Exploring the Iconic Nature of the Book of Mormon: Part IIb – The Fluid Nature of the Text of the Book of Mormon

I here continue my series of posts dealing with the iconic nature of the Book of Mormon (BoM). For my introduction to this series, see here. For the first half of the current section on textual criticism and the BoM, see here.In my last post I gave a brief description of the various manuscripts and editions of the BoM. I would now like to examine what I have found to be several very interesting textual variants in the BoM textual witnesses. As I stated in my last post, anyone interested in … [Read more...]

Exploring the Iconic Nature of the Book of Mormon: Part IIa – Manuscripts and Editions of the Book of Mormon

In my last post, I introduced two lines of questioning that Timothy Beal has raised in his book The Rise and Fall of the Bible concerning biblical texts. Part of Beal's intent in writing is to introduce the reader to how a bunch of disparate religious writings came to be known as "The Bible." Two main points are important in such a discussion: (1) that there are a great number of biblical manuscripts in existence today, and (2) that there are a significant number of differences in how these … [Read more...]

Exploring the Iconic Nature of the Book of Mormon: Part I, Introduction

In his recent book The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book, Timothy Beal offers an insightful and timely assessment of what he calls the “the iconic cultural meaning of the Bible.” [1]  Beal proposes two main arguments in his work. First, that “there never has been a time when we could really talk about the Bible in the singular,” [2] and, second, that there is a marked difference between what the Bible actually is and the way in which many have come to view i … [Read more...]

Scripture Mastery Context(s) Series: Jeremiah 16:16 – Should Missionaries be Hunting & Fishing?

“Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks” (Jer 16:16 KJV) Seminary instructors, both full-time and volunteer, have urged countless students to commit this verse to memory in an effort to show that: “In the last days the Lord will send missionaries to gather Israel.” [1]  Even those who may have missed out on seminary … [Read more...]

“Every wo/man that striveth for mastery”: Thinking About LDS Scripture Mastery (A New Series of Posts)

**I wish I could say that my recent lack of posts at FPR has been due to the fact that I've been following the newest reincarnation "Further" (Bobby and Phil, minus Mickey, Billy) around the country in a VW Microbus, but other events have been the culprits. In any case, I am excited to be here with FPR at Patheos and look forward to being more involved again and "not fade away."** For quite some time now I have been pondering a long-term series of posts that look at the 100 Scripture Mastery … [Read more...]

Would Jesus “Stick to the Manual”?

Recently I was asked to fill in as Gospel Doctrine teacher. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity/challenge of helping people gain another lens through which to view the scriptures (ancient and/or modern) since everytime I see people have that moment of enlightenment when they gain new insight into the scriptures, gospel, etc. (something that I would argue is an observable phenomenon), I feel that I get to re-live the moments of enlightenment in my own life. This process of learning, teaching, … [Read more...]

Faith Promoting “Problems”

A few weeks ago my Bishop asked me to be the speaker at the monthly Bishop's Youth Discussion. I've spoken at several of these events and enjoy teaching the youth so I quickly agreed. When I asked what subject I should speak on he thought for about 5 seconds and asked that I speak on the prophet Joseph Smith. This is an interesting occurrence since 9 times out of 10 church leaders ask me to speak on topics that have to with the scriptures, but in this case:  Joseph Smith. Preparing and … [Read more...]

The Shorter (or Longer?) Reading is to be Preferred

The release of the “Book of Commandments and Revelations” (BCR) in the latest installment of the Joseph Smith Papers has provided tremendous insights into the textual history of Joseph Smith’s revelations, most of which were eventually canonized in our current edition of the D&C. I have spent countless hours (most of which I don’t have) examining the subtle (and not so subtle) changes that occur in the textual history of many of the revelations. [1] Marquardt’s volume on the subject has been … [Read more...]