Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Mighty Curelom

Book of Moses VS Book of Abraham

Recommended Posts

Soon after JS finished translating the Book of Mormon, he recieved a series of revelations regarding the original creation account depicted in Genesis. These revelations, called the Book of Moses, came about while JS was attempting to correct mistranslations and flaws in the Bible.

Several years later, in 1835, JS came upon the Abraham papyri, which he set about translating. As luck would have it, the Book of Abraham also contained a version of the Genesis creation account. There is, however, a key difference between the inspired Book of Moses creation account and the Book of Abraham creation account.

The Book of Moses refers to God as a singular personage while the Book of Abraham refers to Gods, plural. For example-

BoM-"And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light."

BoA-"And they (the Gods) said; let there be light, and there was light."

In each instance where the Book of Moses refers to a singular God, the Book of Abraham replaces that wording with Gods. Where the BoM says "He", the BoA says "they", and so on.

What is the apologetic response to this discrepancy? If the Book of Moses was inspired, why doesn't it emphasize the idea of multiple gods as the Book of Abraham does?

Share this post


Link to post
The Book of Moses refers to God as a singular personage while the Book of Abraham refers to Gods, plural.  For example-

BoM-"And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light."

BoA-"And they (the Gods) said; let there be light, and there was light."

In each instance where the Book of Moses refers to a singular God, the Book of Abraham replaces that wording with Gods.  Where the BoM says "He", the BoA says "they", and so on.

Don't mean to be critical, MC, but it seems to me that this post demonstrates your unfamiliarity with the nature of revelation.

JS knew something when he wrote the BoM, but when he wrote the BoA, he knew much more. Line upon line, etc. Both were 'true', true to what he knew (had revealed to him) at the time. No problem.

Enjoy the robustness that was Joseph.

HiJolly

Share this post


Link to post

BoM-"And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light."

BoA-"And they (the Gods) said; let there be light, and there was light."

The Book of Moses follows the Genesis text in the Old Testament. The Hebrew for 'God' in Genesis is actually the plural form. So the Book of Abraham correctly addresses the plural. Technically, Joseph Smith could have corrected every instance of the Hebrew plural form in the Bible, which would be a fair task. The depiction of 'God' in the OT certainly can be confusing, caused by translation inconsistencies over the years and different schools of thought on the role of God. Since Moses wrote the Book of Moses and Genesis, perhaps Joseph was maintaining consistency. As for Abraham, as a different author, he may have wanted it worded the way we see it.

It all boils down to the same meaning, just phrased differently.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm confused about this too. Did Abraham have a better or different understanding of the godhead than Moses? Maybe Abraham viewed the gods as a pantheon, with his god as the supreme one. I think I've heard that before.

Share this post


Link to post

Try studying the entire Book of Moses rather than selective reading.

Moses 2:1

1 AND it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I hcreated the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.

Moses 2:26

26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the bbeginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Try studying the entire Book of Moses rather than selective reading.

I like your response better than mine.

HiJolly

Share this post


Link to post

I think that Abraham was looking at the creation from a totally different POV. As I read the BofA, it seems to me that Abraham focused more on the pre-mortal world and the involvement of the Grand Council in the creation, while Moses tended to focus mainly on the involvement of the Father and His Son in the creation.

I say "I built this house."

My sons say "My dad and we built this house."

The construction workers say "We built this house."

Is any of the above statements wrong? It's all a matter of POV.

Share this post


Link to post

There is one God.

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
JS knew something when he wrote the BoM, but when he wrote the BoA, he knew much more.  Line upon line, etc.  Both were 'true', true to what he knew (had revealed to him) at the time.  No problem.

If this was meant as a joke, all I can say is "bwahahah, excellent!" If it wasn't meant as a joke, all I can say is "bwahahah, excellent!"

--KY

Share this post


Link to post
There is one God.

Alan

Thanks, I'm sure that cleared everything up for Mighty Curelom.

Share this post


Link to post

Because the Book of Abraham papyri is really about Hor, Osiris, Anubus and a handful of other egyptian gods. :P

Share this post


Link to post

I think that Abraham was looking at the creation from a totally different POV

Exactly I was hoping somebody would point this out.

The book of Abraham is an account of what was planed to do on each day. Moses is what they did on each day.

(Abraham 5:1-4.)

1 And thus we will finish the heavens and the earth, and all the hosts of them.

2 And the Gods said among themselves: On the seventh time we will end our work, which we have counseled; and we will rest on the seventh time from all our work which we have counseled.

3 And the Gods concluded upon the seventh time, because that on the seventh time they would rest from all their works which they (the Gods) counseled among themselves to form; and sanctified it. And thus were their decisions at the time that they counseled among themselves to form the heavens and the earth.

4 And the Gods came down and formed these the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were formed in the day that the Gods formed the earth and the heavens,

So if you read the other stuff in Abraham you will see, like it have been said that Abraham is seeing the creation through pre-mortal life. Where as Moses is seeing the creation from earth's view.

Nothing wrong with either of them. In fact it shows more fully how there was more then Just two people (Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ) taking part in the creation process.

Share this post


Link to post
There is one God.

Alan

Excuse me, but there are three Gods.

:P

Paul O

Share this post


Link to post

Good to see that HiJolly believes Joseph wrote the book of Abraham and that line upon line he changed his mind. Great question MC. Drumroller does point out to some interesting words in the Book of Moses, however, history might not be so kind to his explanation. I suggest reading Dan Vogel's excellent article on Joseph Smith's view of the God. I cannot remember the title right now, so I will have to come back later with it. He demonstrates that there was a distinct chagne in Joseph's view on God. You know the one, the one he supposedly saw in the woods in 1820.

It seems that an evolotion of thought had occurred in the authors head and he put it on paper. There is a good indication that Joseph grew out of favor with the idea of a singular god. Since he had developed a new system that expressed we were all gods in embryo it made sense to make god into gods. One element not explored much is the masonry connection in this sense. I wonder at times if Joseph was experimenting with humanism, in its classic form. Anyhow that is another topic.

Zeitgeist

Share this post


Link to post

In order for all the gods to say let there be light, the Father also had to say it.

Wether or not the rest of the gods other than the Father are recorded as saying it is irrelivant.

Share this post


Link to post

Z is correct.

Smith's interpretation of Christian theology evolved from a more orthodox christian trinitarian/modalistic version of God (as depicted in the BoM and the earliest "first vision" accounts) to the interpretation of God now accepted by the LDS church; that is, God and Jesus are two separate, distinct personages who are both gods.

The evolving interpretation of the nature of God is at odds with the manner in which JS claimed to have restored the church. That is, if JS recieved a vision at age 14 in which God and Jesus appeared before him as separate personages, why would his early religious writings (as well as the earliest accounts of the first vision) reflect a modalistic/trinitarian sensibility?

Share this post


Link to post

So this really isn't a question about the book of Moses or Abraham this is more a question if Joseph Smith really did write both books. I guess from these arguments you are trying to pove that Joseph Smith couldn't have wirtten all of these because it shows his view is changing of who God is?

Maybe that is because Joseph Smith didn't write them. He "translated" them, and it shows from Book of Mormon -> Book of Moses -> To Abraham how each had a different author because each had a different (view point) of God.

But this doesn't seem to fit?

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah God must be confused about himself - whether he is trinitarian, mono, if he has a Son (my I wonder if he knows about us at all?), etc. Either that or we cannot trust that Moses, why he seems confused, or is it that Abraham is confused? It seems easier to believe that Joseph is the one confused, not only that, but that would mean he wrote the stuff with a different opinion of things later.

Zeitgeist

Share this post


Link to post
Maybe that is because Joseph Smith didn't write them. He "translated" them, and it shows from Book of Mormon -> Book of Moses -> To Abraham how each had a different author because each had a different (view point) of God.

No, this doesn't fit because, even if Joseph Smith "translated" the books (if you can call starring into his hat at a peep stone translating), he would have already known whether there was one God or multiple Gods -- having already physically witnessed God according to official accounts -- and corrected the text as it was translated.

It is very likely that Joseph Smith's plural view of God came almost a decade after the first written account of the First Vision and the writing of the Book of Mormon... with both texts being extremely monotheistic or modalistic. Especially if you read the 1830 version of the BoM before the Church changed all of the verse referencing God to now read "...the Son of God..." However, Mosiah 15 retains the monotheistic or modalistic view of God.

1 AND now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.

2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son

Share this post


Link to post

It is interesting that there are those who claim that modalism is seen in the Book of Mormon. Vogel is once more looking for parallels and forcing connections.

Modalism, by its very nature implies that something comes in distinct modes. Its primary feature is that God can be any of the persons of the Godhead - the Father, the Son, the Spirit - but not at the same time. Thus, the traditional model is that the Father became the Son. The Book of Mormon teaches something quite different. Jesus is both the Father and the Son at the same time.

Is the Father the Son? Perhaps, reflecting on it, it isn't quite as strange as it seems. After all, the Old Testament refers to the Messiah (for unto us a child is born) as the "Eternal Father" - a title in the Book of Mormon of which Vogel makes a great deal of hay in his essay. Yet, no-one would claim that Isaiah was a Modalist. In fact, pre-exilic Israelite belief was not strictly monotheistic. YHWH was one of the sons of El in Canaanite belief. A model that actually fits Nephi's writings remarkably well.

Ben

Share this post


Link to post

There was also a belief in Eloah... the breasted God. Some Bible scholars believe that Elohim is the Hebrew word for the combining of the male El + the female Eloah.

Isn't there also OT apocrapha and some verses in the OT that refer to Sophia and Wisdom as female deities?

Interesting stuff. cool.gif

Share this post


Link to post

Ben,

Modalism, by its very nature implies that something comes in distinct modes. Its primary feature is that God can be any of the persons of the Godhead - the Father, the Son, the Spirit - but not at the same time. Thus, the traditional model is that the Father became the Son. The Book of Mormon teaches something quite different. Jesus is both the Father and the Son at the same time.

You don

Share this post


Link to post

Interested parties should refer to "The Development of The Mormon Understanding of God:Early Mormon Modalism and Other Myths" by Ari D. Bruening and David L. Paulsen, FARMS Review of Books, 13:2, 2001, pages 109-169.

Also relevant to the discussion, Margaret Barker, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God. (London: SPCK, 1992).

Brant Gardner also gave an insightful talk on the topic at a FAIR conference, something which ought to be fairly easy to find for participants on this board.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...