The Book of Mormon Wars

Over the weekend I became aware of a piece written by Stephen Smoot at the Interpreter that reminded me the Book of Mormon Wars are unfortunately alive and well in some quarters. Uncompromisingly, Smoot declares BoM historicity to be an all or nothing affair and identifies those who promote an inspired fiction theory as not only intellectually compromised but faithless to boot. In my opinion, this kind of rhetoric does a real disservice to the Mormon community, since instead of trying to cont … [Read more...]

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For Thus It Is Written

Check out an interesting new blog analyzing the influence of the KJV on the scripture produced by Joseph Smith: "For Thus It Is Written": Joseph Smith's Use of Biblical Texts … [Read more...]

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Critiques of Nahom and Lehi’s journey

 Recently the Interpreter blog has published a few responses to my articles exploring the significance of the mention of Nahom in the BoM, first a brief comment by S. Kent Brown and then a much longer two-part article by Jeff Lindsay. Not surprisingly, both found my thesis that the story of Lehi’s journey originated as imaginative mythological literature and that the reference to Nahom reflects dependence on a map to be unpersuasive. Still, I appreciate that they were generous enough to … [Read more...]

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Review of R. Kratz, Historical and Biblical Israel: The History, Tradition, and Archives of Israel and Judah (2015)

I have posted a review of an important new work in Hebrew Bible study at my blog. … [Read more...]

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The god Gad

I have a new post up on one of the lesser known deities of the Bible, the god Gad. I argue that Gad is not an independent deity of good fortune, as scholars have often assumed, but is merely an epithet of Canaanite El. … [Read more...]

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The Scholarly Mantle

I've been thinking lately about the ethics and abuses of the scholarly mantle. As someone who aspires to produce scholarship of worth to my own community and the larger world, I highly value being honest and candid about what I claim to know or do not know, and when I endeavor to advance a definite historical claim I try to be as well informed as reasonably possible, always making sure to get a handle on the full gamut of relevant evidence, even if this process may complicate my working hypothe … [Read more...]

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New Seals discovered in Jerusalem

I have a new post up on my blog, which has been changed to a new address (http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com), on the late Iron Age seals recently discovered in Jerusalem. http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=452 … [Read more...]

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Plaster Wall Inscription 4.2: El, Baal, and YHWH

I have put up a draft of my study on plaster wall inscription 4.2 from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, which offers a revised transcription, translation, and commentary. If you are less interested in epigraphic analysis, then you are welcome to skip to the exegetical commentary further below. There I present the argument that in the context of Israel-Judah the name Baal referred to El, the head of the Israelite pantheon. … [Read more...]

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