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David Bokovoy

The Biblical Gods:

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According to Latter-day Saint theology, God is not alone.

Indeed, one of the central theological tenets typically associated with LDS theology includes the existence of multiple deities. With this view, Latter-day Saints find themselves in greater harmony with the Bible than any other Christian group.

As regularly discussed on this board, biblical scholars have, in recent decades, become increasingly more aware of the fact that most biblical texts operate according to a premise that there were many gods, though Israel worshipped only one.

For contemporary scholars, the concept of a divine council of gods is so central to the

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"My witnesses are you

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Erik said:

"Before Me no God was formed,"

Hmmm.... he is the only God "Formed" at all.

That causes problems for the christian definition of an uncreated God!

:P

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And as I have pointed out to you before, Erik, the passage makes no sense whatsoever in the context of modern Christain orthodoxy.

When was "before God"? When was "after me [God]"? what about the "during God" - which doesn't even seem to be mentioned in the verse ...

Ben

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As usual, interesting post Mr. Bokovoy. I just picked up the book by you and John Tvedtnes (Testaments), and look forward to reading it. I just hope that it isn

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==I think David and other Mormons would respond that the passage really means 'Before Me no God was formed that is important to Israel, and after Me none shall exist of importance to you O Israel.'

William

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The problem is that most Christians cannot reconcile Trinity doctrine with the doctrines of the fall and need for a Messiah

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David's excellent point on the Targums is paralleled by the Septuagint, where elohim (Hebrew plural "gods") is regularly translated angeloi (Greek plural "angels") rather than theoi (Greek plural "gods"). It is clear that some Jews in the first and second centuries around Christ were uncomfortable with biblical texts that they saw as implying the existence of multiple "gods."

By the way, many of the earliest Christians did not deny the existence of Zeus, et. al. Rather, they understood pagan gods to be demons who were attempting to trick mankind into worshipping them.

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Just so everyone is clear on this issue. I directly owe my scholarly obsession regarding the divine council to Dan and Bill

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Hi David,

Latter-day Saints find themselves in greater harmony with the Bible than any other Christian group

Only in the context that they would hold that the mythical gods of the Canaanite peoples were real existing gods? The Bible refutes and corrects this over and overs again, even calling the Canaanite gods by their names and refuting them and being real.

Deu 4:28 And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.

Deu 6:14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which [are] round about you; ( the Canaanites and others )

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Jdg 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.

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Jdg 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.

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Jdg 10:16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

The Bible is clear that the gods of the other people are not to be worshipped, it is not a new discovery. It goes on to say...

1Ki 14:9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

2Ki 17:29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put [them] in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

Who made these gods, LDS believe in the eternal law of progression, how does that work here?

2Ki 19:18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

1Ch 14:12 And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.

Whos in control? the people had left their gods behind.

1Ch 16:25 For great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also [is] to be feared above all gods.

Ch 16:26 For all the gods of the people [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

The elohims are nothing more than idols

2Ch 13:8 And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye [be] a great multitude, and [there are] with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods.

2Ch 13:9 Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of [other] lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, [the same] may be a priest of [them that are] no gods.

2Ch 32:19 And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, [which were] the work of the hands of man.

2Ch 33:15 And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast [them] out of the city.

Manasseh threw away the gods here

Psa 96:4 For the LORD [is] great, and greatly to be praised: he [is] to be feared above all gods.

Psa 96:5 For all the gods of the nations [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens

Isa 37:19 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

Isa 42:17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye [are] our gods.

Jer 1:16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.

Jer 2:11 Hath a nation changed [their] gods, which [are] yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for [that which] doth not profit.

Jer 5:7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by [them that are] no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.

Jer 16:20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they [are] no gods?

Jer 25:6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

Dan 5:23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath [is], and whose [are] all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

A 'god' is nothing more than a idol, and the Bible is a correction notice to Israel not to go after the mythical gods of the Canaanites and other nations.

If the LDS are correct in polytheism and the Bible, how does this go with the eternal law of of progression? Dagon had a body of a fish?

Love ya

mark

john 1:12

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Markk,

Well at least Dagon had a Body.

Silly Micheal Angelo thought God had a body that looked Like father Adams.

All these Gods where made of stone and wood, and could not see nor hear nor smell nor could they "walk in the Garden in the heat of the day."

Our God can do all this because he indeed has a Glorified Immortal Body just like the Saviors.

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Only in the context that they would hold that the mythical gods of the Canaanite peoples were real existing gods? The Bible refutes and corrects this over and overs again, even calling the Canaanite gods by their names and refuting them and being real.

I think part of your confusion here is that you don't seem to understand that idols in the Bible are frequently called elohim/gods. The Bible rejects widespread ancient Near Eastern concepts of divine power residing in such images. Biblical authors believe that elohim/idols have no life/power. That does not necessarily imply that the gods the images are meant to represent do not exist. This is most clear from the fact that it is possible to make images of beings which biblical authors believed did exist--most notably cherubim, but also it is possible to make an image of Yahweh himself. Biblical authors would likewise reject the idea that an image of Yahweh or of a cherub had any life or power in it, while not denying the existence of the being that image was meant to represent. You are thus conflating two different ideas.

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I would like to explore your statement here. When you say some are you talking about the Jewish leaders -i.e.: scribes, pharisees, sadduces, lawyers?

I meant, of course, specifically the translators of the Septugint and Targumim who changed the text/meaning of the Bible to better conform with their ideology. As for a Jew who apparently believed in multiple gods, I would suggest Jesus in John 10:33-36.

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I have always found it interesting how YHWH usually refers to himself as

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HI Bill,

The Bible is clear and points to these elohims as idols, it clearly says that these idols and elohim are nothing more than wood, stone and molten metals. It refers to these idols or elohims as powerless man made gods, that can not hear. see, or smell. These gods are clearly 'defined' as the gods/elohims of the nations, the Canaanite nations and others, the bible clearly is calling Israel not to give in to the idol worship of these nations while all along claiming that the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob is the one true God for Israel.

This is most clear from the fact that it is possible to make images of beings which biblical authors believed did exist--most notably cherubim

And? My point is that the Bible is clear that these idols were man made, and nothing more that idols, Cherubim or angels are created beings and with in the pail of orthodoxy to Israel, while the elohim were clearly written about as being false and for Israel to forbid, even though they did not listen for the most part, always falling back into idol worship ( as Aaron did the first chance they had). Thus the Bible is a correction notice to Israel defining the true nature of God.

Davids comparison that ancient Israel and Modern LDS theology complement each other is interesting, but holds no water, especially in light of eternal progression as taught by the saints and the nature and being of the mythical false gods of Canaan. This post really shows his motives as a scholar.

So when you imply that I... "You are thus conflating two different ideas." ....I disagree, I am separating what is in the pail and what is outside the pail while others take a mythical Canaanite pantheon and attempt to force it into the context of Gods oracles to the nation of Israel while completely ignoring the context as a whole, which is, these nations gods are idols, man made, and are not to be worshipped as deity.

Take care, this is a good study.

Mark

John 1:12

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And? My point is that the Bible is clear that these idols were man made, and nothing more that idols, Cherubim or angels are created beings and with in the pail of orthodoxy to Israel, while the elohim were clearly written about as being false and for Israel to forbid, even though they did not listen for the most part, always falling back into idol worship ( as Aaron did the first chance they had).

Do you worship statues or pictures that are used in your church or worship services? Why do you think it would be any different? It is called polemic and it still goes on today when Catholics are accused of worshipping statues.

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Hi Juleann,

Do you worship statues or pictures that are used in your church or worship services? Why do you think it would be any different? It is called polemic and it still goes on today when Catholics are accused of worshipping statues.

No, there are no pictures in my church. Do you worship pictures of GBH and God that are in your church?

The idols were naked ladies, wood poles, and cows and who knows what else. Are you saying you believe these idols were accurate images of these canannite gods?

Do you blieve these Canaanite gods really existed?

Mark

John 1;12

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Do you blieve these Canaanite gods really existed?

Of course not though there is good evidence that the Greek gods came from the same sources as Canaanite teachings (the descendents of Cain through Ham) and were corrupted versions of Biblical characters...Chronos = Jehovah....Zeus = Adam....Hera/Athena = Eve etc. etc.

Those patriarchal sons of God are or were slated to become Gods anyway, just as we are (Biblical Theosis). So there really is an avenue for those gods to be the corrupted forms of those who became or were to become real Gods.

At the very least, the OT shows that Jehovah was a God separate from (and not in competition with) another God (EL) from whom Jehovah received his portion.

Either way, the fact of the matter is that the first of the ten commandments tell us not to worship any of the real and divine Gods that do exist and the second takes care of idol gods. If there were no other real and divine Gods in existence, then there would have been only nine commandments.

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Hi BC,

I was asking Julieann but, Who were these other gods that were real and where are they today?

Mark

john 1;12

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