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Does the Bible teach the doctrine


David Bokovoy

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Clearly the Bible does not possess the developed doctrine of pre-mortal existence understood within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This admission should not surprise anyone.

Although the powers that be did ask Kent Brown to author the Anchor Bible Dictionary article on "Souls, Preexistence of"

SOULS, PREEXISTENCE OF. A doctrine which teaches that the souls of humans and even animals had a prior existence before being born into mortal bodies. In its appearance among Jewish and early Christian writings, this teaching commonly exhibited influences from Platonic thought. But it also has biblical ties. A notable example consists of these words of the Lord to Jeremiah:
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Clearly the Bible does not possess the developed doctrine of pre-mortal existence understood within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This admission should not surprise anyone. 

David,

Great post!

I am finding that I need help in overcoming the effects of bad mormon proof-texts. Any comments on the original authoral intent behind Jeremiah 1:5 or Job 38:7? How about using the council in heaven motif such as in Psalms 82 for a support of pre-existence or the possibility of using the Garden of Eden narrative as an allegory for the pre-existence? I would love to get your take on this. In any event, the doctrine is not very well developed in the Bible.

later,

fool

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I always felt that Jer 1:5 is applicable to everyone, and that the scripture is specifically showing that we existed prior to birth here. God is all knowing, and that could explain the "before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee;" but I believe that God is giving hint here that we existed prior to the vail. Just my two cents.

Mormon Fool beat me to my scripture :P

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If there were verses that talked about a man or woman knowing God before they were born, that would be definitive, in my opinion. However, all the verses used to point to the doctrine of the preexistence refer to God knowing human beings before birth, but not vice versa. This fits in quite well with the mainstream Christian belief in God's omniscience. God certainly knew all of us before we were born, but we did not know Him.

Just my thoughts. Take care, everyone :P

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If there were verses that talked about a man or woman knowing God before they were born, that would be definitive, in my opinion. However, all the verses used to point to the doctrine of the preexistence refer to God knowing human beings before birth, but not vice versa. This fits in quite well with the mainstream Christian belief in God's omniscience. God certainly knew all of us before we were born, but we did not know Him.

Just my thoughts. Take care, everyone :P

Rhino,

The story of the blind man belies your assertion. In order for him to have sinned in order to be born blind he would have required some sort of sentience.

C.I.

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Rhino,

The story of the blind man belies your assertion. In order for him to have sinned in order to be born blind he would have required some sort of sentience.

C.I.

The events of Luke 9?

But Jesus specifically stated that it was not because of his sin or his parent's sin that he was born blind. Rather, he was born blind so that the power of God could be displayed in his life. Jesus was contradicting the preexistence, as well as the common belief that misfortune is a direct result of sin on the part of the unfortunate.

That one doesn't fit either, sorry. Take care :P

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Rhino,

Christ affirmed nothing of the kind. He was correcting the misunderstanding of the Pharisees. Do you believe that someone can be born blind because their parents sinned?

First its John 9 not Luke...

John 9

1 AND as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Second Id like to know when "his diciples" became Pharisees? :P

You're stretching Rhino... Christ affirms that the man could indeed sin before he was born, But had not, Nor did his parents. Otherwise he would have corrected the notion. He did not.

It seems you are arguing... God does not take vengance on a innocent newborns for the sins of their fathers. Kind of Like Davids lust fruits... (2 Sam 12) <_<

Romans 9

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to aelection might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Oops... there goes the Evan doctrine of humans being miserble wretches, spent sanitary napkins, before they where born. <blush>

Also... Who where all the "sons of god" who shouted for joy along with Job?

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Hello Rhino,

If there were verses that talked about a man or woman knowing God before they were born, that would be definitive, in my opinion. However, all the verses used to point to the doctrine of the preexistence refer to God knowing human beings before birth, but not vice versa. This fits in quite well with the mainstream Christian belief in God's omniscience. God certainly knew all of us before we were born, but we did not know Him.

Care to respond to the biblical idea of man's soul preexisting within the spirit world?

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Wow, this has really taken off! My break ended, so I had to quit posting for the time being.

These comments clearly show how modern thelogy has been able to rationalize ancient accounts. A reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient documents (at the time and place) had among early Christians clearly indicate that pre-mortal existance was not a uncommon.

I had no idea that the Dead Sea Scrolls were now Christian documents. Cool!

Care to respond to the biblical idea of man's soul preexisting within the spirit world?

Only to say that it is only biblical insofar as it is shoehorned into the text by those looking for validation of later revelation.

I'm not going to say that the passage in Luke 9 (or in John 9, for that matter) disproves the idea or the preexistence. But it does not prove it either. The emphasis was not on whether or not there was a preexistence, but on whether or not the misfortunes of the unfortunate are a direct result of their sin or their parents' sins. Jesus was disproving karma, in other words :P

Given the weight of the biblical testimony on the matter, I see no reason to discount the mainstream view of God's omniscience (or foreknowledge, if you want a more biblical term for it) in favor of the LDS doctrine of the preexistence.

It seems you are arguing... God does not take vengance on a innocent newborns for the sins of their fathers. Kind of Like Davids lust fruits... (2 Sam 12) 

He doesn't under the new covenant. Look at Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 18.

Romans 9

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to aelection might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Oops... there goes the Evan doctrine of humans being miserble wretches, spent sanitary napkins, before they where born. <blush>

Romans 9, great passage that talks about God's foreknowledge, without hinting at a preexistence. Thanks for bringing it up! And I'm not sure what doctrine you're referring to, especially the whole napkins thing.

Thanks for the thoughts. Don't expect much from me for the rest of the day, I have to leave right after work, and I don't have internet at home. Take care, everyone <_<

P.S. And the sons of God in Job? They were the angelic host, I think. I'll look that up when I get home. :unsure:

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I'm not going to say that the passage in Luke 9 (or in John 9, for that matter) disproves the idea or the preexistence. But it does not prove it either. The emphasis was not on whether or not there was a preexistence, but on whether or not the misfortunes of the unfortunate are a direct result of their sin or their parents' sins. Jesus was disproving karma, in other words

Disproving Karma?

"What comes around goes around"

1 Sam. 26: 23

23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD

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If there were verses that talked about a man or woman knowing God before they were born, that would be definitive, in my opinion. However, all the verses used to point to the doctrine of the preexistence refer to God knowing human beings before birth, but not vice versa. This fits in quite well with the mainstream Christian belief in God's omniscience. God certainly knew all of us before we were born, but we did not know Him.

Just my thoughts. Take care, everyone :P

If this is true, then there is no such thing as free agency, and predetermination is true.

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Romans 9, great passage that talks about God's foreknowledge, without hinting at a preexistence. Thanks for bringing it up! And I'm not sure what doctrine you're referring to, especially the whole napkins thing.

Actually it does point to a pre existance... because the children where alive while in the womb. Yet they where merely zygotes until they became fully formed.

Heb 7

9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

Apparently Levi was contious enough to even Pay tithing before he ever was a twinkle in his great... great... grand... mothers eye!

Napkins:

Isaiah 64

6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We arnt worth the dirt we are made out of.

Thats what the pastor on the Radio told me yesterday, anyways.

P.S. And the sons of God in Job? They were the angelic host, I think. I'll look that up when I get home.
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