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The Interpreter Foundation Blog

Who Was Hugh Nibley?: Announcing a New, Landmark Book, “Hugh Nibley Observed”

This is the first of eight weekly blog posts published in honor of the life and work of Hugh Nibley (1910–2005). Each week our post will be accompanied by interviews and insights in pdf, audio, and video form — some short and some longer. Today, April 1, is not only April Fool’s Day (an irony Hugh Nibley would appreciate), but also the eleventh anniversary since the appearance of the nineteenth and last volume of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, entitled One Eternal Round. This book was Hugh’s master work, decades in the making....

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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....

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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!"...

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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?...

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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....

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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....

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