Review of Debra Scoggins Ballentine, The Conflict Myth and the Biblical Tradition (2015)

I have a new post up on a book that treats the myth of God's combat with the Sea/Leviathanhttp://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=569 … [Read more...]

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אל קנה ארץ: Creator, Begetter, or Owner of the Earth?

I have a new article up on my blog about the meaning of the verb qny in the divine epithet qny ʾrṣ, variously translated “Creator,” “Begetter,” or “Owner of the earth.” I argue that the verb never means “to create” in West Semitic and that all attested usages can be explained on the assumption that they derive from a single root with the basic meaning “to acquire, come into possession.” The correct translation of Hebrew qnh šmym wʾrṣ in Gen 14: 19, 22 is “Owner of heaven and earth.” … [Read more...]

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Review of Biblical Interpretation Beyond Historicity, ed. Ingrid Hjelm and Thomas L. Thompson

If anyone is interested, I have a new post up on my site, which is a review of Biblical Interpretation Beyond Historicity, ed. Ingrid Hjelm and Thomas L. Thompson. http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=532 … [Read more...]

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The Book of Mormon Wars

Over the weekend I became aware of a piece written by Stephen Smoot at the Interpreter that reminded me the Book of Mormon Wars are unfortunately alive and well in some quarters. Uncompromisingly, Smoot declares BoM historicity to be an all or nothing affair and identifies those who promote an inspired fiction theory as not only intellectually compromised but faithless to boot. In my opinion, this kind of rhetoric does a real disservice to the Mormon community, since instead of trying to cont … [Read more...]

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For Thus It Is Written

Check out an interesting new blog analyzing the influence of the KJV on the scripture produced by Joseph Smith: "For Thus It Is Written": Joseph Smith's Use of Biblical Texts … [Read more...]

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Critiques of Nahom and Lehi’s journey

 Recently the Interpreter blog has published a few responses to my articles exploring the significance of the mention of Nahom in the BoM, first a brief comment by S. Kent Brown and then a much longer two-part article by Jeff Lindsay. Not surprisingly, both found my thesis that the story of Lehi’s journey originated as imaginative mythological literature and that the reference to Nahom reflects dependence on a map to be unpersuasive. Still, I appreciate that they were generous enough to … [Read more...]

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“That’s not how the Church Presents Itself”: An Irreverent Response

The Church is largely to blame for the faith crisis among segments of the Mormon community. It promoted a black and white worldview where Truth is self-evident, and it supported this view with “faith-promoting” narratives that ignored the messy facts of history. One of the fruits of this approach is having this very mentality reflected back on the Church—when joining the Church is an existential choice, leaving it can likewise be existential. Disillusionment with the Church oddly does not neces … [Read more...]

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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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