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Our Identity and Our Destiny


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I posted this in another section and @Calm suggested I post in this forum to gain more visibility.

I found this mentioned at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/tad-r-callister/our-identity-and-our-destiny/
by Tad R. Callister, Of the Presidency of the Seventy back on August 14, 2012

In one segment he said

"To this He readily acknowledged that He was and declared that they should be likewise: "Is it 
not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:32–34; emphasis added). In other words, 
He said not only am I a god, but all of you are potential gods. He was referring to His own 
Old Testament declaration, with which the Jews should have been familiar: "Ye are gods; and 
all of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6)

One church web site has something different.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/sons-and-daughters-of-god?lang=eng

SPIRIT CHILDREN OF THE FATHER

Ye are gods, children of the most High, Psalm 82:6.


Is Psalm 82:6 a reference to beings who are already gods or those who have the potential to
become gods?  And was Jesus really saying that he was a 'small g' god?

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To understand the context and meaning, see the following studies by an excellent Hebraist:

McClellan, Daniel O.  Psalm 82 in Contemporary Latter-day Saint Tradition,” Interpreter, 15 (2015):79-96, online at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/psalm-82-in-contemporary-latter-day-saint-tradition/ .

McClellan, Daniel O.   “The Gods-Complaint: Psalm 82 as a Psalm of Complaint,” JBL, 137/4 (2018):833-851, online at https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15699/jbl.1374.2018.452196?seq=1

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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21 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

To understand the context and meaning, see the following studies by an excellent Hebraist:

McClellan, Daniel O.  Psalm 82 in Contemporary Latter-day Saint Tradition,” Interpreter, 15 (2015):79-96, online at http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/psalm-82-in-contemporary-latter-day-saint-tradition/ .

McClellan, Daniel O.   “The Gods-Complaint: Psalm 82 as a Psalm of Complaint,” JBL, 137/4 (2018):833-851, online at https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15699/jbl.1374.2018.452196?seq=1

You can find free access to the full text of the second paper here: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:30469/

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On 8/29/2020 at 7:40 AM, marineland said:

I posted this in another section and @Calm suggested I post in this forum to gain more visibility.

I found this mentioned at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/tad-r-callister/our-identity-and-our-destiny/
by Tad R. Callister, Of the Presidency of the Seventy back on August 14, 2012

In one segment he said

"To this He readily acknowledged that He was and declared that they should be likewise: "Is it 
not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:32–34; emphasis added). In other words, 
He said not only am I a god, but all of you are potential gods. He was referring to His own 
Old Testament declaration, with which the Jews should have been familiar: "Ye are gods; and 
all of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6)

One church web site has something different.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/sons-and-daughters-of-god?lang=eng

SPIRIT CHILDREN OF THE FATHER

Ye are gods, children of the most High, Psalm 82:6.


Is Psalm 82:6 a reference to beings who are already gods or those who have the potential to
become gods?  And was Jesus really saying that he was a 'small g' god?

"He said not only am I a god, but all of you are potential gods."

When referring to "The" God of this earth one would use the capitalized form. When referring to gods in general and in the plural sense, as was done in this sentence (a god), the lower case "god" can be used.
Psalms is referring to those who have the potential to become gods.

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On 8/29/2020 at 7:40 AM, marineland said:

I posted this in another section and @Calm suggested I post in this forum to gain more visibility.

I found this mentioned at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/tad-r-callister/our-identity-and-our-destiny/
by Tad R. Callister, Of the Presidency of the Seventy back on August 14, 2012

I thanked you for posting this talk in the other thread, and on Friday I took my road trip and had a chance to listen to it (I was saving it for my trip and didn't want to spoil it by reading it beforehand).  What did you think of the talk?  I thought it was a powerful message.

On 8/29/2020 at 7:40 AM, marineland said:

In one segment he said

"To this He readily acknowledged that He was and declared that they should be likewise: "Is it 
not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:32–34; emphasis added). In other words, 
He said not only am I a god, but all of you are potential gods. He was referring to His own 
Old Testament declaration, with which the Jews should have been familiar: "Ye are gods; and 
all of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6)

One church web site has something different.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/sons-and-daughters-of-god?lang=eng

SPIRIT CHILDREN OF THE FATHER

Ye are gods, children of the most High, Psalm 82:6.


Is Psalm 82:6 a reference to beings who are already gods or those who have the potential to
become gods?

Can you please explain your statement, "One church web site has something different"?  How do you see that link saying something different?  Your link is to the Guide to the Scriptures, which basically just gives a list of references, and the quote "Ye are gods, children of the most High, Psalm 82:6." is just a paraphrase of the verse and not a commentary on whether they are already gods or only have the potential to become gods.

Regarding the difference between "already gods or those who have the potential to become gods", I thought Elder Callister had some very good examples in his talk of how that can be true.  Consider this quote from his talk:

Quote

We were born in the image of God our Father; He begat us like unto Himself. There is the nature of Deity in the composition of our spiritual organization. In our spiritual birth, our Father transmitted to us the capabilities, powers and faculties which He possessed, as much so as the child on its mother’s bosom possesses, although in an undeveloped state, the faculties, powers and susceptibilities of its parent.

President Boyd K. Packer told of coming home one day and helping his children gather new chicks in the barn. As his little four-year-old daughter held a baby chick in her hands, he said something like, “Won’t that be a beautiful dog when it grows up?”

His daughter looked at him in surprise.

And then he said something like, “Or perhaps it will be a cat or even a cow.”

His little daughter wrinkled her nose, as if to say, “Daddy, don’t you know anything? It will grow up exactly like its parents.”

Then he observed how this little four-year-old girl knew, almost instinctively, that the chick would grow up to follow the pattern of its parentage.

The Gospel of Philip, an apocryphal book, makes this simple statement of logic: “A horse sires a horse, a man begets man, a god brings forth a god.”  The difference between man and God is significant—but it is one of degree, not kind. It is the difference between an acorn and an oak tree, a rosebud and a rose, a son and a father. In truth, every man is a potential god in embryo, in fulfillment of that eternal law that like begets like.

As Elder Callister says there,"The difference between man and God is significant- but it is one of degree, not of kind".   We might refer to a new baby boy as a "little man", but he's only just starting out on his journey to become a man.  The same would be true of the "gods" of Psalm 82:6 in my view.

On 8/29/2020 at 7:40 AM, marineland said:

And was Jesus really saying that he was a 'small g' god?

When I was listening to Elder Callister's talk in my car, I tried really hard to hear where he was using a small "G" in his talk, but I couldn't hear it :)

When Jesus was making his case to the Jews in John 10, he was attempting to connect with something they already knew to be true.  The Jews said, "you are making yourself God".  And Jesus responded by saying, in essence, "men were called gods in your scripture, so what's the big deal when I say I'm the Son of God"?   Jesus was reasoning with them to show them their logic was flawed.  But like what Elder Callister said above, the difference between Jesus and these other "gods" is significant- but it is one of degree, not of kind.

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On 8/29/2020 at 7:40 AM, marineland said:

I posted this in another section and @Calm suggested I post in this forum to gain more visibility.

I found this mentioned at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/tad-r-callister/our-identity-and-our-destiny/
by Tad R. Callister, Of the Presidency of the Seventy back on August 14, 2012

In one segment he said

"To this He readily acknowledged that He was and declared that they should be likewise: "Is it 
not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:32–34; emphasis added). In other words, 
He said not only am I a god, but all of you are potential gods. He was referring to His own 
Old Testament declaration, with which the Jews should have been familiar: "Ye are gods; and 
all of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6)

One church web site has something different.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/sons-and-daughters-of-god?lang=eng

SPIRIT CHILDREN OF THE FATHER

Ye are gods, children of the most High, Psalm 82:6.


Is Psalm 82:6 a reference to beings who are already gods or those who have the potential to
become gods?  And was Jesus really saying that he was a 'small g' god?

We are all already gods by already being the same kind of being as our Father in heaven. 

What we are not yet is as perfect as our Father in heaven, but we all have that potential and can attain it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

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The original Greek of the New Testament as I understand it was all in CAPS and Hebrew had only one case, so isn’t any differentiation between God and god a later insertion not in the originals? 

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On 8/31/2020 at 2:30 PM, Ahab said:

We are all already gods by already being the same kind of being as our Father in heaven. 

What we are not yet is as perfect as our Father in heaven, but we all have that potential and can attain it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Speaking of a future time, what does D&C 132:20 mean when it says "then shall they be gods"?

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3 hours ago, marineland said:

Speaking of a future time, what does D&C 132:20 mean when it says "then shall they be gods"?

I think Joseph was just trying to distinguish between those of us who will be fully exalted and those of us who will not, as if he had said "then shall they be fully exalted".  Not that they will be some other kind of being than all of us.

Just part of the pattern of most prophets of God, as I've noticed.  Rather than making something perfectly clear with a perfect choice of words that can not be misconstrued in any way, they seem to want people to think about it and work it out with God's personal guidance.

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On 8/31/2020 at 2:12 PM, Calm said:

The original Greek of the New Testament as I understand it was all in CAPS and Hebrew had only one case, so isn’t any differentiation between God and god a later insertion not in the originals? 

Calm, hey there, hoping all is well.

Interesting observation. Translation of anything is difficult business. Translating a one case language into a language that has large and small case, the translator will of necessity be required to make an interpretation about capitalizations. I wonder if there would be any problem with using a convention that might be called "middle case"? This could permit the translator to refrain from making a necessary translation while indicating to the reader that the original tongue made no distinction between lower and upper case in the writing. I realize this could be annoying and distracting sometimes. I doubt that we would want to do this with ancient literature where an academic translator's interpretation of what an obscure poet or philosopher means could be enhanced and made more accessible for popular usage. I would have no problem with an academic translation of the Scriptures which permitted of only one case. I think such a work would be valuable for serious study. But I doubt that anyone would want to read it to gain a greater love of god. The previous word of the immediately previous sentence was to illustrate why cases ARE ordinarily helpful in languages that have two cases.

One question: Why would we say that Greek is all in caps? It seems like if there is only one case, there is neither upper nor lower. Maybe the classical Greek language has cases and what is used in the original New Testament deliberately eschews lower case letters that were already well known? That would be interesting. 

3       

Edited by 3DOP
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44 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

Calm, hey there, hoping all is well.

Interesting observation. Translation of anything is difficult business. Translating a one case language into a language that has large and small case, the translator will of necessity be required to make an interpretation about capitalizations. I wonder if there would be any problem with using a convention that might be called "middle case"? This could permit the translator to refrain from making a necessary translation while indicating to the reader that the original tongue made no distinction between lower and upper case in the writing. I realize this could be annoying and distracting sometimes. I doubt that we would want to do this with ancient literature where an academic translator's interpretation of what an obscure poet or philosopher means could be enhanced and made more accessible for popular usage. I would have no problem with an academic translation of the Scriptures which permitted of only one case. I think such a work would be valuable for serious study. But I doubt that anyone would want to read it to gain a greater love of god. The previous word of the immediately previous sentence was to illustrate why cases ARE ordinarily helpful in languages that have two cases.

One question: Why would we say that Greek is all in caps? It seems like if there is only one case, there is neither upper nor lower. Maybe the classical Greek language has cases and what is used in the original New Testament deliberately eschews lower case letters that were already well known? That would be interesting. 

3       

I wish this could be more evident to people today.  We get so hung up on capitalization and italicized words and even fonts, but all of that comes from the choices of the translators or publishers (i.e. did Jesus really speak in "red letters"? :)).   And all of that gets in the way of the original meaning.  But then we'd all need to learn Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic to really understand what's going on.   Publishing a translation of the Bible without using uppercase or lowercase would be helpful, but it only addresses part of the problem.  And if the choice was made to use all uppercase, then some might view it as the "shouting Bible" (since that's how uppercase is often interpreted on the internet these days), so I like your idea of "middle case" if that were possible.

But there are flaws in every translation, and I don't think the Lord wants us to get hung up on all these details or otherwise he wouldn't have used translations like the Septuagint or the first English publications of the Bible (like the KJV) for such great purposes in his work.  At the very least we shouldn't be making big theology choices on whether a word is capitalized or not.

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5 hours ago, InCognitus said:

 

I wish this could be more evident to people today.  We get so hung up on capitalization and italicized words and even fonts, but all of that comes from the choices of the translators or publishers (i.e. did Jesus really speak in "red letters"? :)).   And all of that gets in the way of the original meaning.  But then we'd all need to learn Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic to really understand what's going on.   Publishing a translation of the Bible without using uppercase or lowercase would be helpful, but it only addresses part of the problem.  And if the choice was made to use all uppercase, then some might view it as the "shouting Bible" (since that's how uppercase is often interpreted on the internet these days), so I like your idea of "middle case" if that were possible.

But there are flaws in every translation, and I don't think the Lord wants us to get hung up on all these details or otherwise he wouldn't have used translations like the Septuagint or the first English publications of the Bible (like the KJV) for such great purposes in his work.  At the very least we shouldn't be making big theology choices on whether a word is capitalized or not.

Yes...perfect translation...impossible. Different aims for different purposes. Languages seem providential. God does not seem surprised by them whether it is making foreign languages unintelligible at the Tower of Babel, or making them intelligible at Pentecost. Speaking in tongues? What is that? Perfect translations? Or actually speaking or hearing languages you don't know into your own language. I find it very mysterious and interesting.

I like that you do not hold that those of us who are unable to learn foreign and archaic languages are disadvantaged.

It would be a mistake that a Catholic should never make...to make any theology choice on the basis of "whether a word is captilized or not".

Catholics don't read the Bible and decide what they believe it says. They identify with what they understand as the true Church, and believe whatever that Church teaches the Scripture says, whether they understand it or not.

InCognitus, the difficulty of Scripture, and translations, and so many, many clever interpretations led me to a place of relief, when I as an anti-Catholic Whore of Babylon Baptist preacher, embraced with all my heart the idea that my salvation does not depend on personal interpretation of  Scripture alone. I could never sort it all out. Luther's proverbial milkmaid does not often arrive at Lutheran conclusions. Why? The Scriptures are not intended to be understood in a vacuum. I think we all may be excused for not being able to understand Scripture without, as the Ethiopian eunuch said, "some man to guide me". I believe it is folly to try to identify the correct church from interpretations of the Scripture (which are the property of the true church alone). It is God's wisdom to identify correct interpretations of the Scripture, from the less arduous task of identifying the true church.  

Protestantism and Restoration make this appear more complicated. But I think I can truly say, that in some respects, the Restoration claims of the the Latter-day Saints helped me to see that the Reformation and Protestant principles could not be correct. This was in the early and mid 90's. But if I could possibly consider a Restoration, why could I, Baptist though I was, not consider no need for Reformation in the first place? Long story short...Mormonism helped lead me to Catholicism, and that is why I retain an interest in y'all. If the Protestant reformers are right about Rome, you are certainly right about Protestants. But what if the Protestants were wrong about Rome in the first place?

God bless you on your journey, and may we all somehow and some way, worship side by side in the same one and only blessed eternity,

3DOP   

Edited by 3DOP
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49 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

Yes...perfect translation...impossible. Different aims for different purposes. Languages seem providential. God does not seem surprised by them whether it is making foreign languages unintelligible at the Tower of Babel, or making them intelligible at Pentecost. Speaking in tongues? What is that? Perfect translations? Or actually speaking or hearing languages you don't know into your own language. I find it very mysterious and interesting.

I like that you do not hold that those of us who are unable to learn foreign and archaic languages are disadvantaged.

It would be a mistake that a Catholic should never make...to make any theology choice on the basis of "whether a word is captilized or not".

Catholics don't read the Bible and decide what they believe it says. They identify with what they understand as the true Church, and believe whatever that Church teaches the Scripture says, whether they understand it or not.

InCognitus, the difficulty of Scripture, and translations, and so many, many clever interpretations led me to a place of relief, when I as an anti-Catholic Whore of Babylon Baptist preacher, embraced with all my heart the idea that my salvation does not depend on personal interpretation of  Scripture alone. I could never sort it all out. Luther's proverbial milkmaid does not often arrive at Lutheran conclusions. Why? The Scriptures are not intended to be understood in a vacuum. I think we all may be excused for not being able to understand Scripture without, as the Ethiopian eunuch said, "some man to guide me". I believe it is folly to try to identify the correct church from interpretations of the Scripture (which are the property of the true church alone). It is God's wisdom to identify correct interpretations of the Scripture, from the less arduous task of identifying the true church.  

Protestantism and Restoration make this appear more complicated. But I think I can truly say, that in some respects, the Restoration claims of the the Latter-day Saints helped me to see that the Reformation and Protestant principles could not be correct. This was in the early and mid 90's. But if I could possibly consider a Restoration, why could I, Baptist though I was, not consider no need for Reformation in the first place? Long story short...Mormonism helped lead me to Catholicism, and that is why I retain an interest in y'all. If the Protestant reformers are right about Rome, you are certainly right about Protestants. But what if the Protestants were wrong about Rome in the first place?

God bless you on your journey, and may we all somehow and some way, worship side by side in the same one and only blessed eternity,

3DOP   

Amen to that!

And thank you for sharing some of your past experiences.  I have been curious as to your interest in this message board and now you have helped me understand.  I've only been active on this board for a year,  so I'm still trying to get to know people. (It was last September when I began participating on this board regularly.  This is my anniversary month). 

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On 9/5/2020 at 3:34 PM, 3DOP said:

If the Protestant reformers are right about Rome, you are certainly right about Protestants. But what if the Protestants were wrong about Rome in the first place?

Then the best they could have hoped for was to receive direct and personal communication from God to tell them the truth.  Which is why we (LDS) put so much emphasis on each person's need for a personal testimony from God.

 

On 9/5/2020 at 3:34 PM, 3DOP said:

God bless you on your journey, and may we all somehow and some way, worship side by side in the same one and only blessed eternity,

3DOP   

I hope God will help you to know the truth regarding the Church as he has helped me to know it someday too.  We all need that kind of a blessing from God.

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On 8/31/2020 at 2:12 PM, Calm said:

The original Greek of the New Testament as I understand it was all in CAPS and Hebrew had only one case, so isn’t any differentiation between God and god a later insertion not in the originals? 

Yes, it was in all CAPS (or technically, an uncial or majuscule script), and with no spaces.

Here's a pic of what one of the older manuscripts looks like...

What’s Missing from Codex Sinaiticus, the Oldest New ...

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One more cool picture of a Septuagint text...

septuagint-manuscript.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it has always been okay to talk about Heavenly Mother.  However, there have been in the past and likely still are ways that will get you into trouble if you preach them, such as worshipping or praying to her. 

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16 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Not to derail the wonderful discussion, but just saw this, and wondered what some of you thought. I guess it's okay now to speak on our Mother in heaven. 

120116038_10217588571642344_7310417793257891437_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_sid=b9115d&_nc_ohc=JGPpjlG5dMAAX8Skidv&_nc_ht=scontent-den4-1.xx&oh=5a3a98a54a5f73e3c144bafacea6e5e1&oe=5F8DD622

With the understanding that anyone and even everyone is allowed to disagree with what we say, sure.  We can say pretty much anything we want to say.

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

I think it has always been okay to talk about Heavenly Mother.  However, there have been in the past and likely still are ways that will get you into trouble if you preach them, such as worshipping or praying to her. 

Uh oh, another reason to dread and fear the speech Police.  Look out or they may get you!

But it feels so good not to be trammeled that the speech Police don't really bother me much.

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46 minutes ago, Ahab said:

With the understanding that anyone and even everyone is allowed to disagree with what we say, sure.  We can say pretty much anything we want to say.

Just trying to say, which I failed at, that now it's more spoken of than before, the Primary children learning more than I did going in. :)

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27 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Just trying to say, which I failed at, that now it's more spoken of than before, the Primary children learning more than I did going in. :)

I think it probably has more to do with what your own parents taught or didn't teach you, personally, rather than something new in the Church as a whole.  This stuff goes back to Joseph Smith... and beyond... and there have been many parents in the Church who taught their own children about these things, in their own homes, which is supposed to be and was frequently taught to be the primary place where children of parents are taught.

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    • By marineland
      I found this mentioned at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/tad-r-callister/our-identity-and-our-destiny/
      by Tad R. Callister, Of the Presidency of the Seventy back on August 14, 2012
      In one segment he said
      To this He readily acknowledged that He was and declared that they should be likewise: "Is it 
      not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:32–34; emphasis added). In other words, 
      He said not only am I a god, but all of you are potential gods. He was referring to His own 
      Old Testament declaration, with which the Jews should have been familiar: "Ye are gods; and 
      all of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6)
      One church web site has something different.
      https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/sons-and-daughters-of-god?lang=eng
      SPIRIT CHILDREN OF THE FATHER
      Ye are gods, children of the most High, Psalm 82:6.

      Is Psalm 82:6 a reference to beings who are already gods or those who have the potential to
      become gods?  And was Jesus really saying that he was a 'small g' god?
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