Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 33: Jonah and Micah

IGNORE THE WHALE!

…pay no attention to the whale. (From Michael L. Baird, flickr.bairdphotos.com)

Jonah is four short chapters. I’ve done a lot with Jonah in the past, addressing the short book several times, from several angles, including the history question. In brief, if you’re focused on the “whale” instead of the last four verses of chapter 4, you’re entirely missing the point. Continue reading “Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 33: Jonah and Micah”

Raymond Brown on Understanding and Teaching Complicated Historical Issues

Raymond E. Brown SS, was a Catholic priest and Bible scholar, known for his Introduction to the New Testament, his volumes in the Anchor Bible Commentary series, and other academic and semi-popular works. He also wrote a popular book called 101 Questions on the Bible which has some really great stuff. As you might expect from the title, he presents this in Q&A format.

Several questions address the nature of scripture and genre, but also how to teach and preach passages where there is a large difference between scholarly understanding and popular traditions. (Virtually all the italics are mine.) Continue reading “Raymond Brown on Understanding and Teaching Complicated Historical Issues”

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 32- Job

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 5.15.23 PMToday we come to another little-read and little-known jewel of the Old Testament. It has not traditionally been appreciated; as Elder McConkie said, “Job is for people who like Job.” I suspect we’ve simply never been “competent readers” or at least, not competent enough to appreciate it. (On “competent readers” see this excerpt from Brettler’s excellent How to Read the Bible and this from John Barton’s Reading the Old Testament) Continue reading “Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 32- Job”

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31- Proverbs and Ecclesiastes

Solomon

Solomon (Gustave Doré, public domain.)

First, it looks like I didn’t do a podcast for Lesson 31 OR 32 in 2010, so no link to offer there. The Manual is here.

But the good news is, this is the lesson you’ve all been waiting for. Most scripture wasn’t written for the purpose of “daily application” or even “how to live a righteous life.” If that’s what you’ve been looking for in the Old Testament, it’s probably been difficult. Schlimm calls this the “Searching for Saints” model of reading; it doesn’t work very well, because scripture was not intended to provide ideal models to emulate and liken. Continue reading “Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31- Proverbs and Ecclesiastes”

The Scientific Deformation and Reformation of Genesis: How “Science” Messed It Up, but Also Fixes It

Ben contemplating his words at Petra.

I was grateful for the invitation to speak at UVU’s Mormon Studies Conference on Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation, and Faith in February 2018. I spoke about how and why we’ve come to understand the creation chapters of Genesis certain ways, and then participated in a panel on evolution with two BYU biologists. You can watch my presentation here (scroll to the bottom and click on my name to launch the video.) My slides aren’t visible, but you can download them here (pdf) to follow along. Continue reading “The Scientific Deformation and Reformation of Genesis: How “Science” Messed It Up, but Also Fixes It”

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 3: Moses 1:27-42; 2:1-31; 3:1-25

This is the first of my Old Testament Gospel Doctrine posts. (Yes, it’s Lesson 3. Mea Culpa.) I’ll be updating my old posts and changing the date on them so they reapper.
 Inigo Montoya sums this lesson almost perfectly.
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. 
Actually, I don’t feel we can even sum up here. Continue reading “Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 3: Moses 1:27-42; 2:1-31; 3:1-25”

Reading the Early Chapters of Genesis- Podcast and Followup

genesis-hebrew2LDS Perspectives interviewed me about my book on Genesis 1, which is still in progress.

The beginning of the Old Testament is challenging for a number of reasons. It’s foreign, it’s inconsistent (two creation stories?), it interfaces with history and science in uncomfortable and controversial ways (evolution, “giants”/”sons of god” marrying “daughters of men,” the flood, etc.)

And then for Mormons, add in the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, and the Temple, which parallel these chapters. Now if you open your Old Testament teacher’s manual, how much background, explanation, or guidance do you really get with any of this stuff? Continue reading “Reading the Early Chapters of Genesis- Podcast and Followup”

Old Testament Resources Part 3: Paradigm Changers

George Cattermole, "The Scribe" public domain.

George Cattermole, “The Scribe” public domain.

I’ve put together a collection of samples from these books.

First, note that LDS Perspectives is beginning a string of Old Testament-related podcasts, today with Philip Barlow (author of the excellent Mormons and the Bible), Cory Crawford the following week, and then me talking about what’s going on in Genesis 1, Moses, and Abraham. Continue reading “Old Testament Resources Part 3: Paradigm Changers”

Virtual Sperry Fireside On Reading the Old Testament in Context

If you missed attending one of my firesides or the Sperry Symposium, this is for you. I recorded the audio/powerpoint from my final presentation last weekend, which benefitted from having done it three times.The length is about 1:10, and unfortunately I cut the audio before I closed with some testimony about the utility of the Old Testament, my appreciation for it, etc. The first slide is up for almost two minutes, they do change. And below are books/authors I quote or allude to in the slides. The actual paper has many more references, of course, and I’ll be posting it in chunks. (And if you want to link, please link to this post, not direct to the youtube video.) Continue reading “Virtual Sperry Fireside On Reading the Old Testament in Context”