A discussion I had recently with a friend of mine reminded me of one of my other favorite soap boxes that I haven't stood on in this forum before. No, it has nothing to do with swearing (in a traditional sense at least). Today I'm more interested in the sort of curses that God lays on peoples. Like on the Lamanites and stuff. And yeah I know that there is nothing new in the 'Nacle so I'll just say outright that I haven't even looked elsewhere to see who has already broached the subject and what … [Read more...]

LDS at SBL: Roll call

The annual Society of Biblical Literature conference will be held next month in San Diego, in combination with the American Academy of Religion or AAR. ( The American School of Oriental Research or ASOR used to hold theirs concurrently as well.) SBL is probably the largest conference of its kind, lasting several days, with several thousand people in attendance. The best parts are the socializing and networking, and the Bookanalia, in which hundreds of academic book and software publishers set up … [Read more...]

Ten Tidbits about the Old Testament

This post joins the previous ones of similar title on the New Testament and Book of Mormon.I make no claims that these are the biggest nor the most tantalizing, but here are ten tidbits about the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) that receive little attention (in my experience) in Church settings. I'm intentionally leaving out the better known biggies, such as JEDP, two or three Isaiahs, or the fact that "history" in the modern sense wasn't an operative category for the authors of the Hebrew … [Read more...]

The Divine Council and its Doctrinal Implications: an EV-Mormon Discussion

Several months ago, I mentioned Mike Heiser's paper, " You've Seen One Elohim, You've Seen Them All? A Critique of Mormonism's Use of Psalm 82 ." Heiser wrote his dissertation on the topic of the Divine Council, and runs a website entitled The Divine Council which is aimed somewhat at Evangelicals, who tend to misunderstand the Old Testament text on this topic. He also works for Logos, which provides excellent Bible resources and study tools. Heiser, an Evangelical, "feel[s] more … [Read more...]

Ten Tantalizing Tidbits about the Book of Mormon

These aren't quite as tantalizing as TT's NT tidbits, but we don't have similar extra-scriptural data to work with here. I'm trying to be as provocative as I can (which probably just reveals my hard-core McConkie-style orthodoxy <g>) … [Read more...]

Ten Tidbits about the NT

A friend of mine recently asked me to sketch out ten "provocative" axioms about the New Testament that Latter-day Saints might find surprising given the assumptions that they typically bring to the text. This exercise is by no means unique to the New Testament. Similar lists could be produced about the OT, other religions, LDS church history, etc. However, since this year we are studying the NT in Sunday School, it might be a useful time to reflect theologically on the significance of some of … [Read more...]

Is Jesus a God in the NT?

The short answer: not really. … [Read more...]

The Song of Songs and Divine Eros

It might surprise many Christians to know that for nearly a millennium, the Song of Songs (aka Canticles, aka Song of Solomon) in the Old Testament was perhaps the single most important book of scripture. There are more medieval commentaries on this book than any other book in the Bible. Modern readers find this especially strange since there is no explicit message of God, divine law, moral imperatives, or any other "obvious" sign of its religious nature. In fact, modern biblical critics … [Read more...]