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Sanpitch

Who is Jehovah?

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I always understood that the church claimed that Jehovah was Jesus Christ.  Is that correct or is the God over everything Jehovah according to church claims and Jesus is his son.

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9 minutes ago, Sanpitch said:

I always understood that the church claimed that Jehovah was Jesus Christ.  Is that correct or is the God over everything Jehovah according to church claims and Jesus is his son.

Jehovah is a title. Actually it's a mangling of the original Hebrew too. In the Old Testament starting around the time of the Josiah reforms as Israel tried to stamp out paganism the idea of a head God and son was lost. So El and YHWH became merged. With the move to strict monotheism during the exile the knowledge of the difference between father and son was mostly lost, although elements remained. You had teachings of the angel of presence who was the manifestation of God who was hidden. In the Merkabah tradition you had the idea of YHWH and a lesser YHWH who bore the name of YHWH. In those traditions this was typically Enoch who ascends to heaven and becomes the angel Metatron but who then speaks for God as God. There's lots of other remnants of the teachings. 

If we had copies of the scriptures from before the Babylonian conquest we'd probably have much stronger evidence. But because the various figures were merged the clarity was lost.

Typically in the Old Testament it is the Father speaking but the manifestation of the Father on the earth is usually the Son. So it's the Son acting as or on behalf of the Father. Usually asking who it *really* is tends to be pointless. Even during his mortality Jesus said he did nothing but what the Father wills. He's the manifestation in the flesh of the Father meaning that he represents the Father perfectly. If you've seen the Son you've seen the Father even if technically they're two separate people. 

Historically in the Church they called Jehovah the Father although there were exceptions. (Most think Joseph is clearly calling Jehovah Jesus in D&C 109 & 110) By the time of Utah typically Jehovah was always the Father. By the 20th century because Jesus was the messenger of the covenant and because of scriptural passages that have Jesus as Jevovah the tradition moved to usually saving the name for Jesus. However technically it's a title and both have the title. Who is present when speaking as Jehovah is often somewhat beside the point. It might be the Father, it usually is the Son, or it might be an angel. And if you look at scriptural prophecy given in 1st person the prophet is speaking as Jehovah. So when Isaiah is giving the words of Jehovah in a sense he's acting as a representation of Jehovah in terms of presenting those words.

Edited by clarkgoble
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Thank you, no wonder I've always been confused about the name.

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18 minutes ago, Sanpitch said:

Thank you, no wonder I've always been confused about the name.

Yup pretty much what happened was the group called the Deuteronomist reformers didn't like how the Canaanites had both El and Baal with Baal being the son of El. The idea that Jehovah was the son of El thus became repressed because of the very, very close similarity to the Canaanite pantheon. Many Mormons think that knowledge of Mother in Heaven was also lost at that time for the same reason. On the one hand it worked since they became far less pagan in many ways. However on the other they lost a lot of clear teachings on the nature of God. As I mentioned you can still find them in Judaism up to the time of Christ. But it just isn't as clear.

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Yahweh, god of war and/or metallurgy, probably originating in Edom and later picked up by the Israelites. Eventually picked up the God of Storms function previously held by Baal. Adopted into the divine family of El, who had 77 other sons along with his consort, Asherah. Yahweh was eventually conflated with El in the push toward monotheism.

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1 hour ago, Sanpitch said:

I always understood that the church claimed that Jehovah was Jesus Christ.  Is that correct or is the God over everything Jehovah according to church claims and Jesus is his son.

I put together some scriptures that show how Jesus is the Jehovah spoken of in the Old Testament:
Abraham calls the LORD (Jehovah) "the Judge of all the earth" (Gen. 18:25). One of the attributes of Jehovah is that he is Judge. Throughout the Old Testament the LORD (Jehovah):
1 Sam 2:10 - "shall judge the ends of the earth"
Deut 32:36 - "shall judge his people"
1Chr 16:33 - "cometh to judge the earth"
Ps 9:8 - "shall judge the world in righteousness"
Ps 96:10 - "shall judge the people righteously"
Ps 96:13 - "cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth"
Isa 2:4 - "shall judge among the nations"
Isa 3:13 - "standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people"
Isa 11:4 - "with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity"
Isa 33:22 - "is our judge"
Eze 18:30 - "will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways"

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is identified as the judge:

John 5:22 -"the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son"
John 9:39 - "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world." 
The Apostles also identified Jesus Christ as the judge:
Acts 10:42 - "it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead"
Acts 17:31 - "he will judge the world in righteousness"
Rom 14:10 - "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ"
2 Cor 5:10 - "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ"
2 Tim 4:1 - "shall judge the quick and the dead"
Jude 1:14-15 - "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all"

Since the Father "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son", the judge named Jehovah, described in the Old Testament verses, must therefore be Jesus Christ. Except of course the few times when God the Father is being referred to as that title as described by Clarkgoble.

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Clearly the NT frequently treats Christ as Jehovah. However as I noted by then the earlier distinction between El and YHWH was lost. To the Jews, primarily of the Pharisee traditions, there was only God. That's why they, not understanding the distinction, took him as blasphemous by declaring himself the law giver to Moses.

Things get a bit tricky since in certain ways Jesus is the Father due to manifesting the Father fully. So you have for instance Alma 11 talking about being arraigned "before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged..." (44) But of course 3 Nephi 27:14 talks about Christ judging them. However clearly the Father is also there (see 16). So it's a bit tricky.

 

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1 hour ago, Sanpitch said:

I always understood that the church claimed that Jehovah was Jesus Christ.  Is that correct or is the God over everything Jehovah according to church claims and Jesus is his son.

To some extent I disagree with each of the other posters so far. i do not believe the name was conflated at all. Firstly, there is no hard J sound in the Hebrew, so it is like "Yahov'ah." The Germans used a J because it made a Ye sound in German. We know the Canaanites used El. Like the Israelites, they were a Semitic people. El was not a name, but a generic title which meant something like "the power." However, we are told in Exodus that God was not known by the name YHWH to their fathers. The prior titles were El, and versions of it like El Elyon, and El Shaddai. I won't get into the difference here. The plural of Elim is used little in scripture, but it is there. Sometimes the KJV hides it by translating it as the mighty rather than "Gods." There was also Eloah, which is used in reference to being the stone of Israel and the rock of salvation. Its plural is Elohim. Elohim can be used singly, but often it is used plurally with plural verbs. An example is in Gen 3:22:

And the Lord/YHWH God/Elohim said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

This is not a "royal we" as some claim as other scriptures show. So from the beginning both the Father and the Son are YHWH Elohim.

Other scriptures make it abundantly clear that scripturally the Father is YHWH. For instance in Deut 18 we find:

17 And the Lord/YHWH said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Yeshua himself alluded to this scripture, and all Christians recognize it as a prophecy of our Messiah being given by YHWH. 

There are other scriptures I will not address now which also make it clear that YHWH is speaking and says things like YHWH and His Spirit have sent me. If the scriptures are to be believed both are YHWH. YHWH is a title inherited/earned by Yeshua, who was given a name above every name - the name of the Father Himself. But, not the title of El Elyon or the Most High Power - not yet. Luke calls Yeshua the Son of the Most High

Well there are some basics. We are all invited in the house of Elohim or the family of immovable force, and at times the Lord says things like He is an El of Elohim.

Well those are some very basics about the nature of God. Cheers. 

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

I put together some scriptures that show how Jesus is the Jehovah spoken of in the Old Testament:
Abraham calls the LORD (Jehovah) "the Judge of all the earth" (Gen. 18:25). One of the attributes of Jehovah is that he is Judge. Throughout the Old Testament the LORD (Jehovah):
1 Sam 2:10 - "shall judge the ends of the earth"
Deut 32:36 - "shall judge his people"
1Chr 16:33 - "cometh to judge the earth"
Ps 9:8 - "shall judge the world in righteousness"
Ps 96:10 - "shall judge the people righteously"
Ps 96:13 - "cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth"
Isa 2:4 - "shall judge among the nations"
Isa 3:13 - "standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people"
Isa 11:4 - "with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity"
Isa 33:22 - "is our judge"
Eze 18:30 - "will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways"

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is identified as the judge:

John 5:22 -"the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son"
John 9:39 - "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world." 
The Apostles also identified Jesus Christ as the judge:
Acts 10:42 - "it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead"
Acts 17:31 - "he will judge the world in righteousness"
Rom 14:10 - "we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ"
2 Cor 5:10 - "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ"
2 Tim 4:1 - "shall judge the quick and the dead"
Jude 1:14-15 - "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all"

Since the Father "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son", the judge named Jehovah, described in the Old Testament verses, must therefore be Jesus Christ. Except of course the few times when God the Father is being referred to as that title as described by Clarkgoble.

The reverse works too:

Christ appeared to nobody before the Brother of Jared. Ether 3:15
but
Jehovah (the Lord) appeared to Adam and Enoch.  Genesis 3:8 & Moses 7:4, D&C 107:49

Jehovah (the Lord) was the father of our spirits. Zech 12:1, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Isaiah 42:5, Deut 14:1
but
Christ was a spirit child like us.  Abraham 3:27

Jehovah (the Lord) had power over all mortals.
but
Christ was a premortal spirit with no body and could have no power over man.  Joseph Smith TPJS 181

Jehovah (the Lord) expected to be prayed to. Zechariah 8:22
but
Christ wanted us to only pray to the Father.  3 Neph 29:30-31, Matt 6:9-13

Isn't prooftexting fun!

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Good question cuz! Nice to see you on the board, it's been awhile! This board as you well know, can sure be a go-to place for these kinds of questions.

I hope you are doing well, I wonder how many people on this board know that we realized you are my mother's aunt's son, so second cousins? All because of your avatar Sanpitch. Small world we live in!!

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Historically in the Church they called Jehovah the Father although there were exceptions. (Most think Joseph is clearly calling Jehovah Jesus in D&C 109 & 110) By the time of Utah typically Jehovah was always the Father. By the 20th century because Jesus was the messenger of the covenant and because of scriptural passages that have Jesus as Jevovah the tradition moved to usually saving the name for Jesus. However technically it's a title and both have the title. Who is present when speaking as Jehovah is often somewhat beside the point.

This is one of the best summaries of Jehovah in the Church I have read.

Personally, I believe Jehovah is a title (a priesthood office if you prefer) given to a resurrected Christ, the Father's heir.

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2 hours ago, Gray said:

Yahweh, god of war and/or metallurgy, probably originating in Edom and later picked up by the Israelites. Eventually picked up the God of Storms function previously held by Baal. Adopted into the divine family of El, who had 77 other sons along with his consort, Asherah. Yahweh was eventually conflated with El in the push toward monotheism.

Yeah! The whole big picture.

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There's not a ton of consistency in use in the Church - particularly comparing the 19th century with the 20th century. However there's not a lot of consistency in the Bible either (IMO).

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8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

To some extent I disagree with each of the other posters so far. i do not believe the name was conflated at all.

There are two different kind of conflations under consideration. One is the conflation of the deity El and the deity YHWH, and that absolutely happened, although I would put it much earlier than Josiah. We already have inscriptions from around 800 BCE that seem to refer to YHWH as El and maybe even as Baal (which could also mean "master" or "lord," and so isn't very surprising). The other conflation is the vowels of the Hebrew word adonay and the consonants of YHWH to produce the name Yohouwah, and that also absolutely happened around 1270 CE (Raymundus Martini did it). The spelling would later become Jehovah. 

Quote

Firstly, there is no hard J sound in the Hebrew, so it is like "Yahov'ah." The Germans used a J because it made a Ye sound in German. We know the Canaanites used El. Like the Israelites, they were a Semitic people. El was not a name, but a generic title which meant something like "the power."

No, el means "deity" and nothing else. It can be used adjectively in some circumstances (thus "divine"), but etymological speculation beyond the basic sense of "deity" is nothing more than speculation.

Quote

However, we are told in Exodus that God was not known by the name YHWH to their fathers.

We were also told in Genesis 4 that people started calling on the name YHWH during the time of Enosh, so very clearly there's a conflict.

Quote

The prior titles were El, and versions of it like El Elyon, and El Shaddai. I won't get into the difference here. The plural of Elim is used little in scripture, but it is there. Sometimes the KJV hides it by translating it as the mighty rather than "Gods." There was also Eloah, which is used in reference to being the stone of Israel and the rock of salvation.

Eloah has no reference whatsoever to being a stone or rock. It's just a variant of el. 

Quote

 

Its plural is Elohim. Elohim can be used singly, but often it is used plurally with plural verbs. An example is in Gen 3:22:

And the Lord/YHWH God/Elohim said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

This is not a "royal we" as some claim as other scriptures show. So from the beginning both the Father and the Son are YHWH Elohim.

 

Elohim can be used with singular or plural referents. With the former, it's a concretized abstract plural. A binitarian understanding of Elohim is just openly and blithely reading Christianity into early Israelite texts.

Quote

 

Other scriptures make it abundantly clear that scripturally the Father is YHWH. For instance in Deut 18 we find:

17 And the Lord/YHWH said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Yeshua himself alluded to this scripture, and all Christians recognize it as a prophecy of our Messiah being given by YHWH. 

There are other scriptures I will not address now which also make it clear that YHWH is speaking and says things like YHWH and His Spirit have sent me. If the scriptures are to be believed both are YHWH. YHWH is a title inherited/earned by Yeshua, who was given a name above every name - the name of the Father Himself. But, not the title of El Elyon or the Most High Power - not yet. Luke calls Yeshua the Son of the Most High

 

Of course, Genesis 14:22 calls YHWH "El Elyon," and Psalm 83:19 quite explicitly says that the name of Elyon over all the earth is YHWH. 

Quote

 

Well there are some basics. We are all invited in the house of Elohim or the family of immovable force, and at times the Lord says things like He is an El of Elohim.

Well those are some very basics about the nature of God. Cheers.

 

 The "basics" are that Latter-day Saints didn't systematically identify Jesus with YHWH and God the Father with El/Elohim until the early twentieth century. It's an interesting exercise to try to reconcile that recent ideology with the Bible, but nothing more than an exercise. 

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8 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

The reverse works too:

Christ appeared to nobody before the Brother of Jared. Ether 3:15
but
Jehovah (the Lord) appeared to Adam and Enoch.  Genesis 3:8 & Moses 7:4, D&C 107:49

Jehovah (the Lord) was the father of our spirits. Zech 12:1, Jeremiah 1:4-5, Isaiah 42:5, Deut 14:1
but
Christ was a spirit child like us.  Abraham 3:27

Jehovah (the Lord) had power over all mortals.
but
Christ was a premortal spirit with no body and could have no power over man.  Joseph Smith TPJS 181

Jehovah (the Lord) expected to be prayed to. Zechariah 8:22
but
Christ wanted us to only pray to the Father.  3 Neph 29:30-31, Matt 6:9-13

Isn't prooftexting fun!

All the more reason to consider the word Jehovah as a title rather than a name. The same way as the word Elias can be a title. 

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21 minutes ago, Dan McClellan said:

The "basics" are that Latter-day Saints didn't systematically identify Jesus with YHWH and God the Father with El/Elohim until the early twentieth century. It's an interesting exercise to try to reconcile that recent ideology with the Bible, but nothing more than an exercise. 

True.  It has only be taught as such for half the Church's existence.  And it was a work of scholarship, the interpretation of scripture by a single apostle, Talmage, that caught on in popularity after he wrote a bestseller.  Not a revelation clarifying doctrine and scripture.

It's as much a personal belief popularized as many say about Brigham's teachings on Adam which contradict it.

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Posted (edited)

There is this, which offers a brief summary of the extended case in Barker's The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God.

https://www.theway.org.uk/back/431Barker.pdf

For the book, which covers a vast range of material:

http://www.margaretbarker.com/Publications/GreatAngel.htm

She observes that in the Old Testament, the sons of El Elyon are all heavenly beings, one of whom is Yahweh.  The sons of Yahweh are all human, which means that Yahweh can be both a Father and a Son, just I can be both a father and a son.

Brant Gardner explores the issue here:

https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2003/monotheism-messiah-and-mormons-book

And I dabble here with how the Deuteronomists complicated things.

https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1459&index=4

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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9 hours ago, RevTestament said:

If the scriptures are to be believed both are YHWH. YHWH is a title inherited/earned by Yeshua, who was given a name above every name - the name of the Father Himself. But, not the title of El Elyon or the Most High Power - not yet. 

I don't have education in ancient culture and language to address the rest of your  post.

But this I agree with. Christ inherited/earned the Jehovah title by virtue of the atonement.  He was not the Jehovah speaking prior to his birth.  Although I do think some scripture states he was foreshadowed to become Jehovah such as when he calls himself I Am.

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1 hour ago, Dan McClellan said:

There are two different kind of conflations under consideration. One is the conflation of the deity El and the deity YHWH, and that absolutely happened, although I would put it much earlier than Josiah. We already have inscriptions from around 800 BCE that seem to refer to YHWH as El and maybe even as Baal (which could also mean "master" or "lord," and so isn't very surprising). The other conflation is the vowels of the Hebrew word adonay and the consonants of YHWH to produce the name Yohouwah, and that also absolutely happened around 1270 CE (Raymundus Martini did it). The spelling would later become Jehovah. 

There exists ancient Hebrew from the Masoretic Text and other writings which use the pronunciation Yehovah. Blaming it on Raymundus Martini hundreds of years later doesn't hack it in my book. Why is referring to El as YHWH a conflation? If YHWH is a name and El is a title, why cannot they both apply? The OT also has Eloah. Is that another "conflation" or did it have meaning to them? Saying that this other name of YHWH appeared around 1400 BC is quite consistent with the Bible, and I see no reason to conclude it is a conflation.

Quote

No, el means "deity" and nothing else. It can be used adjectively in some circumstances (thus "divine"), but etymological speculation beyond the basic sense of "deity" is nothing more than speculation.

Speaking of late Hebraic use does little to illuminate the subject. "The word El comes from a root word meaning 'might, strength, power' and probably derives from the Ugaritic word for god." Nevertheless, Jews take the "variant" name as you call it, Eloah, to mean the Mighty or Powerful One.

https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/el.html

Quote

We were also told in Genesis 4 that people started calling on the name YHWH during the time of Enosh, so very clearly there's a conflict.

It is possible that YHWH had introduced his name to the Sumerians, but that it got lost. It seems archaeology has not yet as found that name in Sumerian. I don't believe the Hebrew form of YHWH existed until it was introduced around 1400 BC. It is also possible that this verse is just an artifact of the narrative process from which the Torah was written, and the name it refers to was some other form.

Quote

Eloah has no reference whatsoever to being a stone or rock. It's just a variant of el. 

Scripturally, you are wrong. God used his titles for reference to what He was being for the people. Eloah is used in early scripture thusly:

Deuteronomy 32:15

15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness;then he forsook God/Eloah which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

Eloah is also used in reference to the false pagan idolic gods of stone in the Tanakh as is Elohim - but never YHWH.

Quote

Elohim can be used with singular or plural referents. With the former, it's a concretized abstract plural. A binitarian understanding of Elohim is just openly and blithely reading Christianity into early Israelite texts.

It is reading what is there even if the later Jews became extremely monotheistic. Nor have I proposed it is binitarian. see where I reference the El of Elohim above - or there is also Psalms 82 "Ye are Elohim" used by Jesus to defend Himself.

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Of course, Genesis 14:22 calls YHWH "El Elyon," and Psalm 83:19 quite explicitly says that the name of Elyon over all the earth is YHWH. 

Thank you for those additional references proving my point from scripture.

Quote

 The "basics" are that Latter-day Saints didn't systematically identify Jesus with YHWH and God the Father with El/Elohim until the early twentieth century. It's an interesting exercise to try to reconcile that recent ideology with the Bible, but nothing more than an exercise. 

I didn't reference what Latter Day Saints did nor believed. It is not terribly germane to me.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't have education in ancient culture and language to address the rest of your  post.

But this I agree with. Christ inherited/earned the Jehovah title by virtue of the atonement.  He was not the Jehovah speaking prior to his birth.  Although I do think some scripture states he was foreshadowed to become Jehovah such as when he calls himself I Am.

I disagree with that as well. You are of course free to disagree with me, and I'm sure you will, but you are assuming something which is nowhere said in scripture. 

Hebrews 1:

4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

This scripture ties the inheritance of His name to the event of his becoming the first-begotten of the Father. Nowhere does scripture say He became the first-begotten upon his birth nor upon his baptism nor upon his crucifixion. Nowhere during these events does the Father say "This day I have begotten thee." Instead we are told that the Father brought His first-begotten into the world. That Yeshua was His Son from the foundation of the world by which He made the worlds. You are simply imposing what you believe must be, but is not the case. He was already the Begotten Son when He was sent into the world to show us the Way - by which He was chosen for the task. So too in the Book of Mormon, He was the Son prior to His atonement.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, RevTestament said:

To some extent I disagree with each of the other posters so far. i do not believe the name was conflated at all. Firstly, there is no hard J sound in the Hebrew, so it is like "Yahov'ah." The Germans used a J because it made a Ye sound in German. 

The pronunciation of the tetragrammaton is a bit of a mystery. Yahovah is a substitute word sometimes used for YHWH but I don't think most think that was how it was said. At a certain point (it's not clear if it was true at the time of Christ) it became blasphemy to even say the name. Thus substitutes when reading the Torah by using the vowels from adonai. So Jehovah becomes the name by the process you outlined from this substitute name. So I'm not sure there's clear evidence for how the ancient Jews would say the name.

3 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

There are two different kind of conflations under consideration. One is the conflation of the deity El and the deity YHWH, and that absolutely happened, although I would put it much earlier than Josiah. We already have inscriptions from around 800 BCE that seem to refer to YHWH as El and maybe even as Baal (which could also mean "master" or "lord," and so isn't very surprising). The other conflation is the vowels of the Hebrew word adonay and the consonants of YHWH to produce the name Yohouwah, and that also absolutely happened around 1270 CE (Raymundus Martini did it). The spelling would later become Jehovah. 

I was under the understanding that while Martini did this, it was much earlier Jewish practice as a substitute name. That goes back to the Masoric text, although I don't know if adding those vowels is in the earliest texts. (My googlefu is failing me - although what I found suggests this is in place by at least the 3rd century before Christ)

To the merging of names, I know some see it as happening as the J and E sources merge - sometimes seen as early as the 9th century and perhaps earlier. However I also think the evidence is that wasn't universal and it's really the Josiah reforms that we start to see more force towards this - particularly after the exile. Judaism appears, from the archaeological record, much more diverse and syncretic than our Biblical texts suggest. The Book of Mormon certainly suggests a strong Egyptian influence on Nephi's form of Judaism - perhaps a form more characteristic of the northern Kingdom prior to its conquest. I tend to see the Book of Mormon as a fairly loose translation that borrows from the KJV. So I'm not sure we can glean too much from title use there, especially in Isaiah which appears to hew to the KJV for the most part.

I think most assume the Jewish pantheon and Canaanite pantheon were very similar. After the success of the P and D traditions to push Judaism to strict monotheism you see elements of the earlier pantheon becoming demons, angels or just metaphoric figures such as the anthropomorphic wisdom. This tends to persist primarily in mystic traditions bursting out again in later Kabbalistic texts in Europe. (Judaism also clearly appropriated elements from Babylonian and Persian belief - perhaps developing even certain Levitical rites during this period)

Identifying local Gods with foreign Gods was of course common. So Seth and Baal become merged when Canaanites conquer parts of Egypt - presumably bringing that tradition back with them. Equating YHWH with Baal seems natural given how similar they are. And we know Ashtoreth, the wife of Baal, was also seen as the consort of YHWH. How much of that is syncretic paganism and how much mainstream Judaism isn't at all clear. (And perhaps that's not a real distinction worth making from a scholarly perspective)

3 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

 The "basics" are that Latter-day Saints didn't systematically identify Jesus with YHWH and God the Father with El/Elohim until the early twentieth century. It's an interesting exercise to try to reconcile that recent ideology with the Bible, but nothing more than an exercise. 

I think the issue is whether there is a theological significance here. I tend to think there isn't, but I can certainly understand those who think there is. My own view is that both Mormons and Jews just weren't consistent here. The early Mormon inconsistencies arise out of pushing against trinitarian views particularly as a materialist ontology tends to get adopted. However early Mormon inconsistencies also arise out of inconsistencies in the Bible and strained Trinitarian apologetics. So it's not surprising Mormon use is inconsistent.

19th century Utah use was of course significantly affected by the temple rites especially as contextualized by Brigham. However even then I think there was a bit more variation than you suggest. And of course many point out that there are indications that Brigham was only following Joseph's use in Nauvoo by distinguishing El the head god, Jehovah, and then Jesus. That use then shifted in the 20th century interpretation of the titles in the temple. To what degree Brigham's use was merely copying Joseph's use prior to his death still seems a point of disputation. (IMO) I know many favor Brigham being far less inventive here than some suggest. Brigham infamously in 1854 considered Adam as Jehovah. But George Q Canon as early as 1871 was calling Jesus Jehovah. So I'd say things were doctrinally fluid despite Brigham's strong hand and beliefs. By 1885 it appears many are switching to calling Jesus as Jehovah.

While the easiest way to deal with this is just to say people were confused, I do think it's reconcilable if we consider Jewish Merkabah belief - particularly as found in 3 Enoch. Whether it's theologically useful to do so is of course debatable.

 

 

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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13 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Yup pretty much what happened was the group called the Deuteronomist reformers didn't like how the Canaanites had both El and Baal with Baal being the son of El. The idea that Jehovah was the son of El thus became repressed because of the very, very close similarity to the Canaanite pantheon. Many Mormons think that knowledge of Mother in Heaven was also lost at that time for the same reason. On the one hand it worked since they became far less pagan in many ways. However on the other they lost a lot of clear teachings on the nature of God. As I mentioned you can still find them in Judaism up to the time of Christ. But it just isn't as clear.

 

13 hours ago, Gray said:

Yahweh, god of war and/or metallurgy, probably originating in Edom and later picked up by the Israelites. Eventually picked up the God of Storms function previously held by Baal. Adopted into the divine family of El, who had 77 other sons along with his consort, Asherah. Yahweh was eventually conflated with El in the push toward monotheism.

El "God," and Yahweh "He who creates," are both titles for the same god, even though El is actually generic for "god" the same way Allah is generic (both are equivalent Semitic terms).  The Canaanites had an entire pantheon of gods, and El was the head of that pantheon for them, and Baal was his son.  For the Israelites, El/Yahweh was accompanied by a heavenly host (sons of El), and even allowed a consort Asherah, who was later excised from the Israelite religion.

The Documentary Hypothesis posits god-title preferences in separate documents:  El in the Northern Kingdom, Yah(weh) in the Kingdom of Judah, and we can see those documents combined most graphically in the Psalter, where we have separate groupings of Elohist Psalms and Jahwist Psalms:

“J” PSALM 14

“E” PSALM 53

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

 

 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people  as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.

There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.

Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.

Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people  as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God  bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. 

 

The Book of Mormon, for example, is an Elohistic document.

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5 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The Book of Mormon, for example, is an Elohistic document.

I was all with you until that point. I think it's likely true to a degree, but I think the very nature of the text and its dependence upon the KJV texts to translate underlying texts makes that problematic to establish too closely. Put an other way, I think there are artifacts of translation that make the argument difficult.

More to the point, if Lord in the Book of Mormon is the tetragrammaton then it just occurs far too much to make a distinction between J/E. In the documentary hypothesis the J/E typically are seen as largely complete by the time of Nephi - although there's always the problematic nature of certain Genesis accounts seen as tied to influence from Babylon or Persia. (Say the two creation accounts or even elements of the flood narrative) 

There's also the issue of Isaiah. Ignoring the deutero-Isaiah problem by attributing it to proto-deutero-Isaiah texts, we still have the issue that Lord (YHWH) appears a lot in the Book of Mormon. That's arguably the biggest influence on Nephi. Lord is used over 1200 times in the Book of Mormon while God (possibly El or Eloheim) is used over 1300. So the terms seem used a pretty similar amount. It's hard based upon the text to say it's an Elohistic text even if perhaps the form of Genesis on the brass plates may not reflect the J/E merging in Judah. (It's hard to say since we don't have clear extended Genesis quotations - just paraphrases in 2 Nephi 2 which suggests a different form from what's in the KJV)

Edited by clarkgoble
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3 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't have education in ancient culture and language to address the rest of your  post.

But this I agree with. Christ inherited/earned the Jehovah title by virtue of the atonement.  He was not the Jehovah speaking prior to his birth.  Although I do think some scripture states he was foreshadowed to become Jehovah such as when he calls himself I Am.

Someone believes in Adam-God 😉

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12 hours ago, RevTestament said:

...................... However, we are told in Exodus that God was not known by the name YHWH to their fathers. ...............................

Ex 6:3 is frequently mistranslated, and Joseph's JST version agrees with what some Hebrew grammarians say about it being a rhetorical question:  "And was not my name known unto them?"  In other words, the Patriarchs certainly knew him by his title Yahweh.

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