social media and (not scholarship but) graffiti?

There was some exciting discussion developing here the other day about such topics as how smart it is and the smarts that are required to participate on the blogs and face books. Or as the great elitist Cicero put it:Nomina stultorum in parietibus [paginisque librorum faciei et commentis blogum] semper videmus [et in podcastibus audimus].*Crib sheet with reference to grammar in dusty print edition. nomina -- neuter plural accusative of third declension noun: nomen, nominis. stultorum -- m … [Read more...]

my stab at proper balance between the intellectual and the spiritual, for now anyway

Here's the other post in the series so far and where you'll also find a link to the series announcement."What is your philosophy of Religious Education and what should be the proper balance between the intellectual and the spiritual in BYU Religion classes?"This is a very important question that I wish could be discussed more, and more openly, throughout the church at all levels. Because it does not just concern students in religious education classes at church schools. It concerns … [Read more...]

Certainly of recent manufacture … the rumor, that is

Guess I should have been reading Religion News Service instead of First Things yesterday.Something (doubly) ironic about this if I could just put my finger on it. … [Read more...]

Perils of publishing (and my do-it-your-self guide to forgery)

So it looks like the fragment is not going to be published, at least not now and not in Harvard Theological Review. Why not?If it is because of the ethical question, better late than never I suppose. But hasn’t whatever damage already been done there?If it is because of the question of forgery, still why not publish? Questions of forgery were hanging and have continued to hang in the air around any number of material objects said to be from antiquity that happened to resurface one way or … [Read more...]

Not convinced this scrap is a forgery, and let’s give Morton Smith some credit

Backlash against news of the Coptic papyrus fragment now known as the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife did not take long. There is the ethical question: does publishing (on) a text that appears to have been removed from Egypt illegally and separated from its archaeological context, including the rest of the manuscript, due to ignorance and/or greed, not promote more of the same? I think this is the truly compelling question, and it is one that I have to ask myself.Realistically though, the question t … [Read more...]

The Jacob (pseud)epigraphon in the book of Alma

I have no idea how many Mormons there are in biblical and related studies. It’s a very small percentage, I’m sure. But they and Mormonism were nicely included in the two volume reference work, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. A Mormon scholar wrote the entry on the Testament of Adam, and Mormons in general are listed on the back cover (easily accessible here) along with Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as ‘people of the book.’This was due entirely to the magnanimity of the editor, James Charle … [Read more...]

first-presidency-member statement on anti-intellectualism

Need some inspiration for school, whether you yourself are just starting out, returning for yet another year, or you are going to be teaching the next group of collegiate hopefuls?Look no further than Sidney Rigdon’s address to the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute, 1844 (you can read the complete record of the NLLI here in Jones’ edition): Elder S Rigdon then took the floor and remarked that as it was getting late he did not feel as though he could deliver a Lecture and do justice to th … [Read more...]

From glass-looking to social science

In episode 24 of the Mysterious Cities of Gold, an ancient Mesoamerican manuscript is discovered inside a stone box underground. As explained during the mini-documentary that follows each episode, the real story adapted for the cartoon is that the find spot was an Indian burial at Palenque (and no manuscript was found; but you can virtually enter the tomb here).Now the discovery of the gold plates has always been my favorite Book of Mormon story. That the angel Moroni was also understood as … [Read more...]