Three FARMS scholars, Daniel Peterson, Matthew Roper, and William J. Hamblin (PRH for the remainder of this paper), co-authored a paper entitled “On Alma 7:10 and the Birthplace of Christ.” This paper addresses a common anti-Mormon criticism of the Book of Mormon, that Alma 7:10 incorrectly places Jesus birth in Jerusalem, and not in Bethlehem. That essay is of scholarly caliber, being well researched, well written, and they document their findings through generous footnotes. It can be accessed here: http://mi.byu.edu/publications/transcripts/?id=37
Rocky Hulse of Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, at my invitation, reviewed PRH’s paper. Hulse’s review is very informal, not including any footnotes or demonstrating the scholarly tone that PRH does. Hulse’s review can be accessed here: http://mormonhomeevening.blogspot.com/2010/01/on-alma-710-and-birthplace-of-jesus_01.html
I have reviewed Hulse’s review of PRH. In keeping with Hulse’s original review, the words of PRH are in black, and Hulse’s words are in red. I have placed my words in blue. Also in keeping with Hulse’s review, I have kept my review informal, free of footnotes. But, though it wasn’t a primary goal of mine, I hope that I have kept a more scholarly tone than Hulse did. This review is very long, and the average reader probably will not find it worth reading. Nonetheless, for those interested, my review is found in its entirety here. I include here at the outset the final paragraph of my review:
PRH’s arguments are based on careful study of the text of the Book of Mormon, the text of the Bible, the text of other Ancient Near Eastern documents, and the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their arguments are grounded in sound logic and scholarly methods. Hulse’s rebuttal on the other hand specializes in quibbles over word choice and egregious logical fallacies, and is driven by a fundamental need to dismiss LDS evidences, no matter the intellectual cost. Hulse demonstrates an unfortunately typical characteristic of Evangelical anti-Mormons, a lack of academic rigor and an inability to grapple with the sophisticated arguments of LDS scholars. Because of this, Hulse relieves his cognitive dissonance through silly arguments that not only are easily overturned, but come nowhere near addressing the arguments of LDS scholars.
You can find my review in PDF form by clicking on the link below.