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Track Changes of the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Mormon.

Track Changes of the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Mormon.

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Published by Bomo Nomo
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most frequently cited discourses given by Jesus Christ in the Bible. It comprises Chapter 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew.
The Book of Mormon also includes a very similar sermon in 3 Nephi 12-14 given by Christ to the inhabitants of the Americas after his death and resurrection.
Just how similar are these sermons and what are the implications of their similarity? Read on to find out.
The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most frequently cited discourses given by Jesus Christ in the Bible. It comprises Chapter 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew.
The Book of Mormon also includes a very similar sermon in 3 Nephi 12-14 given by Christ to the inhabitants of the Americas after his death and resurrection.
Just how similar are these sermons and what are the implications of their similarity? Read on to find out.

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Published by: Bomo Nomo on Sep 25, 2013
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03/15/2014

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Tracking Changes in the Sermon on the Mount Between Matthewin KJV Bible and 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon
Both the King James version of the Bible and the Book of Mormon have an account of Christ visitingpeople and providing instruction. One of the most famous of these discourses is the “Sermon on theMount.” This sermon is depicted in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5-7. It includes some of the mostbeautiful and remarkable teachings for which Christ and his followers are known.In the Book of Mormon, Christ visits the inhabitants of what we now know as the Americas. This visitcomes after his crucifixion, resurrection and subsequent time with his disciples. He descends out of heaven in the Americas to bring his gospel to the people who live in this land. One of the first things thatChrist does is to deliver a sermon that is very similar to the Sermon on the Mount. But just how similar are these two sermons - the one recorded in the King James version of Matthew 5-7 and the sermonrecorded in the Book of Mormon 3rd Nephi 12-14?
Tracking the Changes
In order to visualize how similar these sermons are I have taken the text of the biblical account of thesermon from Matthew and applied all of the deletions and additions necessary to transform it into thesermon as depicted in 3rd Nephi. This has been done with the ‘Track Changes’ feature in a wordprocessor to help visualize the various changes that have been made. You will find this text at theconclusion of this document. The following observations are made:Matthew 5 vs 3 Nephi 12326 words (31%) of the original 1049 words of Matthew 5 were deleted and 358 newwords (33%) were added to the text to create 3 Nephi 12 which has a total of 1081words, of which 66% are verbatim, copied from Matthew 5.Matthew 6 vs 3 Nephi 1343 words (5%) of the original 788 words of Matthew 6 were deleted and 86 new words(10%) were added to the text to create 3 Nephi 13 which has a total of 831 words, of which 90% are verbatim, copied from Matthew 6.Matthew 7 vs 3 Nephi 1413 words (2%) of the original 594 words of Matthew 7 were deleted and 37 new words(6%) were added to the text to create 3 Nephi 14 which has a total of 631 words, of which94% are verbatim copied from Matthew 7.Aggregate Matthew 5-7 vs 3 Nephi 12-14382 words (16%) of the original 2431 words of Matthew 5-7 were deleted and 481 newwords (19%) were added to the text to create 3 Nephi 12-14 which has a total of 2543words, of which 81% are verbatim copied from Matthew 5-7 As you can see, approximately 80% of the words of these sermons between the two versions areexactly the same, with exactly the same order and exactly the same choice of articles, allusions,adjectives, etc.
History of the Documents
This is a curious finding since each of these accounts come from different authors - the account inMatthew was written in hebrew or aramaic between 50-110 AD, translated into greek, latin and ultimatelyenglish under commission from the Church of England to produce the King James Version (KJV) of thebible. The account in the Book of Mormon was written by an unknown scribe and abridged into ‘reformed
 
egyptian’ onto the golden plates by Mormon and subsequently translated by Joseph Smith into english.
Which Came First?
 A further curiosity of these accounts is the chronology of the records. In the Book of Mormon, Christvisits the people of the Americas in about 34 AD and it is in this year that he delivers this sermon and itis originally recorded. The account in Matthew was not written until 20-30 years later on the other side of the world.If you accept the chronology of the Book of Mormon - then you must accept that the author of Matthewwrote the sermon in exactly the same order as Mormon abridged the sermon given to the Americas,even though the author of Matthew did so years afterward and without knowledge of it. Furthermore youmust accept that the translators commissioned by the Church of England who produced the KJV of thebible chose the exact phraseology that an english translation of Mormons abridgement of a differentrendition of the sermon would produce.
Doxology?
 A particularly interesting fact is that the phrase “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,for ever. Amen.” is included in the Book of Mormon account of the Lord’s Prayer. This phrase, called a‘Doxology’, is widely considered to be later addition to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew based on easternliturgical tradition. The phrase is absent in the oldest and best manuscripts of Matthew. Neverthelessthere are some who argue that the doxology was originally part of the Lord’s recitation and wasmistakenly left out of those earlier accounts. Critics see the inclusion of the doxology as supporting theassertion that Joseph Smith copied from the KJV Bible, while faithful members see this as evidencesupporting the inclusion of the doxology in the original Lord’s Prayer.
Luke - A Third Account
 Another curiosity arises when you consider that the account in Matthew is not the only biblical account of the Sermon on the Mount. The Gospel of Luke also includes an account of this discourse - though itvaries in content and detail which is not surprising of two different individual remembering an eventseveral years later. What is particularly interesting is that there are teachings in Luke’s account that arenot included in the sermon recorded in Matthew. For example, after 4 ‘beatitudes’ Luke includes 4 ‘woes’in Luke 6:24-26. These are not included in Matthew's account of the sermon - and likewise not in theBook of Mormon account. If Christ taught these ‘woes’ as part of this key sermon, why would it not beincluded in the Book of Mormon rendition?It could be argued that the account in Luke is of a separate discourse given by Jesus - the Sermon onthe Plain. The challenge with this argument is that if Christ felt it necessary to alter his teachings to fitthe audience as recorded in Luke - then it would make sense that the sermon delivered to the America’sshould be even more different, since the culture, language and history of those people would be muchmore divergent than any Christ encountered in his earthly life. That that they are so similar even thoughthey were written accounts of speeches given to different audiences of different cultures in different
 
languages recorded by different scribes and put through different translation processes and yet are sosimilar is remarkable.
By Design or By Cunning
The fact that that the sermon recorded in 3rd Nephi is so remarkably similar to that in the King JamesVersion of Matthew - with over 80% of the words verbatim leads one to at least consider the possibilitythat the sermon was copied directly out of a King James Bible, which Joseph Smith owned, and slightlyaltered to fit the narrative of the circumstances of Christ’s arrival in the Americas in the Book of Mormon.It could be that God designed that there was harmony between these key sermons given at suchdifferent settings. Some may take this as actual proof of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. The fact thatJoseph Smith’s translations of the facsimiles of the Book of Abraham have been proven to be incorrectand that he put forth that the Kinderhook Plates contained a genuine record of an ancient person, eventhough they have been proven to be a hoax destroys his credibility as a translator. In light of these other deceptions, one must at least consider the likelihood that the Book of Mormon contains significant andlengthy excerpts plagiarized from the King James version of the Bible.Take a look for yourself and decide.

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