The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, is a much different story when we take the time to examine statements from most scholars, historians, and archaeologists who have taken the time to study the Mormon scriptures to evaluate their claims of historical accuracy. We come to discover that the allegedly inspired Mormon texts have a much lower reputation than what the Mormons want us to believe. Most, if not all, of the historical content found in the Book of Mormon has never been verified through archaeological finds. Globally famous scientific research and educational institutions such as the Smithsonian Institute and the National Geographic Society have come to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon is essentially a worthless guide when it comes to archaeology. There is no evidence existing whatsoever for the cities, or even names found on inscriptions, to strengthen the case for Mormonism. It is simply devoid of factual support. This is the general consensus reached among leading scientists and archaeologists on matters pertaining to the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon. The material is simply mythological. Consider this quotation from a Mormon archaeologist:
“For example, some popular 'Mormon' books show pictures of classic Maya, Inca, and Aztec ruins and attribute them to the Nephites. Scholars are aware that these civilizations postdate Book of Mormon times. Other gross errors include the use of outdated or otherwise unreliable source materials and the tendency to make every piece of evidence fit neatly into the Book of Mormon picture, whether it belongs there or not." (U.A.S. Newsletter, No. 54, Nov. 19, 1958, p. Z. Dr. Dee F. Green, LDS Archaeologist and the editor of the University Archaeological Society Newsletter at B.Y.U.)
While the accuracy of the Bible can be verified through the comparison of reliable manuscripts and external data, the Book of Mormon has no standard to verify its accuracy because the “Angel Maroni” supposedly took the Golden Nephi Plates from the hands of Joseph Smith. Not only does the world not have the Golden Nephi Plates to examine, but the Book of Mormon also contains thousands of verbatim quotations, including translation errors, from the 1611 King James Bible peppered throughout its pages. It has been estimated that 27,000 words have been reproduced from this translation and incorporated into the Book of Mormon. This fact is devastating to the Book of Mormon, especially when Mormonism claims that the entire text of the book can be dated before 421 AD! How does the process of translating reformed Egyptian into the English language appear identically as if one is translating Koine Greek to English?
"...compare Isaiah, chapter 53 in the King James translation of the Bible with Mosiah, chapter 14, in the Book of Mormon. This reveals that the King James translation has been copied almost word for word. Also compare Matthew, chapter 6, verses 1 through 23, with the Photo-reproduction No. 11, of page 482 of the 1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon. Here the King James translation has been copied even using the word "which" for "who" which was perfectly proper at the time of the King James translation but not so in 1830 when the Book of Mormon was written. On this page 482 of the Original Edition the words, "Father which" occurs seven times, but in later editions of the Book of Mormon, but "which" has been changed to "who" (See 3 Nephi 13:1-18)." (Arthur Budvarson, The Book of Mormon--True or False?, p. 25)
Furthermore, there have been approximately four thousand alterations to the Book of Mormon since it was originally published in 1830 AD. Additionally, there is no known evidence for the language called "Reformed Egyptian", which was the language that Joseph Smith supposedly translated from the Golden Nephi Plates into the Book of Mormon. This language remains completely hidden from Egyptologists.
Former defenders of Mormon archaeology such as Thomas Stuart Ferguson have admitted to the absolute futility of spending years in an attempt to prove the reliability of Mormon archaeology through historical research. They have been led to the same conclusion as outside critics that the contents found within the Book of Mormon are completely fictional in nature. Any notion of ancient Hebrew people living on the ancient American continent is imaginary. In fact, even the Book of Mormon admits to the possibility of it being in error:
"Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon plates save it be that I think it be sacred. And now, if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself." (1 Nephi 19:6)
"And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record." (Book of Mormon 9:33)
As stated in the introduction, Mormonism maintains that the entire early church went into a complete state of apostasy. Mormons maintain that they are God's restored church. But we need to ask ourselves when this total apostasy happened? What specific evidence can they provide us with to suggest that the early church deviated from the original teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ? The most primitive Christian writers after biblical times make no mention of any uniquely Mormon doctrines. One can read through the writings of early Christians such as Ignatius of Antioch, Clement, Eusebius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Polycarp, and others only to find no mention of any peculiarly Mormon doctrines. We find no mention of any major articles of the Mormon faith such as polytheism, polygamy, celestial marriage, temple ceremonies, or any other distinctive. We do not even find an inkling of the coming of a complete apostasy of the church in the volumes of writings produced by the most primitive Christians. If the Mormon Church today is the prototype of the original churches of the first century, then we should find mention of distinctly Mormon doctrines in every corner of the early church. But this is certainly not the case. The Book of Mormon is devoid of factual support.