The Lord’s Prayer and Early Christian Eschatology

This post is based on a post I did at By Common Consent last year. I’ve reworked it a bit because I like the subject and I present it to you here.

Reading the New Testament

First, a cautionary note. All the New Testament literature we have is written from a post-resurrectional perspective. This is completely independent of whether one believes in the resurrection of Jesus or not. Thus, any discussion of that literature must take place within that contextual background, and in particular, that applies to the Lord’s Prayer. In other words, how Jesus may have originally spoken the prayer, what it may have meant to him, or to the disciples at that time, is largely beyond the scope of what we can do from these texts–the end of the Gospel colors the whole narrative and that can be important in subtle ways.[1] One might argue that LDS texts like section 45 of the Doctrine and Covenants convey some original intent or meaning of Jesus’ words but I’m not at all sure this is the case.

Read more of this post

New Content at Joseph Smith Papers Web Pages

Check out the updated content at the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Edited Volumes: George Whitefield, Mormon Women

My second favorite Methodist itinerant has spawned a new volume:

George Whitefield: Life, Context, and Legacy (Oxford UP) edited by Geordan Hammond and David Ceri Jones. The material originated in a conference at Oxford University in 2014 to observe the tercentenary of the Grand Itinerant’s birth.
The excellent Kate Holbrook and Matt Bowman have collected some important essays on Mormon women in Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (U of U Press).

Look for them at a bookstore or website near you.

Review. Jeremiah’s Scribes: Creating Sermon Literature in Puritan New England

Jeremiah’s Scribes : Creating Sermon Literature in Puritan New England
Meredith Marie Neuman
University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia) 2013.
Hardcover: $64.00 (Amazon).
280 pages.

I have been meaning to write something on Meredith Neuman’s study of Puritan preaching for some time, first because I enjoyed her careful work on sermons and their impact in a community that valued preaching as the Christian prophetic voice. Second because I found it useful in my own work on preaching. Neuman’s approach reveals much of preaching as lived religion in early New England.
Read more of this post

High Resolution Scans Now Available for the Complete Jonathan Edwards Collection at Yale and Andover Newton Theological School

Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, completed a high-resolution scan of the entire Edwards Collections at both Yale University and Andover Newton Theological School. To view and use the scans, go to

Review: First Principles and Ordinances

First Principles and Ordinances: The Fourth Article of Faith in Light of the Temple
Samuel M. Brown
Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2014.

Joseph Smith was born into the Second Great Awakening. Gravitating to Methodist preaching, he ranked it above his other experience. Visions and golden plates prompted a New Covenant, born in April 1830. At first the New Covenant looked for a place in the landscape of antebellum Protestant thought and doctrine but gradually that seeking turned to renewal and rethinking. Mormonism moved from the American individualism that played over the billions of pages of Protestant imprints and wrote a new way of seeing the ancient. It didn’t simply try to restore (unsuccessfully) the all things in common of Jerusalem’s Acts. It wrote a story of ritual and liturgy that made family of believers and eternal friends of family.
Read more of this post

Release of the Final Volume in the Journals Series, Joseph Smith Papers

[Cross-Posted as BCC]

Capturing Joseph Smith on paper has been a goal of Mormon church historians for almost two hundred years. First efforts involved scribal minutes of church meetings, recording revelations and commandments that fell from Smith’s lips, and keeping a history of the early church. Those early efforts went to writing a canonical faith promoting history, one that steered the internal dialogue of Mormonism for more than a century. The primary sources that supported that faithful dialogue were largely under wraps. Why would anyone be interested?
Read more of this post