December 9, 2018

(The second post on New Testament resources is available. More coming) Today we focus on Daniel 2, a vision.  The story goes like this. In King Nebuchadnezzar’s 2nd year, he has a dream. (According to Daniel 1:1-2, Daniel and friends don’t get carried off until Neb’s third year, although they’re present here.) Either he can’t remember what it was like many of us or he’s being unreasonable. Either way, he demands all his wise men tell him both the dream itself, and… Read more

December 6, 2018

(Link to Part 1, the Short List) First, I’m doing a book giveaway on Facebook. In order to qualify, you need to Like and Follow my page, and then Share this post. Now, back to resources. I want to emphasize that the absolute best and easiest thing you can do to increase the quality and frequency of your Bible study is to replace/supplement your KJV with a different translation. This is almost a silver bullet for increasing understanding, appreciation, and… Read more

November 27, 2018

Today we are rushing through  Daniel AND Esther, although next week is devoted solely to Daniel 2. What’s interesting is how the comparison between Daniel and Esther actually serves the manual’s purpose, which is to “help class members have the courage to live according to gospel standards.” How so?  Daniel doesn’t hide his Jewishness, even being a bit extravagant, while Esther is apparently able to pass, to fly under the radar as a non-Jew. Significant, perhaps, that “noticeably absent [in… Read more

November 24, 2018

First, in keeping with NT preparation, note that the Harper-Collins Bible Dictionary is on $1.99 kindle sale.   Just as the Book of Ezekiel opened with a cryptic vision (1:1 “the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God…, wheel within wheel”) so too does it close with one. The final eight chapters (40-48) constitute one long vision of a different sort than the first. Ezekiel is now fifty (the prescribed year of retirement for priests, according to Lev… Read more

November 18, 2018

Before I get to Ezekiel, note that I have put up my first post of recommended NT resources, a shortlist of Top Five books. I hope January will bring many positive changes in how we study the New Testament, and I’m trying to do my part. Up until this point, prophets have largely been “northern” or “southern,” but this post-exile thing is a whole new ballgame. Ezekiel is the first of the classical prophets to be prophesying in Babylon. Ezekiel… Read more

November 16, 2018

It’s that time of year when sales happen, Christmas money appears in your stocking, and January is coming and bringing changes. Of course, we’ll start studying the New Testament,  but our Church-oriented Gospel Doctrine experience will happen half as often with the new 2-hour schedule.  “For years Church leaders have been emphasizing that home is the best place to live, learn, and teach the gospel, and gospel learning and teaching should be part of our daily lives, not confined to Sunday classes.”- Source… Read more

November 15, 2018

We continue our scattered reading of Jeremiah. I’ve arranged my comments sequentially. (more…) Read more

November 7, 2018

I presented a short paper at the Joseph Smith Papers conference a few weeks ago, a spin-off from my Genesis 1 manuscript. My basic argument was this. Certain common conceptions of revelation, which I term “absolutist,” cannot account for the major textual, doctrinal, and other differences between Genesis, Moses, Abraham, and the temple; this suggests we need to think and teach about revelation differently and in more depth. I defined “absolutist” revelation with a few characteristics. In this view, revelation… Read more

November 1, 2018

Jeremiah! The man, the book, the bullfrog… Jeremiah is the second longest book in our longest book of scripture. (Only Psalms is longer). We know more about Jeremiah than any other Old Testament prophet, because for reasons unknown, much more biographical information is included. First, though, the setting. We are now in Jerusalem, c. 625 BCE. Josiah the reformer has been on the throne for 15 years. Israel is technically an Assyrian vassal but under the direct administrative control of Egypt…. Read more

October 30, 2018

One of my qualifying exams is in Reformation history. As the story goes, Oct 31 is the day Martin Luther nailed his 99 95 theses to the door of the church, so Oct 31 is sometimes known as Reformation Day. What many people don’t know is that a) this story doesn’t mean what people think it does and b) it might not even have happened. University professors, as Luther was, operated differently from today. A primary form of teaching and scholarship… Read more

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