Question: Does the Book of Mormon erroneously claim that John the Baptist baptized people in the village of Bethabara?

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Question: Does the Book of Mormon erroneously claim that John the Baptist baptized people in the village of Bethabara?

The Book of Mormon uses the same term as the King James Bible

Alexander Campbell, an early Book of Mormon critic, complained that the Book of Mormon "makes John [the Baptist] baptize in the village of Bethabara."[1]

The critic may be engaging in an overly-hostile reading—assuming that the Book of Mormon says that John was baptizing in the middle of the village, or somesuch. But, the Book of Mormon text says nothing that the Bible text does not say.

The Book of Mormon uses the same term as the King James Bible:

  • "These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing." (John 1:28)
  • "And my father said he should baptize in Bethabara, beyond Jordan; and he also said he should baptize with water; even that he should baptize the Messiah with water." (1 Nephi 10:9)

Notes

  1. Alexander Campbell, Delusions (Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1832), p. 92 of original; originally published in Millennial Harbinger 2 (7 February 1831): 85–96. off-site O. Cowdery reply #1 #2 Full title