BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 6: 2 Nephi 1-2

A post up before Saturday night! Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles...Today we enter into 2 Nephi, which immediately raises the question, why is there a second Nephi? What's the motivation for the break in 1 and 2 Nephi? In the divided books of the Old Testament, it was largely due to practical concerns; When translated into Greek, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles were each too long to fit on one scroll, and split into two, hence 1 and 2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings.Brant Gardner points out in h … [Read more...]

Some Quick Book Notes and Thoughts on Tradition and “Doctrine Creep”- UPDATED

I've had this half-written for a while, and had to finish it this morning, since the bits at the bottom are time-dependent.Two of my most-read posts have dealt with the flood in Genesis 6-9. This one looks at the Flood in terms of genre, and tries to steer Mormons away from the false interpretive dichotomoy of "literal/figurative" into a more productive and accurate way of looking at scripture, while also giving some ancient Near Eastern background. The second one responds to an older Ensign … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5: 1 Nephi 16-18

Not a lot of time for more than anything but some rough notes this week.1Ne 16:10 If you want to win some Mormon trivia, ask which book the Liahona is named in. Most people will give you 1 Nephi, but note that here it's only called "a ball." Later on, it will be glossed as "the ball or director" (Mosiah 1:16). We don't learn the name Liahona until Alma 37:38- "the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director-- or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass;" … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4: 1 Nephi 13-14

School has begun, and I'm swamped. Buckets of reading and writing, and trying to finish past projects in order to focus on the new stuff.For those of you who are new to the blog (and the stats suggest there are a few), check out my suggested reading list on the Book of Mormon.Nephi's vision seems at times to border on the genre of apocalyptic, which I talked about in the first post on Revelation. This is important to recognize, because it should inform how we understand parts of it. … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 3: 1 Nephi 8-12, 15

First, although this lesson terminates in chapter 15, next week's Lesson 4 doubles back to cover 1Ne 13-14. That's a bit of an artificial division, breaking up a natural unit, since Nephi's vision begins in chapter 11. I've been a bit slow getting this post up, due to a surprise funeral, followed by a surprise cross-country drive. What writing I did do was all about chapters 13-14, until I discovered and pointed out the lesson backtracking online. Two other teachers said "oops, time to revise t … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 2: 1 Nephi 1-7

These are the most familiar chapters to any Mormon, and I've literally spent weeks on them in Institute, going slowly. I'd wager many of us could recite 1 Nephi 1:1 from memory, and a good number of us in our mission language; not from trying to memorize it, just from having read it so much. Familiarity does not necessarily mean understanding, though. The following questions appear unrelated, but are clues to what's going in in the initial chapters and indeed, all of 1-2 Nephi.When we hear … [Read more...]

Me, the Blog, and Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Lesson 1: Changes!

In the coming year, I plan to put up a Gospel Doctrine post each week as I have in the past. Well, kind of. Out of necessity, they're going to be shorter and more focused, perhaps with longer biography and links. The blog will also be broadening somewhat, beyond the Gospel Doctrine lessons, in the sense that posts I might have written elsewhere will be posted here.I'll be cutting my online time drastically to focus on reading, writing, and working on a PhD at Claremont in History of Religion … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine 2016- Recommended Resources for the Book of Mormon

I promised, so here they are. Go read and comment on my post at TimesandSeasons.Lastly, as always, you can support this site and my research by making Amazon purchases through this link, or the Support My Research links at the bottom of the About page. You can get updates by email whenever a post goes up (subscription box on the right). If you friend me on Facebook, please drop me a note telling me you’re a reader. … [Read more...]