Having messed up the audio recording of this fireside the first time, I repeated it over Zoom for some Seminary teachers.
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Here’s the recording, followed by links to things I mention and a few bits from the Q&A.
- the 2022 Old Testament Come Follow Me manual for families and individuals. See especially the sections called “Thoughts to Keep in Mind.”
- Schlimm, This Strange and Sacred Scripture: Wrestling with the Old Testament and its Oddities
- Sparks, Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture
- A more technical version of this is his God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship
- Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament
- Richards and O’Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible and
- Richards and James, Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes: Patronage, Honor, and Shame in the Biblical World
- NRSV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
- Jewish Study Bible (I highly recommend this, but remember that it’s Jewish and thus does not include the New Testament or, for example, interpret Isaiah as prophesying of Jesus.)
On literal interpretation, see this post, this post with a D&C example, this one on interpretation in general, and this one. On reading the Old Testament in context, see my longer Sperry Symposium presentation.
On sensus plenior (the “fuller sense”) see here.
On 1st Nephi 1, see here.
From my memory of the Q&A (not recorded)
Is there a particular study Bible or commentary written with women in mind?
There is at least the Women’s Bible Commentary, I have a copy, though I haven’t been entirely through it.
On the basis of her other scholarship (but caveat lector I haven’t read this one) Tikva Frymer-Kensky’s Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories.
What has all the ancient Near Eastern material discovered in the last 100 years taught us? The short answer? LOTS. See my presentation here.
Lastly, if you’re looking to understand the early chapters of Genesis, creation, and science, check out my syllabus here.
Particularly for teachers and parents, I want to acknowledge that reading this material will do several things. On the one hand, it will greatly increase your understanding and appreciation of the Old Testament! Many puzzling things will become less puzzling! Along with that understanding, however, will come some challenges to comfortable traditions, and even tensions, as you realize that there is a gap between what scripture says and what Church manuals want you to get out of it. There are several reasons for that gap.
- We are not sola scriptura protestants. That is, we are not based on “scripture alone,” but on the authoritative interpretations of scripture by living prophets and their implementations of scripture, doctrine, and policy. We often think and act like sola scriptura Protestants, but we are much closer to Catholics in this respect.
- Church teaching tends to focus on core doctrinal aspects, practical application, and discipleship, not contextual understanding.
- The authors of manuals, even on the Old Testament, are not chosen for their knowledge of history, Hebrew, etc. In other words, they may simply not know there’s a gap between what they think scripture is saying and what they write in the manual.
- Preachers and teachers in every religious tradition have to adapt the static words of ancient texts to modern needs and understandings; the challenge to the preacher has always been to render ancient teachings applicable and relevant to current times and issues.
- In the LDS doctrine of line-upon-line, and progressive revelation, we should not expect that ancient peoples knew what we know or lived how we understand we should live.
If you’d like to see my other presentations or podcasts, see here.
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