Early Christianity

  1. Matthew B. Brown. The Gate of Heaven. (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 1999)

    • Highly recommended. Discusses ritual, symbolism, and temples of the Old and New Testaments. Also contains an appendix that serves as a good introduction to the relationship between the Temple ordinances and Freemasonry.
    • Reviewed briefly in FARMS Review of Books and BYU Studies 39:2 (2000).
    • FAIR Bookstore, Deseret Book.
  2. Hugh Nibley. Mormonism and Early Christianity. (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1987) Abbreviated MEC throughout this page.

  3. John Welch. The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount: A Latter-day Saint Approach. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1990.)

    • Approaches the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) and the Sermon at the Temple (3 Nephi 12-14) as a temple text, or a sort-of temple-preparation. class. This is a fascinating approach and well done.
    • FARMS review here.
    • FAIR Bookstore, Deseret Book
    • Gospelink (requires subscription)
  4. “Seven Promises to those who Overcome: Aspects of Genesis 2-3 in the Seven Letters.” Richard D. Draper and Donald W. Parry. TTE:121-142.

    • Compares the promises made to the faithful in Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28, 3:5, and 12 with the events and symbolism in the Garden of Eden.
    • FARMS link. (Import my copy.)
  5. Duane Wilson, “Temple Symbolism in The Conflict of Adam and Eve.” Studia Antiqua: The Journal of the Student Society for Ancient Studies, Vol. 2, Num. 2 (Fall 2002): 33-51. (Journal in pdf format)

  6. Blake Ostler, “Clothed Upon: A Unique Aspect of Christian Antiquity.” BYUS 22:1 (1982): 31-45.

  7. John Welch and Claire Foley, “Gammadia on Early Jewish and Christian.”  BYU Studies 36:3 (1996-97): 253-60.

    • (Gammadia is an anglicized plural of gamma, the third letter of the Greek alphabet. Gamma looks like a 90 degree triangle with the hypotenuse removed, and the corner at the top left, one leg going down and one to the right.
    • Gospelink (subscription required). Gammadia section is near the bottom of link. BYU Library Viewer. Free PDF from BYU Studies.
  8. Wilfred Griggs et al., “Evidences of a Christian Population in the Egyptian Fayum and Genetic and Textile Studies of the Akhmim Noble Mummies.” BYU Studies 33:2 (1993): 215-243.

    • Some mummies are dressed in what appears to be priestly clothing for early Christians. Color photos. Abstract here.
    • “Ten of the robes on this burial are plain linen garments, but the many strands of linen ribbon wrapped around the upper half of the body are gathered together into a complex knot. This knot is found on the left shoulder on two of the robes, and on the right shoulder of the remaining eight robes. The symbol of the sacred knot or bow is common in Egypt and elsewhere and may indicate sacerdotal, or priestly, authority. The piece of clothing closest to the body is not usually well preserved, due to the destructive influence of fluids and chemicals remaining in the body. In this burial, as well as a few others, however, the woolen garment next to the skin is sufficiently well preserved for us to observe that small rosettes have been woven into the material in particular locations. There is one rosette over each breast and one on the right leg near the knee, but there is no corresponding rosette on the left leg. Across the lower abdomen, the material also has a hemmed slit about six inches long.” 225-226.
    • Gospelink (subscription required). BYU Library Viewer.
  9. Hugh Nibley, “Sacred Vestments.”  TAC: 91-138.

  10. Todd Compton, “The Handclasp and Embrace as Tokens of Recognition.”  BSAF 1:611-643.

  11. Matthew J. Grey, “Becoming as a Little Child: Elements of Ritual Rebirth in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity.” Studia Antiqua: The Journal of the Student Society for Ancient Studies Vol. 1 Num. 1, Fall 2001. 63-85.

    • Discusses washing, anointing, clothing, and naming as early Christian and Jewish rituals of rebirth.
    • Available soon from their website.
  12. Truman Madsen, “‘Putting on the Names’: A Jewish-Christian Legacy.” – BSAF 1:458-482.

  13. Hugh Nibley, “The Early Christian Prayer Circle.”  MEC, 45-99.

    • See also Todd Compton’s comments towards the bottom of his review here.
  14. Daniel B. McKinlay, “Temple Imagery in the Epistles of Peter.” TAW: 492-514.

  15. Jay and Donald Parry, “The Temple in Heaven: Its Description and Significance.”  TAW: 515-532.

  16. Marcus von Wellnitz, “The Catholic Liturgy and the Mormon Temple.” BYUS 21:1 (1981): 3-35.

    • A fascinating paper tracing the seeming remnant of early Christian temple ordinances into the ordinances of today’s Catholic church.
    • Direct PDF download (15 Mb) from BYU Studies, with pictures. (This is easier to read and download than the link above.
  17. William J. Hamblin, “Aspects of an Early Christian Initiation Ritual”-  BSAF  1:202-221.

  18. John Tvedtnes,“Baptism for the Dead in Early Christianity.”  TTE:55-78.

  19. Wilfred Griggs and S. Kent Brown, “The 40-Day Ministry.”  Ensign August 1975: 6-10.

    • What happened after the resurrection? Apocryphal documents give accounts—some reliable, some not.”
    • Also available here.
  20. Hugh Nibley, “Evangelium Quadraginta Dierum: The Forty-day Mission of Christ—The Forgotten Heritage.”  MEC: 10-44.

  21. John Gee, “Forty-Day Ministry and Other Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ”  EM, ??.

    • Also here, but requires some scrolling down to find it.
  22. David Wiley, “The Forty-day teachings of Christ in the Books of Jeu and the Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Endowment.”  Newly on-line again, here

    • David Wiley is Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University.
  23. Hugh Nibley.  “The Forty Day Ministry.” Talk given at BYU Feb. 12, 1964, in mp3 format. Click here for part 1, here for part 2.

    • From BYU Speeches, a great resource with lots of free mp3s by professors, General Authorities, etc.
  24. My Father’s House -Temple Worship and Symbolism in the New Testament by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and David Rolph Seely, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1994). ISBN:0884949540

    • Out of print and hard to find. BYU library has several copies.
  25. M. Catharine Thomas, “Hebrews: To Ascend the Holy Mount.” TAW: 479-491.

  26. John Tvedtnes, “Baptism for the Dead in Early Christianity.”  TTE:55-78.

  27. Robert J. Matthews, “Were the blessings of the Temple available to the saints in Jesus’ day…?”  Ensign, September 1974.

  28. Barry Bickmore’s page on Early Christianity and the Endowment.

    • Barry Bickmore is a BYU geology professor who published Restoring the Ancient Church: Joseph Smith and Early Christianity, now available in entirety on-line. See the FAIR review and the FARMS review, both written by David Waltz, a friendly Catholic, which provide good information and perspective.
    • See also the next item.
  29. Barry Bickmore, “Early Mormonism and Christianity: ‘Orthodox’ Christian Esoteric Rites” from his webpage.

  30. Barry Bickmore, “The Temple”  Chapter from his book, Restoring the Ancient Church: Joseph Smith and Early Christianity.

  31. S. Kent Brown,  “The Temple in Luke and Acts.” In Revelation, Reason, and Faith: Essays in Honor of Truman C. Madsen, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2002): 615-633.

  32. Truman G. Madsen,  “The Temple and the Restoration.” In The Temple in Antiquity, edited by Truman G. Madsen, (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1984): 1-16.

  33. Matthew J. Grey. “Becoming as a Little Child: Elements of Ritual Rebirth in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity.”  Studia Antiqua: The Journal of the Student Society for Ancient Studies Vol. 1 Num. 1, Fall 2001. 63-85. Available soon from their website.

    • Discusses washing, anointing, clothing, and naming as early Christian and Jewish rituals of rebirth
  34. John Tvedtnes. “Early Jewish and Christian Practices Related to the Temple.”  FAIR presentation

  35. William Hamblin, “Temple Motifs in John 17.”  FARMS Paper. Not yet available online.

  36. Robert L. Millet, “Was baptism for the dead a non-Christian practice in New Testament times (see 1 Cor. 15:29)…?” – Ensign, August 1987, 19-20

  37. John Welch, Review of “Corinthian Religion and Baptism for the Dead (1 Corinthians 15:29): Insights from Archaeology.”  FRB 8:2 (1996) :43-45.

    • A Response to Richard E. DeMaris, Journal of Biblical Literature 114/4 (1995): 661-82.
  38. John A. Tvedtnes’ review of Luke P. Wilson (of the so-called Institute for Religious Research, an evangelical anti-mormon ministry) “Does the Bible Teach Salvation for the Dead? A Survey of the Evidence” and “Did Jesus Establish Baptism for the Dead?” in FRB 10:2 (1998): 184-199.

  39. Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks. “Baptism for the Dead and Secrecy” from Offenders for a Word: How Anti-Mormons Play Word Games to Attach the Latter-day Saints.

    • This is an excellent book which examines Early Christianity in light of doctrinal objections against Mormonism.
  40. John Welch, “New Testament Word Studies.”  Ensign April 1993, 28-30.

    • Includes study on the words “Endow” and “Perfect.”
    • He wrote a second article of New Testament word studies that is equally useful, Ensign January 1995.
    • A longer original version of both articles and other words used to be available from FARMS, but is no longer in their database or at byubookstore.com.
  41. GeorgeMacRae, “The Temple as a House of Revelation in the Nag Hammadi Texts.”  FARMS transcript

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