Question: Could the Book of Mormon be a clumsy, amateurish forgery?/CriticalSources

FairMormon Answers Wiki Table of Contents

Source(s) of the criticism

  • Cincinnati Advertiser and Ohio Phoenix (2 June 1830). Reprinted from Wayne County Inquirer, Pennsylvania, circa May 1830. off-site
  • “The Golden Bible,” The Cleveland Herald (Ohio) (25 November 1830): 3. off-site
    ...the only opinion we have of the origin of this Golden Bible is, that Mr. Cowdry and Mr. Smith the reputed author, have taken the old Bible to keep up a train of circumstances, and by altering names and language have produced the string of Jargon called the “Book of Mormon,” with the intention of making mony [sic] by the sale of their Books....
  • The Book of Mormon,” Painesville Telegraph (Ohio) (30 November 1830).
    The book closes with the certificate of 11 persons, who have seen the plates and many other marvellous things; among whom are the father and other relatives of the author.
  • “An Extract,” The Reflector (Palmyra, New York) 1, no. 5 (30 September 1829): 2. off-site [the earliest mention of this concept which FAIR has identified]
    [This article pre-dated the book's publication.]
  • “Imposition and Blasphemy!!—Moneydiggers, Etc.” The Gem (Rochester, New York) (15 May 1830): 15. off-site
    "The author, who has the ‘copy-right secured according to law,’ says, ‘that he was commanded of the Lord in a dream,’ to go and find, and that he went and found.
  • “The Book of Mormon, or Golden Bible,” Village Chronicle (Dansville, New York) (27 April 1830). off-site
    The author is Joseph Smith, Jr....
  • C. C. Blatchley, “Caution Against the Golden Bible,” New-York Telescope 6, no. 38 (20 February 1830): 150. off-site
    "The editor of the Palmyra Freeman describes Joseph Smith as not being very literate: and that his translation is pronounced, 'by his proselytes, to be superior in style, and more advantageous to mankind than our holy bible!'"....I cannot perceive any superiority of style in this specimen; nor any evidence that this bible is not a book of Joseph Smith’s own manufacture....These facts are given to caution people not to spend their money uselessly for a book, that is more probable a hoax—or a money-making speculation—or an enthusiastic delusion, than a revelation of facts by the Almighty."
  • Alexander Campbell, Delusions (Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1832), ??; originally published in Millennial Harbinger 2 (7 February 1831): 85–96. off-site O. Cowdery reply #1 #2 Full title
    • Alexander Campbell, “The Mormon Bible,” Millennial Harbinger 3, no. 6 (June 1839): 267–68. off-site
      Note that Campbell quickly adopted the Spalding theory when it became available.

See also

These articles take Joseph's listing as "author and proprietor" as a tacit admission of his authorship: