February 18, 2019

    Mark 3:7-12 Compare Matthew 4:24-25; 12:15-16; Luke 6:17-19   The accounts of healings given in the passages cited above mention people coming from Galilee, Idumea, Tyre and Sidon,  the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from what used to be called Transjordan (that is, the area across the Jordan River, in what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which was itself known as Transjordan even into the twentieth century).  “His fame spread throughout all Syria,” says Matthew 4:24…. Read more

February 18, 2019

    “Is the Book of Mormon Like Any Other Nineteenth Century Book?”   ***   For your possible reflection:   “Mormon temple changes are a step forward for women”   Please, though, no explicit or detailed discussions of temple content on my blog or the relevant Facebook thread, should one arise.   ***   “Jaredite Barges, Anachronistic Glass Windows, and the grammar of Ether 2:23”   ***   I’m a bit late on this, but it’s still interesting:  … Read more

February 18, 2019

    I was saddened just now to learn that one of my teachers in Cairo passed away slightly more than a year ago.  I should have known it, but somehow I missed the news.   Bernard Weiss (10 August 1933 – 8 February 2018) was teaching at the American University in Cairo when I first came to know him, as a professor of Arabic history.  He had earned a bachelor of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary but then,… Read more

February 18, 2019

    We’re just back from the Metro Richmond Zoo, a remarkably good small private operation — really quite good — that, incidentally, was founded and is owned and operated by Jim Andelin, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   I recommend it highly to anybody who’s ever in the area of Richmond, Virginia.  It’s not so small that it’s unsatisfying, but it’s also not so huge that it’s overwhelming.  We saw kangaroos,… Read more

February 17, 2019

    I’ve been asked to draw up two very brief summary passages describing, respectively, the Islamic view of Jesus and the view of Jesus taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   There’s no great urgency to the request, but I thought that I would write up some initial notes.  Here goes:   Muslims regard Jesus as the sinless son of Mary — uniquely and miraculously having a mother but no father — and as, perhaps… Read more

February 17, 2019

    Matthew 12:1-8 Mark 2:23-28 Luke 6:1-5   Reading these verses, I’m reminded of a story told (as I recall) by a General Authority some years ago.   Again, if I’m remembering the story correctly it occurred back when he was still a local leader.  He was headed toward a Sunday meeting in a rural area — perhaps, I vaguely seem to recall, in southeastern Idaho — and he was running just a bit late.  Hurtling down the road,… Read more

February 17, 2019

    On the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Come, Follow Me New Testament Lesson 8: February 18–24 Matthew 5; Luke 6 “Blessed Are Ye””   ***   A curious account:   “An Example of the Folly of “Sign-Seeking” from Early Welsh Latter-day Saint History”   ***   As I say, I read an article on Friday by the late Dallas Willard and Brandon Rickabaugh, the first of whom taught in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Southern California and the… Read more

February 17, 2019

    Additional notes from Dallas Willard and Brandon Rickabaugh, “Intentionality contra Physicalism: On the Mind’s Independence from the Body,” Philosophia Christi 20/2  (2018): 497-516.  The late Professor Willard taught philosophy at the University of Southern California; Brandon Rickabaugh teaches philosophy at Baylor University.   The authors quote from C. J. Ducasse, A Critical Examination of the Belief in a Life after Death (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1961), 203: [T]he balance of the evidence so far (thus) obtained is on the side of the… Read more

February 16, 2019

    I’m happy — to put it mildly — that the Supreme Court of the United States is now pretty solidly conservative.  Indeed, I hope that that conservative majority will grow.  In a recent case, though, I believe that the conservative majority ruled incorrectly and I find myself agreeing with Justice Elena Kagan in dissent:   New York Times:  “Is Religious Freedom for Christians Only?  Domineque Hakim Marcelle Ray wanted an imam by his side when he was executed…. Read more

February 16, 2019

    Matthew 9:9-13 Mark 2:13-17 Luke 5:27-32   This account, of the calling of Levi or Matthew, provides one of our clearest glimpses into the character of Jesus.  And it’s a very impressive one.   Levi or Matthew is himself a tax collector — not the most highly esteemed profession then or now, perhaps, but infinitely worse then.  And Jesus is portrayed as dining with a whole group of “tax collectors and sinners.”   When he’s rebuked for the… Read more

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