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Showing posts from October, 2017

Nephite History in Context: Artifacts, Inscriptions, and Texts Relevant to the Book of Mormon

A fundamental resource any biblical studies student needs is an anthology of ancient Near Eastern texts which contextualize biblical writings. So naturally, several such anthologies have been complied and published by biblical studies publishers. Perhaps the largest and most comprehensive example is the 4-volume set Context of Scripture, edited by William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, while James B. Prichard’s The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures is perhaps the best known and most widely used. There are several others—nearly every serious publisher in the biblical studies field has done one, and no two anthologies are the same. Each is necessarily selective with what it includes and excludes, and different selections are made depending on the purposes and biases of those doing the collecting.
Furthermore, such collections need not be limited to texts. Pritchard’s anthology is of texts and pictures, providing images of hundreds of artifacts, ruins, and pieces o…

The “Best Book” on the Book of Abraham

Review of John Gee, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City and Provo, UT: Deseret Book and BYU Religious Studies Center, 2017), 197 pp.
A couple of months ago, in the spirit of Doctrine and Covenants 88:118, I made a sort of “faith crisis prevention” reading list, consisting of what I considered the 15 “best books” on several important and controversial topics related to the Church, its history, doctrine, and scripture. That list included An Introduction to the Book of Abraham, despite the fact the book was not available yet.
I did this based on having skimmed over an earlier pre-publication version of the book a few years ago. I am now pleased to say, having now read the final, published version of the book, that I absolutely stand by my original recommendation. This is, indeed, the “best book” to read for an overview on the issues and research on the Book of Abraham.
John Gee writes as an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as a prof…