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President Nelson gave an assignment to the young adults earlier this year to find out all they can about Jesus Christ in the collective works.  I've decided to take the assignment serious and am starting in the Old Testament, but I have encountered an issue with completing this assignment.

I don't know how to distinguish between Jesus Christ and God.  How do I know if the scripture is referencing Jesus Christ or God?  Is there an answer other than: they are one in purpose and it can be either one.  Any help on this would be nice since the assignment is specifically to study Jesus Christ and not God.

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Hebrew ʼĒl, ʼĔlōhîm, “God(s),” and variations (Genesis 1:1, Exodus 9:1, 12:12, 20:3, 1 Samuel 1:17, Psalms 19:1, 82, Isaiah 14, 43:12).[1]   These are all generic terms for “god, God.”

Note the LDS use of God the Father,[4] and Godhead (Gottheit).[5]  

G. del Olmo Lete characterizes ilhm in Ugaritic texts as "the ʼIlāhūma, divine beings," and relates them to Hebrew ʼĕlōhîm.[7]  Tess Dawson says that "the Ugaritic word ʼilahuma is related to one of the names of the Hebrew deity, Elohim, which means 'gods'."  However, she sees the ʼilahuma or Divine Assembly as the sons and daughers of ʼAthiratu and Ilu.[8]

 In his study of the Ugaritic pantheon, Gregorio del Olmo Lete notes that the god-lists at Ugarit demonstrate the preeminence[9] of  

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“the ‘god-father’ (ilib), an epithet in which, possibly there is an evolution or syncretism: from the ‘father of the god’ or the ‘father-god’ of family / personal / nomadic religion with its divinized ancestors, there is a shift to the ‘god / ʼIlu-father’, i.e., to the confession of the supreme god ʼIlu under the title of ‘universal father’ (‘father of gods and men’, as he is known in myth and epic).  To this ‘primitive’ epithet / title belong two other personal names of the supreme deity, culturally more exact but noetically more imprecise, il and dgn (1 + 2), forming a first tri-unity of epithets (cf. also KTU 1.123:1-3: il wilm…il…il šr).  Although the epithets might be distinct in the cult and in the prayers of the faithful, in myth and theology they correspond to the same god.  There can be little doubt that the equation of ʼIlu and Dagānu expresses the process of cultural and cultic identification of two (Canaanite / Amorite) pantheons.”

 That is, “the ‘temple of ʼIlu’ being the ‘temple of Dagānu’,” while, “at Ebla, Dagānu is the ‘supreme god’, the ‘lord of Canaan’.”[10]  Del Olmo Lete adds that “’My father’ is the god summoned by the faithful person who utters the incantation, . . .”[11] 

Cf. KJV God of Hosts (2 Nephi 20:23 ǁIsaiah 10:23).


[1] R. N. Holzapfel, D. M. Pike, and D. R. Seely, Jehovah and the World of the Old Testament (SLC: Deseret Book, 2009), 17-18.

[2] LDS “Bible Dictionary,” 661.  See also the context of such terms in 681-682; cf. Ryan C. Davies & Paul Y. Hoskisson, “Usage of the Title elohim in the Hebrew Bible and Early Latter-day Saints,” in A. Skinner, M. Davis, and C. Griffin, eds., Bountiful Harvest: Essays in Honor of S. Kent Brown (Provo: Maxwell Institute/BYU, 2011), 113-135; Daniel O. McClellan, “’You Will Be Like the Gods’: The Conceptualization of Deity in the Hebrew Bible in Cognitive Perspective,” master’s thesis (Trinity Western Univ., 2013), online at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6259597/You%20Will%20Be%20Like%20the%20Gods.pdf .

[3] Černý, Coptic Etymological Dictionary, 111; Westendorf, KHw, 127.

[4] LDS Gospel Topics section online at https://www.lds.org/topics/god-the-father?lang=eng .

[5] LDS Gospel Topics section online at https://www.lds.org/topics/godhead?lang=eng .

[6] J. Allen, Middle Egytian (2000), 126.

[7] Del Olmo Lete, Canaanite Religion, 2nd ed., 82,85,87,180.

[8] Dawson, The Horned Altar: Rediscovering & Rekindling Canaanite Magic (MN: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2013), 48, ʼAthiratu = Asherah, who is elsewhere the consort of YHWH.

[9] del Olmo Lete, Canaanite Religion, 2nd ed.,368;  366, “a late sublimation of the ancestor cult.”

[10] del Olmo Lete, Canaanite Religion, 2nd ed., 57 and n80.

[11] del Olmo Lete, Canaanite Religion, 2nd ed., 323 n156, reading KTU 1.82:9.

See also Daniel O. McClellan, “Psalm 82 in Contemporary Latter-day Saint Tradition,” Interpreter, 15 (2015):79-96, online at  .

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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Kevin Christensen observes that  

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during Nephi’s vision, the angel says, “Blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God.” (1 Nephi 11:6).

*          *          *          *

If we understand that the God of the Old Testament is Yahweh, son of El Elyon, then the added “son of” is just clarification, explanation for readers in 1837, not a theological change. Jesus has a Father in Heaven who testifies of him, and to whom he prays and reports. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus identifies himself as Yahweh, the lord of the Old Testament, declaring that “I am he that gave the law, and I am he that covenanted with my people Israel,” (3 Nephi 15:5). In Benjamin’s discourse those who covenant with Jesus/ Yahweh become “the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters.” (Mosiah 5:7. Compare 3 Nephi 9:17). So Jesus both has a father who bears witness of him (3 Nephi 11:7) and to whom he prays (3 Nephi 17:14) and is a father via covenant and creation, and therefore is both a father and a son, both God (Yahweh), and a Son of God (a son of El Elyon, God Most High).[1] 

Christensen also observes that “the Name of the Most High God” (3 Nephi 4:32, 11:17) is Yahweh/ Jehovah.[2]


[1] Christensen, Interpreter, 10 (2014):195; cf. 199 on YHWH as son of El Elyon, citing Deuteronomy 32:8–9 (Qumran).

[2] Christensen, Interpreter, 10 (2014):200, citing Barker, The Great Angel, 97, 102-103.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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5 hours ago, Mormon4Life said:

President Nelson gave an assignment to the young adults earlier this year to find out all they can about Jesus Christ in the collective works.  I've decided to take the assignment serious and am starting in the Old Testament, but I have encountered an issue with completing this assignment.

I don't know how to distinguish between Jesus Christ and God.  How do I know if the scripture is referencing Jesus Christ or God?  Is there an answer other than: they are one in purpose and it can be either one.  Any help on this would be nice since the assignment is specifically to study Jesus Christ and not God.

I believe that most every mention of God instance in which God acts or reveals himself in the Old Testament pertains to the member of the Godhead who became Jesus of Nazareth.  The Fall made it necessary for the Father to hold himself aloof from direct communication with his fallen children; and thus his Son stands in his place.  I've heard this called "divine investiture of authority".  When one of the original 12 apostles asked Jesus to reveal the Father to them, Jesus indicated that he was the Father.  John 14:8-10:

8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

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, Shew us the Father?

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

 

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As has already been mentioned, Jesus is the God of the Old Testament and He is the one being referred to in the Old Testament and other scriptures

President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
"All revelation since the fall has come through Jesus Christ, who is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. In all of the scriptures, where God is mentioned and where he has appeared, it was Jehovah who talked with Abraham, with Noah, Enoch, Moses and all the Prophets. He is the God of Israel, the Holy One of Israel; the one who led that nation out of Egyptian bondage and who gave and fulfilled the Law of Moses. The Father has never dealt with man directly and personally since the fall, and he has never appeared except to introduce and bear record of the Son." (Doctrines of Salvation, I, pp. 27-28.)

There are however some confusing verses such as those in the book of Moses, that makes it unclear as to who is really talking to Moses. 
Moses 1 :6 seems to indicate that it is God the Father who is speaking:

"And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth;"

However, As Christ visited the Nephites after His resurrection, He said to them: 
"Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses. Behold, I am he that gave the law [to Moses], and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel." (3 Nephi 15:4-5)

Which indicates that it was Jesus who talked to Moses and gave him the laws.

One of the ways Jesus carries the title of "God the Father" is by divine investiture of authority, meaning that Jesus has been given the power to act for and represent his Father on this earth. This relationship is reflected in the following scriptures:

"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;
And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—
The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.
I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest." (D&C 93:1-5)

So even though it sounds like God the Father Himself is talking in certain scriptures, it is really Jesus, the Jehovah of the Old Testament acting on behalf of God the Father.

In Doctrine and Covenants 49 the same divine investiture of authority principle is at work. 
"Thus saith the Lord; for I am God, and have sent mine Only Begotten Son into the world for the redemption of the world". 
And then the last verse of this same revelation God says: 
"Behold, I am Jesus Christ, and I come quickly" (D&C 49:5, 28). 

So Jesus is the one who is speaking as though He is the Father who is speaking. 

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15 hours ago, Mormon4Life said:

President Nelson gave an assignment to the young adults earlier this year to find out all they can about Jesus Christ in the collective works.  I've decided to take the assignment serious and am starting in the Old Testament, but I have encountered an issue with completing this assignment.

I don't know how to distinguish between Jesus Christ and God.  How do I know if the scripture is referencing Jesus Christ or God?  Is there an answer other than: they are one in purpose and it can be either one.  Any help on this would be nice since the assignment is specifically to study Jesus Christ and not God.

I agree with Joseph Fielding Smith that Jesus is God of The Old Testament as well as the New Testament and Book of Mormon 

 

Selections from Answers to Gospel Questions
Taken from the writings of Joseph Fielding Smith
Tenth President of Mormonism
A course Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums
1972-73

Lesson 6 page 39

It was Jesus who gave commandments to Adam after he was driven out of the Garden of Eden and who directed Enoch and Noah before the flood. It was Christ who named Abraham and made him that through his posterity all nations would be blessed. He, it was who called Moses to lead Isreal out of Egypt and who wrote with his fingers on the tables of stone. He had no body until he was born in Bethlehem.

 

cS4K40i.jpg

Edited by Josh Khinder
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29 minutes ago, Josh Khinder said:

I agree with Joseph Fielding Smith that Jesus is God of The Old Testament as well as the New Testament and Book of Mormon 

 

Selections from Answers to Gospel Questions
Taken from the writings of Joseph Fielding Smith
Tenth President of Mormonism
A course Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums
1972-73

Lesson 6 page 39

It was Jesus who gave commandments to Adam after he was driven out of the Garden of Eden and who directed Enoch and Noah before the flood. It was Christ who named Abraham and made him that through his posterity all nations would be blessed. He, it was who called Moses to lead Isreal out of Egypt and who wrote with his fingers on the tables of stone. He had no body until he was born in Bethlehem.

 

cS4K40i.jpg

 

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17 hours ago, Prof said:

I will apologize for this in advance

Image may contain: 5 people, meme and text

That was so bad you got me laughing enough to make my stomach hurt.

If you have ruined the Bible for me, I will never forgive you.

Edited by Calm
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