Hamblin 35: Time for Clear Thinking on Nahom

Hamblin 35: Time for Clear Thinking on Nahom July 22, 2015

Alas, Jenkins’ thinking on Nahom is hopelessly muddled.

If NHM can not be accepted an authentic ancient sixth century South Arabian place name, and therefor an authentic match with the BOM Nahom–and hence evidence for (though not proof of) the historicity of the BOM–what additional qualities of evidence of place, personal or ethnic names would make it acceptable?    

Remember: Coincidence is not an argument, or even an explanation.  It is an excuse.

Jenkins claims that Joseph Smith took the name Nahom for an early nineteenth century map of Arabia.

Jenkin’s explanation is simply absurd.  Joseph found it on a map?  Really?  First, there is no evidence for the existence of any such map on the New York frontier in Joseph’s day, let alone that Joseph could have had access to it it.  Furthermore, we have a fairly detailed record of Joseph’s activities during the period of the writing of the Book of Mormon; no mention of a research trip to come college library to consult maps.  But let’s assume he did. Why, we might ask, would he have decided to travel to consult a map instead of making names up?  The only reason would be to create fictional verisimilitude for the book he was fabricating.  So, he looks at a map of Arabia to find place names to put in his book.  Why not mention Arabia itself?  Why not actually mention some of the major cities or regions of Arabia found on the early nineteenth century map he consulted?  Mecca?  Medina?  Sana’a?  Jedda?  Yemen?  Hijaz?  Joseph is apparently motivated enough to check maps of Arabia, but doesn’t pick any name that would be noticably Arabian to the average reader.  Instead, he picks a minor obscure place name, Nihm, which precisely none of his contemporary readers could ever recognize as Arabian.  How could that possibly add verisimilitude to his fictional book?  What would be the point of picking an obscure name?  Not only that, but he changed the spelling.  He didn’t include Nihm in his book.  He wrote Nahom, insuring that precisely no one could ever make the connection.  So, brazen fraud that he was, he steals a name from a map of Arabia to make his fictional book seem authentic, but stupidly changes the spelling so it is unrecognizable.  And not only that, but then he never bothers to mention to anyone: look here, an authentic Arabian name in the Book of Mormon!  Really?  The theory is simply preposterous.  It makes no sense.  It’s only purpose is to create a post hoc explanation for a clear authentic sixth century BC Arabian place name in the Book of Mormon.

Second, it is a baseless assertion that most or even many of the place names on early nineteenth century maps of Arabia can be correlated with 6th century BC toponym inscriptions.  Hogwash.  Evidence please.  You are not privledged to assert and assert and assert and never be required to do actual research and provide any evidence.  It’s time to put up or shut up.  

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