My MHA Presentation and Reconciling Science with Scripture

First, Zondervan has a Kindle sale on their Counterpoints series, where (mostly conservative) Evangelicals write different perspectives on a topic. In this series, I've only read Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither, which is quite good. (I think Sparks makes the most persuasive argument and avoids special pleading.) The Historical Adam volume has some respectable authors, as does the Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Here is a copy of my MHA presentation text, " … [Read more...]

10 Things for Understanding the Old Testament

My semester has ended, and now I enter into a busy summer of reading, writing, travel, research, and some public speaking. I do hope to be writing posts a little more often than I have in the last few months; at least, I have some posts on the back burner I've worked on sporadically, to finish off and post.If you're settling down for a serious study of the Old Testament, what ten topics do you need to know? I was part of a group discussing this recently, and this was my quick list. Long-time … [Read more...]

Free Book! and It’s a Good One!

I've often had Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible on this or that list of books I recommend. It's April's Free Book of the Month at Logos (link). If you've read my previous posts about Logos (link #1, #2), you know that entry-level Logos is free and like a supercharged Kindle, runs on Mac, PC, ios, and Android. It's what Infobases or Gospelink could have been. … [Read more...]

How to Use Greek and Hebrew without Looking like a Total Idiot: New and Improved

I'll get back to my Transitional Mormonism and Tradition, but I was really excited about this development. I've seen several bad uses  flagrant abuses of original languages recently by people who don't actually know the languages. They're typically relying on Strong's Concordance, which can be used legitimately (see my article here, the section called "original language resources") but 99% of the time, Strong's is abused by people who just don't know better. They use it as a lexicon, as a gui … [Read more...]

The Blog in the Coming Year and D&C

I've agonized a bit over how to handle D&C this year. Here's what I have decided and why.If you compare my posts from the last few months to virtually any of my Old Testament posts, you'll notice a distinct difference in length and quality. I've not been very happy with what I put out for the 2nd half of the Book of Mormon; I've taught that half much less, and so had far fewer blog-ready notes. I've also been wrestling with challenging coursework and papers, which do not allow much luxu … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 45-46: Ether

A few general notes about the Book of Ether.First, unlike the other two Book of Mormon migratory peoples, the Jaredites (as we call them) are not Jews under the Law of Moses. Abraham>Isaac>Jacob (Israel)>>>>Moses. They're not even Israelite (also a late term) or Canaanite, but Mesopotamian. So they are operating under a different set of religious ideas, different language (Sumerian, Akkadian, something else? Hebrew isn't an option), different cultural background than the res … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 38: 3Nephi 12-15

Today we enter into a very interesting section of the Book of Mormon. Like the Isaiah chapters, it closely parallels a section of the Bible. Like the Isaiah chapters, there are some subtle differences. 3Ne 12-15 parallels the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5-7. It's been lined up so that if you want to compare verses (and you should!), subtract 7 from the Book of Mormon chapter number to get the right verse in Matthew, e.g. 3 Nephi 12:48  ≈ Matthew 5:48. Let's compare these.KJV Mat 5:4 … [Read more...]

BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 37: 3Ne 8-10

I wanted to get this up quickly, and will try to return and add to it. Lots going on here.I've talked about the power of art before, but this bears repeating. while art and artists are often credited with making historical, and particularly religious, ideas come alive and plainer to understand, an inherent problem enters when the language of religious art becomes translated into the language of history by its viewer. What we see becomes what we believe, and often, therefore, what we think w … [Read more...]