Evidence for the Reformed Egyptian Mentioned in the Book of Mormon

book of mormon reformed egyptian

Book of Mormon Central has released a video tackling the oft-criticized claim that the gold plates were written in Reformed Egyptian. Just yesterday I was conversing with someone on Twitter who attacked the claim that Reformed Egyptian ever existed.

“The Book of Mormon uses the term “reformed Egyptian” in only one verse, Mormon 9:32, which says that “the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, [were] handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech” and that “none other people knoweth our language.”

The book also says that its first author, Nephi, was taught both the “learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 1:2), that the book was written in “reformed Egyptian” because that language took less space and was easier to engrave on gold plates than Hebrew, and that there was also an evolution of the Hebrew after the people left Jerusalem“.[1]

“Despite rampant “Egypt-o-mania” in the early nineteenth century, the notion of Jews writing in Egyptian was an unimaginable concept, and Joseph Smith was roundly criticized on this point by early Book of Mormon critics. In this respect, the Book of Mormon has aged better than its detractors.”2

reformed egyptian

The implication is clear: Scribes or students contemporary or nearly contemporary with Lehi were being trained in both Hebrew and Egyptian writing systems. The use of Egyptian script by Lehi’s descendants now becomes not only plausible, but perfectly reasonable in the light of archaeological discoveries made more than a century after Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.4

Watch the video below, and then take the opportunity to share this with others. You can do so on Twitter by clicking the text below.

  1. Reformed Egyptian – Wikipedia

  2. Evidence for the Reformed Egyptian mentioned in the Book of Mormon – YouTube Video Description

  3. Tvedtnes and Ricks, “Semitic Texts,” 241.
  4. Tvedtnes and Ricks, “Semitic Texts,” 241.


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  • I am not impressed at all with creative unempirical evidence amassed by Mormon apologists for the purpose of perception shaping. Over a period of nearly seventy years, numerous university departments of Near-Eastern Languages and Culture, including UCLA, U.C. Berkeley, U.C. San Diego, Brown, University of Chicago, University of Texas, Stanford, and Rice have established that “reformed Egyptian” has never existed as a dialect or form of the classical Egyptian language. Such a language has never existed. For the Mormon Church, using Brigham Young University as its pseudo-academic medium, to publish such nonsensical claims without an ounce of credible empirical proof is reprehensible and tantamount to the sensational claims of Jack West in the 1960s and 70s when he used pictures and photographs of Mayan, Toltec, Incan, and Aztec ruins as evidence of Nephite and Lamanite civilizations in Mesoamerica and South America.

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Book of Mormon Central has released a video tackling the oft-criticized claim that the gold plates were written in Reformed Egyptian. Just yesterday I...
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