By E. Gallagher
New non secular routine either learn the Bible in artistic methods and bring their very own texts that aspire to scriptural prestige. From the construction tales in Genesis and the 10 Commandments to the lifetime of Jesus and the apocalypse, they enhance their self-understandings via analyzing and writing scripture.
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Additional info for Reading and Writing Scripture in New Religious Movements: New Bibles and New Revelations
But he also experienced a visit from the angel Moroni, previously unknown in the Christian tradition. Similarly, in his visionary experience Gill interacted with the angel Raphael and the apostles Peter, James, and John, John the Baptizer, and Joseph Smith himself. But Gill also saw the prophet Jeraneck, who like Moroni had been unknown until Gill encountered him. Both of the previously unknown angels played a crucial role; Moroni and Jeraneck led those who beheld them to the discovery of new books of scripture which supplemented the story of the Bible and, in Gill’s case, the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Smith’s retrospective report of his experience as a 14 year old in 1820 includes many of the elements of the 1838 account of the First Vision that would eventually become canonical, including his agitation about which of the contending religious systems might be considered right, his recourse to the scriptures for guidance, his prayer in a secluded grove, and the appearance of two divine personages whom he identified as the Father and the Son. 29 Although other references to Smith’s experiences of revelation have been preserved from the years between 1835 and 1838, 30 Smith’s diary entry about his meeting with Robert Matthews in 1835 bears the most extensive similarities to the more fully developed account in the 1838 version of his history.
61 In effect, Smith’s final 1838 version of his own history expresses that deepened understanding of the scriptures. Smith takes the apostle Paul as his primary personal model and reinforces his sense of mission by weaving himself into the text of the Christian scriptures in order to portray his own life and mission as the culmination of biblical history. He taps the deep resources of the biblical tradition in order to put his own visionary experiences in a compellingly persuasive framework. Though the opponents of his religious mission have only a shadowy presence in “Joseph Smith—History,” Smith’s self-defense aims to defeat his critics on their own chosen ground, their understanding of the scriptures.