“Taking the Stories of Primeval History Seriously”: A Review of In God’s Image and Likeness 2

You’re just a few clicks away from owning this excellent book! So what are you waiting for? The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price has been the attention of considerable Latter-day Saint scholarship. Beginning with the pioneering work of Hugh Nibley, much work has been done on understanding the history, nature, and … Read more

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

One of the NHM altar inscriptions.  As promised, here is my article (co-written with my good friend Neal Rappleye) responding to Dan Vogel’s arguments against the significance of the NHM altar inscriptions for the Book of Mormon’s historicity. The article can accessed online here. If nothing else, the article will probably serve as a good … Read more

Goethe and Mormonism

Der Meister – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). I am currently taking a senior seminar on the life and writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. My professor, Hans Wilhelm-Kelling, has an article comparing some of Goethe’s (often enigmatic) religious convictions with Latter-day Saint theology. According to Kelling, some of Goethe’s religious thoughts that intersect with … Read more

The Biblical Books of Kings and Chronicles: Their Value and Limitations for the Study of Ancient Israelite History

The so-called Taylor Prism, or Sennacherib’s Annals (circa 690 BCE), describing, among other things, Sennacherib’s siege of Jerusalem in 701 BCE. Introduction Any student of the Bible[1] must inevitably ask him or herself the question of how much credibility one can assign to the historical claims found therein. To many modern readers of the Bible, especially … Read more

Die vier Weltalter; or, Schiller as Proto-Mormon

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805).  The Council of Gods (1518) by Raphael. Next to the immortal Goethe, Friedrich Schiller stands as the great German polymath of Weimar Classicism and the Sturm und Drang (conventionally translated as “storm and stress”) literary movement. Schiller’s works include dramas, poetry, histories, and philosophical essays.  Schiller’s work has endured in popular culture, … Read more

Drink Deep: Resources on Early Mormon Plural Marriage

Look, we can’t kid ourselves or others by pretending this never happened. It happened, but there’s no reason to freak out about it. The early Mormon practice of plural marriage is one of the most controversial legacies of Mormonism. Understandably, many people, including members of the Church, are often troubled by what they hear are … Read more

Once Again: Joseph Smith, Richard Dawkins, and the Language of Translation

The King James Bible: the greatest monument of English literature or a work of charlatanry? [This is another follow-up post to these posts here, here and here. This blog post has been reposted at the Interpreter blog here.] At the risk of overkilling this topic, I want to return to Richard Dawkins’ arguments against the … Read more