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Eloheim And Jehovah


soren

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In recent years, many anti-Mormons have latched onto the significance of Eloheim and Jehovah in LDS theology. The claim is that Latter-day Saints speak of the Father as Eloheim and the Son as Jehovah, whereas the Old Testament clearly does not distinguish them as two divine beings, and often denies such a distinction. 1 Kings 18:39 is a good example of this.

I find this argument shallow, since knowledgeable Latter-day Saints have said that it is a nomenclature used for expedience. I have also noticed that it has a precedent in the New Testament. How many times does Paul speak of â??God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ?â? If â??Godâ? translates Eloheim, and Lord translates â??Jehovah,â? this is a genuine scriptural warrant for the LDS usage.

Yet given these satisfactory justifications for using the names this way, another question remains unanswered, or perhaps, more accurately, unasked: If the LDS convention is to use these names to distinguish the Father and the Son, what is the LDS theology concerning the names? For instance, when Mormons read the Old Testament, what do the names Eloheim and Jehovah mean to them in that context?

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distinguish the Father and the Son, what is the LDS theology concerning the names? For instance, when Mormons read the Old Testament, what do the names Eloheim and Jehovah mean to them in that context?

I think the majority of members don't even know when they are reading about Yahweh or Elohim or make a meaningful differentiation between their use in the OT. The party line has been that "Jesus if the God of the Old Testament" but more recent scholarship seems to contradict this, at least that all references to the Hebrew deity in the OT are the pre-mortal Christ.

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I think the majority of members don't even know when they are reading about Yahweh or Elohim or make a meaningful differentiation between their use in the OT. The party line has been that "Jesus if the God of the Old Testament" but more recent scholarship seems to contradict this, at least that all references to the Hebrew deity in the OT are the pre-mortal Christ.

Does this mean that Jesus is also the Old Testament Eloheim?

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Are you asking me, or are you asking LDS doctrine?

I am asking for LDS doctrine, although anyone can chime in with their own position.

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Does this mean that Jesus is also the Old Testament Eloheim?

I think the idea is more that Jesus as the OT YHWH was Elohim's representative, doing his will, and thus in certain cases he might refer to himself as Elohim inthe first person when doing so.

Also bear in mind that Elohim in and of itself is the word for God(s), and it might not have been used in every such case we understand it as a proper name. That and there is the possiblity that some OT writers might simply not have had a complete understanding of this the way Christ's disciples would.

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Margaret Barker's work in this area is very interesting and instructive. (She is, incidentally, a Methodist, not a Mormon, so she doesn't have any Mormon axes to grind.) Her take is the the Old Testiment has edited to make it conform to monotheistic doctrine. However, she sees what are to her very clear echos of a "father" god named "El" or "Eloah" or "Elohim", and a son of Eloah named "Yahweh."

Because of that redaction, the existing text of the O.T. in many places conflates and confuses El and Yahweh, but it was not always so.

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In recent years, many anti-Mormons have latched onto the significance of Eloheim and Jehovah in LDS theology. The claim is that Latter-day Saints speak of the Father as Eloheim and the Son as Jehovah, whereas the Old Testament clearly does not distinguish them as two divine beings, and often denies such a distinction. 1 Kings 18:39 is a good example of this.

I find this argument shallow, since knowledgeable Latter-day Saints have said that it is a nomenclature used for expedience. I have also noticed that it has a precedent in the New Testament. How many times does Paul speak of â??God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ?â? If â??Godâ? translates Eloheim, and Lord translates â??Jehovah,â? this is a genuine scriptural warrant for the LDS usage.

Yet given these satisfactory justifications for using the names this way, another question remains unanswered, or perhaps, more accurately, unasked: If the LDS convention is to use these names to distinguish the Father and the Son, what is the LDS theology concerning the names? For instance, when Mormons read the Old Testament, what do the names Eloheim and Jehovah mean to them in that context?

try this link read left hand side first then the right highlighted scripture, please let me know what you think:

God Elohiym and LORD Jehovah l

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I think the idea is more that Jesus as the OT YHWH was Elohim's representative, doing his will, and thus in certain cases he might refer to himself as Elohim inthe first person when doing so.

Do Latter-day Saints think the Father shows up at all in the OT?

Also bear in mind that Elohim in and of itself is the word for God(s), and it might not have been used in every such case we understand it as a proper name.

The reason I cited 1 King 18:39 as my example is that this verse definitely uses Eloheim as a proer name. In this verse, the singular definite article "the" precedes "God" (Eloheim), which means "God" is to be understood as a singular and as a personal identity. The context bears this out, since "The LORD he is the God" answers the question of whether Baal or the LORD is God.

As a Catholic, I conclude from this verse that Jehovah and Eloheim are the same indiviual; what I do not know is what LDS theologians make of it.

That and there is the possiblity that some OT writers might simply not have had a complete understanding of this the way Christ's disciples would.

I can agree with that, but I cannot allow that the OT writers were in any error. An incomplete revelation is not the same as a mistake.

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Soren, it might interest you to read this thread about Elohim and Jehova, as used by LDS leaders past and present. There has been some evolution in this area, and I think it might interest you to read the discussion, and maybe follow some of the links in that thread.

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I can agree with that, but I cannot allow that the OT writers were in any error. An incomplete revelation is not the same as a mistake.

Soren,

What is your take on the claims by Barker and others that the Deuteronomists heavily redacted the text of the scriptures to make them conform to their then-current monotheistic doctrines, thereby conflating the "El" god with Yahweh?

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Do Latter-day Saints think the Father shows up at all in the OT?

During the creation. After Adam and Eve are cast out of his presence, they and their posterity cannot directly interact with the Father, and they require a mediator (Christ/YHWH), who initially interacts with them in the Father's stead, and later clarifies this role during his mortal ministry ("None come unto the Father but by me").

The reason I cited 1 King 18:39 as my example is that this verse definitely uses Eloheim as a proer name. In this verse, the singular definite article "the" precedes "God" (Eloheim), which means "God" is to be understood as a singular and as a personal identity. The context bears this out, since "The LORD he is the God" answers the question of whether Baal or the LORD is God.

As a Catholic, I conclude from this verse that Jehovah and Eloheim are the same indiviual; what I do not know is what LDS theologians make of it.

I think perhaps you make more of it than you should. This statement is made by the people in response to a remarkable event. It may even have been their general understanding, but there is no definitive claim of any express revelation here, or an experience that really makes a clear statement of identity.

I can agree with that, but I cannot allow that the OT writers were in any error. An incomplete revelation is not the same as a mistake.

But an error in translation or transcription should also be considered a real possibility.

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I find this quote from Eusebius to be interesting:

They did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things. But they also clearly knew the very Christ of God; for it has already been shown that he appeared unto Abraham, that he imparted revelations to Isaac, that he talked with Jacob, that he held converse with Moses and with the prophets that came after.

And indeed unto Abraham, who was thus before his circumcision a justified man, there was given by God, who revealed himself unto him (but this was Christ himself, the word of God), a prophecy in regard to those who in coming ages should be justified in the same way as he. The prophecy was in the following words: â??And in thee shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.â? And again, â??He shall become a nation great and numerous; and in him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.â?

(Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History)

T-Shirt

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I think the idea is more that Jesus as the OT YHWH was Elohim's representative, doing his will, and thus in certain cases he might refer to himself as Elohim in the first person when doing so.

Right. I read something on that awhile ago ; I think it is called "divine investiture" , if I recall correctly.

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There is some material here as well - http://www.the divinecouncil.com

whoops http://www.thedivinecouncil.com

What is interesting to me is that Nehemiah 9.6, if we take the LDS interpretive paradigm as normative, has Jesus (Jehovah) creating all the host of heaven (without exception). And yet, one of the host is Lucifer himself. Here we have Jehovah creating his own spirit brother. (Unless one reads "hosts" here as "stars." David?)

That is obviously not the way it went down per LDS theological belief concerning the preexistence. I haven't seen a cogent LDS answer as to how Jehovah can create his own spirit brother.

Best.

CKS

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I absolutely agree that Christ is the god of the OT. Since I think all three persons share one existence, there is no contradiction in holding that the Son and the Father are both Jehovah and both Elohim.

If Jehovah is only Christ called Elohim by invesitutre how can he claim exclusive worship as in Ex. 21:2?

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If Jehovah is only Christ called Elohim by invesitutre how can he claim exclusive worship as in Ex. 21:2?

...Ex 21:2 is about taking a Hebrew slave, no?

But anyway, I believe he is claiming exclusive worship for the Father. Just as we pray to the Father, in the name of the Son. The Son represents the Father, and when he does, rather than say he is just like the Father, he takes up his name.

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There are places in the OT where two persons are referred to as "LORD" (Jehovah or YHWH).

Gen. 19:24; Judges 6:12-14; Joshua 5:13-15, 6:1-2; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Joel 3:8-11; Isaiah 44:6; Zechariah 2:10-11. Can't think of any more right now, but there are more that imply this as well.

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I'll have to search for the source but a while back I was reading about Eloheim and how it is used to describe gods, not God. That El was the actual Father God, in Canaanite Pantheon beliefs. If this is the case Christ is in essence Eloheim, a god, and still Jehovah. Eloheim being more of a title, rather than an actual name.

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I'll have to search for the source but a while back I was reading about Eloheim and how it is used to describe gods, not God. That El was the actual Father God, in Canaanite Pantheon beliefs. If this is the case Christ is in essence Eloheim, a god, and still Jehovah. Eloheim being more of a title, rather than an actual name.

Elohim literally means "gods" as in plural, but it is rarely used that way in scripture.

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...Ex 21:2 is about taking a Hebrew slave, no?

But anyway, I believe he is claiming exclusive worship for the Father. Just as we pray to the Father, in the name of the Son. The Son represents the Father, and when he does, rather than say he is just like the Father, he takes up his name.

Oops. I meant Ex. 20:2-3: I am the LORD (Jehovah) thy God (elohim), which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods (elohim) before me.

Again, I know what a Catholic makes of this verse, that Jehovah names God according to His unique being, and Elohim names Him accoridng to his rulership, so both names are for the same being considered under different rationales. Note also that Jehovah speaks for Himself here.

I do not see how this can mean the Father if He is a separate being, though I am not convinced of just what the LDS doctrine on these names is.

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Greetings. Been lurking for a while, but here goes my first post:

It seems, from what I've learned, that YHWH (Jehovah) and El/Elohim are essentially Hebrew versions of the English titles "lord" and "god/gods" (despite the fact that I was taught in my youth that they are the real names of God the father and Jesus of Nazareth).

So what is the actual name of the OT god? Given the emphasis in the Decalogue concerning the "name of the lord," this seems like an important issue for believers in those commandments. How does one go about breaking the commandment about taking the lord's name "in vain?" I know it has nothing to do with cussing, which most people assume. Is breaking that one even possible for us if we don't know what the name is?

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