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How would Joseph Smith know to mention 40 times the unbiblical phrase “the land of Jerusalem” rather than the Biblical phrase “the city of Jerusalem”?

The Bible never mentions the phrase “the land of Jerusalem” however it appears over 40 times in the Book of Mormon. If Joseph Smith was trying to copy the language of the Bible wouldn’t he have called Jerusalem a city? 

Michael R. Ash remarks:

The Bible declares that the Messiah of Israel was to be born in Bethlehem, and the gospel of Matthew records the fulfillment of this prophecy. But the Book of Mormon states ‘…the son of God… shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers’.

The Tell El Anarma Tablets say the “land of Jerusalem” was an area larger than the city itself. The phrase “land of Jerusalem” is not in the Bible and was not current in Joseph Smith’s day. It is, however, an accurate description for Jerusalem and the surrounding cities and is precisely the language that would have been used by an ancient Israelite in 600 BC.

Faith and Reason 42: Land of Jerusalem – Michael R. Ash

Why do the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient documents also use this unbiblical phrase? Where did Joseph Smith learn this?


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