Another Bulls-eye for the Book of Mormon
Critics of the Book of Mormon typically use shallow criticisms attempting to disprove the book’s authenticity. The basis for an age-old Book of Mormon ‘bash’ is the last verse of the Book of Jacob. Jacob’s “good-bye”, in his parting message to the world, ends with the word ‘Adieu.’
Jacob 5:48 And to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.
The critics argument is usually something to the affect: ”…….. Joseph Smith was so uneducated, that he didn’t even know he used a FRENCH word when forging the Book of Mormon—French wasn’t even invented yet, in the days when Jacob supposedly lived…….(and so forth)….therefore the Book of Mormon is proven false…”
Well, unfortunately, the critics never remain to see if their slanderous arrows ever strike a target. Here is another case where their ammunition backfires:
First of all, one would have to agree with the critics that Joseph was (relatively) uneducated. But in citing that a French word didn’t exist in the Nephite days and therefore couldn’t be in the Book of Mormon, one should also remember that the Book of Mormon contains hundreds of thousands of English words that didn’t exist back then either! (grin). The writers were speaking neither English or French.
Furthermore, if their argument that ‘one statement translated into a French derived word therefore negates the entire Book of Mormon’, then applying the same logic consequently makes the Bible invalid! You see, in Jeremiah 10:22 the writer describes the noise of the ‘Bruit.’
Jeremiah 10:22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.
‘Bruit’ is not Hebrew, nor is it English—it is French. Now is the Christian world ready to accuse Jeremiah a false prophet and claim the Old Testament invalid? Probably not.
(Herein lies the type of fallacy most anti-Book of Mormon propose—the mud slung at the Book of Mormon usually has to hurl past the Bible on its way—critics are usually unwilling to play on a level playing field and apply their same logic to the Bible. If the critics applied the same logic to the Bible as to the Book of Mormon, there would be many less proclaiming to be ‘Christians’ in this world.)
Why then does a French word appear? Two reasons:
First, even casual readers of scripture would concur that neither the Bible’s Jeremiah nor the Book of Mormon’s Jacob used any French words when speaking. Why do they then appear? The point is that the ancient text, in this case Hebrew, was translated into English for the modern reader’s understanding. Most readers of English would perfectly understand the Book of Mormon’s connotation of “Adieu” as one expressing parting. The Bible uses the same approach.
But here is the real proof. A modern Hebrew-English Dictionary reveals the truth (see illustration above):
The word Hebrew word ‘Shalom’ is most closely translated to the American’s use of (and the French intent) the word ‘Adieu.’ And not just any old Shalom, but only the use of Shalom when emphasizing people parting company. And even if one lacks a degree in Rabbinical Studies, most English speaking Americans have heard and understood that the Hebrew word Shalom can be used to express peace, or say goodbye. Indeed, Jacob was most certainly saying “Shalom” when he signed-off.
But Shalom translates to……Adieu, even in an English dictionary! That is the real answer! The best translation of the Hebrew “Shalom” becomes the choicest word Adieu! Who else but one given the spiritual gift to translate could ever know?
Was a young New York farm boy just a good guesser? (The silence from the critics becomes deafening at times…..)
Perhaps no guess-work was involved at all. Perhaps this is yet another internal proof that the Book of Mormon is only what it claims to be—an authentic text written in the Hebrew tongue by a ancient members of the House of Israel and divinely translated in the Latter Days.
While the ammunition used against God’s work will ultimately always miss its target, once again, truth strikes another bulls-eye for the Book of Mormon!
(Hebrew text scanned from The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary 1975.)