January 11, 2015

    A brief article in the January/February 2015 issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review reports on a just-concluded exhibit at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, entitled In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East.   The artifact most prominently featured in the exhibit was the Katumuwa Stela, a basalt slab set up in what is now southeastern Turkey, more than 2700 years ago, to memorialize a man named, unsurprisingly, Katumuwa.   The Aramaic inscription on the… Read more

January 11, 2015

    Three passages, culled from comments on blogs made by people who disagree with Ralph Hancock, William Hamblin, and me about some trends in Latter-day Saint academia:   1.   “I firmly believe that sacred and secular don’t need to be at war as some are currently trying to portray in an effort to foment political outrage among our ranks.”   I don’t know who these people are who’re attempting to foment strife and faux outrage within the Church…. Read more

January 10, 2015

    I think this story needs to be widely known:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/10/lassana-bathily_n_6448500.html?ir=World&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000014   Thanks to Jabra Ghneim for sharing it with me.     Read more

January 10, 2015

    The current (10 January 2015) issue of The Economist includes an interesting report about a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle last week.   The report focuses on the search for earth-like planets.  The Kepler, a 2009 satellite launched by NASA, has thus far discovered (I believe) eight new planets.  Three of these appear to be in the “habitable zones” of their solar systems — that is, sufficiently close to their respective suns for water to… Read more

January 10, 2015

    “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”  (Martin Luther, d. 1546 )     Read more

January 10, 2015

    I was, and I remain, indignant at the Islamist attack on Charlie Hebdo.  It was a criminal outrage.  An obscenity.   I’m moved by the defiant statement attributed to the magazine’s publisher, Stephane Charbonnier, who, with others of his colleagues, was murdered earlier this week: “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”  (The statement actually goes back at least to Emiliano Zapata, and maybe even to the classical Greek playwright Euripides.)   I believe in… Read more

January 10, 2015

    John 4:4-42   1.   Why did Jesus need to travel through Samaria in order to reach the Galilee from Judea (4:4)?  If, as I’ve been saying, he was baptizing at the Jordan River somewhere not too far from Jericho and the northern end of the Dead Sea, couldn’t he simply have traveled northward up the Jordan Valley, and reached Galilee (or, more specifically, the Sea of Galilee) that way?  Why did he need to climb up to… Read more

January 10, 2015

    Another interesting Deseret News article from Taylor Halverson:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865619298/Evidences-for-the-Book-of-Mormon-Nephi-the-scribe.html     Read more

January 10, 2015

    No doubt some of you have seen the disturbing video of a wounded Paris policeman lying in pain on the sidewalk.  He had, it seems, been shot during the initial attack by the Kouachi brothers on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.  When one of the brothers trots over toward him, he raises his hands defensively and appeals for his life.  But the gunman casually shoots him in the head just before leaving the scene in a waiting car…. Read more

January 9, 2015

    The latest bi-weekly Hamblin-Peterson column has been posted at the Deseret News:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865619301/What-is-scripture.html   Your long, desperate wait is over.   (For the humor-impaired, please imagine a smiley face or an “LOL” here.)     Read more

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