Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
The Book of Mormon claims that the American Indians are the descendants of Jews who had migrated from Israel. In a letter written in 1842 to John Wentworth, editor of The Chicago Democrat, Joseph Smith stated:
“In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded … The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal (sic) nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.”
However, genetic tests reveal that the American Indians are the descendants of Siberian Asians. There is no evidence of Jewish ancestry.
The LDS maintains that genetic drift would account for the lack of evidence of their Semitic ancestors. But this excuse is invalidated by tests conducted on the Lemba tribe in Africa. (The time frame of their story is similar to that of the supposed Jewish migrants to the Americas in the Book of Mormon.)
The Lemba claims to be one of the lost tribes of Israel that had seemingly disappeared after the Jewish dispersion. They migrated to Yemen round about 7 BC. Somewhere between 300 to 700 years later some of them moved on to Africa, where they split into two groups. One group travelled westward to become known as the Ethiopian Jews, and the other southward to become the Lemba.
Several prestigious journals have featured articles about their Jewish roots.
Although they didn’t retain the language of their ancestors, they can still remember much about it. And they have continued with many of the Jewish traditions. For instance, they are monotheists, practice circumcision and keep one day a week holy. They don’t eat pork and their form of animal slaughter resembles Jewish shechita. They also bury their dead in accordance with Jewish traditions. And their flag features both the Star of David and the Elephant of Judah.
Due to intermarriage, their physical appearance is no different to that of their black neighbours. Yet genetic tests clearly revealed their Jewish ancestry. Analysis of their Y chromosomes indicated that approximately 50% of the content was of Semitic and 40% of African origin. The ancestry of the remaining 10% could not be resolved by the methodology used at the time (c/f The American Journal of Human Genetics, 59, 1996, Professor T. Jenkins).
Unlike the Lemba, the American Indians reveal no evidence of Jewish ancestry in any sphere … not their religious beliefs, their traditions or their DNA. Nor is there any trace of Hebrew (or Egyptian) in the ancient dialects of the Americas.
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Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.