Articles in the latest issue of Studies in the Bible and Antiquity range from the study of ancient Mesopotamian art to a contemporary meditation on one of Jesus’s most famous parables.
The lead article by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and Ronan James Head examines the famous Mari Investiture Panel (c. 1800 BC), which “depicts the endowment of the king of Mari with the divine right to rule.” Their comparative study of similar ancient Near Eastern rites provides “a plausible interpretation of the panel and also a link with the religious practices of the Israelites with which Latter-day Saints are familiar and with which they feel a ritual kinship.” A second study of investiture motifs is then offered by Daniel Belnap, who finds in the Garden of Eden, the tabernacle of Exodus, and teachings concerning Christ, clothing and investiture symbolism that informs our understanding of the story of Tabitha (Acts 9).
A third article, by Thomas A. Wayment and John Gee, is a pro/con debate concerning a contested point of New Testament scholarship: Is the apostle Paul addressing his wife in Philippians 4:3? The issue concludes with a close reading and commentary on the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) by Robert L. Millet, who finds it to be “a distillation of the Plan of Salvation, a message within the Message, the gospel within the Gospel.”
Studies in the Bible and Antiquity is available by subscription or free of charge online at http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/studies.