Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Book of Abraham Books Critics Egyptian Evidence history Scholarship Translation

Geocentric Astronomy in the Book of Abraham? Dan Vogel’s Refutation of LDS Scholars

  Circumpolar star trails in a long-exposure photo of several hours, showing that stars closer to Polaris move on shorter trails, thus moving more slowly. The circumpolar stars always stay…

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Posted in Antiquity Book of Abraham Critics Egyptian Evidence history Origins Scholarship Scripture Translation

More on the Meaning of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers: Recent Explorations Based on Comments at Interpreter

One of the best things about finally having a reply from the Joseph Smith Papers Project on the issue of alleged flaws in scholarship in their volume on the Book…

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Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Arabia Bible Book of Mormon Evidence Israel Israel Photography

Sights from a Trip to Israel and Jordan

One of the advantages of working in China is having long national holidays like the Chinese New Year, making it easier to take interesting trips to other lands. There’s a…

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Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Book of Abraham Evidence history Origins

The Egyptian Context for the Book of Abraham: Why Hor, Priest of Thebes, Might Want an Abraham Text

One of the important but often overlooked issues in the debate over the origins of the Book of Abraham is why the ancient Egyptian owner of the Joseph Smith papyri…

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Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Book of Mormon Evidence Israel Scholarship Scripture

An Ancient Tradition of Writing on Metal? Surprise (?) from a Newly Translated Ancient Hebrew Text

“Fate of Ark of the Covenant Revealed in Hebrew Text” is the title of an intriguing news item at LiveScience.com dated Jan. 7, 2014. It discusses a newly translated ancient…

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Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Christianity Evidence Judaism Restoration Temple

Chrism, Temples, and Interesting Books and Texts

There are a few books I’d like recommend to serious LDS students of the Temple. Several time previously I’ve mentioned Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible by…

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Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Book of Mormon covenants Evidence poetry Scholarship

King Benjamin’s Speech: Forget Solomon Spaulding, Ethan Smith, and Shakespeare

Talk about great literature! Take a look at the powerful and classic ancient Semitic speech of King Benjamin in the early chapters of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. In…

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Posted in Ancient Near East Antiquity Christianity Evidence Restoration Scholarship Temple

Mormon Temples and “Secrecy”

I’ve often received questions about the issue of “secrecy” in Mormon temples. To us, the key factor is what is sacred, not secret, but this still leaves many people confused,…

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