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Sanhedrin and Apostasy?


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Y'all know that lesson with the cups?

12 Disciples of Jesus - pics of them on one side - pics of the current 12 Apostles on the other side.

Then you build the cups up into a pyramid / tower and the cups have labels on them like priesthood, tithing, scriptures, fasting, Temple, etc.

Been wonderin' about the Sanhedrin - read somewhere that they were the literal/genealogical descendants of the quorum of the 70 from the time of Moses

Was the Sanherin apostate?  

Seems like they practiced what they were supposed to / followed the rules they had in place.

If they got the Levitical priesthood from their elders (did they?), as did John the Baptist who followed his own path, clearly not the Sanhedrin's path.

Seems like if the Sanhedrin didnt have authority , then how did John?

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/sanhedrin?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/john-the-baptist

 

 

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3 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Seems like if the Sanhedrin didnt have authority , then how did John?

Since there isn't all that much written about John the Baptist, it might be better to ask "then how did Jesus have authority?" and extrapolate from there about the source of John's authority.

The Gospels contain a number of events in which the mortal Messiah was challenged on his authority, which gave Jesus the opportunity to  compare the Jewish understanding at the time about how authority was established as contrasted with what Jesus preached was the true source of authority. 

From what I gather, the Jews back then believed that their authority, in addition to the priest and ruling class, was a function of: a) heritage ("we have Abraham to our Fathers"); b) wealth and station ("the upper rooms"),  c) the scriptures, and d) strict adherence to the law of Moses, among other things.

In contrast, Jesus intimated, using the words of John, "...A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven....he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all."  (Jn 3:27, 31

There is so much more in the scriptures, but this should get the ball rolling.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

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4 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Seems like if the Sanhedrin didnt have authority , then how did John?

I hope you will forgive an old man for being confused by your question because this is in the link that you posted about John the Baptist.   "We learn that he was “ordained by an angel,” when he was eight days of age, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and to prepare a people for the Lord. We learn also that he was baptized while yet in his childhood (D&C 84:27–28)."

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Worth noting that Judaism at the time of Jesus wasn't a centralized movement like we have today. There are strong hints that what we consider the Melchezedek Priesthood was in ancient Israel. The school of the prophets sounds like it as do the Sons of Moses - particularly in light of D&C 84. The narratives of Elijah and Elisha suggest something that rivaled the formal Levitical Priesthood as well. Unfortunately during the exile most of those texts were stamped out. We now just have fragments in our existing Old Testament that scholars speculate over due to a compelling theory of the Priestly and Deuteronomist traditions from the time of Josiah up through the formation of the Old Testament centuries later. From a Mormon perspective the Melchezedek Priesthood just no longer was in general circulation.

John was a Levite, and so had a right to priesthood in that sense. 

The Sanhedren was a very late development in Judaism. While there were precursors in the pre-exilic period, especially during the pre-monarchal era with judges what took place in the Hellenistic and Roman eras was different. The overall history is pretty speculative but by the early Roman era there was a court called the Sanhedrin. The first account of it appears to be around 50 BC. It is part of the rise of the rabbinical movement although the rabbinical movement proper doesn't really arise until after the destruction of Jerusalem. Most of the accounts of the Sanhedrin come from later talmudic sources though.

In any case, the Sanhedrin's authority largely derives from popular scholarly prominance of various figures like Hillel and Gamaliel. That'd be what we'd call soft power and arose from how respected a figure's pronouncements were. Then there was hard power which really was wrapped up in the power of the King derived from Roman authority. Authority such as we think in terms of the apostles really isn't a part of it.

In the precursors to the Sanhedrin of the Roman era the High Priest acted as a the de facto leader. According to later sources though around 191 BC the Sanhedrin lost confidence in the High Priest and formed their own leader called the Nasi. Due to the prominence of Hillel most Nasi around the time of Christ were descendants of Hillel. Again though a lot of this comes from later sources so there's always reasons to be a bit distrustful of the details of how the Sanhedrin broke from the High Priest and evolved. The organization became more oriented to scholarship (thus the rise of the Rabbis and eventually the talmud) rather than formal authority.

Almost certainly the Sandhedrin evolved out of perceptions of the Judges of the pre-monarchal era, the 70 others mentioned, pseudo-democratic elements of the community, and then the rise of the Maccabean/Hasmonean rule starting towards the end of the Hellenistic era. The Maccabean revolt is 164 BC but the Seleucids operating out of Syria controlled the region for several more decades. The Romans then conquer Jerusalem in 63 BC. So it's that era of waning control before the rise of Roman authority that really develops the Sanhedrin.

It's an interesting question to how the early Christians, the Essenes, and other Jewish movements viewed the Sanhedrin given that the Sanhedrin was largely a Pharisee controlled body. It'd also be interesting to better know the relationship of the Sanhedrin in practice to the Sadducees given they are in some ways rivals. 

Edited by clarkgoble
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14 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Y'all know that lesson with the cups?

12 Disciples of Jesus - pics of them on one side - pics of the current 12 Apostles on the other side.

Then you build the cups up into a pyramid / tower and the cups have labels on them like priesthood, tithing, scriptures, fasting, Temple, etc.

Been wonderin' about the Sanhedrin - read somewhere that they were the literal/genealogical descendants of the quorum of the 70 from the time of Moses

Was the Sanherin apostate?  

Seems like they practiced what they were supposed to / followed the rules they had in place.

If they got the Levitical priesthood from their elders (did they?), as did John the Baptist who followed his own path, clearly not the Sanhedrin's path.

Seems like if the Sanhedrin didnt have authority , then how did John?

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/sanhedrin?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/john-the-baptist

Yeshua didn't say they didn't have authority - He said they burdened the people with THEIR traditions, so He told the people they were OK to do what they were told by the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees, but not to do as they do, because they were doing it for the wrong reasons. To really understand what Yeshua is talking about here, one has to understand Judaism. When the Jews came back to Jerusalem from Babylon, they began to build a religion called Judaism. The scribes began to interpret their scriptures, and to assert their interpretations were more important than the scriptures. They built up a system of rules according to what various rabbis had said, and these became the traditions Yeshua denounced. Was it really important which shoe one put on first? There is a myriad of these silly rules which Yeshua was saying are not important. 

I believe the Levites still had authority to perform the daily sacrifices in the temple, but they didn't really understand why they were doing it. Years before the Lord had told them he was full of their meat and their appointed feasts. He had appointed them, but they didn't understand why. What He wanted was a humble heart and to do right by your neighbor. The Jews spent 600 years drifting away from the law into traditions - and they are still there. The High priesthood had to be restored because the high priest had become a political appointee of Rome rather than an appointee of God. So yes, there was complete apostasy in the Melchisedek priesthood, which was restored by Yeshua, and there was spiritual apostasy in the levitical priesthood. For the most part they were just going through the motions with little or no understanding, and had built up their own system of rules which were not of God. As I have tried to relate on this forum, having authority and being correct are not the same thing.

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15 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

..............................................

Been wonderin' about the Sanhedrin - read somewhere that they were the literal/genealogical descendants of the quorum of the 70 from the time of Moses

Was the Sanherin apostate?  

Seems like they practiced what they were supposed to / followed the rules they had in place.

If they got the Levitical priesthood from their elders (did they?), as did John the Baptist who followed his own path, clearly not the Sanhedrin's path.

Seems like if the Sanhedrin didnt have authority , then how did John?...................................

The Sanhedrin has nothing to do with the authority of John the Baptizer.  Like his father, the temple priest (kohen) who received an angelic visitation, John was an Aaronic Priest.  That was the source of his authority to baptize Jesus., as well as to confer that authority upon Joseph & Oliver (D&C 13).  It is a matter of both LDS and Jewish doctrine that such authority is permanently lineal, from father to son (D&C 68:15-21, 84:18, 107:16-17).

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11 hours ago, Wade Englund said:

Since there isn't all that much written about John the Baptist, it might be better to ask "then how did Jesus have authority?" and extrapolate from there about the source of John's authority.

The Gospels contain a number of events in which the mortal Messiah was challenged on his authority, which gave Jesus the opportunity to  compare the Jewish understanding at the time about how authority was established as contrasted with what Jesus preached was the true source of authority. 

From what I gather, the Jews back then believed that their authority, in addition to the priest and ruling class, was a function of: a) heritage ("we have Abraham to our Fathers"); b) wealth and station ("the upper rooms"),  c) the scriptures, and d) strict adherence to the law of Moses, among other things.

In contrast, Jesus intimated, using the words of John, "...A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven....he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all."  (Jn 3:27, 31

There is so much more in the scriptures, but this should get the ball rolling.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

A number of New Testament scholars agree that baptism was an invention of John the Baptist.  I know Christians like to look at Old Testament references to washing rituals inside and outside the temple and count this as evidence of baptism, but this is a big leap without historical or theological evidence.  Men and women would wash themselves.  No priestly oversight was needed for those washings.

The point is this: I agree with you that John's authority is irrelevant (in that light).  However, if a Mormon or Catholic wants to argue that John must have had authority from somewhere to perform baptism as a priestly ordinance as it is known today, they are in for a very difficult search for evidence.

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3 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

Worth noting that Judaism at the time of Jesus wasn't a centralized movement like we have today. There are strong hints that what we consider the Melchezedek Priesthood was in ancient Israel. The school of the prophets sounds like it as do the Sons of Moses - particularly in light of D&C 84. The narratives of Elijah and Elisha suggest something that rivaled the formal Levitical Priesthood as well. Unfortunately during the exile most of those texts were stamped out. We now just have fragments in our existing Old Testament that scholars speculate over due to a compelling theory of the Priestly and Deuteronomist traditions from the time of Josiah up through the formation of the Old Testament centuries later. From a Mormon perspective the Melchezedek Priesthood just no longer was in general circulation.

John was a Levite, and so had a right to priesthood in that sense. 

The Sanhedren was a very late development in Judaism. While there were precursors in the pre-exilic period, especially during the pre-monarchal era with judges what took place in the Hellenistic and Roman eras was different. The overall history is pretty speculative but by the early Roman era there was a court called the Sanhedrin. The first account of it appears to be around 50 BC. It is part of the rise of the rabbinical movement although the rabbinical movement proper doesn't really arise until after the destruction of Jerusalem. Most of the accounts of the Sanhedrin come from later talmudic sources though.

In any case, the Sanhedrin's authority largely derives from popular scholarly prominance of various figures like Hillel and Gamaliel. That'd be what we'd call soft power and arose from how respected a figure's pronouncements were. Then there was hard power which really was wrapped up in the power of the King derived from Roman authority. Authority such as we think in terms of the apostles really isn't a part of it.

In the precursors to the Sanhedrin of the Roman era the High Priest acted as a the de facto leader. According to later sources though around 191 BC the Sanhedrin lost confidence in the High Priest and formed their own leader called the Nasi. Due to the prominence of Hillel most Nasi around the time of Christ were descendants of Hillel. Again though a lot of this comes from later sources so there's always reasons to be a bit distrustful of the details of how the Sanhedrin broke from the High Priest and evolved. The organization became more oriented to scholarship (thus the rise of the Rabbis and eventually the talmud) rather than formal authority.

Almost certainly the Sandhedrin evolved out of perceptions of the Judges of the pre-monarchal era, the 70 others mentioned, pseudo-democratic elements of the community, and then the rise of the Maccabean/Hasmonean rule starting towards the end of the Hellenistic era. The Maccabean revolt is 164 BC but the Seleucids operating out of Syria controlled the region for several more decades. The Romans then conquer Jerusalem in 63 BC. So it's that era of waning control before the rise of Roman authority that really develops the Sanhedrin.

It's an interesting question to how the early Christians, the Essenes, and other Jewish movements viewed the Sanhedrin given that the Sanhedrin was largely a Pharisee controlled body. It'd also be interesting to better know the relationship of the Sanhedrin in practice to the Sadducees given they are in some ways rivals. 

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that the traditional LDS view of 'authority' is very different from that of the priests/Levites of that time period.

Do we need to view 'authority' differently than the lens through which we do today?

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Yeshua didn't say they didn't have authority - He said they burdened the people with THEIR traditions, so He told the people they were OK to do what they were told by the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees, but not to do as they do, because they were doing it for the wrong reasons. To really understand what Yeshua is talking about here, one has to understand Judaism. When the Jews came back to Jerusalem from Babylon, they began to build a religion called Judaism. The scribes began to interpret their scriptures, and to assert their interpretations were more important than the scriptures. They built up a system of rules according to what various rabbis had said, and these became the traditions Yeshua denounced. Was it really important which shoe one put on first? There is a myriad of these silly rules which Yeshua was saying are not important. 

The matter is a whole lot more complicated than that.  Jesus and Paul were both Pharisaic rabbis, and each of them preached the ethical and moral norms typical of rabbinic Judaism (and which can be found in the Mishna and Talmud) -- of Beth Hillel.  Jesus was harshly critical of hypocrisy and of elite domination of the lower classes, something also characteristic of the Essenes.  Moreover, both emphasized apocalyptic Messianism.

1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

I believe the Levites still had authority to perform the daily sacrifices in the temple, but they didn't really understand why they were doing it. Years before the Lord had told them he was full of their meat and their appointed feasts. He had appointed them, but they didn't understand why. What He wanted was a humble heart and to do right by your neighbor. The Jews spent 600 years drifting away from the law into traditions - and they are still there. The High priesthood had to be restored because the high priest had become a political appointee of Rome rather than an appointee of God. So yes, there was complete apostasy in the Melchisedek priesthood, which was restored by Yeshua, and there was spiritual apostasy in the levitical priesthood. For the most part they were just going through the motions with little or no understanding, and had built up their own system of rules which were not of God. As I have tried to relate on this forum, having authority and being correct are not the same thing.

The tribe of Levi was indeed the priestly tribe -- all of them dedicated to holy ordinances -- but only the Aaronides among them were the formal "priests."  John the Baptizer and his father, for example, were Aaronides. The remaining Levites were merely "helpers" (deacons), assisting the priests and singing in the temple choir.

As to apostasy, the rabbis of Judaism have taught for two thousand years that the Jews were exiled by God for their failure to obey his holy word.  The Jews have been fully aware that entire time of their shortcomings.  Most non-Jews just don't get that.  Read Jacob 5-6, and Romans 11 to get the full flavor of God's will in the matter.  The Gentiles only imagine some advantage, not realizing that they are not going to have an easy time of it at the end.  There is an unhappy reversal in the offing.  Jesus will come directly to his chosen people at the end (D&C 45:48-53, Zech 12:10, 13:6, 14:4), and the sons of Levi will offer an offering in righteousness.

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12 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

A number of New Testament scholars agree that baptism was an invention of John the Baptist.

Nonsense.  No scholar agrees with you, and no one asked John what he was doing at the Jordan.  Baptism was entirely normal within Judaism and had been long before the appearance of John the Baptizer.  Jews know it under the heading mikveh, and it entails full immersion.  It is used even today among Jews as a purification rite, but also as a rite of initiation into Judaism.  That is how Christians use it.

12 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

  I know Christians like to look at Old Testament references to washing rituals inside and outside the temple and count this as evidence of baptism, but this is a big leap without historical or theological evidence.  Men and women would wash themselves.  No priestly oversight was needed for those washings.

The point is this: I agree with you that John's authority is irrelevant (in that light).  However, if a Mormon or Catholic wants to argue that John must have had authority from somewhere to perform baptism as a priestly ordinance as it is known today, they are in for a very difficult search for evidence.

The Essenes of Qumran spoke constantly of baptism:  1QS (Rule of the Community/Manual of Discipline)  3:1-12, 5:13-14, those who “turn from wickedness” and take the oath of allegiance may be baptized and “partake of the pure meal of the Saints.”[1]  1QS 4:18-23 "...God...will purify...him with the holy spirit...will sprinkle upon him the spirit of truth like waters for purifica­tion from all abominations..."  CD 10:10-13, 11:22  purification by water.  And this continues in the Gospel of Phillip (Nag Hammadi Codex II,3) 115:27-30,[2] as the first rite in a five-stage initiation process surprisingly similar to the LDS temple sequence.  Cf. Alma 5:62, 7:14 Matthew 3:11, "baptize...unto repen­tance."

Jeremiah 4:14   Wash your heart of wickedness, O Jerusalem, That you might be saved

Psalm 51:2       Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, Purify me from my sin.

Isaiah 1:16, 18       Wash you, Make you clean, .....  Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red as crimson, They shall be like wool.


[1] S. J. Pfann, “The Essene Yearly Renewal Ceremony and the Baptism of Repentance,” online at http://www.uhl.ac/Baptism%20article/Baptism.pdf , citing at 1 n. 2, Levitical immersion in Judith 12:7, and Ecclus 31(34):30; M. A. Daise, “The Temporal Relationship between the Covenant Renewal Rite and the Initiation Process in 1QS,” 150-160, in M. T. Davis & & B. A. Strawn, eds., Qumran Studies: New Approaches, New Questions (Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2007).

[2] James Robinson, ed., Nag Hammadi Literature in English3 pp. 144,151,153,155.

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8 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Nonsense.  No scholar agrees with you, and no one asked John what he was doing at the Jordan.  Baptism was entirely normal within Judaism and had been long before the appearance of John the Baptizer.  Jews know it under the heading mikveh, and it entails full immersion.  It is used even today among Jews as a purification rite, but also as a rite of initiation into Judaism.  That is how Christians use it.

The Essenes of Qumran spoke constantly of baptism:  1QS (Rule of the Community/Manual of Discipline)  3:1-12, 5:13-14, those who “turn from wickedness” and take the oath of allegiance may be baptized and “partake of the pure meal of the Saints.”[1]  1QS 4:18-23 "...God...will purify...him with the holy spirit...will sprinkle upon him the spirit of truth like waters for purifica­tion from all abominations..."  CD 10:10-13, 11:22  purification by water.  And this continues in the Gospel of Phillip (Nag Hammadi Codex II,3) 115:27-30,[2] as the first rite in a five-stage initiation process surprisingly similar to the LDS temple sequence.  Cf. Alma 5:62, 7:14 Matthew 3:11, "baptize...unto repen­tance."

Jeremiah 4:14   Wash your heart of wickedness, O Jerusalem, That you might be saved

Psalm 51:2       Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, Purify me from my sin.

Isaiah 1:16, 18       Wash you, Make you clean, .....  Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red as crimson, They shall be like wool.


[1] S. J. Pfann, “The Essene Yearly Renewal Ceremony and the Baptism of Repentance,” online at http://www.uhl.ac/Baptism%20article/Baptism.pdf , citing at 1 n. 2, Levitical immersion in Judith 12:7, and Ecclus 31(34):30; M. A. Daise, “The Temporal Relationship between the Covenant Renewal Rite and the Initiation Process in 1QS,” 150-160, in M. T. Davis & & B. A. Strawn, eds., Qumran Studies: New Approaches, New Questions (Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2007).

[2] James Robinson, ed., Nag Hammadi Literature in English3 pp. 144,151,153,155.

You've provided a number of insights.

How did it come to be that Christians only baptize once as a symbol, and require authority and performance by a priest?

The Book of Mormon teaches that it is not baptism that cleanses us from sin, but the Holy Ghost.  How did this transition happen?

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1 hour ago, SouthernMo said:

A number of New Testament scholars agree that baptism was an invention of John the Baptist.  I know Christians like to look at Old Testament references to washing rituals inside and outside the temple and count this as evidence of baptism, but this is a big leap without historical or theological evidence.  Men and women would wash themselves.  No priestly oversight was needed for those washings.

The point is this: I agree with you that John's authority is irrelevant (in that light).  However, if a Mormon or Catholic wants to argue that John must have had authority from somewhere to perform baptism as a priestly ordinance as it is known today, they are in for a very difficult search for evidence.

My post made no mention of baptism. So, I am not sure why you are specifically bringing it up in relation to what I said. For that matter, I don't see how much of anything in your response speaks to what I actually said--making it quite unlikely that you agree with me.

To assist in your comprehension, my post dealt with the source of Jesus' authority, and thus by extension the source of John's authority as well, which has nothing directly to do with the history of baptism.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by Wade Englund
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2 minutes ago, Wade Englund said:

My post made no mention of baptism. So, I am not sure why you are specifically bringing it up in relation to what I said. For that matter, I don't see how much of anything in your response speaks to what I actually said--making it quite unlikely that you agree with me.

To assist in your comprehensive, my post dealt with the source of Jesus' authority, and thus by extension the source of John's authority as well, which has nothing directly to do with the history of baptism.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Maybe I did miss something.

Explain to me how John's authority came from Jesus?  I am not aware of John's ordination at Jesus' hand.  Or is there another way that John received Christ's authority?

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Just now, SouthernMo said:

Maybe I did miss something.

Explain to me how John's authority came from Jesus?  I am not aware of John's ordination at Jesus' hand.  Or is there another way that John received Christ's authority?

My point wasn't that John received his authority from Jesus, but that he received it from the same source as Jesus--that source being heaven, as contrasted with the Jews of that day, who received their authority from earth.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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7 minutes ago, Wade Englund said:

My point wasn't that John received his authority from Jesus, but that he received it from the same source as Jesus--that source being heaven, as contrasted with the Jews of that day, who received their authority from earth.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I must be dense.  Help me out?

Jesus was born with the same priesthood as John - "heaven" gave it to them?  Please explain that process of how they got their authority.

Jesus and John weren't considered Jews (or separate from Jews?)

Explain what you mean by "the Jews of the Day" and how the 'earth' gave them their authority?

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In his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Justin Martyr contrasts Christian baptism with the Jewish baptism, writing:

By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God, which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God’s people, as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life. But the cisterns which you have dug for yourselves are broken and profitless to you. For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and body alone? (ch. 14)

So at least from his perspective, the Jews DID perform a ritual analogous to the Christian baptism, but for purification only. However, from our perspective, John performed an enhanced baptism to include preparing the Jews for a coming new kingdom, and Jesus introduced that Kingdom of God on earth, continuing with John's type of baptism as a requisite.  

 

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My understanding was that John was authorized to perform the ritual purification washings by virtue of being Cohen. His ability to introduce the baptism of entrance to the new Kingdom came from his ordination by the angel to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews. Both of these were Aaronic, or priestly in nature. Jesus's authority was different. My understanding is that his priesthood was the royal priesthood, that which Melchizedek had, and that which gave Jesus' forebears David and Solomon the authority to supervise and regulate the  priests and Levites. Peter states that the priesthood the Saints held was that royal priesthood given them by Christ. One of the things I have always been intrigued by, is that Jesus' fellow rabbis never quizzed him on that  account... at least not as mentioned in the Christian writings I have read.

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22 minutes ago, Que said:

In his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Justin Martyr contrasts Christian baptism with the Jewish baptism, writing:

By reason, therefore, of this laver of repentance and knowledge of God, which has been ordained on account of the transgression of God’s people, as Isaiah cries, we have believed, and testify that that very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life. But the cisterns which you have dug for yourselves are broken and profitless to you. For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and body alone? (ch. 14)

So at least from his perspective, the Jews DID perform a ritual analogous to the Christian baptism, but for purification only. However, from our perspective, John performed an enhanced baptism to include preparing the Jews for a coming new kingdom, and Jesus introduced that Kingdom of God on earth, continuing with John's type of baptism as a requisite.  

No.  Mikveh for purification is always distinct in Judaism from mikveh for initiation into Judaism (membership within the Jewish people).  Jews have regular purification rituals which are distinct from initiation into Judaism.  Circumcision is another required ritual of initiation.

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48 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

..........Jesus was born with the same priesthood as John - "heaven" gave it to them?  Please explain that process of how they got their authority.

Jesus was a member of the tribe of Judah.  He had no lineal Levitical priesthood authority.  John the Baptizer was a kohen (an Aaronide), a member of the tribe of Levi, and a direct descendant of Aaron.  Jesus was, however, a prophet and the Son of God, whose priesthood was after the Order of Melchizedek (after the Order of the Son of God), and you can read about that in the Letter to the Hebrews.  All Roman Catholic and Orthodox priests claim that Melchizedek Priesthood.

Quote

Jesus and John weren't considered Jews (or separate from Jews?)

Explain what you mean by "the Jews of the Day" and how the 'earth' gave them their authority?

"Jews" in that sense refers to the larger cultural or ethnic association, even though Paul is a Benjaminite, and Jesus a Judahite, and John the Baptizer a Levite.  All are "Jews" only in the broad sense of the Jewish people.  The BofM also uses the term Jew in both senses.

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1 hour ago, Wade Englund said:

My point wasn't that John received his authority from Jesus, but that he received it from the same source as Jesus--that source being heaven, as contrasted with the Jews of that day, who received their authority from earth.......................

John's priestly authority came from his father, down from Aaron.  However, he was also a prophet, with authority from the Divine Council in Heaven.

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4 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Jesus was a member of the tribe of Judah.  He had no lineal Levitical priesthood authority.  John the Baptizer was a kohen (an Aaronide), a member of the tribe of Levi, and a direct descendant of Aaron.  Jesus was, however, a prophet and the Son of God, whose priesthood was after the Order of Melchizedek (after the Order of the Son of God), and you can read about that in the Letter to the Hebrews.  All Roman Catholic and Orthodox priests claim that Melchizedek Priesthood.

"Jews" in that sense refers to the larger cultural or ethnic association, even though Paul is a Benjaminite, and Jesus a Judahite, and John the Baptizer a Levite.  All are "Jews" only in the broad sense of the Jewish people.  The BofM also uses the term Jew in both senses.

I’m sorry, but I’m still missing something.

Maybe @Wade Englund can answer?  What heavenly power did both Jesus and John the Baptist have that these other Jews did not?  Weren’t their many Levites and Kohen?

And - What is the “earthly” power that the other Jews had?

This seems like such a non-specific discussion with terms that are ambiguous in their application, yet stated with such cocksurety.

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6 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

John's priestly authority came from his father, down from Aaron.  However, he was also a prophet, with authority from the Divine Council in Heaven.

If prophets receive their authority in heaven, why do they need to be ordained today?  Russell Nelson must have already had this authority and been born with it?

I’ve never heard this doctrine. Tell me more.

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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

..............................How did it come to be that Christians only baptize once as a symbol, and require authority and performance by a priest?

Both Jews and Christians only baptize once for initiation into the religion.  Only Christians use either a priest or a non-priest pastor to officiate in the name of the Triune God.

2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

The Book of Mormon teaches that it is not baptism that cleanses us from sin, but the Holy Ghost.  How did this transition happen?

Water immersion is symbolic of death-rebirth and of coming forth again from the womb ("born again"), while the Holy Spirit purifies with fire (Acts 2:3).  John the Baptizer himself emphasized the difference (Matt 3:11).

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