Friday, January 21, 2011

Baja’s Isle of the Sea – Part IV

Continuing from the last three posts, while Jacob tells the Nephites “we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea,” David Rosenvall in his Baja California theory disagrees with that scripture and tries to show that Mormon was describing a peninsula, not an island.

However, as stated in the last post, the word “peninsula” is not the same as the definition of the word “isle.” The word “peninsula” today is defined as “A piece of land that projects into a body of water and is connected with the mainland by an isthmus.” The word comes from the Latin “paeninsula” which literally means “almost an island.” It can also be defined as “a large mass of land projecting into a body of water,” or “a piece of land that is surrounded by water but connected to mainland via an isthmus.” In any event, a peninsula is not an island and is not translated or defined as an island.

In addition, Rosenvall writes that his Baja theory is “a narrow neck of land and a narrow strip of wilderness, precisely matches the peninsula of Baja California.

In looking at a map, the peninsula of Baja California is about the same width from beginning to end except for where it stretches along the U.S. border, where the land juts out into the Pacific at the Punta Eugenia, and a little bulge around Punta San Carlos. But for the most part, the entire peninsula is about the same width. Thus, how can it be said that “a narrow neck of land and a narrow strip of wilderness, precisely matches the peninsula of Baja California”?

This is about as disingenuous of a comment as can be made.

Why would a people of antiquity consider there to be a narrow neck of land where the land is almost the exact same width from one end to another? In geography, a “narrow neck” is meant to convey something narrower than the surrounding area, such as Central America is narrower than North and South America; a narrow canyon where the passage is limited and narrows from a wider passage; a narrow path is one that is less wide than the rest of the walkway. Narrow means narrow! And it was not the land that was narrow, but this small area that connected the Land Northward with the Land Southward.

Mormon describes this neck of land in two ways: 1) “small neck of land” (Alma 63:5), and 2) “narrow neck of land” (Alma 63:5). Consequently, this area of land was both small and narrow. Small, in this sense would mean not long from end to end, and narrow would be its width. Thus, we can see that this neck of land between the Land Northward and the Land Southward had to be a small and narrow place, and narrower than the land surrounding it.

However, in the Baja peninsula, at Rosenvall’s “narrow neck,” the distance across is 40 to 45 miles (the same approximately width of the entire peninsula), and about 100 to 120 miles from north to south.

There are also two other points regarding the living spaces in this peninsula. In the map on the left above, there are 30 cities shown—24 of them are along the coast. There is almost no population anywhere in the interior to the peninsula. In addition, the current population is centered in the far north. As an example, the land mass of the north land (Baja California) is 27,071 square miles; the land mass to the south (Baja California Sur) is 28,369 square miles, yet, there are just over three million (3,154,174) living in the north and only about half a million (637,065) people living in the south—a complete reversal of the history of the Nephites in the Land of Promise. In fact, the largest concentration of people in the peninsula is in the far north, along the U.S. border from Tijuana to Mexicali, or at the very southern tip around Cabo San Lucas to La Paz. This hardly matches the population spread in the Book of Mormon. The point is, people live where the climate, weather, and water is conducive to population settlements.

One cannot even begin to guess the general locations for the major cities described in the scriptural record, nor are there any ruins of buildings, palaces, temples, roads, etc., anywhere on the peninsula that would equate to the type of building Nephi taught his people (2 Nephi 5:15-16).

Simply put, Baja California lacks all the factors of geography Mormon described, and lacks the matching factors described throughout the scriptural record.

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