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

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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 and Michael Tweedy for portions of this episode)


The Allegory of the Olive Tree – Jacob 5


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