Category Archives: Heavenly Ascents

Ancient Jewish Traditions Concerning Angels (Draft for Ensign)

I recently posted on Facebook regarding a small contribution that I made to December’s Ensign magazine.  I had been invited a number of months ago to contribute to an article on angels that has now been published in this issue as “Angels We Have Heard.” The section based on information I provided is “Angels in […]

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Enoch and the City of Zion: Can an Entire Community Ascend to Heaven?

There are some things that I have done in the past year or two that I have not managed to post on this blog. I hope to rectify some of that and be a bit more active in getting things up here. One of these is my participation in early 2013 in a conference entitled […]

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Ascending into the Hill of the Lord: My Expound Symposium Paper

The following is my presentation, entitled “Ascending into the Hill of the Lord: The Psalms as a Key to Understanding the Rituals of the First Temple” from the Expound Symposium. Please note that this is a draft — it is in the format in which I presented it at the symposium — it has not […]

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Psalm 24: Temple Gates and Guardians

I have written a new post over at The Millennial Star looking at Psalm 24 and the possibility that it describes an ancient temple ritual in which pilgrims to the temple engaged in a question-and-answer dialogue with priests that acted as gatekeepers at the temple gates. If interested, please check out the post at:

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Major Trends in Hekhalot Literature Research

MAJOR TRENDS IN HEKHALOT LITERATURE RESEARCH are summed up in an article by Shlomo Brody in Text and Texture: “The Aleinu Prayer and the Pardes Story: Major Trends in Hekhalot Literature Research” (Via James Davila at

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April DeConick: Seminar on “Mapping Death:Religious Preparation for the Afterlife Journey”

Looking back, I probably should have spaced these posts out over a few days to prevent you all from developing “information overload” syndrome.  But this last post today is a good one (at least I think so). It has come to my attention (via her blog Forbidden Gospels) that Rice University Professor of Biblical Studies, […]

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New “Exagoge” of Ezekiel the Tragedian Fragment

Via my professor James Davila at PSEUDEPIGRAPHA WATCH: Bob Kraft e-mails: I just returned from the Papyrology Congress in Geneva, and you will be interested in the paper by Dirk Obbink (Oxford), “A New Fragment of Ezekiel’s Exagoge from Oxyrhynchus.” According to the abstract, this “newly identified papyrus … preserves the earliest textual witness […]

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“He Took Up…the Mantle of Elijah” (OT Lesson 29)

This lesson is about the transition of the prophetic office from Elijah to his successor, Elisha, and the ministry of Elisha to the people of Israel.  One of the first things that one may notice, after reviewing and comparing the narratives concerning Elijah and Elisha is that there are many similarities between them, especially in […]

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