“The Word of the Lord as a metonymy of Christ”

Joseph Smith’s First Vision
A 1913 stained glass window by an unknown artist
(Image in the Wikimedia Commons public domain)

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A new article – this one by Loren Blake Spendlove – went up two or three hours ago in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saints Faith and Scholarship:

“The Word of the Lord as a metonymy of Christ”

Abstract: The word of the Lord and the word of God are common expressions in the Bible. Frequently, these expressions refer to the covenant words written or spoken of God to His people as given by the prophets. However, exegetical study of these expressions has revealed that they also serve as metonymies, or substitutions for the name of God himself. In this article, I explore these metonymic uses of the Word of the Lord and the Word of God as substitutes for Christ in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon.

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Which reminds me: Some other the articles have already been published in Interpreter. Here are the links to five of them:

Loren Blake Spendlove, “Be a Disciple as the World Collapses Around You”

Adam S. Miller Reviews, Mormon: A Brief Theological Introduction (Provo, UT: The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2020). 162 pages. $ 9.95 (paperback).

Abstract: Adam Miller created a thoughtful and illuminating theological study of the Book of Mormon. It is clear from his textual commentary that Miller has devoted a great deal of thought and effort to extracting practical ideas from the original authors of the book. With the exception of a few awkward distractions that appear occasionally in his text, I would highly recommend Miller’s analysis of the doomsday accounts of Mormon and Moroni.

S. Kent Brown, “Jesus’ First Visit to the Temple”

Abstract: In this rich and detailed description, Sr. Kent Brown provides an evocative and historically contextualized account of Jesus Christ’s first visit to the temple in Jerusalem since his childhood, when at the age of twelve he traveled with his family. to attend Passover.

[Editor’s Note: Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article is reprinted here as a service to the Latter-day Saint community. Original pagination and page numbers have necessarily changed, otherwise the reprint has the same content as the original.

See S. Kent Brown, “Jesus’ First Visit to the Temple,” in The Temple: Symbols, Sermons, and Settings, Proceedings of the Fourth Interpreter Foundation Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, 10 November 2018, ed. Stephen D. Ricks and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2021), 235–66. Further information at https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/the-temple-symbols-sermons-and-settings/.]

Brian C. Hales, “In Search of Global Context for the First Vision”

Richard E. Bennett Reviews, 1820: The dawn of the Restoration (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University / Salt Lake City Center for Religious Studies: Deseret Book, 2020). 380 pages. Hardcover, $ 31.99.

Abstract: Richard E. Bennett’s latest volume, 1820: The dawn of the Restoration, is not a book about the First Vision. Instead, he describes the world in 1820 through thirteen biographies that provide useful context for the founding event. Included are Napoleon Bonaparte, Jean François Champollion, Alexander I, Ludwig van Beethoven, Theodore Gericault, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George IV / Queen Caroline, John Wesley / William Wilberforce / Hannah More, Simon Bolivar, John Williams, Henry Clay, Alexander Von Humboldt , and Joseph Smith. Topics of military conquest, music, science, literature, art, linguistics, religion, politics and the industrial revolution receive extensive coverage for 1820 and surrounding decades . While readers may not seek a broad understanding of the world that initiated the Restoration, this well-written and much-researched compilation would be an interesting and rewarding read.

Craig L. Foster, “Understanding the Year 1820”

Book Note: Richard E. Bennett, 1820: The dawn of the Restoration (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University / Salt Lake City Center for Religious Studies: Deseret Book, 2020). 380 pages. Hardcover, $ 31.99.

Abstract: Richard E. Bennett 1820: The dawn of the Restoration takes a look at this important year in a global historical context. He has produced a fascinating book for both Church members and nonmembers.

Stephen D. Ricks, “Psalm 105: Chiasmus, Creed, Covenant, and Temple”

Abstract: In this essay, Stephen Ricks takes a close look at the literary structure of a psalm, reintroducing us to chiasmus in modern and ancient texts, including the Book of Mormon, and then uses that literary structure to show how the psalm contains the historical credo of basis of the Israelites, as seen in Deuteronomy and reflected in 1 Nephi 17. Ricks goes on to show how an essential part of the Psalm is a covenant (“a binding agreement between man and God, with penalties for breach of the agreement ”), which connects it to the temple. Ricks shows this by emphasizing the points of the covenant: Preamble, examination of God’s dealings with Israel, terms of the covenant, formal witnesses, blessings and curses, and recitation of the covenant and deposit of the text. This form is maintained in Exodus 19, 20, 23, and 24, and in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 1-6. Psalm 105 also follows this form. In sacrament prayers, which in Mormon understanding is a covenant, points 1 through 5 are also present.

[Editor’s Note: Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article is reprinted here as a service to the LDS community. Original pagination and page numbers have necessarily changed, otherwise the reprint has the same content as the original.

See Stephen D. Ricks, “Psalm 105: Chiasmus, Credo, Covenant, and Temple,” in Temple Insights: Proceedings of the Interpreter Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference, “The Temple on Mount Zion,” 22 September 2012, ed. William J. Hamblin and David Rolph Seely (Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation; Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2014), 157–170.  Further information at https://interpreterfoundation.org/books/temple-insights/.]

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I know. I know. I have let go of all of you who thirst for regular proof of the wrongdoing of religious belief and the damage done to society by religious organizations. I will try to do better this Bah Humbug holiday season. The opportunities should be plentiful, as this is a time of year when clerics and religious groups go out of their way to try to give the season a religious twist and exploit it for their shameless theological agendas. Here are, for example, some objects that I have just discovered in the Christopher Hitchens ‘How Religion Poisons Everything’ Memorial File© and which I hope will give you a delicious thrill of horror and just indignation:

“Donors will take part in #LightTheWorld in the largest single-event blood drive in Florida history”

“Light the World Giving Machines Debuts at Rockefeller Center in New York: New Location Available for Christmas Donations”


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