In 1873, a Greek Orthodox bishop named Philotheos Bryennios was studying in a monastery in Constantinople when he came across an unusual ancient manuscript.1 It was called The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles or the Didache and was unlike anything most people had ever seen before. It contained instructions on how early Christians, perhaps as early as the end of the first century, were to perform ordinances and how the church was to conduct itself.
More Scripture Study Features
In this episode of LDS Perspectives Podcast, Laura Harris Hales interviews Dr. Dana M. Pike on Israel’s united and divided monarchies. In the early pages of the Old Testament, the people ask Samuel for a king, so they can be like the other nations and defend themselves. As seen in the Bible, this worked out to be both a blessing and a curse.
When Ammon taught King Lamoni the plan of salvation, the king was so overwhelmed by the experience that he fell to the earth as though he were dead. While he was unconscious, he had a vision of the Lord, and when he told his wife about this experience, she also fell to the earth, as did Ammon. Most of the servants in the court fell to the earth as well. The only exception was Abish, who had already been converted to the Lord.
Nephi’s clarification that the Messiah was “a Savior of the world” may seem odd to modern Christians who are well acquainted with the New Testament’s depiction of Jesus, the Messiah, as the Savior of humankind. The reason behind Nephi’s clarification most certainly derives from the fact that in ancient Israel the concept behind the word “messiah” was much broader than it is today.
In the first chapter of his record, Nephi said he would show unto his readers that the “tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance”. This passage, which has been described as Nephi’s “thesis statement,”1 can help us identify a key theme in Nephi’s writings.
In an era when so many women are coming forward with their own stories of sexual abuse and assault, Queen Bathsheba offers a path forward towards the reclamation of self and female power, and David, in his own way, offers a model of accountability and repentance. The two journeys actually inform each other, because both the victim and the perpetrator heal as they uncover and tell the truth about their experiences. And the truth is… Bathsheba wasn’t on the roof.
While harsh and disturbing imagery of God destroying sinners with fiery torment may understandably be unsettling for modern readers, Latter-day Saints should know that these things are to be understood another way.