Reason #137: The Nahom Controversy

Some LDs writers have said that a settlement in southern Arabia named NHM is the Nahom of the Book of Mormon. In Hebrew (and I’m just a student, not an expert), vowels are not written out in most cases. Thus NHM, whose root means “mourning” could be Naham (1 Chron. 4:19), Nehum (Ne. 7:7) and Nahum (Na. 1:1) and not a name unique to the Book of Mormon, which tells of “Nahom” in 1 Nephi 16:34.

Read an article with the pros and cons of the controversy, along with links for further study here. One LDS writer says it is the first archaeological proof for the Book of Mormon.

What is your opinion?


For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today(Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading devices.


  1. Mister IT
    Apr 7, 2010

    I got excited there for a minute – I thought that they’d found an archaeological proof for the Book of Mormon on the North American continent.

    Well imagine that finding a town named NHM or a variation of the NHM consonants in the Middle East! That’s about as uncommon as finding a town named “Springfield” in North America.

    In other words, it’s hardly news worthy unless you try to spin it into something that it’s not. As noted in the articles the NHM pattern is quite common in the Middle East as the article states:

    “Vowels in Hebrew are spoken but not written.[4] Therefore, roots in Semitic languages such as Hebrew or Arabic utilize only the consonants and not the vowels (Roper 1997, pp. 87–145).[5] Some of the variant names based upon the Semitic root NHM found in both Arabic and Hebrew texts are Nahum, Naham, Nihm, Nehem and Nahm (Reynolds 1997, p. 380). The root NHM has different meanings. The South Arabian root NHM is related to stone cutting. The Hebrew root NHM is found repeatedly in the Bible and relates to sorrow, hunger, consoling, and mourning (Damrosch 1987, pp. 128–29).[6] Scholars consider this root appropriate when used to refer to a place of burial and the expression of mourning (Goff, Sorenson & Thorne 1991, pp. 92–9). This theory is corroborated by a huge area of ancient burial tombs at ‘Alam, Ruwayk, and Jidran about 25 miles north of Marib that were examined by a French team at approximately the same time that the Bar’an excavation was completed. This burial complex is the largest such burial area known anywhere in Arabia (Aston 2001).”

  2. admin
    Apr 7, 2010

    That’s the conclusion I came to, too. Thanks for the great input!

  3. Jared Kusz
    Apr 14, 2010

    I’m a student at Grace Bible College, and I am not sure where else to do this, but I had a question earlier in chapel that there was no time to ask.

    In my mind it seems obvious that no religion or philosophy can survive unless it appeals to people on some level either culturally, intellectually, emotionally, etc.

    You were quite clear that a huge appeal to you (and others) or Mormonism is that it offered a feeling of Nobility that came with a journey into an eternal life as a deity.

    But, my question is this:

    In your opinion, what seem to be aspects of Mormonism that appeal most to people (other than what you mentioned earlier today)?

    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony and feelings with the college. It is amazing to see our gospel and our bond tightened through the struggles and experiences of an alternative perspective.

    In His Service,
    Jared A. Kusz

  4. admin
    Apr 20, 2010

    Jared, that’s an important question you asked. In my opinion, two things are very attractive. First is the idea of community, the us-against-the-world fellowship and the closeness especially in families. The second element is the attractiveness of continuing revelation. It was very comforting to me as a Mormon to believe my prophet could get answers for global issues, and my local priesthood leaders could get answers directly from God on matters troubling me.

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