George Zervos, this afternoon at BYU

The Pietà

  In the printed program, the presentation given by George Zervos is entitled "New Light on an Early Jewish-Christian Temple Source."  His first PowerPoint slide, however, gave his title as "The Genesis of Mary: The Mary of Faith and the Mary of History" and featured an image of Michelangelo's Pietà. But his actual presentation, devoted at least partially to the ancient (possibly even first-century) apocryphal text of The Genesis of Mary, did allude to that te … [Read more...]

Some notes on Gary Rendsburg

Edfu outer pylon

  And now for some random notes on Gary Rendsburg's early afternoon presentation, "The Psalms as Hymns in the Temple of Jerusalem -- at Passover and Throughout the Year": He started off -- and this pleased me very much -- with comparisons to the Egyptian temple of Edfu, offering several wonderful images of that very large structure. Then he contrasted what we know about Egyptian temple liturgy, which abounded in singers and hymns, to the view of … [Read more...]

“Experiencing the Temple at Passover”

Dome of the Rock, etc. from above

  Dan Bahat, an Israeli archaeologist who has long had important responsibilities for work in Jerusalem, began his presentation  this morning with a series of images of proposed reconstructions of the temple of Herod and the overall structure of the Temple Mount, coupled with images of what the area actually looks like today. Despite being a Jew, Bahat says that he likes to think of Jesus in connection with the temple.  Why?  Because most of what we have from th … [Read more...]

James Charlesworth and today’s conference at BYU

Tissot's Herod's Temple

  I'm sitting between my wife and the notorious John Gee in BYU's Gordon B. Hinckley Center.  The occasion is a conference, jointly hosted by BYU Studies and the Academy for Temple Studies, entitled "Passion and Passover." Jack Welch, the founder of FARMS and the editor of BYU Studies, opened the conference and welcomed the audience. The main speakers for the conference are James H. Charlesworth (Princeton University), Dan Bahat (University of St. … [Read more...]

“God’s Love for Mankind,” from “Mormons and Muslims”

Carlos Asay

  My friend Keith Lane, from the Hawaii campus of Brigham Young University, reminds me of this important statement on Islam from Elder Carlos Asay, formerly of the Presidency of the Seventy: http://rsc.byu.edu/pt-pt/archived/mormons-and-muslims/god-s-love-mankind   … [Read more...]

“‘Killing Jesus’ takes up middle ground on question of Christ’s divinity”

O'Reilly book cover

   The wonderful young film writer at the Deseret News reviews the movie version of Bill O'Reilly's bestseller: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865625290/Killing-Jesus-takes-up-middle-ground-on-question-of-Christs-divinity.html?pg=all#osG2MfmjEkhjyd0L.01   … [Read more...]

“Science explains why hipsters grow beards”

Silly-looking beard

  This is a rather strange little item: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/11501340/Science-explains-why-hipsters-grow-beards.html I can't say that I'm entirely convinced, but it's amusing.   … [Read more...]

“We are not transient, momentary mistakes in the cosmos”

Taurus Molecular Cloud (a portion)

  “Our culture is obsessed with youth because we have lost the ancient knowledge that growth never stops. We are not transient, momentary mistakes in the cosmos -- evolutionary curiosities that rise like mayflies, swarm for a day, and are gone. We are players who are here to stay, and the universe was built with us in mind. We reflect it, with our deepest loves and loftiest aspirations, just as it reflects us.” Eben Alexander    … [Read more...]


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