long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Podcast on 2 sets of plates; Jonathan Edwards; Human rights

In the latest podcast, we discussed the two sets of plates, the problems with groupthink among scholars, and more:



Although I uploaded the nonbiblical intertextuality database to Kindle for everyone to have access, I continue to add to it from time to time. For those interested, I occasionally post some of the additions to the dailyJonathanEdwards blog, along with other comments. 

Here's a recent post as an example.


In my view, the Edwards influence expands the text of the Book of Mormon much the same way that the KJV influence does. Seeing how Edwards used the nonbiblical terminology helps us understand the meaning of this terminology in the Book of Mormon.

An example is the law of Moses. The Book of Mormon refers to the "law of Moses" 43 times. (The Old Testament uses the phrase only 15 times, and the New Testament only 7 times.) Yet the Book of Mormon never explains the law of Moses. A reader unfamiliar with the Bible would have no idea what the law of Moses included. We need the Bible to understand what the Book of Mormon means by the phrase "law of Moses."

We have a similar situation with the nonbiblical terminology in the Book of Mormon.

Recently I saw a podcast that discussed the nature of "hell." The speaker didn't seem to realize that the Book of Mormon uses the term more frequently than the Bible (59 times vs OT (31x) and NT (23x).

We can gain lots of insights into the Book of Mormon by understanding how Edwards used the nonbiblical language.


The Deseret News published an important article about the UN Declaration of Human Rights, here:



4. Resolution of conflicting rights. Although human rights specialists assert that we can’t pick and choose which rights to support and prioritize, all serious observers know that there are times when rights contradict each other and need to be reconciled. Again, political conservatives might want to have a voice in how these contradictions are to be resolved. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a living document, subject to continued interpretation. It is widely acknowledged on the international stage as a fair statement of humanity’s aspirations, even by regimes with opposing interests. Like it or not, the declaration is here to stay. And thankfully, the spirit of the document suggests that persons of every political persuasion should respectfully participate in the ongoing interpretation of what human rights mean for our societies. 

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