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Nephite History in Context

All posts part of the series Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon will be linked to here for convenience. The aim of this series will be to essentially create an anthology of artifacts, inscriptions, and texts from the ancient Near East and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica relevant in some way to Book of Mormon history. Each post takes either an artifact, inscription, or another text (or an excerpt from a text), provide some brief background and context for that item, a translation and/or image of the item, and then a brief discussion of its relevance to the Book of Mormon.

Introduction to Nephite History in Context Series

Nephite History in Context 1 (Nov. 2017): Jerusalem Chronicle HTML | PDF

Nephite History in Context 2a (Dec. 2017): Apocryphon of Jeremiah HTML | PDF

Nephite History in Context 2b (Dec. 2017): Letters of ʿAbdu-Ḫeba of Jerusalem HTML | PDF

Nephite History in Context 2c (Dec. 2017): Bethlehem Bulla HTML | PDF

Nephite History in Context 3 (Aug. 2018): Vered Jericho Sword HTML | PDF

Nephite History in Context 4 (Sept. 2018): The Iron Dagger of King Tutankhamun HTML | PDF

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Nephite History in Context 1: Jerusalem Chronicle

Editor’s Note: This is the first contribution to my new series Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon. Check out the really cool (and official, citable) PDF version here. To learn more about this series, read the introduction here. To find other posts in the series, see here
Jerusalem Chronicle (ABC 5/BM 21946)
Background
The so-called “Babylonian Chronicles” are an important collection of brief historical reports from Mesopotamia, found in Iraq in the late-19th century.1 They are written on clay tablets in Akkadian using cuneiform script, and cover much of the first millennium BC, although several tablets are missing or severely damaged, leaving gaps in the record. One tablet, colloquially known as the “Jerusalem Chronicle” (ABC 5/BM 21946),2 provides brief annal-like reports of the early reign of Nebuchadrezzar II (biblical Nebuchadnezzar), including mention of his invasion of Jerusalem.
Biblical sources report that King Jehoiac…

Nephite History in Context 4: The Iron Dagger of King Tutankhamun

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth contribution to my new series Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon. Check out the really cool (and official, citable) PDF version here. To learn more about this series, read the introduction here. To find other posts in the series, see here.
The Iron Dagger of King Tutankhamun
Background
The discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 was a worldwide sensation, and to this day is widely regarded as one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all-time due to the veritable treasure trove of artifacts found inside. The treasure was so great that to this day many of the items have yet to be studied. Likewise, Tutankhamun (ca. 1336–1327 bc) remains the best-known Pharaoh of Egypt in popular culture today, but details about his actual reign and accomplishments are still generally unknown among the public. Some are aware that he ascended to the throne as a mere child, about 8 years old, but few r…

Nephite History in Context 2a: Apocryphon of Jeremiah

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of the second contribution to my new series Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon. Check out the really cool (and official, citable) PDF version here. To learn more about this series, read the introduction here. To find other posts in the series, see here
Apocryphon of Jeremiah (4Q385a)
Background
Between 1947 and 1956, a few well preserved scrolls and tens of thousands of broken fragments were found scattered across eleven different caves along the northwest shores of the Dead Sea near Qumran. Now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are arguably the most significant discovery ever made for the study of the Bible and the origins of Judaism and Christianity. Among the writings found are the earliest copies of nearly every Old Testament book, many of the known apocryphal and pseudepigraphic works, and several other texts discovered for the first time at Qumran. Altogether, more than 900 differe…