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Showing posts from August, 2014

Book of Mormon Minimalists and the NHM Inscriptions: A Response to Dan Vogel

Abstract: Biblical “minimalists” have sought to undermine or de-emphasize the significance of the Tel Dan inscription attesting to the existence of the “house of David.” Similarly, those who might be called Book of Mormon “minimalists” such as Dan Vogel have marshaled evidence to try to make the nhm inscriptions from south Arabia, corresponding to the Book of Mormon Nahom, seem as irrelevant as possible. We show why the nhm inscriptions still stand as impressive evidence for the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

Read the whole thing at Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

Alma 9: The Anti-Endowment

In The Book of Moses as Temple Text, David Bokovoy shows how the Book of Moses can be read as a temple text. In this post, I want to read Alma 9 as the anti-thesis of a temple text. Whereas the first chapter of Moses closes with an injunction to only show these things to the believers(Moses 1:42), Alma and Amulek are preaching to a degenerate and fallen people(Alma 9:8). What they present is not a gift from God but a stern warning of destruction. The chapter has the basic structure of, what might be described as, an anti-endowment, even if the elements are not totally tight. Without discussing sacred things in detail, the pattern can be seen here:

Alma 9:1-4; mention of the destruction of the earth, as opposed to creation.
Alma 9:13-14, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.
Alma 9:16-17, the traditions of men leaving people in ignorance; mercy upon those who call upon the name of the Lord.
Alma 9:19-21: light and knowledge being given by the voice of the Lord and his angels.
Alma 9…

The Cultural Context of Nephite Apostasy

Read it here, at The Interpreter.

“Thou Knowest That I Believe”: Invoking The Spirit of the Lord as Council Witness in 1 Nephi 11

Abstract: The Book of Mormon features an esoteric exchange between the prophet Nephi and the Spirit of the Lord on an exceedingly high mountain. The following essay explores some of the ways in which an Israelite familiar with ancient religious experiences and scribal techniques might have interpreted this event. The analysis shows that Nephi’s conversation, as well as other similar accounts in the Book of Mormon, echoes an ancient temple motif. As part of this paradigm, the essay explores the manner in which the text depicts the Spirit of the Lord in a role associated with members of the divine council in both biblical and general Near Eastern conceptions.

Read it here at The Interpreter.

Zarahemla and Pompei: Volcanoes in the Book of Mormon

In 3 Nephi 8, we can read about the destructions that signaled the death of Jesus Christ, to the Nephites in ancient America. The above awesome video, which is worth a watch for it's own sake,is a recreation of the destruction that took place at Pompei; it can be found at the Museum Victoria website. Is the destruction in 3 Nephi 8 a volcanic one? I will leave that for the reader to decide; read 3 Nephi 8 then watch the video. If it is a volcanic destruction then that is a very strong clue as to where the Book of Mormon takes place.

The Protean Joseph Smith

Proteus was a Greek god that was capable of assuming many forms; kind of like Mystique from X-Men. In the history of anti-Mormon attack, the Prophet Joseph Smith has also taken many forms. Slightly before the publication of the Book of Mormon and shortly there after, the book was described as a poorly written fraud by ignorant Ole' Joe Smith.

As the years passed, this could not be maintained for the book is anything but poorly written or simple, so theories were concocted, ranging from Sidney Rigdon wrote it, to plagiarism from a lost text by Solomon Spaulding; Joseph Smith became a conspiring plagiarist. As those theories were discredited, authorship was then reattributed to the Prophet Joseph Smith; but now, he was Joseph Smith: Super Genius.  That is what this paper by Daniel C. Petersen is all about: The Protean Joseph Smith.