William J. Hamblin

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William James Hamblin (born 1954)[1] is a Mormon apologist and professor of history at Brigham Young University (BYU). He is a former board member of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) at BYU.[citation needed]


Hamblin served as an LDS missionary in Italy from 1973–75.[citation needed]

Hamblin received his bachelors degree in history from BYU. He did his graduate studies from the University of Michigan, receiving an M.A. in history in 1981, an M.A. in Near East Studies in 1984, and a Ph.D. in history in 1985.[citation needed] The title of his Dissertation was The Fatimid Army During the Early Crusades. Prior to joining the faculty of BYU in 1989, Hamblin was a history professor at the University of Southern Mississippi,[2] an instructor at Campbell University and a middle east intelligence analyst for the United States Department of Defense. Hamblin contributed many articles to The International Military Encyclopedia.[3]

Hamblin lives in Provo, Utah with his wife, Loree, née Peay. They have three children. He has taught as a professor at the BYU Jerusalem Center and is currently teaching at Brigham Young University in the History Department.[4]


Hamblin is perhaps best known in his role as a Mormon apologist. He has written on archaeology and the Book of Mormon, both in general articles for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies[5] and in response to criticisms to the historicity of the Book of Mormon.[6]

Controversy over personal attacks[edit]

After becoming upset with Brent Metcalfe, a scholar who had criticized the Book of Mormon, Hamblin published a paper in the 1994 FARMS Review which included an encrypted message stating "Metcalfe is Butthead." After the Review went to press, the editors became aware of this barb and hastily removed it.[7] Metcalfe expressed surprise that Hamblin "would stoop to such an inane level."[8] Jerald and Sandra Tanner, frequent critics of the LDS church, characterized this as simply another example of Hamblin's personal attacks on those who criticize his work or the LDS church.[8]


  • Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC published by Routledge in 2005.[9]
  • Solomon's Temple: Myth and History (Thames and Hudson, 2007) (with David Seely)


  1. ^ "The Fatimid army during the early Crusades / William James Hamblin". Copyright Catalog (1978 to present). United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  2. ^ "Symposium This Week at BYU on Warfare in Book of Mormon". Deseret News. March 23, 1989. 
  3. ^ Tobias, Norman, ed. (1997), "Contents of Volume 1", The International Military Encyclopedia, Gulf Breeze, Florida: Academic International Press, ISBN 0875691595, OCLC 27147565, retrieved 2008-08-29 
  4. ^ https://history.byu.edu/Pages/Faculty/Hamblin.aspx
  5. ^ Hamblin, William J. (1993). "Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to Book of Mormon Geography and Archaeology and Warfare". Journal of Book of Mormon Studies (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute) 2 (1). Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  6. ^ Hamblin, William J. (1993). "Archaeology and the Book of Mormon". FARMS Review (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute) 5 (1). Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  7. ^ Anderson, Vern (March 22, 1994). "Book of Mormon Scholars Unleash Salvo of Barbs". Deseret News (AP). 
  8. ^ a b Computer message by Brent Metcalfe, dated March 8, 1994 as quoted in: "A Disgusting Joke?". Salt Lake City Messenger (86) (Utah Lighthouse Ministry). June 1994. Retrieved 2008-08-29. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ "Warfare In Ancient Near East". Eisenbrauns Inc. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 

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