Question: Were the Three Nephites of the Book of Mormon based upon three of the "lying prophets among the savages" in Gilbert Hunt's ''The Late War''?

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Question: Were the Three Nephites of the Book of Mormon based upon three of the "lying prophets among the savages" in Gilbert Hunt's The Late War?

Critics' comparison: three "Indian prophets" are compared to the "three disciples of Jesus who should tarry [1]

Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, ""A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/

3 Nephi 28:4 talks of "the three disciples of Jesus" while The Late War talks of "three of the Indian prophets" who were among the "lying prophets among the savages"

3 Nephi 28:4:

4 And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father?

4 Nephi 1:37:

37 Therefore the true believers in Christ, and the true worshipers of Christ, (among whom were the three disciples of Jesus who should tarry) were called Nephites, and Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites.

The Late War 35 (p. 128) off-site

19 And he marched with his army through the wilderness more than an hundred miles, to a town built upon a place called by the savages the Holy-Ground, where three of the Indian prophets dwelt.

20 Now there were lying prophets among the savages, even as there were in the days of old, among the children of Israel; and they prophesied according to their own wishes;

21 And those of shallow understanding believed them, and were led into a snare, whereby their whole tribe was night being destroyed.

It seems unlikely that Joseph Smith would base the idea of three righteous disciples on the story of three "lying prophets among the savages"

One critic of the Church points to the presence of "Three Indian Prophets" and "False Indian prophets" as evidence of similarity between the Book of Mormon and The Late War.[2]

It seems unlikely that Joseph Smith would base three righteous disciples of Jesus Christ, who would remain on earth until Christ's return in a manner similar to the Apostle John, on three "lying prophets among the savages" who "prophesied according to their own wishes."

Notes

  1. Chris Johnson, Duane Johnson, "A Comparison of The Book of Mormon and The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain," http://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  2. Jeremy Runnells, "Letter to a CES Director" (October 2014 revision).