Select Page

The Interpreter Foundation Blog

Exploring the Symbolism of Christ in Ancient Christmas Carols and Traditions 4: The French Villagers Who Witnessed Christ’s Birth in Bethlehem

Two hundred years ago, during the French Revolution, the new government prevented the churches throughout France from displaying their traditional life-size nativity scenes. As a result, many people began to display small nativity scenes in their own homes. Besides the traditional shepherds and wise men, the nativity figurines included all the villagers of Bethlehem, who are dressed, not in the robes of Bible times, but rather in the traditional clothing of the trades of the French countryside. This episode tells their story....

read more

Exploring the Symbolism of Christ in Ancient Christmas Carols and Traditions 2: Temple Themes in Luke’s Account of the Angels and the Shepherds

For ancient readers of the Bible, the story of the shepherds was an extraordinary tale, a thinning of the veil like no other. In this posting, we explore several of the little known temple themes that are part of the most stunning appearance of angels recorded in scripture. We highlight in particular several that are found in Charles Wesley's masterpiece "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!"...

read more

Exploring the Symbolism of Christ in Ancient Christmas Carols and Traditions 1: Adam, Eve, and the Three Wise Men

For many years, I was mystified by the title of the seventeenth-century French Christmas carol “Quelle est cette odeur agréable ?[1] When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra performs Mack Wilberg’s ethereal arrangement[2] that begins with the words:

Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing stealing our senses all away?
Never the like did come a-blowing, shepherds, in the flow’ry fields of May,

have you ever wondered, as I had, why a particular smell should be taken as a sign of Christ’s birth?...

read more

Book of Moses Textual Criticism Article Preview 1: Did God or Enoch Weep?

In a vision of Enoch described in a JST manuscript named “Old Testament 1” (OT1), we are told that after viewing the wickedness and misery of mankind “the God of heaven looked down … and wept.” In the “Old Testament 2” (OT2) manuscript, the text was revised to read “Enoch looked down … and wept.” A recent article by Colby Townsend argues that the OT2 revision is a better reading of the passage. A forthcoming article by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle argues that a more balanced understanding of Moses 7 emerges when comparing it to suitable Old Testament analogues, specifically Deuteronomy 32 and Isaiah 1....

read more

Scholarly Support for the Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price continues to generate considerable interest (and controversy) among readers. Ever since George Reynolds published his series “The Book of Abraham—Its Genuineness Established” in the year 1879,[1] members of The Church of...

read more

Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Hinckley Comments on Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s Critics

President Hinckley occasionally referenced public and private efforts of the enemies and critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to disturb or distract, or to diminish or destroy faith in Jesus Christ and His modern prophets. As President Hinckley noted, many of them have targeted Joseph Smith and his First Vision—and (as he notes) while they have had some small success among the weak in testimony, the true and faithful have not faltered. ...

read more

Exploring the Symbolism of Christ in Ancient Christmas Carols and Traditions 3: Adam and Christ, Eve and Mary at Christmastime

Though the event is rarely mentioned in modern Christmas celebrations, the traditional carols of earlier centuries often give as much attention to the Fall of Adam as they do to the birth of Christ. This episode shows how traditional carols and art relating to Christ and Mary have been deliberately woven to feature themes of Adam and Eve throughout....

read more

Book of Moses Textual Criticism Article Preview 2: Were the Names “Mahijah” and “Mahujah” Inspired by Adam Clarke’s Commentary?

A recent article by Colby Townsend proposes that the names “Mahijah” and “Mahujah” were included in the Book of Moses as the result of one of two scenarios. A forthcoming article by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw, Matthew L. Bowen, and Ryan Dahle argues that a common ancient source for “Mahujah” and “Mahijah” in the Book of Moses and similar names in the Bible and an ancient Dead Sea Scrolls Enoch text named The Book of Giants cannot be ruled out....

read more

Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: Pure Apostolic Witness and Testimony of the First Vision

As the concluding item of this series on the First Vision, I have sifted through most of the preceding nineteen pieces and selected brief quotations—nuggets of pure testimony—from those holding the holy Apostleship (including the keys of the Kingdom as received in direct line from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who got them from Peter, James, and John, and other ancient prophets), declaring their incontrovertible spiritual witness of the reality of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. ...

read more

Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Gordon B. Hinckley’s Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision

As far as I can discover, it seems to me that President Hinckley had more to say about Joseph Smith’s First Vision than any other modern prophet or apostle. President Hinckley’s testimony of the First Vision must therefore be considered one of the greatest prophetic witnesses given since the event of the vision itself. ...

read more
Top of Page

Pin It on Pinterest