The KJV: A Sealed Book?

April 20, 2006 | 146 comments

I’ve been teaching the second half of the Old Testament in Institute this semester. The KJV is a terrible obstacle to understanding the scriptures. Read more »

Redeeming Judas?

April 6, 2006 | 32 comments

Today’s headlines contain news of a new gospel: The Gospel of Judas. Read more »

Market Dominant Minorities in the Book of Mormon

March 16, 2006 | 42 comments

Market Dominant Minorities Read more »

How to Teach a Scripture Passage

March 12, 2006 | 13 comments

Here’s a systematic approach to preparing a lesson on a passage of scripture. Read more »


February 16, 2006 | 33 comments

So what do we do with the JST? Read more »

Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar

February 13, 2006 | 57 comments

So here is the case for thinking that when the crowd outside of Lot’s house asks to know Lot’s guests (Genesis 19:5) that what it means is just, like, know and not, you know, like, know. Read more »

Mark 14:3-9: The Anointing at Bethany as Markan Christology

February 12, 2006 | 12 comments

This post is, basically, my masters thesis. I’ve had a few requests for it, so I thought I’d post it. Read more »


February 7, 2006 | 50 comments

That’s a 25 cent word if there ever was one, something for college kids to show Mom and Dad to prove they got something for their money, something a grad student to lord it over others with in the commons. Read more »

Authority on Her Head

January 31, 2006 | no comments

When Paul says that women should cover their heads, is he subjugating them or liberating them? Read more »

The Pious Bias

January 18, 2006 | 127 comments

Perhaps we’ve put white hats on some people in the scriptures who don’t deserve them. Read more »

Theology and Idolatry

November 8, 2005 | 25 comments

Let me present a sketch–though only a sketch and a very broad one at that–of how one might think about theology, both about a problem with it and one of the possible responses to that problem. Read more »

Genesis 38

October 3, 2005 | 42 comments

“Puzzling.” “Sordid.” “Audacious, provocative, and titillating.” Those descriptors might very well apply to this week’s box office sensation, but that’s not what this post is about. All of these terms (“Sordid” comes from the Institute Manual) were used to describe the tale told in Genesis 38. Read more »

Plainly, the One Shepherd

February 27, 2005 | 5 comments

John goes out of his way to be sure we notice how various prophecies of Christ were fulfilled. For example, at his crucifixion the soldiers did not break his legs, “that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken” (John 19:36). John does not comment so explicitly on Christ’s description of himself as the good shepherd. Is this because the reference was already plain enough? Read more »

Humility and Pride in Peter and Saul (not Paul)

November 23, 2004 | 11 comments

When Samuel anointed Saul, he anointed a man of kingly stature, handsome and tall, but who thought of himself as the least important man of Israel. Saul said, “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? Read more »

Interpreting Scripture

November 15, 2004 | 23 comments

Joe Spencer, Blake Ostler, Larry, and Ivan Wolfe have started talking about the interpretation of scripture on the thread on pride. Read more »

‘And Many Other Women’ Part V

October 27, 2004 | one comment

I wrote my thesis on Mark 14:3-9, so there’s a lot that I want to say about it, but for now, I’m only going to talk about its relationship to Mark 12:38-44. Read more »

‘And Many Other Women’ Part IV

October 17, 2004 | 9 comments

Today I’m thinking about John 8:1-11, commonly called ‘The Woman Taken in Adultery.’ Read more »

A Book I Would Like to See

October 8, 2004 | 6 comments

With luck we should soon be hearing from Professor Royal Skousen, who is the mastermind of the critical text of the Book of Mormon. There is another critical text edition that I would like to see: A critical text of the Doctrine and Covenants. Read more »

The Challenge of Adam-ondi-Ahman

September 13, 2004 | 36 comments

Various debates about the historicity of scripture have captured a fair chunk of the Mormon intelligentsia (and pseudo-intelligentsia) for the last decade or more. The “Big Issue” of course is the Book of Mormon. This seems to have replaced evolution and the creation story of Genesis as a situs for conflict about the scriptures. Lost in all of this is my question: What are we to make of Adam-ondi-Ahman? Read more »

A Different Kind of ‘Likening’

September 8, 2004 | 16 comments

There is a great conversation over at that other blog about that classically difficult story, Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac. Among the many excellent comments, this one from danithew stood out to me: “In my Quranic Studies course today the professor talked about how one of the first things Islamic scholars used to do was look at a test and identify the problems/challenges/dilemmas that were imposed on the reader by the text.” This concept seems as if it would be more at home among the reader-response-flavored lit critics than it would among Islamic scholars, but I am nonetheless intrigued by... Read more »

The Place of the JST

August 28, 2004 | 27 comments

Over at Intellectual Exhibitionist, Ryan Bell comments on a topic that I’ve wondered about on occasion: The Joseph Smith translation is not the official bible of the church. So we still rely on the KJV as the official word. This is exceedingly odd to me– we have one take on the Bible that’s the source of direct revelation to the head of our dispensation, and one that comes from a bunch of medieval scholars, and we go with the latter. Weird, but true. Exceedingly weird. I have over the years heard some potential rationales (many of which have come... Read more »

Book of Mormon Family Home Evening Lesson Seven

July 25, 2004 | no comments

----- Read more »

175th Anniversary of the Book of Mormon

July 23, 2004 | 2 comments

March 26, 2005, will mark the 175th Anniversary of the printing of the Book of Mormon. Our ward is using this event as a catalyst to challenge every member of our ward to read the Book of Mormon. Reading just one chapter per day, the entire Book of Mormon will be finished by its 175th anniversary if one begins reading by next Saturday, July 31. Our sacrament meeting topic for August 8 will be the Book of Mormon, and we will stress the importance of the Book of Mormon and its blessings. To keep the program at the forefront,... Read more »

Oman as Evidence of the Book of Mormon

July 2, 2004 | 2 comments

No, not Nate Oman or David Oman McKay. I’m talking about the country of Oman — in fact, the entire Arabian peninsula. Jeff Lindsay explains over at Mormanity: Some of these photos help demonstrate the plausibility of the place Bountiful in First Nephi, said to be due east of Nahom/Nehhem, which puts Bountiful on Oman. Remember, it’s a place the anti-Mormons have said simply couldn’t be there. (They also denied the possibility of the River Laman in the Valley of Lemuel, and now we’ve got photos of an entirely plausible candidate for that, thanks to the Nephi Project.) Does... Read more »