The Bible and the Latter-day Saint Tradition

Like other Christian denominations, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has been engaged in the battle for the Bible since challenges to biblical authority began to exert significant influence in America toward the end of the nineteenth century. Other believing communities have responded with various reevaluations of the biblical text. Latter-day Saints have experimented with similar approaches, often taking liberal positions on biblical authority and conservative positions on history and authorship. However, Latter-day Saints accept additional scripture and embrace a theology notably distinct from traditional Christianity. Hence, they relate to the Bible differently from other Christians, creating gaps with mainstream biblical studies. This volume bridges that gap.

From comparing the Book of Mormon to the Bible or the Dead Sea Scrolls, to Mormon feminists’ views on the Gospels, this volume takes a comprehensive and inclusive approach to understanding Bible scholarship’s role in Mormon history, exploring these differences for both scholars and students. A diverse group of contributors presents an accessible resource to mediate between Latter-day Saint traditions and the broader context of biblical history, literature, and scholarship. Each essay provides a synopsis of relevant major scholarly views and delivers new insights into varied crosscurrents of biblical studies.

Taylor G. Petrey is associate professor and chair of religion at Kalamazoo College. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Tabernacles of Clay: Sexuality and Gender in Modern Mormonism and Resurrecting Parts: Early Christians on Desire, Reproduction, and Sexual Difference.
Cory Crawford is associate professor of biblical studies at Ohio University. He is the author of numerous articles and chapters on Bible and Ancient Near Eastern culture in Vetus Testamentum, Harvard Theological Review, and more.
Eric A. Eliason is professor of folklore and the Bible as literature at Brigham Young University. His books include (with Terryl L. Givens) Yet to Be Revealed: Open Questions in Latter-day Saint Theology, Mormons and Mormonism: An Introduction to an American World Religion, and (with Tom Mould) Latter-day Lore: Mormon Folklore Studies.

Table of Contents:
Introduction: Latter-day Saints and Biblical Scholarship by Taylor G. Petrey
Part I: The Ancient World of the Bible as Understood by Latter-day Saints: From Joseph Smith to Contemporary Scholarship
1. The Place of the Bible and Biblical Scholarship among Latter-day Saints in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries  by Philip L. Barlow and Stephen T. Betts
2. The King James Version and Modern Translations of the Bible  by Thomas Wayment
3. Joseph Smith’s “New Translation” of the Bible by Grant Underwood
4. Temple and Priesthood in the Bible and in Mormonism by Cory Crawford
5. Dead Sea Scrolls by Dana M. Pike
6. The Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods by Matthew J. Grey
Part II: Conceptions of Canon and Not Canon: The Bible(s) and Restoration Scripture
7. The Biblical Canon by Daniel Becerra
8. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha by Jared W. Ludlow
9. How the Book of Mormon Responds to the Bible by Grant Hardy
10. The Biblical World in the Book of Mormon by David Calabro
11. The Bible in the Pearl of Great Price by Brian M. Hauglid
Part III: A Variety of Critical Biblical Approaches and Their Relevance to Mormon Studies
12. Nineteenth-Century Biblical Interpretation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Amy Easton-Flake
13. Historical Criticism of the Bible among the Latter-day Saints by Jason Robert Combs
14. Biblical Theology and the Latter-day Saint Tradition by Joseph M. Spencer
15. Textual Criticism by Lincoln H. Blumell
16. Biblical Archaeology in Latter-day Saint Perspective by George A. Pierce
17. Orality, Literacy, and the Cultural World of the Bible in Ancient Near Eastern Scholarship and Latter-day Saint Reception by Eric A. Eliason
18. Feminist Biblical Criticism by Deidre Nicole Green
Part IV: Inheritance and Divergence: Latter-day Saints Read Others Reading the Bible
19. The Use of Jewish Scripture in the New Testament by Jared W. Ludlow
20. Early Christian Biblical Interpretation by Carl Griffin and Kristian S. Heal
21. Early Christian Literature by Grant Adamson
22. Medieval Bibles by Miranda Wilcox
23. Reformation and Early Modern Biblical Interpretation by Jason A. Kerr
Part V: Latter-day Saint Approaches to the Bible’s Major Genres and Divisions
24. The Pentateuch by David Bokovoy
25. From Exodus to Exile by David Rolph Seely
26. Prophets and Prophetic Literature by David Bokovoy
27. Wisdom Literature and the Psalms by Ryan Conrad Davis
28. Jesus and the Gospels by Eric D. Huntsman
29. Paul’s Letters and Acts of the Apostles by Taylor G. Petrey
30. The Universal Epistles: James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1–3 John, Jude by Luke Drake
31. Apocalyptic Literature by Jill Kirby
List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“One of the great strengths of this collection is how it often offers different perspectives, offered by different scholars, to similar concerns or texts. In so doing, it adds a nice breadth of approach and depth of competing analyses.”
—Paul C. Gutjahr, Indiana University

“The Sheer amount of information is impressive and makes the volume invaluable to scholars of many disciplines. Historians and biblical scholars, to be sure, but also scholars of literature, theologians, and religious studies academics will find worthy materials here.”—Mathew Bowman, Claremont Graduate University in Nova Religio