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Religion Today

Martin Tanner explores religious and spiritual topics that matter to Utahns, and especially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

  • Sodom & Gomorrah - Have they been found?
    The Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah have likely been found.  In a survey of the Jordan Valley in 1924, conducted by famed archaeologist and Biblical scholar William F. Albright, five ancient cities were found off the south-eastern shore of the Dead Sea, in the general location the Bible places Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Bela (Zoar).  (See, Genesis 14:1-5).  Two of the five ancient cities, sites now known as Bab edh-Dhra (likely Sodom) and Numeira (likely Gomorroh) have been excavated and show destruction by fire circa 2,300 BC.  The destruction left a layer of ash and charcoal about one and a half foot deep covering both of these ancient cities.  There are two caveats.  Genesis 14:1-5 says Sodom and Gomorrah were later underwater, covered by the Dead Sea.  But perhaps

Saturday, February 9, 2019

  • Where Was the Garden of Eden Located?
    Because of Doctrine and Covenants 78:15, 107:53-57 and 116:1, many Latter-day Saints believe the Garden of Eden was in Jackson County, Missouri, or in Daviess County, Missouri.  But these scriptural references are to Adam-Ondi-Ahman, the place where Adam and Eve lived after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  They may have traveled a short way or a very long distance, perhaps thousands of miles, after they left the Garden of Eden.  Genesis describes the location of the Garden of Eden by reference to four rivers.  We know the location of three, the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile rivers.  This would place the Garden of Eden at the Northern end of the Persian Gulf, east of ancient Babylon, present day Iraq.  But precisely where, we are unable to say, and will probably never know. I

Saturday, February 2, 2019

  • Background and Information About the New Testament
    Surprisingly, the name "New Testament" is a bad translation of Jeremiah 31:31-33, which says in the future God will make a "New Covenant" with his people.  The title of the New Testament should be "New Covenant."  The early Christians believed Jesus, his good news (gospel) and the Christians themselves, were a fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy. The letters of Paul were written first, about 50 AD.  Next was likely the Gospel of Mark, written about 58 AD, by John Mark, Peter's missionary companion.  Peter's letters were written about 60 AD, to give encouragement and for theological reasons. Matthew was written about 65 AD.  James was written about 68 AD, by Jesus half-brother James (not the Apostle James).  Jude was written by another half-brother of Jesus.
  • New Testament Era Changes to the Bible & Christianity Itself
    New Testament era Christianity and revered Christian books were quite different from Christian beliefs today and the New Testament canon of scripture we have today. For example, the Gospel of Thomas has authentic words of Jesus, not found in the New Testament.  The Gospel of Philip implies Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.  The Gospel of John (not the one in our Bibles today) talks about a Mother in Heaven (Heavenly Mother or Goddess married to Elohim).  Books were taken out of the Christian canon of scripture, including the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache, Sirach, 1 & 2 Maccabees, Tobit and others.  

Monday, January 28, 2019

  • Recent Changes in Religion in the United States
    This week Martin Tanner discusses worrying religious trends that are currently happening in the United States and around the world. Tanner looks into surveys revealing a declining rate of all religions, the affected morality of the United States, and losing the identity of how the United States was founded.  
  • Exploring the History and Meaning of Hanukkah
    This week Martin Tanner explores the history of Hanukkah, what the Jewish holiday means for those that celebrate it, and how it evolved over the years. Tanner also looks into the books that tell the history of Hanukkah, who wrote these books, and when they were written.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

  • Exploring the Myths, Stories, and Figures of Christmas
    This week Martin Tanner delves into the details of Christmas that are misunderstood and unknown to the general listener. Tanner talks about figuring out the true birthday of Jesus Christ, the events during Christ's birth, how Christmas ended up on December 25th, who the real Saint Nicholas was and turning him into the modern-day Santa Claus, and looking to the history of famous modern Christmas stories.
  • Looking At Predictions of Jesus Christ's Second Coming
    This week Martin Tanner looks at previous predictions of Jesus Christ’s second coming and the accuracy of them. Tanner discusses predictions of Christ coming before Christ, ones near Christ birth, and modern-day predictions of his second coming, along with what will happen when during the second coming and the differences between different religions.       
  • How Reliable and Accurate is the New Testament?
    Atheists, agnostics, and sadly some Biblical scholars, claim the New Testament is not reliable or accurate.  However, when objectively compared with other ancient texts, deemed reliable by those same individuals, such as the writings of Pliny the Elder (61-113 AD), Plato (427-347 BC), Suetonius, (69-142 AD), Josephus (37-100 AD), Julius Caesar (63-44 BC), Livy (59 BC-17 AD), Tacitus (56-117 AD) and others, the New Testament is by objective, measurable standards, more reliable.  Why?  There are thousand more New Testament manuscripts than of any other ancient work.  Nearly complete manuscripts and fragments of the New Testament date to within a few decades or in come cases a few hundred years of the originals.  Manuscripts of other ancient writers are few, and 500 to 1,400 years after

Friday, January 25, 2019

  • Understanding the Deeper Meanings of Four Parables Told by Jesus Christ
    This week Martin Tanner talks about four parables of Jesus Christ that he believes are misunderstood by the general listener, the hidden meanings, and the history behind them. The Parable of the Prodigal Son; a parable about a rich son who was reaccepted by his father after squandering is wealth. The Parable of the Good Samaritan; the parable of a Samaritan who helps a traveler on the road after a priest and Levite avoided the traveler. The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard; about three workers that were paid equally even though they worked different hours of the day. And lastly, The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

  • Baptism
    This week Martin Tanner explores the history, various concepts, and various methods of baptism.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

  • Baptism
    This week Martin Tanner explores the history, various concepts, and various methods of baptism.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

  • The Poetry of Thomas L. Kay
    District court judge Thomas L. Kay joins Martin Tanner to share his poetry. Thomas has two books, One Silent, Holy Night: The Poetry of Christmas volumes one and two in which the poems from the perspective of everyone present at the birth of Jesus.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

  • Thanksgiving Experiences
    Martin Tanner shares stories from people who have had dramatic experiences in life that helped them gain perspective about life and that all things are important to God.