Category Archives: Biblical Studies

Did Jesus Doubt?

In an article published on April 1, 2021, two Christian scholars argued that Jesus had “moments of doubt.” The Christianity Today article, by A. J. Swoboda of Bushnell University and Nijay K. Gupta of Northern Seminary, is entitled “Jesus Was … Continue reading

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Make a Resolution to Love Your Enemies This Year: 10 Principles from the Sermon on the Mount

One of the unfortunate developments of 2020 in America and no doubt many other parts of the world was the exacerbation of divisions between people over political, cultural, and religious differences. The political divide between the left and the right … Continue reading

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5 Books for Serious Bible Study

So, you want to get serious about studying the Bible! You’re not a biblical scholar, and not necessarily planning on going that direction, but you’re motivated to work on getting a solid, working knowledge of the whole Bible. Maybe you … Continue reading

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Christianity vs Mormonism: Atheist Bob Seidensticker Cross-Examined

Bob Seidensticker is an atheist with a blog at Patheos called Cross Examined. Two days ago (May 20, 2020), another atheist blogger at Patheos, Jonathan M.S. Pearce, posted “Using Common Sense to Not See God: Christianity versus Mormonism,” part of … Continue reading

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Suppression of Documents: Joseph Smith’s 1832 First Vision Account versus the Noncanonical Gospels

The second article in the recent Book of Mormon Central (BMC) series of “Insights” on the First Vision is entitled “The 1832 First Vision Account.” In that account, Joseph reported seeing only “the Lord” Jesus, not of the Father and … Continue reading

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Four Contrasts between Joseph Smith’s Four First Vision Accounts and the Four Gospels

The first article in the recent Book of Mormon Central “Insight” series provides an overview of “Joseph Smith’s Firsthand Accounts of the First Vision.” These include the 1838/1839 canonical account in Joseph Smith–History (part of the collection known as the … Continue reading

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Was Mary Magdalene Far from or Near the Cross? A Case Study in Gospel Differences

According to the Synoptic Gospels, the women who witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion, including specifically Mary Magdalene, were looking or watching “from a distance” (Matt. 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41; cf. Luke 23:49; 24:10]). However, John states that the women were “standing by the … Continue reading

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Did Moses Literally See the Face of God?

Exodus 33:11 says that the Lord spoke “face to face” with Moses, but Exodus 33:20 says that Moses could not see the Lord’s face. Is this a contradiction? Two preliminary observations may be helpful. First, we should notice that Exodus … Continue reading

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Enoch, Jude, the Canon, and the Sons of God: Some Notes for the Curious

In an odd coincidence, I was asked twice in one day to comment about the canonicity of the Book of Enoch and some related matters. I will not attempt to resolve all of the issues here, but instead will offer … Continue reading

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Six Hints that the “Baby Jesus Stories” of the Gospels Were Not Late Additions

Gerard van Honthorst, Adoration of the Shepherds (1622)   Every December, articles circulate online (and often in major news magazines) calling into question the truth of the virgin birth of Christ. This year, a blog article posted on December 19, … Continue reading

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