Those Ottomans Got Around

Alexander Campbell, my dear colleague from the space and time warp, has done a terrific job of answering the claim that scimitars in the Book of Mormon are an anachronism.1 Still, something else caught my eye.

Cimeter: The curved, bladed weapon, mentioned 3 times in the Book of Mormon, originated with the Ottoman empire in the 9th Century. Not only is it an Asian word for blade, it’s also made of anachronistic steel. It remains unknown how Lehi would be aware of it, as the word was unused in any contemporary Hebrew literature.

Screenshot of “Archaeology and the Book of Mormon” as accessed on February 14, 2019.

According to the essay, scimitars were created by the Ottoman Empire in the 9th century.

Traditional Ottoman sources claim that their forebears arrived in the modern-day territory of Turkey sometime during the 13th century after the Mongols chased them out of Central Asia. Several modern scholars believe that they were originally raiders and freebooters in the 11th century.2 Regardless, no one has ever claimed the 9th century! Osman Bey – the dynasty’s founder – does not even make an appearance in the Byzantine sources until 1302.

A tip of the ol’ Fedora for rewriting half of Middle-Eastern history in one fell swoop.

All joking aside, the essay author is desperate to score any point against Book of Mormon historicity that they can. Even if that means creating anachronisms of their own.


  2. Lindner, Rudi Paul, Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory (University of Michigan Press, 2007), 19-26.