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Confidential Informant

Are Evangelicals "Required" to Believe?

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How would you determine that the continuity of human settlement is not post flood?

When was the flood?

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Most biblical creationists seem to place it around 2400 B.C. Suggestions have been made that it could be somewhat older.

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Most biblical creationists seem to place it around 2400 B.C. Suggestions have been made that it could be somewhat older.

In that case there are dozens of archaeological sites in the Near East alone exhibiting continual human habitation from 2500-2300 BC.

But all of this is drifting from the real point of this discussion.

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How are those dates obtained?

But all of this is drifting from the real point of this discussion.

which is ?

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From Confidential Informant:

The topic of this thread is the fact that Peter (and Christ) appear to have given an "official" stance or view of the deluge event which view supports the global rather than local flood theory. The "official" view, as Dr. Hamblin has aptly pointed out, contradicts the "scholarly" or "scientific" view.

I want to know how the EV's reconcile this, and depending on how they reconcile it, how they reconcile that with their insistance that LDS account for seemingly "authoritative" views on the location of Cumorah.

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CI: Surely there is out there an EV who is willing to take up this challenge? Richard? FormerLDS? Someone? Anyone?

RA: Now answered in other thread, Idaho Journal thread.

Ra

Answered? Well I suppose that's a matter of opinion. You say you accept the Global Flood Theory as presented in Genesis and espoused by Peter. This despite the fact that all of modern science currently dictates that this never happened.

I say: Great, you are at least consistent in that.

However, my problem then comes in your thread with Dr. Peterson where you appear to be criticizing LDS leaders and members for asserting and believing that all amerindians are literal descendants of Lehi, despite the fact that modern science appears to negative this assertion.

How can assert your own belief in a scientifically demonstrable falsehood while simultaneously criticizing someone else for their equally unscientific view? The stance is hypocritical.

If belief in a scientific falsehood does not make your faith false, then it cannot do so for another faith with which you disagree.

C.I.

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CI: How can assert your own belief in a scientifically demonstrable falsehood while simultaneously criticizing someone else for their equally unscientific view? The stance is hypocritical. If belief in a scientific falsehood does not make your faith false, then it cannot do so for another faith with which you disagree.

RA: You still do not seem to be getting my point. I take full responsibility for not being clear. It sounds like you are trying, but I must not be saying this clearly. Let me try again, with regard to Peter, the Flood, etc.

1. My faith

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That is a very different dilemma, or choice, than the one I am faced with regarding the Flood.

RAbanes

2. Peter does not say in the text that the flood was indeed GLOBAL as we think of global. Hence, an alternate opinion of the flood is posisble—i.e., it was localized. For more information on how this view is compatible with scripture, see teh work of Hugh Ross at http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologeti...lood.shtml?main.

A point which I readily concede. But he does heavily imply it by the fact of his reference to only 8 survivors. Moreover, you've still got the entire weight of Christian history against you as, unlike your assertion of the Limited Geography Model, the Limited Flood Theory was concocted in response to scientific data which nullified the Global theory. I personally don't have any issue with that but it the fact of what happened.

HOWEVER, when it comes to the BOM, it is not that we have proofs or evidence to really debate, we have nothing!

Which is exactly the case with the whole book of Genesis. No proof. No evidence. Nothing to debate. And you are wrong, again, because as has been discussed on several threads, there is plenty of "evidence" to debate.

The only thing we have is a book that clearly reflects 19th century thoughts and theories about Native American origins.

This point is debateable and entirely irrelevant to the point of this thread.

The existence of the Lehites, just like the existence of the flood, is pure conjecture. However, in regards to both a clear body of pervasive thought has dominated the debate about both throughout their history. With the Flood, it was a global flood theory and the Lehites it was the Hemispheric Model. Both of those theories have been shown to have serious logical problems.

In both cases, scholars and apologists have offered plausible alternative theories which, in some cases, actually fit the description of the text better than the theories they attempt to displace.

In the case of the flood, you say that if you were shown persuasive evidence that no such global event took place, you'd simply switch to the limited theory. I say fine.

However, in the case of the B of M, when it comes to the limited geography theory, you refuse to allow LDS to switch to that view. Why? The only argument you put forth is the fact that certain LDS leaders over the years have stated a preference for the Hemispheric model and then insist that by switching to the limited geography theory somehow invalidates their statements and, ergo, they were "false prophets" (funny how almost every anti argument comes back to that claim).

The point of this thread is that Peter clearly favored the global model and included it as a part of his argumentation in Holy Writ. Moreover, the Bible itself proclaims it to be a global event. Thus, from what I can see, your "authoritative" sources (The bible, Peter) are discredited if you make the switch to the limited flood theory. Yet if I made you responsible for Peter or Moses' words regarding the Flood and proclaimed them to be false prohpets for not getting it 100% right, you'd blow a gasket.

Yet you have no problem make the exact same assertion in regards to the B of M.

It's hypocritical and there is no way around it.

C.I.

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CI is right on the dilema. If you get to have a "limited flood theory" why can't we have a "limited geography theory."

Furthermore, your inerrant Bible says that the waters covered "all the high mountains that were under the whole heaven." "All under heaven" is a standard biblical phrase for the entire planet. Inerrantists simply can't opt for a limited flood theory while maintaining inerrancy.

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The fossil record is consistently clear that there have been at least six large extinction "events" in the earth's history -- the largest of which being the P-T extinction, occurring at the interface of the Permian and Triassic periods, about 250 million years ago. This extinction is believed to have eliminated some 90-95% of marine species and about 70% of land species. Subsequently, in the second largest event, about 65 million years ago, about 50% of all species were believed to be eliminated in the K-T (Cretaceous-Tertiary) interface. These extinction events (particularly these large ones) have been corroborated by fossil evidence and by their relative placement (the shift between fossil types) in the geological strata on essentially a worldwide basis. The K-T event is particularly interesting, as the worldwide stratum from that period contains an exceptionally high concentration of iridium, which is believed to have originated from an asteroid that impacted the earth. Which of these geologically distinct events would represent the global flood? And how does one account for the others?

I honestly can find no scientific evidence that supports a global flood, and there is no scientific basis for an ark being a self-sustaining biosphere for all life on earth (it would have to contain representatives of ALL life), or that Noah could possibly have collected and cared for all 3-30 million species of animals, ca. 200,000 species of flowering plants, countless microbes (including pathogens of animals and plants), etc.

The Bible itself gives the strong impression of a global flood, as has been discussed here, but the Book of Mormon fails to delineate its own boundaries. The geography that we debate is the geography that has been ascribed to the book by readers. In the case of the biblical Flood, we can easily develop a working hypothesis to delineate the extent of the Flood, based on the biblical account:

Ho: The Flood was global and covered the entire earth (above the mountaintops). In this case we would look for (1) evidence of a single extinction event on a massive scale (plants and animals), but presumably with reasonable numbers of surviving organisms (unlike the P-T event; (2) evidence for human remains and artefacts in the same strata with the organisms that were destroyed en masse; and (3) evidence of large scale geological upheaval (based on the description of the earth opening up) occurring in the purported period of the Flood (ca. 5,000 years ago).

Alternative hypotheses would be:

Ha1: The Flood occurred, but on a limited scale. This would demand a different set of evidences, and would not entirely align with the biblical account, and

Ha2: The Flood never happened.

In the case of Book of Mormon geography, the book itself presents no model to work from; thus, geographical models for the Book of Mormon must be generated independent of the source, increasing the probability of error and the difficulty of setting up proper working hypotheses. The hypotheses generated for Book of Mormon geography are far more daunting than for the Flood, as the scope of Book of Mormon events could theoretically occur in any number of locales throughout the Americas, whereas the Bible claims the world for its Flood -- obviously in reference to the entire planet, or the region in which Noah lived (depending on interpretation), which can be delineated reasonably well from the text. Two rather easy targets. The Book of Mormon is not nearly so neat and easy.

As CI has asked, then, why are Bible-believing critics so quick to cast science at LDS to tear down the complex geography Book of Mormon, while essentially ignoring science that rather handily knocks apart the easily-defined and examined idea of a global flood? I suspect that many critics have spent more time learning about the rote scientific challenges to the Book of Mormon than they spend learning about the scientific challenges to the Bible.

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CI: However, in the case of the B of M, when it comes to the limited geography theory, you refuse to allow LDS to switch to that view. Why? The only argument you put forth is the fact that certain LDS leaders over the years have stated a preference for the Hemispheric model and then insist that by switching to the limited geography theory somehow invalidates their statements and, ergo, they were "false prophets" (funny how almost every anti argument comes back to that claim).

RA: Certain LDS leaders??? How about the very founder of your religion who supposeldy talked to God? A preference? Hardly. That WAS Mormonism's basic foundation, which was the essential story of the BOM in Mormonism's earliest years. It reflected 19th century thought. I don't think it gets more complicated than that.

CI: The point of this thread is that Peter clearly favored the global model and included it as a part of his argumentation in Holy Writ. Moreover, the Bible itself proclaims it to be a global event.

RA: I'm sorry, where does Peter say global? It might be implied. But specific? And did you at all even read the Hugh Ross article that discusses this stuff? (Clearly, the Flood's globalness is not really an issue) Or have you now switched to a loop of some kind. And as for geological evidence agianst a gobal flood, there are volumes that argue about the validity of the strata material. And there are old earther's, I believe, who hold to a global view.

Sorry, CI, but IMHO, and sure go ahead call me a blind idiot, that's fine, this issue about Peter, Peter, Peter and the Flood Flood Flood, is an attempt to once again transfer to the Bible the various problems in the BOM, and then say, see, the BOM is just as plausible as the Bible. Well, I disagree, which is probably one reason why I am not a Mormon.

And BTW, the problems with Mormonism, IMO, go far beyond just the BOM. There is an endless litany of problems that, sorry, just my opinion , make Mormonism wholly untenable. It is a far more problematic religion than traditional Christianity. But you woudl disagree, and that is why you are a Mormon. Fine. I have no problem with that.

We seeking, at the very least, some understanding. And that's good enough for me. Sometimes, however, I can still see us all starting to go round and round and talking past each other, and sometimes apparently really not understanding each other (I, of course, count myself in this). For example, in this Peter case, I really don't see it as a problem, especially because the thrust of the Bible is not the Flood. Or even sometihng like evolution. I am far more concerned with issues like who is God, who is Jesus, how are we saved. Call me crazy. Maybe you feel the same way about Mormonism, and in doing so, dismiss what I see as insurmountable problems (the BOM issues we have been discussing being only a small percentage of the problems).

I don't wish to fight. But I do find your ways of seeing things intersting and appreciate your input.

CI: It's hypocritical and there is no way around it.

RA: Well, IMO, I have provided a way around it, and it seems to make sense to EVs, but you have not chosen to take that way. So, fine.

RA

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These references are well and good, but scientifically they are (to put it very kindly) inadequate. The notion that land plants all survived as floating mats or propagules is severely oversimplifying the case (except those that the writers said became exctinct because of the Flood -- that only leaves about 350,000 species to somehow survive). If you completely submerge a large area for a year, you will find very little plant life left. And many plant species are highly sensitive to environmental changes. Besides, how did Noah feed the specialized animals (lots of bamboo for those pandas, eucalypts for the koalas, and so on and on) for an tnire year without plants on board? The argument that certain fish can tolerate modifications of salt and freshwater (which is true within limits) ignores other problems associated with separation and stratification of salt- and freshwater, and the dramatic water pressure changes that would induce for the deep-sea biota, who have suddenly had to deal with an influx of freshwater (the more saline water would rise). The insect issue is amazingly simplified -- they survived on the floating plant mats; for an entire year. Presumably, each of the millions of species had the appropriate resources on the mats to feed themselves and their offspring for a year (since most would pass at least one generation during that time, and some would pass through many generations in that time). And those species that are predators and parasitoids of other species would have the requisite prey and hosts on their mats in sufficient numbers that all would survive to maintain the 3 million plus species? The science for a global flood is simply not there. I'm sorry. A local flood can be defended scientifically much easier. A miracle is the best choice to defend a global flood. Science won't work, IMO.

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RA: Certain LDS leaders??? How about the very founder of your religion who supposeldy talked to God? A preference? Hardly. That WAS Mormonism's basic foundation, which was the essential story of the BOM in Mormonism's earliest years. It reflected 19th century thought. I don't think it gets more complicated than that.

I'm not sure if you are being intentionally obtuse or if you really just don't get it. Ev's don't believe in modern prophets, thus their "ultimate" authority here on Earth is the Bible. Forget Peter if you don't like the quote from him, focus on Moses and the book of Genesis. That book clearly indicates a global flood, and I don't think there is even any serious discussion that it does not. So, your ultimate source is the Bible on the issue, yet you have clearly stated that if the scientific evidence were such that it made the global flood theory untenable, that you would simply switch to the Limited Flood Theory and go on your merry way.

That's fine, but you aren't applying the same logic to yourself that you are to Joseph Smith. The logic as I have seen it applied goes like this: If Joseph who as you say "supposedly talked to God" was incorrect on geography of the Book of Mormon, then how can he have been a prophet? Moreover, if he was wrong on that, what else could he have been wrong on?

The same logic applies to the Bible, your "god breathed" word of God. If the Bible was incorrect about the global flood, then how can it actually be the "word of God" since God is perfect and has no error? In fact, Richard, I see your position as much tenuous than my own. While Smith showed a preference for the hemispheric model, he also adjusted that model as additional evidence was uncovered. (For example, at one point he expressed the idea that Lehi's party landed in Chili, but in later years, I believe he moved that landing point much further North, which reflects the fact that he was beginning to understand the geography was much more limited than he originally thought). He never claimed divine knowledge of any particular city. The Bible, however, is "god breathed" and inerrant. How can it make such an egregious mistake?

Well, you of course believe the GFT, and that's fine, but it puts you on the opposite side of the fence of all modern science. Yes, you can give me some links to articles that address this, but let me ask you a question Richard. Are their any non-Christian scholars or scientists who have peer reviewed those articles (oh the irony of the reversed position!)? Has any non-Christian reviewed the findings and agreed with them? Have they ever been published in non-Christian publications such as "Nature" or some other scholarly journal?

No?

So one again, it is hypocritical of you to criticize LDS for holding some views which might be seen as running counter to scientific knowledge. Then again, Richard, as Christian we all must do this. To my knowledge, no single credible scientist has ever found the possibility of resurrection to be a reality. In fact, all the sciene to this date specifically denies that possibility.

And BTW, the problems with Mormonism, IMO, go far beyond just the BOM.

Pshaw! Most of what you call "problems" are figments of your own imagination.

There is an endless litany of problems that, sorry, just my opinion , make Mormonism wholly untenable.

And how many atheists have said the exact same thing about Christianity in all it's forms?

It is a far more problematic religion than traditional Christianity.

Actually, LDS belief is much more coherent and much more harmonious w/ Biblical teaching and ancient Christian belief than any modern Christian sect.

For example, in this Peter case, I really don't see it as a problem, especially because the thrust of the Bible is not the Flood.

And the thrust of the B of M isn't geography or DNA, but you've certainly spent an inordinant amount of time worrying about it.

And BTW, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, in Joseph Smith life that doesn't find direct paralell in the lives the biblical prophets.

C.I.

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CI: Oh, and Richard. I told you that the people who actually speak Greek would disagree with you.

RA: Speak Greek??? Juliann speaks Greek??? Wow. And Hamblin speaks Greek??? Wow. Even so, that really doesn't matter too much since the Greek that is now spoken in Greece is not New Testament Greek. And I assume you do not mean that they speak New Testament Greek since New Testament greek is not something they would be speaking to anyone.

Now, if you mean, read and write New Testament Greek, then that is a different issue. JJuliann does this?? Extraordinary, especially given her comments. And Hamblin does this???/ Possibly. But we have yet to really know that since all he really has done is shoot an accusation at me with no biblical, Greek, or linguistic documentation, then run. So, we'll see.

NOW, as for your fixation with the Flood, let's settle it this way, so we can move on to other issues

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Now, if you mean, read and write New Testament Greek, then that is a different issue. JJuliann does this?

While I don't pretend to speak for Juliann, I know for a fact that has in the past, and is currently, studying at Claremont, one of the nations formost theological institutions in the world. It is my understanding that her studies have focused specifically upon the New Testament and yes, they include both Greek AND Biblical Hebrew. When she reads this thread she cannot correct me if I am wrong.

Extraordinary, especially given her comments.

Actually, it is your comments that have given pause.

And Hamblin does this???/ Possibly. But we have  yet to really know that since all he really has done is shoot an accusation at me with no biblical, Greek, or linguistic documentation, then run. So, we'll see.

I do not know Dr. Hamblin's linguistic qualifications. I do know, however, that other board participants such as Ben McGuire, (sp?) and Kevin Barney both have extensive training in Greek and Hebrew (having actually attended a University with a real campus and everything). I suspect, however, the Dr. Hamblin has not "run" as you suggest, but rather actually has employment which he must attend to. He has not run from any other challenge and I doubt he'll run from your whiffle bat.

NOW, as for your fixation with the Flood, let's settle it this way, so we can move on to other issues—1. the local flood is acceptable to many Christians.

It can be acceptable only to those Christians who reject the notion of Biblical inerrancy. Thus, for Mormons it is not problem at all. For the great majority of Baptists, Assembly of God, Pentacostals, etc., such a position cannot be logically held without contradiction the notion of an inerrant canon.

2. the global flood, which seems to be indicated in scripture by Peter and Moses, but runs APPARENTLY contrary to geological evidence, was a miracle.

Richard, are you "crying angel?" Why you do indeed seem to be. Would you, I wonder, ever allow a Mormon to play the "miracle" trump card when discussion amerindian DNA? Why do I doubt that you would?

There. Now, the implortant point, in whichever option you pick, is that a flood—of SOME kind—took place.

For me, sure. For you? I'm not so sure. You've still got to show me how this position doesn't contradiction the decidedly EV notion of Biblical inerrancy. Why can you simply accept that, in this case, the Bible, the very word of God, may be wrong, but you continually criticize Joseph Smith because he, being human by his own admission, may have erroneously placed Book of Mormon events and peoples in locations where they did not occur? I want justification for the double standard and the "I don't like Joseph Smith" excuse doesn't cut it.

Can we go on CI?

Indeed, we can. You have admirably demonstrated the very points I wanted to make in this thread and I think you for your participation. At least you had the guts to do it. None of the other Ev's on this wanted to go near it with a 300 cubit Ark.

I think I understand what you are saying, but I think you put too much emphasis on it. We, as EVs, just don't care that much about HOW the Flood occurred, but simply acknowledge THAT is occured.

No, what you put emphasis on is the Bible as an authoritative, inerrant souce for gospel teaching. However, you willingness to alter your position on the reality of a global flood calls into question either 1. the actual inerrancy of the Bible or 2. Your commitment to that standard.

Moreover, Mormon place ZERO emphasis on the DNA of the Lamanites or the location of where certain events took place, but you are demanding inerrancy from our leaders in a manner that you demonstrated you refuse to demand of the Bible. That has been my point all along, and you have admirable shown it to be correct.

RA: Really???? Well, they are figments then, of a lot of people's imaginations. I think they are in reality, quite substantial.

Oh, I'm sure to you they are. But most of them arise from unrealist and unsubstantiated expectations of what a prophet is and what he does. You place requirements and strictures on Joseph Smith and subsequent LDS prophets that you would never dream of applying to biblical prophets and apostles, then, when Smith et al., fail to live up to your fictional standard you declare them false prophets. But when the same standards are applied to biblical prophets, they fail just as miserably, a fact you refuse to acknowledge. It just simply that double standard being applied again.

RA: You know, these are really good questions. Have you researched it yourself.

Actually, I have. And to date, I have never found an article in any mainstream scientific journal, written by an athiest, or other type of non-Christian, which supports the notion of a global flood. There are, however, several dozen critiques of the "science" that has been put forward by Evangelicals seeking to defend that idea.

What methods did you use?

Like I said, I searched for articles which supported the global flood theory, then I sought to discover the author's affilication (not a hard thing to do actually, they usually state it up front).

Now, I have researched quite a bit about the BOM and how secular folks view it, and why it is pretty much dismissed as anything BUT history

Really? Then you missed John Tvedtnes' presentation to a non-LDS conference regarding Jewish and Hebrew naming conventions in the Book of Mormon I guess? Moreover, as Juliann has consistently tried to teach you and as you consistent fail to learn, true scholars don't approcah a book like the Bible or the Book of Mormon with the idea "proving" it. Not sure why you can't grasp that yet.

—unlike the Bible which, even though secularists may dismiss its miracles, Christ's resurrection, etc., is at least seen as having some basis in historical fact.

Yes, just like Homer's works are based in a historical context and just like Stephen King's works are based in a historical context. Evidence of antiquity proves ZERO. And there is plenty of evidence (most of which you consistently refuse to confront) whice indicates a source in antiquity for the B of M. Moreover, it is my belief that if actual non-LDS scholars were to actually look at that work (i.e. the Valley of Lemuel, Nahom, Bountiful connections, the work of Brant Gardener, Peterson's work on Ashera in the book of Nephi), they too would come to the conclusion that, at the very least, Joseph Smith could not have written the book.

The problem is that there is a very dundamental difference between the Bible and Book of Mormon. A scholar can work with the Bible, identify authentic accounts of antiquity in its pages, and still reject it a hoax, fraud or cultural myth. However, the origins of the Book of Mormon make that a much more difficult proposition. If a non-LDS scholar were to look at the Book of Mormon and find those same relics of antiquity, he has two options: 1. he can theorize a different, yet still modern author; or 2. He must accept the origin account as presented by Joseph Smith as authentic. There is no other option and since option #1 is fraught with perils, and question #2 is, for many, unimaginable, they simply choose to avoid it.

Significant Bible persons, places, events, etc. have been PROVED—Paul, Corinth, Jesus of Nazareth, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, we both agree the Bible is old. But as my good athiest friend used to say, "that just makes it an old fraud." That is what you have to overcome. But, if we can "prove" that B of M is "old" that fact goes a lot further toward proving the supernatural events (which form the crux and central message) of the Bible true.

That's what you consistently fail to see. If the B of M is authentcially ancient, that would not only "prove" the B of M "true" it also lends unimaginable support to the most important aspects of the biblical account including the atonement and resurrection!

What of the basic historical backdrop of the BOM—nadda, nothing, zero. That is the differnece, IMO.

You can keep repeating that, but it's no longer true. That claim went up in smoke the day Nahom was discovered. Moreover, Brant's work has very clearly shown that the Book of Mormon fits quite comfortably into a mesoamerican backdrop. So comfortably, in fact, that I can find no other explanation for it. And I've tried, believe me.

C.I.

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C.I.'s question is really more momentous than Mr. Rabanes seems to think.

Sure, you can take the limited flood theory and still believe the Bible (I do, for example), but you are still left with the problem about what to do with Jesus and Peter, one an apostle, and the other, the Son of God.

They both believed in a universal flood, probably along with every other Jewish person of the ancient world. If this is not so, what are we to make of their ability to prophesy and gain divine knowledge from God?

LDS believers do not have a problem with this. Jesus and Peter, for all their accomplishments, were still born as men into their own ancient environments, with all that that implies. 1st century beliefs about the world does not hobble their ability to converse with God. (Or in Jesus' case, to BE God.)

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young lived in the 19th century, which had many beliefs that us 21st century people find to be quaint. But being burdened with 19th century beliefs does not hobble their ability to converse with God.

Beowulf

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Sure, you can take the limited flood theory and still believe the Bible (I do, for example), but you are still left with the problem about what to do with Jesus and Peter, one an apostle, and the other, the Son of God.

They both believed in a universal flood, probably along with every other Jewish person of the ancient world. If this is not so, what are we to make of their ability to prophesy and gain divine knowledge from God?

So are you saying that even though Jesus was the Jehovah of the Old Testament (who caused the flood), that later on He got it wrong?

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Yes I am saying that.

Does this bother you?

I guess I should clarify.

Yes, we believe that Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, that he was Jehovah. So yes, he would be the individual who actually caused the Flood.

But did Jesus remember this when he was born into the world? Did he remember anything at all, in fact? I don't think so.

He was a baby, after all.

So he then had to learn, like any other child, about 'going about his Father's business.'

It was 'line upon line,' and while he learned the important things necessary to fulfill his role as the Son of God (the fullness of the Gospel), he did not ever attain to having perfect knowledge of everything in the universe (as we assume God can do) while he was a mortal man, in my opinion.

So it is OK for me if he accepts the universal flood when all the evidence points otherwise, or if he ascribes disease to demons rather than to infectious viruses or bacteria.

The alternative explanation (which I think is less likely), is that he DID know everything, and just refrained from explaining it because it would just have confused his less-than-modern followers.

Beowulf

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