Scriptures

Authority on Her Head

January 31, 2006 | no comments
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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
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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
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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
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“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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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----- Read more »

175th Anniversary of the Book of Mormon

July 23, 2004 | 2 comments
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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
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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 »

Church Materials in MP3

June 27, 2004 | 6 comments
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Is this old news? The Church is now offering the Book of Mormon, D&C, General Conference, Church magazines, and certain other materials in MP3 format. The audio site is here. The Church’s website also has some downloads for handhelds, and music downloads. Check out the music player by clicking the name of the song you would like to hear. Pretty cool stuff. Read more »

Book of Mormon FHE: Lesson Two

June 20, 2004 | one comment
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For an explanation of these FHE lessons, click here. Read more »

Rebekah

May 26, 2004 | 13 comments
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I’ve been thinking about Genesis 27 where, according to the headnote, Rebekah ‘guides’ Jacob in receiving a blessing intended for Esau. Even the Institute manual concedes that this story “is a troubling one in many respects.” Read more »

The Daughters of Zelophehad

May 23, 2004 | 67 comments
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On several occasions, I have asked rooms full of adults if anyone could relate the story of the daughters of Zelophehad to us. No one has ever been able to do it. That’s a shame. This story needs to be brought forth out of obscurity, to grace the flannel boards in Primary, to star in Family Home Evening (it does in the Smith house!), and to take its rightful place in the cozy canon alongside Jonah, Daniel and his lions, and Nephi. Read more »

The Figurative Bible and the Literal Book of Mormon

May 2, 2004 | 101 comments
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On another thread, BCC contributor and Sunstone editor managing editor John Hatch makes a very interesting observation. He writes: I’ve spoken to plenty of Church members who are more than willing to accept the Adam and Eve story as a metaphor. I recently spoke to a friend who is a bishop who told me he loved Abraham, even though he may not have existed, and if he did exist, the stories the Bible attributes to him most likely didn’t happen. Yet I suspect my friend would be most uncomfortable saying the same thing about Nephi, or Alma, for example. Read more »

The Malaysian Model

April 30, 2004 | 11 comments
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So now it’s not just the limited geography and the hemispheric models anymore, now there is the Malaysian model. (Link via Dave). The Malaysia idea is certainly novel, and presented as well as I think it possibly could be. The author, Ralph A. Olsen, notes that it avoids a large number of standard Book-of-Mormon location problems, like use of Egyptian, and presence of animals and crops. (For example, he writes that “Wheat, barley, and other cereal grains have long been cultivated in Southeast Asia. There is no evidence of their cultivation in Mesoamerica.”) I’m not convinced. Read more »

Our Terrible and Tender God

April 26, 2004 | 9 comments
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Prepping a guest lecture for seminary a few weeks ago I was struck with the alignment between Adam’s and Eve’s shrinking from the presence of God after they ate the forbidden fruit, and the shrinking of the wicked from the presence of God at judgment (e.g. 2 Nephi 9). Adam and Eve feel naked, and hide. God calls them forth and rebukes them, confirming that they have something to be ashamed of. They are now to be cast out of his presence entirely. Yet then, after pronouncing curses, he makes clothing for them, as if to say, “Since you’re... Read more »

LDS Hermeneutics

April 20, 2004 | 28 comments
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My least favorite thing about graduate studies in biblical studies was coming to the realization that there was a multisyllabic, Latin- or Greek- derived word for everything, and that precious few of these words would be found in a standard dictionary. Elder Dallin H. Oaks had an experience with this: Read more »