This is just a “holder” post for a discussion I was having over whether references to “bows and arrows” in the Book of Mormon should be considered atlals or actual bows. The main argument is over whether there are bows and arrows in the pre-classical period of mesoamerica. A lot of apologetic works have quoted a few articles saying they were. Most of these end up going back to Bill Hamblin’s article “The Bow and Arrow in the Book of Mormon” from the 90’s.
I brought this up in a discussion primarily due to a Book of Mormon Central article on weapons in early Nephite times. While I really like the Book of Mormon Central stuff I was much more mixed about this article due to using art from centuries after the period of the Book of Mormon in question. I think that bows and arrows in pre-Christian Nephite society is perhaps at best controversial. (Roughly 400 BC – 40 BC) As such I think good apologetics should engage with the mainstream views of the data. There was some pushback to this view, mainly based upon a debate over whether there was consensus over the period of the introduction of the bow and arrow in mesoAmerica.
Continue reading Bows, Arrows & the Book of Mormon
Robert at Scriptural Mormonism does a good job discussing the place of grace in “old fashion Mormonism” (More or less Mormonism from early 20th century up through the 90’s) I’d add that grace in a lot of ways is misrepresented when that era’s thought is discussed. Often the difference is simply word choice to discuss the theology.
Daniel McClellan on the myth of scriptural literalism. Great post I’ll undoubtedly be linking to a lot.
Ben Spackman on grace. Great summary that gets at most of the issues.
The first 50 pages of Brant Gardner’s new book Traditions of the Fathers is available at Kofford Books. Brant wrote what I take to be the best commentary on the Book of Mormon as well as the best discussion of the theory of the translation of the book.
This seems more in depth about the history of the Book of Mormon. So much of what’s written about the history takes the narrative as straightforward. It seems like Gardner reads it via more of what I’d call a hermeneutics of suspicion. I don’t necessarily mean he reads it through a Ricouerian lens. Just that he thinks the text is written and transmitted by finite flawed ignorant human beings rather than be “objective history.” That’s important to how we read the text. He also follows Sorenson in trying to apply a more mesoamerican lens to how we read the text.
I’m really looking forward to this book. So check it out.
Was a falling meteor the natural side of Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus? I don’t oppose finding natural explanations for events, but I think we need a bit more evidence for this one. Still it is interesting. And of course even if a physical event was tied to his experience that doesn’t make the revelation somehow more dubious.
The Hard Sayings of Jesus are generally those saying in the gospels attributed to Jesus that seem quite hard to accept as they are so radical. I think Mormons, who have a tendency to contextualize everything in as broad a way as possible miss how radical some of these sayings are. Our instinct, perhaps understandable, is to tone them down.
Continue reading The Hard Sayings: Forgive