The Tanners argue that the Book of Mormon anachronistically borrows from the KJV OT, NT, and Apocrypha.

Jerald Tanner

Jerald Tanner and Sandra Tanner, Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? 5th ed. (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1987, 2008), 72-81

Utah Lighthouse Ministry
Sandra Tanner, Jerald Tanner
Reading Public

The King James Version of the Bible probably had more influence on the Book of Mormon than any other book.

. . .

Since we know that Joseph Smith purchased a Bible with the Apocrypha and was somewhat familiar with its contents, it should come of no surprise to find that the Book of Mormon contains some parallels to it.

The Apocrypha seems to solve the mystery of the origin of the name “Nephi.” While the name “Nephi” is not found in either the Old or New Testament of the Bible, it is one of the most important names in the Book of Mormon. At least four men in the Book of Mormon are named “Nephi.” It is also the name of several books in the Book of Mormon, a city, a land, and a people. Mormon scholars have never been able to find the source of this name. Dr. Wells Jakeman admitted that “there does not seem to be any acceptable Hebrew meaning or derivation for this name.” He states, however, that Nephi’s name might have been derived from “the name of the young Egyptian grain god Nepri or Nepi . . .” Dr. Hugh Nibley, on the other hand, feels that the name was derived from another Egyptian source. Other Mormon writers suggest entirely different sources for this name. While Mormon writers seem to be in a state of confusion with regard to this name, the Apocrypha seems to settle the matter. In 2 Maccabees 1:36 we read:

And Neemias called this thing Naphthar, which is as much as to say, a cleansing: but many men call it Nephi. It is obvious, then, that Joseph Smith must have borrowed the name “Nephi” from the Apocrypha.

. . .

There can be no doubt that the first books of the Bible furnished a great deal of source material for the writing of the Book of Mormon. The book of Genesis seems to have had a real influence upon the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon. Two of Nephi’s brothers, Joseph and Jacob, have names taken from the book of Genesis. His mother’s name is Sariah, which reminds us of Abraham’s wife Sarah—also called Sarai (Genesis 17:15). Ishmael—a friend of the family—is also a name taken from Genesis (see chapter 17, verse 18). The name Laban is likewise found in Genesis (see chapter 24, verse 29).

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The ministry of Christ seems to have been the source for a good deal of the Book of Mormon. For instance, the story of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead seems to have had a definite influence upon the story of Ammon in the Book of Mormon. Below are a few parallels between the two stories.

1. In both stories a man seems to die and a period of time passes.

And it came to pass that after two days and two nights they were about to take his body and lay it on a sepulchre, . . . (Alma 19:5)

Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. (John 11:17)

2. Both Martha and the queen use the word “stinketh.”

. . . others say that he is dead and that he stinketh, . . . (Alma 19:5)

. . . by this time he stinketh: . . . (John 11:39)

3. Both Ammon and Jesus use the word “sleepeth” with regard to the man.

. . . he sleepeth . . . (Alma 19:8)

. . . Lazarus sleepeth; . . . (John 11:11)

4. Both Ammon and Jesus say that the man will rise again.

. . . he shall rise again; . . . (Alma 19:8)

. . . Thy brother shall rise again. (John 11:23)

5. The conversation between Ammon and the queen contains other phrases that are similar to those used by Jesus and Martha.

And Ammon said unto her: Believest thou this? And she said unto him: . . . I believe . . . (Alma 19:9)

Jesus said unto her, believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord I believe . . . (John 11:25-27)

6. In both cases the man arose.

. . . he arose, . . . (Alma 19:12)

. . . he that was dead came forth, . . . (John 11:44)

. . .

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