Anyone who has read An Ancient American Setting for The Book of Mormon, Mormon's Codex or Images of Ancient America: Visualizing Book of Mormon Life, or anything else by John L. Sorenson, will notice that he leans on the work of the New World Archaeological Foundation(NWAF). This is because he places the Nephite heartland in the central depression of Chiapas, with the River Sidon being the Grijalva River.
For me, the convergances in cultural development and in the movements of people, between the Book of Mormon and this region of Mesoamerica, in time and space, stretching from Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas to Highland Guatemala, are impressive.
As I'v said before, Sorenson's paradigm owes much to the NWAF, a legitimate and respected archeological franchise. Speaking of the his experience with the NWAF, non-mormon archeologist, Michael Coe says:
When I was a graduate student writing my dissertation on very early cultures in the south coast of Guatemala, it was suggested to me…
Modern critics of the Book of Mormon seem to agree that Nephi's inland route of travel, through Arabia, is basically correct, in light of what we know today.
After fleeing Jerusalem and then leaving their initial base camp, Lehi's family travels in a south-southeast direction, following the coast of the Red Sea. One of the elders of the group dies and is buried in "the place which was called Nahom". Up until this point, the group had named their various stopping points, but the record uses the passive tense here to show that it already had a name. After their stay in Nahom, Lehi's group then travels "nearly eastward", paralleling the frankincense trail, traveling "through affilction", until the reach a lush and verdant coast they name Bountiful. The above correlation with ancient Arabia is strong, as one critic acknowledged: Among critical historians who accept that the BoM arose as a modern production of Joseph Smith, two main theories have b…
When choosing a theory to explain something, a most important requirement is that the theory answers more questions than it creates. In my last few posts, I have used the Mayan Long Count as interpretive lenses through which to read the Book of Mormon and explain the behavior and historical context of it's people.
Mormon described three different ways the Nephites reckoned time: from the time Lehi left Jerusalem, from the beggining of the reign of "the judges" and from the time the astronomical sign was given of the Messiah's birth.
Mormon and Moroni lived during the period of the third calendar, when time was recorded from the time of the Messiah's birth. Mormon and Moroni were also mesoamericans. Mesoamerican religion influenced Nephite folk religion to the degree that Nephite folk religion was essentially mesoamerican.
What if Mormon and his people had a cyclical view of history and a calendar which used baktuns(20 katuns), katuns(20 tuns), hotuns(5 tuns) an…