This volume contains the most comprehensive commentary ever published on the beautiful and doctrinally rich chapters of the book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible that relate the stories of Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel. The commentary combines prophetic insights, excerpts from ancient texts, current scientific perspectives, and up-to-date biblical scholarship – all presented from a perspective of faith. Each section of the book is prefaced by an overview illuminating major themes and issues. This is followed by the text of each chapter of scripture, accompanied by a detailed phrase-by-phrase commentary designed to give the modern reader both an understanding of the plain sense of the words as well as their significance in context. Based on the first complete transcriptions of the original manuscripts of the Joseph Smith Translation, significant textual variants are identified and discussed.
Of special interest to LDS readers is the light that these chapters shed on temple worship. A detailed study of this book of scripture in conjunction with ancient and modern sources suggests striking parallels with temple themes. Insights on these topics from LDS scripture and prophets, as well as relevant extracts from the works of Hugh Nibley and other religious scholars, historians, philosophers, scientists, literary specialists, playwrights, musicians, and artists are found on nearly every page of the book. The book also features an extensive annotated bibliography on ancient and modern sources relating to the stories of Enoch and Noah. An additional highlight is the collection of more than a hundred carefully chosen color or black-and-white figures, photographs, and illustrations relating to the text – themselves also the subject of detailed commentary.
The central message of the book of Moses is in its invitation to join the divine pattern whereby we may come to fully reflect God’s image and likeness. This wondrous work of scripture has been expressly written to “call [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).ReviewsThis extraordinary reference work opens doors, windows, and endless passageways. It gives readers easy access to scriptural channels through which to understand of some of the earliest chapters in human history. Early Jewish, Christian, and LDS insights bring to life the epic accounts of Enoch the seer, the proverbial city of Enoch, Noah, the Flood, and the New Creation. Very effectively using textual, literary, doctrinal, and visual tools, this volume guides readers through the corridors of the temple, the windows of heaven, and the covenantal gate into eternal life.
– John W. Welch, Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law and editor-in-chief of BYU Studies; founder of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies; author of works on Roman and Jewish law; chiasmus in antiquity; and the Sermon on the Mount, and King Benjamin’s speechIf the Book of Mormon is the keystone of Mormonism, the Prophecy of Enoch may be said to be its theological foundation stone. This excellent commentary is a visual as well as an intellectual feast.- Terryl Givens, James A. Bostwick Professor of English, University of Richmond; co-author of The God Who Weeps and Parley P. Pratt; author of Viper on the Hearth, By the Hand of Mormon, People of Paradox, and When Souls Had WingsThis volume is exceptionally significant! It is encyclopedic in its coverage and yet readable for both laypersons and scholars. Readers will benefit greatly by studying the entire work; or, its seriatim approach allows them to reflect on specific passages. I am impressed that the authors were able to present so much material into a single volume – text and commentary, illustrations, gleanings, copious notes, and more.- Donald W. Parry, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brigham Young University, member of the International Team of Translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls; author or editor of more than thirty booksIncreasingly, the value of understanding ancient texts within their original cultic worldview – indeed, as saturated with cultic imagery, themes, and symbolism – is becoming evident, and this work contributes a case in point, demonstrating the significance of a temple-oriented approach.- L. Michael Morales, Provost and Professor of Old Testament at Reformation Bible College; author of The Tabernacle Pre-FiguredBradshaw and Larsen are to be warmly congratulated on their most recent book. It is the result of meticulous research and careful but very readable writing. The book is an outstanding study of the patriarchs that warrants a thorough reading – and rereading.- Stephen D. Ricks, Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Brigham Young University; prolific author on Old Testament and Book of Mormon topicsThis manuscript is very detailed and well researched. The authors have obviously taken considerable time and effort to become familiar with the material and present it for the reader. An excellent combination of LDS and non-LDS sources. The use of relevant images added a nice dimension to the text.- Jared W. Ludlow, Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University; author of Abraham Meets Death: Narrative Humor in the Testament of Abraham; member of The Enoch SeminarAbout the AuthorJeffrey M. Bradshaw, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola, Florida (www.ihmc.us/groups/jbradshaw/). His professional writings have explored a wide range of topics in human and machine intelligence. Jeff has written a detailed commentary on the first five chapters of the book of Moses (In God’s Image and Likeness 1: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses, Eborn, 2010). He has also authored Temple Themes in the Book of Moses, Temple Themes in the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, and articles on temple studies and the ancient Near East for Studies in the Bible and Antiquity, Element: A Journal of Mormon Philosophy and Theology, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, and BYU Studies (see www.templethemes.net). In addition to his invited presentation at the 2013 Academy for Temple Studies Enoch Conference, he taught at the 2013 BYU Campus Education Week, spoke at the 2013 Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, and was an organizer and presenter at the 2013 Interpreter Symposium on Science and Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth, and Man. Jeff serves as a Vice President of The Interpreter Foundation (www.mormoninterpreter.com) and as a member of the Academy for Temple Studies Group Advisory Board (http://www.templestudies.org/home/). He and his wife Kathleen are the parents of four children and seven grandchildren. He was a missionary in the Belgium-Brussels mission, and has since served in a variety of Church capacities including early-morning seminary teacher, bishop, high councilor, stake presidency counselor, and temple ordinance worker. Jeff and Kathleen are the parents of four children and seven grandchildren.David J. Larsen received his PhD at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He wrote his dissertation, “Royal Themes in the Psalms and in the Dead Sea Scrolls” under the direction of Professor James R. Davila. He holds an MA degree in Biblical Theology from Marquette University, with Professor Andrei Orlov as his advisor, and a BA in Near East Studies from Brigham Young University. His research interests include Jewish and Christian apocalyptic and mysticism, pseudepigrapha and apocryphal literature, royal/messianic themes in the Bible and in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and “ascent to heaven” traditions. David serves as a Contributing Editor to Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (www.mormoninterpreter.com). In addition to his invited presentation at the 2013 Academy for Temple Studies Enoch Conference, he spoke at the 2013 Sidney B. Sperry Symposium. He is the author of the blog heavenlyascents.com, where he explores topics in early Jewish and Christian mysticism, LDS theology, and other topics in religious studies. He currently lives in Springville, Utah with his wife, Marluce, and their four children.