that it might be for our profit and learning"
Brant Gardner is an LDS scholar and Mesoamerican specialist who recently published Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon with Kofford Books. A pre-publication version of the commentary is still available at archive.org (though it is more outdated than the published volumes). Gardner recently spent some time with me discussing his work. Our conversations resulted in this twelve-part series on the Book of Mormon.
Part 1- Introduction to Second Witness
Provides a brief review of LDS scholar Brant Gardner's new 6-volume work Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon.
Part 2- Putting Blood in the Veins of the Text
Gardner discusses his goals, efforts, and hopes regarding his Book of Mormon commentary.
Part 3- Gardner on Ostler's Expansion Theory
Interacting with several theories on how the Book of Mormon translation resulted in the text we have today, Gardner posits an interactive process.
Parts 4 through 8- Top Five Book of Mormon Myths
Gardner confronts conceptual myths about the Book of Mormon. He believes some popular understanding of the book should not overrule what the text itself claims.
Part 9- All Are Alike? On Racism and the Book of Mormon
In calling racism an "ancient norm," Gardner differentiates the meaning of "racism" in terms of our current understanding from what the ancient writers likely understood regarding a "skin of blackness."
Part 10- Method and Skepticism (and Quetzelcoatl...)
Gardner responds to criticism that a Mormon scholar's beliefs will influence the results of their findings, thus making the scholarship questionable or lacking.
Part 11- A quick discussion on "others" in the Book of Mormon
In this post, Gardner exemplifies his approach to the text by answering questions from one who is skeptical about the possibility of "others" (non-lineal Lehites) in the Book of Mormon.
Part 12- Reading With New Eyes
Concluding post, describing how Garder attempts to draw meaning from the text in regards to how its authors understood it rather than constructing a theology back into the text from current LDS understanding.