I need to write a paper for class, but motivation wanes. Instead, I’d like to share one rather intriguing factoid about Deuteronomy and how it helps us understand what we all know: The Book of Mormon is not God’s word.
In brief, the Hittites were a culture whom archaeologists and historians claim wrote treaties according to a specific format. As the name ‘treaty’ implies, these were usually documents (we might expand the term to literature) which were developed after a fight of some sort. In any case, what we now call Deuteronomy is written in the form of one of these Hittite Vassal treaties. Besides helping us date the book of Deuteronomy, this similarity also speaks to the way Christians believe God reveals himself. Don’t miss this point. Folks long ago were milling around and if they were going to write things down (create literature) one of their options was a Hittite Vassal treaty. They didn’t have blogs, or tweets, or fb posts; novels weren’t around, nor were comic books. So when Moses (likely) wrote Deuteronomy he wrote it in the style he would have known–a treaty.
Later, when the Gospels and Paul’s letters were being written, they too were written in the forms their authors would have known. Keeping in mind that none of the Bible’s authors knew that what they were writing was going to be compiled as part of “The Bible”, in a roundabout way, this strengthens the argument that the Bible deserves some time and attention before discarding it.
Then there’s the Book of Mormon. Sesame Street has the familiar, “One of these things” segment and the lesson applies here. Unlike Mr. Joseph Smith, none of the Bible’s author’s claimed to find the Bible. Sure, we can debate whether or not Moses made up the Noah’s Ark story, but it’s Moses’ story. If God wanted an American to add to the Bible’s 66 books in the 1800s, then the writings would been similar in form to, say, the U.S. Constitution, or a dime novel, or more letters, or anything else that Joseph Smith’s contemporary’s would have recognized as “normal”.
Did I just imply that I posses the power to discern how God talks? Yes. Don’t be alarmed. You do too. Who’s up for a little game?