The death of Book of Mormon antiquity research?

Book of Mormon antiquity research has changed a lot since since the late 1990s. Not so long ago, it appeared that the future looked bright for the project to authenticate the BoM. Even in 2005 Richard Bushman could write, "the proponents [of an ancient BoM] are as energetic and ingenious as the critics in mustering support for the historicity of the Book of Mormon. On the whole better trained, with more technical language skills than their opponents, they are located mainly at Brigham Young U … [Read More...]

Chaoskampf, the Garden of Eden, and the Mountains of Lebanon

I have a new paper up on the Garden of Eden that explores its mythological background in Canaanite-Israelite mythological tradition. Among other things, I argue that the mysterious ʾēd that comes up to water the ground in Gen 2:6 is correctly translated “flood” and that the motif hearkens back to an ancient Canaanite myth in which El created the world through defeating the primordial Sea monster. This discovery then leads me to reconstruct how the biblical Garden of Eden story has evolved over ti … [Read More...]

John Hall and why we can’t have nice, biblical things (part 2)

This may become a recurring series. Who knows. There is a mountain of material with more coming out each year it seems. Anyway, today's installment comes from John F. Hall, a former professor of Classical Studies at BYU and self-styled scholar of the New Testament. In his 2002 monograph New Testament Witnesses of Christ: Peter, John, James, and Paul (Covenant) the reader finds this (p. 59):"Modern critics resort to literary analysis and redaction criticism to dismiss the accounts of Mark and … [Read More...]

This is why we can’t have nice, biblical things

Apparently this advertisement was sent to students and faculty at BYU who are in some way connected to the study of HB/NT."You are invited to attend a public lecture this Wednesday by Margaret Barker, the well-known British founder of the Temple Studies group in London. The title of her lecture on deification is “The Lord is One.” This presentation will be held in the Varsity Theater, in the Wilkinson Student Center at 4:00 pm, Wednesday, November 9.After her presentation, Andrew Skinne … [Read More...]

Review of The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion, ed. John Barton

I have posted a review of The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion, ed. John Barton, on my blog. http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com/?p=587 … [Read More...]

Announcement: Faith and Knowledge 2017

Faith Promoting Rumor is happy to learn of the upcoming Faith and Knowledge conference. For more details about the conference, visit the website www.faithandknowledge.org. HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOLCAMBRIDGE, MA FEBRUARY 24-25, 2017The Faith and Knowledge Conference was established in 2007 to bring together LDS graduate students in religious studies and related disciplines in order to explore the interactions between religious faith and scholarship. During the past five … [Read More...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Slavery in the Eschatological Kingdom

I am following a discussion on David Bokovoy’s wall with some interest. Here he makes an argument, based on Gal 3:27-29, that since slavery will not exist in the Kingdom neither will gender distinctions: There is a lot more to it than simply an issue of equality…. Like Jesus, Paul was a first century apocalyptic Jew. For Paul, the Kingdom would change everything. He's not saying that Jews and Gentiles would be equal. He's saying that the distinction would not exist. All will be "one in Christ." … [Read More...]