Category Archives: gospel

A Review of Stories from Ancient Canaan by Michael David Coogan

This accessible and entertaining book recounts several important mythic stories from ancient Ugarit. Ugarit was a Canaanite city state on the coast of the Mediterranean across from Crete in modern Syria. This book introduced me to several interesting concepts. The first was that Ugaritic was a Semetic language like Biblical Hebrew but written with a cuniaform alphabet. Second, the world did not know much about Ugarit until the 1920s when the tablets from this city were found. Third that the many quotes in the Old Testament reflect the competing religion of the Canaanites and cultural exchange backwards and forwards between the Canaanites and Israelites. In this collection you will read the story of Aqat, Kirta, and Baal. The introductions before the translations are especially helpful. The myths while using repetitive langue are helpful in getting a sense for how the stories may have sounded to people steeped in an oral culture. Worth your time if you are interested in the ancient Near East.

Review of Whats on the Other Side by Brent L Top

It has been a few years since the death of my dad and my mom was reading this book. Partially to get a sense for what she was reading, but also for myself, I read this book. This book is really a compilation of two talks by Brother Top given during Education Week at BYU. The book is short and easy to read. I especially liked the chapter on the immortal spirit. Two of the most comforting aspects for me were that my relatives can see and love me. As well as being aware of what I’m doing. Another affirming thought was that no one dies in life before their time even if it is inopportune. If it happens early it could be they are needed for services in the spirit world. This is a helpful book for any LDS reader grieving the loss of a loved one.

Press On

There may be many things about life that are beyond your control. But in the end, you have the power to choose both your destination and many of your experiences along the way. It is not so much your abilities but your choices that make the difference in life.

You cannot allow circumstances to make you sad.

You cannot allow them to make you mad.

You can rejoice that you are a daughter of God. You can find joy and happiness in the grace of God and in the love of Jesus Christ.

You can be glad.

Great LDS Egyptology Blog

Dr Sederholm always has interesting things to say about the Book of Abraham.  His most recent post talks about the name Onitah being the name of a first dynasty pharoah. Here is his serekh from Dobson’s The Hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt. Dobson transliterated the glyphs slightly differently. The first glyph looks like Gardiner’s V26  andjand can be ‘ndj as Dr Sederholm suggests. It is interesting how Hebrew transliterates Egyptian.

Nephi Differences

הַבִּ֙יטוּ֙ אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֣ם אֲבִיכֶ֔ם וְאֶל־שָׂרָ֖ה תְּחוֹלֶלְכֶ֑ם כִּי־אֶחָ֣ד קְרָאתִ֔יו וַאֲבָרְכֵ֖הוּ וְאַרְבֵּֽהוּ

Look unto Abraham your father, And unto Sarah that bore you; For when he was but one I called him, And I blessed himand made him many.

2 Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, she that bare you; for I called him alone, and blessed him. (2 Nephi 8:2)

Facsimiles in higher resolution

Just found a nice website with higher resolution versions of the facsimiles posted by Nathan Richardson! At some point I would like to use Rhodes translation and commentary to overlay the facsimiles with their hieroglyphic transcriptions: I will attempt this likely after I complete my dissertation. But unfortunately I could not find larger versions of the facsimiles online until now. Thanks to Nathan Richardson for posting these online.

I’ve added a link to his website for future reference.


Isaiah Variants in 2nd Nephi

שִׁמְעוּ אֵלַי רֹדְפֵי צֶדֶק, מְבַקְשֵׁי יְהוָה; הַבִּיטוּ אֶל-צוּר חֻצַּבְתֶּם, וְאֶל-מַקֶּבֶת בּוֹר נֻקַּרְתֶּם.

Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD; look unto the rock whence ye were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye were digged.

2nd Nephi 8:1

Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.

Note: Masoretic has ye that seek The Lord. The BHS also indicates other manuscripts have different verb forms on some of the verbs in the last clause of the verse but none omit ye that seek the Lord. It is interesting to think this phrase could have been added later as the brass plates or at least Jacobs quotation would have been written around 600 BC compared to the LX X which would have been composed around 300 or so BC.