Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Joseph Smith, Mormon criticisms, anti-Mormon literature, Alexander Cambell, "land of Jerusalem", Bible studies, Book of Mormon studies, Daniel Peterson


For over 160 years, beginning at least with the 1833 publication of Alexander Campbell's Delusions, countless critics have claimed that the Book of Mormon's use of the phrase "land of Jerusalem" was a major error and proof that the book was false. They especially criticized the use of this phrase in reference to the place where Christ would be born. That phrase was not used in the Bible nor in the Apocrypha. Therefore, the critics concluded, it was an example of Joseph Smith's ignorance and evidence that he had tried to perpetrate a fraud. (For a thorough overview of this argument, see the essay by Daniel Peterson in Review of Books on the Book of Mormon 5:62-78.)