They Did Preach the Gospel of Christ Unto All People Upon the Face of the Land

Alan C. Miner

According to a letter written by a Creole priest, Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, and translated by Jace Willard, many Nahuatl (Aztec) names had Hebrew roots:

According to Torquemada, the first missionaries, in order to write the Aztec tongue . . . that we call Mexican, were in agreement with the wisest Indians created in the School of Santiago Tlatilolco (sic), and as their pronunciation has two Hebrew letters, Sade and Scin, they substitute them in their writing by approximating the first with tz and the second with a soft x. But . . . the majority of the conquistadors, being from Extremadura or Andalucia, or Arab in their pronunciation, strongly pronounced all of the x's written by the missionaries. . . . Because of this the Spaniards said "Mexico" (Mejico), even though the Indians invariably pronounced it "Mexico" (Mescico) with the Hebrew letter Scin. . . .

Mexico with a soft x like the Indians pronounced it means: "where Christ is worshiped" and [thus the term] "Mexicans" is the same as "Christians." . . . And Mexi, I ask, means what? As the Indians pronounced it, it is a Hebrew word that means, taking it from the Latin unctus, what we call "anointed," taking it from the Greek Chrestous, what we call "Christ," and taking it from the Hebrew Mesci, what we call "Messiah."

[Jace Willard, "Christian Myths in Pre-Columbian Mexico: An Analysis of the Writings of Fray Servando Teresa de Mier" in Joseph L. Allen ed. The Book of Mormon Archaeological Digest, Volume II, Issue V, 2000, pp. 12-13]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary