December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas, all.  I hope it’s been a productive year working through the Hebrew Bible, which was the only scripture for the first Christians. With the shift in Sunday meeting organization next year, I have no plans to do anything differently. I’ll continue posting NT lessons and perhaps some other things, on a weekly basis. (You can find my backlog of NT posts here and working forward) Several of the aspects of Zechariah have already been treated, such as water flowing... Read more

December 12, 2018

Ezra and Nehemiah originally constituted one book, so it works to treat them together. Let’s review the timeframe and story here. 586– Babylonian destruction of Temple, the walls of Jerusalem, and beginning of the Exile to Babylon. Although it is probably a more complex issue, this event, in my mind at least, constitutes the historical dividing line between “Israelites” and “Jews.” The events of the Exile change the culture and religion, pushing it to develop in the direction we see... Read more

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

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad