2022 Temple on Mount Zion ConferenceConference Presenters
Presenters and Speakers
Margaret Barker is a Biblical scholar, a former President of the Society for Old Testament Study. She has developed Temple Theology, an approach to Bible study based on Solomon’s temple. For the last ten years she has been deciphering some of the small metal books found in Jordan. She is a mother and grandmother, and a retired Methodist preacher.
Matthew L. Bowen
Dr. Matthew L. Bowen is an associate professor of Religious Education at BYU–Hawaii. He was raised in Orem, Utah and graduated from Orem High School. He served for two years in the California Roseville Mission (1994-1996) and graduated from BYU in 2000 with a BA in English and a minor in classical Greek (with post-Baccalaureate studies in Egyptian and Semitic languages, 2001-2003). He earned an MA and PhD in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is married to the former Suzanne Blattberg. They are the parents of three children: Zachariah, Nathan, and Adele. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, as well as the recent book Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture (Salt Lake City: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2018).
Jeffrey M. Bradshaw
Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (PhD, Cognitive Science, University of Washington) is a Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola, Florida (www.ihmc.us/groups/jbradshaw; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_M._Bradshaw). His professional writings have explored a wide range of topics in human and machine intelligence (www.jeffreymbradshaw.net). Jeff has been the recipient of several awards and patents and has been an adviser for initiatives in science, defense, space, industry, and academia worldwide.
Jeff has written detailed commentaries on the Book of Moses and Genesis 1–11. He has also published widely on the temple and related subjects such as Freemasonry. In 2021, he edited the highly acclaimed book “Hugh NIbley Observed.” For Church-related publications, see www.TempleThemes.net.
Jeff was a missionary in France and Belgium from 1975–1977, and his family has returned twice to live in France. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of four children and fifteen grandchildren. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of four children and fifteen grandchildren. Jeff and Kathleen served two missions in the DR Congo. They currently live in Nampa, Idaho, where Jeff serves as a church service missionary for the Church History Department. He is working on a book and a film for Interpreter on the stories of the Saints in central Africa.
David M. Calabro is a visiting assistant professor in Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. Prior to his current position at Brigham Young University, he was the Curator of Eastern Christian Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Saint John’s University. His research focuses on the cultural history of the Near East, including topics such as language, ritual, narrative, and sacred space. David and his wife Ruth have seven children. David loves to do family history, go on adventures with his family, practice Chinese martial arts, and read fantasy/sci-fi novels.
C. Wilfred Griggs
C. Wilfred Griggs held the University Professorship of Ancient Studies at BYU and was named the Karl G. Maesar Distinguished Faculty Lecturer in 1995. In addition to being a scholar of early Christian, classical, and ancient Near Eastern history, he is also an archaeologist. In 1975–76 he was part of a team doing excavations at the Nag Hammadi site in Egypt. Griggs was also the field director for the joint University of California, Berkeley–BYU excavation project in the Egyptian Fayum in January–March 1981. He has been the head of BYU’s Egyptian Fayum excavation since 1982. In 1994 he was invited by the government of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea to do excavations at ancient Greek sites on the Crimea. Griggs is a charter member of the Association of Ancient Historians and the International Association for Coptic Studies. Among the books Griggs has written is Early Egyptian Christianity: From Its Origins to 451 C.E. (Brill, 2000). He has appeared in Operation Sethos: High Tech in the Tomb of the Pharaoh, a TV miniseries, and in another TV episode about King Tut. He has written numerous other books and published articles in professional journals.
Spencer Kraus is a student at Brigham Young University majoring in Computer Science and minoring in modern Hebrew and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. He works with Book of Mormon Central as a research associate and also as a research assistant for Lincoln Blumell studying early Christianity and the New Testament.
David J. Larsen
David J. Larsen received his PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland with the dissertation, “The Royal Psalms in the Dead Sea Scrolls.” He also holds an MA degree in Biblical Theology from Marquette University and a BA in Near East Studies from Brigham Young University. His research interests include early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic and mysticism, pseudepigrapha and apocryphal literature, royal/messianic themes in the Bible and in the Dead Sea Scrolls, “ascent to heaven” traditions, and the Book of Psalms. He currently works for the Federal Government and lives in the Washington, DC area with his wife, Marluce, and four of their five children. David and Marluce recently became grandparents with the birth of their grandson Helaman.
After retiring T.K. returned to Brigham Young University and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Near Near Eastern Studies. She was selected in 2014, as a BYU tour guide for Israel’s Dead Sea Scroll exhibit in Salt Lake City. T.K. is presenting an excerpt from her book, Veiling the Mothers of Israel: A Journey of Scholarship and Faith. She has addressed her research on the veil’s ancient biblical symbolism at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ firesides, single adult and women’s conferences throughout Utah, many other states, and Mexico. She has also presented her research in classes and conferences, at Brigham Young University and the Institute of Religion at the University of Utah.
Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye
Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye is a content manager, web developer, and graphic designer for Book of Mormon Central. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and has since enjoyed producing and marketing content on the Book of Mormon for members of the Church. Jasmin has presented at conferences for FairMormon and Book of Mormon Central. Her areas of academic interest include Latter-day Saint Temple Liturgy, the cultural contexts of the Book of Mormon, and Women in the Priesthood.
Stephen D. Ricks
Stephen D. Ricks, a native of Berkeley, California, received his bachelor’s degree in ancient Greek and his master’s degree in Classics from Brigham Young University, and his PhD in ancient Near Eastern religions from the University of California, Berkeley, and Graduate Theological Union. He is currently Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Learning at Brigham Young University, where he has been teaching for nearly forty years.
Stephen O. Smoot
Stephen O. Smoot is a doctoral student in Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the Catholic University of America. He previously earned a Master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto and Bachelor’s degrees in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and German Studies from Brigham Young University. He is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University and a research associate with the B. H. Roberts Foundation.
Rebecca Holt Stay graduated from Oberlin College with a double degree in Judaic/Near Eastern Studies and Religion, with additional years of study in Hebrew Bible and rabbinical midrash at the Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies, now a part of Case Western University in Cleveland, OH. Stay and her husband, Randall, served two missions directing LDS Charities humanitarian aid and refugee aid in the Europe area. Stay taught early morning seminary and institute classes for 35 years in Michigan, Ohio, and Germany. She taught at the Orem Institute and various stakes in Utah through BYU Cont. Ed. Rebecca Holt Stay is the mother of six and has 19 hilarious grandchildren.
John S. Thompson
John S. Thompson obtained his BA and MA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Hebrew Bible) from BYU and UC Berkeley respectively and completed a PhD in Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a full-time employee of the Church’s Seminaries & Institutes of Religion for more than 25 years, most recently as the Coordinator and Institute Director for the Boston/Cambridge, MA area, but now is a full-time researcher/writer at Book of Mormon Central. John is married to Stacey Keller from Orem, Utah, and they have nine children and four grandchildren. John’s research interests and publications focus primarily on early Egyptian religion (Pyramid Texts; non-royal tomb iconography; and conceptions of deity), ancient & modern temple ritual (sequencing; spacial/architectural context; and meaning), ancient & modern covenant theology (concepts of covenant fulfillment in time (vs. eternity); inheritance laws relative to covenant promises of land and priesthood), ancient & modern priesthood function and organization (contrasting roles of high priest, priest, patriarch, prophet, elder, apostle in antiquity and implication for understanding modern restorations of priesthood), and the Book of Abraham (Joseph Smith’s syncretization of Abrahamic details with ancient Egyptian iconography; racial misuse of). John has also helped with research and database creation for The Giza Project (Peter Der Manuelian, Director) at Harvard University which is a digital humanities project collecting ancient Egyptian monuments, iconography, and texts from fieldwork and museum data for comprehensive database of the Giza plateau. He also served as an epigrapher for the University of Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Saqqara, Egypt (David P. Silverman, Director), completing the epigraphic work of the Middle Kingdom tombs of Sahathoripy and Sekweskhet (1938-1759 BCE) located inside the Teti Pyramid complex at Saqqara, Egypt.
Samuel Zinner, Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Zinner concentrated in modern and ancient languages and literatures, history, and Museum Studies. He contributed to German Scholars and Ethnic Cleansing 1920-1945 (Berghahn Books 2004), which was awarded the American Library Association’s prestigious “Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award” for 2005. He has contributed articles to Religions/Adyan (Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue), and other academic journals. He has served as a peer-review referee for the journals Old Testament Essays, Paedagogia Christiana, etc. His work has been published internationally in a variety of languages by Oxford University Press, De Gruyter, etc. Zinner’s work has been praised by Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Philip R. Davies, Hebraist John F. A. Sawyer (Durham University), Targums scholar Robert Gordon (University of Cambridge), and others. Zinner is currently an editor of the forthcoming volume Origins and Applications of Language (Rowman and Littlefield), which includes contributions by Noam Chomsky, Gregory Chaitin, and other eminent scholars.