Announcement: Online Mormon Reading Group of Luke T. Johnson’s Introduction to the New Testament

It's paper-writing season for me, not a ton of time to blog anything substantial.  However, if you're on Facebook, over the next year the Mormons Talk: NT Bible Scholarship group will read/post/discuss its way through Luke Timothy Johnson's The Writings of the New Testament .  Currently available for $4.99, this volume is part of the Kindle sale I posted about last week which runs through the end of April. It's the kind of book that might be used in a college Intro to the New Testament course. … [Read More...]

Carpe Diem: Two Book Sales

First, Fortress Press is having a massive ebook/Kindle sale through the end of April. There's no link to the sale itself at Amazon, rather the 1500 (!) books on sale are listed in a pdf here. My suggestions- … [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...]

A Bit of News

I've got some public speaking coming up, and I'm excited. … [Read More...]

Transitional Mormonism, Part 2: An Earlier Transition

What do I mean by "transitional Mormonism"? (Part 1 is here if you missed it.) I take the idea from the title of Thomas Alexander's award-winning book Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890-1930, now in a 3rd edition. Alexander was a BYU professor, and wrote this as part of a commissioned 16-volume history of the Church that did not come to fruition. This time period was a particularly tumultuous one both for the LDS Church and America, with major intellectual, social, … [Read More...]

My Contribution to the SMPT Conference at Claremont

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology will hold a conference at Claremont, March 2-4. The schedule has been posted and includes several luminaries as well as night lights like me. I will present Saturday morning from 10-11, invoking Enuma Eliš, René Magritte, C.S. Lewis, Joseph Smith, B.H. Roberts, B.B. Warfield, Islamic abrogation, and Emily Dickinson (quoted below).The Spirit Speaketh the Truth and Lieth Not": The Complex Theological Intersection of Truth, Scripture, and Her … [Read More...]

Greek/Hebrew Followup: Another Demo and more Free Stuff Through March 1

It's Logos' 25th Anniversary, and they're offering a $25 coupon through March 1. That means it's a great time to invest in some of the supplementary Old Testament resources I suggested (below), or N.T. Wright books, or Peter Enns, or John Walton, or Jodi Magness' book on Daily Life in the Time of Jesus, or a line-by-line commentary on how the New Testament uses the Old Testament, or why modern translations differ in the New Testament, or Tikva Frymer-Kensky's JPS Commentary on Ruth, or or or... T … [Read More...]

The Complexities of History in The Ensign

I still haven't had time for the second post in my Transitional Mormonism series, but I promise to make time soonish.I want to highlight an important Ensign article in the February 2017 issue, "Understanding Church History by Study and Faith." Written by the Church History Library Director Keith Erikson, it makes some important points that are not always obvious or instinctive to non-historians. Erikson echoes several points made in another important Ensign article about history 40 year … [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...]

Transitional Mormonism and Tradition: Part 1

I wrote the last post while traveling and have just started a new and busy semester, and so didn't respond at all to the thirty-odd comments there. I'll address them and some related issues, instead, in a multi-part series. I'll get into what I mean by "transitional Mormonism" in the next post, but it's nothing to do with "faith journeys," "stages of faith" or anything like that.  Peter Enns is both an Evangelical who holds the Bible in very high regard and a Harvard PhD in Hebrew Bible. He has … [Read More...]