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Sons of God


WalkerW

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I will appreciate anyone's input, but would particularly like those knowledgable in this subject:

"Sons of God" are recognized as divine beings/deities/gods in the Old Testament. Should we therefore understand it this way when we are told that we can become "sons of God" in the New Testament? Or does the context and time frame change the meaning?

I think Daniel McClellan has given me his input elsewhere, though I would appreciate his thoughts again.

Thanks

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I will appreciate anyone's input, but would particularly like those knowledgable in this subject:

"Sons of God" are recognized as divine beings/deities/gods in the Old Testament. Should we therefore understand it this way when we are told that we can become "sons of God" in the New Testament? Or does the context and time frame change the meaning?

...

The Hebrew text uses "sons" as a collective noun for both males and females,

so we just as easily say "children of God."

All I can do is give you my personal perspective. I cannot call down an angel

with a voice of thunder, to strike unbelievers dumb if they disagree.

Yes -- we are children of God. Our relationship with Heavenly Father is just

as intimate as is the physical/biological bond shared within any family group.

Or, to be more precise, our relationship with Heavenly Father is even CLOSER

than is our physical/biological bond within our own families.

Infinite God has created us of his own essence and each of us has a small

particle of that essence at the core of our being. And even a fragment of

Infinite God is itself infinite -- though we know it not.

And yes, theosis is our destiny.

And no, we do not achieve Divinity as Satan might try, through works.

Our Divinity is our birthright as Children of God -- we already possess

that essence/promise/heirship within ourselves. It is brought to full

realization in God's own good time, through grace and not by works.

Uncle Dale

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I will appreciate anyone's input, but would particularly like those knowledgable in this subject:

"Sons of God" are recognized as divine beings/deities/gods in the Old Testament. Should we therefore understand it this way when we are told that we can become "sons of God" in the New Testament? Or does the context and time frame change the meaning?

I think Daniel McClellan has given me his input elsewhere, though I would appreciate his thoughts again.

Thanks

IMHO I believe the passage in Psalms 82:6 is taken way too literally by many. After some discussions with Kerry Shirts and some excellent articles by Simo Parpola who wrote in a recent article,

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IMHO I believe the passage in Psalms 82:6 is taken way too literally by many. After some discussions with Kerry Shirts and some excellent articles by Simo Parpola who wrote in a recent article,

This thought process is continued into the New Testament with the introduction of Neoplatonism. While we read of the various deities and semi-deities which inhabit the Divine Council as "sons of god" they can be seen as no more than emanations or intangible extensions of god. If we follow this corollary even further then we will find that we mortal human as well are merely a manifestation of god. Physical and sentient to be sure, but still a form of God's nous or essence.

Thanks Ron. Very interesting. Perhaps you wouldn't mind explaining how you think this fits into LDS doctrine (if it even does).

And could you provide the name of the article you quoted?

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...

with the introduction of Neoplatonism.

...

Uncle Dale's role model -- or, at least the closest he can come up with

from the ancient past, in providing a vocabulary for latter day mysticism.

UD

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Thanks Ron. Very interesting. Perhaps you wouldn't mind explaining how you think this fits into LDS doctrine (if it even does).

And could you provide the name of the article you quoted?

The first part of your question will require some thought, but the second is easy. Somo Parpola is (according to Wiki)

professor of Assyriology at the University of Helsinki located in Helsinki, Finland. He specialized in epigraphy of the Akkadian language, and has been working on the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project since 1987. He is also Honorary Member of the American Oriental Society [1]. Dr. Simo Parpola has suggested that the oldest versions of the Sephirot extend from Assyrian theology and mysticism. Noting the general similarity between the Sephirot of the Kabbalah and the tree of life of Assyrian mysticism, he reconstructed what an Assyrian antecedent to the Sephirot would look like
[1]
. Matching the characteristics of Ein Sof on the nodes of the Sephirot to the gods of Assyria, he found textual parallels between these Assyrian gods and the characteristics of the Jewish God.

The Assyrians assigned specific numbers to their gods, similar to the way the Kabbalah assigns numbers to the nodes of the Sephirot. However, the Assyrians used a sexagesimal number system, whereas the Sephirot use a decimal system. Using the Assyrian numbers, additional layers of meaning and mystical relevance appear in the Sephirot. Normally, floating above the Assyrian tree of life was the god Assur
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Thanks Ron. Very interesting. Perhaps you wouldn't mind explaining how you think this fits into LDS doctrine (if it even does).

At first I was adverse to a perceived Neoplatonic slant to the Christian concept of theosis, but I am slowly and somewhat reluctantly being won over and I say reluctantly because I think at first the thought that all things are simply manifestations of God's "mind" is a bit foreign to LDS thinking. I am more and more convinced that the scriptures do speak of an increasing awareness of our innate 'godhood' through progression ("For now we see through a glass, darkly.") and our 'at-one-ment' with God. Having looked at some of the evidence provided by Simo Propola I am also becoming aware that perhaps ancient Mesopotamians and hence Jews as well saw this in similar ways in their relationship with the deity although expressed in a highly symbolic manner such as the Divine Council, et al.

In contrast, perhaps, Mormons see the relationship between themselves and God in a more personal way, flesh to flesh, so to speak. This would run counter to the more accepted apotheosis hinted at within the OT and NT. I am also not sure that this is something JS believed in. In his sojurn in Liberty Jail JS writes,

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The Hebrew text uses "sons" as a collective noun for both males and females,

so we just as easily say "children of God."

The Hebrew can be used that way, but it isn't with the phrase in question, which is a technical designation for the male sons of the council's high god. Yahweh was originally conceived of as one of these "sons of God."

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The Hebrew can be used that way, but it isn't with the phrase in question, which is a technical designation for the male sons of the council's high god. Yahweh was originally conceived of as one of these "sons of God."

I made the distinction because the only "gods" the LDS acknowledge as being

present at the great "Council" are males, such as Jehovah and Satan.

Mormons are welcome to believe that female theosis is impossible without the

female being attached to a priesthood-holding male, via eternal progression.

Nothing I can say here will ever change one iota of official LDS doctrine.

But, speaking from my perspective, I say that theosis is NOT dependent upon

gender and is NOT dependent upon ordinances such as LDS marriage.

However, in a manner which I probably could not even begin to make clear

to participants in this forum, Divine Union involves a joining of opposites,

including the merging of "male" and "female." In other words, the individual

who is joined with God is no longer male or female, because individuality

itself is surrendered and discarded in mystical union.

UD

.

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I will appreciate anyone's input, but would particularly like those knowledgable in this subject:

"Sons of God" are recognized as divine beings/deities/gods in the Old Testament. Should we therefore understand it this way when we are told that we can become "sons of God" in the New Testament? Or does the context and time frame change the meaning?

I think Daniel McClellan has given me his input elsewhere, though I would appreciate his thoughts again.

Thanks

By this time period the Hebrew Bible "sons of God" had been relegated to angelic status, so if Jesus is speaking to that worldview, I think it's saying humans can become divine in the same sense that angels are divine (see Matt 22:30). Given that variety of soteriological perspectives in that time period, though, it's hard to be sure.

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I made the distinction because the only "gods" the LDS acknowledge as being

present at the great "Council" are males, such as Jehovah and Satan.

Mormons are welcome to believe that female theosis is impossible without the

female being attached to a priesthood-holding male, via eternal progression.

Nothing I can say here will ever change one iota of official LDS doctrine.

But, speaking from my perspective, I say that theosis is NOT dependent upon

gender and is NOT dependent upon ordinances such as LDS marriage.

However, in a manner which I probably could not even begin to make clear

to participants in this forum, Divine Union involves a joining of opposites,

including the merging of "male" and "female." In other words, the individual

who is joined with God is no longer male or female, because individuality

itself is surrendered and discarded in mystical union.

UD

.

Given the fact that Mesopotamian belief included the belief that Ishtar/Inanna, etc. was part of the many divisions of god, i.e., Assur then it would presuppose the notion that women are included in theosis. I like the idea of the notion included in your last paragraph of a divine union. It sounds like something out of a Dan Brown novel.

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...

a Dan Brown novel.

Out of the mouths of babes...

Hermes Trismegistus (sometimes associated with Moses) was depicted

as male/female -- as knowing both genders simultaneously. When I

lived in the Kingdom of Nepal I encountered a good deal of Tantric

Hinduism and occasionally also Tantric Buddhism. The latter religion

has developed some interesting imagery, portraying the joining of

male and female -- as symbolic of the joining of human and Divine.

I look at all of that religion as kindergarten stuff. I suppose that

for some folks it has a special meaning, but my realizations and

professions have long since "moved on."

Any novel that attempts to describe mystical union with God

would be several thousands of words too long. And if condensed to

a single paragraph, would still be several dozens of words too long.

UD

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The Hebrew can be used that way, but it isn't with the phrase in question, which is a technical designation for the male sons of the council's high god. Yahweh was originally conceived of as one of these "sons of God."

So, it is plausible that "sons of God" could mean gods, but less probable than it meaning angels?

And what do you think of Ron's assessment with the divine council being divisions of God?

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So, it is plausible that "sons of God" could mean gods, but less probable than it meaning angels?

Of the ancient Israelite soteriological perspectives known to us, I think that is the one most closely associated with the ideas expressed in John 1, although by that time it was less common to refer to angelic beings as divinity.

And what do you think of Ron's assessment with the divine council being divisions of God?

Parpola's articles connecting the Sefirot and Greek philosophy to Assyria and ancient Israel were roundly criticized by Assyriologists, and while hypostases were not unknown to ancient Syria-Palestine, I think the mythic background of this text is too clearly associated with Deut 32:8-9 and the Syro-Palestinian view of El presiding over a coterie of his children. Hypostases occurred in a different literary context.

The best treatment I've seen of Psalm 82, by the way, is Simon B. Parker's "The Beginning of the Reign of God - Psalm 82 as Myth and Liturgy," Revue Biblique 102.4 (1995): 532-59.

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I made the distinction because the only "gods" the LDS acknowledge as being

present at the great "Council" are males, such as Jehovah and Satan.

Mormons are welcome to believe that female theosis is impossible without the

female being attached to a priesthood-holding male, via eternal progression.

Nothing I can say here will ever change one iota of official LDS doctrine.

But, speaking from my perspective, I say that theosis is NOT dependent upon

gender and is NOT dependent upon ordinances such as LDS marriage.

However, in a manner which I probably could not even begin to make clear

to participants in this forum, Divine Union involves a joining of opposites,

including the merging of "male" and "female." In other words, the individual

who is joined with God is no longer male or female, because individuality

itself is surrendered and discarded in mystical union.

UD

.

I think your conclusion is right on the money, but I am not seeing how you get there from your premises. If it is not necessary to start with male and female, how can a fusion of male plus female be achieved?

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Any novel that attempts to describe mystical union with God

would be several thousands of words too long. And if condensed to

a single paragraph, would still be several dozens of words too long.

UD

Indeed, I think it is non-linguistic, literally "unspeakable"

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...

how can a fusion of male plus female be achieved?

For Tantric Hindus, I suppose that it has something to do with offering puja (worship)

at the moment of simultaneous orgasm of two partners who have exercised a suppression

of sexual release in order to "open higher centers of awareness" in their bodies

and minds. It is not a practice that I have any interest in.

For Tantric Buddhists, I suppose that it has something to do with using symbols

of male-female union, as meditation objects, in disassociation from mundane thought.

Again, that is not a practice I care to pursue -- it has no meaning for me.

But I do have some comprehension of what it might mean to transcend sexuality, by

merging opposites (conflicts, engenderings, various inner dynamics) in the

life of prayer. This idea is nothing new to monks and nuns of various religions.

UD

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Of the ancient Israelite soteriological perspectives known to us, I think that is the one most closely associated with the ideas expressed in John 1, although by that time it was less common to refer to angelic beings as divinity.

I think there are faint echoes of this in later literature.

Parpola's articles connecting the Sefirot and Greek philosophy to Assyria and ancient Israel were roundly criticized by Assyriologists, and while hypostases were not unknown to ancient Syria-Palestine, I think the mythic background of this text is too clearly associated with Deut 32:8-9 and the Syro-Palestinian view of El presiding over a coterie of his children. Hypostases occurred in a different literary context.

The best treatment I've seen of Psalm 82, by the way, is Simon B. Parker's "The Beginning of the Reign of God - Psalm 82 as Myth and Liturgy," Revue Biblique 102.4 (1995): 532-59.

Yeah, which is why I called it archaism. I've not read parpola, but I wouldn't be surprised if he used Lurianic kabala. Perhaps not, perhaps i'm being unfair, but I'm sure its zoharic rather than the bahir.

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Out of the mouths of babes...

Hermes Trismegistus (sometimes associated with Moses) was depicted

as male/female -- as knowing both genders simultaneously. When I

lived in the Kingdom of Nepal I encountered a good deal of Tantric

Hinduism and occasionally also Tantric Buddhism. The latter religion

has developed some interesting imagery, portraying the joining of

male and female -- as symbolic of the joining of human and Divine.

I look at all of that religion as kindergarten stuff. I suppose that

for some folks it has a special meaning, but my realizations and

professions have long since "moved on."

Any novel that attempts to describe mystical union with God

would be several thousands of words too long. And if condensed to

a single paragraph, would still be several dozens of words too long.

UD

lol

You misunderstood. I completely agree with you. Dan Brown trivialized this important thought.

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Parpola's articles connecting the Sefirot and Greek philosophy to Assyria and ancient Israel were roundly criticized by Assyriologists, and while hypostases were not unknown to ancient Syria-Palestine, I think the mythic background of this text is too clearly associated with Deut 32:8-9 and the Syro-Palestinian view of El presiding over a coterie of his children. Hypostases occurred in a different literary context.

Thanks for the critique. I can see where he has been criticized by others given his referral to the Kabbalah, but I have noticed a common thread consistent with the views he holds for the singularity of God in ancient cultures. As to his supposed hypostasis I not as throughly convinced. It seems a bit anachronistic. There is an excellent discussion of his views given in One God or Many? Concepts of Divinity in the Ancient World, ed. Barbara Nevling Porter. Transactions of the Casco Bay Assyriological Institute, Vol. 1, 2000, pp. 165-209. A portion of which I copied below...

Monotheism in Ancient Assyria

Dr. Simo Parpola

The religion of ancient Assyria is generally viewed as a classic example of a polytheistic religion with a pantheon, mythology and cult teeming with different gods.1 This view can be easily defended and it is not my intention here to challenge it. Instead, I shall make an effort to show that it is a mistake to regard Assyrian religion as exclusively, or even primarily, polytheistic. On the contrary, belief in the existence of a single omnipotent God dominated the Assyrian state religion, royal ideology, philosophy and mystery cults to the extent that Assyrian religion in its imperial elaboration, with all its polytheistic garb, must be regarded as essentially monotheistic.

As will be shown below, the basic equation underlying the Assyrian concept of god was

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For Tantric Hindus, I suppose that it has something to do with offering puja (worship)

at the moment of simultaneous orgasm of two partners who have exercised a suppression

of sexual release in order to "open higher centers of awareness" in their bodies

and minds. It is not a practice that I have any interest in.

For Tantric Buddhists, I suppose that it has something to do with using symbols

of male-female union, as meditation objects, in disassociation from mundane thought.

Again, that is not a practice I care to pursue -- it has no meaning for me.

But I do have some comprehension of what it might mean to transcend sexuality, by

merging opposites (conflicts, engenderings, various inner dynamics) in the

life of prayer. This idea is nothing new to monks and nuns of various religions.

UD

No, I know that. It isn't wise to presume that you are the only one who is familiar with these traditions. Rather condescending.

But, speaking from my perspective, I say that theosis is NOT dependent upon

gender and is NOT dependent upon ordinances such as LDS marriage.

My question was a logical one. You say that theosis is not dependent upon having two genders in unity, and yet assert that merging opposites leads to "transcending" them, at least in sexuality. As a former Taoist, I have some familiarity with this notion.

It seems to me that LDS marriage in fact has strong similarities to the traditions you are mentioning. I think the notion of being "one flesh" with one's wife and ultimately with the "body of Christ" is virtually the same with what you have mentioned.

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