Columns General story Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

Where did Mormon baby blessings come from?

Jonathan Stapley, author of “The Power of Godliness” (Oxford University Press). Photo credit: Mary Schenker.

 

Mormons sometimes like to say that they don’t have liturgy or ritual. Not so, counters historian Jonathan Stapley in The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology. Mormon belief and practice are in fact saturated with rituals, and those rituals show us what we value.  

I hope you’ll read the whole book, because it’s groundbreaking (a brag moment: I was his editor), but for my interview with Jonathan I wanted to focus on one chapter in particular. I was struck by the way he traces the evolution of the baby blessing, which is one of those rituals that exists as almost a backdrop to Mormon life. It’s so much a part of the scenery that we forget it has an origin story. — JKR

 

RNS: As early as 1832, Mormons were performing “eighth-day blessings” on the eighth day of a child’s life. Where did that practice come from?

Jonathan Stapley: The eighth day is significant in scripture from the Hebrew traditions of circumcision, and there is in Joseph Smith’s Bible revision manuscript some talk about circumcision as evincing the fact that children are without sin. That they’re not accountable. So there are these early inferences.

But eighth-day blessings were something that people did and no one said exactly why, and in many ways that’s emblematic of all of Mormon liturgy. We have these commands to baptize or administer the Lord’s Supper, for example, but exactly how is left to the individuals who are administering to figure out.

RNS: Why were Mormons even doing baby blessings, since babies were not old enough to be baptized? What does the blessing accomplish?

Stapley: When Joseph Smith revealed the Articles and Covenants [now D&C 20] that included the exhortation to have babies blessed, there weren’t really other Christian churches doing this. Other Christians baptized their children.

So I think there is this natural impulse to bring our children into the communion of the church even before baptism—and have them take the sacrament and be recorded on the rolls of the church. It’s an important demarcation that they are part of the body of Christ.

RNS: One thing that surprised me about early Mormon history is these “mass blessings” of babies and children. Baby blessings are so highly individualized now that it’s hard to imagine babies being blessed as a large group.

Stapley: Mormons today are very used to highly regimented worship schedules, but for early Mormons that wasn’t the case. You don’t see the same amount of scheduling of rituals.

But I will say that you do see something similar today in lived Mormonism. When someone gets baptized today where I live in Seattle, it’s very much a family affair, and it’s often up to the family to decide the service. But if you go to Utah, you’ll often have a ward or stake baptismal service, and there might be dozens of children being baptized.

So you’ll see a little bit of that same impulse with 19th-century baby blessings. At a conference of the church, people who hadn’t had the chance to have their children blessed would all bring them to the conference, and you might have a hundred babies blessed. During the trail west, there wasn’t a lot of time or ability to have regular liturgical practices, so in Utah, especially during the Reformation [1856–57], there was a desire to return to traditional practice, so you have many children being blessed.

RNS: You point out in the chapter that there’s a move over time for this ritual to be performed by fathers rather than bishops or other church leaders. How does this happen, and when?

Stapley: To begin with, church hierarchs like Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and others did often bless their own children and grandchildren. But the majority of Latter-day Saints in the 19th century had their children blessed by their bishops or other church leaders.

After Brigham Young dies, John Taylor [Young’s successor] is a Joseph Smith fundamentalist: he wants to cull Brigham Young’s more extravagant policies and teachings, and focus on the Articles and Covenants. That says to bring the children to the church and have them blessed by the elders. If you also want to bless your baby on the eighth day, that’s fine, but you still have to bring them to church.

So for a while you get this dual blessing, into the 20th century. Some leaders, like Joseph F. Smith [LDS president from 1901–1918], are focusing on a new conception of priesthood for the 20th century that elevates Mormon fatherhood and manhood. He wants the father to do the blessing. And being older, he remembers that the eighth day is traditional. But younger leaders don’t understand that, and they focus on bringing the baby to church. So ultimately the compromise, the resolution, is to bring the baby to church, but to have the father do the blessing.

Then for the rest of the 20th century, you see this huge emphasis on it being a duty of Mormon manhood for fathers to claim their children as their own through this ritual. The baby blessing is so much associated with fatherhood that church leaders begin to allow even non-member fathers or priesthood holders to join in the circle, because it’s such a performative duty of Mormon maleness.

RNS: When did that change? When did they begin preventing men who didn’t hold the priesthood from being in the blessing circle?

Stapley: Not until 1989. It was a slow declension, but it was in 1989 that they formally stopped it.

RNS: Where do women fit in? Is there historical precedent for women to hold their babies during a blessing?

Stapley: Like many aspects of regular worship, we don’t have a tremendous amount of documentation of precise details. It’s rare to find that babies were blessed, let alone how or when or who participated. But we do have examples of women holding their babies, like with Wilford and Phoebe Woodruff during the Nauvoo era, where Phoebe is holding the child and Wilford is doing the blessing. I think it’s safe to assume that it happened, but it was not an exclusive practice. Men would also do blessings without the mothers holding the babies.

Recently, there have been many women who are interested in holding their babies during blessings in our contemporary practice. I highlight several examples of people in the book who went to their bishops and stake presidents for formal permission. In some cases, moms have been allowed to hold their babies, and in other cases they’ve been explicitly denied access to the blessing circle.

RNS: Are there other historical examples of ways that women used to participate in the liturgy but they are excluded from doing so today?

Stapley: Yes, there’s actually a lot. Perhaps the largest area of practice—which is perhaps somewhat foreign to many Mormons today—is female participation in the healing liturgy. Women regularly participated in healing and blessing the sick into the 20th century.

You also see women as witnesses for baptisms and even sealings in the temple. It wasn’t until 1976 that only priesthood officers could be witnesses for baptisms. We don’t have a firm date for when that changed on temple sealings, but it’s recent. In 1959, the First Presidency formally approved women to be witnesses for sealings in the temple. It’s less clear when that stopped after 1959.

RNS: Overall, what would you say have been the biggest changes in baby blessings?

Stapley: Early on you see this focus on the eighth-day blessing, especially during the Zion period of the early 1830s. There’s this impulse to record the blessing in what they called the Book of Remembrance, which was a kind of cosmic record that tracked inheritance in the city of Zion. It’s a durable testament to the child’s belonging in Zion.

After Zion collapses and the focus moves to the temple, you see the focus of baby blessings shift to the promises of the eternal and durable network of relationships through sealings. We have some actual blessing texts that enunciate the child’s position in this sealed network of heaven.

And then in the 20th century, you see this emphasis on what a Mormon man has to do. This is the job of a dad. This is his thing. You see church leaders really focusing on how it’s the dad’s job to bless and ultimately, to baptize, confirm, and give father’s blessings. There’s a whole host of activities that start to center around the priesthood duties of a father.

 

 

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

28 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • Mother’s should NEVER be excluded from holding their infants during this ritual. Shame on the Men who prevent it!

  • No doubt there is money to be made in said ritual considering the business acumen of the LDS.

  • How? Who’s profiting? The father of the child generally gives the blessing, so there’s no one to pay directly in exchange for religious services (which doesn’t happen anyway in the LDS Church). I’ve asked you that question before, and you didn’t answer.

  • I understand the impulse to allow women to hold their infant during the blessing, and I can’t think of any doctrinal or policy reason to wholesale prevent it, but I think it’s important to recognize that a father’s blessing of his child is the first sacred interaction that the father has with that child. The mother has carried the child for nine months, and literally nurtures the child. Fathers have no such natural opportunity to form a sacred connection with their child, but the baby blessing provides that.

  • Right. It’s a critical part of a vast conspiracy to get people to give money so that a few people can rake in the same salary as a college professor at the end of their lives after already building more lucrative careers elsewhere.

    You are delusional.

  • https://www.exmormon.org/d6/drupal/How-Mormon-General-Authorities-are-Paid tries to get to the dollars of the matter but it is tough to do since the books are kept secret with only the fortune teller and the 12 guys having access.

    An excerpt:

    “The LDS Church has become one of Nebraska’s largest landowners with the purchase of 88,000 acres in the western part of the statethat it will use to raise cattle.

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints paid $17.6 million last month for the land south of Alliance, about 60 miles from the Nebraska-Wyoming border.

    “Through its investment arm, Farmland Reserve Inc., the Church began buying land in Nebraska in the early 1990s and held more than 140,000 acres before its most recent purchase, said Robert Lamoreaux, vice president of livestock for Farmland Management Co., which manages the church’s land holdings.

    “‘We’re in business for profit, and of course the profits go to the Church,’ Lamoreaux said. . . .

    ” . . . [T]he Mormon church–which is exempt from a state ban on corporate farms and ranches because of its nonprofit status– is now a major player among Nebraska landowners.

    “Church President Gordon B. Hinckley sees farm land as a safe investment that carries the potential of feeding people in a time of need, Lamoreaux said.

    “John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, said deep-pocket out-of-state interests put smaller landowners–who need to borrow money to buy land–at a disadvantage.

    “Smaller ranches are not able to make as much of a profit while paying off debt. That leads to some ranches being consolidated and ultimately the disappearance of rural communities, Hansen said.

    “Lamoreaux said ranches owned by the Church aim to have a high quality product produced under environmentally sensitive conditions.

    “‘Anybody can be big,’ Lamoreaux said. ‘We try and be good.'”

    (“LDS Church Buys 88,000 Acres in Nebraska,” by “Associated Press,” 7 October 2004, at: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,595096557,00.html)

    **********

  • Great. So a large institution with vast operations also owns a lot of assets. This is unsurprising. It says nothing about individuals getting rich.

  • I don’t think that link says that. Are you using industry averages? You clearly don’t understand how to read these Bloomberg reports. Your hack job approach to sources illustrates your total incompetence in understanding religion, business, taxes, and generally how the world works. You consistently post information that is irrelevant, false, or frequently both.

    But let’s assume that the executives of Deseret Management were compensated at the industry average. How does that enrich the people making the decisions? How are the General Authorities making money by paying Keith McMullin and Sheri Dew salaries at the going market rate?

  • Mmm, I challenge that standing in a church bouncing a baby up and down with a bunch of other guys is such a sacred opportunity. I would suggest opportunities for sacred bonding abound within the home. Furthermore, there’s no reason why if the mother gets enough flack from the bishop they can’t just bless the child at home. I mean what’s the bishop going to do? Say a prayer of rescission nullifying the blessing?

    At least the old handbook of instructions made allowances for blessings at home. Of course, only if authorized by the bishop. But screw that. As a parent, I don’t need some bishop to grant me authority to bless my child when and where I choose. I certainly don’t see god withholding blessings under such circumstances. Think John Candy in Vacation. “Sorry. Wally World is closed.” And any god who would withhold blessings under those circumstances needs worship review, as in, do I really want to worship somebody liike that?

  • And at least we have moved beyond the days when the Church deducted tithes along with the usual state & federal taxes from Church employee paychecks!

    Now they have a choice about returning the 10%.

  • Would a father require the Bishop’s permission to bless their mortally ill child and release them from earthly responsibilities?

  • Obviously, the LDS managers have not taken the vow of poverty akin to the life of Jesus. But again the LDS is a business cult fronting as followers of Jesus. And as per one of the references, your fortune taker/teller lives in a $1.5 million dollar mansion . Then there is that new LDS mall. Then there are those closed accounting books forcing the likes of Bloomberg to estimate Mormon executive salaries.

  • Ok, so you don’t have an answer to my question. Good to know.

    “Obviously, the LDS managers have not taken the vow of poverty akin to the life of Jesus.” Jesus received expensive gifts early in his life and during his ministry. There’s no “vow of poverty” in the scriptures.

    “But again the LDS is a business cult fronting as followers of Jesus.” Using your thesis as evidence of your thesis?! For shame!

    “And as per one of the references, your fortune taker/teller lives in a $1.5 million dollar mansion.” Vague attribution. No idea who you’re referring to or what “reference” you are describing.

    “Then there is that new LDS mall.” Who’s getting rich off that?

    “Then there are those closed accounting books forcing the likes of Bloomberg to estimate Mormon executive salaries.” Non-publicly traded companies don’t have to open their books. I don’t even see an attempt by Bloomberg to estimate salaries. Again, you don’t even understand your own sources.

  • “Jesus received expensive gifts early in his life”. No, he did not. The “infancy” stories are all myths. There were no three kings, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, Matt 2: 11 See for example for the rigorous historic analyses of these myths at http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb007.html.

    Gifts during his ministry? What might have those been? His crucifixion, our gift to to him so he can atone for our sins? Give us a break!! Atone for your own sins.

    “In the ‘Salt Lake Tribune,’ Dec. 8, 1988, we read:

    “’The $1.2 million condominium at 40 N. State that is home to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be exempt from property taxes, Salt Lake County commissioners ruled Tuesday.’

    http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=54478720&itype=CMSID

    “In late March, the LDS Church completed an ambitious project: a megamall. Built for about $2 billion, the City Creek Center stands across the street from the faith’s iconic Salt Lake Temple.” vs. feeding a lot of starving Syrian immigrants.

    And the Bloomberg review of the Deseret CEOs: https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=837574

    “CEO COMPENSATION IN THIS INDUSTRY Industry RangeSalary556.0K

    Bonus 446.0 K

    Total Short Term Compensation 652.5 K

    Total Value of Options $1.5M

    Compensation as of Fiscal Year

    Deseret Management Corporation CEO Compensation

    Industry Average”

  • You can’t assume the historicity of the New Testament when it suits you (Jesus’ general lifestyle) and reject it when it doesn’t (receiving gifts). It’s intellectually dishonest (something that you are clearly very familiar with). And yes, Jesus received–just off the top of my head–expensive ointments from the woman at Bethany, a procession with palm fronds upon entry to Jerusalem, and a new tomb from Joseph of Arimathea.

    The $1.2 million figure from 1988 is for the entire building, which houses many condos, not the condo occupied by the prophet. And again, really, you think Russel M. Nelson is running some kind of a racket so that he could leave his extremely remunerative job as a world-renowned heart surgeon and retirement to a large home in Park City or something in order to live in a borrowed condo in downtown Salt Lake City? Really?

    And again, you seem to be incapable of reading the Bloomberg data correctly. You’re looking at industry averages. The biggest chunk of that compensation the “Total Value of Options” which doesn’t apply to Deseret Management because it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Church.

    You don’t understand money. You don’t understand basic fact-reading. You don’t understand religion. Your constant spamming of these pages with poorly researched, irrelevant, and often incoherent ramblings contributes nothing of value.

  • Part of the answer may simply be the same answer to why late 1800s American Judaism adopted confirmation. The bar mitzvah already existed as a coming-of-age ceremony. While the putative answer is that 13 is too young to take on adult responsibilities, the underlying reason was that they wanted to adopt what they saw as prevailing American Christian custom. So just as LDS had believer baptism, they still were missing a ceremony for the baby. Enter baby blessings.

  • Might want to check the Bloomberg reference more closely as the graphs show where the estimated Deseret executive salaries and perks fit on the graphs.

    And obviously you know nothing about rigorous historic testing. If you did you would know that Jesus’ other gifts were also myths. Get back to us when you escape the Book of Mormon and NT boxes.

    And your newest fortune teller? I am sure your imaginary Moroni told him to take the job . I am sure the free retirement home and nice perks had nothing to do with it.

  • “Might want to check the Bloomberg reference more closely as the graphs show where the estimated Deseret executive salaries and perks fit on the graphs.” So you want to use a source that does not give particular numbers, lists benefits that don’t make any sense given the entity it is reporting on, does not have supporting documentation for its estimates in order to back up your claim for a number that apparently is not even derived from the numbers you are citing? Look up each of the individuals listed on the Bloomberg page. Bloomberg does not have information on any of them. So how are they coming up with an average? The answer is easy: Bloomberg is just using industry averages.

    “And obviously you know nothing about rigorous historic testing. If you did you would know that Jesus’ other gifts were also myths.” Trying to have it both ways again, eh? Jesus was a myth, but LDS leaders aren’t following that myth, except the parts of the myth that you like. Cool story, bro.

    “I am sure the free retirement home and nice perks had nothing to do with it.” I think this is sarcastic, but you still haven’t made the case that the “perks” are a motivating factor. Assuming President Nelson lives in the condo, it’s because his schedule requires it. Given his career, I’m sure Nelson could be living a much more luxurious retirement had he stuck with heart surgery.

  • Your right about Bloomberg numbers but they did draw in the lines for the Deseret bosses so your beef is with them and with the prophet and his minions about not telling the stock-tither holders the salaries they are paying these people.

    The NT by rigorous historic testing is only 33% authentic. Jesus existed but his life was heavily embellished by M, M, and L. Might want to read some books and studies other than the Book of Mormon. Professor Crossan’s studies published in 10 + books on the historic Jesus is a good place to start. Get back to us when you finish for some added recommendations.

    And again you fail to note Nelson’s call from Moroni to live in the squalor of Salt Lake City.

  • I think it’s telling that you blame your own source for the misinformation. Part of making an argument is evaluating a source before using it.

    I’m certain I have read more scholarly treatment of the New Testament than you have. For example, you missed an opportunity to take a dig at Q, and your 33% figure is taken from thin air. John Dominic Crossan has done some good work, but he is far from authoritative, and other even non-religious scholars disagree with some of his fundamental assumptions.

  • So I will complain to the authoritative Bloomberg Finance Department and you complain to your fortune teller and his minions for their lack of transparency i.e. taxation/tithing without representation.

    Non-religious scholars are sitting in judgment of Professor Crossan? How does that work if they are non-religious. And please give us your list of NT scholarly treatment references you have read.

    Some added recommendations for your library and perusal:

    From Professors Crossan and Watts’ book,
    Who is Jesus.

    That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states,
    is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

    “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very
    hard to imagine that Jesus’ followers would have invented such a story unless
    it indeed happened.

    “While the brute fact that ofJ esus’ death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. ”

    “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was
    arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in
    the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

    I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas
    either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the
    festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a
    few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or
    Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with
    which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those “last week”
    details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are
    prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered.”

    See also Professor Crossan’s reviews of the existence of Jesus in his
    other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with
    Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

    Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published
    similar books with appropriate supporting references.

    rt of Crossan’s The Historical Jesus has been published online at
    books.google.com/books.

    here is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the
    opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

    See also Wikipedia’s review on the historical Jesus to include the
    Tacitus’ reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.
    from ask.com,f

    “One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is
    a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second
    centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals,
    exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to
    time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward
    what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not
    blunt) writing style.
    Then there are these scriptural references:

    Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20;
    6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John
    19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b)
    1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b;
    (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion
    org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

    Added suggested readings:

    1. Historical Jesus Theories,
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the
    contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books
    on the subject.

    Early Christian Writings,
    earlychristianwritings.com/

    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative

    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q

    50-60 1 Thessalonians

    50-60 Philippians

    50-60 Galatians

    50-60 1 Corinthians

    50-60 2 Corinthians

    50-60 Romans

    50-60 Philemon

    50-80 Colossians

    50-90 Signs Gospel

    50-95 Book of Hebrews

    50-120 Didache

    50-140 Gospel of Thomas

    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel

    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ

    65-80 Gospel of Mark

    70-100 Epistle of James

    70-120 Egerton Gospel

    70-160 Gospel of Peter

    70-160 Secret Mark

    70-200 Fayyum Fragment

    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion

    80-100 2 Thessalonians

    80-100 Ephesians

    80-100 Gospel of Matthew

    80-110 1 Peter

    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas

    80-130 Gospel of Luke

    80-130 Acts of the Apostles

    80-140 1 Clement

    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians

    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews

    80-250 Christian Sibyllines

    90-95 Apocalypse of John

    90-120 Gospel of John

    90-120 1 John

    90-120 2 John

    90-120 3 John

    90-120 Epistle of Jude

    93 Flavius Josephus

    100-150 1 Timothy

    100-150 2 Timothy

    100-150 T-itus

    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter

    100-150 Secret Book of James

    100-150 Preaching of Peter

    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites

    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans

    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas

    100-160 2 Peter

    4. Jesus Database,
    http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an
    online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings
    of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era.
    It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to
    the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”

    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm

    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

    7.
    http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html
    – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT

    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman,
    Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

    9.The Gn-ostic Jesus

    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Anient and Modern Gnosticism)

    by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/gnosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/

    10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical
    Commission

    Presented on March 18, 1994

    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:

    wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?title=Jesus_Database

    12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:

    faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html

    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:

    mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm

    13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies

    14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

    15. D-iseases in the Bible:

    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the
    hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,

    theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/

    17.
    The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/

    18
    Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.

    n-tgat-eway.com/

    19. JD Crossan’s c-onclusions about the
    a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other
    NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:

    http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory

    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books
    by t-itle with the complete translated work in English
    :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html

    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?

    in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

    22. NT and beyond time line:

    pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/

    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of
    important events:

    harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm

    24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD
    Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books
    are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be
    found on-line at Google Books.

    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom
    as found in his books.

    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd
    Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and
    Bishop NT Wright.

    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY,
    1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

    Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical
    Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]

    Bart D. Ehrman (Author)

    Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy
    theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of
    religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole
    cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was
    Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical
    evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the bible?

    In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible
    expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions, vigorously defends the
    historicity of Jesus, and provides a compelling portrait of the man from
    Nazareth. The Jesus you discover here may not be the Jesus you had hoped to
    meet—but he did exist, whether we like it or not.

  • Good gravy. Another cut and paste bomb. When you do this kind of thing, you don’t even have the courtesy to eliminate extraneous returns.

    “i.e. taxation/tithing without representation.” This is beyond stupid. A tithe is voluntary. Don’t like it? Don’t pay it. It is nothing like taxation.

    “Non-religious scholars are sitting in judgment of Professor Crossan? How does that work if they are non-religious.” This is barely coherent. Yes, believe it or not, some believers disagree with other believers, and even atheists sometimes disagree with atheists (along with everything in between). Among others, you will find that non-religious scholars such as Robert Price, Richard Carrier (to name only two) carry assumptions that are fundamentally incompatible with Crossan’s work.

  • You cut and paste from your holy book. I cut, paste and bomb you with reality. Get back to us when you escape from your mythical angel and absurd book of Smithisms.

    And Robert Price is a theologian beholding to his religion for his job of spouting the literal
    word of the NT i.e trapped in a box of myths and embellishments.

  • I don’t cut and paste from my holy book, actually. I’m not aware of any time I have quoted scripture to you other than to refute some argument you’ve made about what scripture says.

    Who is the “us”? Do you have dissociative identity disorder?

  • We are the realists realizing that your library is insufficient in its collection of historical studies of the historical Jesus. You now have a list at no charge.

ADVERTISEMENTs