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Adam God & the Divine Council


WalkerW

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This is an excerpt from David Bokovoy's "Ye Really Are Gods..." article:

In addition to associating humanity with the tzelem of God, the Bible describes the first man as a deified member of the divine council. In the Eden story the Lord took advantage of the wet, claylike soil and "formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). In an important study concerning this imagery, Walter Brueggemann has shown that a biblical connection exists between being raised from the dust and enthronement.57 "To be taken 'from the dust' means to be elevated from obscurity to royal office and to return to dust means to be deprived of that office and returned to obscurity."58 Imagery such as that witnessed in 1 Kings 16:2 supports Brueggemann's interpretation: "Forasmuch as I [God] exalted thee [Jehu] out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel . . ." (1 Kings 16:2). Hence, the notion of the God raising man "from the dust of the earth" in Genesis 2:7 in part suggests that Yahweh begins his creative activity by forming a divine king. According to Genesis 2:15, this divine king through a type of imitatio dei would continue to perform the work of Yahweh who "planted" the garden: "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." In a similar fashion, Mesopotamian kings such as Hammurapi glorified their efforts through the use of creation and agricultural imagery:

I encircled [the wall] with a swamp. I dug the Euphrates as far as Sippar (and) made it reach a prosperous quay.

I, Hammu-r?pi, who builds up the land, . . . caused Sippar and Babylon to dwell in peaceful abodes, forever. . . . What from [primordial days] no one among the kings had done, I did in a grand fashion for the god
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Hey Walker,

This is an excerpt from David Bokovoy's "Ye Really Are Gods..." article:

Does anyone think BY's Adam God teachings might be heavily related to this? Do you think Adam/Michael has a bigger role than we are aware of? Did BY have an insight that was not fully presented to us?

Thoughts?

Thanks for drawing our attention to this connection.

I'm with you in the sense that I believe that a proper understanding concerning the biblical view of Adam as a god clearly illustrates some of the fundamental ways in which Brigham was truly inspired. Nonetheless, Brigham took the concept theologically into areas that I find incredibly fascinating, but am simply not prepared personally to accept as literal truths. Not to worry though, we're just going to have to wait and see. We're still in the initial stages of the period "in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest" (D&C 121:28).

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Hey Walker,

Thanks for drawing our attention to this connection.

I'm with you in the sense that I believe that a proper understanding concerning the biblical view of Adam as a god clearly illustrates some of the fundamental ways in which Brigham was truly inspired. Nonetheless, Brigham took the concept theologically into areas that I find incredibly fascinating, but am simply not prepared personally to accept as literal truths. Not to worry though, we're just going to have to wait and see. We're still in the initial stages of the period "in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest" (D&C 121:28).

Hey David,

How did you get "raised" out of the text vs. "formed"? And what do you do with the context of "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. "?

Then with all that, BY made it clear and taught that Adam was the father of mans spirit, is this what your not ready to accept?

Mark

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Hey Walker,

Thanks for drawing our attention to this connection.

I'm with you in the sense that I believe that a proper understanding concerning the biblical view of Adam as a god clearly illustrates some of the fundamental ways in which Brigham was truly inspired. Nonetheless, Brigham took the concept theologically into areas that I find incredibly fascinating, but am simply not prepared personally to accept as literal truths. Not to worry though, we're just going to have to wait and see. We're still in the initial stages of the period "in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest" (D&C 121:28).

I was always of the opinion that BY contradicted BY, but that he quite possibly knew something that we don't fully understand.

Your paper gave me new ways of looking at it and leads me to believe that BY was on to something. I think Michael holds a much higher position than we realize.

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Hey David,

How did you get "raised" out of the text vs. "formed"? And what do you do with the context of "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. "?

Then with all that, BY made it clear and taught that Adam was the father of mans spirit, is this what your not ready to accept?

Mark

He explained quite clearly what "out of the dust" means.

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He explained quite clearly what "out of the dust" means.

My question was "raised vs formed". Either one of these words changes the context of what the author was saying. Are you saying "out of the dust" always means the same thing no matter what the context?

Mark

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My question was "raised vs formed". Either one of these words changes the context of what the author was saying. Are you saying "out of the dust" always means the same thing no matter what the context?

Mark

An appeal to the classical Hebrew would settle this. I have the Hebraica Biblica, published in 1937, however I haven't studied Hebrew in over 30 years. I'm sure any Rabbi or Hebrew scholar could tell us.

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"..and man became a living soul..." That indicates he was not living before he was formed. Also Eve was created from Adam's rib, hardly indicative of pre existance. A plain reading of the English text clears it up, however if one has preconceived doctrine that differs then one must strain the reading to extrapolate something quite foreign to corroborate his viewpoint. "...which they twist and distort as they do the rest of scripture to their own destruction..." St. Peter.

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"..and man became a living soul..." That indicates he was not living before he was formed. Also Eve was created from Adam's rib, hardly indicative of pre existance. A plain reading of the English text clears it up, however if one has preconceived doctrine that differs then one must strain the reading to extrapolate something quite foreign to corroborate his viewpoint. "...which they twist and distort as they do the rest of scripture to their own destruction..." St. Peter.

Considering Bokovoy is a Hebraist (he is finishing up his PhD in Hebrew Bible), he fulfills your call for a Hebrew scholar. He also provided sources and research to support his position, which is something you have not done.

The best you can do is say, "A plain reading of the English text clears it up," which pretty much is the equivalent of saying "my interpretation of the Bible clears it up." You mentioned preconceived doctrine...

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An appeal to the classical Hebrew would settle this. I have the Hebraica Biblica, published in 1937, however I haven't studied Hebrew in over 30 years. I'm sure any Rabbi or Hebrew scholar could tell us.

To take the view that David has butchers the Biblical context of the creator, the potter,etc. I agree with you in your post below that it is reading someting into the text that just isn't there. The word dust in the text can also be used as rubbish, mortar, earth, or ashes. The word can hardly imply deity, it simply means dry dirt, and it perfectly fits in context with God creating man by sqeezing him out of the earth. Also the context is "of" dust "out" of the "ground".

Mark

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To take the view that David has butchers the Biblical context of the creator, the potter,etc. I agree with you in your post below that it is reading someting into the text that just isn't there. The word dust in the text can also be used as rubbish, mortar, earth, or ashes. The word can hardly imply deity, it simply means dry dirt, and it perfectly fits in context with God creating man by sqeezing him out of the earth. Also the context is "of" dust "out" of the "ground".

Mark

This entire comment demonstrates that you either didn't read David's research or you didn't comprehend it. He doesn't say dust = deity. He quotes Walter Brueggemann saying, "To be taken 'from the dust' means to be elevated from obscurity to royal office and to return to dust means to be deprived of that office and returned to obscurity." The idea of divine kingship and gardener is made by means of the biblical text and other Near Eastern writings.

To claim David is butchering the text without engaging the information and sources he provides reflects more on your lack of research than it does on his. You basically just said "nu uh" and left it at that.

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This entire comment demonstrates that you either didn't read David's research or you didn't comprehend it. He doesn't say dust = deity. He quotes Walter Brueggemann saying, "To be taken 'from the dust' means to be elevated from obscurity to royal office and to return to dust means to be deprived of that office and returned to obscurity." The idea of divine kingship and gardener is made by means of the biblical text and other Near Eastern writings.

To claim David is butchering the text without engaging the information and sources he provides reflects more on your lack of research than it does on his. You basically just said "nu uh" and left it at that.

So what does this have to do with Gen 2 then? Elaborate on this and how it relates to the context of Gen. 2? Gen 2 says Adam was formed from the earth, nothing about being taken or raised, see my question addressed to David?

Mark

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So what does this have to do with Gen 2 then? Elaborate on this and how it relates to the context of Gen. 2? Gen 2 says Adam was formed from the earth, nothing about being taken or raised, see my question addressed to David?

Mark

Did you even read the excerpt? Your question makes it rather obvious that you didn't.

It is explained very clearly. Allow me to repost again for you with emphasis:

In addition to associating humanity with the tzelem of God, the Bible describes the first man as a deified member of the divine council. In the Eden story the Lord took advantage of the wet, claylike soil and "formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). In an important study concerning this imagery, Walter Brueggemann has shown that a biblical connection exists between being raised from the dust and enthronement.57 "To be taken 'from the dust' means to be elevated from obscurity to royal office and to return to dust means to be deprived of that office and returned to obscurity."58 Imagery such as that witnessed in 1 Kings 16:2 supports Brueggemann's interpretation: "Forasmuch as I [God] exalted thee [Jehu] out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel . . ." (1 Kings 16:2). Hence, the notion of the God raising man "from the dust of the earth" in Genesis 2:7 in part suggests that Yahweh begins his creative activity by forming a divine king. According to Genesis 2:15, this divine king through a type of imitatio dei would continue to perform the work of Yahweh who "planted" the garden: "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." In a similar fashion, Mesopotamian kings such as Hammurapi glorified their efforts through the use of creation and agricultural imagery:

I encircled [the wall] with a swamp. I dug the Euphrates as far as Sippar (and) made it reach a prosperous quay.

I, Hammu-r?pi, who builds up the land, . . . caused Sippar and Babylon to dwell in peaceful abodes, forever. . . . What from [primordial days] no one among the kings had done, I did in a grand fashion for the god

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Did you even read the excerpt? Your question makes it rather obvious that you didn't.

It is explained very clearly. Allow me to repost again for you with emphasis:

To add a little to that final emphasis: (referring to Ps. 82) "Interpreting the phrase "you shall die like Adam" [Hebrew

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An appeal to the classical Hebrew would settle this. I have the Hebraica Biblica, published in 1937, however I haven't studied Hebrew in over 30 years. I'm sure any Rabbi or Hebrew scholar could tell us.

Actually, the average rabbi could only tell us what he supposed the acharonim supposed the rishonim supposed the geonim supposed the amoraim supposed the tannaim supposed the zugot supposed the anshei kneset hagedolah supposed the text was saying.

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So what does this have to do with Gen 2 then? Elaborate on this and how it relates to the context of Gen. 2? Gen 2 says Adam was formed from the earth, nothing about being taken or raised, see my question addressed to David?

Mark

The question is how did the original audience of the text percieve it.

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Did you even read the excerpt? Your question makes it rather obvious that you didn't.

It is explained very clearly. Allow me to repost again for you with emphasis:

To add a little to that final emphasis: (referring to Ps. 82) "Interpreting the phrase "you shall die like Adam" [Hebrew

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Hi Walker,

David Wrote:

..."the Bible describes the first man as a deified member of the divine council...

This is the context of my question, how does any of this have to do with Adam being a member of a divine council in the context of Adam being "formed"?

Go back and read my question to David, and elaborate, your missing the point, Gen. 2 says Adam was "formed" from the dust, Not "taken or raised" as his paper seem to suggest, so again read my question addressed to David and maybe you will see my point.

Side note: Were the gods of the nations divine deities the same as Adam,( in extra biblical sourses..i.e ugarit texts)in your opinion of course.

Mark

David makes it clear that "from of the dust" is the phrase, not "raised from of the dust." Read more carefully. And read the other bolded portions, since they answer as to why he makes this claim.

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The question is how did the original audience of the text percieve it.

Hi volgadon,

Are you saying that the audience perceived Adam as a deity? CFR. The audience here is those of the Exodus and beyond to present times, so give me a CFR where Adam is proclaimed deity.

No that is a standard straw man argument. The bible is clear that Israel perceived that there were other gods, Abram believed in Nana the moon god, Isaac's father in-law had his idols, this is no newly revelled secret of some sorts. But the Bible is very clear that these gods of the nations were nothing more than man made idols, and it warned disobedient Israel over and over again not to go back to idol worship, it is a central theme of the OT.

It really is a tired argument of some LDS that " it's how did the original audience perceive it", when in all actually it is with full intent to confirm and fortify the LDS belief of many gods.

If your going to hold to your argument that it's what the audience perceived then your stuck with Adam being a naked lady God, or a half man and half bull god, or maybe a fly headed god, for they also perceived these were the deities.

Take care

Mark

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David makes it clear that "from of the dust" is the phrase, not "raised from of the dust." Read more carefully. And read the other bolded portions, since they answer as to why he makes this claim.

Hi Walker,

The Bible says "Formed" and "of the Ground", nothing about "from the dust". Below is what David wrote:

Walter Brueggemann has shown that a biblical connection exists between being raised from the dust and enthronement.57 "To be taken 'from the dust' means to be elevated from obscurity to royal office and to return to dust means to be deprived of that office and returned to obscurity."58

So my point that whether it be raised, or from, it still has absolutely nothing to do with the context of God creating Adam. The "audience" understood this. Here is a verse using the same word (in bold) but dealing with the making of false gods.

Hab 2:18

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Hi volgadon,

But the Bible is very clear that these gods of the nations were nothing more than man made idols, and it warned disobedient Israel over and over again not to go back to idol worship, it is a central theme of the OT.

It really is a tired argument of some LDS that " it's how did the original audience perceive it", when in all actually it is with full intent to confirm and fortify the LDS belief of many gods.

The majority of biblical scholarship disagrees with you. If you want to assert the Bible contradicts them, be my guest. But don't turn it into "the Mormons are just making things up to make it fit their doctrine." That is a lie and a half.

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Hi volgadon,

Are you saying that the audience perceived Adam as a deity? CFR. The audience here is those of the Exodus and beyond to present times, so give me a CFR where Adam is proclaimed deity.

No CFR. I proposed a question. The audience is whoever it was written for. The question of whether the text we have is the original, unaltered one presented by Moses to the Exodus generation or not is still an open question.

My question is the one that should guide any historical and/or literary analysis of a text.

And just in case you are still demanding that CFR, later Jewish traditions held Adam to be a god before he ate of the forbidden fruit.

No that is a standard straw man argument. The bible is clear that Israel perceived that there were other gods, Abram believed in Nana the moon god, Isaac's father in-law had his idols, this is no newly revelled secret of some sorts. But the Bible is very clear that these gods of the nations were nothing more than man made idols, and it warned disobedient Israel over and over again not to go back to idol worship, it is a central theme of the OT.

Strawman argument? hardly. In fact, I rather think strawman in and of itself could be a strawman argument, or perhaps this one is too, oh the mind boggleth.

Anyway it is hardly a strawman argument, as it cuts both ways, not leaving LDS theology unscathed either.

It really is a tired argument of some LDS that " it's how did the original audience perceive it", when in all actually it is with full intent to confirm and fortify the LDS belief of many gods.

And the above really is a tired old accusation. The question is how did the original audience perceive it. If the outcome of that is favourable to my religious beliefs, then that is the icing on the cake.

If your going to hold to your argument that it's what the audience perceived then your stuck with Adam being a naked lady God, or a half man and half bull god, or maybe a fly headed god, for they also perceived these were the deities.

Take care

Mark

Except that they were all different ones. And yes, perhaps they did perceive Adam and the bull god as being connected, it all depends on what symbolism and connotation the latter held. After all, the bull was used to symbolise God on several memorable occasions.

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The Bible says "Formed" and "of the Ground", nothing about "from the dust"

"then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." (Gen. 2:7, NRSV)

Which fits perfectly with the following:

Walter Brueggemann has shown that a biblical connection exists between being raised from the dust and enthronement.57 "To be taken 'from the dust' means to be elevated from obscurity to royal office and to return to dust means to be deprived of that office and returned to obscurity."

I don't see what is so hard to comprehend. If you have a problem with the scholarship, take it up with Brueggemann.

So my point that whether it be raised, or from, it still has absolutely nothing to do with the context of God creating Adam. The "audience" understood this. Here is a verse using the same word (in bold) but dealing with the making of false gods.

David's information has nothing to do with the word "formed," "fashioned," or "maker." It has to do with the phrase "from the dust."

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