Category:Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Culture/New World/Wine

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Wine in the New World

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Culture/New World

Sorenson: "When the Spaniards arrived in Mesoamerica, they spoke about several kinds of native 'wines'"

John L. Sorenson:

Some scholars have faulted Joseph Smith for references in the Book of Mormon to wine in the New World promised land (as in Mosiah 11:15). These scholars assure us that wine produced from grapes—which is the usual meaning of the word wine—was never made nor used in the Americas. However, the Book of Mormon makes no reference to grapes, although it does mention "vineyards." Some other sort of wine could have been so labeled by the Nephites. When the Spaniards arrived in Mesoamerica, they spoke about several kinds of native "wines." An intoxicating drink was commonly manufactured by fermenting a mixture of water, a certain tree bark, and honey. Other groups fermented juices drawn from the agave plant, bananas, pineapples, or the heart of certain palm trees. To all of these the Europeans applied the term wine.46 Further, the Spaniards spoke of native plantings of the agave cactus (from which the drink balche was made) as "vineyards."47 So Joseph Smith's use of the terms wine and vineyards in the translation of the Book of Mormon has proved to be no mistake, whether some non-grape fruit was used or, as Joseph himself probably assumed, Nephite wine was made from grapes by a process like that used by European settlers in the early United States.[1]

Notes

  1. John W. Sorenson, "How Could Joseph Smith Write So Accurately about Ancient American Civilization?," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 9, references silently removed—consult original for citations.

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