Skip to content

Mormonism LIVE: 071: Nephi & Judith – Beheadings & other Similarities

Bill and RFM dive into the apocryphal book of Judith and point out the many similarities between that apocryphal story and the Book of Mormon’s story about Nephi and his encounter and eventual beheading of Laban.



2 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 071: Nephi & Judith – Beheadings & other Similarities”

  1. I think it extremely important in the critique of Mormonism to distinguish the core facets of its development. In my view these are:

    (1) The efforts of young Joseph Smith – until 1830 – to establish a new understanding of Christianity

    (2) The congregational church founded and lead by Joseph Smith from 1830 until Smith’s death in 1844. This process brought a lot of interesting characters into the church.

    (3) The church lead by Brigham Young and subsequent polygamist leaders, in the Utah territory, where the church and its membership was in isolation and obscurity.

    (4) The post WWII, 20th century church, which embraced “Americanism” and enjoyed it’s greatest vibrancy as an organization, with leadership and the membership having a shared purpose and philosophy. The unique positivity of this era cannot be understated. Those who experienced it have many fond memories, and a sadness that the culture that made it happen no longer exists.

    (5) The 21st century church which has become a top-down, globalist corporation that has stripped the congregational church of any autonomy. Ironically, the 21st century church is very much like the 19th century “polygamist” church in that the highest ideal is loyalty to the leadership.

    I write this because critics of Mormonism tend to conflate their concerns and misattribute the blame. As it concerns this episode, the question of how Joseph Smith discovered and assembled the Christianity he taught, is separate from the question of how the church has gone about telling the story of what Joseph Smith did.

    I believe that with sincerity Joseph Smith sought knowledge through all sources. If he found something wrote by others to be consistent with his spiritual insight, he incorporated it. Joseph Smith was simultaneously both spirituality liberal and conservative. For example, his insights on moral agency and the Fall of Man were profound. At the same time, Joseph does not deviate from the plot of the Garden of Eden story, despite the conflict this creates in the claim Adam & Eve exercised moral agency while at the same time they were ignorant / lacked knowledge. I find the juxtaposition of what Joseph changed and didn’t change fascinating.

    In the 1980s the liberal view of Joseph Smith and the Restoration was breaking out. This philosophy allowed entertainment by the highest church officials of Mark Hoffman and his salamander! Then the 1990s arrived and Oaks & Nelson & Packer and other high church officials went to work to eliminate church backing of independent research.

    And here we are today where anything published without the Church copyright is immediately deemed inappropriate. This is the exact opposite the religion Joseph Smith taught and lived and it is a philosophy that does not serve well the pursuit of light and knowledge.

  2. The big data analysis of the BoM text to be amazing. At 110k books available in JS’s day, it’s an analysis that I find very compelling. Of course there are a few attacks at Duane’s approach by a couple of apologists, but I find the results of what settles close to the horizontal axis irrefutable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.