Is Christ in the Old Testament?

What if the answer is no? What if the authors who produced the OT have no concept of the Christ that we know? What if the supposed "prophesies" of Christ in the OT are creative interpretations by early followers of Christ to make the book appear to confirm the details of his life (and the details of life massaged to parallel passages in the OT). This happens to be the assumption of most biblical scholars today. Does such a view produce particular problems for LDS readers of the Bible? … [Read more...]

Who Lectures on the Book of Mormon?

I'm a big fan of The Teaching Company. They have lots of good stuff on the Bible, world religions, and a bunch of lesser topics as well, like arts, philosophy, etc. It's particularly interesting to hear Bart Ehrman and Luke T. Johnson lecture on Paul, since they have such contrasting approaches. … [Read more...]

King Benjamin Killed God

Jesus set up an impossible paradox when he explained that the two great commandments are to love God and to love one's neighbor (though he was not the first to summarize the Law in such a way). The problem is that one simply cannot do both, as Jesus himself elsewhere noted that one cannot serve two masters.King Benjamin saw the impossible tension between these two contradictory commandments and attempted to resolve it by collapsing them into one single ethical imperative. He said: "when ye … [Read more...]

An American Prophet

Mormons are not the only prophetic tradition in America. The African American spiritual community also has its own prophetic roots, and Martin Luther King, Jr. is the paradigmatic figure from that tradition. It is true that these two traditions define prophetic leadership differently. For Mormons, today even more so than in our past, the prophetic mantle is held by right of institutional authority. The prophetic responsibility is to testify to the world of Christ, and to teach the faithful. … [Read more...]

Translation Styles and Book of Mormon Apologetics and Exegesis

For the past couple of days I have been reading An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon. Like most books or papers on the Book of Mormon I have read, it lacks a theory of Book of Mormon translation and suffers because of this lack. I would like to propose a rule for all future efforts at Book of Mormon apologetics, archaeology, or exegesis. The rule is that before you do anything you have to lay out your theory/explanation of the translation style used in translating the Book of … [Read more...]

Nephi as the first autobiographer?

One of the most interesting things about the small plates of Nephi is the first person narrative which recounts his own life. The text begins famously "I Nephi," and gives a personal account of Nephi's family history, personal reflections, and all this is done in the first person. This is extremely rare in ancient and classical literature. What are we to make of this? … [Read more...]

Book of Mormon Ethics Revisited

Hi, everybody it’s my first post. Newbie that I am, I’m still becoming acquainted with everyone’s positions on various and sundry topics. Sometimes you’re really bright, and sometimes you’re godless heathens; I’m confident my final conclusion will come to rest somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. In short, though, I appreciate that questions and concerns are being discussed in the open free from fear of stoning, burning, and/or excommunication.I mention this feeler-extending process to exp … [Read more...]

The C-F-A and a Non-literal Adam and Eve

This past Sunday I taught my 14 year old SS class about the Atonement from 2 Nephi 2 (we're a week behind). A strange thought occurred to me after class concerning the possible effects of a non-literal or symbolical reading of the Adam and Eve story on the way we (or at least I) understand the Atonement. … [Read more...]