Black and White

As I have casually wandered around the BoM this summer looking at how it uses the NT, I have noted instances in which it “clarifies” NT ideas, instances in which it “de-complicates” NT ideas, and instances in which it completely changes the meaning. In this post, I’d like to point out an instance in which an NT idea is “updated” so that it speaks more openly to modern issues.Perhaps the most radically egalitarian statement in the NT is Paul’s affirmation to the Galatians that they have no nee … [Read more...]

Giant Horror Bug Replaced!!!

When last we looked in on how the BoM used something of Paul’s from First Corinthians, we noted that the reference to sin was missing. In this little post I will point out that sin has been replaced by divine justice as the monstrous enemy that threatens humans. … [Read more...]

Giant Horror Bug Gone Missing!!!

This is one of those instances of intertextuality where what’s interesting is what’s missing. At the end of 1 Cor 15 Paul uses a victory motif to express the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Almost, almost, all of the same words are used again in the BoM, by Abinadi, Aaron and finally Mormon. But there is a bit of a difference. … [Read more...]

Gall of Bitterness

This expression, which seems pretty strange to moderns, is used a surprising number of times in the BoM. In this post, however, I want to compare how it is used in Alma the Younger’s angelophany (Alma 36) and the story of Simon’s interaction with Peter and John in Acts 8. The interesting thing about it is that although the exact same phrase is used in both stories, I think it expresses quite different emotional states.  … [Read more...]

Faith-Promoting [Not] History

Several weeks ago we had a sacrament meeting talk that remains on my mind. The gentleman who concluded the meeting used most of his time to read a story that he frankly admitted came from his mother, who “got it from Google.” If you are thinking that the word “Google” is a bad sign in this context, your spidey sense is doing well.The narrative he read was the highly embellished story of Gertrude Specht. You can read the Google version here and Jonathan Green’s research here. The bottom line i … [Read more...]

Ten [More] Tidbits from the Sermon on the Mount

1. Although this discourse opens by naming the disciples as the audience, at its conclusion the crowds are said to be listening and “astounded at his teaching” (7:28).2. The first antithesis (5:21-26), against anger, requires disciples to maintain their relationships despite (or through) their frustrations and displeasure with others.3. The KJV reads (5:22) “..whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…” The bolded phrase, which suggests that an … [Read more...]

Seal You His

Closing out the fifth chapter of Mosiah is an exhortation to righteous living followed by the promise of being sealed to/by God (Mos 5:15): Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is … [Read more...]

Author and Finisher

Tucked away near the end of the BoM is a description of Christ as “the author and finisher of their faith” (Mor 6:4). A very similar appellation is also applied to Christ in Heb 12:1-2a as it is found in the KJV, although the details of the immediate context are very different. This looks to be a standard way of employing such Christological “nuggets:” much of the “punch” of the NT use remains while the NT co-text is dropped in favor of a more straightforward presentation.In context, the BoM … [Read more...]