Temple Themes in the Scriptures

Creation, Fall, and the Story of Adam and Eve
In God’s Image and Likeness 1


Margaret Barker, former President of the Society for Old Testament Study; Methodist local preacher; prolific author of studies reconstructing the background of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament:

This is not just a book for Mormons. Dr. Bradshaw draws on a wide range of material from many cultures and eras: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. He shows how to read and understand the stories of a prephilosophical culture, and reveals them as sophisticated insights into the human condition. He takes as his starting point the Genesis material in Mormon tradition, and then sets it in a wider context than many would have thought possible, exploring the human and spiritual state of humanity, the nature of our knowledge about the creation, the nature of revelation itself. He has wise words on the creationism debate. This remarkable book makes an important contribution to understanding not only the material in Genesis, but also the way in which that heritage has been shared among all the Peoples of the Book.

David R. Seely, Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University; co-author of Solomon’s Temple: Myth and History and Glimpses of Lehi’s Jerusalem:

Attempting to match the cosmic scope of the vision of Moses, this wide-ranging and comprehensive commentary brings to the text of the Book of Moses a stimulating collection of scholarship from many disciplines and a wealth of stunning artistic and literary images. The reader will find in this volume much thought-provoking discussion about the doctrines that are central to the Gospel: the Godhead, Creation, the Fall, the Atonement, and the role of the Temple and its teachings in bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man.”

David H. Bailey, Chief Technologist, Computational Research Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; author of several articles on science and Mormonism:

In this book, Jeff Bradshaw analyzes LDS scriptures from the perspective of a professional scholar and scientist. The result is a uniquely modern and honest treatment with considerable material that has not appeared before. Of particular interest to me as a scientist is the book’s detailed analysis of the creation scriptures in light of modern scientific knowledge. The book is lavishly illustrated with works taken from the world’s treasury of religious art. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to understand this important aspect of modern Mormonism.

S. Kent Brown, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Scripture and Former Director of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), Brigham Young University; co-author of The Pearl of Great Price: A Verse-by-Verse Commentary:

Dr. Bradshaw has succeeded in weaving a most interesting tapestry of comment on the book of Moses, drawing upon ancient and modern sources that form a warp and weft that invite reflection. He shines a light on both bright and dim threads of this important text that, in its own way, draped the Prophet Joseph and his contemporaries.

Richard J. Ingebretsen, Research Professor in the Department of Physics and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Medicine, University of Utah; author of Joseph Smith and Astronomy:

The Pearl of Great Price provides a greater understanding of astronomy, the stars and the origins of the universe. Bradshaw’s commentary is an inspiring work that helps bridge the gap between science and religion. It helps to unlock the great teachings of the inspired prophets who peered into the ancient night skies.

E. Douglas Clark, International Policy Director for United Families International; author of The Blessings of Abraham:

As part of the Pearl of Great Price, the book of Moses is truly a treasure-trove, and Jeff Bradshaw’s encyclopedic exploration thereof contains a contagious enthusiasm as it digs, probes, examines, reflects, speculates, and appreciates. The open-minded search for meaning drawing on a variety sources and disciplines is imbued with special respect for the insights from latter-day revelation, making this a resource of rich and unique value for Latter-day Saints.

Kevin L. Barney, editor of Footnotes to the New Testament for Latter-day Saints, author of many articles on LDS scripture:

Bradshaw has drawn from an extensive array of sources, both LDS and non-LDS, in crafting this new and enlightening commentary on the first part of the book of Moses.

Trent Stephens, Professor of Anatomy and Embryology, Idaho State University; co-author of Who are the Children of Lehi? DNA and the Book of Mormon and Evolution and Mormonism: A Quest for Understanding:

… A must read for any serious student of the Pearl of Great Price. I was delighted by the use of fine art in the manuscript and the extensive reference work.

Maurine Jensen Proctor, Editor-in-Chief of Meridian Magazine (link):

One may not think that the eight chapters of the book of Moses found in our Pearl of Great Price, could generate an 1100 page book of commentary, but Jeffrey M. Bradshaw…has created a masterpiece in his new book In God’s Image and Likeness… I have spent considerable time in these many pages and have come away with insights and ah-ha’s, glimpses into the meaning and context of Moses’ magnificent understanding… I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Aaron Shill, Associate Editor of Mormon Times (link):

Turning an eight-chapter book of scripture into a 1,000-plus-page commentary wasn’t a seamless process for Jeffrey M. Bradshaw…His commentary comprises about 3,500 sources. It contains 1,101 pages and weighs in at around 8 pounds. The Book of Moses details God’s dealings with Adam and Eve, and Bradshaw found relevant sources in not just in Mormon and Christian literature but in Judaism, Islam and all the great world religions. He appealed to the ancient and modern, the scholarly and artistic—everything from Eastern Orthodox scholar Ephrem the Syrian to LDS painter Brian Kershisnik.

Terry Hutchinson, book reviewer for KDXU Radio 890 in St. George, Utah (link):

The book retails for around $50.00, but I will tell you that its under-valued. It is 1100 pages, on thick luscious paper with countless illustrations… This…commentary…marks a great leap forward for Mormon scriptural studies. Bradshaw thinks deeply about the stories and has compiled many versions and comments from around the world. He puts the Book of Moses in a context that makes it difficult to ignore and impossible to forget. I found myself learning so much, but confirming much of my own thought and study that I found myself wishing I’d written such a book. (A Book I Wish I’d Written, 26 February 2010)

Kerry Shirts, “The Backyard Professor” (for a video review of the book, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3):

just received Brother Bradshaw’s book… It could have easily, and I mean ***EASILY*** have sold for $150. The price of $50. is an absolute BARGAIN..... This is just incredible. It’s GORGEOUS MAN! The paper is wonderful, the binding, the illustrations… I am gushing all over myself for the pure JOY of having so much magnificent reading and learning to do! - Heh, I’m gonna call in sick for a few days - LOL!)

Michael D. Olsen, BYU Studies (BYU Studies 49:1 (2010), pp. 188-189, link):

The core of the book, around which all the other six sections are shaped, is a 476-page commentary by Bradshaw of Moses chapter 1 through chapter 6 verse 12. The intent here is to provide the reader with both the "plain sense" of the scriptural words as well as their context and relevance to modern audiences…This is accomplished in three parts: the author’s commentary; 4,599 footnotes and 320 longer “endnotes” at the end of each of the six chapters of commentary; and 274 pages of detailed discussion (“Excursus”) of 55 subjects related to matters raised in the commentary. Following upon and excerpting the work of Hugh Nibley and John M. Lundquist, as well as other scholars, historians, and LDS leaders, the book also illustrates how temple themes are woven into and expand our understanding of the story the Book of Moses tells. This book also offers useful study aids: thirty-two pages of beautiful color plates of artwork related to the stories of the Book of Moses; an extensive bibliography; an appendix with various LDS documents on the origin of man; and a 103-page “Annotated Bibliography of Ancient Texts Related to the Book of Moses and JST Genesis.” This bibliography lists and briefly describes ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi, Gnostic, Islamic and other texts—so often cited in scholarly research. But for those not constantly working with these texts, this bibliography will be helpful…It appears to be intended not only as a commentary but a reference book, amalgamating in one place all the current scholarly and prophetic knowledge concerning the Book of Moses and the doctrinal subjects it treats. This is an ambitious project.

Roy Schmidt, for the Association of Mormon Letters (link):

One of the things catching my attention as I investigated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1968 was a slim volume of scripture know as The Book of Moses. I have loved that little book ever since. It contains marvelous teachings, including many found nowhere else in the scriptures…The publisher, Eborn Publishing, should be commended for producing a volume of such high quality. The illustrations are first rate, and the typeface is easy to read, the paper is “magazine quality,” and three convenient ribbon markers are included. The organization of the book is interesting…So what does the book either teach us or help us better understand? It is obvious to anyone who has read the Book of Moses, and has attended an endowment session in an LDS temple, that the major theme of the former is a main focus in the latter. Bradshaw, like Hugh Nibley and others before him, instructs us by showing these themes are of ancient origin, and exist far beyond LDS teachings…This work is a major addition to the study of The Pearl of Great Price in general, and “The Book of Moses” in particular. It will occupy a prominent place on my bookshelf, and will be used as constant reference for as many years as I have left.