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Robert F. Smith

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About Robert F. Smith

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    Creates Man & Woman

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  1. Sheol and the underworld

    It might also be a function of the limited nature of biblical literature. There are some hints of something more than just She'ol (in Job 19:25-29, for example), and we have to wonder where the Pharisees got their belief in the bodily resurrection in later Judaism.
  2. Sheol and the underworld

    Here on this board, at http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/70418-new-revelations-and-the-future/?page=19&tab=comments#comment-1209811392 , I recently said: Oh, but they do: Book of Mormon First & Second Death, along with the Lake of Fire are specifically ancient Egyptian (not found in the OT, and only in Rev in the NT). We also only find the First Estate and Second Estate in ancient Egypt and in the Book of Abraham -- which also includes the very Egyptian notion of Creation from already extant material, and that stars are deities. The Egyptian and Mormon notion of apotheosis is exactly the opposite of dark She'ol.
  3. Was Noah Really a "Preacher of Righteousness"?

    You haven't yet responded to my posts, and you have made a number of false statements, all the while fallaciously personifying the LDS Church. I asked you to cite your sources, and a few quotes wouldn't hurt. You obviously haven't done your homework yet. Can't have a real discussion if you are unprepared to engage the issues.
  4. Was Noah Really a "Preacher of Righteousness"?

    We also have the theology of Moses leading Israel dryshod through the Red Sea being an actual baptism (1 Cor 10:2). How is it that they can have a baptism without getting wet? Clearly we need to consider the issue more broadly. We need to consider the constant presence of hyperbole, and of figures of speech. We must not sink to the level of yokels, as so often happens with the evangelicals. Scientist Widtsoe did not have the benefit of modern knowledge about the great Pluvial rains at the end of the last ice age, which some scholars credit with leading to the worldwide phenomenon of Flood Stories even where there isn't much water today. So we can speculate all we want and not necessarily come to any real conclusion on such controversial issues -- which are not salvific in any case.
  5. Was Noah Really a "Preacher of Righteousness"?

    As Brother Brigham used to say, "No man's opinion is worth a straw." And as Joseph used to say, "A prophet is only a prophet when speaking as such." Taking leaders who are merely expressing human opinions at their word is nice (when and if they are infallible), but what do you do when they don't agree with one another, or when you attribute to them positions which they have not taken? You need to cite your sources and carefully compare what leaders actually say, not the figments of your imagination. That way you just might make some marginal gains.
  6. Was Noah Really a "Preacher of Righteousness"?

    You are anthropomorphizing the Church, which is a fallacy. The Church doesn't get things right or wrong. People inside a Church might get things right or wrong, and we need to specify which items some Church members got right and which they got wrong. When we name them, and cite out sources, we may make some marginal gains in understanding just what the facts are. There is, for example, no official LDS position on when the Great Deluge occurred. Indeed, the LDS "Bible Dictionary" published by the Church pooh poohs such a notion (see under "Chronology"). One thing that might help you in your appraisal is to take seriously the words I quoted from Book of Mormon Central about the variant stories of creation, the life of Christ, etc. You need to engage the fact that ancient prophets have given us mutually irreconcilable parallel accounts of such events. Sometimes it is helpful to sit in on local university courses on biblical literature (such courses are also available online).
  7. Was Noah Really a "Preacher of Righteousness"?

    It is much more complicated than that, stemelbow. There are multiple Flood Stories in the ancient world, most of them earlier than the biblical one, and they all share many points in common. It is impossible that they are not related to one another. The biblical writers are not witnesses to such an ancient event, and have no idea whether any of the particulars are correct. They are merely passing the story on in a form that is familiar to them. The archetypal meaning which the story has is its main importance. The facts are lost in the mists of time. The same applies to the various Creation Stories, as well as to the variant stories of the Life of Christ: We need to adopt much broader and more sophisticated views of ancient Scripture, none of which was composed by professional historians under the rules of modern historiography. We need to understand such literature in proper context.
  8. Incredible Books on Biblical Studies & Ancient Religion?

    You live in an either-or world, while I live in a both-and world. You are straining at gnats, while I am trying to prevent foreclosure. Since God the Father can be YHWH, and so can Jesus, I see no problem with Jesus being a prophet of God. I likewise see no difficulty with Jesus being the High Priest and Apostle of God the Father (Hebrews 3:1). Nor do I see a problem with Jesus being a "messenger" (mal'ak) of his Father. It is not any downgrade at all for Jesus to be an apostle ("messenger") of the Father. He is glorious, but he is also obedient. There is a hierarchy. Heb 3:1-3 "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house."
  9. Incredible Books on Biblical Studies & Ancient Religion?

    Pardon me, but that is like saying it is wrong to describe Jesus as a mere prophet, even though Jesus describes himself as a prophet (Lk 4:24). He also calls himself the bright, the morning star (Rev 22:16, II Pt 1:19), which is reminiscent of Lucifer in Isa 14:12. Does that diminish Jesus in any way? We would be as interested in the assumption of the descriptions of Ba'al being adopted wholesale by YHWH: Both Baʿal-Hadad and YHWH are termed "Cloud-Rider" (Ps 68:4 [MT 68:5]; cf. Dan 7:13), both dwell in Mt. Safon (Pss 29:3,10, 48:2 [MT 48:3], Isa 14:13), both destroy the great Dragon, or Sea (Ps 74:12-15, Isa 27:1, Job 7:12), and both arrive in a great thunderstorm, with seven thunders or seven lightnings (Ps 29:3-9; KTU 1.101.3-4 = Ugaritica V.3.3-4) – all discussed by John Day in Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, I:548-549. Just so with the Hebrew word mal'ak "angel." Thus, we might want to take a look at the parallel use of Visions of the Almighty | Angel of his Presence in Abraham 1:15-16, in which Jehovah comes down and personally stops the sacrifice of Abram. Is that the Shechinah?
  10. India Temple

    Yes, and some have Jesus saying "My yoga is light, and my burden is easy." However, some of those claims ought to give us pause: https://swarajyamag.com/culture/how-jesus-as-a-yogi-is-being-used-for-conversion-propaganda .
  11. Incredible Books on Biblical Studies & Ancient Religion?

    One of the major problems with identifying this or that god is that they have descriptive titles which can be used across the board for different personages. Thus, Yeshua "Salvation," and Yahweh, "He who creates that which exists," etc., may apply to more than one character. It can be very hard to tell which deity is being described in any given instance. Indeed, Nibley thought that the gods move up in the hierarchy as time goes on and additional worlds are created, and additional Saviors are sacrificed.
  12. Incredible Books on Biblical Studies & Ancient Religion?

    You might be interested in James L. Kugel and Rowan A. Greer, Early Biblical Interpretation, Library of Early Christianity (Phila.: Westminster Press, 1986). William Stegner, Narrative Theology in Early Jewish Christianity (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1989).
  13. India Temple

    Breathtaking!! Thanks, Rajah.
  14. On Zion Distant, and Babylon Close

    I take the non-polar view that the only rational supporters of the EPA rollback are those who can make a big profit on the deal. Simple as that. Others who support it for ideological reasons will lose, regardless of their pretended liberal-conservative positions (which are not real in any case, and actually have more to do with emotion and mood than any rational assessment). If they would get out of that fever swamp and take the POV of BofM Zenos, there might be some hope for all of us. But you know what "fat chance" means.
  15. The "mouth" and "head" of any river can be understood in similar ways in ancient terms. And, oddly enough, the late David Noel Freedman moved the discussion of such rivers to North America: