Son of God

I was having a chat with the homies about Christological titles and since my response is longer than the original format allows, I will put it here. The crux of the matter concerns how the Synoptics deal with Jesus’ quotation of Ps 110:1. This quotation, which distinguishes the messiah from the son of David, appears in all three Gospels. From Mark 12:35-37 (NRSV): 35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, "How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, … [Read more...]

The Anthon Transcript: Fulfillment of Prophecy, Reformed Egyptian, and the Evolution of a Story, Part II

 Reformed Egyptian  (See Part I here) More problematic in terms of the credibility of Joseph Smith is the evidence of what is commonly known as the “Anthon Transcript,” an alleged transcription of characters taken from the plates of the Book of Mormon housed in the Community of Christ archives. The importance of this document for evaluating Joseph Smith’s claim to have translated an ancient Reformed Egyptian text can hardly be exaggerated. All indications are that the curiou … [Read more...]

The Anthon Transcript: Fulfillment of Prophecy, Reformed Egyptian, and the Evolution of a Story, Part I

Like other Mormons, I grew up learning about Martin Harris’s famous visit with Professor Charles Anthon as a pivotal moment in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. According to the traditional narrative (which is really a conflation of several distinct narratives, including Joseph Smith’s 1838 history read in the context of 2 Nephi chapter 27), Harris went to visit several scholars in the cities of the East for the purpose of authenticating Joseph Smith’s transcription and translation of chara … [Read more...]

The Part I Left Out…

I was blogging a bit over with Benjamin the Scribe, but didn’t get all of this first lesson quite done. So, I thought I’d just finish it up here, by reading the selection from the Johannine tradition. It consists of two of the three sections of the Fourth Gospel’s prologue:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into … [Read more...]

How to Start a Culture War

Hold strong opinions about a few issues. The more people that care about the issues, the better. These opinions need not be informed opinions; conviction is the key. (Note, one issue is usually insufficient to start a culture war, but don’t choose too many because then you’ll dilute the message and make it difficult to recruit soldiers.) Use the frame of war to interpret all disagreements over these issues. This includes using some, but preferably all, of the following language: enemy, fight, b … [Read more...]

The Future of Mormonism

As has frequently been noted by a variety of commentators, modern Mormonism seems to be entering what will be a very difficult cultural transition during the 21 century, where one of the defining issues will be whether the church will allow for greater cultural, social, and intellectual diversity among its ranks and still be able to maintain a sense of traditional communal identity or whether conservative forces will enact further retrenchment, thus leading to greater social fragmentation and … [Read more...]

Hamblin’s Misreading

I should begin by noting that if anyone wants to intelligently comment on the latest issue of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, please read it first. It’s available here (I hope the MI will make the article under discussion available free some time soon).Bill Hamblin has posted a critique of an article by B. Park, which has generated quite a bit of discussion on Dan Peterson’s blog. I’m going to respond to Hamblin here on FPR because Hamblin has refused to post my comments on his blog in … [Read more...]

Prolegomena to a Reconstruction of the Literary History of 1 Sam 1:1-4:1a: The Main Problems and Issues

[This is the beginning of a longer study about 1 Sam 1:1-4:1a that I'm still working on. Interested in comments, criticisms, or questions. I apologize about the formatting and other vagaries of the presentation resulting from copying and pasting from an original Word document.]From the rise of critical study of the Hebrew Bible, the Samuel narrative has long been a focus of literary and historical investigation. Spurred on by its unforgettable prose stories and the widespread assumption that … [Read more...]


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