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BRAD - The Book of Mormon has many uncommon names. Have they found some of the names used in the Book of Mormon?

JOEL - The Book of Mormon was translated from a completely unknown language, which the Nephites themselves called "reformed Egyptian" (Morm. 9: 32). Because of this it is very likely that most of the names may not be found anywhere else. We would have to assume that the Nephites wrote on something else(besides the plates) that exists somewhere on the American continent, and we have to know where to look for it; which we don't.
There are however a few of the names that have been found in other writings that are similar.

For many years Alma was thought to be a Latin female name and so critics thought Joseph Smith erroneously picked it for the name of a male prophet. However, in 1975 Paolo Mathiae, an Italian archaeologist, uncovered a huge archive of clay tablets at a site in northwestern Syria called Tell Mardikh, which contained the name Alma in Hebrew form, used as the name of a male merchant.

In the Book of Mormon at about 600 BC Ishmael died during the journey of Lehi and his family along the Arabian penninsula and was burried at a place they called Nahom(1 Nephi 16:34). Just recently researchers reported that they have discovered stone altars in the southern Arabian Desert with the name Nahom inscribed on them dated to about 700 BC. This suggests that Nahom was a place name already in use when Lehi and his family arrived on the scene in about 600 BC. This is the only name found so far that may be directly related to the Book of Mormon.

Among some hebrew inscriptions found on a seventh century seal found in Egypt and an inscription on a jug from Tel esh-Shariah, is a name found to be equivalent to the name Jarom (Jarom 1:1, 14)

The name Chemish(Omni 1:8-10) is related to that of the Ammonite God "Chemosh", appearing on a number of ancient inscriptions.

The name "sheum" appears in Mosiah 9:9 as a food in a list of grains. Matthew Roper explains that sheum "is a perfectly good Akkadian cereal name . . . dating to the third millennium B.C., which in ancient Assyria referred to wheat, but in other regions of the Near East could be applied to other grains" (FARMS Review of Books, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1997, p. 120). Roper notes that this word was not known to scholars until at least 1857, long after the book of Mormon had been published.

The Jaredite name "Kish" (Ether 1:18-19; 10:17-19) has also been found in hieroglyphs on the Tablet of the Cross at Pelenque, dating back to the Olmec period. See this page.

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