Historical Mormon Smackdown: Auxiliary Edition [Corrected; Please vote again]

It appears that although we are meant to pay closer attention to the teachings of the current prophet, this does not extend to his wife. No matter; we plow ahead.Historical Mormon Smackdown: Auxiliary Edition! [Corrected] Who has more influence on your church experience: Bonnie D. Parkin or A. Roger Merrill?Bonnie D. Parkin, General Relief Society PresidentA. Roger Merrill, General Sunday School PresidentVote Below and Discuss:This poll was corrected after Justin, whose research … [Read more...]

“A” is for Adam “in whose fall we sinnéd all”

My GD class was hinting around last week that there is a firm distinction between the terms “sin” and “transgression” when talking about Gen 3. Of course, Gen 3 makes no claim about the event, either way. And it seems to me that such terminological precision is not a feature of Paul’s original comparison of Christ and Adam in Rom 5:12-21. When Paul does make a distinction it is transgression, not sin, that is the stronger term. … [Read more...]

Secular Sam’s Guide to the OT: the Pseudepigrapha

The writings contained in what is known as the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (hereafter OTP) are legion. They date from about the middle of the 7th century BC to the 9th century AD and were written mostly by pre-Christian Jews, Christians, and other minor people groups. Some of the languages represented in the OTP are Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Slavonic, Coptic, Latin, and others.What is the OTP?The word "pseudepigrapha," as one may see, comes from the Greek compound word which means "falsely … [Read more...]

Historical Jesus 4: More Criteria

Since the majority of our information about Jesus comes from the Gospels, when we try to work out the details of the historical Jesus, we are obliged to sift and weigh these sources. In Part 3, we opened a discussion of John Meier’s ten criteria for this effort with the three strongest. Today, we continue with the remaining two strong criteria, then summarize the five weak ones. … [Read more...]

The Return of Historical Mormon Smackdown: Prophetic Spouse edition!

When last we checked, more people were disturbed by possible polyandry than polygyny on the part of the Prophet Joseph. This week, we continue my personal campaign to put things in perspective:Who is more influential in the church today: Emma Hale Smith or Marjorie Pay Hinckley?Emma Smith: wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, recipient of D&C 25, subject of two books and several pieces of variable quality artwork at deseretbook.com.Marjorie Hinckley: wife of the current prophet, … [Read more...]

In Sorrow Shalt Thou Bring Forth Children

This little narrative describes opposition to the use of chloroform to ease the pain of delivery based on the divine decree that childbirth was to be painful. If it's true, it's one for the "stranger than fiction" file. I'll try to run down more on it over the week. In the meantime, I see no author explicitly listed on the site I took it from, but the URL is here: … [Read more...]

Guest Post – Clothes Make the Man Part Two

This is the second part of the first post from Dan Belnap.Clothing and Definitions But the Garden story is not wholly concerned with nakedness, or rather remaining in a state of nakedness. There are also two scenes concerning the preparation and presentation of clothing. If nakedness represents the loss of one’s identity, which Adam and Eve have, then clothing represents one’s identity, and changes of clothing may represent new identities. It has long been recognized that clothing are pow … [Read more...]

Classical Figures in the Creation and Fall Narratives

Anthropopatheia is the name of the figure used to describe the ascription of human passions, actions, or attributes to God. Interestingly enough, at the time Bullinger was writing his Figures, another term for this was Condescension. Readers of the BoM will be familiar with the idea. Anyway, consider Gen 22:7 … [Read more...]