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 ancient documents in dead… Read more

Review of R. Kratz, Historical and Biblical Israel: The History, Tradition, and Archives of Israel and Judah (2015)

I have posted a review of an important new work in Hebrew Bible study at my blog. Read more

The god Gad

I have a new post up on one of the lesser known deities of the Bible, the god Gad. I argue that Gad is not an independent deity of good fortune, as scholars have often assumed, but is merely an epithet of Canaanite El. Read more

Taylor Petrey is Tenured: What does This Mean for LDS Scholars of Religion?

We’ve been running our Tips on Applying Series for nearly a decade. We heard from Taylor Petrey back in 2010 when he offered some advice on securing an academic position in religious studies. Taylor has recently received tenure, which is a big deal not only for him, but for all Latter-day Saints involved in the study of religion. He graciously agreed to talk to us about his work and how he earned tenure.   (more…) Read more

The Scholarly Mantle

I’ve been thinking lately about the ethics and abuses of the scholarly mantle. As someone who aspires to produce scholarship of worth to my own community and the larger world, I highly value being honest and candid about what I claim to know or do not know, and when I endeavor to advance a definite historical claim I try to be as well informed as reasonably possible, always making sure to get a handle on the full gamut of relevant evidence, even if this process may complicate my… Read more

New Seals discovered in Jerusalem

I have a new post up on my blog, which has been changed to a new address (http://www.religionofancientpalestine.com), on the late Iron Age seals recently discovered in Jerusalem. Iron Age Seals from Jerusalem Read more

Right, Wrong, and the Divine Voice in Scripture

The story of Abram and Sarai in Egypt has always been concerning, specifically the part about him asking her to tell others they weren’t married but were brother and sister. One issue, by no means the most important, is that it seems he asked her to lie for him, which could conflict with notions of what a prophet is and is not supposed to do. The parallel account of Abraham, Sarah, and Abimalech claims that it was only a partial… Read more

Plaster Wall Inscription 4.2: El, Baal, and YHWH

I have put up a draft of my study on plaster wall inscription 4.2 from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, which offers a revised transcription, translation, and commentary. If you are less interested in epigraphic analysis, then you are welcome to skip to the exegetical commentary further below. There I present the argument that in the context of Israel-Judah the name Baal referred to El, the head of the Israelite pantheon. Read more

Who is Baal?

A little post on the god Baal at my blog. Who is Baal? Read more

Give Mormon liberals a break

The follow post reproduces a post at M* nearly identically.  Spending any time at all on social media can rapidly distort your sense of reality when it comes to what most Mormons believe. We often forget that more than half of Mormons live outside of the United States and that almost none of these people care about the petty concerns of the various factions out there. In my relatively conservative ward in rural South Dakota, most people don’t follow any… Read more

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