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Mormon Discussions: 352: Jacob Chapter 5 – The Allegory of the Olive Tree

Today I dissect Jacob Chapter 5: The Allegory of the Olive Tree.  This chapter has been shoved down the throat of believers as an evidence of the Book of Mormon’s divine origins.  Olive horticulture is unique we were told.  Joseph couldn’t have possibly known the concepts therein.  How one grafts, dungs, burns, plants, and nourishes olive trees is beyond the knowledge base of Joseph Smith, we are told.  But is this true.

Today we explore what Joseph could have known and what those sources say about Zenos’ Allegory.  And in examing this we learn that once you grant
1.) that the Smiths were farmers
2.) Many other fruit trees known to the Smiths can be grafted.
3.) that the concepts and themes seem heavily borrowed primarily from Isaiah Chapter 5 and Romans 11
4.) and that a significant theme seems plagiarized from Luke 13

What is left is not only is every idea and concept within Joseph’s milleu but that Jacob chapter 5 gives us insight into how Joseph, by plagiarizing a multitude of sources, may be history’s greatest Eclectic Aggregator known to man. (Hat tip to Anthony Miller for the term Eclectic Aggregator)

(Hat tip to Anthony Miller sharing of and Michael Tweedy two important notes that made up portions of this episode)


The Allegory of the Olive Tree – Jacob 5


2 thoughts on “Mormon Discussions: 352: Jacob Chapter 5 – The Allegory of the Olive Tree”

  1. I think it’s obvious that Joseph borrowed inspiration, I’m not sure if plagiarized is the right word for it. Eclectic aggregator is probably much more accurate and inspiring. There was an inspiration and a genius.

    I think we need to wrap our heads around the notion that the book of Mormon is more of a loose translations with divine inspiration meant to be transmitted to our generation.

    Knowing how the book of Mormon came to be helps us understand how other holy scriptures were also created.

    Hence my testimony. “I know the book of Mormon to be just as true as the Bible is.” For whatever that’s worth. There is something there, that is meant to be analyzed and discovered and in doing so we can gain great insights to the rest of the world and it’s various groups and religions.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree with you in your sentiment about the Book of Mormon being just as true as the Bible.

      Only when I say that now, I mean something entirely different from what I would have meant by the same expression three decades ago.

      And thinking about it a little more, I’m not sure that would be entirely accurate.

      I mean, the Bible does have the benefit of describing peoples and places that modern science proves actually existed.

      There is something to be said for that . . .

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