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According To The Ot, You Can See The Face Of God


maklelan

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I was translating some Isaiah a couple of months ago and came across a rather odd verb. It was an infinitive construct in a purpose clause that was vowelled like a Niphal, but it was missing a prefix. Here's the verse in question:

Isaiah 1:12

כִּ֣י תָבֹ֔אוּ לֵרָאֹ֖ות פָּנָ֑י מִי־בִקֵּ֥שׁ זֹ֛את מִיֶּדְכֶ֖ם רְמֹ֥ס חֲצֵרָֽי‎

"When you come to appear before me, who seeks this from your hands, that you trample my courtyard?"

The verb is r'ah, which means to see. In this verse it is לֵרָאֹ֖ות, which is leraoht, "to appear."

I decided to look into it deeper and found two other verses that contain the exact same verb (Exod 34:24; Deut 31:11). I also found one verse in Psalms that has the same phrase, but with an imperfect first common singular verb:

Psalms 42:3 (42:2 in the English):

צָמְאָ֬ה נַפְשִׁ֨י ׀ לֵאלֹהִים֮ לְאֵ֪ל חָ֥י מָתַ֥י אָבֹ֑וא וְ֝אֵרָאֶ֗ה פְּנֵ֣י אֱלֹהִֽים

"My soul thirsts after God, after the living God; when will I come and appear before God?"

The verb means "to see" in the Qal, but means "to appear" in the Niphal. If you look at the English translation of these verses you'll read that these people are going "to appear before me" (God). Without the vowelling, though, the verse reads "see my face" (God is speaking. panai can mean "my face," or "before me").

The vowelling is actually mistaken in all four verses. The consonants demand a Qal reading, but that would mean Isaiah and David and the Israelites go to see the face of God, which is just nonsense. If we look at Exod 24:10 we read "they saw the God of Israel." Here the verb isn't messed with in the Hebrew, but if we look in the Septuagint it is:

Exodus 24:10

καὶ εἶδον τὸν τόπον, οὗ εἱστήκει ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ

"And they saw the place where the God of Israel stood."

Scholarship as far back as the mid-19th century recognizes the vowelling has been manipulated to avoid the reading "see my face," or "see the face of God." Comparing the LXX and the Hebrew I conclude that the vowel manipulation took place prior to the second century B.C.E., when Exodus was translated into Greek. The Hebrew seems to have taken issue with seeing the face of God, although seeing his other body parts is not taboo at this point (e.g., Exod 33:23: Moses saw his hindparts, but not his face), but with the translation of the LXX Hellenism seems to have made seeing any part of God taboo, although Exod 33:23 is not messed with.

I still have a lot of research to do here, but it seems Exodus, Isaiah, and Psalms all originally contained explicit statements to the effect that Hebrew Bible prophets saw the very face of God. Later Jewish scribes changed the text to fit their theology.

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I was translating some Isaiah a couple of months ago and came across a rather odd verb. It was an infinitive construct in a purpose clause that was vowelled like a Niphal, but it was missing a prefix. Here's the verse in question:

Isaiah 1:12

כִּ֣י תָבֹ֔אוּ לֵרָאֹ֖ות פָּנָ֑י מִי־בִקֵּ֥שׁ זֹ֛את מִיֶּדְכֶ֖ם רְמֹ֥ס חֲצֵרָֽי‎

"When you come to appear before me, who seeks this from your hands, that you trample my courtyard?"

I decided to look into it deeper and found two other verses that contain the exact same verb (Exod 34:24; Deut 31:11). I also found one verse in Psalms that has the same phrase, but with an imperfect first common singular verb:

Psalms 42:3 (42:2 in the English):

צָמְאָ֬ה נַפְשִׁ֨י ׀ לֵאלֹהִים֮ לְאֵ֪ל חָ֥י מָתַ֥י אָבֹ֑וא וְ֝אֵרָאֶ֗ה פְּנֵ֣י אֱלֹהִֽים

"My soul thirsts after God, after the living God; when will I come and appear before God?"

The verb means "to see" in the Qal, but means "to appear" in the Niphal. If you look at the English translation of these verses you'll read that these people are going "to appear before me" (God). Without the vowelling, though, the verse reads "see my face" (God is speaking. panai can mean "my face," or "before me").

The vowelling is actually mistaken in all four verses. The consonants demand a Qal reading, but that would mean Isaiah and David and the Israelites go to see the face of God, which is just nonsense. If we look at Exod 24:10 we read "they saw the God of Israel." Here the verb isn't messed with in the Hebrew, but if we look in the Septuagint it is:

Exodus 24:10

καὶ εἶδον τὸν τόπον, οὗ εἱστήκει ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ

"And they saw the place where the God of Israel stood."

Scholarship as far back as the mid-19th century recognizes the vowelling has been manipulated to avoid the reading "see my face," or "see the face of God." Comparing the LXX and the Hebrew I conclude that the vowel manipulation took place prior to the second century B.C.E., when Exodus was translated into Greek. The Hebrew seems to have taken issue with seeing the face of God, although seeing his other body parts is not taboo at this point (e.g., Exod 33:23: Moses saw his hindparts, but not his face), but with the translation of the LXX Hellenism seems to have made seeing any part of God taboo, although Exod 33:23 is not messed with.

I still have a lot of research to do here, but it seems Exodus, Isaiah, and Psalms all originally contained explicit statements to the effect that Hebrew Bible prophets saw the very face of God. Later Jewish scribes changed the text to fit their theology.

fascinating...thank you!

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I was translating some Isaiah a couple of months ago and came across a rather odd verb. It was an infinitive construct in a purpose clause that was vowelled like a Niphal, but it was missing a prefix. Here's the verse in question:

Isaiah 1:12

כִּ֣י תָבֹ֔אוּ לֵרָאֹ֖ות פָּנָ֑י מִי־בִקֵּ֥שׁ זֹ֛את מִיֶּדְכֶ֖ם רְמֹ֥ס חֲצֵרָֽי‎

"When you come to appear before me, who seeks this from your hands, that you trample my courtyard?"

The verb is r'ah, which means to see. In this verse it is לֵרָאֹ֖ות, which is leraoht, "to appear."

I decided to look into it deeper and found two other verses that contain the exact same verb (Exod 34:24; Deut 31:11). I also found one verse in Psalms that has the same phrase, but with an imperfect first common singular verb:

Psalms 42:3 (42:2 in the English):

צָמְאָ֬ה נַפְשִׁ֨י ׀ לֵאלֹהִים֮ לְאֵ֪ל חָ֥י מָתַ֥י אָבֹ֑וא וְ֝אֵרָאֶ֗ה פְּנֵ֣י אֱלֹהִֽים

"My soul thirsts after God, after the living God; when will I come and appear before God?"

The verb means "to see" in the Qal, but means "to appear" in the Niphal. If you look at the English translation of these verses you'll read that these people are going "to appear before me" (God). Without the vowelling, though, the verse reads "see my face" (God is speaking. panai can mean "my face," or "before me").

The vowelling is actually mistaken in all four verses. The consonants demand a Qal reading, but that would mean Isaiah and David and the Israelites go to see the face of God, which is just nonsense. If we look at Exod 24:10 we read "they saw the God of Israel." Here the verb isn't messed with in the Hebrew, but if we look in the Septuagint it is:

Exodus 24:10

καὶ εἶδον τὸν τόπον, οὗ εἱστήκει ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ

"And they saw the place where the God of Israel stood."

Scholarship as far back as the mid-19th century recognizes the vowelling has been manipulated to avoid the reading "see my face," or "see the face of God." Comparing the LXX and the Hebrew I conclude that the vowel manipulation took place prior to the second century B.C.E., when Exodus was translated into Greek. The Hebrew seems to have taken issue with seeing the face of God, although seeing his other body parts is not taboo at this point (e.g., Exod 33:23: Moses saw his hindparts, but not his face), but with the translation of the LXX Hellenism seems to have made seeing any part of God taboo, although Exod 33:23 is not messed with.

I still have a lot of research to do here, but it seems Exodus, Isaiah, and Psalms all originally contained explicit statements to the effect that Hebrew Bible prophets saw the very face of God. Later Jewish scribes changed the text to fit their theology.

Great post. I'd love to see what the critics have to say.

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great job,

One thing to think about

When the Bible speaks of who is the invisible God.

It sometimes tells of the Christ / Jehovah and other times of the Father.

The Bible states that no man can see me and live - speaking of Jehovah

and then turns around and says that Moses saw his back parts

but not his face ( even though it also states that Moses spoke to God face to face ).

If no man can see God then how is this so - and what does it mean?

== Only certain men of God will see him - if introduced.

Luk 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father:

and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is,

but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

Luk 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father:

and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son,

and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

############################################################

Jhn 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.

Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Jhn 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

Jhn 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

############################################################

== This is what happened to Joseph Smith, just like Moses he was protected.

== "he which is of God hath seen the Father - and he to whom the Son will reveal him."

This applies to Joseph Smith.

In D&C 76 not only Joseph Smith saw God - so did others who were with him from time to time,

here is one example of this.

11 We, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the sixteenth day of February,

in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two-

12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened,

so as to see and understand the things of God-

13 Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was,

which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son,

who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;

14 Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ,

who is the Son, whom we saw with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.

== The idea that the Father can not be seen so Joseph Smith was a liar does

not hold water unless you apply the same idea with Jesus the Christ

who was seen and yet, the Bible tells us that no man can see God

speaking of Jehovah who was Christ:

Exd 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud,

to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire,

to give them light; to go by day and night:

Exd 13:22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day,

nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

1Cr 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink:

for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:

and that Rock was Christ.

2 ) please explain how an invisible being can be seen

or what is the meaning of invisible here?

Hbr 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years,

refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

Hbr 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God,

than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Hbr 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt:

for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Hbr 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king:

for he endured, #### as SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE. ####

Exd 10:28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself,

see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.

Exd 10:29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

3 ) why did Moses stay alive when he saw parts of God?

Exd 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken:

for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

Exd 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

Exd 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee,

and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee;

and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious,

and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Exd 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face:

for ### there shall no man see me, and live. ####

( and yet he was seen here --> )

Exd 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me,

and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

Exd 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by,

that I will put thee in a clift of the rock,

and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

Exd 33:23 And I will take away mine hand,

and ### thou shalt see my back parts:

but my face shall not be seen. ###

Exd 34:5 And the LORD descended in the cloud,

and stood with him there,

and proclaimed the name of the LORD.

Job 26:14 Lo, these are parts of his ways:

but how little a portion is heard of him?

but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Exd 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire

out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold,

the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

== It appears that Donkeys can see God - but man will die.

Num 22:23 And the *** saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way,

and his sword drawn in his hand: and the *** turned aside out of the way,

and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ***, to turn her into the way.

== Ezek saw God as well - and did not die

Eze 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne,

as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne

was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

Eze 1:27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it,

from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward,

I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.

Eze 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain,

so was the appearance of the brightness round about.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

4 ) In heaven will man see God the Father or just God the Son?

Who created the world - can this Creator be seen?

what does an image of the invisible look like?

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created,

that are in heaven,

and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they be thrones,

or dominions,

or principalities,

or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

== below tells us that invisible things of the world are clearly seen - how is this so?

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,

who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them;

for God hath shewed it unto them.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,

being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;

so that they are without excuse:

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery,

which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God,

who created all things by Jesus Christ:

The important thing is that we can know God the Father and his Son.

Jhn 17:3 And this is life eternal,

that they might know thee the only true God,

and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent

I do agree in part that no man can see all of God's glory and continue to live here:

Moses was protected by the Glory of God - but did not see all of his glory.

Moses 1

1 THE words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time

when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain,

2 And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him,

and the glory of God was upon Moses;

therefore Moses could endure his presence.

5 Wherefore, no man can behold ALL my works,

except he behold ALL my glory; and no man can behold ALL my glory,

and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.

11 But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural,

but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld;

for I should have withered and died in his presence;

but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face,

for I was transfigured before him.

D&C 67

10 And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege,

and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry,

that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears,

and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble,

the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that

I am-not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

11 For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh,

except quickened by the Spirit of God.

12 Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God,

neither after the carnal mind.

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I was translating some Isaiah a couple of months ago and came across a rather odd verb. It was an infinitive construct in a purpose clause that was vowelled like a Niphal, but it was missing a prefix. Here's the verse in question:

Isaiah 1:12

כִּ֣י תָבֹ֔אוּ לֵרָאֹ֖ות פָּנָ֑י מִי־בִקֵּ֥שׁ זֹ֛את מִיֶּדְכֶ֖ם רְמֹ֥ס חֲצֵרָֽי‎

"When you come to appear before me, who seeks this from your hands, that you trample my courtyard?"

The verb is r'ah, which means to see. In this verse it is לֵרָאֹ֖ות, which is leraoht, "to appear."

I decided to look into it deeper and found two other verses that contain the exact same verb (Exod 34:24; Deut 31:11). I also found one verse in Psalms that has the same phrase, but with an imperfect first common singular verb:

Psalms 42:3 (42:2 in the English):

צָמְאָ֬ה נַפְשִׁ֨י ׀ לֵאלֹהִים֮ לְאֵ֪ל חָ֥י מָתַ֥י אָבֹ֑וא וְ֝אֵרָאֶ֗ה פְּנֵ֣י אֱלֹהִֽים

"My soul thirsts after God, after the living God; when will I come and appear before God?"

The verb means "to see" in the Qal, but means "to appear" in the Niphal. If you look at the English translation of these verses you'll read that these people are going "to appear before me" (God). Without the vowelling, though, the verse reads "see my face" (God is speaking. panai can mean "my face," or "before me").

The vowelling is actually mistaken in all four verses. The consonants demand a Qal reading, but that would mean Isaiah and David and the Israelites go to see the face of God, which is just nonsense. If we look at Exod 24:10 we read "they saw the God of Israel." Here the verb isn't messed with in the Hebrew, but if we look in the Septuagint it is:

Exodus 24:10

καὶ εἶδον τὸν τόπον, οὗ εἱστήκει ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ

"And they saw the place where the God of Israel stood."

Scholarship as far back as the mid-19th century recognizes the vowelling has been manipulated to avoid the reading "see my face," or "see the face of God." Comparing the LXX and the Hebrew I conclude that the vowel manipulation took place prior to the second century B.C.E., when Exodus was translated into Greek. The Hebrew seems to have taken issue with seeing the face of God, although seeing his other body parts is not taboo at this point (e.g., Exod 33:23: Moses saw his hindparts, but not his face), but with the translation of the LXX Hellenism seems to have made seeing any part of God taboo, although Exod 33:23 is not messed with.

I still have a lot of research to do here, but it seems Exodus, Isaiah, and Psalms all originally contained explicit statements to the effect that Hebrew Bible prophets saw the very face of God. Later Jewish scribes changed the text to fit their theology.

I wish I could understand what you just wrote. I'm sure it was really good.

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maklelan,

I still have a lot of research to do here, but it seems Exodus, Isaiah, and Psalms all originally contained explicit statements to the effect that Hebrew Bible prophets saw the very face of God.

How does your research fit in with other explicit statements such as Exod 33:20 which states "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live"?

I believe Moses did not see the shape of God; he saw part of God's glory. When Moses spoke to the Lord face to face, he only heard a voice; he did not see his face because if he did he would have died. Moses and the seventy elders of Israel did not see the shape of God; they saw the glory of the Lord settled upon Mount Sinai.

Later Jewish scribes changed the text to fit their theology.

How does your theology fit in with what the Bible reveals about God. The bible reveals that God the Father is above all, through all, and in us all. The Lord fills heaven and earth, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain God. If we ascend up into heaven he is there, if we make our bed in hell he is there. In God's hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

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maklelan,

How does your research fit in with other explicit statements such as Exod 33:20 which states "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live"?

I'm not operating under the assumption that the Bible is univocal and consistent, and I don't know why people would. That the Bible contains inconsistencies and mistakes is absolutely and unquestionably a fact. Take 1 Samuel 13:1, for example. The Hebrew tells us Saul was one year old when he began to reign. That's a clear and obvious error. There's absolutely no way around it. I evaluate scripture as it is, not as I wish it were.

I believe Moses did not see the shape of God; he saw part of God's glory. When Moses spoke to the Lord face to face, he only heard a voice; he did not see his face because if he did he would have died. Moses and the seventy elders of Israel did not see the shape of God; they saw the glory of the Lord settled upon Mount Sinai.

So you prioritize one scripture over another. If one scripture says they saw God you immediately interpret it to mean something else, since you've already decided that the scripture that says no one can see God and live must be interpreted literally and no other way. That's the hermeneutic circle, and you're hip deep in it.

How does your theology fit in with what the Bible reveals about God. The bible reveals that God the Father is above all, through all, and in us all. The Lord fills heaven and earth, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain God. If we ascend up into heaven he is there, if we make our bed in hell he is there. In God's hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Intellectual honesty does not allow me to simply dismiss facts because they conflict with my presumptions about what the Bible reveals and does not reveal. I go where the evidence leads, not where I've already decided all evidence should end up.

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Seeing God face to faceâ?¦.

Gen 32:30

Ex 33:11

Num14:14

Deut5:4, 34:10

Ezekiel20:35

also see Ether 12:39

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maklelan,

I go where the evidence leads, not where I've already decided all evidence should end up.

IMO it appears you are ignoring much of the evidence found in the rest of the Bible. Evidence that presents a consistent doctrine that God the Father has no shape. Such as the following scriptures:

- Ephesians 4:4-6 (There is One God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all)

- 1Kgs.8:27 (the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain God)

- Jeremiah 23:24 (the Lord fills heaven and earth)

- Psalm 139:8 (If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.)

- Job 12:10 (In God's hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.)

- John 1:18 (No man hath seen God at any time; the only Son hath declared him)

- John 5:37 (Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.)

- Exod 33:20 (Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live)

- Exod.33:18-23 (shew glory, goodness pass, not see my face, my glory passeth by. thou shalt see my back parts)

- Deuteronomy 4:12-16 (saw no similitude; only heard a voice, no similitude any figure, no likeness of male or female)

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maklelan,

IMO it appears you are ignoring much of the evidence found in the rest of the Bible. Evidence that presents a consistent doctrine that God the Father has no shape. Such as the following scriptures:

- Ephesians 4:4-6 (There is One God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all)

- 1Kgs.8:27 (the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain God)

- Jeremiah 23:24 (the Lord fills heaven and earth)

- Psalm 139:8 (If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.)

- Job 12:10 (In God's hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.)

- John 1:18 (No man hath seen God at any time; the only Son hath declared him)

- John 5:37 (Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.)

- Exod 33:20 (Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live)

- Exod.33:18-23 (shew glory, goodness pass, not see my face, my glory passeth by. thou shalt see my back parts)

- Deuteronomy 4:12-16 (saw no similitude; only heard a voice, no similitude any figure, no likeness of male or female)

My first concern is that this entire premise is based upon the assumption that the Bible is univocal, and I know for a fact that it is not. IT was written by dozens, if not hundreds of different people over the course of several centuries and through major theological paradigm shifts. The theology is not always consistent within individual books, so it means nothing to me to say that Exodus must mean one thing because Ephesians can be interpreted that way also.

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maklelan,

I think you will very much enjoy Margaret's contribution to collection that Givens and Neilson have coming out from Oxford sometime this year. The essay is titled "Seeking the Face of God: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition" by Margaret and yours truly. Her portion goes through the OT and shows many places where the idea that a person can see God has been supressed by the editors and translators.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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maklelan,

I think you will very much enjoy Margaret's contribution to collection that Givens and Neilson have coming out from Oxford sometime this year. The essay is titled "Seeking the Face of God: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition" by Margaret and yours truly. Her portion goes through the OT and shows many places where the idea that a person can see God has been supressed by the editors and translators.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

What is the name of the collection? Where is more info?

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Could you be more specific?

Certainly.

First let me say that I am not a member, I never have been, and I never intend to be. I will now copy and paste something that I told a very good friend of mine via e-mail who is presently attending Brigham Young University.

It was last year, later September or early October. It was a Friday night after the O
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Hi Kevin,

Keep us posted on this upcoming collection of essays, especially what the title will be, and the projected publication date.

As for â??seeing Godâ? in the OT, Margaret Barker seems quite clear that the â??Godâ? being spoken of is the incarnation of the attributes/aspects of â??THE ONEâ? in Israelâ??s kings and high priests (plus a few, very select others). As such, the â??Godâ? that is seen is the HUMAN manifestation of the attributes/aspects of â??THE ONEâ? (â??THE ONEâ? being, of course, non-physical, non-material, invisible, spiritual in nature).

The most ancient understanding of the LORD was as a manifold divinity with both male and female natures, but nevertheless oneâ? The LORD our God is One LORDâ?? (Deut. 6.4). (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, p. 40.)

The God of Israel took two forms, male and female, the high priest was the human manifestation of both. Hence Jesus was described as Christ, â??the Power of God and the Wisdom of Godâ?? (1 Cor. 1:24). (The Great High Priest, p. 94.)

In the cult of the first temple, the king was anointed and became the Firstborn Sonâ?¦The LORD was Israelâ??s second God, the one who was present with the people in human form, originally as the Davidic king and later as the high priestâ?¦In the first temple, the king had become the LORD at his coronation and the people worshipped him. (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, pp. 35, 37.) [see also The Great High Priest, pp. 61, 62, 189, 190, 217, 218.]

Grace and peace,

David

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It was the face of Jesus.

John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

Jesus is God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Mudcat

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See

Bigham, S. The Image of the Father in Orthodox Theology and Iconography (Oakwood, 1995)

Kessler, H. Spiritual Seeing: Picturing God's Invisibility in Medieval Art (2000)

Jensen, R. Face to Face: Portaits of the Divine in Early Christianity (2004)

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What is the name of the collection? Where is more info?

The collection will be called "Joseph Smith: Reappraisals after Two Centuries" from Oxford University Press sometime this year. It isn't listed on their site yet, but I'm sure we shall hear when the time comes. It has ten essays from a range of contributors, both LDS and non-LDS. I'm definitely the most obscure contributor.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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maklelan,

I think you will very much enjoy Margaret's contribution to collection that Givens and Neilson have coming out from Oxford sometime this year. The essay is titled "Seeking the Face of God: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition" by Margaret and yours truly. Her portion goes through the OT and shows many places where the idea that a person can see God has been supressed by the editors and translators.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Sounds interesting. I'm actually presenting this research this Thursday at a SANE lecture (you're all welcome to come!), and I've uncovered a bunch of cool stuff. The editing goes way back. Even the Samaritan Pentateuch has its own kind of editing in that respect. The Hebrew word for lord (adon) and the Hebrew word for ark (aron) are only separated by one letter, and they switch them so it says "see the face of the ark of God" instead of "see the face of the Lord God." Right now I'm working on whether or not editors changed the direct object marker et to the preposition el, so a certain phrase would mean "before my face" rather than "my face," and thus support the passive reading of לֵרָאֹות֙

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Certainly.

First let me say that I am not a member, I never have been, and I never intend to be. I will now copy and paste something that I told a very good friend of mine via e-mail who is presently attending Brigham Young University.

I'm the only person I know personally to claim to have seen God the father, be it in a vision, dream, person, or otherwise.

Do you believe it is too late or not possible to make another choice now? Or is it that you are content with the choice you made at that interview? I ask because I had a similar dream many years ago...but I can say honestly that were that to happen to me today, I'd be excited and happy to see Jesus Christ face to face again, and that He would be happy to see me.

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I believe that it is effectively too late. My mind is sealed towards the matter, and I have spent the last two years in an attempt to brainwash myself against it.

I am functionally an atheist, and I am very happy to continue living in this state, having effectively convinced myself that the sun does not shine, even while I can see it.

Honestly, I felt such horror in his presence that I have no wish to remain even in the Telestial Kingdom after the judgement, just to escape him.

Now, recently, I felt very strongly as if Satan wanted me to deceive one of my friends who, while she has a testimony, has not yet been baptized because of strong pressure from her family. The idea of lying to her and intentionally leading her astray forced me to question what I was realy willing to do to escape the presence of God, and I have decided that I will settle for not going to Outer Darkness to avoid doing intentionally malicious things.

However, it is readily apparent to me, no matter how strongly my spiritual senses may have at one point pointed me, that Joseph Smith was entirely a fraud, the Book of Mormon utterly implausible, and the behavior of the Church concerning its history in general, blacks and the priesthood, plural marriage, along with simply shady things (such as the attempt on the life of the governor of Missouri) is simply unacceptable and unbecoming of the behavior of a true church of Christ upon the earth.

I'm honestly the only dirty, lying, "anti-Mormon" that I've ever known, because all the other ones, even with their harsh persecution of the Church, never intentionally mocked their closest friends, spread lies about the Church, and did all they could to ruin its reputation all-the-while having a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Church and in fact a vision where they saw God to boot.

Basically, while I have strong sympathies with Church culture, morality, and I have many good friends who are members, I have no desire to link myself with what is apparently an intellectually absurd paradigm which forces me to give up freedom of thought where it concerns theology (note that this is merely my impression of the Church as a whole, and I do not wish to dispute these issues with you or anyone else and cause contention, and it is also not my intention to bait or flame).

Am I content? No. Do I still believe it's probably the best choice? Yes. All I want is to forget that I ever knew the truth and go on with my life, happily oblivious. I hope that this will soon come to pass.

Now, if you would, would you mind telling me of your dream? Because pretty much everyone I have told about this dream affirmed to me that it was Satan (and asked me if I had shaken this person's hand). I would also like to hear about anyone else who has had an experience where they actually saw Heavenly Father face to face.

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