Many Book of Mormon commentators have found that the social, religious, and political upheaval that started a few decades before the opening chapter of 1 Nephi, and was ongoing in Lehi’s day provide a useful and fascinating backdrop to early Book of Mormon events. The view that Lehi was not in agreement with the zealous reform efforts has proven to be an incredibly powerful paradigm for explaining aspects of the Book of Mormon. Kevin Christensen, Brant Gardner, and even non-LDS scholar Margaret Barker are leading advocates of this view, though it is not without its critics.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Anachronisms and Expectations: Assessing the Role of Anachronisms in the Debate over Book of Mormon Authenticity
One thing I think critics have fundamentally misunderstood is the apologetic response to anachronisms. All throughout the endless online discussions you can read the sarcastic, and often mocking (and even sometimes contemptuous) remarks about how absurd it is that apologists would suggest that a “horse” is really a “tapir.” “Did Joseph Smith not know what a horse is?” they ask. They express the sentiment that this is merely a desperate attempt to keep a sinking ship afloat.
In order to address this matter and assess where anachronisms fit in the grand scheme of Book of Mormon debates, we must take some time to discuss what our expectations should be.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
I am too lazy to do an actual write up on the FAIR Conference, so I’ll just refer you to Blair Hodges summaries of the talks on the Maxwell Institute Blog. John Gee also has a brief report. The FAIR Blog has also reported on important news from the Conference. Instead, I want to focus just a little bit on the part of the FAIR Conference that was all about me.
That is right – a small, teeny-tiny part of the conference was about ME!