Critics who claim that references to “goats” in the Book of Mormon are anachronisms ignore important contradictory evidences.

  • Goats are mentioned among the Book of Mormon peoples three times, once by the Jaredites (Ether 9:18). Later, after their arrival in the America’s Lehi’s family encountered “the goat and the wild goat” as they traveled in the wilderness in the land southward (1 Nephi 18:25). Sometime later, Enos wrote that the Nephites raised “flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats” (Enos 1:21).
  • There is no indication that Lehi brought goats, but the Jaredites may have done so.
  • References to fauna in the Book of Mormon could actually be different animals that had a similar appearance. The Red Brocket deer, Mazama Americana has but a single goat-like horn and are indigenous to MesoAmerica.

Goats brocket dear pic

  • Evidence of goats that were associated with pre-Columbian man has been excavated in caves in the Yucatan, Mexico.
  • Book of Mormon references to “goat and the wild goat” is a curious distinction that parallels the Bible that lists them separately as clean animals that could be eaten under the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 14:4–5). It is unlikely that Joseph Smith would have understood this distinction.
  • As with all accusations of anachronisms, it is impossible to prove something did not exist. The process becomes more difficult if the translation of languages is involved because it may be impossible to accurately identify the thing reportedly absent. Current excavations have uncovered only a small fraction of the information required to definitively declare an animal did not exit.

Additional Resources:

New Evidence for Pre-Columbian Horses, Cattle, and Chariots

“Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives,” Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 1: Fauna (Animals) (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 2: Flora (Plants) and Textiles (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 3: Warfare (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 4: Metals and Metallurgy (PDF) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 5: Christianity in the pre-Christian Book of Mormon (PFD) by Michael Ash

Book of Mormon Anachronisms Part 6: Compass, Coins, and Other Miscellaneous (PDF) by Michael Ash

Horses in the Book of Mormon by Michael Ash

Steel in the Book of Mormon by William Hamblin

Armor in the Book of Mormon by William J. Hamblin

Metals of the Book of Mormon –  by Wm. Revell Phillips

Out of the Dust: Steel in Early Metallurgy –  by John L. Sorenson

Possible “Silk” and “Linen” in the Book of Mormon byJohn L. Sorenson

Prophets, Kings, and Swords: The Sword of Laban and Its Possible Pre-Laban Origin –  by Daniel N. Rolph

Swords and “Cimeters” in the Book of Mormon –  byMatthew Roper

Swords in the Book of Mormon by William J. Hamblin, A. Brent Merrill

The Bow and Arrow in the Book of Mormon by William J. Hamblin

A Scientist Looks at Book of Mormon Anachronisms,Neal Rappleye

Right on Target: Boomerang Hits and the Book of Mormon (2001 FAIR Conference) by Matthew Roper

Science and the Book of Mormon (2009 FAIR Conference) by Wade E. Miller

A Real People, Time, and Place: Contextualizing the Book of Mormon (2000 FAIR Conference) by Brant Gardner

A Social History of the Early Nephites (2001 FAIR Conference) by Brant Gardner

FAIR Issues 42: Dismissing Book of Mormon Geography Inaccuracies, Michael R. Ash, 0:07:22

FAIR Issues 55: Do Nephite Names find a “Home” in Middle East, Michael R. Ash, 0:07:54

Faith and Reason 11: Book of Mormon Politics Unlike Joseph Smith’s, Michael R. Ash, 0:08:52

Faith and Reason 19: Deseret and Bees, Michael R. Ash, 0:05:09

Faith and Reason 20: “Without a Cause”, Michael R. Ash, 0:04:35

Mormon FAIR-Cast 109: Response to criticisms of the Book of Mormon, Martin Tanner, 0:19:50

Ammon and the Mesoamerican Custom of Smiting off Arms

Barley and Wheat in the Ancient New World

Battles and The Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon 2 Why Anachronisms

Book of Mormon 3 Pre Columbian Horses

Book of Mormon 4 Elephants in America

Book of Mormon 7 Brass Iron and Steel

Book of Mormon 8 Gold Plates

Book of Mormon 9 No Pre Columbian Wheels

Cattle and The Book of Mormon

Coins and The Book of Mormon

Don’t Experts Say There is No Evidence of Silk or Linen in Ancient America

Glass and The Book of Mormon

Horses, chariots, and elephants in the Book of Mormon

Iron Ore – Book of Mormon Evidence

Linens and The Book of Mormon

Metal and Metallurgy – The Mines of Timna – Book of Mormon Evidence

Metals and Golden Plates in Mesoamerica, Daniel Johnsons 2010 BMAF lecture

Metals and The Book of Mormon

New Evidence for Pre-Columbian Horses

pt 15, silk and archaeology in The Book of Mormon, credits

pt 2 Coins, (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

pt 3, Metals (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

pt 4 Grains, (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

pt 5 Horses, (full-length) rebuttal of an anti-Mormon

Silk and The Book of Mormon

Swine and The Book of Mormon

Swords in The Book of Mormon

Wheat and Barley in The Book of Mormon