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Heiser on Barker in FR 19/1


Kevin Christensen

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In the current FARMS Review, Michael Heiser critiques Mormonism's Use of Psalm 82, and then responds to David Bokovoy's response to him. All very interesting and educational, (though how any "ism" can use a Psalm remains a mystery). There are a few places where he mentions LDS scholarly reference to Margaret Barker, the most important and enlightening being his note 73 on page 262 of the Review. Here he cites Brant Gardner's FAIR essay (an excellent essay, IMHO), and notes where Brant quotes a passage from Barker. (Brant cites Mark Smith more often than he does Barker.) Here is Heiser's specific criticism:

Barker's argument proceeds on the assumption that when the Hebrew Bible refers to sons of an El-derivative deity (El, Elyon, Elohim), those sons are heavenly beings. When the text speaks of Yahweh or the "Holy One" having sons, those sons are human beings. Barker's "crucial distinction" (p. 4) is incorrect since she misses Hosea 1:10, where "sons of the living God (El)" are clearly human beings. The Mormon material I have read has not caught the error and proceeds to make apologetic points on a flawed assumption. (Heiser, FR 19:1, page 262, note 73)

The Hosea 1 verse in question, with a bit of necessary context is here:

1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD....

Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

10

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Did Michael Heiser write the article in FARMS Review? I'm kind of confused.

I don't have my copy with me that has the details, but you can find it online for free. There are two articles in the FR by Heiser. The first, IIRC, wasn't originally written for the FR but was publshed or read elsewhere. David Bokovoy wrote a review of this first article of Heiser's. FARMS received Heiser's permission to publish his article and invited him to write a response to Bokovoy's review of it. So, there are two articles by Heiser and one by Bokovoy in this issue of the FR.

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Did Michael Heiser write the article in FARMS Review? I'm kind of confused.

Yes.

Dr. Heiser presented a paper at a (non-LDS) conference a few months ago. Because of LDS interest in his paper, he granted FR the honor of publishing his paper. That is followed by a review by David Bokovoy, which is in turn followed by a response by Dr. Heiser.

Edit: I see that I cross-posted with Jan.

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Yes.

Dr. Heiser presented a paper at a (non-LDS) conference a few months ago. Because of LDS interest in his paper, he granted FR the honor of publishing his paper. That is followed by a review by David Bokovoy, which is in turn followed by a response by Dr. Heiser.

Edit: I see that I cross-posted with Jan.

I think that is so kool!!! There needs to be more civilized discussions like that one. Of course that means that people from Ayedearhoe are automatically excluded since it involves "civilized discussion!" :P

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Kevin Christensen,

In the current FARMS Review, Michael Heiser critiques Mormonism's Use of Psalm 82, and then responds to David Bokovoy's response to him

I would agree with Heiser that Bokovoy arguments have some fatal flaws.

That is, contrary to Heiser, Barker has identified several passages in which a distinction is made (not just "assumed"), and further she traces these same distinctions "through a great variety of material and over several centuries." If Heiser were correct, he still would need to address the existence of the other materials.

I believe Heiser is correct in his point that there is no reason to conclude that we are dealing here with two separate deities.

In my opinion, the kinds of things that Margaret demonstrates over several centuries are much harder to explain if the distinction that she identifies in a range of Old Testament passages does not exist. In such circumstances, we have centuries of effects without causes. For just one key example, why do the early Christian writers all read Deut. 32:8-9 the same way she does? Even if Heiser is right, and they are wrong, why are they wrong? Why do they all see Yahweh as the Son of El Elyon?

In my opinion, Heiser's article nicely demonostrates that is is abundantly clear that Yahweh is not a subordinate. He is Elyon.

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structurecop,

Could you please provide some examples that make your point ... thanks.

Allow myself to quote... myself.

(Deuteronomy 32:8-9)

When El Elyon apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind,

he fixed the boundaries of he peoples according to the number of the gods( b );

YHWH's portion was his people,

Jacob allotted his share.

The New Oxford Annotated Bible provides this comment:

Elyon is the title of El, the senior god who sat at the head of the divine council in the Ugaritic literature of ancient Canaan. ( b ) Gods, the lesser gods who make up the divine council (Ps 82:1, 89:6-7), to each of whom Elyon here assigns a foreign nation.

9. The Lord's own portion; NRSV has added "own" in order to identify Yahweh with Elyon and avoid the impression that Yahweh is merely a member of the pantheon.

So there you go... biblical translators adding text to make it fit their pre-conceived notion of what the text should say.

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structurecop,

So there you go... biblical translators adding text to make it fit their pre-conceived notion of what the text should say.

In your opinion what does Deuteronomy 32:8-9 say?

Michael Heiser says the following about Deuteronomy 32:8-9:

First, the morphology and grammar of Deuteronomy 32:8 make it clear that the nations were assigned to the gods (and Sanders agrees). This is a passive idea (the greater being gives to the lesser). Notice in Deuteronomy 32:8:9 that the text does not actually describe Yahweh being given a portion the statement is simply declarative ("for Yahweh's portion is Israel; Jacob is his allotted inheritance"). The "allotted inheritance" could be construed as passive (as Bokovoy contends) or it could be a simple statement of reality. How can we know which it is? Very simply by noticing the language of Deuteronomy 4:1920, a passage everyone in the field takes as explicitly parallel to Deuteronomy 32:8. There Yahweh "takes" (לקח) his inheritance. It is not given to him he takes it in power. And if he takes it, then it makes far more sense to say there is none over him. He is the dispenser of the other allotments. This leads to the second point. The fact that other gods have their own dominion does not make them species-equal to Yahweh, especially when their allotments were bestowed while Yahweh's was taken. This understanding is supported by noticing the two prior verses of Deuteronomy 32 (vv. 6:7), where no less than five El epithets are attributed to Yahweh. It is abundantly clear that Yahweh is not a subordinate in this passage. He is Elyon. And if he is not the high "taker" of his own portion, by what authority does he call Abraham after the nations were divided at Babel? This is consistently portrayed in the Bible as a sovereign act.

I say, from Deuteronomy 32 is is abundantly clear that Yahweh is our God.

Deut.32

[3] Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

[4] He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

[6] Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

[8] When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

[9] For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

[18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

[36] For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.

[39] See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

[48] And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,

[49] Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:

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structurecop,

In your opinion what does Deuteronomy 32:8-9 say?

It says what it says. Elyon gave all the gods a portion of the people and YHWH's portion was the Israelites (which is perfectly consistent with the mythology of every henotheistic national cult).

It is not given to him he takes it in power. And if he takes it, then it makes far more sense to say there is none over him.

Umm, why does an omnipotent omnipresent unique deity that rules over everthing have to "take" anything?

The fact that other gods have their own dominion does not make them species-equal to Yahweh, especially when their allotments were bestowed while Yahweh's was taken.

It does, however, make them a contradiction to modern monotheism.

It is abundantly clear that Yahweh is not a subordinate in this passage. He is Elyon.

It's not that abundantly clear to me. In fact, it jumped out to me as the opposite.

And if he is not the high "taker" of his own portion, by what authority does he call Abraham after the nations were divided at Babel?

I'm sure any national deity has authority to call their own prophets and oracles.

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structurecop,

It says what it says. Elyon gave all the gods a portion of the people and YHWH's portion was the Israelites (which is perfectly consistent with the mythology of every henotheistic national cult).

Elyon did NOT give all the gods a portion of the people. Elyon or YHWH kept Israel as a personal possession (Deut 4:19,20). YHWH is NOT a seperate god than Elyon.

Deut.4

[19] And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

[20] But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.

Umm, why does an omnipotent omnipresent unique deity that rules over everthing have to "take" anything?

That is my point, YHWH is not a different god than Elyon. YHWH is the omnipotent omnipresent God.

It does, however, make them a contradiction to modern monotheism.

There is no contradiction if you understand monotheism, monotheism is "the LORD your God is God of gods" (Deut 10:17).

It's not that abundantly clear to me. In fact, it jumped out to me as the opposite.

It is clear that in Deuteronomy 32 the LORD in verse 9, is our God, our father, the Most High.

I'm sure any national deity has authority to call their own prophets and oracles.

JEHOVAH is the most high (Psalm 83:18).

JEHOVAH is our God, the God Almighty (Exod 6:2-7).

Pss.83

[18] That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Exod.6

[2] And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:

[3] And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

[7] And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

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As usual, Johnny deals in much unsupported assertion, which calls to mind the classic Monty Python "argument clinic" sketch, wherein Michael Palin tries to explain that an argument a series of logical statements, evidence, and reasoning, built towards supporting a conclusion, and not the "automatic gainsaying of what the other person says." To which John Cleese replies, "No it isn't." Though Cleese, of course, manages to be funny.

My original point, which Johnny avoid responding to even when he quoted part of my argument, is that Heiser tries to give the appearance of refuting Barker when the evidence shows that he has not read her book, only quotation of a few passages by a few LDS scholars. He has failed to recognize, acknowledge, or respond to her arguments. The passage that Heiser cites as a definitive, career devouring proof text (Hos. 1.10), that he claimed she had overlooked, she did not overlook. His proof-text, in fact, does not support his argument in the slightest, least of all his claim that it undermines all LDS reference to Barker.

In response, not uncharacteristically, Johnny ignores all of this, and simply insists that Heiser is correct about something else.

Johnny's choice of proof texts in this thread follows Heiser's apparent innocence in regard to the Barker's views on the transmission and editing of the Biblical texts on which he builds his case. Several of his proof texts have the historical fingerprints of the Deuteronomist reformers all over them (Deuteronomy 4 being a Deuteronomist manifesto, not part of proto-Deuteronomy), and therefore, inappropriate to carry the weight and significance he assigns them. One shouldn't try to build one's case on the very passages that are in question. In contrast, Barker builds her case in The Great Angel by working through a variety of texts, and by following patterns of thought and symbol through several centuries. Nothing in Heiser actually addresses The Great Angel's argument.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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Kevin Christensen,

As usual, Johnny deals in much unsupported assertion

My assertions are supported by scripture, see above ... if my conclusions are incorrect them please show my through logic and scripture.

He has failed to recognize, acknowledge, or respond to her arguments. The passage that Heiser cites as a definitive, career devouring proof text (Hos. 1.10), that he claimed she had overlooked, she did not overlook. His proof-text, in fact, does not support his argument in the slightest, least of all his claim that it undermines all LDS reference to Barker.

Please tell us what arguments he failed to recognize, acknowledge, or respond to and I will be glad to respond to these arguements.

In response, not uncharacteristically, Johnny ignores all of this, and simply insists that Heiser is correct about something else.

I did not ignore all this ... my point was that I believe Heiser is correct in his point that there is no reason to conclude that we are dealing here with two separate deities.

Johnny's choice of proof texts in this thread follows Heiser's apparent innocence in regard to the Barker's views on the transmission and editing of the Biblical texts on which he builds his case. Several of his proof texts have the historical fingerprints of the Deuteronomist reformers all over them (Deuteronomy 4 being a Deuteronomist manifesto, not part of proto-Deuteronomy), and therefore, inappropriate to carry the weight and significance he assigns them.

I agree with Heiser's when he says "The idea that El and Yahweh were once separate deities also lacks coherence." and that "separating El and Yahweh in Deuteronomy 32:8:9 is internally inconsistent within Deuteronomy 32 and Deuteronomy at large".

One shouldn't try to build one's case on the very passages that are in question.

There are many other passages outside of Deuteronomy that he cites that supports his arguement.

In contrast, Barker builds her case in The Great Angel by working through a variety of texts, and by following patterns of thought and symbol through several centuries.

I agree with Heiser conclusion, he says "What is more important in my mind is to clearly articulate the text and to contextualize the Hebrew Bible on its own terms."

Nothing in Heiser actually addresses The Great Angel's argument.

Heiser address the Great Angel's argument, he says "Yahweh created the divine members of the heavenly host" and that "The Name is said to be "in" the Angel".

Heiser arguments are supported by scritpure that is outside of Deuteronomy.

Barker's "Great Angel's argument" is not supported by the Bible.

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I wrote to Dr. Heiser and invited him to post here. He declined, but sent the following:

Feel free to post this - if I respond, people will expect me to take the time to lurk on the discussion board. I have little time for discussion boards (actually no time - I don't participate on any - nothing against them - just my real life circumstances).

Margaret Barker is one of my favorite writers. Yes, I read her work on the older testament and she misunderstands parts of the divine council. She quite clearly fails to consider the problems in the data for her understanding of the council members and El. I'm not the only scholar who thinks so, either. In fact, when I bring up Barker to various scholars they all (to this point) think she overstates the data. Don't be misled into thinking Barker's work is above reproach or even widely accepted by OT and NT scholars - it isn't. That said, I am personally convinced that she deserves more credit than she's given, and that she makes a number of legitimate observations and connections in terms of data points than most of the scholarly world recognize for the simple reason that many scholars are so committed to existing paradigms or grids through which scholarship "must" be filtered. Barker doesn't care much about the dogma grids, and neither do I. I admire her, and recommend anything she writes - it's always worth reading.

Mike Heiser

-Chris

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I wrote to Dr. Heiser and invited him to post here. He declined, but sent the following:

-Chris

I have just finished reading the Heiser/Bokovoy exchange on FARMS and I just have to say that I am really impressed with the both of them. They both seem to be saying that the other person has some things wrong with what they have said, but they have learnt a lot from each other and further discussion is good and that is one attitude that is needed so badly in the discussions between different religions systems.

I recently read, and I think it was Midgley who wrote it, about how some Southern Baptist Church members want to get together with the Mormons and work out the differences. I showed this article to an evangelical friend of mine and he agree, but he said that it would be a very arduous task since the Mormons wouldn't be willing to change. I had to laugh at that statement and then I asked him what was he willing to change if those discussions happened. Apparently he wanted us to make all the changes and admit that we were totally wrong and that the SBC was totally right. I am so glad not to not have seen any of this going on between Heiser and Bokovoy.

But I do see one problem that will be very difficult of both Heiser and Bokovoy to solve and that is Bokovoy's use of extra-Biblical scriptures, but there seems to be plenty of common ground otherwise.

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It's refreshing to see real scholars, such as Heiser, acknowledge Barker's cotributions, evne though he disagrees with some of her mateirals. Heck I suspect all of us are in the boat more or less with all scholarship, since, after all, none of it has the final word on things of God, not just yet anyway. I especially just want to thank Kevin Christensen here for being one of the main instigators to my finding Barker and begin reading her materials. They are quite delightful to try and fathom, though shallow brains such as mine have to read her a few times before I starts ta get it, ya know what I mean?

I also want ot thank Urroner for not picking on me in this thread also. <_<:P

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[i say, from Deuteronomy 32 is is abundantly clear that Yahweh is our God.

Deut.32

[3] Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

[4] He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

[6] Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

[8] When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

[9] For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

[18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

[36] For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.

[39] See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

[48] And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,

[49] Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:

Johnny,

[8] When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

Why do we have to read this as Gods as ruling the seventy nations? I believe Heiser is incorrect on this. Why can't the Sons of God be the number of Jacob's descendants? I believe Heiser has opened up a Pandora's box which encourages LDS/Barker thinking and may mislead true believers into buying this eisegesis.

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It's nice to hear that Heiser enjoys reading Barker's "material on the older testament" and that he recommends her work to other scholars, and that he recognizes that much of the resistance to her work comes from the built-in resistance that goes with allegiance to other paradigms. However, that still leaves unaccounted Heiser's claim that she overlooked Hos. 1.10, as I said intitially. Perhaps he has only read The Older Testament, and not The Great Angel, which I cited above.

I went back and re-read Daniel Peterson's essay, and realized that much that he pulls together there is helpful for reading the Hosea passage. Briliiant work. Bravo. A previous reading of Daniel's essay had triggered my realization that Benjamin's discourse contained the same themes as the Psalm, but working in reverse. Here from my essay in Glimpses of Lehi's Jerusalem:

Notice that Psalm 82, which is important evidence of the idea of the divine potential of humankind and contains ties to the fallen angel myth, also contains the royal themes that appear in Benjamin's discourse. But in this case, the psalm describes the inverse situation of a broken covenant. Even so, it shows the obligations of the covenantâ??both social and economicâ??for individuals and a relationship to cosmic order, as well as the consequences of falling, given the coming judgment:

God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods [cf. Mosiah 2:28]. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked [cf. Mosiah 4:20â??27]. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness [cf. Mosiah 2:32â??33]: all the foundations of the earth are out of course [cf. Mosiah 2:32â??33; 3:21]. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High [cf. Mosiah 5:7]. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes [cf. Mosiah 2:36â??41]. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations [cf. Mosiah 3:10, 13, 20]. (Psalm 82:1â??8 )

It seems to me that Hos. 1 contains elements of both the fallen state associated with the broken covenants, and the promise of a future restoration to being designated sons of the living God. Very interesting. Daniel's work remains very provocative and interesting.

Back to Johnny for a moment. Where I had said this regarding to Heiser's FR 19/1 comments on Barker:

He has failed to recognize, acknowledge, or respond to her arguments. The passage that Heiser cites as a definitive, career devouring proof text (Hos. 1.10), that he claimed she had overlooked, she did not overlook. His proof-text, in fact, does not support his argument in the slightest, least of all his claim that it undermines all LDS reference to Barker.

Johnny responded with this:

Please tell us what arguments he failed to recognize, acknowledge, or respond to and I will be glad to respond to these arguements.

The arguments in The Great Angel. It's a book. A very good one in my humble opinion. The only direct argument that Heiser made in his essay (his claim that she overlooked Hos. 1.10), he made in error. She didn't overlook it. This error on his part shouldn't be that difficult to acknowledge. A simple "Oh.. she did talk about Hos. 1.10" and a nod is sufficient. Now he has added a general criticism of her treatment of the council, to which I shrug.

When I commented earlier that "One shouldn't try to build one's case on the very passages that are in question," Johnny responded with this:

There are many other passages outside of Deuteronomy that he cites that supports his argument.

It would help if you understood the implications of some key terms:

Deuteronomy: a book.

Deuteronomic Reform: a process starting with Josiah, and continuing in waves both during and after the exile, closely associated with the recovery of Deuteronomy, but affecting many other texts.

Deuteronomic History: the books of Deuteromy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings.

Deuteronomic: theological and stylistic indicators in texts, including prophetic works outside the history, that can be argued to have come about as a result of the reformers editing other texts, such as 2nd Isaiah or Jeremiah or whomever.

The moral of all of these terms is that texts worked over by the Reformers tend to support the ideals and theological conclusions or those reformers. No surpise there. Hence, a text outside of the book of Deuteronomy can be Deuteronomic, pressing for the ideals of the reformers. What makes it more interesting is that certain books both in canon (such as 3 Isaiah) and out of the canon (such as 1 Enoch) appear to directly criticize the reformers. That circumstance is due to a combination of the activities of the Biblical Redactor, who came along after the Reform, bringing in some non-Deuteronomic texts (such as Chronicles), and to the finding of non--Biblical texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and 1 Enoch (which Barker discusses) and various archeological finds, discussed to good effect recently by William Dever.

You can find a good introduction to the basic issues in Friedman's Who Wrote the Bible? Not the last word, but a good start.

And Kerry. You are most welcome. I continue to enjoy and appreciate your insights and enthusiasms. And Ben McGuire's when we can get them. Another remarkable young man.

As LDS, I'm not inclined to worry overmuch about the cliques that form and the pointing that comes down from the Great and Spacious. I've tasted the good stuff, and I'm not about to let go.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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William the Conqueror,

Why do we have to read this as Gods as ruling the seventy nations?

By "Gods" it is meant the "sons of Gods" or the angels that God created (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalm 89:6-7).

The various nations have their respective guardian angels (Daniel 10:20-21; 12:1.).

I believe Heiser is incorrect on this.

Heiser view on this is consistent with the Catholic view. See the following links to footnotes found in the NAB Bible.

Deut 32:8

http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/deuteron...omy32.htm#foot2

The sons of God: the angels; cf Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Psalm 89:6-7. Here the various nations are portrayed as having their respective guardian angels. Cf Daniel 10:20-21; 12:1.

Psalm 89:7

http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm89.htm#foot3

[7] The gods: literally, "the sons of gods," "the holy ones" and "courtiers" of Psalm 89:6, 8. These heavenly spirits are members of God's court.

Psalm 82:5-8

http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm82.htm#foot1

[Psalm 82] As in Psalm 58, the pagan gods are seen as subordinate divine beings to whom Israel's God had delegated oversight of the foreign countries in the beginning (Deut 32:8-9). Now God arises in the heavenly assembly (Psalm 82:1) to rebuke the unjust "gods" (Psalm 82:2-4), who are stripped of divine status and reduced in rank to mortals (Psalm 82:5-7). They are accused of misruling the earth by not upholding the poor. A short prayer for universal justice concludes the psalm (Psalm 82:8 ) .

[5] The gods are blind and unable to declare what is right. Their misrule shakes earth's foundations (cf Psalm 11:3; 75:4), which God made firm in creation (Psalm 96:10).

[8] Judge the earth: according to Deut 32:8-9, Israel's God had originally assigned jurisdiction over the foreign nations to the subordinate deities, keeping Israel as a personal possession. Now God will directly take over the rulership of the whole world.

Why can't the Sons of God be the number of Jacob's descendants?

Because the reference is to heavenly spirits or sons of God or angels.

I believe Heiser has opened up a Pandora's box which encourages LDS/Barker thinking and may mislead true believers into buying this eisegesis.

I believe Heiser shows that Mormon scholarship is not consistent with what the Bible reveals.

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Kevin Christensen,

The arguments in The Great Angel. It's a book. A very good one in my humble opinion.

The Great Angel is not consistent with scripture. Heiser addresses this fact when he says "Yahweh created the divine members of the heavenly host" and that "The Name is said to be "in" the Angel".

The only direct argument that Heiser made in his essay (his claim that she overlooked Hos. 1.10), he made in error. She didn't overlook it. This error on his part shouldn't be that difficult to acknowledge. A simple "Oh.. she did talk about Hos. 1.10" and a nod is sufficient. Now he has added a general criticism of her treatment of the council, to which I shrug.

Does Heiser's argument depend on that matter that "she didn't overlook it", is so please explain.

The moral of all of these terms is that texts worked over by the Reformers tend to support the ideals and theological conclusions or those reformers.

What ideals and theological conclusions are you referring too ... please be specific.

No surpise there. Hence, a text outside of the book of Deuteronomy can be Deuteronomic, pressing for the ideals of the reformers. What makes it more interesting is that certain books both in canon (such as 3 Isaiah) and out of the canon (such as 1 Enoch) appear to directly criticize the reformers.

Do you consider 3 Isaiah and 1 Enoch Holy Scripture?

As a LDS, I'm not inclined to worry overmuch about the cliques that form and the pointing that comes down from the Great and Spacious. I've tasted the good stuff, and I'm not about to let go.

As a Catholic, I agree with Heiser conclusion, he says "What is more important in my mind is to clearly articulate the text and to contextualize the Hebrew Bible on its own terms."

Mormon scholars fail to contextualize the Hebrew Bible on its own terms.

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Do you consider 3 Isaiah and 1 Enoch Holy Scripture?

I think he means 3 Isaiah as in the third distinct section of Isaiah (chapters 55-66 [or 56-66]).

Mormon scholars fail to contextualize the Hebrew Bible on its own terms.

This is the most hypocritical thing I've ever seen a mainstream Christian write.

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