What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
One man lived around 2,000 years ago and claimed to be the Son of God and Messiah who rose from the dead. His followers were absolutely convinced of that. He established His church and it exists all over the world today. This man is normally seen as the most important figure in history. I, of course, refer to Jesus Christ.
Another man came about 1,800 years later. He claimed that Jesus did do that, but that the church got lost. Dangerous teachings came up in the church that undermined its teaching and Christ’s church had ceased to exist. This man claimed to restore the church and gave it new Scriptures that were supposed to be from God as well. His church is also around today. This man is Joseph Smith.
What can we know about them historically? If we don’t start off with the assumption that their Scriptures are inerrant and just use pure historical methodology, including what is in the texts that they gave us, what can be known about them? What would happen if we compared the two to one another?
My guest decided to do that. He wrote a book called The Historical Jesus and the Historical Joseph Smith. Both of these men made remarkable claims. Both of these men claimed their message was true. Both of them have churches today. Are they both right? Are they both wrong? Is one of them right?
My guest has been working for several years in the Utah area and has a great interest in reaching Mormons. His book is fair and treats both figures seriously and respectfully. His name is Tom Hobson.
So who is he?
According to his bio:
Tom Hobson holds a degree in social work from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Biblical exegesis from Concordia Seminary St. Louis. His dissertation was on the Mosaic law penalty “cut off from his people.” He has written What’s on God’s Sin List for Today? (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and The Historical Jesus and the Historical Joseph Smith (Elm Hill, 2019). He has also written journal articles including “Aselgeia in Mark 7:22,” which argues that Jesus did name homosexual behavior as a sin. All of his academic work can be found on his website www.biblicalethic.org. He was ordained as a Presbyterian pastor in 1983, has served churches in Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois, and taught as chair of Biblical studies and languages at Morthland College (2012-2016). He is currently retired and lives in Belleville, Illinois.
Also, his book can be found at this site.
We did try some with livestreaming Saturday and it seemed to work well. We could try that again as well. I hope it does work, but we’re trying things now. Keep in mind we have a separate YouTube channel now. Please be watching for this episode.