In a previous essay, I laid out the evidence demonstrating why Shem and the ancient high priest Melchizedek couldn’t have been the same person, contrary to popular Mormon belief. See Why Melchizedek wasn’t Shem, and Why it Does and Doesn’t Matter, elsewhere on this website. By reading further information on this subject, which was brought to my attention by a reader of this website, I have found what I consider to be another forbiddingly strong argument that further solidifies the case against Shem and Melchizedek sharing the same identity. At the end of this essay, I’ll explain why I think this new piece of evidence has important ramifications for our study and understanding of not only the Bible, but all other books that Mormons accept as scriptural.
The “new” (to me, at least) piece of evidence is that Shem had been dead for 570 years when Abraham was born, so he couldn’t have been present when Melchizedek later encountered Abraham as the latter returned from the slaughter of the kings. Continue reading