Mormonism LIVE: 055: Christmas & The Historical Jesus

Bill Reel and RFM take a look at the Historical Jesus and hit on the main points that Biblical criticism brings into focus and once they are done, your Christmases may never be the same.

Jesus son of Mary – Illegitimate birth. Mark infers. The early church theologian Origen (d. 251 CE) has a polemical tract in which he writes an apologetic for Jesus’ virgin birth against Celsus, a pagan skeptic of Christianity (around 178 CE). Celsus was a proponent of the idea that the virgin birth story was a fiction invented by Jesus, when the truth was (as he apparently believed) Jesus was the biological product of his mother and a Roman soldier named Pantera. Also Virgin births were a common trope and polemic device in ancient mythology.

  • Manger – ACU scholar Stephen Carlson writes that the word “kataluma” (often translated “inn”) refers to guest quarters. Most likely, Joseph and Mary stayed with family but the guest room was too small for childbirth and hence Mary gave birth in the main room of the house where animal mangers could also be found. use the links below from Dan McllellanManger/Inn – Scripture Translation Supervisor for the LDS Church, PhD in theology and religion https://www.tiktok.com/@maklelan/video/7037619189456358703?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

 

More on the nativity – Daniel McClellan https://www.tiktok.com/@maklelan/video/7037685245172256046?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1 Traditional Account of the nativity – Daniel McClellan Scripture Translation Supervisor for the LDS Church, PhD in theology and religionhttps://www.tiktok.com/@maklelan/video/7040144974750731566?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1 Inconsistencies in the narrative – Matthew and Luke, the only Christian gospels which give us the virgin birth story, contain problematic details-both internally and in comparison to each other. For example, it’s been pointed out often that Luke’s dating of the census (while Quirinius was governor of Syria) in Luke is problematic. There are also difficulties when the accounts are compared to each other. The two genealogies don’t exactly reinforce each other and there are a number of striking differences when compared alongside each other–in particular the migration to Egypt in Matthew (2:13-14) which is completely absent from Luke. In Luke’s account, Mary and Joseph take Jesus home immediately to Nazareth (2:39-40), with no reference to a flight to Egypt or a conflict with Herod. Live in Bethlehem? – According to the Matthean infancy narrative, Joseph and Mary are natives to Bethlehem! They live in their house there! Houses would be part of patriarchal compounds with as many as 50 to 100 people.  There is no Lukan manger mentioned, and definitely no stables! The author “Matthew” expects his audience to understand this, being that he writes for people equipped with culturally-appropriate auxiliary background information. We Western Christians, reading with spurious familiarity, are blind to this. Did the Holy Family go from Bethlehem to Jerusalem and then straight back to Nazareth, as “Luke” tells us? Or did they reside in Bethlehem, give birth to Jesus there, live about two years there until the magi come, then flee to Egypt, then some years after go to a place they’ve never been to before and take up residence there, as “Matthew” says? (No need to read the following but in case someone asks why 2 years – Notably, the magi visit Jesus in a house (not an inn or stable) and their visit is as late as two years after the birth. Matthew 2:16 records King Herod’s orders to kill baby boys up to the age of two based on the report about Jesus’s age from the magi. This delay is why most Christian churches celebrate the visit of the magi on “Epiphany” or January 6) the slaughter of the innocents – given that Bethlehem probably had fewer than 1,000 residents, it’s possible the slaughter of the innocents involved just three or four babies, Witherington said. “We’re not talking about streets lined with dead babies,” Witherington told Live Science. In a world full of brutality and violence, it’s not clear the death of a few no-name babies in a sleepy village would have made the history books. Erroneous History about a Census – A similar situation exists with the Lukan census of the whole world when Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:1–2). This census was presumably made when Herod the Great reigned over Judea (1:5), and who was alive when Jesus was born and for some time after. Copious records exist from the time of Caesar Augustus’ reign (27 BCE—14 CE). These records describe many events during that reign, particularly the most important. None of them mention anything about a worldwide census. And consider how “Luke” describes this census: people must return to the home of their ancestors. Consider what the Empire would look like in order to accomplish that—throngs of millions migrating all over for the census. And yet all historical records remain silent on it? In his own history, Augustus himself fails to mention this achievement! That’s simply not credible.

 

RESOURCES: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/messyinspirations/2019/12/history-discrepancies-jesus-birth/ https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unsystematictheology/2016/03/six-problems-with-the-virgin-birth-biblical-and-historical-perspective/

 

https://theconversation.com/what-history-really-tells-us-about-the-birth-of-jesus-89444

 

http://www.paulonpaul.org/jesus/narr_2_birth.htm

 

https://www.livescience.com/49228-nativity-story-facts-history.html https://tabletalkmagazine.com/posts/the-controversial-birth-of-jesus/ https://www.patheos.com/blogs/messyinspirations/2019/12/different-jesus-birth-stories/

 

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Mormonism LIVE: 051: Denver Snuffer

Wednesday Nov. 24th, RFM and Bill sat down with Denver Snuffer and discuss his life and the happenings around the Christian fellowships of “the Remnants” movement. Denver Snuffer is an author of Restorationist devotional books, a lecturer, a speculative theologian, and a revelator to fellowships of the remnants movement, a spiritual movement in schism with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The movement has a few thousand adherents, many of them members or former members of the LDS Church. He was excommunicated by the LDS Church in 2013 for refusing to cease publication of his 2011 book, Passing the Heavenly Gift which challenges many points of LDS orthodoxy. He subsequently has been identified as a prophet by many, and several of his teachings have been canonized as scripture.

RESOURCES:

https://denversnuffer.com/

https://medium.com/the-seer-stone/mormonism-has-a-new-religion-and-it-has-a-prophet-named-denver-snuffer-282f5e24df1e

https://kutv.com/news/local/lds-church-holds-special-meeting-to-denounce-false-prophet

http://ldspioneerarchitecture.blogspot.com/2016/02/architecture-highlights-prayer-circle.html

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Mormonism LIVE: 050: Bigfoot, Cain, & Prophetic Mormon Mythmaking

Preparing on a short week with our focus on Thrive & the Midnight Mormon’s Debate with RFM has us selecting an interesting topic that is light and fun. So Wednesday November 17th RFM and Bill Reel dive into the old folklore surrounding Bigfoot being none other than Cain. The origination story, and how Prophets, Seer’s, and Revelators have turned a strange story into some sort of pseudo doctrine, How FairMormon really screwed the pooch, and how Mormonism’s and Sasquatch’s narratives intertwine in other strange places you may not have seen coming.

RESOURCES:

Is Cain Bigfoot? The Truth Behind 5 Mormon Folklore Stories – https://www.ldsliving.com/is-cain-bigfoot-the-truth-behind-5-mormon-folklore-stories/s/64534

Awareness of racism eased Mormon folk tales regarding Cain, Bigfoot https://www.standard.net/lifestyle/2015/oct/18/awareness-of-racism-eased-mormon-folk-tales-regarding-cain-big/

Bigfoot In Mormon lore … is Bigfoot Cain?
https://utahstories.com/2019/07/bigfoot-in-mormon-lore-is-bigfoot-cain/

Journal of Mormon History Vol. 33, No. 3, 2007 (pg 74) https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1051&context=mormonhistory

Question: Does Cain still roam the earth, and does this account for stories about “Bigfoot”? – FAIR https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Question:_Does_Cain_still_roam_the_earth,_and_does_this_account_for_stories_about_%22Bigfoot%22%3F

Mormon theory of Bigfoot traces monster to Garden of Eden
https://www.syracuse.com/strangecny/2008/02/morman_theory_of_bigfoot_trace.html

The Mormon Bigfoot Genesis Theory – 10 Zen Monkeys
http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2008/02/05/the-mormon-bigfoot-genesis-theory/

When Cain Appeared to Joseph Fielding Smith’s Brother & Talked with an Apostle
https://www.ldsliving.com/when-cain-appeared-to-joseph-fielding-smiths-brother-talked-with-an-apostle/s/83424

The Mark of the Curse: Lingering Racism in Mormon Doctrine?
https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/45228364.pdf

Poems 476–507 – Eliza R. Snow Lexicon https://erslexicon.wordpress.com/poems-476-507/

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/11/Cain-Bigfoot-Mathew-Bowman.pdf

https://archive.org/details/lifeofdavidwpatt00wilsrich/page/44/mode/2up

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/45228364.pdf http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/DPatten.html (nothing about Cain)

https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/c7b775e0-ef6c-4ebe-b205-f159d8f4cdd7/0/1

https://www.dropbox.com/s/d5811ffxhgbph5v/MS_603-David_W_Patten_journal-ORIGINAL.pdf?dl=0 (Nothing about Cain)

https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/51730/p

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Mormonism LIVE: 045: Mormonism and Macbeth

Radio Free Mormon takes Bill Reel and the rest of us through Shakespeare’s Macbeth in order to connect some dot in Mormonism on two issues. The First is the Apologetic response that if the critic can’t explain how something is done then it must be a miracle and second how Church Leaders always seem ambiguous on the issue of having seen Christ.

RESOURCES:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1971/04/the-spirit-beareth-record?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/04/the-witness?lang=eng

https://youtu.be/g0js6xWv6bc?t=3453

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAt4Od0teNg&t=545s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrMJ2YZD62M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xRO4nPbrxk

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Mormonism LIVE: 044: Straw Man vs Steel Man: A Lesson In Rational Thinking

Today we take a look at the Logical Fallacy of the Straw Man argument and juxtapose it against what it means to Steel Man someone. A Straw Man argument is when you misrepresent someone’s argument to make it easier to attack. We define a Straw Man argument, share an example, discuss how to incorporate good faith in a disagreement by instead choosing to Steel Man the disagreement, and then show how Mormonism holds up to the actual argument being made when that argument is represented fairly.

RESOURCES:

 

https://youtu.be/zYVBA8n9-pU?t=25

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2016/08/post-nuanced-view-church-gods-plan/

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2016/10/premium-holy-ghost-conundrum/

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/broadcasts/face-to-face/oaks-ballard?cid=HP_SU_19-11-2017_dPFD_fBCAST_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/apostles-answer-questions-about-standards-doubts-during-ysa-face-to-face?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2004/10/be-not-deceived?lang=eng

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual-2017/chapter-19-doctrine-and-covenants-50?lang=eng

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/how-do-i-recognize-and-understand-the-spirit?lang=eng

https://www.jw.org/en/library/books/good-news-from-god/recognize-true-worshippers/

https://www.learnreligions.com/how-to-find-a-church-700487

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycUvC9s4VYA

https://youtu.be/lwkh_aliF3E

 

https://youtu.be/UJMSU8Qj6Go

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2002/10/the-marvelous-foundation-of-our-faith?lang=eng

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/07/12/commentary-latter-day/

 

https://emp.byui.edu/SATTERFIELDB/Talks/Feb%2015%2019798%20First%20Presidency%20Gods%20Love%20for%20all%20mankind.html

https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2017/12/premium-lucy-walker-spiritual-experiences/

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Mormonism LIVE: 043: Modern Day Mormon Danites

operandi is at work today inside Modern Mormonism through the SCMC, and other people and processes that work to ensure that believing members are kept at arms length from people, voices, and information that is both accurate and contradictory to the inaccurate but faithful dominant narrative.

RESOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danite

https://benjaminepark.com/

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/sensationalism-a-one-sided-perspective/

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2021/09/10/jana-riess-why-did-byu/

https://web.archive.org/web/20210120130850/https:/mi.byu.edu/scholars/benjamin-park/

https://mi.byu.edu/scholars/benjamin-park/

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Mormonism LIVE: 039: When Mission Presidents Behave Badly

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Mormonism LIVE: 035: Will The Real Apostle Please Stand Up !

In this week’s episode of Mormonism Live, we will investigate the integrity of the not only the President of the Church but also the integrity of the Quorum of the 12. Once one grasps the systemic issue within LDS Leadership, One’s trust in them becomes anything other guaranteed.

RESOURCES:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/video/2016-01-1000-worldwide-devotional-january-2016?lang=eng 45:35 – 46:38 Time Stamp

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/04/10/mormon-land-lds-churchs/ 4:47 – 5:46 Time Stamp

In his memoirs, An Abundant Life, Elder Hugh B. Brown explained “the Apostolic Charge” that every apostle is apparently given upon admittance to the Q12. It reads as follows: “Always be willing to subjugate his own thoughts and accept the majority opinion not only to vote for it but to act as though it were his own original opinion after it has been approved by the majority of the council of the twelve and the First Presidency.”

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Mormonism LIVE ! : 027: Spencer Wright – Apologetic Logical Fallacies

We sit down with author, Spencer Wright, to talk about Logical Fallacies. We will examine a few ways in which certain fallacies are used in Mormonism and help the viewer/listener grasp how irrational certain apologetic arguments are. How Mormon Apologists carefully move the person investigating truth claims and history to making room for anything that it possible even if that thing is highly unlikely and do so in ways that one feels comfortable maintaining belief even though that belief may be irrational.

Spencer Wright is the author of the book, “How To Think: Why Rational and Faith Based Thinking Are In Compatible”

RESOURCES:

Spencer’s Book “How To Think” https://www.amazon.com/How-Think-Spencer-K-Wright/dp/1986747069

https://thebestschools.org/magazine/15-logical-fallacies-know/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/common-logical-fallacies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/fallacies/

http://utminers.utep.edu/omwilliamson/ENGL1311/fallacies.htm

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Mormonism LIVE !: 015: Tales of Hofmann

On tonight’s episode RFM and Bill Reel dive further into the Mark Hofmann story exposing Elder Oaks and at the time Elder Gordon B. Hinckley as potentially deceiving and lying about what transpired in their meeting with Hofmann and their efforts to obtain what they believed were authentic and also damaging documents to the Church’s narrative and the faith of its members.  Bill concludes with revealing multiple never before seen documents including the Hofmann’s outline for the forged 116 pages of the book of Lehi, Hofmann’s Psychological evaluation, his education report cards, and a master list of all the signatures/authored documents he forged of famous people.

RESOURCES:

Elder Oaks 1985 talk that includes much around the Hofmann affair including suggesting a Salamander could be interpreted as the angel Moroni – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hAL-qLOISs

Elder Oaks suggesting if we keep the commandments we won’t be deceived while the listener recognizes Elder Oaks, then Elder Gordon B Hinckley, and other leaders were in fact deceived by Hofmann – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hAL-qLOISs

Elder Oaks saying way too much about the Hofmann ordeal that in the end compromises the events as he tells them https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1987/10/recent-events-involving-church-history-and-forged-documents?lang=eng


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Mormonism LIVE !: 013: What Bad Faith Looks Like

Using a recent article in the Church Magazine “Liahona” (Formerly the Ensign) published by the LDS Church, RFM and Bill Reel dissect whether the Church acts in good faith with how it imposes its narrative and who it blames when that narrative is pointed out as not accurate.  When the Church is informed that it is being inaccurate how does the Church respond, both in its rhetoric in terms of who it blames for the problem and what it says it will do about the problem, as well as what it actually does to correct the problem.  The Video version of this episode and all other episodes can be found on youtube at this url  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5n_8_6j00PSeju0hu2CFXQ Please consider donating to Mormonism LIVE ! to help us keep this live show going by CLICKING HERE Swedish Rescue – https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/swedish-rescue-audio/ Blaming the artists for inaccurate depictions https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2015/10/joseph-the-seer?lang=eng Del Parson’s experience with getting Church art approved https://mormonartist.net/interviews/del-parson/ images more current still obscuring the stone and the hat https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2017/12/joseph-smith-strength-out-of-weakness?lang=eng Even after saying they will correct the problem of inaccurate art depictions they again in 2021 display a deeply inaccurate artistic depiction. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2021/01/what-greater-witness-can-you-have-than-from-god?lang=en

MORMONISM LIVE !: 008: Keith Erekson Hoax Expert

We once again develop this weeks episode around Director of the Church History Library, Keith Erekson. Except this time we address his expertise as a hoax expert. No Seriously, this guy is one of the worlds experts on discerning hoaxes. He has written articles, given presentations, and taught in academia about such helping people for years to to discern and deconstruct hoaxes. But catch this….. he has been unable to apply those same tools to his religious beliefs and that is the topic for tonight’s episode

RESOURCES:

https://www.keitherekson.com/2020/03/how-to-detect-a-hoax/

https://www.keitherekson.com/2020/03/how-to-analyze-a-hoax/

https://www.keitherekson.com/2021/01/how-to-talk-about-rumors-and-conspiracy-theories/

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