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One of the (very) few Bible scholars I have been personally acquainted with theorized that Josiah was perpetrating a pious fraud when he "found" a new scroll, thereby allowing him to draw attention to teachings he was already familiar with. I have no idea how mainstream that view is.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this same scholar put the Book of Mormon into the same category.

Yes, LL, I'm familiar with the theory that the document recounted in 2 Kings 22 was, uh, created rather than discovered. The references I've seen suggest it was a collection of priests and/or scribes that engineered the discovered scroll, not Josiah (who was a king, not a scholar, and was only 26).

In any case, it is accepted that the entire corpus from Deuteronomy through Kings is a unified narrative, the Deuternonomistic History (DH). It is unified in the sense that it bears the imprint of its final editor, the Deuteronomist. I find it suggestive that the dramatic episode that the Deuteronomist highlights in such detail at 2 Kings 22-23, at the end of the DH arc, is the discovery of Deuteronomy, the beginning of the DH arc. It fits. As I recall, Friedman in Who Wrote the Bible? thinks the Deuteronomist was Jeremiah.

How would Margaret Barker's views that the reforms of Josiah were not necessarily a good thing and destroyed some basic truths about God and his relationship to man relate to this perspective?

Or is she too far out of the mainstream of OT scholarship to be relevant to the issues raised in this post.

john, I'm not familiar with Barker's views of Josiah and his reforms.

Look at Barker's 2003 BYU devotional (available at the BYU speeches website) "What did King Josiah Reform? " There are also a number of articles and reviews in the FARMS Review on Barker's work.

Barker isn't LDS but has some interesting things to say. I am still not sure how far I want to go with her.

Thanks for the info, john. Some transcriptions from that talk, plus discussion of some of Barker's ideas about Josiah's reforms, is available at a Mormon Insights post, "Margaret Barker: Theologian Extraordinaire."

Thanks for the clear write-up, Dave.

I also appreciated the clear outline you have provided.

Perhaps another way to view Genesis is through Joseph Smith's translation of the bible. As Andrew F. Ehat noted in What is an Endowment?:

What we speak of here as Moses’ endowment was the profound spiritual experience that occurred many years later. The record of this endowment begins in Moses 1 in our Pearl of Great Price.

This chapter—a restored chapter not found in the traditional scriptures—gives us far greater insight into Genesis. From Moses 1 we learn that Genesis is not merely a general history written by Moses or a pseudepigraphic story of the Hebrews allegedly written in Moses’ name. Instead Moses 1 sets Genesis up as a highly personal revelation to Moses—an essential endowment of knowledge and power given prior to his mission to Egypt to reclaim lost Israel (see verses 25-26). He did not compile history as Elder Richards did: he was shown the history. Moses 1 begins as each endowment begins, with heaven and earth joining. This time, Moses ascended, not by foot but by the transporting power of the Spirit. He was caught up into a mountain the name of which is not now known to us (see verse 42). There he spoke with God face to face.

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