Author: Jim F.

Jim Faulconer blogged at Times and Seasons from 2004 to 2007. He currently blogs at Feast Upon the Word and cross-posts lesson material to T&S. Jim is a professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University, where he holds the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding. He is the husband of Janice Allen, the father of four and grandfather of eleven. His academic specialty is 20th-century European philosophy, particulary the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and some of his French acolytes. Jim's hobbies are playing with grandchildren, cooking (and, therefore, also eating), travel, and New Testament studies, and for none of them is there sufficient time.

New Testament Sunday School Lesson 46: Revelation 5-6, 19-22

The word “end” has at least two meanings in English: the point that marks the boundary or limit, such as the last point in a series, and the purpose or goal. Of course, these two meanings are not necessarily mutually…

New Testament Sunday School Lesson 45: Revelation

As with other Sunday School lesson notes, these are intended primarily to help people study for the lesson, not as lesson preparation materials. Of course, anything one uses for study can also be used to help one prepare a lesson.…

New Testament Sunday School Lesson 44: 1-3 John

1-3 John seem to be letters written to different churches in the region of Ephesus mostly in response to a group of apostates whom we call Gnostics. Most scholars believe that John wrote these letters before he wrote the Gospel…

New Testament Sunday School Lesson 43: 1-2 Peter, Jude

Before you read the letters from Peter, take a few minutes to recall who he was: What was his position in the Church? What particular experiences did he have with the Savior? What might he have learned from those experiences?…

NT Sunday School Lesson 42: James

We do not know who the author of this epistle was (there are several persons named James in the New Testament), but tradition says that it was James, the brother of Christ and the presiding elder in Jerusalem after Christ’s…

NT Sunday School Lesson 41: 1 and 2 Timothy; Titus

1 Timothy 3 3:15-16: How is the Church “the pillar and ground of truth”? What metaphor is Paul using? How does that metaphor help us understand what the Church does? What does he mean when he speaks of “the house…

NT Sunday School Lesson 40: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon

There is even more to cover than usual in this lesson. The result is 12 pages of study material. Because it usually helps to understand the context in which the verses one studies occur, I will supply some background information…

New Testament Sunday School Lesson 39: Ephesians

For a variety of reasons most New Testament scholars do not believe that this book was ever an actual letter written to a specific Christian congregation in Ephesus. For one thing, the words “to the Ephesians” in verse 1 is…

New Testament Sunday School Lesson 38: Acts 21-28

I will focus these study notes on Acts 21:1-Acts 23:11. As you read this story of Paul, notice that the Church of his time has spread to many communities. Paul is able to move from place to place, at least…

NT Sunday School Lesson 37: Hebrews

The book of Hebrews is what scholars call a “homiletic midrash” on Psalms 110, meaning that it a sermon responding to Psalm 110. It might be useful to read that psalm before reading Hebrews and to keep it in mind…

NT Sunday School Lesson 36: Romans

I have to confess that Romans is perhaps my favorite book of scripture. Given the way that most Latter-day Saints think of Romans, that marks me as at least strange, if not perverse. It also means that I will have…

NT Sunday School Lesson 35: 2 Corinthians

Background 1 and 2 Corinthians are two of perhaps four letters that Paul wrote to the saints in Corinth. The first letter (referred to in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13) has not been preserved. 1 Corinthians is the second letter, written partially…

NT Sunday School Lesson 34: 1 Corinthians 11-16

Every so often I insert this reminder: These are study notes, not notes for a lesson. Of course, studying the chapter can help one prepare for the lesson, and the same questions used for study can be used to teach…

NT Sunday School Lesson 33: 1 Corinthians 1-6

Some background on 1 Corinthians (in addition to that given in the Bible Dictionary): The church at Corinth was founded by Paul in 51 A.D, and this letter was probably written in the early spring of 57. Corinth had a…

NT Sunday School Lesson 32: Acts 18:23-20:38; Galatians

The readings from Acts tell of Paul’s third missionary journey, to Galatia, Ephesus, Macedonia, and Greece. (See the maps in your LDS Bible.) Acts 20:28-32 Verse 28: To whom is Paul preaching in these verses? (See verse 17 and footnote…

NT Sunday School Lesson 31: Acts 15:36-18:22; 1 & 2 Thessalonians

Almost all of our lessons cover an incredible amount of material. However, this lesson covers even more material than usual: 3 and one-half chapters of Acts, 5 chapters of 1 Thessalonians, and 3 chapters of 2 Thessalonians. To try to…

NT Sunday School Lesson 30: Acts 10-14; 15:1-35

This part of Acts tells the story of the beginning of the mission beyond the area immediately surrounding Jerusalem to “the uttermost part of the world” (Acts 1:8). As you read these stories, notice how important the Twelve are in…

NT Sunday School Lesson 29: Acts 6-9

Acts 6 Verses 1-7: Who were the “Grecians”? We would probably call them “Hellenists.” Remember that as yet the Gospel has not been preached to the Gentiles, so who might these people have been? Who were “the Hebrews”? Is there…

NT Testament Sunday School Lesson 28: Acts 1-5

There are several stories in these chapters: In chapter 1, we learn that Jesus ministered to the apostles for forty days after his resurrection and that Matthias was chosen to fill the vacancy left by Judas. Chapter 2 tells us…

NT Sunday School Lesson 27 (JF): Matthew 28; Luke 24; John 20-21

Matthew 28 Verse 1: Who was the other Mary? (See Matthew 27:57.) Verse 2: Rather than “And behold,” “Look!” is probably a better translation. The angel only rolls back the stone when the two Marys come to see the tomb.…

NT Sunday School Lesson 24: John 16-17

Remember: though these may be useful in helping a person to prepare a Sunday School lesson, they are intended primarily to help one study and prepare for taking part in Sunday School. That’s why you’ll find questions with no answers;…

NT Sunday School Lesson 23: Luke 22:1-38; John 13-15

Getting caught up (as you can see). With this lesson we begin to read about the part of Christ’s life that is traditionally called “the Passion,” the time between the Last Supper and his death on the cross. The word…

NT Sunday School Lesson 22: Matthew 25

Verses 1-13: The Parable of the Ten Virgins How does the parable relate to that given in Matthew 24:45-51? We know little about marriage ceremonies in Palestine during Jesus’ day. Indeed, we can assume that the customs varied from one…

NT Sunday School Lesson 21: Matthew 24 (JST)

It is sometimes helpful to have the Joseph Smith revision (JST) and the King James translation side-by-side, so I have put both versions of chapter 24 together in a PDF file for those who would like to use it. Traditional…

NT Sunday School Lesson 20: Matthew 21-23; John 12:1-8

Matthew 21 Verses 1-7: The end of verse 3 could also be translated “and straightway he will return them.” Verse 5 puts two scriptures together, Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9 (as they appear in the Greek rather than the Hebrew…

NT Lesson 18 (JF): Luke 15, 17

Luke 15 As I learned from Bruce Jorgensen, it is important to read the parables of Luke 15 together. Consider the setting that Luke gives us in verses 1-2 and then imagine Jesus telling each of these parables in response…

NT Lesson 17: Mark 10:17-30; 12:41-44; and Luke 12:13-21; 14; 16

Given the quantity of material in these chapters, rather than try to cover everything, I will focus my questions on the verses from Mark and selections from the verses in Luke. As you read this material, be sure to ask…