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The Earth Shall Be Rolled Together as a Scroll


consiglieri

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That people believed in a flat earth is a myth, an urban legend, spread by Washington Irving in 1828.

No, the myth is that the individuals in the Medieval Period believed in a flat earth. Mesopotamians/Babylonians and other ancient cultures (such as the Israelites) very much had a flat earth as its model.

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I haven't seen much evidence that the Israelites did have a flat earth in mind, or that the Mesopotamians did either. The evidence in the latter case seems to be pictorial and easily misinterpreted.

I've been reading a lot of ancient Mesopotamian and (Biblical and Extra-biblical) Israelite texts lately. The constant and consistent language used in discussing the cosmology certainly works as evidence to me. I actually see very little evidence to the contrary...

hebrew-cosmology.jpg

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Just establishing witness credibility, your honor. :P

Well, in that case, objection sustained.

I think there is evidence both that Joseph Smith was a literalist on the 7,000 years of the earth's temporal existence in the Kirtland period, but that he had diverged substantially from that view by Nauvoo. I think the story is that part of the lost translation of the Book of Abraham said that this "system of things" had been going on somewhat longer than 7,000 years.

William W. Phelps, who worked as a scribe for Joseph Smith in his translation of the Book of Abraham, made this interesting statement in a letter to William Smith, the Prophet's brother (which was later published in the Times and Seasons): "Eternity, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, almost two thousand five hundred and fifty five millions of years."

While this does not necessarily refer to this world alone, it is interesting that Joseph Smith would so far depart from the stereotypical dating systems of his day, and parenthetically that he would say how long "eternity" has been going on . . . at least in "this system."

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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