Nicodemus, Harold Attridge, and Mormons

BYU has long televised its Scripture Discussions on KBYU and BYUTV, in which four religion professors discuss some passage of scripture at length. Well, Yale Divinity School has done the same thing with Yale Bible Study, a series of discussions on selected New Testament books between Dean Harold Attridge and Emeritus Professor David Barlett. Since Attridge wrote an excellent commentary on Hebrews and since I’ll be attending YDS in the Fall, I thought I’d check it out. Part of what makes it a good series is the comparison of perspectives from a Baptist (Barlett) and a Catholic (Attridge). The series on Luke is my favorite so far, but you can watch them all via their Youtube channel.

I was folding laundry while listening to the Gospel of John series in the background when the word “Mormons” made me sit up straight and pay attention. Watch from 10:52 to 12:20.

Barlett’s comparison of Attridge’s hypothetical conversion to Nicodemus’ being born again is sound, and I love his point about the meaning of “born again.” I was also impressed by his accurate understanding of the Book of Mormon’s relationship to the Bible, even apparently without much experience with Mormonism (“Sisters and Brothers in Moroni?” wha…?).

As an added point of context, apparently the New Haven ward is, in fact, almost around the corner from Yale Divinity School.

6 Responses

  1. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing this.

    Parenthetically, I have to say that I’m already jealous of your forthcoming religious studies at Yale. I look forward to checking in from time to time here on your blog and benefiting from your experience.

    As for me, I’m already in a masters program, but I suppose there’s always the possibility of a getting a doctorate in religious studies!

    • Clean Cut, when I’m an unemployed PhD and you’ve got a lucrative government job, will you find a position in your department for me and thereby take pity on my starving wife and children?

  2. Jon, I don’t think there is any radical change necessary for a Baptist to become a Mormon. No LDS missionary would ask of me what Jesus was asking of Nicodemus.

    • Really Todd? What do you think is the difference?

  3. What’s your focus to be at YDS? NT, HB, other?

    • I will focus on NT.

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