The Book of Mormon and the Late War: Direct Literary Dependence?

The rediscovery of the Late War by Gilbert Hunt recently as a possible source for understanding the language, style, and narrative content of the Book of Mormon has already elicited a considerable amount of discussion and debate. After Duane and Chris Johnson’s computer study of more than 100,000 books published before 1830 indicated that a number of texts had a high incidence of distinctive phrases matching the Book of Mormon (BoM) and that among these the most significant may be the Late War ( … [Read more...]

Two LDS Perspectives on Religious Studies (A Parody)

Two LDS scholars have recently voiced their thoughts on the academic study of religion. One can be found here; the other can be found on pages 136-145 of the recent issue of the Religious Educator (14.3, 2013). I’ve brought these two pieces into dialogue for the readers of FPR.NOTE: I have taken things out of context, but I have not changed any of the words except as marked by parentheses.Enjoy! … [Read more...]

A Mormon’s Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the courage to question my leaders;the humility to accept their answers;and the prudence to know when courage becomes arrogance, and humility becomes complaisance. … [Read more...]

What Paul did not mean by apostle

Paul claims to be an apostle by virtue of his vision/s of Jesus.He does not claim to be an apostle by virtue of Jesus ordaining him to any priesthood.He does not claim to be an apostle by virtue of Peter, another of the twelve, or anyone else ordaining him to any priesthood either, though he does want to point out that years after the fact James and Peter and John accepted him (Galatians 2:6-10).When he refers to apostles (arguably including the woman Junia in Romans 16:7) and … [Read more...]

“Are Mormons Christians?”: A Blog Round Table (Updated)

Author's Note: This post is cross-posted at Approaching Justice.Are Mormons Christians?For most Mormons, the answer to this question is obvious. Yes, yes they are. They believe in Jesus Christ. This settles it for themFor people from other religious perspectives, the answer is obvious but in the negative. Mormons are not Christians. The reasons for this response is varied.For some, few answers are obvious. Instead, this question is more one of inquiry. For me, the question … [Read more...]

Korihor: An Anachronistic Exemplum of Atheism and Infidelity?

In a recent post TT made some interesting observations about Korihor and secularism in the context of the BoM narrative. He expressed skepticism that Korihor should be understood as an anachronistic representative of Enlightenment atheism and provocatively suggested that the narrative is actually arguing in favor of secularism if understood as the separation of ecclesiastical from political powers. I don’t find this reading of the narrative to be persuasive, however, even though many of TT’s que … [Read more...]

BYU Professor’s Mormonizing of the Old Testament

When I opened up my new issue of the BYU magazine, I immediately encountered a short article entitled “Ask the Expert: Hebrew School” that attracted my interest. The article was a brief discussion of several Hebrew names/terms by Donald Parry, a professor of Hebrew, accompanied by a rather large photo of him holding some Hebrew scrolls. I was interested to see what Parry had to say, since he is a well-known Dead Sea Scrolls/Old Testament scholar who has published widely, and to find out why BYU … [Read more...]

Korihor and the Defense of Secularism

Generally, Korihor is understood as a kind of anachronistic representation of secularism by many modern interpreters.  However, it is not at all clear that Korihor represents secularism.  Indeed, his confession notes that a religious experience is what motivated him.Secularism may be defined in various ways, and indeed has enjoyed a rigorous critical discussion over the past decade or so.  For the purposes of this post, I want to examine just two important ways for thinking about the se … [Read more...]