If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Did a Professor say the Book of Mormon
Translation was Authentic?
Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the Mormon founder, claimed to have had golden plates given to him by an angel. To back up this extraordinary claim, he had to have witnesses to silence people who thought that the plates never existed. He chose three witnesses who said they saw the plates as an angel turned the leaves for them to have a look. They testified also that Smith's miraculous translation of the plates was correct. Then he chose eight witnesses who said that they saw the plates close up. This testimony led to the foundation of the Church of Christ which later became the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The translation is called the Book of Mormon.
As there was only the word of men who were not qualified to judge the translation, a professional testimony was needed. That was when Martin Harris took characters copied and "translated" by Smith to Professor Charles Anthon. Anthon said that Harris went to Doctor Mitchell first who found the characters and the translation made no sense.
Smith claimed that Professor Charles Anthon authenticated his translation of a bit of the plates. The characters and translation were written down by Smith on some paper and Martin Harris took it to him. Anthon always denied the authentication claim. Yet Mormons use Smith's claim as evidence for the Book of Mormon. But the whole point of bringing in the Professor was to back Smith up and all we have is Smith’s testimony! It is Smith that wrote down what Harris reported back so it is really Smith we are being asked to trust!
The Mormons say that the characters on the plates were Reformed Egyptian but what Anthon saw "contained any thing else but "Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Even if the Egyptian had been changed it should have retained some similarities.
Mormons call Anthon a liar and then claim that he authenticated their holy book! Some authentication! They say that the characters formed an unknown language Reformed Egyptian so how could he authenticate the translation?
Read on and learn about the Mormon hoax.
THE ANTHON QUESTION
Joseph Smith claimed in his scripture The Pearl of Great Price that Martin Harris was sent to Professor Charles Anthon with a copy of the Reformed Egyptian characters from the Golden Plates and their translation. Anthon allegedly wrote a certificate that the characters were real and translated properly. But when he heard about the angel and the religious nature of the enterprise he supposedly tore it up. Thus there is only hearsay that the certificate ever existed.
The Mormons say the Anthon episode fulfils a prophecy in the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 27) that is much the same as Isaiah chapter 29. The prophecy says the scholar will not be able to understand the script which contradicts Smith and Harris’s claim that Anthon knew that the script was genuine and the translation correct.
The prophecy in the Book of Mormon says that words will be taken from the book to the learned man who shall ask for the book so that he can read the whole book and when informed that the book is sealed and cannot be brought he says he cannot read it or the words.
Mormons say that Anthon must have said to Harris at one point that he could not read the words on the sheet and was lying for Harris said he did testify to the accuracy of the translation. Why do they bother with Anthon's alleged testimony for the Book of Mormon when they regard him as a pathological liar?
They say that Anthon's game, according to the prophecy, was to convince Harris to bring him the rest of the Book and that he would only want it if the writing on the sheet was not a fake. But how could he when he couldn't even read the transcription he was given? The prophecy - if you pretend the Mormon interpretation is right - gives no hint that he understood the writing on the transcript. The prophecy never says Anthon lied. The prophecy says that Anthon wanted the whole book so that he could get a better picture of how to maybe decipher the writing on the sheet so Harris and Smith lied when they said he could make sense of the sheet.
Mormons believe Harris and Smith’s lie that Anthon tore up the certificate he used to authenticate the translation when he heard about the angel bringing the gold plates. The prophecy - in the Mormon understanding - says this cannot be true for he wanted the whole book. He must have known that the book was found under supernatural circumstances and contained supernatural tales as it was a religious book. It certainly means that Anthon was not turned off by stories of gold books in the ground that were brought to light by angels which makes a liar of Smith. If Anthon was not bothered by that then the story of the torn certificate was a lie. Why could Harris not get the certificate out of the bin or something? It would have done even if it had been in bits though there was no scotch tape in those days.
It is only one testimony, Harris’, we have that this prophecy is fulfilled which contradicts the biblical and Book of Mormon requirement that one is not good enough. Mormons will reply that we know from other ways that Harris would not have lied for God chose him to have a vision of the plates so it is good enough. But when prophecy is given as evidence from Heaven that the word of God is true this logic is appalling. Each prophecy has to be verified as written before the event and well attested to have been fulfilled after and it has to be treated separately from any other considerations or prophecies for the divine law is that a prophet who gives many fulfilled prophecies and gets one wrong is a fake and to be avoided for God is not slack or stupid. The episode refutes the Book of Mormon’s claim to be the word of God. Mormons will point at examples from the Bible in which the word of one man was taken for the word of God. But that does not matter for the Bible is not the word of God either! It cannot keep up to its own standards. The Bible has had a lot to answer in setting up the Mormon fraud. When Mormons are reminded that the Book of Mormon characters have left no evidence that they really existed, they point at the Bible which in the cases of Adam, Enoch, Abraham and Jesus has not been complemented by any evidence that they existed either. One rotten apple corrupts the next.
Mormons say, “It is plausible to believe that when Anthon heard that a religion was starting over the Plates he knew that his recognition of them would bring him into disrepute for scholars would see him as unorthodox and eccentric and so he tore up the certificate. It was okay to say such things to one or two men but to be quoted by a missionary religion would ruin him.” It is anything but plausible. Smith said that Anthon only knew about the angel. But Anthon knew that even if a man came in saying that an angel gave gold plates to Smith that only meant that the angel was a lie if angels don’t appear anymore but that there really were gold plates according to the piece of paper he had.
The Book of Mormon is a religious book. It is ludicrous to think that a learned man verified a translation about God and Jesus and wrote a certificate if that learned man was a bigoted anti-religionist like we are led to believe about Anthon.
Anthon could have verified the Book of Mormon even if he was a good orthodox Christian for Christians have no problem verifying supernatural events that they believe are devil-inspired. And all he had to say was that he didn’t know how Smith got the characters and how Smith translated them. And at that time there was no reason to believe Smith could start a successful Church. Smith and Harris’ allegation that Anthon was motivated by anti-Mormon prejudice is not believable. And Harris was unreliable in religious matters. Anthon should be believed. Anthon himself said that he never saw the translation but only a page with some strange letters on it and said that far from writing a certificate of authenticity he told Harris that it was all a hoax. There was no harm in him saying that he saw the translation if he saw one so he did not see the translation. He could have lied saying it was wrong or he could not see if it was right. That would have been more suited to a man who was lying about the miracle plates like Smith said for why tell a big lie when a small one would do.
Mormons say, “Why did Anthon who was an enemy of Mormonism not sue Harris or Smith if they were lying? The Mormon Church was an easy target in the early years for it had few members.”
Not everybody slandered like Anthon considers suing necessary. The Mormons were not that numerous anyway so the slander was not that important. Anthon’s colleagues believed Anthon’s side of the story and that was enough. One might as well ask why the Mormons did not sue Anthon.
Harris said that he went to Dr Mitchell after he went to Anthon and Dr Mitchell agreed with Anthon that the script was real and the translation correct. But Anthon always said that Harris went to Dr Mitchell first. The records allow us to believe that Harris saw Mitchell before and after he met with Anthon which means there is no contradiction.
Another contradiction was between Anthon saying he got no translation with the transcript and Harris saying he did. If there was no translation then it is a lie that Harris went to Dr Mitchell with the translation and that Mitchell accepted the translation as correct like Anthon. The Mormons said that Anthon was lying about when Harris went to Mitchell just because he reasoned like that. But there is no evidence that he did reason thus so it is worthless speculation.
Dr Mitchell backed up Anthon all along that the scrawl Harris had was a hoax and Smith accepted the Bible and the Book of Mormon that two or more witnesses was sufficient. This means that the Anthon Mitchell affair cancelled out the evidence of Smith’s witnesses. At best we don’t know if the plates then were genuine or not. Smith’s witnesses believed in the enterprise before they got any evidence for it which shows that they were credulous in relation to Smith’s magic book. The thought of being a help in the production of a lost section of the Bible and being famous forever was the big attraction.
If God went to the bother of predicting the event, it must have been a very important event. Needless to say the prophecy appeared after the event too! So we have somebody’s testimony about Anthon then not Anthon’s testimony.
No matter what evidence Mormons can come up with to back up Smith’s account of how the Book of Mormon appeared one thing is for sure. He denied he believed in the Book of Mormon himself later on when he started introducing doctrines like God the father having been an ordinary sinful man and a temporary Hell which completely contradicted the Book. He even changed the wording - Mother of God became Mother of the Son of God. What Smith then told us by his actions shows that there is no way he could have been a true prophet or his Book of Mormon the word of God.
ANTHON AS APOLOGETIC
Mormons use the Anthon Incident to lend credibility to the claims for the Book of Mormon. They give the impression a testimony came from a scholar about the truth of the ancient gold plates story. But it is Martin Harris’ version of events they go by!
This means we have just Martin Harris’ word which is preserved by Joseph Smith so it is really just Joseph’s word that Anthon verified the Book of Mormon. Remember that Smith said that he had a lot of dirt on his witnesses including Harris. So he could have blackmailed them to keep up their testimony to the Book of Mormon whatever they did. Smith certainly did use blackmail against many people. So if Smith twisted what Harris told him Harris would not have dared contradict him.
What use is Anthon’s testimony when the only person, Smith, who wrote that he even made it was the very person who needed Anthon to back up the claim that Smith really could translate? That is like a man saying he needs another witness and him writing down what he thinks the witness would or did say.
Nobody could translate Egyptian before the Rosetta Stone was discovered and Smith and Harris definitely lied when they said Anthon said the translation was correct. Neither were any good as witnesses to the work of God so there was no work of God and if it was supernatural the work was not supervised by God but by Satan.
Some Mormons say, “Smith declared that Anthon said that the translation was perfect. This has been ridiculed for Egyptian was an unknown language. But even if a language is unknown you can tell from the characters and the translation if it is really a language, if it has syntax and meaning and grammar. Smith must have been sure that Anthon could not destroy his new religion. Smith knew Anthon would have to admit the translation was right when he sent Harris to him for what was on the page was really ancient script. Smith knew that even if Anthon could not understand the Reformed Egyptian, he would have known if the characters and the translation corresponded which would indicate that the characters were a real language.” But Smith would have had an excuse ready for Harris if Anthon said it was a hoax. He had one in the allegation that the characters were Reformed Egyptian an unknown language and script and that you needed magical stones or the power of divination to tell you what the characters meant. Smith may have believed that Anthon would reject the story but had to give in to Martin Harris who wanted to go to him.
But Anthon would not be able to say it was an ancient language for he had only a piece of paper. He would have needed to see the Plates to be sure it was an ancient language and not somebody’s invented language.
Only Charles Anthon could provide any evidence that the Book of Mormon was an ancient script for none of the witnesses of the book were qualified. God then would have made sure the book was written in Hebrew even though the Nephites altered the Hebrew for at least then a scholar would have a chance to see if there was a real language on the transcript.
Smith and Harris said that Anthon knew the translation was right and that he said so. But the Book of Mormon itself claims to have been written in a tongue that no outside nation knows. Smith and Harris then are backing up Anthon’s claim that he did not verify the transcript as genuine when they endorsed their Book of Mormon as the word of God. We should believe Anthon that the Book of Mormon was a fraud.
Mormons may point out that Smith could have been lied to by Harris and that Smith was only recording what Harris said. But Smith took Harris' version very seriously. And it was Smith who reported what Harris said so was it reported correctly and truthfully? Smith is trying to get us to take hearsay as verification. If Smith had been a genuine man of God and his story was true, he would have done better than that. And its a strange way of proving something to say, "The professor said the translation is correct and the characters a real language and if he now says different he is lying."
Mormons say that Professor Charles Anthon cannot be trusted for he waited four years before he said anything to contradict Harris and Smith. But there is no evidence that he said nothing. And if he waited that long it shows he did not have much prejudice against the Mormons and certainly not enough to lie about the characters he saw not being authentic.
Anthon wrote a letter in 1834 contradicting Harris' account.
Professor Charles Anthon Letter
New York, Feb. 17, 1834
Dear Sir –
I received this morning your favor of the 9th instant, and lose no time in making a reply. The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be "reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics" is perfectly false. Some years ago, a plain, and apparently simple-hearted farmer, called upon me with a note from Dr. Mitchell of our city, now deceased, requesting me to decypher, if possible, a paper, which the farmer would hand me, and which Dr. M. confessed he had been unable to understand. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax. When I asked the person, who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I can now recollect, the following account: A "gold book," consisting of a number of plates of gold, fastened together in the shape of a book by wires of the same metal, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New York, and along with the book an enormous pair of "gold spectacles"! These spectacles were so large, that, if a person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would have to be turned towards one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the breadth of the human face. Whoever examined the plates through the spectacles, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning. All this knowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man, who had the trunk containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm house, and, being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, decyphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain, to those who stood on the outside. Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been decyphered "by the gift of God." Every thing, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the "golden book," the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles. On hearing this odd story, I changed my opinion about the paper, and, instead of viewing it any longer as a hoax upon the learned, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and he then took his leave carrying the paper with him. This paper was in fact a singular scrawl. It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calender given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. I am thus particular as to the contents of the paper, inasmuch as I have frequently conversed with my friends on the subject, since the Mormonite excitement began, and well remember that the paper contained any thing else but "Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Some time after, the same farmer paid me a second visit. He brought with him the golden book in print, and offered it to me for sale. I declined purchasing. He then asked permission to leave the book with me for examination. I declined receiving it, although his manner was strangely urgent. I adverted once more to the roguery which had been in my opinion practised upon him, and asked him what had become of the gold plates. He informed me that they were in a trunk with the large pair of spectacles. I advised him to go to a magistrate and have the trunk examined. He said the "curse of God" would come upon him should he do this. On my pressing him, however, to pursue the course which I had recommended, he told me that he would open the trunk, if I would take the "curse of God" upon myself. I replied that I would do so with the greatest willingness, and would incur every risk of that nature, provided I could only extricate him from the grasp of rogues. He then left me.
I have thus given you a full statement of all that I know respecting the origin of Mormonism, and must beg you, as a personal favor, to publish this letter immediately, should you find my name mentioned again by these wretched fanatics.
Yours respectfully, CHAS. ANTHON.
The second letter: to Reverend Coit on April 3, 1841
New York, April 3d, 1841.
Rev. and Dear Sir:
I have often heard that the Mormons claimed me for an auxiliary, but, as no one, until the present time, has even requested from me a statement in writing, I have not deemed it worth while to say anything publicly on the subject. What I do know of the sect relates to some of the early movements; and as the facts may amuse you, while they will furnish a satisfactory answer to the charge of my being a Mormon proselyte, I proceed to lay them before you in detail.
Many years ago, the precise date I do not now recollect, a plain looking countryman called upon me with a letter from Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell requesting me to examine, and give my opinion upon, a certain paper, marked with various characters, which the Doctor confessed he could not decypher, and which the bearer of the note was very anxious to have explained. A very brief examination of the paper convinced me that it was a mere hoax, and a very clumsy one too. The characters were arranged in columns, like the Chinese mode of writing, and presented the most singular medley that I ever beheld. Greek, Hebrew and all sorts of letters, more or less distorted, either through unskilfulness or from actual design, were intermingled with sundry delineations of half moons, stars, and other natural objects, and the whole ended in a rude representation of the Mexican zodiac. The conclusion was irresistible, that some cunning fellow had prepared the paper in question for the purpose of imposing upon the countryman who brought it, and I told the man so without any hesitation. He then proceeded to give me the history of the whole affair, which convinced me that he had fallen into the hands of some sharper, while it left me in great astonishment at his simplicity.
The countryman told me that a gold book had been recently dug up in the western or northern part (I forget which), of our state, and he described this book as consisting of many gold plates, like leaves, secured by a gold wire passing through the edges of each, just as the leaves of a book are sewed together, and presented in this way the appearance of a volume. Each plate, according to him, was inscribed with unknown characters, and the paper which he handed me, a transcript of one of these pages. On my asking him by whom the copy was made, he gravely stated, that along with the golden book there had been dug up a very large pair of spectacles! so large in fact that if a man were to hold them in front of his face, his two eyes would merely look through one of the glasses, and the remaining part of the spectacles would project a considerable distance sideways! These spectacles possessed, it seems a very valuable property, of enabling any one who looked through them, (or rather through one of the lenses,) not only to decypher the characters on the plates, but also to comprehend their exact meaning, and be able to translate them!! My informant assured me that this curious property of the spectacles had been actually tested, and found to be true. A young man, it seems, had been placed in the garret of a farm-house, with a curtain before him, and having fastened the spectacles to his head, had read several pages in the golden book, and communicated their contents in writing to certain persons stationed on the outside of the curtain. He had also copied off one page of the book in the original character, which he had in like manner handed over to those who were separated from him by the curtain, and this copy was the paper which the countryman had brought with him. As the golden book was said to contain very great truths, and most important revelations of a religious nature, a strong desire had been expressed by several persons in the countryman's neighbourhood, to have the whole work translated and published. A proposition had accordingly been made to my informant, to sell his farm, and apply the proceeds to the printing of the golden book, and the golden plates were to be left with him as security until he should be reimbursed by the sale of the work. To convince him more clearly that there was no risk whatever in the matter, and that the work was actually what it claimed to be, he was told to take the paper, which purported to be a copy of one of the pages of the book, to the city of New York, and submit it to the learned in that quarter, who would soon dispel all his doubts, and satisfy him as to the perfect safety of the investment. As Dr. Mitchell was our "Magnus Apollo" in those days, the man called first upon him; but the Doctor, evidently suspecting some trick, declined giving any opinion about the matter, and sent the countryman down to the college, to see, in all probability what the "learned pundits" in that place would make of the affair. On my telling the bearer of the paper that an attempt had been made to impose on him and defraud him of his property, he requested me to give him my opinion in writing about the paper which he had shown to me. I did so without hesitation, partly for the man's sake, and partly to let the individual "behind the curtain" see that his trick was discovered. The import of what I wrote was, as far as I can now recollect, simply this, that the marks in the paper appeared to be merely an imitation of various alphabetical characters, and had, in my opinion, no meaning at all connected with them. The countryman then took his leave, with many thanks, and with the express declaration that he would in no shape part with his farm, or embark in the speculation of printing the golden book.
The matter rested here for a considerable time, until one day, when I had ceased entirely to think of the countryman and his paper, this same individual, to my great surprise, paid me a second visit. He now brought with him a duodecimo volume, which he said was a translation into English of the "Golden Bible." He also stated, that notwithstanding his original determination not to sell his farm, he had been induced evidently to do so, and apply the money to the publication of the book, and had received the golden plates as a security for payment. He begged my acceptance of the volume, assuring me that it would be found extremely interesting, and that it was already "making great noise" in the upper part of the state. Suspecting now that some serious trick was on foot, and that my plain looking visitor might be in fact a very cunning fellow I declined his present, and merely contented myself with a slight examination of the volume while he stood by. The more I declined receiving it, however, the more urgent the man became in offering the book, until at last I told him plainly, that if he left the volume, as he said he intended to do, I should most assuredly throw it after him as he departed. I then asked him how he could be so foolish as to sell his farm and engage in this affair; and requested him to tell me if the plates were really of gold. In answer to this latter inquiry, he said, that he had never seen the plates themselves, which were carefully locked up in a trunk, but that he had the trunk in his possession. I advised him by all means to open the trunk and examine its contents, and if the plates proved to be of gold, which I did not believe at all, to sell them immediately. His reply was, that. if he opened the trunk, the "curse of heaven would descend upon him and his children.' "However," added he, "I will agree to open it, provided you take the 'curse of Heaven' upon yourself, for having advised me to the step." I told him I was perfectly willing to do so, and begged he would hasten home and examine the trunk, for he would find that he had been cheated. He promised to do as I recommended, and left me, taking his book with him. I have never seen him since
Such is a plain statement of all I know respecting the Mormons. My impression now is, that the plain looking countryman was none other than the prophet Smith himself, who assumed an appearance of great simplicity in order to entrap me, if possible, into some recommendation of his book. That the prophet aided me by his inspiration, in interpreting the volume, is only one of the many amusing falsehoods which the Mormonites utter relative to my participation in their doctrines. Of these doctrines I know nothing whatever, nor have I ever heard a single discourse from any of their preachers, although I have often felt a strong curiosity to become an auditor, since my friends tell me that they frequently name me in their sermons, and even go so far as to say that I am alluded to in the prophecies of Scripture!
If what I have here written shall prove of any service in opening the eyes of some of their deluded followers to the real designs of those who profess to be the apostles of Mormonism, it will afford me satisfaction equalled, I have no doubt, only by that which you yourself will feel on this subject.
I remain, very respectfully and truly, your friend,
Anthon wrote a letter in 1834 in which he denied having verified that the inscription was Egyptian Hieroglyphics for he said that it contained everything on it but Egyptian. He said that the sheet he was shown was copied out of a book on Mexican characters and contained a mixture of Roman, Greek and Hebrew letters. In 1841, he wrote another letter saying much the same thing. Anthon stated that he told Martin Harris that he was the victim of a fraud.
Had Anthon really authenticated the transcript like Smith and Harris said he did he would have copied the characters and the translation behind Harris’s back. Then he would have been able to crack the code of how to translate Egyptian. He could have concealed the supernatural origin of the code and become the greatest and most famous Egyptologist of all time. He would not have written out the certificate for that presupposed that he was going to let go of the documents Harris brought. He would have kept them and perhaps told Harris that it was a fraud.
Mormons say, “There are contradictions between Anthon’s two documents on the transcript and the episode with Harris. Anthon in the 1834 document, gave no opinion on the transcript while in the latter he condemns it totally as a fake. In the first letter, he admitted he was writing to refute the Mormons and he said that they were lying when they said he verified the transcript. He only said this and that he thought the transcript was a hoax while in the 1841 document he goes into detail and states that he is convinced it is a hoax and gives reasons and denies that the sheet had any Egyptian on it. Anthon was a liar so we should believe Joseph Smith and Martin Harris’ versions.”
This is the strangest contradiction I have ever heard of! Anthon thought in his first letter that he would just say that the Mormons were lying about him and that would do for then. Years later he decides to tell the rest of what he thought. There is no contradiction.
Anthon's 1841 letter was written to a friend so why would he put lies in it?
WHAT WAS ON THE SHEET?
Professor Charles Anthon said, according to Joseph Smith and Martin Harris, that the translation from the Egyptian was correct. But at that time nobody knew how to translate Egyptian and the Book of Mormon itself says that God had to prepare a miraculous way of translating the plates it was on for it was in a completely unknown tongue (Mormon 9:34).
Smith said that he said the characters Anthon read were Assyrian, Chaldian, Arabian and Egyptian. But this mixture would make it impossible for him to understand the translation! And Assyrian and Egyptian do not have alphabets but the other two do which makes it all the worse. Thus Anthon’s sworn statement in the form of a letter from February 17th, 1834, that he did not authenticate the Book of Mormon must be the truth. Also, the Anthon Transcript with the Book of Mormon characters on it still existed then so Anthon would have been afraid to lie if what Smith said was true. All Smith had to do was to get his men to take it to Egyptologists and not say what the source was but he didn’t because he knew the characters were made up and the translation was a fake. The Mormon Church believed that the Transcript could still exist when it bought a forged one in the nineteen eighties despite the alleged power of the head of the Church to translate ancient scriptures. Smith unwittingly backed up Anthon’s assertion that the page he got had alphabets copied from old books on it.
Why did Smith let the transcript of the characters be lost if it is part of the verification for the Book of Mormon? He published other things and why not it? He knew what would happen – he would be found out.
Mormons say, “Anthon must have said that the text was a mixture for if Smith had been lying we would expect him to say that Anthon said it was Egyptian. Smith never said there was Hebrew in it which supports this statement for had he been lying he would have said Anthon recognised Hebrew in the book. Why else would Smith mention alphabets that his Book of Mormon never mentioned?” Since when did a liar’s mistakes prove that he was telling the truth? If there had been any Egyptian on the page Anthon would have said so and would have surmised that it came from some book. Anthon was not as deceptive as Smith who was famous for lying and stealing and adultery. Anthon is the one to be trusted.
Smith was telling lies. He said that the letters were from different alphabets for he claimed the plates were written upon in an unknown language and if they were from different alphabets then there was something suspicious going on. Mormons never think of the possibility that Smith himself was fooled by plates that were not from the time of the Nephites at all.
Mormons reply that the Book of Mormon does not mention all the migrations to the New World so it might be that these alphabets were brought to it and used to create a new alphabet. For example, a Chaldiac letter might be noun meaning anything like Nephi or tree in the New World. They used the alphabet and changed the meaning.
This is hopelessly implausible. It would take a long long time for a language to alter so drastically. The Nephites were only in America from 600 BC to 421 AD. A very short period of time.
Anthon would not have gone to much trouble to decipher the scrawl. What professor would if somebody came in with a page to him and could not prove to him where the figures came from? Thirdly, Anthon would have needed days and weeks to work out if the scrawl did make linguistic sense. But Harris had only a short meeting with him.
Anthon does nothing for those who wish the Book of Mormon to be true.