Legacy of the Brass Plates of Laban

Since the brass plates of Laban were in existence prior to 600 B.C., the Book of Mormon Isaiah is the most ancient scriptural record of Isaiah's writings in existence. It is taken in this work as the standard from which the biblical accounts are evaluated.

In this work the author makes a meticulous word-by-word comparison of the 404 verses in the 20 Isaiah chapters, identifying each instance where the wording is not identical. The comparison clearly demonstrates that the Book of Mormon Isaiah is, as it claims to be, a copy of an ancient manuscript which predates all the other manuscript versions of Isaiah. This comparison provides convincing evidence that the Book of Mormon is a true historical document and that the Prophet Joseph Smith was inspired in its translation.

The differences between the Book of Mormon and King James versions are compared with English translations of the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate and the Hebrew Masoretic texts. The author has found that 115 of the 348 differences between the Book of Mormon and Bible texts actually alter the meaning of the passages. These differences, far from being random variations resulting from inadvertent scribal errors, clearly indicate that the King James and other Bible versions contain intentional deviations from the original meaning - deviations designed to justify Israel in its apostate beliefs and practices. A number of chiasma common to the two accounts give clear evidence of Book of Mormon supremacy, as they are found degraded in the King James version.

It is further conclusively shown that the Book of Isaiah was an intact writing prior to 600 B.C., which forcefully negates the claims of the higher critics that the Book of Isaiah was a compilation of multiple authors in post Isaianic times.

This book is a powerful aid to the understanding of the Isaiah message and should be a welcome addition to the libraries of both the serious student and the casual reader.

Introduction

The Book of Mormon, first published over 160 years ago, reveals God's dealings with a branch of the house of Israel on the American continent over the period of a thousand years, beginning near 600 BC. The final contributor to the record, the lone survivor of the principal nation of which it is an account, concludes his account with a unique and most unusual promise. He recommends to those who would diligently inquire into the authenticity of the record an appeal directly to God. He promises that if done with sincerity and with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the truthfulness of the record will be manifest to the individual by the power of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps no other test of authenticity of any record has received such astounding success. Literally millions of people, having read the Book of Mormon and having made that inquiry of Deity, have received an assurance and firm conviction that the book is indeed a true account and that it contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, soon after the book was published, it was energetically condemned by some who opposed the gospel restored by Joseph Smith. Surprisingly, in spite of overwhelming evidence of the book's authenticity, occasional volleys from the minor canons of intellectual critics continue to resound; but the fortress of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon stands unscathed, ever increasing in its majesty, its significance and its beauty.

The objections to its claim of authenticity which anti-Mormon critics have attempted to promulgate have been both internal (literary) and external (archeological). External arguments against the book's authenticity included criticism of claims within the book of the existence in pre-Columbus America of the use of cement in the construction of buildings, the use of steel, the existence of the horse, high population densities and large cities, commerce between distant groups of people, ship building and ocean commerce, etc. Each and every one of such objections to the book's authenticity have been overcome by subsequent scientific discovery.

Early anti-Mormon critics also attempted to condemn the book by literary approaches, raising such arguments as questioning its authorship; of accusing Joseph Smith, who translated the record, of plagiarism from the Spaulding manuscript and of copying from the Bible; of making up non-sensical proper and place names, etc. Again, each of these criticisms has been shown to be groundless.

This writing was not envisioned as a defense of the Book of Mormon. However, it is important to note that the evaluations made herein conclusively verify the book to be an ancient historical document, and the Isaiah chapters contained herein clearly demonstrate that the Brass Plates of Laban were a prime source from which later Hebrew scriptures were copied.

Because the previously published literature so adequately established the Book of Mormon as a valid document and a true translation of early records, it is taken in this work without apology as the standard by which other versions of the scriptures can be judged. In particular, the chapters of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon that had been copied from the Brass Plates of Laban (an Old Testament account predating 600 BC), making it the most ancient biblical record in existence today, will be used as the comparison standard against other subsequent versions of the Isaiah text.

Comparisons Made in This Book

In particular, each difference between the Book of Mormon Isaiah and the King James Bible version Isaiah will be identified and evaluated. In addition, these differences will be compared with the wording of the Isaiah chapters in three other versions of the Old Testament - the Douay-Rheims Bible (an English translation of the Latin Vulgate); an English translation of the Septuagint (which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament); and an English translation of a 1947 Spanish translation of the Hebrew Old Testament made at the Pontifical University of Salamanca.

With one exception, translations of the Bible that were made after the time of Joseph Smith were not considered, since this work attempts to trace the origin of differences between the Book of Mormon Isaiah and the other versions that were available at the time he translated the Book of Mormon. The Salamanca Bible, although a recent translation from Hebrew into Spanish, is included because it is in all probability a translation of the Masoretic Hebrew dating from the ninth century. Further, the English translation of the Spanish version, rather than employing contemporary English, is couched in the terminology of the Book of Mormon Isaiah except where the two texts are actually variant.