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Ancient history Book excerpts Old Testament

How Did the Urim and Thummim in the Bible Work?

When the Urim and Thummim are identified [in the Old Testament] with the gems of the breastpiece, light is often associated with them. 4QpIsa i 4–6 can be interpreted in this way. Josephus clearly links a miraculous light with the divine revelation. The oracular shining or dimming of a stone on the breastpiece is also found in subsequent Jewish and Samaritan tradition.

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Book of Abraham Cornerstone Pearl of Great Price

Book of Abraham: What Have Scholars Learned?

The Book of Abraham is a volume of holy scripture translated by Joseph Smith. The text is unique because we possess some of the Egyptian papyri the Prophet may have used during his translation. However, the text on extant fragments doesn’t align with what’s found in the book—and that’s led to many debates. Ultimately, the Church says that the book’s power lies in study, prayer, and personal revelation. This article walks you through some of the latest research findings, including exclusive From the Desk interviews.

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Book of Mormon Come Follow Me Cornerstone

Come Follow Me 2024: Book of Mormon Resources

The Come Follow Me 2024 Sunday School lessons focus on the Book of Mormon. We’ve put together this library of study helps that cover everything from the gold plates and translation of the Book of Mormon to the theology taught by Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi. We’ve also got each week’s reading schedule with links to the Church website.

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Book of Mormon Theology

What Does Mosiah Contribute to Theology?

The Book of Mosiah is a theologically rich collection of stories and sermons in the Book of Mormon. The sermon of King Benjamin, the story of Abinadi, and the conversion of Alma1 all bring some important thoughts to the table. This interview with James E. Faulconer discusses some of the theological contributions in the Book of Mosiah.

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Bible

Reading the Bible Through the Septuagint

Here is a question. If you are trying to do any kind of serious research into ancient documents, why would you ever prefer to use a translation, rather than the original texts themselves? In the case of the Bible, however, there is one translation that it really pays to know. Often, when we read Scriptures, we might debate exactly how they were read and understood in very early times. In the case of the Septuagint, we have a reliable snapshot of just how Jewish people did just that at a particular moment in time, and the resulting picture is often startling.

Categories
Ancient history Book excerpts Old Testament

Who Is Melchizedek in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Melchizedek is a fragmentary exegetical work from the Dead Sea Scrolls collection (11QMelch) that may be classified as a thematic pesher.1 The author quotes or alludes to biblical passages2 and reveals their true hidden meaning in connection with his main theme: the eschatological victory of good over evil.

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Book of Mormon Come Follow Me

How Did Abinadi Influence Book of Mormon Prophets?

The prophet Abinadi may be best known for being burned to death after testifying before King Noah’s Court in Mosiah. At the time of his death, he likely thought that he had only one convert, namely Alma the Elder. But Abinadi’s example was far-reaching. He devotes more of his teachings to the resurrection of Jesus Christ than any other Book of Mormon prophet, and noticeably influenced Alma, Amulek, King Benjamin, and Mormon. In this interview, John Hilton III explains more.

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Book of Mormon

A Cultural History of the Gold Plates

A new book by Richard Bushman seeks to uncover the cultural history of Joseph Smith’s gold plates. As a biographer of Joseph Smith, Bushman has thought about the role of the plates for decades. He believes that they were real, but also points out that they are mysterious. In this interview, he shares thoughts about how they’ve been viewed by scholars, portrayed by artists, and contextualized by the church.

Categories
Book of Mormon Theology

Atonement in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon provides several interesting teachings about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It’s in this scripture of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that you first see reference to an “infinite atonement.” The Book of Mormon is also one of the only places in scripture that emphasizes the role of Gethsemane. In this interview, Nick Frederick discusses the Atonement of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Book of Mormon.

Categories
Bible

A King James Vocabulary Lesson

In 2011, the Christian world celebrated the four-hundredth anniversary of the publication of the King James translation of the English Bible. The King James Version (KJV) has survived well and continues to stand as one of the more literal English translations. But as with all translations, any modern rendition of biblical language is accurate and fully dependable only “as far as it is translated correctly” (A of F 1:8).

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