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


Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon translation, gold plates, reformed Egyptian translation, "gold Bible"


The Prophet Joseph Smith's claim that he translated an ancient text from gold plates he had found buried in the ground was greeted with disbelief in the press and in early anti-Mormon literature. Alexander Campbell, a prominent American religious leader who wrote the first book critical of the Book of Mormon, scoffed at the fact that it had been translated "from the reformed Egyptian!!!" Critics derided the Book of Mormon by calling it the "gold Bible," reflecting the skepticism about scripture being written on metal plates.