Nahom and Lehi’s Journey through Arabia: A Historical Perspective, Part 2

 In part 1 we discussed how the journey of Lehi through Arabia described in 1 Nephi 1-18 is highly implausible as a depiction of historical events, because of the unrealistic nature of various details and the narrative’s modeling after the biblical Exodus. Which raises the question of the significance of the reference to Nahom in 1 Nephi 16:34. As we saw earlier, the mention of Nahom is widely regarded as the clearest instance where the BoM preserves a real world place name in the c … [Read more...]

Diachronic or Synchronic? A Response to Nicholas J. Frederick

IntroductionThe fact that New Testament (NT) language appears throughout the Book of Mormon (BM) has troubled many readers. Some of the initial written responses to the work described in detail the King James English that pervades the text with special attention given to the NT passages that appear sprinkled throughout the book.[1]  Elder B. H. Roberts, who spent many years of his life writing about and defending the BM, discussed the presence of NT phraseology and ascribed the phenomenon to … [Read more...]

Paul and the three degrees of glory

Even though D&C 76 was prompted by revision of John 5:29, it also creatively draws from Paul’s discussion of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15.Because the revelation of the three degrees of glory is framed as lost biblical material (see the section heading), it can come as a surprise to learn just how different Paul’s views of heaven were from modern LDS beliefs.In 1 Corinthians 15:40-43 (KJV as always), we do find the words celestial and terrestrial as well as reference to the glor … [Read more...]

What was not discussed in Sunday school this week

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul, on the one hand, takes it for granted that women pray and prophesy alongside men – historical evidence of female prophetic roles.On the other hand, he distorts scripture in order to argue that women should do so veiled. The distortion is not always recognized much less challenged, in part because of its longstanding influence on Christian culture and society.Paul distorts the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 by using bits and pieces of both, while i … [Read more...]

Nahom and Lehi’s Journey through Arabia: A Historical Perspective, Part 1

 The issue of Nahom as evidence of the BoM’s antiquity has recently been a topic of heightened discussion and debate online, inspired by Philip Jenkin’s blog post Nahom Follies, which argues that the presence of the place name Nahom in the story about Lehi’s journey through Arabia is of doubtful historical significance and cannot be used to validate assumptions about the BoM’s historicity. His strong dismissal has not surprisingly engendered various counter responses from LDS apologi … [Read more...]

Why BYU Destroyed Ancient Book of Mormon Studies

Mostly because it isn't very good scholarship, but also because it hasn't produced a single new idea in twenty years. This is not to say that the Book of Mormon is not ancient, only that the scholarly field that attempted to build up around it failed on its own merits, which have much to do with the leadership style of those who see themselves as founders of this movement.  … [Read more...]

New Article at Dialogue

For those who do not have a subscription to Dialogue or have not yet heard, I wanted to point out an important new article in the Summer 2015 issue called "The Struggle for Female Authority in Biblical and Mormon Theology," by Cory Crawford. The article represents a detailed investigation of the major scriptural sources that bear on the question of female authority in the Church and pays particular attention to how such traditions have been interpreted and shaped over time, tracing larger h … [Read more...]

BYUNTC Revelation

The Revelation volume in the BYUNTC series is back in the news, so I thought I’d say a bit about it. At last fall’s SBL Grant Underwood gave Richard Draper some advice regarding this volume. Since Draper’s work was not well-received by either LDS or non-LDS scholars, Underwood wrote: “Perhaps by drawing on the talented pool of younger LDS scholars trained in New Testament studies, [Richard Draper] and Michael Rhodes can extend their work in ways that more effectively bring LDS views into tough-m … [Read more...]