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David Bokovoy

Then Shall They Be Gods:

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Hello Uncle Dale,

The RLDS simply do not care that the rest of the world's historians dismiss and laugh at their pseudohistorical explanations. I hope you are not taking a similar position.

Not at all, but I do appreciate your concern.

The truth of the matter is that I have devoted quite a bit of effort to this topic and have accumulated some important information that sustains my views. Much of this research will appear in the future via non-LDS sponsored scholarly publications.

In the meantime, however, I

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These Aramaic texts provide important evidence for the historical transition towards radical monotheism.

And there really is much, much more!

Yes, I understand what you are saying. We can thus put a date on one aspect of this

trend, and begin to work backward from that date, to see when radical monotheism

became normative in Judaism.

Thus, you need not argue with many serious scholars of the subject -- at least not

on the fact that there was such a trend. Instead, your argument must move onto

the more subtle ground, of when the monotheistizing (if that can be a word)

began in earnest among the Jews, or their ancestors the Israelites.

I see a "golden thread" of monotheism stretching back to Mosaic times -- though

largely disregarded and shunted to the side until Josiah's reform and second temple

Judaism. But you may not see that same theme -- or you may see it as something

less important than I do.

It will be interesting to see what "pivitol points" you establish in the chronology, and

how you work your way backwards to all of the early biblical texts you've so far been

citing. It will also be interesting to look over what your reconstructions are for

canonical compilation, editing and eventual acceptance within Judaism.

I'll look in on your postings from time to time.

Uncle Dale

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I'll look in on your postings from time to time.

Thank you for your interest and comments. While I feel I have worked out some of the historical issues, I certainly do not have the entire history formulated into a consistent whole.

The truth is, however, that no biblical scholar has. The information is simply far too scant to ever reproduce a precise reconstruction of Israelite religious history. Even those Biblicists who have tried have never created a model that successfully encompasses all of the evidence.

Alas, I suspect that we mere mortals never shall.

Regards,

---David

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So "the" mystery was revealed. "The" is specific article, therefore "the mystery" means one specific mystery, not all mysteries, but I might be wrong on this.

Are you saying neighbor that God has no more mysteries to reveal to mankind? What about all those esoteric teachings the the ECFs talked about? Were the ECFs that talked about the esoteric teachings within the early Church deluded, following a different gospel, do we just not understand what they were talking about, or were there truly esoteric teachings within the early Church that those who knew them were no suppose to talk about or reveal?

Neighbor: I'm absolutely possitive the ECFs did not keep to the truth as given, but each added to it, just as the Scribes and Pharasees added traditions to keep the purity of the Sabbath intact to the extent that they forgot the very purpose and meaning of it. I would not trust anyones word but those specifically charged by Jesus to be His personal eye-witnesses of Him and His messages from God. I don't trust Justin or any of them to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Look how many ECFs turned against the Jews for fear of Roman persecutions. Look how many abandoned the fourth commandment for fear of persecution with the Jews. No, they were untrustworthy.

The apostles told the truth, as did John the baptist and every true prophet of God who preceeded him, but it all centers in Jesus Christ - our hope of glory.

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You don't even like Justin?

Shame on you! :P

Dale, your questions are incisive. But I think you should read more. Try Margaret Barker, who not only believes in this OT henotheism (and asserts that the Josian reformers were heretics...), but insists that the old style henotheism was what the early Christians believed.

In other words, she drags it right down to Christ's time, and shows that the Christians were following the Old Primitive religion. Only later did they drift over to strict Monotheism as the Jewish rabbis were pushing for (and as Neighbor's philosophical ancestors jumped for, too... <_< .

And who follows this same Old Primitive religion today?

Why, the LDS, of course... cool.gif

In other words, Dale, there is no evidence here of fudging blank spaces in the record (as you accuse the poor RLDS and Temple Lot people of doing). It existed all the way down to the Apostacy...

(Dan Vogel should read this stuff, too, before arguing here about LDS misconceptions about OT beliefs...)

Catch up with the scholarship people.

Thanks David Bokovoy. You are at the head of this movement right now...

Beowulf

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Dale, your questions are incisive. But I think you should read more. Try Margaret Barker, who not only believes in this OT henotheism (and asserts that the Josian reformers were heretics...), but insists that the old style henotheism was what the early Christians believed.

I read what I can -- on a tiny pension and living on an island where I'm lucky

to be able to find last month's People Magazine at the local libraries.

If Margaret Barker has a substantial following in the academic/professional ANE

circles, I've yet to hear of it. Of course there are always off-the-wall writers with

minimal bona fides running around saying one thing or another. I hear there is a

guy named Dale R. Broadhurst who is trying to publicize the Spalding-Rigdon

authorship explanation for the Book of Mormon. These revisionists are generally a

dime a dozen, and only one out of a hundred ends up seriously impacting the

common consensus of religio-historical knowledge.

I've never argued with the fact that there was both polytheism and henotheism

present among the "Israelites" and their close cousins, the Canaanites. Neither am

I a Biblicist who takes the text so literally that I'm not open to minority opinions on

what was actually going on, back in ancient times.

On the other hand, I'm not a Christian either, and am not much impressed on what

one group of another of that religion may have thought or practiced way back when.

I am very interested in the followers of Jesus, however -- both during his time on

earth and in the aftermath of his crucifixion. If there were some Jesus followers

who believed in multiple gods, I would be interested in knowing about that. But, as

for the Trinitarian Christians, they were already "heretics," -- to borrow your word.

Likewise those folks who professed a Satan who was practically the God of this

world -- doctrinaire gnostics, or whatever.

But if the Deuteronomic Reform and the Deuteronomic recompilation of sacred

history was a "heresy," then it is the one I'll follow.

In other words, she drags it right down to Christ's time, and shows that the Christians were following the Old Primitive religion. Only later did they drift over to strict Monotheism as the Jewish rabbis were pushing for (and as Neighbor's philosophical ancestors jumped for, too...  :P

Yeah, I've read juliann's postings and such. My advice: send some misisonaries out

and baptize this Prof. Barker, and get her a departmental chair down at the Y.

As I said previously, I'm not terribly interested in what the Christians said and did;

but if this Barker lady has written extensively on Jesus having taught a many-gods

gospel, you might as well go ahead and quote her here, to satisfy my curiosity.

And who follows this same Old Primitive religion today?

Why, the LDS, of course...  cool.gif

They follow an evolved strain of messianic henotheism -- were we to set them

back in the Palestine of King David's day, I'll wager they would be absolutely

clueless about the religion then being practiced -- whether in Jerusalem or in

the outlying shrines and Canaanite temples. Unfortunately Mr. Peabody has taken

off for the Salem witchcraft trials, and won't have the Wayback Machine here,

ready for use any time soon.

In other words, Dale, there is no evidence here of fudging blank spaces in the record (as you accuse the poor RLDS and Temple Lot people of doing). It existed all the way down to the Apostacy...

I'm sure that instances of child-sacrifice and ritual drinking of human blood existed

down until the time of Constantine as well. Extensions of beliefs through long

periods of time does not terribly impress me either. As for the rabbis, I'm only

mildly curious about what they have to say. My wife is messianic Jewish, not

rabbinical Jewish -- so we are neither one of us is tied to catholic councils nor

talmudic interpretations.

If Jesus taught us to worship many gods, I'd like to know that. If the Shema is

offensive in the ears of YHWH, I'd like to know that as well. But I do not hear

you going anywhere near that far in your assertions -- thank God.

And, if my own experiences of trancendental unity are a delusion, or a demonic

misdirection, I'd be curious to hear from one who "knew from experience." However,

I know what I know, and that knowing is only likely to change by expansion

and not by devolution nor abandonment.

nuff sed -- go convert some nice Disciples of Christ member, like Bro. Neighbor...

UD

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I'm absolutely possitive the ECFs did not keep to the truth as given, but each added to it, just as the Scribes and Pharasees added traditions to keep the purity of the Sabbath intact to the extent that they forgot the very purpose and meaning of it. I would not trust anyones word but those specifically charged by Jesus to be His personal eye-witnesses of Him and His messages from God. I don't trust Justin or any of them to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Look how many ECFs turned against the Jews for fear of Roman persecutions. Look how many abandoned the fourth commandment for fear of persecution with the Jews. No, they were untrustworthy.

The apostles told the truth, as did John the baptist and every true prophet of God who preceeded him, but it all centers in Jesus Christ - our hope of glory.

So you are saying that the people who were specifically in charge of preserving and spreading the word of God were adding to and taking away from the gospel and these same men were in charge of gathering the different books and coming up with the Bible eventually.

Wow! :P

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Jesus is the faithful witness of heaven to mankind. It all centers in Him and His teachings. No one should take what the apostles or prophets or law said to think that anything is different from what Jesus said.

An example is Matthew 5 and the sermon on the mount.

All the laws of God are forever true, but are best understood by the enlightenment of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

another example is in those who would take Romans 10:10 to the exclusion of the commandment of Jesus to baptize His disciples or the very promise of God in Acts 2:38.

"The sum of Thy word is truth." We should never be about viewing it as 'Some of Thy word is truth."

Only as people are faithful to the word of God are they faithful and true witnesses. Unfortunately it is a life long process to grow in our knowledge our God and Savior Jesus Christ. It isn't an instant download of all knowledge, but if we are His we should have the unction to know the truth when we hear it and instantly remember the teachings of Jesus about it. (if we take the time to listen to Jesus and let Him be our Teacher).

As such, why should I listen to Justin or the others when I can hear Jesus, Peter, John, Paul, Moses, Isaiah, Adam, Eve, and even some choice words of Satan. All others pale by comparison.

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David: I really enjoy your threads. It only stands to reason that as we learn more about what the ancients believed, that there would be shadows and types that would later be found which would bring the beliefs of the ancients closer in line to some of the wonders that have been revealed in our day. As you mentioned, they don't have to be identical in tint and tone to what we have; that they exist at all is amazing. In a day when the concept of a councils of gods is so foreign to the modern variances of theoligical thought, these things have a faint ring of familiarity to the one church that claims cultural and theological ties to both the ancient Christians and the ancient people of Israel.

But if the gospel is true, what would we expect? We've always been given to understand that these things would not given to us on a silver platter, but that they would be there.

I've oft wondered if this was not an underlying promise in the Book of Mormon, where Nephi writes: "And after [the scriptures which had come forth 'from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren']...I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true. And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them...."

Dr. Nibley seemed to have believed that these "other books" would include writings that would appear after the scriptures found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Keep up the good work!

kodeks_IV_NagHammadi.jpg

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If Margaret Barker has a substantial following in the academic/professional ANE circles, I've yet to hear of it.

That may be true, but presently the world is still largely ignorant concerning the integrity of the Book of Mormon or LDS beliefs and its temple ceremony. In some future day when they are established, and her writings viewed in the context of what was known in her day, she will undoubtedly be seen in being way ahead of her time. (In 2004, she example, she wrote an essay aknowledging that the ancient temple rite centered on the creation. Principlally, only Latter-day Saints would see that as significant. Jeff Lindsay says: "The idea of Adam as a priest, and all of us as 'Adams' following him in moving toward Christ is, in the mind of Margaret Baker, an authentic ancient concept from the ancient temple." If the LDS concept of the temple is correct, then Baker and others are to be commended for their scholarship and insight.)

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Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement. It really is a thrill to share things for which you hold a scholarly passion with those who share similar interests.

I would like to return to Uncle Dale

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David,

I tried to PM you, but your box is full. Ill just post it here:

Appreciate the posts! I'm interested in the same position you are, but have found a couple things doing some basic research (and talking to others) that may shadow some of what you purpose. I thought maybe you'd be able to explain/verify (this is not my field of expertise).

From Wikipedia:

Elohim has plural morphological form in Hebrew, but it is used with singular verbs and adjectives in the Hebrew text when the particular meaning of the God of Israel (a singular deity) is traditionally understood. Thus the very first words of the Bible are breshit bara Elohim, where bara ברא is a verb inflected as third person singular masculine perfect. If Elohim were an ordinary plural word, then the plural verb form bar'u בראו would have been used in this sentence instead. Such plural grammatical forms are in fact found in cases where Elohim has semantically plural reference (not referring to the God of Israel).

Also:

....when the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods

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Hello Hooberus,
Are you claiming that the verses which speak of the divine council support the idea that there are there are other Gods who are ontologically equal to Yahweh, and/or that men such as yourselves can attain to ontological equality with the true God?

No. As vocalized in the Bible, the name Yahweh means

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However, such a divine council of ontologically inferior/created beings really offers little support for LDS theology since LDS theology goes well beyond the above and teaches that there are other Gods who are ontologically equal to God*, and that men can attain to ontological equality with the true God**.

Paul certainly seemed to be of the opinion that men could become ontologically equal with Christ. Although I'm sure that the meaning of "joint-heirs" has been sufficiently watered down to support your thesis.

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Vigorously he sprouted, vigorously he sprouted and sprouted,

Watered it- it being lettuce!

In his black garden of the desert bearing much yield did my darling of his mother,

My barley stalk full of allure in its farrow, water it- water lettuce,

Did my one- a very apple tree bearing fruit at the top- water it- it being a garden!; as cited in T. Jacobsen, Harps that Once: Sumerian Poetry in Translation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987): 94.

Do not dig a [canal]

Do not plough [a field], let me be your field.

Farmer, do not search for a wet place,

My precious sweet, let me be your wet place.

Let the ditch (?) be your farrow,

let me be your canal,

Let our little apples be your desire!; as cited in Leick, Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature, 149-150.

Whew! Does anyone else feel like smoking a cigarette? :P

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Hello Hooberus,

I agree that the concept of the divine council does not support the idea that there are there are other Gods who are ontologically equal to Yahweh,

If I left you with this impression, allow me to correct it. There is no such thing as the divine council concept. Even the Hebrew Bible presents more than one divine council concept, since not all biblical authors shared the same theological beliefs.

and that such a council does not support the idea that men can attain to ontological equality with the true God.

All throughout the Hebrew Bible, humanity is presented as theomorphic. They are gods, albeit subordinate gods to Israel

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I don't see the emphasis on the "one" God as being contradictory at all to the concepts David is speaking about, nor the divine councils as spoken of by Jospeh Smith. The oneness repeatedly has to do with a oneness of purpose and design -- of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

One believes ultimately what one wishes to regarding these things, but it remains fascinating to see the concept of the creation being a grand design carried out in unison by divine beings rather than one God uttering a command and it coming to pass in an instant.

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Hello Pacman,

The Wiki paragraph is correct. In the Bible, the word elohim appears as both a divine name for Israel

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I wonder how we can possibly hope to recreate a coherent religious history from the fragmentary evidence left us. Unk asks some killer questions here.

Assume as given rabbinical coverups of the Divine Council and normative henotheism in the 1st Temple period.

How do we square our Utah Mormon notions of continuing revelation and "line upon line" being sauce for us geeses whilst rejecting rabbinical interventions in the late 2nd Temple period as being made by "some old Jew without authority" without sauce for them there ganders? Is it possible to have a consistent scholarly approach that doesn't of necessity rely upon "likening the scriptures unto ourselves" in the light of modern scripture that may lead us unto presentism?

A fine pickle indeed.

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Unk, in approaching a Messianic monotheism, we mustn't forget the role of the Angels. The Angelologies of, for example, so late a work as the Ethiopian Enoch (wherever it came from) are from no later than the late Hasmonean era and evidence a Divine Council that, to this kid, is indistinguishable from the pre-Exilic.

What is the difference between Rakiel and the rest and the unnamed members of G-d's Council in Isaiah and elsewhere?

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I wonder how we can possibly hope to recreate a coherent religious history from the fragmentary evidence left us. Unk asks some killer questions here.

Assume as given rabbinical coverups of the Divine Council and normative henotheism in the 1st Temple period.

How do we square our Utah Mormon notions of continuing revelation and "line upon line" being sauce for us geeses whilst rejecting rabbinical interventions in the late 2nd Temple period as being made by "some old Jew without authority" without sauce for them there ganders? Is it possible to have a consistent scholarly approach that doesn't of necessity rely upon "likening the scriptures unto ourselves" in the light of modern scripture that may lead us unto presentism?

A fine pickle indeed.

Yeah -- and that is where I came in on this movie.

My RLDS Sunday School teachers told me that the G&A Church had removed from

Genesis, Moses' account of Adam having been immersed in the name of the Father,

the Son and the Holy Ghost --- but that I could trust that same Moses' account of

the Tabernacle in the Wilderness being a correct one.

Then I went to a Christian seminary, where I was taught that freewheeling priestly

types had over-written the Mosaic "Tent of Meeting" tradition with all the gaudiness

of Solomon's Temple --- but that the Genesis account of Adam was a twice-told myth.

Finally, in post-grad studies, I'm told that there was no Adam; that Moses was a

composite character, and that the entire Bible (up to Jeremiah and Ezra at least) was

re-written a few times over.

All of which leaves me with a healthy respect for the devilishness of the G&A Church,

but with an utter disbelief in the Mormons' account of who they were/are and what

they did to the scriptures.

So -- rather than our arguing over whether purple really goes well with red, or if

Job first of all prayed to Baal for deliverance -- I suggest that we each dine upon

our own respective plate of pottage, and not much worry over who has the birthright --

Uncle "at least for the course of this thread" Dale

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William:

'US' refers to the Trinity or TriUnity of the Godhead. When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordon the Father said, 'This is my son with him I am well pleased. Listen to him' (not sic). Also Jesus -2nd person of the Trinity - often spoke and prayed to the Father -1st person of the Trinity. Matthew - 'I thank thee oh Father that Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, but hast revealed them to babes...' In other words the three persons (not personages) of the Godhead communicate with each other and they did so at creation -' Let us make man in our own image.'

Of course, that's the natural response. Let me ask you then, why did God pray to himself, worship himself, witness of himself? Why was he standing on his own hand when Stephen saw him? Better yet, how are we supposed to be one like the Trinity? One great mass?

Please explain those points,

PacMan

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