Category Archives: Conferences

2024 BYU New Testament Commentary Conference: I Am a Disciple of Christ

This year’s BYU New Testament Commentary Conference, titled “I Am a Disciple of Jesus Christ,” will be held on Friday, May 10, from 9 AM to 5 PM in the Harold B. Lee Library’s Reynolds Auditorium. Speakers are selected authors of the New Testament Commentary series. Attendance is free and tickets are not required.

You can view the full schedule here.

Conference: April 29, 2023

You can watch the April 2023 conference at this link.


This conference will be held in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium, Brigham Young University. The conference is free and open to the public. Presentations will be recorded and posted later.

9:00 — Welcome and Conference Announcements — Cecilia M. Peek

9:10 — “‘Becoming One in Thine Hand’: The New Testament and the Book of Mormon”

— Elder Tad Callister, keynote address

The book cover for Relational Faith: The Transformation and Restoration of <i>Pistis</i> as Knowledge, Trust, Confidence, and Covenantal Faithfulness by Brent J. Schmidt

Relational Faith: The Transformation and Restoration of Pistis as Knowledge, Trust, Confidence, and Covenantal Faithfulness by Brent J. Schmidt

The Most Recent Volumes

9:40 — “Excavating Ephesians” — D. Corydon Hammond (reviewer) and S. Kent Brown

10:10 — “Unpacking the Ancient Meanings of Faith and Grace” — Brent J. Schmidt

10:40 — Break

Soon-to-be-Published Volumes

10:55 — “Creating the Commentary on Second Corinthians” — Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes

11:25 — “Enticements in the Introductory Volume” — Joshua Matson

11:55–1:00 — Lunch Break 

Food courts and buffets are available at the Wilkinson Center. Books for sale at the BYU Studies office, 1063 JFSB.

Coming Attractions

1:00 — “Diving Deep into the Book of Acts” — Andrew C. Skinner

1:30 — “Discovering the Celestial Reach of Matthew and His Message” — John W. Welch

2:00 — “Lacking Wisdom: Insights from the First Verses of James” — John Gee

2:30 — “Uncovering the Majestic Letter to the Romans” — Brent J. Schmidt and Tom Roberts

3:00 — Conclusion and benediction

Video recordings will be made and posted later on this website.

Online Conference March 6, 2021

The Epistle to the Hebrews: Radiating the Great Principles of the Restored Gospel

9:00  Zoom Webinar, no registration or password required:

Welcome: John W. Welch, Michael Rhodes, Richard Draper, and Eric Huntsman

9:05  John W. Welch, What Should a Scholarly LDS Commentary on Hebrews Look Like? (Introduction: Eric Huntsman)

9:35  Michael Rhodes, Highlighting Unique LDS Interpretations of Three Passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Introduction: Camille Fronk Olson)

9:50 Richard Draper, Using the Joseph Smith Translation in the BYU New Testament Commentary (Introduction: Camille Fronk Olson)

10:15 Q&A with Michael Rhodes and Richard Draper. Use the chat function for asking questions.

Videos: For the playlist of all the video presentations on March 6, visit

Joshua Matson, Placing Hebrews amidst Studies of the New Testament among the Latter-day Saints (Introduction: Eric Huntsman) 

Alan Farnes, Appreciating the Great Value of the Earliest Surviving Copies of the Greek New Testament (Introduction: Cecilia Peek)

Eric Huntsman, Evaluating Families of Greek Texts and Their Preferences behind New Testament Translations (Introduction: Cecelia Peek)

Andrew Skinner, Feeling the Power of the King James Version Generally and in the Epistle to the Hebrews in Particular (Introduction: Eric Huntsman)

 Brent Schmidt, Who Wrote the New Testament Epistles and What Differences Might that Make? (Introduction: Camille Fronk Olson)

Tom Roberts, Taking a Theological Spin through the Epistle to the Hebrews (Introduction: Camille Fronk Olson)

S. Kent Brown, Assessing Apocryphal Accounts of Isaiah’s Death in Hebrews (Introduction: Cecelia Peek)

David Larsen, Detecting Jewish Sources Quoted in the New Testament Not Found in the Old Testament (Introduction: Eric Huntsman)

Avram Shannon, Seeing the New Testament in Its Several Surrounding Cultural Contexts (Introduction: Cecilia Peek)

 John Gee, What We Can Learn from Joseph Smith’s Approaches to Reading James 1:5 (Introduction: Camille Fronk Olson)




Conference: Hebrews: The Sacred Powers of Jesus, the Great High Priest, October 12, 2019

BYU New Testament Commentary Conference: Saturday, October 12, 2019, 9 am to 4 pm

205/306 J. Reuben Clark Law School Building, BYU Campus

9:00 John Gee, Welcome

9:10 Philip Allred, Keynote address: “He is able to succor [Boetheo] them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18, 4:16). Dr. Allred is chair of the Department of Religious Education at BYU-Idaho.

9:45 Del Clark, “How Shall We Escape?” Jesus as Savior to the Hebrews (Hebrews 2:3)

10:15 Break

10:30 Kevin Christensen, In and behind Hebrews: Temple, Atonement, and the Covenant of Love (Hebrews 9)

11:00 Brent J. Schmidt, Understanding Pistis: Trust Becoming Faithfulness (Hebrews 11)

11:30 Julie M. Smith, “Women Received Their Dead”:  Women and Resurrection (Hebrews 11:35)

12:00 Lunch Break: Restaurants are available at the BYU Cougareat food court or off campus

1:30 Matthew Grey, “The Need for Another Priest to Come”: The Epistle to the Hebrews and Competing Models of Religious Authority in Post-70 Judaism

2:00 Tom Roberts, The Importance of Understanding Judaism in the New Testament

2:30 Break

2:45 Avram Shannon, How Hebraic Is Hebrews?

3:15 Panel: Kevin Barney, Moderator, including Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes

4:00 John Gee, conclusion

The conference is free and open to the public. Video recordings will be made and posted later on this website. Free parking is available around the J. Reuben Clark Law School building and in nearby BYU lots. 

BYU NTC Conference Saturday, January 26, 2019

“In the Beginning Were the Words: A Closer Look at Key New Testament Terms”

The BYU New Testament Commentary committee announces that on Saturday, January 26, 2019, they will present a conference at the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Center at BYU in Provo, Utah. The conference is free and open to the public and will be held from 9 am until 4 pm. No registration is required. A video will be made of the presentations and posted on this website. Parking is available in the lot across the street to the east.

9:00 Welcome by Virginia Pearce Cowley, conducting the conference.

9:15 Eric D. Huntsman, Disciplemathētēs (μαθητής) Mathētēs is a word that John appeals to much more often than do the Synoptic Gospels. In particular, I will be stressing how John uses it for a much wider group than the Twelve, and how the different characters represent different walks of faith and different types of discipleship.

9:45 Julie M. Smith, Wayhodos (ὁδός) One of the earliest designations for the community of those who followed Jesus was “The Way.” The Greek word translated as “way,” hodos, exhibits a rich, multi-layered presence in the New Testament. In this presentation, we’ll examine the literal and figurative interplay of this word in order to gain insight into Jesus’ ministry and message.

10:15 John W. Welch, Blessed, Happymakarios (μακάριος)  Building on the treatment of the adored Beatitudes in chapter 3 of my book titled The Sermon on the Mount in the Light of the Temple (Ashgate, 2009), I shall examine how this term played a perhaps unsung but indispensable role in the Gospel of John, the book of Acts, Paul’s epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, and Galatians, as well as in Revelation and elsewhere.

10:45 Break

11:00 Brent Schmidt, Gracecharis (χάρις) My earlier study of the term grace, published under the title Relational Grace, demonstrated that the original field of meaning was distorted as soon as it fell into the hands of the Christian fathers of the third and fourth centuries AD. Rather than describing a reciprocal relationship between God and believers that was undergirded by covenants, it became “cheap grace” that only depended on a passive, neo-Platonic and mysterious belief.

11:30 Richard D. Draper, Loveagapē (ἀγάπη) Of the words discussed today, the term agapē may be the most important. On it, Jesus affirmed, “hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:40). In his turn, Paul treated this intriguing term in the moving, beloved hymn to Charity (1 Corinthians 13). We shall probe these sources and more.

12:00 Lunch on your own, available at the Cannon Center at Helaman Halls or the food court at the Wilkinson Student Center

1:00 John Gee, Scribegrammateus (γραμμματεύς) Scribes were one of the major groups opposing Jesus during his mortal ministry. Unlike the Pharisees, however, the dogmas that they held are not clearly defined. We will explore who the scribes were and why they hated Jesus.

1:30 Michael D. Rhodes, Mysterymystērion (μυστήριον)  A word that is found 28 times in the New Testament, the overall general sense is “secret knowledge revealed by God.” The term  mystērion occurs in a single significant setting in the synoptic Gospels when Christ explains to his disciples why he taught in parables. The remaining 25 occurrences are in the book of Revelation and the writings of Paul. I will examine the various nuanced meanings found in all 28 cases.

2:00 Brent Schmidt, Faith — pistis (πίστις) The earliest occurrences of the word “faith” embrace meanings such as knowledge, faithfulness, trust, and loyalty to covenants, all concepts that involve action on the part of the possessor. But in the third century AD, all this changed. From that point on, faith was seen as an inner, passive acceptance of whatever the early church taught termed “the Rule of Faith,” which later became the authoritative and solitary sola fide. This topic will be presented in detail in a forthcoming publication.

2:30 Break

2:45 Kent Brown, Inheritance: Who Owns All That Land? — klēronomia (κληρονομία)  One of the most important terms in scripture that dates from Abraham’s era, the word “inheritance” and associated terms underwent an important change in New Testament times, moving from a transfer of real estate and other property to the reception of a spiritual home in heaven.

3:15 Panel discussion on Mark’s Gospel and Julie M. Smith’s new commentary. Panelists are today’s presenters joined by Tom Roberts.

4:00 Closing


July 29, 2016, Conference: New Mormon Ideas about Mark and Hebrews

Announcing the 4th Annual BYU New Testament Commentary Conference: 

New Mormon Ideas about Mark and Hebrews

Friday, July 29, 2016,  9:00 am to 3:00 pm,  Hinckley Center Assembly Hall, Brigham Young University. All are welcome to attend. Admission free.

9:00  Welcome and Opening Prayer

Introduction: About this New Testament Commentary Series and this conference

Morning Session: The Epistle to the Hebrews

9:10  Michael D. Rhodes, “Thoughts on the Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews”

9:45  Joshua M. Matson, “‘Whoso Readeth It, Let Him Understand’: The Use of Extra-Canonical Jewish Traditions in Hebrews”

10:05  Q&A on the Authorship of Hebrews

10:15  Richard D. Draper, “‘Now Since the Children Share Flesh and Blood, [Christ] also, in Just the Same Way, Shared Their Humanity’: The Low Christology of the Lord as Viewed in Hebrews 1–2”

10:50  Avram R. Shannon, “‘I Have Sworn’: Ancient Exegesis and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood”

11:10  Ben Spackman, “Joseph Smith, JST Hebrews 9:15-20, and Covenant Curses”

11:30  Nathaniel Pribil and Chris Brockman, “The Many Uses of Hebrews by LDS Leaders”

11:50  Q&A on Main Themes of Hebrews

12:00  Lunch Break. Food courts and buffets are available on campus, or bring a box lunch to eat on the patio.

Afternoon Session: The Gospel of Mark

1:00  Reconvene

1:10  Julie M. Smith, “The Purpose of Parables: A Closer Look at Mark 4:10-13”

1:45  Andrea Brunken, “Messianic Secret in the Book of Mark”

2:05  Philip Abbott, “The Markan Sandwich of Mark 5: A Reflection of Christ”

2:25  Andy Mickelson, “‘[He] Fled from Them Naked’: Uncovering the Significance of Mark 14:51-52”

2:45  Q&A on LDS Interests and Perplexities in Mark

2:55  Thanks and Closing Prayer

Parking is available at the visitor lot near the BYU Museum of Art or the Wilkinson Center. Handicap parking is available for vehicles with a hangtag or plate in any “A” lot, except in specially marked parking stalls.

Lunch options are available at the Wilkinson Center or the Cannon Center, or bring a box lunch.

No registration is required. Click here for a printable schedule: ntc_conference_schedule_2016_3

2016 Summer Seminar

We are accepting applications for the second annual BYU New Testament Commentary Series Summer Seminar, to be held for the four weeks of July 5 to July 29, 2016, on BYU Campus, Provo, Utah. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2016. The seminar is open to graduate students and recent PhDs who have research interests in Latter-day Saint readings of the New Testament.

During this Seminar, participants will:

  • Consult together about recent New Testament scholarship
  • Read and comment on the volumes currently in progress, including Hebrews, Mark, and the Series Introduction
  • Work closely with the authors of these and other volumes

The planned schedule for the seminar is:

July 5–8 Hebrews
July 11–15 Series Introduction Volume
July 18–28 Mark

Work products that will result from this seminar will include:

  • Greek word studies
  • Textual, contextual, intertextual, and translation notes
  • Analytical commentaries on chapters or sections
  • Short excurses or methodological comments

The Seminar will culminate in a conference, where conference participants will be able to present material that they have produced during the seminar.

A stipend of $2000 and a modest housing subsidy of $400 for single or $600 for family housing will be paid. Ample housing is inexpensively available in Provo during the summer term.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please send an initial email to our group using the Contact Us form at and further instructions will be sent  to you. Plan to submit these materials:  A current CV; a writing sample relating to scripture research, and a brief statement explaining your particular interests in this seminar and how you would hope to contribute to scholarly LDS work on the New Testament.


The New Testament Commentary Series Editorial Committee

Kent Brown
Richard D. Draper
Kaye Terry Hanson
Eric Huntsman
Michael D. Rhodes
Brent D. Schmidt
Andrew C. Skinner
Julie M. Smith
Gaye Strathearn
John W. Welch


Public presentation on Tabernacle and Temple

We announce a lecture of interest to fans of New Testament studies. Dr. Joshua Berman, Senior Lecturer in the Bible Department at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, will present a lecture on Wednesday, October 7, at 7:00 pm in the Varsity Theater at BYU, Provo, Utah. His presentation is “The Differences between the Tabernacle and the Temple: Architecture and Ideology.”

It is open to the general public, and admission is free. No registration is necessary. The Varsity Theater is in the northeast section of the Wilkinson Center. We suggest parking in the lots east of the Wilkinson Center, which are open to the public in the evening. Take 900 East to get to these lots: Campus Drive no longer connects to the Wilkinson Center. You may also park in the Museum of Art parking lot, which is accessible from Campus Drive.

Dr. Berman is the author of The Temple: Its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now (Jason Aronson Publishers, 1995, 2010). His book is widely known for its rigorous scholarship and spiritual enrichment, animating the meaning of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem, its rites, and the biblical passages that describe it. Watch for an article from this book that will soon be posted on Interpreter at

Dr. Berman received a B.A. in Religion from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Bible from Bar-Ilan University. An orthodox rabbi, he and his wife have four children and reside in Bet Shemesh, Israel. Berman’s brief visit to Utah is co-sponsored by BYU Studies, the Academy for Temple Studies, the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, the Interpreter Foundation, and the J. Reuben Clark Law School.

The presentation on Wednesday will be recorded and made available a few weeks afterward via the BYU Studies Youtube channel.

Questions? Please contact via this website.

Annual Conference on July 31, 2015: Love Never Fails: The Latter-day Saint Affinity towards 1 Corinthians

We are pleased to announce the Third Annual BYU New Testament Commentary Conference will be held on Friday, July 31, 2015, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., in the Hinckley Alumni Center at BYU. This conference is free and open to the public. Videos of every presentation will be made available on this website within a couple of months.

We are celebrating the upcoming publication of the newest e-book in the New Testament Commentary Series, which is Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, by Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes. Everyone who attends the conference may register for a free copy of this e-book.  

First Corinthians has long held a prominent place in LDS thought, culture, and practice. It is the source of the Relief Society motto, Charity Never Faileth; and Paul’s discourse on the gifts of the spirit stands behind Article of Faith 7.

Featured speakers this year include Craig Blomberg, Kevin Barney, and Julie M. Smith. Craig Blomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at the Denver Seminary and co-author of How Wide the Divide? A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation. Kevin Barney practices public finance law in Chicago and is a scholar of Mormon history and scripture. Julie Smith holds a master’s degree in biblical studies from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley and is the author of several published works.

Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes will lead a panel discussion about their commentary on 1 Corinthians as well as respond to questions from the audience.

Morning Session

9:00        John W. Welch, Brigham Young University, editor in chief of BYU Studies and Professor of Law, Welcome and Introductions, and “Visiting the Ruins of Corinth Today”

9:35        Kevin L. Barney, Chicago, lawyer in public finance law and a scholar of Mormon history and scripture, “The Joseph Smith Translation of 1 Corinthians: Towards an Eclectic Approach”

10:25     Break

10:40     Craig L. Blomberg, “A Celestial Commentary on 1 Corinthians”

11:30     Avram R. Shannon, Ohio State University, “The Term ‘Apostle’: Issues in Using Jewish Sources in New Testament Studies”

11:50     Lunch Break: We recommend the buffet at the Cannon Center at Helaman Halls or the food court at the Wilkinson Center, or you may bring a brown bag lunch to eat on the west patio at the Hinckley Center.

Afternoon Session

1:00        Julie M. Smith, Texas,  “Portraits of Jesus: Christology in the Gospel of Mark and 1 Corinthians”

1:45        Brock L. Mason and David L. Paulsen, BYU, Professor of Philosophy, “Theological Underpinnings of Baptism for the Dead”

2:25        Break

2:40        T. Benjamin Spackman, California, “Christian Accommodation at Corinth”

3:00        Michael D. Rhodes, Translator, Professor of Ancient Scripture, BYU, “Remarks and Responses: Behind the Scenes of this New Commentary”

3:30        Richard D. Draper, Commentator, Professor of Ancient Scripture, BYU, “‘The Cup of Blessing’: Paul’s Teachings on the Sacrament in 1 Corinthians 10”

4:00        Conclude

Parking: No one attending the conference may park in the few reserved spots available directly across from (east of) the Hinckley Center. Please park at the Museum of Art visitor lot (open during construction), or in Lot 48, which is just under the south scoreboard of the stadium, and a short walk from the Hinckley Center. If you have a handicap hangtag, you may park in the “A” lot across from the Hinckley Center, but not in the reserved spots.


Questions? Contact us here.

Ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Corinth, Greece.

Ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Corinth, Greece.