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Myth of the Lambing Season (Part 5 of 5)

We’re finishing our conversation with Dr. Jeff Chadwick, a New Testament scholar at BYU.  We’ll talk about what he calls, the myth of the lambing season.  How cold is it in Israel in December?

Jeff:  The average day in Jerusalem in December and January is partly cloudy with green grass and jacket temperatures, nothing like the winters of Utah and Idaho. That brings up another thing and this is what I call the myth of the lambing season.

GT: Oh really?

Jeff:  Yeah, because, you know, the idea that Jesus was born in the Spring, was not unique to Latter-day Saints in the 1800’s. Others were suggesting this as well. Protestant writers in America familiar with freezing North American winters, because they were usually from New England or somewhere like that, couldn’t imagine how shepherds could be in the fields abiding by their flocks in December, “Aww, just much too cold. No shepherd could be out with his flocks in December,” they ruled. So, it must be in the springtime because spring is when the lambs are born and since Jesus was the lamb of God, that’s when he would have been born, too, is in the spring. This, of course, plays in really well with the tradition among the Latter-day Saints that Jesus was born in April. The problem is it’s an entire falsity. The reason why is that shepherds did and still do go out with their flocks all Winter long.

I have stood in the fields outside of Bethlehem on several Christmas Eves because I get to be there from time to time and the shepherds are out there with their sheep and little lambs have been born already in December. They don’t wait. Now here in our climate, just because of the way that the lambs and the sheep bear, they’ll wait until it’s a little warmer and they’ll lamb in March and April. But that’s not the way that it works in the holy land because the climate doesn’t require it. Biology works partially because of its climate.

We’ll also talk about what projects he is working on.  Check out our conversation…

Would shepherds really be in their fields in December?  Isn't it too cold for that?
Would shepherds really be in their fields in December? Isn’t it too cold for that?

Check out our other conversations with Dr. Chadwick!

234: Is Christmas a Celebration of Sun? (Chadwick)

233: How Jesus’s Death Relates to his Birth Date (Chadwick)

231: Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, & Birth of Christ (Chadwick)

229: Was Jesus Born in December? (Chadwick)

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How Rare a Mistake: Did Vincenzo Join Wrong Church?

In the 1980s the LDS Church produced a movie, “How Rare a Possession.”  An Italian man finds a book with no cover, only to learn decades later that it was the Book of Mormon.  It is probably a case of mistaken identity.  Did Vincenzo join wrong church?  We’ll learn more about this story in our final segment with Dr. Daniel Stone, check out our conversation…

GT: Here’s the part that John Hamer told me that nobody knows. Apparently the Bickertonites had a mission in Italy because the Mormon Church did not publish the Book of Mormon in Italian.

Daniel: No, as far as I know, they didn’t.

GT: Yeah, and so it was actually a Bickertonite Book of Mormon that he found that he searching for it, and so he joined the wrong church.

Daniel: Oh, that’s hilarious. You know what? I can’t say for sure. John would know more than me, but yes, as far as I know the Bickertonites were the first church to publish the Book of Mormon in Italian, and if that is the book that that Italian man picked up the join the LDS church, that is the epitome of irony.

GT: Just like William Bickerton, he joined with the Brighamites.

Daniel: That’s right. If that’s really true, then go John Hamer! If he actually looked like check the dates and to make sure because I’m not sure when. I know the LDS church now has their own Book of Mormon in Italian, but yeah, I believe the Bickertonites were the first one and if that was before then. Oh my gosh. Yeah. That is ironic. My goodness.

Here is the short part of the video describing Vincenzo’s experience.

I’d like to thank Daniel for talking with us.  Don’t forget to buy his book!  Wikipedia has some interesting background, including his correspondence with Heber J. Grant!  And if you missed any part of our interview, please check them out!

 

The Bickertonites were the first church to publish the Book of Mormon in Italian. "How Rare a Posession" tells the story of a man who joined the LDS, rather than the Bickertonite Church!
The Bickertonites were the first church to publish the Book of Mormon in Italian. “How Rare a Posession” tells the story of a man who joined the LDS, rather than the Bickertonite Church!

 

205: My Cousin Vinny: Alice Cooper’s Mormon Roots (Stone)

204: Writing History Without Getting in Trouble (Stone)

203: Reuniting the Bickerton Break (Stone)

202: Ousting a Prophet (Stone)

201: False Prophecies Are Possible! (Stone)

200: Civil War Prophecy Leads to Black Ordination (Stone)

199: Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Stone)

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet (Stone)

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart (Stone)

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory (Stone)

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False Prophecies are Possible! (Part 6)

Can a prophet make mistakes, even in prophecy and revelation?  William Bickerton, a prophet in the Church of Jesus Christ said yes, prophets make mistakes.  Dr. Daniel Stone will give us more information in this great conversation.

Daniel: William Bickerton especially towards the end of his life, recognized that prophets were fallible, even I believe it was during the Civil War.

So very early on his people, including him, can even recognize that men can make mistakes even though they’re considered a prophet of God. It is possible that a prophet can false prophesy.

GT: Wow, that’s very interesting.

Daniel: And that could just be from their own wants and desires. And even people in my tradition, I brought this up during a men’s class one time that I was teaching, and I tried to bring it up, when we were talking about the gift of prophecy. I said, there are instances in the scriptures were prophets get it wrong, but they’re still called prophets. I believe Nathan is one of them. I’d have to look. There was examples and I bring up William Bickerton for one of them. I personally believe Joseph Smith. I am a believer, so I’m going to take my academic hat off for a second and say, I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Because I have to believe in the Book of Mormon, which I do, to say that. But I think Joseph Smith might have let his mind get to certain things. And that’s okay because we read prophets in the Old Testament do that sometimes, quite often.

Do you agree?  Is it possible for a prophet to make a mistake in revelation and still be a prophet?

William Bickerton, prophet of Church of Jesus Christ in Monongahela, PA said prophet make mistakes, even in revelation. Dr. Daniel Stone tells more!
William Bickerton, prophet of Church of Jesus Christ in Monongahela, PA said prophet make mistakes, even in revelation. Dr. Daniel Stone tells more!

Check out our conversation, as well as our other conversation with Dr. Daniel Stone!

200: Civil War Prophecy Leads to Black Ordination (Stone)

199: Biblical Support to Ordain Women (Stone)

198: Bickerton Becomes Prophet (Stone)

197: Sidney’s Church Falls Apart (Stone)

196: Rigdon/Spalding Manuscript Theory (Stone)