The Sperry Symposium and the New Testament
The Sperry Symposium and the New Testament
Reviewed by Kevin L. Barney
Sidney Branton Sperry was born in Salt Lake
City the day after Christmas 1895. In 1917 he earned his bachelor’s degree
in chemistry from the University of Utah. Following a mission to the southern
states from 1919 to 1921, Sperry became a seminary teacher. Feeling keenly
the need for greater education in the scriptures, he resolved to attend the
Divinity School at the University of Chicago. He earned his master’s degree
in 1926 and his doctorate in 1931, both in Old Testament studies. After a
year of postdoctoral work at the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem,
he joined the faculty of Brigham Young University, where he taught with great
distinction until his retirement in 1971. He passed away six years later,
on 4 September 1977.
Having entered BYU in the fall of 1976, only a year before Sperry’s
death, I unfortunately never met the man; but he was a giant in BYU religious
education, and I was well aware of who he was and his stature at the university.
As a young student interested in Latter-day Saint scripture, I had occasion
to read many of his published writings, which are influential even to this
day. Sperry was the vanguard of an entire generation of religious educators
who would end up following in his footsteps at the University of Chicago throughout
the 1930s, and he was warmly remembered by my own professors who had been
his students.1 Even the great Hugh Nibley built
on the foundation Sperry laid at BYU. It is therefore entirely appropriate
that for more than three and a half decades BYU has been sponsoring an annual
symposium in religious education dedicated to his memory.
Anticipating the church’s focus on the New Testament for the 2007
curriculum year, BYU’s Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book jointly published
two volumes drawn from Sperry Symposia on the New Testament. The first, Sperry
Symposium Classics: The New Testament (hereafter simply Classics), is a
florilegium of New Testament-related articles drawn from many past Sperry
Symposia, a sort of “greatest hits” compilation, if you will. The second,
How the New Testament Came to Be: The 35th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B.
Sperry Symposium (hereafter simply Came to Be), represents the proceedings
of the thirty-fifth in the series, held at BYU in October 2006.
Latter-day Saint scholars have come to realize that there is no such
thing as pure objectivity; we all come to our studies molded by our prior
experiences, and we all bring our own perspectives and biases to our work.
So, in the interest of full disclosure, I approached these volumes with a
certain expectation of what I would find. Previous collections of Sperry Symposium
presentations have been very uneven. This is probably due to the symposium
being a kind of showcase for religious studies at BYU, resulting in a large
number of contributions for which it would be difficult to maintain a consistently
high standard. I anticipated that these two latest volumes would be similarly
uneven in quality, with a mixture of stronger and weaker contributions. I
would say that Classics was about what I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised
to find that Came to Be has strong contributions almost across the board.
So while I can recommend both volumes, my recommendation of Came to Be is
considerably warmer than it is for Classics.
Came to Be has several advantages over Classics. First, with eighteen chapters,
Came to Be is shorter (Classics has twenty-six), and thus its potential for
unevenness was somewhat less. Moreover, Came to Be benefits from being a coherent set of
presentations all given at the same symposium, as opposed to presentations given at different symposia
over the years at different times and under different circumstances and with
different emphases. Came to Be also benefits from having a specific theme rather than
the broad and generic topic of “New Testament.” For me it helped considerably that the focus
of Came to Be, the coming forth of the New Testament, is a topic in which I happen to
have a particular interest. The most important advantage of Came to Be is
that it features many of BYU’s young cadre of fine religion scholars. While
BYU’s College of Religious Education has always had a core of strong senior
scholars, in recent years it has hired a promising group of young scholars
from among the many Latter-day Saints pursuing advanced degrees in religion.
BYU is to be commended for its recent practice of hiring those with advanced
degrees in topics of direct relevance to religious studies, as opposed to
tangential fields such as counseling or education. These young professors
were once the kinds of students that the Maxwell Institute honors as Nibley
Fellows. The positive results of this trend show in Came to Be, and
consequently the future of BYU Religious Education appears to be very bright indeed.
It is customary at these symposia for the proceedings to be inaugurated
with a keynote address given by a General Authority. I think part of the reason
that I found it more difficult to get fully engaged in Classics than in
Came to Be had to do with the General Authority keynote addresses.
Came to Be featured probably one of the finest such keynote addresses ever
offered at one of these symposia—”‘Plain and Precious Things':
The Writings of the New Testament,” by Elder Alexander B. Morrison. Not only was it
a strong contribution in its own right, but it established a thoroughly scholarly tone for the
presentations to follow. Elder Morrison touched on such issues as Markan priority, Docetism,
the amanuensis theory as it relates to Pauline authorship, pseudonymity, Marcion’s
Apostolicon, the Muratorian Canon, the Johannine Comma, and much, much more.
Near the end of his piece, Elder Morrison indicates that “for too long
Latter-day Saint scholars have not, perhaps, paid as much attention to examining
the New Testament as they have to their brilliant analysis and defense of
the Nephite record and other aspects of this great latter-day work” (p. 23).
In the margin next to this statement I wrote “Yes!” This
inspired and inspiring call to greater New Testament scholarship by Latter-day
Saint students of scripture was exactly what was needed, and it laid the foundation
on which the following essays would build.
Now, I do not expect General Authorities to give such substantive
attention to matters of scholarship as Elder Morrison did, and for those particular
addresses a more devotional approach is of course appropriate. But given its
eclectic origins, Classics presents not one such address, but five.2
While these are all fine presentations for what they were meant
to do, if I am going to purchase a book such as this, I want the focus to
be on the scholarship since there are ample devotional and doctrinal approaches
in general conference, the Ensign, and Sunday School. While a
single keynote address can be an inspiration, five is too much of a good thing
and weighed down the beginning of the volume.
One of my favorite essays from Classics was S. Kent Brown’s “The Four Gospels
as Testimonies.” Brown surveys the history of Gospel harmonies, acknowledges the strengths
of harmonistic study, but then also examines the serious deficiencies of such
study, concluding that ultimately each of the Gospels is a separate work that
must be studied on its own terms. This is a very important point that needs
to be made. But later in the book, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, in another strong
contribution, makes essentially the same point in his essay, “The Passion
of Jesus Christ.” While these are both fine essays, the overlap in treatment
is presumably due to the “greatest hits” format of this volume as
opposed to its being a presentation of the proceedings of a single coherent
Other contributions to Classics that I enjoyed include Thomas A. Wayment, “Jesus’
Use of the Psalms in Matthew”; Richard D. Draper, “He Has Risen: The Resurrection
Narratives as a Witness of Corporeal Regeneration”; Richard Lloyd Anderson,
“Paul’s Witness to the Historical Integrity of the Gospels”; C.
Wilfred Griggs, “‘An Hebrew of the Hebrews': Paul’s Language and Thought”; Brian
M. Hauglid, “‘As the Body without the Spirit':
James’s Epistle on Faith and Works”; and Andrew C. Skinner, “Peter,
the Chief Apostle.” I especially enjoyed “Visions of Christ in the
Spirit World and the Dead Redeemed,” by M. Catherine Thomas, who has
become something of a Latter-day Saint expert on the descensus ad inferos,
or “Harrowing of Hell.”
The remainder of this review will focus on Came to Be.
Without question the most discussed contribution to this volume has
been Kent P. Jackson’s “Asking Restoration Questions in New Testament
Scholarship,” which made quite a splash on the Mormon blogosphere. This
discussion stemmed from an abridged version of Jackson’s article entitled
“Sacred Study,”3 so it is possible that some of the
nuance of Jackson’s piece was not fully accounted for in the early stages
of the discussion.
Although wide-ranging and difficult to characterize succinctly, the
discussion began with a concern common to many of the eighty or so Latter-day
Saint students around the world who are pursuing graduate work in religion
and related fields: that the kind of Bible scholarship advocated by Jackson—using
restoration sources at every step along the way—could be practiced only
at BYU and its related institutions and appears to leave no room for faithful
Latter-day Saints who, while informed by their faith, practice a more conventional
form of biblical scholarship (such as could be presented at the Society for
Biblical Literature, for example).
In his study in Came to Be, Jackson begins by urging Latter-day Saint Bible scholars to
seek out the best professional training, use the best academic tools, examine the
best available ancient evidence, be aware of the best of current scholarship,
and ask the same hard questions that others ask. Ideally, this means that
Latter-day Saint Bible scholars must master the historical and cultural sources
that pertain to the world in which the Bible came to be, and they must know
the languages of the original writers so they can study their words without
having to rely on the scholars who translated those words into modern languages.
This “raising of the bar” for Latter-day Saint Bible scholars
is of course unobjectionable and has often been applauded. What has been controversial
is Jackson’s insistence that such Latter-day Saint Bible scholarship must
embrace “revealed sources” and use them “at every stage in
the process of understanding and interpreting the words of scripture”
(p. 28). Furthermore, Jackson insists that Latter-day Saint scholars who do
not use “all the sources available to them, which is a necessary scholarly
practice,” are engaging in “shoddy scholarship” and are “unfaithful
to the Restoration and its blessings” (pp. 28-29).4
One of Jackson’s qualifications to this principle in order to make
it more workable in practice is to distinguish between matters that are important,
such as the resurrection, which Latter-day Saints are obligated to accept, and matters that are less
important, such as the authorship of Mark, which is in the greater scheme
of things not a deal breaker either way. In some ways, however, this principle
may have been more meaningful had Jackson chosen a harder example to work
through rather than such a relatively easy one. As Mogget comments in “Inside
Although I certainly agree that the resurrection is important and
the authorship of Mark much less so, I’m not sure how illuminating this example
actually is. There are a variety of reasons why it is emotionally reassuring
rather than substantive.
First, it is not clear how a scholar unconvinced
by the NT witness of the resurrection might be moved by any modern witness.
From this perspective, modern revelation on the subject does not provide more
“proof.” Second, there is nothing uniquely LDS in considering the
reality of the resurrection to be a given matter. I don’t think I know anybody
who doesn’t so regard it. Third, from a practical standpoint it raises but
does not resolve the matter of who is going to rule which topics, statements,
and opinions are “important” and which are not.
Finally, in six years of exegetical study the topic of the reality
of the resurrection has NEVER come up. This is not an accident. To the best
of my knowledge, there are no exegetical practices that can evaluate the reality
of the resurrection. None. This sort of information comes by testimony or
not at all and good exegetes know it. A similar argument can be made for the
reality of the restoration. What is really wanted is an example that deals
with an important, exegetically defined point.
Since Professor Jackson’s article is limited, I’ll suggest a thought
experiment. Section 77 gives an interpretive commentary on the Book of Revelation.
One passage (D&C 77:7) is an interpretation of the seal septet (Revelation
6) indicating that the activities of the horseman associated with each seal
represent the events of a one thousand year period. This reading is not supported
by the text. Can you propose a reading of Revelation 6 that takes Section
77 (canonized LDS scripture) as an incontestable source and meets the standards
of an SBL seminar as an “intentional” reading?5
I was considerably less troubled by this article than most of the
blog contributors. Indeed, I found much in the article that was quite heartening,
at least judged from the perspective of past Latter-day Saint scholarly practice.
The particular concern of what a Latter-day Saint professional Bible scholar
who is not affiliated with BYU is to do was one I sympathized with, but since
I am only an amateur who focuses on Mormon studies anyway, it was not an issue
that had the same kind of real world resonance for me that it may have had
for others. Nevertheless, given the substantial amount of angst this article
has generated, I would encourage Jackson to do a follow-up piece in some venue,
addressing specifically the concerns of the small army of Latter-day Saint
graduate students currently engaged in advanced degree programs of relevance
to biblical studies.
Kerry Muhlestein, “From Clay Tablets to Canon: The Story of
the Formation of Scripture” (pp. 43-61), provides a lucid overview
of matters we often don’t think about that nonetheless deeply influenced the
development of the Bible: the technology of writing, the rise of textual authority
vis-Ë†-vis oral authority, and the influence of advances in alternate writing
media (particularly the development of the codex). While Muhlestein’s treatment
is more specific and relatively technical (given the nontechnical audience
for which this volume is intended), Jennifer C. Lane, in “Jews and Greeks:
The Broader Context for Writing the New Testament” (pp. 62-77),
gives a broader treatment of the religious setting for the writing of the
New Testament, using 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 as a nice scriptural framing
device: “The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but
we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks
foolishness.” As Lane shows, the various worldviews that hindered some
from accepting the gospel in the first century have their counterparts in
our own day as well.
A fine companion set of chapters gives an introduction to the textual
criticism of the New Testament: Carl W. Griffin and Frank F. Judd Jr., “Principles
of New Testament Textual Criticism” (pp. 78-92), and Carol F. Ellertson,
“New Testament Manuscripts, Textual Families, and Variants” (pp.
93-108). The Griffin and Judd article features, as an illustration of
the basic principles described in the article, a detailed examination of the
textual issues raised by the variant readings at Acts 20:28, moving from external
evidence to internal considerations. Their treatment is excellent6
and a fine primer for the Latter-day Saint student wishing
to understand better how scholars go about establishing the text.
Thomas A. Wayment, “First-Century Sources on the Life of Jesus”
(pp. 109-22), was interesting to me in part because Wayment appears
to accept Markan priority (p. 110)—the idea that the Gospel of Mark
was written before the other Gospels—as do several other contributors
to this volume (and as do I). This willingness to move away from the more
traditional position of Matthean priority may be a reflection of the kind
of openness on nonessential issues that Jackson alluded to in his essay. Wayment
briefly addresses Q (p. 115), which is the “name scholars have given
to the hypothetical source that would account for the gospel material (not
found in Mark) that Matthew and Luke have in common.”7
I would have liked to see this section expanded, or even an
entire presentation devoted to this topic. My impression is that there is
considerable antipathy in BYU Religious Education towards the existence of
Q, and since the mere existence of such a hypothetical source strikes me as
entirely neutral, I would certainly be interested in a fuller statement of
the reservations scholars such as Wayment have about accepting the possible
existence of such a source.
Frank F. Judd Jr., “Who Really Wrote the Gospels? A Study of
Traditional Authorship” (pp. 123-40), successfully uses Latter-day
Saint sources such as the Book of Mormon and the Lectures on Faith
as analogs to gently introduce Latter-day Saint readers to some of the complexities inhering in
the concept of authorship with respect to the books of the New Testament. He is also one
of several authors in this volume to introduce amanuensis theory as an important
factor to consider in examining questions of authorship; that is, the prevalent
use of scribes in writing ancient texts (much as Joseph Smith himself usually
relied on scribes in his own writing). Later in the collection, Lincoln H.
Blumell, “Scribes and Ancient Letters: Implications for the Pauline Epistles”
(pp. 208-26), devotes an entire presentation to this important concept.
Of course, the possible use of an amanuensis is just one factor to consider
in examining authorship issues and does not excuse a full consideration of
all of the relevant evidence when examining such issues, but it is a relatively
recent insight that is properly highlighted in this collection.
Gaye Strathearn, “Matthew as an Editor of the Life and Teachings
of Jesus” (pp. 141-56), highlights Matthew’s role not only as an
author but as an editor of preexisting sources. Some people are touchy about
the possibility that preexisting sources were used in producing the Gospel
accounts, but as this and other presentations make abundantly clear, this
should not be considered in any way problematic. Strathearn also accepts Markan
priority (p. 144) and discusses Q (pp. 144-46). As Strathearn demonstrates,
we have nothing to fear from recognizing ancient editorial work in forming
the scriptural text.
Daniel K. Judd and Allen W. Stoddard, “Adding and Taking Away
‘Without a Cause’ in Matthew 5:22″ (pp. 157-74), is a detailed
examination of whether the words without a cause, which represent the
single Greek adverb eikē, were an original part of the
text. They examine Jesus’s general teachings on anger, the manuscript and
early textual evidence, patristic writings, and English translations in concluding,
I believe correctly, that the adverb was not an original part of the text.
This is significant, inasmuch as the English words without a cause are not represented in either
the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 5:22 or in the parallel text at 3
Charles Swift, “The Bread of Life Discourse as Dialogue”
(pp. 175-89), uses the Bread of Life discourse to illustrate the artistry
of New Testament stories. Following the lead of Robert Alter, he examines
the discourse in light of four general rubrics: words, actions, dialogue,
and narrative. One insight I especially appreciated is that, by deciding to
present the crowd as one person, John essentially transforms the event into
a dialogue between two people. The focus is not on the group dynamics with
the crowd, which in reality would not speak with one voice anyway, but on
the answers given by the Lord. As Swift astutely observes, this dialogic approach
creates a more personal tone, as if the Lord were speaking directly to us,
and John’s text calls upon us to consider how we would respond to what he is
There is a tendency for some modern readers to try to fashion a systematic
theology from the Pauline epistles. In reality, as demonstrated by Eric D.
Huntsman, “The Occasional Nature, Composition, and Structure of Paul’s
Letters” (pp. 190-207), these letters were ad hoc compositions responding to specific
circumstances and problems. I especially enjoyed Huntsman’s discussion of
the mechanics of writing an ancient letter, which were much more involved
than what we think of in modern letter writing and involved others at every
step. “The entire process of composition, dictation, writing, revision,
review, and approval was not only time-consuming but also expensive”
(p. 200). The cost of a letter, including papyrus and secretarial labor, could
be quite high. Huntsman cites some calculations that Romans (979 manuscript
lines) would have cost $2,275 in 2004 U.S. dollars to produce (p. 200), and
this does not even take into account the time and expenses of the person who
would travel with the dispatch to deliver it (the imperial post was limited
to official government correspondence and would have been unavailable to Paul).
This was all quite fascinating and puts these letters in an entirely different
light than what many of us assume with our presentist assumptions.
Jared W. Ludlow, “Paul’s Use of Old Testament Scripture”
(pp. 227-42), begins with an interesting survey of the limited literacy
and availability of written scripture in the early church. Again, we tend
to bring presentist assumptions to our reading of the situation, picturing
individuals as having their own sets of scriptures just as we do. But this
was simply not the case. Although literacy was increasing, only a minority
could actually read, and prior to the printing press and the codex, it would
have been quite rare for any individual to have a complete set of the scriptures.
Both Jews and Christians typically heard the scriptures as they were read orally,
either at the synagogue or in fledgling churches. With this background, Ludlow goes on to describe
nine categories in which Paul used Old Testament scripture in his writings:
election, faith and works, ministry/Paul’s defense, ethical teachings,
separation from sin, resurrection, wisdom, collection for the poor, and the
gift of tongues. Ludlow also provides several very useful tables, showing
that while Paul usually relied on the Septuagint, he occasionally gave his
own rendering of the Hebrew text.
I was particularly pleased to read Terrence L. Szink, “Authorship
of the Epistle to the Hebrews” (pp. 243-59). For some it seems
as though insistence on Pauline authorship of Hebrews is a sort of Mormon
litmus test of faith. This attitude has long struck me as a lazy conclusion
since, as Jackson noted previously in the volume (pp. 30-33), Joseph’s
ascription of material in the New Testament to specific authors generally
appears to have been based simply on the traditional ascription of such material
in the headings of the King James Version of the New Testament without any
sort of independent revelation.10 Szink is very cautious
and conservative, but he still leaves ample room for one to draw the conclusion,
as I do, that Paul did not author Hebrews. I wrote a very similar (if considerably
shorter) essay once,11 but to have this
openness articulated by a BYU professor in a Sperry Symposium volume is very
important and makes it clear that an adherence to Pauline authorship of Hebrews
should no longer be considered some sort of test of orthodoxy (if indeed it
ever really was applied in such a way).
In a very interesting essay, Richard D. Draper, “The Earliest ‘New Testament'”
(pp. 260-91), argues, contrary to the common idea that the canon came together but very slowly,
that there was actually a core of material—accepted by the proto-orthodox and forming
the base for what would eventually become the New Testament—as early
as the end of the first century CE. His essay is basically an explanation of and introduction to a
lengthy table of scriptural citations from the apostolic fathers that provides the evidence
for his claim. The core collection, as he argues, included the Gospels (which
were already known as a collection in their own right); Acts (which may have
been separated from Luke when the Gospels were formed into their own collection);
most of the Epistles of Paul (except for 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon);
Hebrews (often separated from Paul and with a lesser level of citation); and,
among the general Epistles, 1 Peter, 1 John, and Jude (with the Apocalypse
being but poorly attested in this early period).
Thomas A. Wayment, “False Gospels: An Approach to Studying the
New Testament Apocrypha” (pp. 292-303), steps out of the canon
to discuss how to approach early Christian apocryphal texts. Wayment notes
that, comparatively, there are probably three or four apocryphal texts for
every canonical book of the New Testament, in such genres as gospels, collections
of sayings, acts of individual apostles, collections of apostolic teachings,
revelatory dialogues, and apocalypses. Wayment then details some of the varying
motivations for the producers of these texts, what we generically refer to
as “lying for the Lord.” He appropriately concludes that “the
apocryphal tradition is not a smorgasbord of historical and legendary information
that can be haphazardly drawn from in order to make firm historical conclusions”
(p. 300). As one who as a missionary over twenty-five years ago listened to
taped lectures that treated these texts as exactly such a smorgasbord to be
drawn from indiscriminately without regard to context, I applaud Wayment’s
brief but responsible introduction to this sometimes misunderstood corpus
The final contribution to the volume is Robert J. Matthews, “Joseph
Smith and the New Testament” (pp. 304-21). I of course honor Matthews’s
long career as a leading light of the BYU Religious Education, and I have
tremendous respect for his pioneering work on the JST. But I freely acknowledge
that I am about two steps to the left of Matthews here. He concludes with
the declaration that his “feeling is that the Prophet’s calling as seer
and translator far outweighs his possible lack of formal training with manuscripts.
I think that if the original manuscripts and other documents of the early
Church were available today, we would see that they would support the Prophet’s
decisions in every particular and that the question of doubt raised by some
scholarly research is the consequence of imperfect manuscripts and also not
having the divine calling that the Prophet Joseph had” (p. 319). Some
of my work is probably among the “some scholarly research” he scorns.12
I cannot accept his qualification “in every particular.” What I particularly disagree
with is the impulse to want to see Joseph’s revisions in the JST as almost all related
in a textual way to the original manuscripts. While elsewhere Matthews has
acknowledged in principle that this is not necessarily the case across the
board, his strongly held preference is to see all of the changes as having
a textual basis of some sort. I differ in this regard. I see much, and perhaps
most, of the JST as representing a kind of midrashic commentary on the text
and not as a restoration of original textual material. And I don’t think that
is a faithless conclusion to reach. Further, I think some of Joseph’s changes
in the JST were provisional and represented experimentation and “studying
it out in his mind,” often based on the peculiarities of the KJV English,
and again, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. It may be possible
to hold a view at BYU like the one Matthews expresses, but as a Mormon scholar/apologist
working largely in the rough-and-tumble world of the Internet, I don’t think
his view is either defensible or necessary. The proper approach to understanding
Joseph Smith’s new translation of the Bible and how it relates to the original
manuscripts is far beyond the scope of this review; here I simply wish to
register my disagreement with the common notion in the halls of BYU Religious
Education to the effect that the JST represents almost completely a restoration
of original textual material. We have taught an entire generation of Latter-day
Saints to make this unsustainable assumption, and I strongly believe we need
to teach our people a more nuanced, eclectic, realistic, and sustainable approach
to the JST.
In conclusion, while bothClassics and Came to Be feature many fine essays worth
reading, overall I felt a strong preference for Came to Be. If one were limited to acquiring
only one of these collections, that is the one I would choose.
1. See the delightful
account of Russel B. Swensen, “Mormons at the University of Chicago Divinity
School: A Personal Reminiscence,” Dialogue 7/2 (1972): 37-47, as well as the warm
memories published in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 4/1 (1995), which is entirely devoted to
Sperry and his work and which I highly recommend as an excellent entrée for
those unfamiliar with Sperry and his writing.
2. I assume that
the first five essays were originally keynote addresses since each was given
by a General Authority. There is no historical information provided in Classics
indicating when each presentation was originally given, so this
is guesswork on my part.
3. Kent P. Jackson, “Sacred Study,” Church
News, 6 January 2007, 12.
4. I have adapted this summary from “Faith and Scholarship,”
at Dave’s Mormon Inquiry 11 March 2007 (http://mormoninquiry.typepad.com).
One of the Internet contributors observed that what is important is not necessarily using
all sources, but rather weighing them.
5. Mogget at Faith
Promoting Rumor: “Inside the House,” http://faithpromoting
rumor.wordpress.com/2007/01/24/inside-the-house (accessed 24 May 2007).
6. For my own considerably
briefer treatment of these same issues, see Kevin L. Barney, “God’s Own
Blood,” By Common Consent, http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2006/03/gods-own-blood
(accessed 24 May 2007).
7. Anchor Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Q.”
8. The authors
take note of, and reject, the suggestion of Ronald V. Huggins, “‘Without a Cause’ and
‘Ships of Tarshish': A Possible Contemporary Source for Two Unexplained Readings from Joseph Smith,”
Dialogue 36/1 (2003): 157-79, to the effect that the source for this reading may have been
the writings of Protestant reformer John Wesley.
9. This is analogous
to the effect of the rhetorical device of enallage used often in the scriptures.
See my articles “Enallage in the Book of Mormon,” Journal of
Book of Mormon Studies 3/1 (1994): 113-47; and “Divine Discourse
Directed at a Prophet’s Posterity in the Plural: Further Light on Enallage,”
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6/2 (1997): 229-34.
10. Although Richard
Lloyd Anderson accepts Pauline authorship of Hebrews (see Classics, 216), a position with
which I disagree, his is a considered view and based on his reading of the evidence, and is not the
sort of lazy opinion to which I make reference here.
11. Kevin L. Barney, ed., Footnotes to the New Testament
for Latter-day Saints (privately published and available in various
formats at http://feastupontheword.org/Site:NTFootnotes, 2007) 2:77-79.
In a small irony, given that this was a presentation at a Sperry Symposium,
Szink neglected to mention Sperry’s own conclusion that Paul was not the author
of Hebrews. See Sidney B. Sperry, Paul’s Life and Letters (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1955),
268-72. I had to smile that both Szink and I included in our respective discussions
an argument from numerous examples of General Authority usage (speaking obliquely
of “the author” rather than definitively of Paul when referring
to material in Hebrews). This is an interesting example where church authorities have led the way
in a matter of scholarship and Latter-day Saint scholars have sometimes been
slow to follow.
12. See Kevin L.
Barney, “The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible,”
Dialogue 19/3 (1986): 85-102. Some have misunderstood this
early article of mine; for my clarification of what I intended, see Kevin
L. Barney, “Isaiah Interwoven,” FARMS Review 15/1 (2001):
353-402, under the subhead “Interweaving of the Book of Mormon
and JST” (pp. 379-401).