Was Nephi a Jew?


Joseph Smith claimed that the Book of Mormon was written by a Jew from around 600BC. His name was Nephi. 

Is the Book of Mormon is of ancient origin; reformed Egyptian? We can never prove that the Book of Mormon is of ancient origin, or even what language it was written in because according to the Mormon Church an angel took it away.

However, we can know with reasonable surety, by examining what is said in the Book of Mormon, if what was written even sounds like Jews in 600 BC. Here’s the wonderful news, we have ancient scripture written by Jews in 600 BC to compare with the Book of Mormon, the Holy Bible. In 600 BC Israel was about to be taken away captive into Babylon for not keeping God’s commandments. The BOM says that Nephi was a good God fearing Jew. Let’s see.

Ask yourself would a God-fearing Jew living in the Promised land, indeed the very city that God placed His Name and His Temple, Jerusalem:


  • Leave the Promised Land given to Abraham and his descendants forever? (Lev 20:24) No.


  • Offer sacrifice? (Only the sons of Aaron can offer sacrifices on threat of death. See Nadab and Abihu.) (Lev 1:5-8) No.


  • Offer sacrifice anyplace other than one place ordained by God; The Temple? (Deut 16:5-6) No.


  • Murder Laban in cold blood? (Ex 20:13, Deut 19:10) No.


  • Offer sacrifice after touching a dead body (one he just murdered)? (Lev 11:31, Hag 2:13) (According to the Law, you are ritually unclean after touching a corpse and cannot even enter the Temple area.) No.


  • Steal a Torah Scroll? (All Torah Scrolls have been found are in Hebrew) (Ex 20:15,17, Lev 19:11) No.


  • Use the pagan tongue of the Egyptians to write the Words of God? (Hebrew is “the Holy Tongue) (Deut 12:29-32, Hosea 2:17) No.


  • Are their names Hebrew (like everyone else in the Old Testament)? No.


  • Did Lehi and Nephi keep the commanded Feasts of the LORD?  They are never mentioned in the BOM (even though we supposedly have Nephi’s personal records and not just the summary). (Lev 23) No.


  • Did they wear fringes? It’s commanded “through all our generations”. (Numbers 15:38-41) No.


  • Did they keep Sabbath? (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown)? (Ex 31:17-18 Sabbath is a sign between God and His people forever.) No.


  • Did they keep Passover?  Did they see the connection to the Savior? (1 Cor 5:7-8) Did they ever even mention it?  No.


  • Did they keep Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)?  You’d think as another testament of Christ that at least one of the commanded Feasts (which we know all point to the Messiah) would have come up at least once.  Much of the New Testament is the Apostles showing how the Old Testament pointed to the Messiah; did Lehi and his family miss all these connections?


The answer to all these questions is No. There is no evidence of any knowledge, or practice of Judaism in the Book of Mormon.