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A nonprofit educational journal focused on the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, early LDS history, and related subjects. All publications are peer-reviewed and are made available as free internet downloads or through at-cost print-on-demand services.
 
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Abstract: The Book of Mormon begins at a pivotal point in Israelite history and in the history of the ancient Near East more broadly. With the fall of Assyria and the power vacuum that grew out of Assyria’s demise, questions of sovereignty were of paramount concern. It was at that time that Lehi led his family […] The post Assyria and the “Great Ch…
 
Abstract: Believers in the God of Abraham — who include not only Jews and Christians but also Muslims — are exhorted to call upon him every day, as well as in times of need. We are promised that he will respond to petitionary prayers. Moreover, we are assured that, in the end, believers will prosper, […] The post Beautiful Patience first appeared o…
 
Review of Cheryl L. Bruno, Joe Steve Swick III, and Nicholas S. Literski, Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2022). 544 pages. $44.95 (hardback); $34.95 (softcover). Abstract: There is much to celebrate in this important new study of Freemasonry and the Latter-day Saints. To their credit, th…
 
Review of Nate Oman, “A Welding Link of Some Kind,” Thoughts from a Tamed Cynic (Substack, September 27, 2022). Abstract: Nate Oman claims to demonstrate a theological path that allows for same-sex sealings within existing Latter-day Saint doctrine. In fact, he claims that such an adjustment would be not only compatible with most Church doctrine bu…
 
Abstract: The author proposes a novel ideal for understanding the stained swords of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies that involves repetition, parallelism, and metaphoric Hebrew wordplay. A favorite story in the Book of Mormon recounts the miraculous conversion of many of the Lamanites from the preaching of the sons of Mosiah. Although many were converted, we…
 
Abstract: Early American campaigns against Christmas illustrate both the irrepressibility of the impulse to celebrate Christ and what is lost when we reject the good that comes from suspect sources. Both lessons point us toward the Savior’s gracious acceptance of our own imperfect offerings. Christmas in rural New England is a mood. Snow falls soft…
 
Abstract: Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a unique perspective on truth. Our knowledge that Salvation likely involves participation in complex eternal activities requiring significantly more understanding than we currently possess naturally leads us to seek truth and, in addition, to seek an understanding of that tru…
 
Review of Meir Bar-Ilan, Words of Gad the Seer (Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace Publishing, 2016); Christian Israel, The Words of Gad the Seer: Bible Cross-Reference Edition (self-published, 2020); and Ken Johnson, Ancient Book of Gad the Seer: Referenced in 1 Chronicles 29:29 and Alluded to in 1 Corinthians 12:12 and Galatians 4:26 (self-published,…
 
Abstract: The seeming appearance of a lineal or generational curse in the Book of Abraham has been used erroneously to marginalize people and justify racist ideas in Latter-day Saint history. To avoid any further misinterpretation of scripture in ways that are hurtful to others, the following attempts to elucidate the meaning of lineal curses withi…
 
Abstract: The Book of Mormon story of Jacob and Sherem has been evaluated and interpreted from many different viewpoints over the years. In his retelling of the story, Jacob crafted a cautionary tale of religious hubris and self-importance that can serve as an important lesson for members of the church today. In this paper I use various methodologi…
 
In this episode, our hosts Terry Hutchinson, John Gee and Kevin Christensen discussed Kevin’s article in the Interpreter Journal on Margaret Barker. You can listen to or download the November 13th broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show below. It will also be included in our podcast feed (https://interpreterfoundation.org/feeds/podcast). The second…
 
Abstract: Twenty years ago, the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies published “Paradigms Regained: A Survey of Margaret Barker’s Scholarship and Its Significance for Mormon Studies” as its second FARMS Occasional Paper. The first part of this essay provides an overview of Doctor Barker’s scholarship and its wider reception through ea…
 
Abstract: Miracles occur relatively often in scripture, as do people who, for various reasons, want or even need to deny their occurrence. The arguments that are deployed to justify such denial haven’t changed all that much over the centuries. In fact, they’re still around today. Most if not all present or former missionaries for The […] The post W…
 
Abstract: The usage of the exclamation mark has changed over time but continues to serve as an important textual interpretation aid. Punctuation itself has not been a permanent fixture in English, rather it was slowly introduced to English documents with changing standard usages after the invention of the printing press. Here we highlight the use […
 
Abstract: The significance of the ongoing studies into the potential location of the Old World “Bountiful,” which Nephi reminds us was “prepared of the Lord” (1 Nephi 17:5), and is documented in great detail by him, can hardly be overstated. Bountiful’s resources had to be truly substantial and unique to enable the Lehites to recover […] The post A…
 
Abstract: This paper brings contemporary Ancient Near East (ANE) scholarship in several fields together with the ancient scriptures restored through Joseph Smith to construct a new starting point for interpretation of the teachings of the Book of Mormon. It assembles findings from studies of ancient scribal culture, historical linguistics and epigr…
 
Abstract: Jonathan Neville has offered a response to my two recent reviews of his works; however, in his response, Neville offers a poor defense regarding what he wrote and misrepresents my reviews of his works. As such, I present the following rejoinder in response to Neville’s concerns. Jonathan Neville has offered some thoughts regarding my […] …
 
Abstract: Since 1829, various theories about the production of the Book of Mormon have been proposed. Modern scholarship has moved away from the idea that Joseph Smith actually translated ancient engravings into English. Two books, A Man That Can Translate and Infinite Goodness, propose a “neo-orthodox” view, offering evidence that Joseph did trans…
 
Abstract: In the latter part (1 Nephi 13–14) of his vision of the tree of life (1 Nephi 11–14), Nephi is shown the unauthorized human diminution of scripture and the gospel by the Gentile “great and abominable church” — that plain and precious things/words, teachings, and covenants were “taken away” or otherwise “kept back” from the texts that beca…
 
Review of Michael R. Ash, Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture: The Prophet’s Role as Creative Co-Author (Redding, CA: FAIRLatterDaySaints.org, 2021). 770 pages. $34.95 (paperback). Abstract: A new book by Mike Ash examines to what degree the human mind is involved in receiving revelation. Ash sums up his view by saying, “prophe…
 
Abstract In an earlier paper, I concluded that Lehi and Nephi were highly trained Josephite scribes and were associated with an official Jerusalem scribal school that preserved ancient Manassite traditions. There they acquired advanced writing skills and classical Hebrew and Egyptian, which would become the scriptural languages of the Nephite peopl…
 
Review of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days: Volume 3: Boldly, Nobly, and Independent: 1893–1955 (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2022). 757 pages. $6.90 (paperback). Abstract: Volume 3 of Saints is a readable and engaging narrative discussing a dynamic and transitional period of the…
 
Abstract: Nephi’s writings exhibit a distinctive focus on “good” and divine “goodness,” reflecting the meaning of Nephi’s Egyptian name (derived from nfr) meaning “good,” “goodly,” “fine,” or “fair.” Beyond the inclusio playing on his own name in terms of “good” and “goodness” (1 Nephi 1:1; 2 Nephi 33:3–4, 10, 12), he uses a similar inclusio (2 Nep…
 
Review of Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Freemasonry and the Origins of Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2022). 556 pages. $39.99 (paperback). Abstract: With the precision of a renowned surgeon, the finesse of a master politician, the insights of an eminent theologian, and the artistic skill of an eloquent poet, Jeffr…
 
Abstract: Most biblical students are familiar with the story of Hannah, who after years of barrenness, finally gave birth to the prophet Samuel. Some will remember her adversary, Peninnah, who allegedly tormented Hannah to tears. My objective in this article is to reclaim Peninnah’s good name by reinterpreting the passage found in 1 Samuel 1:6. […]…
 
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