Mormons and Easter

Thoughts from a friend who wishes to remain anonymous:I'm kind of tired of Mormons trying to take Easter all serious like. It comes off as cultural appropriation because, let's face it, we aren't Christians like that kind of Christian. Easter is never going to stick because a) we have no connection to Christendom's liturgical calendar b) our very few rituals are derived not from Christianity but from masonry c) we have zero aesthetic for public religious performance (cathedrals, pilgrimages, … [Read more...]

Review of Jeremy D. Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture: The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26 (Oxford, 2016)

Review of Jeremy Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture … [Read more...]

Some methodological guidelines for the dating of biblical texts

New post on the dating of biblical texts … [Read more...]

Why study the Bible as a topic of humanistic inquiry?

I have a new post up on humanistic study of the Bible … [Read more...]

Review of Gard Granerød, Dimensions of Yahwism in the Persian Period: Studies in the Religion and Society of the Judaean Community at Elephantine (de Gruyter, 2016)

I posted a review of a valuable new book on Judaean religion at Elephantine on my blog. … [Read more...]

Canonical Criticism of the Book of Mormon?

The following is a brief response to Michael Austin's post "Canon as Context: Insights from the Bible Wars" published yesterday at BCC, in which he advocates that more students of the BoM should adopt something along the lines of the canonical criticism developed by biblical scholar Brevard S. Childs as a means of breaking through the debate over BoM historicity.I practice biblical criticism, and while I appreciate Austin's call to focus greater attention on the text of the BoM, I have re … [Read more...]

Review of Mark Smith, Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World

I've put up my review of Mark Smith, Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World (Yale University, 2016). The book is a stimulating and concise exploration of a timely topic. … [Read more...]

The death of Book of Mormon antiquity research?

Book of Mormon antiquity research has changed a lot since since the late 1990s. Not so long ago, it appeared that the future looked bright for the project to authenticate the BoM. Even in 2005 Richard Bushman could write, "the proponents [of an ancient BoM] are as energetic and ingenious as the critics in mustering support for the historicity of the Book of Mormon. On the whole better trained, with more technical language skills than their opponents, they are located mainly at Brigham Young U … [Read more...]