Psalm 110 and the Adaptation of Scripture

“No other psalm has in research evoked so many hypotheses and discussions as Psalm 110.... We should at once emphasize that both in questions of textual criticism and in history-of-religions problems the last word has not yet been spoken.”— Hans-Joachim Kraus New Testament writers quote Psalm 110 more than any other psalm.  (And one of... Continue Reading →

How the Book of Mormon Became the “Stick of Ephraim” (It Isn’t)

In LDS theology, Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones prophecy points to the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  For review, the prophecy reads, "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For... Continue Reading →

The Folly of Multiple Mortal Probations

For the uninitiated, Multiple Mortal Probation (MMP) is similar to the concept of reincarnation. It suggests that we find ourselves in endless cycles of creation, living and dying over and over, learning and progressing, ascending the ladder step-by-step until we eventually "get it right."  By "get it right," I presume we become "sanctified" and qualify... Continue Reading →

D&C 133: A Case Study in Revelation

I think we have the impression that prophets sit down and dictate or write down their revelations straight from the mouth or mind of God.  They are channels to the divine.  God's ventriloquist dummies, if you will.  I suppose that sometimes could be the case, but more often than not, "revelation," or what we call... Continue Reading →

“Urim and Thummim” and the Revision of History

A few weeks ago I had a Facebook discussion with two individuals resolute in their belief that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon via "Urim and Thummim" and insisted Joseph was consistent in using the term from the beginning of the church.   As one might expect, there's considerable difficulty with that claim.  It didn't... Continue Reading →

The Curious Case of D&C 45 (“Wounded in the House of My Friends”)

It's interesting to go back and reread things with a new perspective and see what I might have missed the first time or ten--especially with Joseph Smith's revelations. It's now pretty easy to recognize when Joseph draws on on the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament in constructing his revelations. D&C 45 is another revelation... Continue Reading →

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 →

“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 →

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