery, and the Book of Mormon.”

huh? Oliver, who wrote the book of Mormon with Joseph Smith, lived in the same town as Ethan Smith and ATTENDED Ethan Smith’s Church…and that is brushed off as no real connection between Ethan Smith and the Book of Mormon.


gazelam - That is a funny log on name! :slight_smile:

If I met you on the street and asked you to discuss the BoM and the possibility that it was pieced together from many sources - what would you *say? *

(Please don’t tell me you would start quoting LDS apologist websites! ;))

Yes, and may I add:

from an Insider’s View of Mormon Origins -

He ** concluded that there was “a great probability” that the Smith family had read or possessed a knowledge of View of the Hebrews. The book was written, published, and widely distributed in New England and New York where the Smith family lived, two editions rapidly selling out. Roberts believed that if the Smith’s did not purchase a copy, it could easily have been supplied by Oliver Cowdery, Smith’s cousin and scribes.**

Plagiarism from View of the Hebrews

Critics claim that Smith based several passages and many thematic elements in The Book of Mormon on material he found in View of the Hebrews, published in 1823, with an expanded edition in 1825, by Ethan Smith. Examples of verses that critics claim are plagiarized include:

**View of the Hebrews **by Ethan Smith (1825 edition)
“[T]hose far distant savages have (as have all other tribes) their Great Spirit, who made everything” (p. 103)

Book of Mormon (1830) “Believest thou that this Great Spirit which is God, created all things … And he saith, Yea, I believe that he created all things” (Alma 18:28–29)

View of the Hebrews
“[T]he places … are noted; among which are ‘the isles of the sea’”. (p. 232-233)

Book of Mormon
[W]e have been led to a better land, … [W]e are upon an isle of the sea" (2 Nephi 10:20)

View of the Hebrews
" ‘I will hiss for them’ God is represented as hissing for a people. … [To] behold the banner of salvation now erected for his ancient people… This standard of salvation." (p. 235,241–242)

Book of Mormon
“[M]y words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the House of Israel.” (2 Nephi 29:2)

amazing, isn’t it?

add Spalding and the Bible into the mix and you can see where Joseph got his stuff

Okay, gazelam, I read your link and it states that

“The theory the Joseph Smith plagiarized View of the Hebrews was never advanced during his lifetime.” and “No contemporary critic of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon pointed out the supposedly “obvious” connection to the View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon.”

however…from a newspaper written in 1831:

J. W. Webb & M. M. Noah Thursday, September 1, 1831. Vol. VII. – No. 563.


The object of his going to the city to get the “Book of Mormon” printed, was not however accomplished. He returned with his manuscript or engravings to Palmyra – tried to raise money by mortgage on his farm from the New York Trust Company – did raise the money, but from what source – whether the Trust Company or not I am uncertain. At last a printer in Palmyra undertook to print the manuscript of Joe Smith, Harris becoming responsible for the expense. **They were called translaters, but in fact and in truth they are believed to be the work of the Ex-Preacher from Ohio, who stood in the background and put forward Joe to father the new bible and the new faith. **

yet another weak apologetic debunked…

now this is interesting…

George Reynolds, “View of the Hebrews”
Juvenile Instructor Oct. 1, 1902


[p. 995]


THE above is the title of a remarkable book that has lately fallen into our hands – remarkable from the fact that it produces such strong evidences in favor of the genuineness of the Book of Mormon. It is written by a reverend gentleman named Ethan Smith, the pastor of a church in Poultney, Vermont, and its second edition, the one in our possession, was issued in April, 1825: that is before the sacred plates containing Mormon’s record were placed in the Prophet Joseph’s hands by the Angel Moroni for translation; this latter important event having taken place in September, 1827.

The whole of Mr. Smith’s book, (285 pages) is devoted to proving that the American Indians are a remnant of the House of Israel. This he does by appealing to their manners, and customs, religious observations, languages, traditions, physical appearance, etc. etc., and a wonderful strong showing he makes. But the most remarkable thing is his own conclusions regarding the ancient history of America derived from long study of the material he has gathered. He writes, and it must be remembered that this was written years before the Book of Mormon was published, or indeed translated:

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