Latin Word ‘Atonement’ in the Book of Mormon

24 August

Times & Seasons, vol. 4 (November 1842-November 1843): p. 194; “…There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon Let the language of that book speak for itself.”

AtonementIt seems hard to believe that five years has gone by since we published the Book of Mormon Greek and Latin word chart.

The reason we’re looking at it today stems from a search engine report I received on our blog and website. Someone was looking for the number of times the word ‘atonement’ shows up in the Book of Mormon. After looking over our chart, I discovered we inadvertently forgot to include this word! Yikes!

In light of all that, we did another BoM word search, and found the word ‘atonement’, and its derivatives, shows up in the BoM 25 times.

While this may seem inconsequential, it plays an important part in showing how Smith tricked people into thinking his work (the BoM) was from God Himself, and lied while doing so.

Now for our topic today! The website,, states the original word for ‘atonement’ was a translation of Medieval Latin ‘adūnāmentum’. This brings the total number of Greek and/or Latin words up to 98. You can see the entire list in the Book of Mormon Greek and Latin word chart.

We’ll be updating the original chart with the new info in the next few days, but for now we’ve made a list of references for each time the word ‘atonement’ is found in the BoM. You can read it at the end of this article.

Biblically speaking, the transliteration for the word ‘atonement’ is ‘kāpar’ (Strong’s #H3722), and is found 102 times in the KJV Bible. Definitions for all the words we’ve used in this series came from Strong’s Talking Greek and Hebrew Exhaustive Concordance/Dictionary, unless noted otherwise.

Someone once asked me what the criteria was for our list, and my answer is pretty simple. If a word shows up in the Book of Mormon that originated from either Greek, or Latin, it’s earned a spot on the chart. All we’ve done is looked at what Smith claimed, and compared his statement with the BoM, dictionaries, lexicons, and a concordance.

While the majority of the English language is composed of only four to five other languages, chances are that word will be listed. We’ve chosen the words that are most relevant to the subject matter, or if it’s obvious there’s a problem. For example, Greek words like ‘church’, ‘Christian’, and ‘baptize’, are all obvious candidates for being placed on the list.

In the group that collected data (which consisted of five people), none of us were language professors. However, we do feel we represent the majority of the Christian world who studies God’s word, and knows how to use a dictionary and other study tools to conduct a fair investigation in the context of the BoM. Our group included a stay-at-home mom who home-schools, a data processing analyst, an engineer, a 4th grade teacher and myself.

So there you have it!

The focus of this isn’t to belittle, or to malign the Mormon people. Our hearts grieve over the predicament they’ve placed themselves in so we’re praying each and every day they come to have a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus so they can be free!

2 Nephi 2:10

2 Nephi 9:7, 25-26

2 Nephi 10:25

2 Nephi 25:16

Jacob 4:11, 12

Jacob 7:12

Mosiah 3:11, 15-16, 18

Mosiah 4:7

Mosiah 13:28

Alma 21:9

Alma 24:13

Alma 30:17

Alma 34:8-9, 12

Alma 42:15, 23

Moroni 7:41

Moroni 8:20

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