Bill Hamblin

William J. Hamblin

William James "Bill" Hamblin is a member of the history department faculty at Brigham Young University and an expert in ancient and medieval warfare, the Crusades and Scandinavian history. He is a former board member of the Mormon apologetic group FARMS.


Hamblin served as an LDS missionary in Italy from 1973-1975. Hamblin received his bachelors degree at BYU and his masters degree from the University of Michigan. He also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan which he completed in 1985. 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, 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.

During the summer of 2008 Hamblin was a student sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities at a five week course sponsored through the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga entitled "Holy Land and Holy City in Classical Judaism, Christianity and Islam''.

Among books by Hamblin is Warfare in the Ancient Near East published by Routledge in 2005.

Hamblin lives in Orem with his wife, the former Loree Peay. They have three children.


In the early 1990s Hamblin was involved with J. Michael Allen in creating mormon-l, which was meant to be a forum for people to correspond with Mormon academics. It however soon degenerated into a general chat forum.

Hamblin has also written extensively on archaeology and the Book of Mormon, both in general articles for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies and in specific responses to attacks on the historicity of the Book of Mormon.


"Metcalf is Butthead"

After becoming very upset with Brent Metcalf, another scholar who criticized the Book of Mormon, Hamblin published a paper in The FARMS Review which included an encrypted message stating "Metcalf is Butthead".

Associated Press writer Vern Anderson wrote an article concerning the matter which was published in the Deseret News:

"The salvos contained in the 566-page 'Review of Books on the Book of Mormon' come as no surprise, given the longstanding animus between scholars associated with FARMS, many of them professors at church-owned Brigham Young University, and those published by the independent Signature Books.... Recently a review by BYU history professor William Hamblin containing an encrypted message 'Metcalfe is butthead' — was hastily edited out after the 'Review' had gone to press.

Metcalf responded, stating:

"When I heard rumors that William J. Hamblin, FARMS board member and BYU historian, had a caustic encryption in his review... I summarily dismissed them. Surely no legitimate scholar would stoop to such an inane level. However, it seems that I underestimated Hamblin's 'scholarly' prowess.

Other criticism

Jerald and Sandra Tanner have noted that Hamblin often resorts to ad hominem attacks on other scholars that criticize his work or the LDS church, and that many of his articles are "mean spirited in their attempt to save the church". They further state:

Professor William Hamblin accused Metcalfe of "academic immaturity" on page 522 of his response. We feel that Hamblin should take a careful look at his own writings. If we had written the tasteless acrostic mentioned above and had directed it at William Hamblin or Daniel C. Peterson, we would never hear the end of it. These scholars certainly use a double standard when they deal with those they perceive to be enemies of the church.


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