Ten Tidbits about the Five Books of Moses

1.       Most scholars don’t believe that Moses wrote the five books of Moses.  Moses never claims to have written them (within the text) and there are things that happen in them that Moses couldn’t have written (his death being the most important of these).  So, they don’t call them the Five Books of Moses.  Instead, most Christian scholars call these books the Pentateuch (greek for “five books”) and most Jewish Scholars call these books the Torah (Hebrew for “instruction”).  People who don’t fe … [Read more...]

The myth of applying all scripture

An argument that I occasionally see floated in blogs is the argument that ideas are to be shunted aside simply because they neglect to consider all the scriptures. This is a strange argument to me. No single argumentative notion is capable of encompassing all scripture, or even most scripture. There may be one or two exceptions, but I would tend to think that they would be promoted by ideologues who dismiss counter-arguments without real consideration. Sure, all scripture may testify of … [Read more...]

The ethics of the Apologetic toolkit

To explain why it isn't completely impossible (or unusually irrational) to hold to a certain form of belief appears to be the chief purpose for all apologetics. With that in mind, it seems to me that there are two fundamentals approaches to the endeavor. Neither, ultimately, is going to dissuade the determined disbeliever from their viewpoint, but one is better designed for the unbeliever and the other better suited to the choir. … [Read more...]

Scholars and Prophets

I presented a paper at the Yale conference in February in which I argued that the reason that most people don't read the works of Biblical scholars (LDS or otherwise) is that most people don't read scripture in order to understand what scripture says; most people read scripture in order to interpret it in light of their own experience or to have a revelatory moment with God. Actually understanding the original intended meaning of the words is secondary to this personal divine experience and it … [Read more...]

Polygamy in the Book of Mormon

It struck me the other day that the one place in the Book of Mormon where polygamy is addressed is unabashedly opposed to polygamy. This is, of course, Jacob chapter 2 (and a little of chapter 3). However, it may surprise you to learn why Jacob was so opposed to polygamy. … [Read more...]

A tentative list of general LDS biases in approaches to the Bible

Scholars have a tendency to operate on shorthand and stereotype whenever they feel like they can get away with it. It is a somewhat ironic tendency, in that they general also insist on a more detailed and topic-specific discussion if it is something that they care about.  Of such are life's paradoxes, no?  (That one's for you, Frank) … [Read more...]

Mergers and Acquisitions

We here at Faith-Promoting Rumor are pleased to announce a merger with the folks at Urban Mormonism. They have agreed to join forces with us here in an effort to get posts up here by people other than Mogget and Lxx. I, for one, am pleased as punch as I will finally have time for my magnum opus: The use of the Hebrew preposition b as a directional marker for the position of Kolob within the context of the Book of Mormon Isaiah passages. Coming soon to a "Know Your Religion" fireside near … [Read more...]

Middle Ground or No-man’s Land?

I know that I've promised to do a post on predestination and the vessels of wrath in Romans 9, a post that will be at least two entries since we need to discuss how Mormons misunderstand Paul's predestination first before we talk about important pots, but I was reading in D&C 76 today in church when I was struck again with strangeness of the description of the Terrestrial glory. … [Read more...]