Mormon and Samabaj

The other day, I was reading Neal Rappleye's blog post AN ANCIENT AMERICAN SETTING FOR JERUSALEM, and here are my quick thoughts:

I agree with Neal and it fascinates me that Sorenson used the Book of Mormon, in 1985, to predict that because of volcanic activity, an ancient city suddenly sunk into Lake Attitlan. In 1996 such a city was discovered, the first of it's kind to be discovered in Guatemala. Sorenson made a prediction using the Book of Mormon and archeology confirmed that prediction, in general terms. 

I also agree that the late date of destruction, 250 AD, prohibits Samabaj from being a strong candidate for Jerusalem, on the magnitude of Nehem/Nahom, but I think it still qualifies as a candidate for Jerusalem and here is why: 

Even though Samabaj sunk 250 years after the Savior's death and resurrection, by the time Mormon was writing, it had already been underwater for 150 years. So what if Mormon, or his sources, were wrong about when Jerusalem went down? Ancient historians, Greek, Roman and Israelite, have been guilty of numerous anachronisms in their works, why wouldn't Nephite historians be as well? 

Mormon, or his sources, might have made the mistake of identifying every city destroyed by some chronologically distant volcanic eruption as having been destroyed at the time of the Savior's death(3 Nephi 8-9).  Like the Biblical writers who describe Abraham as owning camels, when none in the region existed for time being described, how would he, or his sources, know otherwise? This isn't the first time Mormon takes the conditions of his day and retrojects them into the past


  1. In the very least, this is an example of the kind of thing described in 3 Nephi. The date 250 A.D. is based upon a new proposal for the Chronology for sites in the region, and it remains to be seen if all Mayanists will accept it. They may, but that remains to be seen. In any case, this underwater site is a remarkable discovery.

  2. I want to reference my article at
    Dating techniques are mostly accurate to about 200 years +/-, so 34 AD is very close to an archaeological date of 250 AD.


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