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Cover Image via Yongsung Kim at Foundationarts.com.
Editor’s Note: The following is an introduction to a new podcast which we will be featuring every other week here on Meridian.
The field of Mormon studies has blossomed over the past two decades. There are more conferences to attend, more books to read, and more articles delivered to our inbox. Despite our desire to consume even a small portion of this great scholarship, there doesn’t seem enough hours in the day to make our bookshelves any lighter.
Enter the podcast that enables the curious and the serious learner to multi-task their way to greater knowledge and understanding. Whether driving, exercising, or engaging in another enterprise that allows our minds to absorb new ideas, podcasts can infuse new insights into our brains to be enjoyed and even savored.
Over the past few years, the podcasting landscape has seen many presentations come and go, leaving many wondering where to go for faithful scholarship.
LDS Perspectives Podcast grew out of a desire to fill that void. We hope to offer a place for mainstream members to learn more context about history, seek more depth to doctrine, and gain more support with cultural challenges. And all in a half-hour podcast.
Each week, one of our podcasters sits down with a respected LDS scholar, author, or educator and has a casual discussion about some aspect of LDS doctrine, history, or culture. We are just everyday Mormons, but we are sharing extraordinary conversations about our religion and our faith.
Join us in the upcoming months as we discuss topics that span the spectrum of new Mormon studies: from the historical Jesus to our Heavenly Mother, or from artwork that depicts the Book of Mormon translation process to the artwork found in sacred space, or travel with us from a small Palestinian village to pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.
Whether you are just beginning your studies or are an expert, we hope you will enjoy listening to our conversations.
Our first episode explores the historical Jesus. To listen to the podcast, click the audio below.
To visit the LDS Perspectives Podcast website, click here.
You may have heard discussions about the historical Jesus and wondered exactly what that phrase means. This episode explores the meaning of the term and why studying the New Testament differently can help us discover the Jesus of history. Often we concentrate our study of the New Testament on the teachings and ministry of Jesus, but there is value in studying the historical Jesus. Do we sometimes forget that he was a man who lived over 2000 years ago in Palestine? Do we think about what kind of clothes he wore? Were they the same or different than those commonly portrayed in portraits? Does what he was wearing tell us anything about Jesus as a man or lend understanding to the stories of the miracles of Jesus? Biblical historians believe it does. These are the things that made Jesus a man living in his time and set him apart from the many itinerant preachers of the period.
In the past, the Gospels of the evangelists have often been taught through harmonization or the comparing of each authors’ telling of a miracle, parable, or event in the life of Jesus. But when we homogenize, we lose the voice of each author who had a distinct story to tell to a specific audience. Matthew was Jewish and wrote to the Jews. Luke was a gentile and fashioned his narrative for a gentile audience. Their different presentations lend richness and diversity to the telling of a common story, while sometimes even correcting prior writings.
In this episode, Dr. Thomas Wayment chats with Laura Harris Hales about the value of looking for the historical Jesus in our study of the New Testament.