Videos Available from the Joseph Smith & Antiquity Conference

By April 30, 2013

JS AntiquityA couple months ago, BYU and the LDS Church History Department put on a fascinating conference titled, “Approaching Antiquity: Joseph Smith’s Study of the Ancient World.” Thanks to the wonders of technology, most of the presentations are now available as youtube videos, which you will find below.

While there are many papers that I strongly recommend, those given by Bushman, MacKay, Heal, Wright, Holland, Bowman, and Grey were some of the highlights for me.

(Note: in the first four sessions, the last paper of each session is combined with the panel’s responder.)


  • Richard L. Bushman (History, Columbia University), “The Academic Study of Antiquity in Antebellum America” (45min)

Scholars, Scripts, and Folklore of Antiquity

  • Richard E. Bennett (Church History, BYU), “‘To The Most Learned Men of this Generation’: Martin Harris and His Visits East, 1828” (25min)

  • Michael Hubbard MacKay (LDS Church History Department), “‘Git Them Translated’: Joseph Smith, Ancient Characters, and Translating the Plates” (25min)

  • Steven C. Harper (LDS Church History Department), “Joseph Smith’s Relationships to Hermeticism and Masonry” (25min)
  • Richard L. Bushman (History, Columbia University), Respondent (15min)

Joseph Smith and Ancient Texts

  • Jared Ludlow (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “Joseph Smith’s Reading of Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha” (25min)

  • Lincoln H. Blumell (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “What has Palmyra to do with Jerusalem? Joseph Smith and the Writings of Flavius Josephus” (25min)

  • Thomas A. Wayment (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “Joseph Smith and Early Christian Apocrypha” (25min)

  • Kristian S. Heal (Maxwell Institute, BYU), “Joseph Smith and the Early Church Fathers” (25min)
  • Benjamin E. Park (History, University of Cambridge), Respondent  (15min)

Joseph Smith’s Interest in the Ancient Americas

  • Mark Alan Wright (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “Joseph Smith and Native    American Artifacts” (25min)

  • Matthew Roper (Maxwell Institute, BYU), “Joseph Smith and the Ruins: Central   American Archaeology and Early Views about the Book of Mormon” (25min)
  • Andrew H. Hedges (LDS Church History Department), Respondent (10min)

Plenary Session

  • David F. Holland (History, UNLV), “Joseph Smith and Antiquity: Points of Contact between the Prophet and the Ancient Sources” (50min)

Joseph Smith, the Bible, and 19th Century Biblical Scholarship

  • Kent P. Jackson (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “Joseph Smith and the Bible” (25min)

  • Nicholas J. Frederick (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “Joseph Smith and the Gospel of John” (25min)

  • Justin R. Bray (LDS Church History Department), “The Seventy Disciples in Early 19th Century Christian Thought” (25min)

[currently unavailable]

  • Samuel Brown (Medical Ethics and Humanities, University of Utah School of Medicine), “The Prisca Theology in Early Mormonism” (25min)

[currently unavailable]

  • Matthew B. Bowman (Religion, Hampden-Sydney College), “Joseph Smith and 19th c. Biblical Commentaries” (25min)

  • David F. Holland (History, UNLV), Respondent (20min)

Joseph Smith’s Study of Biblical Languages

  • Matthew J. Grey (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “‘The Word of God in the Original’: Joseph Smith’s Study of Hebrew and its Impact on His Translations, Thought, and Theology” (25min)

  • Craig K. Manscill (Church History, BYU), “‘By the Help of God I Can Read in the Hebrew Bible’: Hyrum Smith’s Study of Hebrew” (25min)

[currently unavailable]

  • John W. Welch (Law, BYU), “Joseph Smith’s Awareness of Greek and Latin”  (25min)

  • Kevin L. Barney (Independent Scholar), Respondent (15min)

Joseph Smith and 19th Century Egyptology

  • John Gee (Maxwell Institute, BYU), “Joseph Smith and Ancient Egypt” (25min)

  • Kerry Muhlestein (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “Joseph Smith and Egyptian Artifacts: Towards a Preliminary Paradigm for Evaluating Prophetic and Mundane Ideas Regarding Aspects of the Ancient World” (25min)

  • Brian M. Hauglid (Ancient Scripture, BYU), “‘Endowed with a Knowledge of Hidden Languages’: Joseph Smith and the Egyptian Project” (25min)

[curretly unavailable]

  • John S. Thompson (Egyptology, University of Pennsylvania), Respondent

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. I can’t find Steven C. Harper presentation. Is there video?

    Comment by VSP — April 30, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  2. It’s the fourth video down.

    Comment by Ben P — April 30, 2013 @ 10:57 am


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