Jesus Was Born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem

“And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.” (1 Nephi 11:13) The Birth of Jesus is the most well-known birth story in all... Continue Reading →

“Right Arm to the Square” Isn’t Stipulated in Scripture

Why is raising the "right arm to the square" part of the Mormon baptism ritual? It's not stipulated in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Book of Mormon or D&C. However, on we read the steps required for valid baptism into the church. The priesthood holder, "Under the direction of the presiding authority, a priest... Continue Reading →

“Our First Parents” – How the Book of Mormon redefines “Adam and Eve”

"You don't need me to tell you that human civilization is very, very old." So began Yale professor Christine Hayes' introduction to the Hebrew Bible course. She's right, of course. The earth, and humanity, has been around a lot longer than 4,000 B.C., a date traditionally accepted by orthodox Christians and, unsurprisingly, Joseph Smith, as... Continue Reading →

“Seven Women Shall Take Hold of One Man” (Isaiah 4:1)

I was reminded recently of Isaiah 4:1, which has often been used as prooftext for polygamy. It reads: "And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." The key... Continue Reading →

The Christology of the Book of Abraham

Polygamy and the authenticity of the Book of Abraham are probably the two most hotly debated aspects of early Mormonism and Joseph Smith's prophetic career. In recent years much has been made of the papyri, the Egyptian Alphabet and whether the Book of Abraham is a translation or a revelation. A lot rides on the... Continue Reading →

The Curious Case of Ether 5

Ether 5 has always been a curious chapter to me. The "you" in verse 1 appears to be Joseph Smith: "And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing... Continue Reading →

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