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...]

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...]

Korihors, Secular Humanism, and the Book of Mormon

The topic of Korihor, noted Book of Mormon anti-Christ, has come up in Mormon discussions recently. The identification of Korihor with various contemporary groups or individuals marks such as illegitimate and dangerous. Boundaries, separation, and vigilance against such ideas is warranted. One of the most popular interpretations is that Korihor teaches secular humanism, situating secular humanists (and often religious humanists) as not only heretical, but also demonic. It is worth m … [Read more...]

On Pseudonyms and Insults

Reflecting on the behavior of certain other co-bloggers at Patheos and their commenters on the question of pseudonyms, I was inspired to repost some ideas on this from last year. Let me share my observations about being a pseudonymous Mormon blogger for over a decade.  There is a common belief that bloggers who “hide” behind a pseudonym will abuse that position to do bad things.  My experience, however, has not born this out.  Instead, the pseudonymous blogger is often the target of rude treatme … [Read more...]

John Gee, Biblical Studies, and Credentials

John Gee has alleged that Biblical Studies degrees at elite universities do not require history or archeology. As evidence, he looks at the minimum course requirements, and in a few cases at general exam areas. The immediate implication of this claim is targeted at David Bokovoy, whose PhD is from Brandeis in Hebrew Bible--the first target of Gee's "analysis." The broader implication is that people with Biblical Studies degrees are less qualified to speak about the ancient world relevant to the … [Read more...]

Notes on John Gee’s Biblical Training

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Does the word “apology” appear in the scriptures?

Recently it has been suggested that the word apology does not appear in the scriptures as a reason for why Church leaders do not apologize. Of course, there are lots of things that church leaders do that are not in the scriptures, but is it really the case that the idea of offering an apology is a non-scriptural principle?If one searches the King James Version, the English word "apology" does not appear. The English word apology derives from the Greek word apologia, which does not mean to be … [Read more...]

Mormon Theology Seminar Announcement

We are very excited to assist in getting the word out about the second annual Summer Seminar on Mormon Theology, with the topic of "Christ and Anti-Christ: Reading Jacob 7."  See the link below for more details, but here is a short description of the project: … [Read more...]