Bible

Jul 18, 2011
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Inserts: The Books of the New Testament Chronologically

Have you ever read the New Testament in chronological order? Well now you can with this downloadable guide. Several of these dates and even the order of some of these books are still in question, but from what I could find, these dates are pretty close.

It’s interesting to note that the earliest NT book we have is the Book of James that contains that ever so important verse in chapter one ;) It’s also interesting to note when the different gospels were written.

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(dates are approximate)

50 A.D. – James
50 A.D. – Matthew
51 A.D. – 1 Thessalonians
51 A.D. – 2 Thessalonians
53 A.D. – Galatians
55 A.D. – 1 Corinthians
55 A.D. – 2 Corinthians
57 A.D. – Romans
60 A.D. – Colossians
60 A.D. – Ephesians
60 A.D. – Philemon
60 A.D. – Mark
60 A.D. – 1 Peter
63 A.D. – Philippians
63 A.D. – Acts
63 A.D. – Hebrews
63 A.D. – Titus
63 A.D. – 1 Timothy
63 A.D. – 2 Timothy
68 A.D. – 2 Peter
70 A.D. – Luke
70 A.D. – John
65-80 A.D. – Jude
85-90 A.D. – 1,2,3 John
54-96 A.D. – Revelation

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May 9, 2011
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Joseph Smith on Three Truths

“We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true.” (TPJS 147-48)

I love the simplicity in that statement. Joseph Smith it seems was trying to make a powerful statement about the importance and divine origins for the Constitution of the United States by placing it between God and the Bible and thereby elevating it to the level of scripture.

The Constitution of the United States has brought more than just liberty and good government to the world, the results of liberty have spawned technological revolutions that have launched mankind by leaps and bounds into prosperity and knowledge.

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Mar 30, 2011
1 min read

*UPDATED: Possible First Century Christian Lead Plates Discovered in Jordan

I actually came across this today at TempleStudy.com and thought it was absolutely fascinating! I love ancient artifacts especially when those artifacts give us new light into the past. If these lead plates are found to be authentic, there are some major implications in so many areas that I haven’t even had time to collect my thoughts on the subject!

One of the most significant features of the plates are their ties to ancient Christianity. It would make these documents the oldest Christian documents ever discovered in this region and can shed some new light into what some of these early believers taught and understood about the Gospel.

Then there are the obvious similarities of these records to the Book of Mormon, the original version written of plates of Gold and bound together with three rings. Here are the lead plates:

***UPDATE (Sat, April 2, 2011):

It appears that more and more there is evidence that these are indeed incredible forgeries. TempleStudy.com has a great write up on the current state of these ‘plates’. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what the investigations reveal about their origins; very interesting…

http://www.templestudy.com/2011/03/31/jordanian-lead-plates-authentic-forgery/#more-2396
http://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/on-the-lead-vs-bronze-codices/

These aren’t the only examples of ancient people writing on metal plates, here are some photos of several other authentic records that have been discovered:

Links

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Jan 30, 2011
0 min read

Documentary: That Promised Day

This is an amazing documentary and I’m so glad that the story is finally able to be told for all of us to enjoy!

Link to BYU TV

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Dec 27, 2010
6 min read

The Sower, the Tree of Life and the Degrees of Glory

We have a parable and two visions to look at here. The parable of the sower is a familiar New Testament parable related by Jesus Christ to a multitude from a ship on the sea shore about the various types of ground certain seeds were cast on to. The first vision is an account in the Book of Mormon by a prophet named Lehi who sees a vision revolving around a tree of life and a description of the various types of people he observes. The second vision is an account from Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants concerning the degrees of glory that exist in the hereafter and a description of the characteristics of those inhabitants.

The Sower

In the parable of the sower, we are taught by the Master about seeds cast into various situations and what the consequences were. The parable is found in Matthew 13 in the New Testament.

  1. Good ground: (Brought forth fruit; some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.)
    Interpretation: To those that hear the word and understand it, they will all bear fruit but at varying degrees.
  2. The way side: (Fowls came and devoured them up)
    Interpretation: When any one hears the word of the kingdom, but doesn’t understand it the adversary can come and steal away whatever was sown in his heart.
  3. Thorns: (The thorns sprung up, and choked them.)
    Interpretation: This is one that hears the word, but the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word.
  4. Stony places: (There was not much earth so when they sprung up they were scorched by the sun because they had no root and they withered away.)
    Interpretation: This is one that hears the word and receives it gladly but because ‘he hath not root in himself’, he endures for a while but is immediately offended when tribulation and persecution arise.

Lehi’s Vision of the Tree of Life

In Lehi’s vision there are multitudes of people pressing towardRead Full Post

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Nov 29, 2010
4 min read

Defining and understanding “Charity”

They don’t write definitions the way they used to anymore. This is just one more great reason why I love Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. The standard definition for ‘selfish’ is pretty straightforward, but then you come to ‘selfishly’ and then POW, you’ve got some brilliantly delivered doctrine!

SELF’ISHLY, adv. The exclusive of a person to his own interest or happiness; or that supreme self-love or self-preference, which leads a person in his actions to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power or happiness, without regarding the interest of others. Selfishness, in its worst or unqualified sense, is the very essence of human depravity, and it stands in direct opposition to benevolence, which is the essence of the divine character. As God is love, so man, in his natural state, is selfishness.

So if we want to dig a little deeper here, we will find a profound truth. We are used to two ends of a spectrum in our faith, we usually speak of pride and humility. But, in my opinion there is something more specifically worse than pride and infinitely greater than humility; it is selfishness on one end and at the other end, charity, which is the benevolence of Christ.

So what isRead Full Post

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Oct 3, 2010
26 min read

How are we “Saved”?

These questions are prompted by the occasional run-ins I have had with those of other religious traditions. Most of the time, certain verses are put forth as ‘the’ definition of how one obtains salvation. I have heard and seen some of these verses being quoted by people of other religious traditions almost like they stand independent of what the rest of the scriptures have to say. So I decided to lay out and categorize some of the New Testament verses that seem the most specific in saying ‘do this’ and ‘the same shall be saved’.

Belief or Faith

  • “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)
  • “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.” (Luke 18:42)

Read Full Post

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Aug 13, 2010
2 min read

The Sacred Number 8

According to research done by Val Brinkerhoff, the number 8 seems to be tied to the concepts of rebirth and purification, both in scripture and sacred architecture. Below are a few examples:

To the Israelites, the 8th was the day after the Read Full Post

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Aug 12, 2010
31 min read

A Look At The Doctrine of The Trinity

For the most part, mainstream Christianity views the Godhead from the perspective of the Nicene Creed (323 A.D.) which only looked at the ‘oneness’ of the Father and the Son, and the Athanasian Creed (which originated around 500 A.D.) which was the first creed to vocalize equality of the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost into a ‘Trinity”. It is still a hotly contested issue to this day. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims it’s view of the Godhead from the eyewitness accounts of modern apostles and prophets.

Both views of God were brought to us by men. The Trinitarian view has evolved through time out of councils, debates and defined in creeds; the LDS view is claimed to have come from revelation. That said, let’s take a look and see what the scriptures have to say on the matter.

“The Book of Mormon teaches the doctrine of the Trinity better than the Bible.”

Believe it or not, while serving as a full-time missionary, this was a statement made by a woman that was not a Latter-day Saint. She shared a few verses from the Book of Mormon that she thought were beautiful Trinitarian scriptures. She asked us why we didn’t believe the doctrine of the Trinity if that is what our book taught. Good question.

I took a minute to think about that since I had never been asked or even thought of that question before. After a moment, I mentioned how before publishing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith had already claimed to see the Father AND the Son and that they were two distinct beings. I suggested that it was possible that those whoRead Full Post

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