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About Gray

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    Creates Beasts Of The Earth

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  1. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    My best wishes to you for a speedy recovery!
  2. Brigham Young and the Love of God

    I think my problem was I didn't know what the word meant. I thought it had some kind of bureaucratic connotation. I find notions of a celestial bureaucracy nauseatingly uninspiring (just a personal thing). Now that I know what it means, it's less bothersome, for whatever reason. (obviously this is just my emotional response) Thanks!
  3. Brigham Young and the Love of God

    This "file leader" notion is like a spiritual vacuum for me. Sucks all the spirit out of the room. Without that particular term, inspiring.
  4. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    If you're factoring inspiration from God into whether or not you're going to try to account for this data, this becomes a theological exercise rather than a purely scholarly (in the critical sense of the word) one. It seems then that your methods conclusions are partially driven by theological presuppositions, and not strictly textual evidence. In that case I'm not sure it's going to have much value outside of your own theological community. Theology is so open ended that there are practically no bounds to the potential ways to interpret the text through that lens. I know the theological isn't the ONLY argument you're making, but the fact that it's a factor perhaps tells us why this might not be of much interest to scholars with no stakes in the theological outcome.
  5. End times doom and gloom

    Things were definitely way better when I was a kid. Not because the world was better, mind. It's because being a kid is awesome.
  6. Great apostasy in the New World Too?

    I think certainly the attempt was to maintain a unified movement and a unified theology, but those making the attempt to do so already believed very different things about Jesus. Then again, the same is certainly true in the LDS movement, where there has been high level disagreement about the nature of Jesus. Peter was an authority, to be sure, as was James. Then there was Paul, who struggled to establish his own authority, and who had his own unique theological views (including a rather radically negative view of the law of Moses). It's perhaps illustrative of the fragmented nature of early Christianity that every gospel presents a different Christology. And Paul's Christology is different still, to say nothing of the gnostics and other groups. Christianity evolved from a mostly traditional Jewish movement in its early days to a radically heretical splinter movement very rapidly, within the space of about 80 years. But not every group evolved in the same way or at the same time. To illustrate my point, if we were to adopt the religion of Peter, we would no longer be Christians or Mormons in any recognizable sense. We would be first century observant Jews who identified the Messiah in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth. If we were to adopt the religion of Paul, it would another different set of beliefs altogether. The religion of the Johannine community was quite extreme compared to that of the early apostles - the J's believed that Jesus was God from eternity past, for instance. That was an innovative belief. I suppose that "true oneness" is impossible, but there's a reason why you can't talk about Christian orthodoxy until centuries after Christ - it didn't exist. In the second century you start to see proto-orthodoxy - Christians coming up with doctrines that would later win the day. But those views weren't "orthodox" in their time. The fourth century is when you at least start to get some kind of official orthodoxy and uniformity.
  7. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    This strikes me as a species of special pleading.
  8. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    I'll be interested to see how it develops.
  9. Great apostasy in the New World Too?

    I don't think any of them were trying to establish some kind of lasting institution. They were very much looking forward to an imminent eschaton. Jesus' death was of course unexpected, and in the wake of that there were many different interpretations of it, and many christologies. The "oneness" never solidified until the fourth century. But it is precisely that solidification and oneness that is associated with apostasy, at least in LDS thought.
  10. Great apostasy in the New World Too?

    I think that's a fair argument against the criterion of dissimilarity, but again, it's referring back to to the Jesus Seminar. Crossan is still active today, despite getting on in years. Granted my exposure so far is half a book and half a dozen recorded speaking engagements, but I haven't noticed that kind of emphasis in his current work. He portrays Jesus as a Jewish peasant who was concerned about Roman occupation and Jewish collaboration with the occupiers, and about injustice. He portrays Jesus as a Jewish prophet who believed that the eschaton would come in collaboration with God to rid the world of injustice. That sounds pretty Jewish to me. Perhaps you've noticed something in his current material that I haven't. The one area where Crossan seems to be an outlier among critical scholars is that he gives a very early date to a lot of the material in the Gospel of Thomas. Crossan is still publishing, and still used in academic coursework. But of course he's still just one scholar among many.
  11. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    I haven't, for the reasons I outlined earlier. I'm certainly open to it. It's a curiosity. Well, Early modern English still pops up today, right? How about because none of his peers (inside or outside of Mormon studies) has been interested enough in the idea yet? I'd be very interest in seeing some sort of either rebuttal or confirmation from other linguists - even better if from someone outside of the small circle of Mormon scholarship. Preferably from multiple independent scholars. Of course a more interesting question might be, how did it get there? There are many potential paths, but I think it would be very hard to establish one with any degree of certainty. When some new theory pops up in any field, it's appropriate and responsible to withhold final judgement until it has been properly scrutinized. Yes, in that sense it's historical
  12. Great apostasy in the New World Too?

    No, it's very clear from the Pauline, Pseudeo-Pauline and Johannine epistles that there were different factions within Christianity from early in the movement, accusing each other of various degrees of apostasy. That's only "interpretation" in the sense that everything is.
  13. Great apostasy in the New World Too?

    I disagree that Crossan robs Jesus of his Judaism. Crossan certainly has his critics. Historical Jesus scholarship doesn't have a lot of consensus, because all we have are texts that are far removed from the historical Jesus, which necessitates quite a lot of interpretive guesswork. But I'd be curious to hear why you think Crossan robs Jesus of his Judaism. I think Crossan is very careful to place Jesus in his specific historical context. In any case, the Jesus Seminar was most active in the 80s and 90s, and I'm not referring to that work. It don't look like Pearson has been actively publishing for some time, either.
  14. Great apostasy in the New World Too?

    I don't think there is any historical theory that isn't disputed by someone. I would agree that with history, it's all interpretation. But I believe the interpretation of John as the product of a sectarian Christian community is sound. And certainly the Johannine corpus is not the only NT text to suggest that other contemporary Christian groups are false or to be condemned. I'm not sure what an appeal to Wiki gets you. I could add it today and it would be in there. And Raymond Brown was one of the foremost scholars on the Johannine corpus.
  15. Where did the Book of Mormon come from?

    There are several options - old magical texts, Pilgrim's progress, coincidence, or botched attempts at imitating KJV language. Since I'm not trained in this area, and so far this idea is coming from a small group of religious researchers, I think it's wisest to simply wait and see if anyone from the larger academic community takes up this issue, and what they might have to say about the work done so far. That would be a theological explanation, not a historical one. Historians work with historical sources and historical methods. The supernatural is out of scope.