Disclaimer: If you think I’m saying the Bible is false, you’re wrong. That’s not at all what I’m saying. Read on.
I’ve been having an extensive discussion with two chaps on another post on this blog, and they have posited that if the Book of Mormon were true, then there would surely be physical evidence to prove it. That is, there would be archeological evidence, supporting historical documents, etc., just as there are for the Bible. And while perhaps I’m putting words in their mouths, they seem to be making the argument that their entire belief in the Bible is founded on the physical evidence that supports the Bible.
However, in making this argument, they seem to be missing the point that if they applied the same logic to the Bible, they would have to conclude that the Bible is little more trustworthy than the Book of Mormon.
Why? Because while the physical evidence supporting the Bible is certainly there, it only supports parts of the Bible, while not supporting others. For example, what physical evidence is there for the resurrection of Christ? What physical evidence proves that we can be forgiven of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice? What physical proof is there for the divinity of Christ? In short, what physical evidence is there to prove that the Bible is not a work of historical fiction?
Historical fiction takes advantage of real places, people, and historical events, but weaves fictional elements into it. Thus, if the Bible were a work of historical fiction, it could still be supported in many ways by archeology and other historical documents. For example, you could point to many references outside the Bible that refer to Christ, portray him in artwork, etc., and say “See? There’s all sorts of evidence showing that Christ was real.” Yes, but a real person, or really who the Bible claims he is?
And so my question to you is if you believe the Bible to be true, especially its foundational tenets such as the divinity of Christ, the reality of his resurrection, and the forgiveness extended to us by his sacrifice, then how do you know those things are real?
I would put forth that there is no way to know if they are real short of revelation, that is, direct communication with God, and that if you accept revelation from God as a reality, then you must also accept that God can tell you if the Book of Mormon is true, and therefore whether or not there is physical evidence supporting the Book of Mormon is a moot point.
By the way, there is not exactly a total lack of evidence supporting the Book of Mormon as some claim.