What do you get when you cross a biblical scholar, a scripture translation supervisor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an adjunct instructor in the Ancient Scripture Department at Brigham Young University, a (formerly) licensed massage therapist, and a Tik Tok account?
Over 123k followers and 2.1M likes.
@maklelan Reply to @jonav97 ♬ original sound – Dan McClellan
With well over 500 Tik Tok videos currently published on his site, Dan McClellan (whose Tik Tok handle is a phonetic spelling of his surname) is speaking to a niche—and often overlooked—audience on Tik Tok, a platform that crosses generational boundaries (mainly catering to the Millennial and Gen Z crowd) but is often known for its entertainment, dance, pranks, sports/fitness, and DIY videos—not for its spiritual and religious content.
Through his channel, Dan is making biblical scholarship accessible to the general public.
Dan was recently a guest on the BEYOND THE BLOCK podcast, where he discussed his channel and his approach toward sharing Biblical scholarship.
Making information accessible in a great way to a generation that is often wondering.
When asked why he started a Tik Tok account, he mentioned people were sharing videos on different social platforms that intersected with his area of expertise (Biblical scholarship), but misinformation was being spread through subjective statements or thoughts shared as opinion but not based in widely-accepted scholarship.
That made him wonder: “Is anyone keeping tabs on what is happening in this space on Tik Tok?”
So he jumped on the platform and initially started responding to videos rather than creating his own. He now creates some original content and still responds to other content he wants to delve deeper into on the platform.
His aim in doing this? Dan wants to help democratize scholarship. He wants to help take the topic of Biblical scholarship to public discourse.
Dan states he wants to democratize scholarship and the available scholarly resources while also responding to the misinformation that is so prevalent on many of the social media platforms.
A ground rule he set up when he started his Tik Tok account to avoid potential toxicity was not to talk about his religious beliefs but rather take an academic approach to the study of the Bible and religion in general. He attributes that to his broad appeal on Tik Tok as an unbiased source of information that will give the facts and scholarship behind the sacred tome.
Why is this needed and how is it helpful in today’s spiritual and religious climate?
A 2021 study of Americans reveals teenage and young adult Latter-day Saints to be similar to other Americans who still consider themselves religious but are in many ways disengaged from their faith traditions.
This study (“The State of Religion and Young People 2021: Navigating Uncertainty”) conducted throughout 2021 by the Springtide Research Institute, found that “for a large and growing segment of young people, religiosity is increasingly decoupled from institutions, even as they express high levels of religious belief, practice, and identity.”
The information that Dan is putting out can help many of these young people, both within and without the Church, find answers to Biblical questions that help them move forward on their faith journey.
Dan, thank you for creating content that is helpful, informative, fun, and NECESSARY.
@maklelan Reply to @captain_jack_sbarro ♬ original sound – Dan McClellan