More Evidence: Newark Holy Stones


Since my last post on the Newark Holy Stones in 2017, we have found additional evidence from Dr. Yitzchok Levine Department of Mathematical Sciences Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 07030 . He says as you will see in the Red Title Boxes at the end, The Holy Stones are Genuine. Also see page 545 in the Annotated Book of Mormon.

Here we provide some additional information on the Newark Decalogue Stone, currently on display at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, OH.

Newark Decalogue Stone, currently on display at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, OH
Just like almost any information that might support the claims of the Book of Mormon – or any truth for that matter – there will be those that both agree and disagree with whatever evidence is brought forward.  There is no amount of evidence sufficient to convince those that refuse to accept a particular position and there are those that believe something no matter what evidence there is to refute it.  Much of what you might read comes down to confirmation bias, so one has to look at the potential bias of those both supporting and refuting the information.

We readily agree with the many non-Mormon experts who have actually conducted an analysis of the stone and it’s accompanying Keystone, Stone Bowl and the related Bat Creek Stone, and have provided strong evidence that these are all part of an ancient culture that knew a form of Hebrew language unknown at the time of their discovery, known today as Monumental or Block-Style Hebrew.  This form of Hebrew wasn’t known to exist when these stones were discovered, but were later found in Israel.  This forms one of the first difficulties to explain if one believes the stones to be a hoax.  It would be like asking someone today to write the Ten Commandments… in Klingon!  Since no one knows what Klingon looks like, how would one even begin to make a forgery of it?  In order to make a forgery, you have to have something authentic to forge from.  There were no authentic Monumental or Block-style Hebrew writings known to exist in 1860’s when these stones were recovered.

David Wyrick:
When you add this fact to the historical documentation that David Wyrick, the man who discovered the stone in an Indian Burial Mound, never recanted his story, was a well respected surveyor for the county and city, and was unable to make an accurate wooden replica of the stone (he attempted this to safeguard the original stone while allowing the characters to be studied by other professionals and interested parties) which would be orders of magnitude easier than creating it in stone, and that he made many attempts to have the stone verified by competent professionals seem to favor the idea that he did not create the stone or was trying to hoax anyone.
Picture from Exploring the Book of Mormon in America’s Heartland by Rod Meldrum

Contrary Beliefs:
While Wyrick did apparently believe in the idea that the Ten Lost Tribes had somehow made it to America, and this stone and others like it could certainly be used to bear this out, this was an idea that permeated the American culture at the time.  It was not unique to Wyrick. However, there were also those that were determined to refute any claim of Israelite descent for the Native Americans, believing that to accept such an idea Indians would then necessarily have to be given the same rights and respect given to other European peoples.  This would fly in the face of the growing American Manifest Destiny Doctrine wherein it was being touted that the Indians were less evolved people who didn’t deserve the same respect and treatment as their more evolved cousins, therefore they could be classified as ‘ignorant savages’ and denied the right to own land, vote, etc. Thus, there was a powerful motive to ignore, erase or attack any evidence that would suggest European ancestry for the Native Americans.

Scientific Analysis:
Experts today disagree on the authenticity of the stones.  Some claim that the language on the stones can’t be authentic, that David Wyrick faked them for some unknown purpose (usually forgers do so for money or fame, Wyrick received neither, but rather was mercilessly attacked for his discovery), and therefore the stones are a hoax.  Other professionals have determined to use scientific methodologies in their pursuit of the truth.  The ONLY scientific analysis of the stones has been done by Scott Wolter, a self-proclaimed atheist who owns American Petrographic Services in Minnesota and is a Forensic Geologist, meaning that he does forensics type work on rock and minerals, both commercially and for the government.  He is a highly respected, no-nonsense kind of person who has no reason to try to advance the authenticity of the stone.   Using some of the latest scientific technologies he has completed analysis on several of the stones in question with Hebrew characters inscribed into their surfaces and of the Decalogue Stone he claimed “Geologically, I don’t see any problems here that would make these things obvious hoaxes.  The evidence seems clear, there’s no reason not to accept these as genuine, legitimate artifacts.”  This, from a professional geologist using scientific methodologies that showed conclusively that the stones could not have been faked during the time-frame of Wyrick.

The Mesoamerican Geography LDS Bias:
Writing and interpretation of the Keystone

Within the Church there are a small group of scholars who have been systematically promoting the theory that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica.  There is a complete lack of any evidence for Hebrew-based language or characters anywhere in their preferred geography of Mesoamerica. The Mayan civilization had a written language that covered their buildings, walls, ball courts and to an extent, their entire civilization’s buildings, but experts know that this glyph system of writing originates from the Far East, and has no connection to Hebrew whatsoever.  They seem to forget that the Nephite language in the Book of Mormon was specifically mentioned as being primarily Hebrew, but the plates themselves were written in a ‘reformed Egyptian’ language, neither of which has ever been found in Mesoamerica.  Not even a potential hoax has been found there!  They also seem to ignore that fact that the Nephite authors wrote that the hatred of Lamanites caused them to destroy any evidence of their existence, and they would destroy anything the Nephites left in the way of written language, thus they had to hide the plates and records in the depository of records in the Hill Cumorah.  The Lamanites had many years to erase the remaining evidence of their former enemies.

Those associated with promoting the Mesoamerican theories to church members are loathe to accept any evidence that might suggest a Book of Mormon setting outside of their theories. They, along with those proclaiming these stones to be fakes and hoaxes on the basis of their assumption that Hebrews were never in ancient America, are, of course, opposed to these stones being authentic as it would undermine their theories.  They created organizations long ago that were set up to convince members and leaders of the church that the setting of the Book of Mormon was in Mesoamerica and they convinced some former General Authorities to sit on their boards to give further authority and credence to their theories.  However, Church leadership has maintained neutrality on the subject which overrides even the opinions of a couple of General Authorities who have become caught up on their theories.  We feel that they ignore or are not aware of the clear teachings of the scriptures and prophets regarding the United States being the nation spoken of in the Book of Mormon… a mighty Gentile nation above all other nations, a land of liberty, security and prosperity where the ‘Marvelous Work and a Wonder’ would occur and where the ‘New Jerusalem’ will be built, neither of which is speculation, but historical and revelatory fact.
Decalogue Stone Reverse Side

They have used their organizations to launch attacks against any geography theories contrary to their own. It is sad to think that they would attack and undermine the ONLY viable evidences of the Hebrew language mentioned in the Book of Mormon in the Americas solely because these evidences fall outside of their theorized geography.  But unfortunately that is exactly what they are doing in order to continue with their promotion that Guatemala is the Promised Land and the Book of Mormon occurred there, which, by the way, has now been shown to have originated within the church by three apostates back in the days of Joseph Smith.  For more information on that historical account, please read the book The Lost City of Zarahemla or the blog posts by attorney Jonathan Neville on the subject.

So, in conclusion, it is safe to say that these stones, like many aspects of the gospel, are controversial and you’ll need to do as the Lord has indicated throughout history, the scriptures and prophets… you’ll need to read the relevant material, study it out in your mind, and then ask God for an answer.  That is the most powerful and wonderful way to know the truth of anything.

New Information posted Oct 29, 2019 Below.

The “Holy” Stones Found Near Newark, Ohio

Dr. Yitzchok Levine Department of Mathematical Sciences Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 07030

“In 1867, David M. Johnson, a banker who co-founded the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, in conjunction with Dr. N. Roe Bradner, M.D., of Pennsylvania, found a fifth stone, in the same mound group south of Newark in which Wyrick had located the Decalogue. The original of this small stone is now lost, but a lithograph, published in France, survives.

“The letters on the lid and base of the Johnson-Bradner stone are in the same peculiar alphabet as the Decalogue inscription, and appear to wrap around in the same manner as on the Decalogue’s back platform.

“The independent discovery, in a related context, by reputable citizens, of a third stone bearing the same unique characters as the Decalogue stone, strongly confirms the authenticity and context of the Decalogue Stone, as well as Wyrick’s reliability.”7

The Johnson-Bradner Stone

Lithograph J. Royer, Nancy. Congres International des Americanistes, vol. 2, p. 192.

To construct a model of the Johnson-Bradner stone, click here to display the stone by itself, somewhat enlarged, and then print out its image on light cardboard or on paper that you paste to light cardboard. (I’ve now solved my earlier technical problem of its not printing out correctly.) Cut out the solid black portions of the three pieces, including the hatched blemish. Ignore the thin lines. Tape point A on the Base to point A on the Side. Continue taping these edges together, bending the Side to follow the base. Tape the two ends of the Side together so that the two identical markings at the ends overlap and so that it stands at a right angle to the Base the whole way around. Tape the lid onto the upper edge of the Side, so that the blemishes align. The result is roughly coffin-shaped. The original was approximately 3 in. (7.6 cm.) long.

The Newark Holy Stones Are Genuine

Dr. Rochelle Altman, a specialist in ancient phonetic-based writing systems, maintains that the Newark Holy Stones are indeed genuine. In her discussion of this topic she notes that “. Arnold Fischel, lecturer at the Sephardic synagogue in New York (founded in 1654, thus with a Sephardic-Dutch connection), a noted scholar and authority, had written a paper, ‘The Hebrew Inscribed Stones Found in Ohio,’ delivered in June of 1861 to The American Ethnological Society. In this paper, he stated he was convinced of the authenticity of the artifact and ascribed it to ‘medieval and European origins’.” . Altman notes that the 1863 report of a committee set up by the Ethnological Society agreed with . Fischel’s conclusions; nonetheless, this report has been ignored by the archaeological world. She writes, “Why was the identification ignored? Because neither the committee’s report nor Fischel’s identification fit the two models erected with regard to these artifacts. On one side, we had a group who maintained that the artifacts were evidence of the presence of the ten lost tribes of Israel in ‘Ancient America.’ On the other side, we had a school who declared the artifacts were ‘modern forgeries.’” . Altman then presents a new and novel explanation of what the five Newark Holy Stones really are. There are five pieces, four of which compose a set of ritual artifacts of two types. The fifth item is a case, made-to-order, to house one of the ritual artifacts. The two types are intended for different purposes. “Type one consists of head (‘rosh’) [which . Altman identifies as the Johnson-Bradner Stone] and hand (‘yad’) phylacteries (tefillin), made of black limestone (black is required for phylacteries). The hand phylactery is 6-7/8” in length by 2-7/8” in width by 1-3/4” in thickness. “The artifact [the Decalogue Stone] is inscribed in the incantation format and displays a variant of a known condensed version of the ‘decalogue,’ with abbreviations and composite graphs that dates to before the second century BCE. The head phylactery,
inscribed with two of the four excerpts of Exodus required by halacha (Laws), is also written in the spirals of an incantation format and is also made of black limestone. Now only a lithograph of the head piece remains. The phylactery was approximately 3” long by 1-3/4” in thickness and tapered from approximately 1” at the top to a rounded “point” at the bottom. Dr. Yitzchok Levine Department of Mathematical Sciences Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 07030 More Here:

As our friend Wayne May says, We Report, You Decide!
Additional Resources:
The following article has links to many additional sources and information.
Forensic geologist Scott Wolter, star of the History2 Channel’s hit series America Unearthed, meets professor Hugh McCullough at the Johnson Humrickhouse Museum in Coshocton, Ohio to conduct an analysis on the Ohio Decalague stone. The stone, discovered in a Native America burial mound in Newark, Ohio in 1860 by David Wyrick, the town’s respected surveyor, has been unscientifically declared a hoax by the archaeological establishment under the Smithsonian. It is controversial because it was found to have an ancient form of Hebrew writing that, when translated, turned out to be a complete rendition of the Ten Commandments. One problem is that the stone was discovered in an undisturbed burial mound that dates to about 100 AD, which is some 200 years prior to the compilation of the Bible in Europe. How could people in America know about the Ten Commandments 200 years before they were available in Europe? The question is one that deserves to be discussed. There is an answer to how people in ancient America may have had the Ten Commandments before the Bible was compiled. The answer may be found in the recovery of an ancient record inscribed on metal plates and translated into English in 1830. To find out more about this ancient history, visit The evidence is overwhelming. There were Hebrews in America anciently and their descendants are North American Native Peoples. Their ancestors were among the most advanced, sophisticated civilizations anywhere on earth at their time. It is time to end the hiding, ignoring and destruction of their mighty civilization which reigned supreme in the Heartland of North America for some 1000 years.

See America Unearthed Holy Stone Analysis Video Below