Author: Ben S.

The War Chapters- Three Brief Notes

A few quick references for the War Chapters- While unlikely to make its way into the average Gospel Doctrine class, I’d call attention to the covenant/curse ritual in Alma 46:21-22, with its symbolic actions or “simile curses.” Very briefly, covenanters…

Midterm answers, final part

Here is the last of 3 sections of answers to the Book of Mormon exams I gave at BYU several years ago. (Original post, answers part 1, answers part 2) 27) Joseph Smith, responding to the question “What are the…

Book of Mormon Midterm Answers Part 1

I posted the questions last week. It’s taken me much longer than I thought to hunt down my references/handouts/links, so I’m breaking the answers into two parts. 1) Nephi says several times that knowing “the things of the Jews” can…

Book of Mormon Midterm

We’ve arrived in early Alma, and so, as I did for my BYU New Testament class I taught, I provide here some questions taken from the midterms and finals of the two Book of Mormon classes I taught in 2004…

Reading the Bibles: Why Translations Differ (Part 3)

Here is the second of four categorical reasons why translations may differ. 2) How does the translator parse the mechanics (syntax, etc.) and disambiguate the text on the sentence and paragraph level? (NB: This is a very simplified presentation of…

Reading the Bibles: The Problem (Part 1)

I received the following from an educated friend, and got permission to respond via blogposts.  Slightly edited, he asks- >>As someone without training in the original languages, how can I evaluate alternate translations of scripture? Here’s what motivates this question:…

Brief notes on Laman, Lemuel and Cursing

(Corrected!) I hope it’s not too late to post this, and equally that it will still be useful in this quick and dirty form. Though long, I’ve included the scriptural passages for quick skimming, since I doubt they’re familiar. We’re…

Institute Report: Genesis Week 4

This week, we continued talking about Enuma Eliš and Genesis 1, beginning with a review of some of the similarities we talked about last week. Similarities– 1) Opens with temporal clause. 2) pre-creation darkness 3) precreation cosmic waters 4) wind/spirit…

Institute Report: Genesis Week 2

I was gratified to see most of the class come back, but we’ll see if it happens again. Here’s the tentative syllabus for the next few weeks. I was really apprehensive about today, for two reasons. First, the material in…

Institute Report: Genesis, Week 1

If there’s sufficient interest,  I will post some general notes, handouts and materials here instead of mailing out everything to my class. Handouts are pdf format and have live links embedded. I felt the first week went well; in contrast…