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The Earth Shall Be Rolled Together as a Scroll


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#1 consiglieri

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:32 AM

I was musing the other day about the scriptural pronouncement that when Christ comes again, the earth will be wrapped together like a scroll, and wondering how a globe could ever be wrapped together "like a scroll."

It occurred to me that, though this doesn't make sense with the modern day understanding of the earth as a globe, it makes perfect sense in an old world cosmology viewing the earth as flat and square (or rectangular).

I next did a search of the scriptures to find where it was said that the earth would be wrapped together like a scroll.

To my surprise, I found no such references in the Bible, where I expected to find it.

There are three passages that mention this, but they are all to be found in the Book of Mormon.

1. And he (Jesus) did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory--yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away. 3 Nephi 26:3



2. Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll? Mormon 5:23



3. Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation--behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when he shall be brought to stand before the lamb of God--then will ye say that there is no God? Mormon 9:2



I have done a number of searches for related terms in hopes of finding a similar expression in the Bible, but have been unable to do so.

The purpose of this thread is to see if my search has yielded the correct results; specifically as to whether there is any such phrase in the Bible.

I feel this may be of some significance, inasmuch as if the phrase is not in the Bible, why does it appear three times in the Book of Mormon? If it is unique to the Book of Mormon, could this be an indication that the Nephites did not conceive the world as being a globe (as Joseph Smith would likely have conceived it)?

And if this is a phrase unique to the Book of Mormon, could it not indicate that the authors of the text held the view that the earth was flat and square?

And if the Book of Mormon contains an old world view of the earth, what does that say about the time in which its authors lived?

Just some questions I am hoping to explore on this board.

(There are some additional things that could be said under this head, but I want to wait to see if there is any interest, and whether there is even one passage in the Bible that I missed regarding the earth being rolled together as a scroll.)

Note that I did find two Bible references speaking of the heavens being rolled together as a scroll (Isaiah 34:4 and Revelation 6:14) but nothing regarding the earth being so rolled together.

What do you think?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri
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#2 cjcampbell

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:34 AM

I have wondered about it for a long time. Obviously, the people who had these visions saw something that looked like the earth being wrapped together like a scroll.

Perhaps we shall have to wait until it happens to see what they were talking about.
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#3 Anijen

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:50 AM

Perhaps its a map?
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#4 Lars Umlaut

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:55 AM

I found the phrase "See lightnings flash and thunder roll, See earth wrapt up like parchment scroll" in a hymnal called "Southern Harmony" by William Walker published in 1835 (See here for a lousy image.)

It would be interesting to find out how long before the publication date that particular hymn was written.
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#5 mledbetter

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 08:57 AM

I have wondered about it for a long time. Obviously, the people who had these visions saw something that looked like the earth being wrapped together like a scroll.

Perhaps we shall have to wait until it happens to see what they were talking about.


It will just end up in some cosmic museum, get partially destroyed in a super nova, and eons from now Celestial scholars will argue about the Earth's true size and whether the continents were red or black.

Edited by mledbetter, 15 June 2009 - 09:02 AM.

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#6 consiglieri

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:04 AM

Celestial scholars will argue about the Earth's true size and whether the continents were red or black.


Or whether its states were red or blue.

But I think that Lars Umlaut brings up a good point with his reference to the 1835 hymnal.

I agree that it would be interesting to find out when the hymn was written, and where this idea originally came from.

If it was an idea in circulation in Joseph Smith's day, as the hymn may indicate, that is something I would like to know, as it may bear on its appearance in the Book of Mormon though not the Bible.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri
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"The bad apologetics of today become the public apologies of tomorrow." --MercyNGrace (March 18, 2011)

#7 annewandering

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:08 AM

I see it more as a Book of Life for mortal existence. All that has happened and will happen are written in a book that will have the last line written at the end and will then be wrapped and stored same as books of the time were done with. At judgment the book will be brought out and unrolled to show all that happened on this earth since the beginning.
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#8 consiglieri

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:14 AM

I see it more as a Book of Life for mortal existence. All that has happened and will happen are written in a book that will have the last line written at the end and will then be wrapped and stored same as books of the time were done with. At judgment the book will be brought out and unrolled to show all that happened on this earth since the beginning.


Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winna! You made the same connection between the earth being a scroll that Joseph Smith made in D&C 77, when answering questions about the Book of Revelation.

77:6 Q. What are we to understand by the book (scroll) which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning the earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.



This is the book (scroll) that only the Lamb was deemed worthy to open, "And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne." (Rev. 5:7)


The scroll is the earth.

He's got the whole world in his hand!

All the Best!

--Consiglieri
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"The bad apologetics of today become the public apologies of tomorrow." --MercyNGrace (March 18, 2011)

#9 annewandering

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:18 AM

I love being told I am a winna!!! :P
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Elder Dallin Oaks, â??I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism-but I find no salvation in any of them.â? â??Criticism,â? Ensign, Feb. 1987, 68


#10 CV75

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 09:55 AM

how a globe could ever be wrapped together "like a scroll."
--Consiglieri

It is figurative, to show the purpose or end is finished--closed like a book--like "He closed the book on that one!"
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#11 Cold Steel

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:19 AM

John writes in the book of Revelation: "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." (Rev. 6:7). You can also find the reference in Isaiah 34:4: "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree."

During the Millennium, the Earth will become one land again, and all the islands shall become one. This is what is meant by being rolled together as a scroll. Mountains shall become plains and valleys will become level. I hope that doesn't mean that Earth will become totally flat, with no mountains or valleys, but one can certainly come away with that notion.

When heaven departs as a scroll, I believe this means that the Earth will be transported back to the solar system in which it was created. To those of us on the Earth, it will appear that the heavens are moving.
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#12 Sevenbak

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:46 AM

Here's some references. Though not specifically speaking of the earth as a scroll, it uses that language about the heavens.


Isaiah 34: 4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.


Rev. 6: 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.



Rev. 21: 1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.


Isa. 65: 17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new dearth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.




I've always assumed that rolling the earth together as a scroll would be a good way to describe the continents returning to their original form, all one land mass. - D&C 93

Likewise, I've always assumed the heavens rolling together as a scroll would return us physically to the presence of the Father, thus "new heavens".
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"Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, etc."

 

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#13 Sevenbak

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:48 AM

John writes in the book of Revelation: "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." (Rev. 6:7). You can also find the reference in Isaiah 34:4: "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree."

During the Millennium, the Earth will become one land again, and all the islands shall become one. This is what is meant by being rolled together as a scroll. Mountains shall become plains and valleys will become level. I hope that doesn't mean that Earth will become totally flat, with no mountains or valleys, but one can certainly come away with that notion.

When heaven departs as a scroll, I believe this means that the Earth will be transported back to the solar system in which it was created. To those of us on the Earth, it will appear that the heavens are moving.

Wow, LOL. I promise I didn't read your post before posting mine.
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"Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, etc."

 

-Ezra Taft Benson


#14 thesometimesaint

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:05 AM

Probably not literal.
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#15 consiglieri

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:12 AM

Probably not literal.


I would tend to agree that this is figurative and not literal, with a scroll being opened during the period it is being used, and then when it is time to retire it from use it is rolled up and put away.

If so, I would see the scroll whose seven seals are opened by the Lamb in Revelation as something that would have transpired prior to the creation (or unrolling) of the earth.

The heavens, too, can similarly be rolled up as a scroll if you view the heavens as being a solid crystalline mass called the "firmament" in which the stars are set not that far above the earth.

Of course, a natural result of the firmament being rolled together as a scroll would be that the stars would be dislodged and fall to earth; another famous sign of the times.

Of additional interest to me is that Peter says the heavens will be melted, which seems to make sense only if you view the heavens as a solid mass (i.e., firmament) over our heads; whereas from our modern view where the "heavens" are only air, this type of language strikes us as somewhat odd.

Which takes us back to the OP where it is the Book of Mormon (and not the Bible) that speaks of the earth being rolled together as a scroll; is this from a modern point of view, or does it reflect a typical old world view of a flat earth; or was it just a common expression in early 19th century America?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri
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"The bad apologetics of today become the public apologies of tomorrow." --MercyNGrace (March 18, 2011)

#16 Sevenbak

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:13 AM

Probably not literal.

I think it's literal.

But as I understand it, the rolling together as a scroll, both the earth and heavens, happens after the Millennium, not at the beginning of it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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"Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, etc."

 

-Ezra Taft Benson


#17 consiglieri

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:16 AM

I think it's literal.

But as I understand it, the rolling together as a scroll, both the earth and heavens, happens after the Millennium, not at the beginning of it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.



I don't know about the timing, but I am wondering if the earth is melted before it is rolled, or rolled before it is melted?


All the Best!

--Consiglieri
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"The bad apologetics of today become the public apologies of tomorrow." --MercyNGrace (March 18, 2011)

#18 thesometimesaint

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:18 AM

I don't know how common it was in 19th Century America. Magellan pretty well proved the earth was round. I believe it is a figurative expression much like we say "We've closed that chapter of our lives".
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#19 Sevenbak

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:19 AM

I don't know about the timing, but I am wondering if the earth is melted before it is rolled, or rolled before it is melted?
All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Makes sense. Kind of like cookie dough you get out of the fridge. It's easier to roll once it gets warm.

We're all sitting on this globe like a bunch of chocolate chip cookies.
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"Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, etc."

 

-Ezra Taft Benson


#20 cinepro

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:44 AM

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winna! You made the same connection between the earth being a scroll that Joseph Smith made in D&C 77, when answering questions about the Book of Revelation.

77:6 Q. What are we to understand by the book (scroll) which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?

A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning the earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.


All the Best!

--Consiglieri


Wait, what is the Earth's "temporal existence", and when did it start?
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The LDS Stake Medium Council Blog

In spite of the world's arguments against the historicity of the Flood, and despite the supposed lack of geologic evidence, we Latter-day Saints believe that Noah was an actual man, a prophet of God, who preached repentance and raised a voice of warning, built an ark, gathered his family and a host of animals onto the ark, and floated safely away as waters covered the entire earth. We are assured that these events actually occurred by the multiple testimonies of God's prophets.

The Flood and the Tower of Babel, by Donald W. Parry, assistant professor of Hebrew at BYU, Ensign, Jan 1998, 35


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