Elder McConkie wrote that Eve really wasn't created from the rib of Adam,
that it was symbolic of their equality. I guess that means it isn't a
secular history, eh?
There is history in the Bible and BoM. However, they weren't written to
be secular histories. They were written primarily to be books of holy
writings, with history intermingled. A secular history concentrates on
the historical side. Had the Bible and BoM been secular histories, we
would have very little on the religious information except as it fit into
the regular history. Instead, Nephi tells us that his book of secular
history was contained on the large plates (history of kings, wars, etc),
and the small plates (BoM) were to concentrate primarily on spiritual
Is Isaiah a secular history? No. Are there historical issues in it? Yes.
But it concentrates on spiritual themes, not on secular history. Same
with most of the writings in the Bible, with few exceptions (like Esther
Adam, Abraham, Moses, Noah, Jesus are all historical people. However, how
to know if every story in the Bible is historical concerning them is
another thing. Just looking at the many extra-Biblical writings there are
telling stories on Abraham, Seth, Noah, Melchizedek, and others, show us
that these ancient stories may or may not be true. Many ancient stories
about Jesus' childhood are obviously faith-promoting, but false stories.
Yet thousands of early Christians believed these stories. Does that make
them historical? No.
And in this same vein, we are not sure just which specific stories are
totally accurate in the Bible. We already know that the Songs of Solomon
is uninspired, according to Joseph Smith. But how do we know other
issues? King David was historical, however archaeology suggests that his
kingdom wasn't as great as it is described in the Bible. Did David's
scribes "enhance" his victories to establish him as a great regional
Archaeology also shows that Jericho didn't have the "walls tumbling down"
when Joshua fought it. Joshua is historical, but the Bible isn't a
secular history. It was written for two things: to make Jehovah as great
(or greater) than the other regional gods, and to show the Israelites
conquering everyone. But today's evidence shows there was little
conquest, and mostly just integration with other Semites/Canaanites in
the area. In fact, the Bible also suggests this as we see many nations
dwelt in their midst. Dan seems to disappear from the Bible, probably
being absorbed among the Sea Peoples (according to Trude Dothan,
Philistine and Sea People expert).
So, Marc is right. There is history, and these are historical people. But
since the Bible wasn't written as a secular history, we don't know how
much is actual history and how much is propaganda to make Israel look
bigger and more important than it originally was among the other nations.
The BoM also isn't a secular history, as I said above. There are hundreds
of years covered in just a few pages (Omni, Jarom), which isn't usually
done in a secular history. A secular history also wouldn't cover so much
preaching. Also, it would concentrate on the kings' activities, rather
than the chief priests. It is a spiritual history with historical events
included. BTW, had it been a secular history, it would probably be
easier to find where the Nephites and Lamanites really were on the
American continent, because it would have described their cities, rivers,
and events better.
Gerald/gary Smith gszion1 @juno.com http://www
"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he's free." -
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
If this was so, the apostles and prophets from Joseph Smith on would have
told us so. everything I have ever heard from modern prophets teaches
that the old history of the world is true and historical unless you
choose to believe that our religion is based upon lies, fairy tales, and
faith promoting nonsense. I suppose you might also think Moses was a myth
because there is not one scrap of credible evidence of Moses or the
Israelites in Egypt and I hope you don't choose to argue this point with
me because you will loose big time. So beware!
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