Comments about ‘FAIR Conference ends as new Mormon scholarly journal begins’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 4 2012 9:15 p.m. MDT

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Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture: "Our goal is to increase understanding of scripture [including the Bible] through careful scholarly investigation and analysis of the insights provided by a wide range of ancillary disciplines, including language, history, archaeology, literature, culture, ethnohistory, art, geography, law, politics, philosophy, etc...."

This sounds like a great and much needed addition. There is a real need to support the Bible as not wholly man-made. Evangelical apologetics regarding the Bible I find unsatisfying. Including, for instance, for even the historicity of the empty tomb and a literal, physical, bodily resurrection. And for the Gospels as literal history and whether the words of Jesus, and the creation of a church, can reliably be traced to the historical Jesus.

For the most part it seems that Mormon apologetics are weakest regarding very basic points: the Bible as the Word of Deity and as reliable history regarding foundational issues for Mormons and, indeed, for all of Christianity.

I look forward to advances in these areas with the same level of scholarship that has been applied to other Mormon apologetics.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Does "apologetics" equate to rationalization?

Ultimately, only faith will be the answer.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

Basically, it sounds like a pretentious propaganda study group to improve mythology and expand unfounded preconceived notions of self identity and importance with little interest in search or discovery of truth.

Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

"Peterson believes that...Interpreter will continue in the apologetic tradition of Peter and Paul from the New Testament and Alma from the Book of Mormon in "giving reasonable, rational arguments in support of the gospel of Jesus Christ.""

In this and perhaps any age, a reasonable, rational argument in support of "the gospel of Jesus Christ" seems necessarily to begin with a critical look at the Gospels as credible, reliable history as opposed to largely a creation of a church decades after Jesus was dead.

It would include a critical look at role of the historical Peter within an 'apologetic tradition' of the early church, plus a critical look at authorship of NT texts.

While it's reasonable to conclude that Paul believed his own conversion experience (whatever it was), his gospel and his exegesis of Jewish scripture, we need critical understanding of why his receptive audience appears not to have been the Jews but pagan Greco-Romans probably far less informed of Hebrew scripture and messianism.

It would include an honest, critical look at the historical Jesus of Nazareth and his relationship to the NT and Christianity which arose from out of his Jewish life and Roman death.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Shelama we need critical understanding of why his receptive audience appears not to have been the Jews? OK,
(Paul)...King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. (Acts 26:19-20)
Jewish Christians from Jerusalem came (Galatians 2:11-21). Paul then chides the Galatians, calling them "foolish" (Galatians 3:1), demonstrating very clearly that the original covenant made was made with Abraham looking toward Christ (Galatians 3:2-14). The Law of Moses was therefore designed to be a tutor, leading men to the knowledge of sin and death to be ready for the coming of the faith through Christ, in whom all men are now equal (Galatians 3:15-29).
Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.
As for those agitators(Jews),I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate(castrate) themselves!(Gal 5:11-12(NIV)

Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

sharrona, I agree that, for many people, the quoting scripture provides "critical understanding."

The Interpreter says "Our goal is to increase understanding of scripture [including the Bible] through careful scholarly investigation..."

I'm guessing that Daniel Petersen and the Interpreter, striving for critical understanding through scholarly investigation, might incorporate your comments in a more in depth examination of the issues.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Apologetics and Polemics are not one in the same. I believe that is why the Neal Maxwell Institute made some changes recently. I hope my friends in the LDS Church who are contributing to this new journal understand that. You don't need to tear anybody down to build up your faith.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

It’s no mean task to reconcile apologetics with rigorous standards of scholarship which cannot predetermine the outcome of a study. An honest scholar must follow the trail of evidence to wherever it leads, even if it’s to challenge orthodoxy. Anything less is a compromise for which the only saving grace is forthright acknowledgement of one's biases.

Jer-Bear
Mapleton, UT

Daniel Peterson is a totally awesome person. Truly worth your time to follow any and all of his endeavors!!!

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