I’m a big fan of The Teaching Company. They have lots of good stuff on the Bible, world religions, and a bunch of lesser topics as well, like arts, philosophy, etc. It’s particularly interesting to hear Bart Ehrman and Luke T. Johnson lecture on Paul, since they have such contrasting approaches.
I’m gearing up to teach the Book of Mormon for Institute in Fall. As one might expect, the Teaching Company has no lectures for content of the Book of Mormon the way they do for the Hebrew Bible (which I found a bit disappointing but still recommendable), New Testament (several options), or Book of Genesis.
Since a few have requested it, I’ve considered recording myself in class, but have several objections.
1) I’d hate to hold myself out as some kind of expert (I’m not) AND have whatever flawed, semi-spontaneous Institute class/lecture be distributed as such. The Teaching Company folks are all reading off of carefully prepared text without interruptions or questions. I prepare extensively, but use minimal notes and am responsive to student questions and concerns, so the flow, content, etc. isn’t what I’d like to hold out as my best work. But then, the perfect is the enemy of the good.
2) In terms of audio, it would be poor quality- recorded on my laptop, not always speaking into its microphone as I walk around.
3) Most importantly, I sound like a muppet with a cold.
Has anyone done this? Is there good Book of Mormon content audio out there somewhere? If not, someone has a niche to fill.
9 Replies to “Who Lectures on the Book of Mormon?”
I say go for it, even though you do sound like a muppet who swallowed another muppet. 🙂
Nibley’s Honors Book of Mormon Lecture are available. I have at least one volume somewhere,
I usually watch Nibley to make myself feel better about my own lecturing. You should go for it. If the Teaching Company doesn’t pick them up, you could always stream it at FPR.
Ditto your kudos for The Teaching Company. I would be interested in hearing your lectures on the Book of Mormon. Since there is nothing to compare them to, I’m pretty sure they would be the best.
The only suggestion I can think is a set-up where you have a wireless mic and have that record directly onto a PC…that way you can have your lectures going through, even though you wouldn’t be able to pick up any chalkboard/whiteboard notes, nor great quality from class questions.
Count me as not only another strong proponent for Nibley’s honor’s course on the Book of Mormon (I have the transcript from the first semester), and count me as another one who is interested in your lectures. Enough can’t be said for another’s view on the Book of Mormon
I have had reasonable success with recording using a digital recorder. The ones available now can easily fit into a shirt pocket and that seems to be close enough to get the speaker’s voice at an almost professional level and it also reduces the problem of noise in the room. It might be a bit of a problem to pick up people asking questions BUT I must confess I have done family history interviews with old folk with the recorder in my shirt pocket and the quality is good enough to create a text version of the interview (I do ask their permission to record by the way, but the nice thing about being in the pocket is that it doesn’t intimidate like a recorder sitting on a table does).
You’ll need to spend between $50 and $100 to get one that gives good quality and will record a few hours of talk at a high quality level.
On audio sources a reasonable choice would be the BYU Roundtable discussion of the Book of Mormon. They are set up for podcast and the easiest way to get to them is to go to Itunes, go to the store, select podcasts and then in the search box type “Book of Mormon”. There are about 50 lectures as I recall, about 30 minutes each on a “grouping” of scriptures usually with 3 or 4 BYU professors discussing the ideas and doctrine in the chapters. Good, solid material, you could use them in class without any worries they don’t stray too far from a Sunday School approach. The best part is that they are free.
There is also an audio Book of Mormon available in podcast form but it seems to have some 200 files, I haven’t investigated closely but it looks like each verse is a separate audio file.
There have been several groups on specific chapters of the Book of Mormon. (Like the Alma 32 sessions) They should be reasonably easy to track down. I also believe that Feast Upon the Word did a bit of a podcast although I don’t know what happened. (Yeah, I have no time to blog anymore)
I love TCC and would purchase your class 🙂 This is all I have to offer, since I have never heard a series on BoM besides the recent BoM Theology Seminar ones.
You should totally record your classes. I second the recommendation for a wireless mike or portable recorder.
As you probably know, the format of TCC seems to veer to the secular end of the spectrum, so I doubt the “devotional” nature of CES classes would be accepted (or appropriate). You would have to come up with your own syllabus from scratch that focused on the informational aspects of the subject.
I’m not trying to submit it. That would be an entirely different project, perhaps something suited for Terryl Givens. He’s about to publish A Very Short Introduction to the Book of Mormon through Oxford.