Book of Mormon/Plagiarism accusations

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Book of Mormon plagiarism accusations

Summary: Joseph Smith is often accused of creating the Book of Mormon by plagiarizing various contemporary sources such as the Spalding Manuscript or Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews.

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The Spalding Theory of Book of Mormon authorship

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The View of the Hebrews theory of Book of Mormon authorship

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The Book of Mormon and the Apocrypha

Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith created the story of Nephi and Laban by plagiarizing concepts and phrases from the story of Judith and Holofernes in the Apocrypha. It is also claimed that Joseph Smith copied the name "Nephi" from the Apocrypha.

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The Book of Mormon contains passages from the King James Bible

Summary: Critics of the Book of Mormon claim that major portions of it are copied, without attribution, from the Bible. They present this as evidence that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon by plagiarizing the Authorized ("King James") Version of the Bible.

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19th century influences alleged to have been a factor in the production of the Book of Mormon

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Did Joseph Smith obtain the names Cumorah and Moroni from a map of the Comoros Islands?

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The Book of Mormon and place names from the area around Joseph Smith's home

Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith is clearly the author of the Book of Mormon because many Book of Mormon place names supposedly have clear evidence of "borrowing" from geographic locations in the United States and Canada.

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Was the Book of Mormon influenced by the language and themes of "The Late War" by Gilbert Hunt?

Summary: It has been claimed by critics Chris and Duane Johnson that the Late War is a potential source of influence on Joseph Smith in his "composition" of the Book of Mormon. These articles, along with the much more detailed and in-depth reviews from scholars associated with the Interpreter Foundation, refute these charges. The article from Ben McGuire uses the same statistical method to revise the Johnson's conclusions. The article from Bruce Schaalje uses Bayesian logic to see how likely it is that Joseph used the Late War as a source. The article from Stanford Carmack uses other literary evidence to suggest that the Late War likely played little to no role in the authorship of the Book of Mormon. The articles we have written here take a large swath of specific examples that the Johnson's have pointed to for such "influence" and shows problems and complications with them.

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