A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon:
A Literary and Theological Introduction
DATE: November 11 (Fullerton) and November 12 (La Canada – Flintridge).
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
We are privileged to have as our November 2016 Miller Eccles speaker, John Christopher Thomas, who will be speaking on his new book A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon: A Literary and Theological Introduction, published by CPT Press. Dr. Thomas (PhD, University of Sheffield) is Clarence J. Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee, and Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University, in Bangor, Wales, UK. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.
THE TOPIC: Most of us who attend the Miller Eccles Study Group have studied the Book of Mormon in a variety of circumstances. Perhaps we first read it while attending Seminary or Institute; perhaps we served a mission and used its contents in our proselytizing efforts. Most likely we have studied it every four years in Gospel Doctrine class and, of course, we have heard familiar passages lifted from it in Sacrament Meeting sermons, Priesthood and Relief Society lessons and General Conference talks. What we likely never have done is to view the Book of Mormon through the lenses of a Pentecostal theologian and scholar. In this lecture, New Testament scholar, John Christopher Thomas, offers a constructive, critical overview of his own reading of the Book of Mormon that focuses on some issues that often have been under-represented in the literature currently available.
Dr. Thomas will discuss the structure of the Book of Mormon as a groundwork for its interpretation; explore some of the major theological emphases that emerge from the book; provide a sampling of the book’s reception amongst followers and opponents alike; outline its impact in the areas of music and art, and even look at its disastrous interpretations. He will place the Book of Mormon and Pentecostalism into dialogue through historical analyses and theological comparisons. Finally, issues of origins will be explored by examining the earliest story of the book’s origins, identifying the major complications with this standard story, and proposing a taxonomy of various reading strategies in the light of these complications.
THE SPEAKER: Dr John Christopher Thomas was educated at Lee College (BA), Church of God School of Theology (MA), Ashland Theological Seminary (MDiv), Princeton Theological Seminary (ThM), and the University of Sheffield (PhD). Professor Thomas has been honored for his work in New Testament scholarship by election into membership of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas and his appointment as the Clarence J. Abbott Professor of Biblical Studies at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee. He also serves as the Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University in Bangor, Wales.
Professor Thomas has published articles in several leading international journals devoted to study of the New Testament. He has authored a major study entitled Footwashing in John 13 and the Johannine Community, published a collection of his essays for the church, Ministry and Theology: Studies for the Church and Its Leaders, written a significant monograph on healing entitled The Devil, Disease, and Deliverance: Origins of Illness in New Testament Thought, authored a brief study on John 13-17 entitled He Loved Them until the End: The Farewell Materials in the Gospel according to John, written a commentary on 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, published a collection of his studies in The Spirit of the New Testament, recently completed a major commentary on the Book of Revelation entitled, The Apocalypse: A Literary and Theological Commentary, together with Professor Frank D. Macchia he has authored Revelation in the Two Horizons Series.
Professor Thomas serves as editor of the Journal of Pentecostal Theology (Brill), the Journal of Pentecostal Theology Supplement Series (Deo), and serves as General Editor of the Pentecostal Commentary Series (Deo). Along with his colleague Lee Roy Martin, he is a founding publisher and editor of CPT Press. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. Strongly committed to parish ministry, he has served as Associate Pastor of the Woodward Church of God in Athens, Tennessee since 1981. Professor Thomas has been a Guest Lecturer or Visiting Lecturer at a variety of educational institutions on five continents. He was named Alumnus of the Year by Ashland Theological Seminary (1992) and by the Church of God Theological Seminary (2004). Dr Thomas served as the President of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (1997-98).
He is married to Barbara and they have two daughters, Paige Thomas Scaperoth and Lori Thomas Brown, two sons-in-law, David Alan Scaperoth and Chad J. Brown, and one granddaughter, Madeline Danielle Scaperoth.
Posted by Scott Volmar