Redaction Analysis and the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document

We are pleased to offer the following guest post from friend of the blog "Steve." (Update: An earlier version of this post did not preserve correct formatting for the analysis). Modern biblical scholarship has developed several literary tools to help understand the origins and development of scriptural texts. Among the most prominent are source analysis and redaction analysis. (Redaction is a fancy word for “editing.”) These can be complicated endeavors, especially when they are applied to an … [Read more...]

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Give Mormon liberals a break

The follow post reproduces a post at M* nearly identically.  Spending any time at all on social media can rapidly distort your sense of reality when it comes to what most Mormons believe. We often forget that more than half of Mormons live outside of the United States and that almost none of these people care about the petty concerns of the various factions out there. In my relatively conservative ward in rural South Dakota, most people don’t follow any of the blog-based battles. Most people ar … [Read more...]

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The Quest for the Historical (Mormon) Jesus

In the last three centuries of Jesus research, an important and powerful idea emerged that helped to frame the goals and limitations of the debate: the Jesus of "history" and the Christ of "faith" were not, and need not be, the same thing. The theological claims made about Jesus, like the idea that he atoned for the sins of the world, are simply outside the scope of historical analysis. Historical claims are bound by the rules of modern historiography, while theological claims operate by … [Read more...]

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Too Close to Call? Daniel Peterson in the Deseret News

Recently, FPR bloggers have alleged that Daniel Peterson's recent Deseret News column closely followed the author's summary of a book he was reviewing, without attribution. At least one commenter has asked for more evidence of this claim.In response, I want to demonstrate the close relationship between Peterson's review and the author's work at a textual level. I present the two texts in a linked PDF below, one marked as written by Daniel Peterson [DCP] and the other by the author, Robert J. … [Read more...]

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Mac and Cheese Apologetics

When I think of Mac and Cheese, I tend to think of the boxed product of tiny noodles and a cheese powder. I've eaten it many times in my life. It made many appearances on my plate as a child, and I have many positive associations with it. It was an expression of love from my parents, a part of American food culture, and no doubt satisfied my hunger and cravings many times.As I grew older, I became aware of several critiques of mac and cheese. I think that these fall into five different … [Read more...]

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Polygamy and Same-Sex Marriage: The Contagion Theory

The recent policy changes in the LDS church treat polygamy and same-sex marriage as analogous in two ways. First, they are explicitly defined as "apostasy," resulting in automatic church discipline. Second, the children of such relationships receive the highest level of scrutiny before they are allowed to join the church. Why are these two kinds of relationships, and the children of such relationships, subject to such treatment? We might note that other sexual and relationship sins will result … [Read more...]

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New Series: Tips on Being an Independent Scholar

Over the years, primarily under the leadership of smallaxe, FPR has amassed an amazing series for LDS interested in pursuing graduate education in religious studies. It consists of interviews, best practices, an orientation to the process, and things to consider about this career path. It also has interviews and tips from people who have studied at different schools, and even interviews from those who have gotten tenure track jobs.We have now decided to launch a new series about another path … [Read more...]

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Why BYU Destroyed Ancient Book of Mormon Studies

Mostly because it isn't very good scholarship, but also because it hasn't produced a single new idea in twenty years. This is not to say that the Book of Mormon is not ancient, only that the scholarly field that attempted to build up around it failed on its own merits, which have much to do with the leadership style of those who see themselves as founders of this movement.  … [Read more...]

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