4

While doing research into a question about the Aztec and Mayan peoples I found an article from the official web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which suggests that Jesus appeared to people of Jewish descent in the American continents:

“Jesus spent His mortal life near Jerusalem, teaching the Jews of His gospel. However, Jesus also taught people of Jewish descent in another land: the American continents... The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture that details God’s teachings to people who lived in the Americas from about 600 BC to AD 400.” Source: https://www.comeuntochrist.org/blog/what-jesus-christs-visit-to-the-americas-means-to-us

According to the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ had twelve Nephite disciples. Apparently, Jesus visited the New World after his death and resurrection. Moroni was the last Nephite prophet, historian, and military commander who supposedly lived in the Americas in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. He is later known as the Angel Moroni.

History records how Christianity was brought to the Aztecs and Mayans by the Spanish conquistadors after 1517. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_colonization_of_the_Americas

But is there any evidence that people of Jewish descent came to the Americas before then or that Jesus Christ brought the gospel to native peoples living in the Americas?

EDIT: Regarding the article on archaeological evidence to support the events recorded in the Book of Mormon, although the question (and the answer) is interesting, it does not answer my question.

I am inclined to agree with the conclusion by Mason Wheeler that “a large corpus of evidence exists which, while not enough to conclusively prove the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon... definitely demonstrates that the book is worthy of serious attention and consideration.”

However, I disagree with his assertion that “(they haven't even managed to do that with the Bible, so it would be unfair to hold another work that claims to be scripture to such a high standard).” What’s good enough to support the truthfulness of the Bible is good enough to support the truthfulness in the Book of Mormon, but archaeology is not the proof I seek.

What evidence is there to support the claim that Jesus "taught people of Jewish descent in another land: the American continents"?

  • 1
    You can't ask for views from both LDS and Trinitarian - one side will say there is evidence, the other will say its all absolute nonsense. – curiousdannii Aug 7 at 12:31
  • Okay, point taken. Will edit my question accordingly. – Lesley Aug 7 at 12:35
  • 1
    Well, if you ask a Latter-day Saint, they'll tell you that the Book of Mormon itself is the evidence -- however, it is up to the reader (or asker) to seek a spiritual witness of its truthfulness if you are going to believe that. I would post this as an answer but I suspect it's not what you are going for. – Matt Aug 7 at 16:15
  • @Matt – Initially I invited responses from both LDS and from Trinitarian Christians but curiousdannii said I can’t ask for views from both LDS and Trinitarian. I guess what’s to be avoided are opinions. The Acts of the Apostles describes how the gospel was spread throughout the world, but is silent on any mention of Christ or his followers having settled in the Americas either pre or post resurrection. I was hopeful that this subject had been addressed by reputable Bible scholars. – Lesley Aug 7 at 16:53
  • 2
5

No overwhelming evidence that people of Jewish descent came to the Americas, but there is some. No evidence for Jesus Christ bringing the gospel to native people living in the Americas besides the Book of Mormon itself.

As a quick note the Church of Jesus Christ does not believe or teach that the people recorded in the Book of Mormon were the only residents of the Americas.

Also, like the Bible, the Book of Mormon isn't meant to prove itself scientifically but was written "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations"


Some evidence:

  1. DNA: there is no way to prove or disprove Native Americans descended from Jews using DNA. 1
  2. Language (oral/written):
    • indian language is the very idiom and genius of Hebrew2
    • similarities between Uto-Aztecan and Hebrew3
  3. Traditions/rites/beliefs:
    • there is a common belief in one supreme God/Great Spirit
    • divided into tribes (12 tribes/indian tribes)
    • their manner of counting the months through the lunar year
    • their fasts and religious rites which they believed helped cleanse them of their sins
    • their laws of uncleanliness and marital separation during a women’s menstrual period
    • their ritual purification after touching the dead
    • their cities of refuge
    • their manner of burial of and mourning for the dead
    • their perpetuating the name of a deceased brother through remarriage of his wife2

1 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/book-of-mormon-and-dna-studies?lang=eng

2 The History of the American Indians, by James Adair 1775

3 Lets Void the Void, by Brian Stubbs

  • 3
    Non-LDS sources would vehemently dispute most of these claims. I think that some neutral sources should be used. – user43409 Aug 8 at 11:14
  • 3
    @Mac'sMusings like The History of the American Indians which was published 30 years before Joseph Smith was born? This is from an LDS perspective and I did mention there was no overwhelming evidence one way or the other. – depperm Aug 8 at 12:40
  • Appreciate the links and the fact that you admit there is no overwhelming evidence. – Lesley Aug 12 at 12:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.