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The First Version of the First Vision


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45 minutes ago, Islander said:

there is no room for error when revelation is concerned.

From God himself when imparting revelation to the individual, I agree.  But God didn’t write the scriptures, men did and God isn’t speaking at the pulpit, men (and women) are.  The individual has the work of imparting/translating that which they received to others. They are not simply an empty vessel that is filled and then releases whatever liquid is stored when the proper knob is turned. 
 

It would seem you believe the Spirit somehow takes over/controls the human brain and no human thought interacts with revelation before it is spoken or written out so it is issued in pristine, unmodified by the thoughts and word choices of the person/revelator speaking.  Is that how revelation works for you personally in your view?  If you are explaining a revelatory experience to another, is God essentially doing the speaking for you or are you thinking about what was revealed to you and then finding the words to explain the revelation you received?

I am curious where you believe scripture teaches there is no error in how humans impart what revelation they have received to others, either by writing or speaking. I recall the Book of Mormon which seems to me to accept the human side of revelation is error prone, the “mistakes of men” verse where it seems to be teaching the opposite of your claim.  Then there was the time Brigham spoke before the Saints in the morning and came back in the afternoon and said to disregard everything he had said that morning. I will try and find the quote. 
 

Then there is the issue of sharing original revelation with others in another language than the original language, assuming God speaks in our languages rather than directly imparts concepts to our minds that we then translate into words ourselves.  Do you believe that the revelation that was originally written for the Doctrine and Covenants which was in English is identical  in all languages it has been translated into, that there are no subtle differences due to the similar words from different languages often may have different layers of meaning and is often not a precise one to one correspondence.
 

Quote

Otherwise there is absolutely no confidence in ANYTING that has been allegedly revealed. If we can question anything and everything a prophet says they he might as well not say anything. 

Unless we can gain confidence through receiving revelation ourselves that confirms the truth in what is spoken and imparts caution when the translation varies from what the Spirit intends to teach . 

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On 6/4/2022 at 1:23 AM, Islander said:

I'm sorry, but direct revelation from God is A LOT more important that some work meeting. What actually happened has cosmic implications and such a claim HAS to be validated and solidly confirmed by the historical record at every turn. No room for ambiguity or inconsistencies there.

Even when said revelation was a visual spectacle, and was not commanded to be written verbatim, nor written at all, at the time? Are you going to ask Luke who was commanded by revelation to write his Gospel, " what do you mean "as blood"? Either it was blood or it wasn't. No room for ambiguity or inconsistencies if what you are writing is inspired writ." No?

Edited by Pyreaux
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12 hours ago, Calm said:

From God himself when imparting revelation to the individual, I agree.  But God didn’t write the scriptures, men did and God isn’t speaking at the pulpit, men (and women) are.  The individual has the work of imparting/translating that which they received to others. They are not simply an empty vessel that is filled and then releases whatever liquid is stored when the proper knob is turned. 
 

It would seem you believe the Spirit somehow takes over/controls the human brain and no human thought interacts with revelation before it is spoken or written out so it is issued in pristine, unmodified by the thoughts and word choices of the person/revelator speaking.  Is that how revelation works for you personally in your view?  If you are explaining a revelatory experience to another, is God essentially doing the speaking for you or are you thinking about what was revealed to you and then finding the words to explain the revelation you received?

I am curious where you believe scripture teaches there is no error in how humans impart what revelation they have received to others, either by writing or speaking. I recall the Book of Mormon which seems to me to accept the human side of revelation is error prone, the “mistakes of men” verse where it seems to be teaching the opposite of your claim.  Then there was the time Brigham spoke before the Saints in the morning and came back in the afternoon and said to disregard everything he had said that morning. I will try and find the quote. 
 

Then there is the issue of sharing original revelation with others in another language than the original language, assuming God speaks in our languages rather than directly imparts concepts to our minds that we then translate into words ourselves.  Do you believe that the revelation that was originally written for the Doctrine and Covenants which was in English is identical  in all languages it has been translated into, that there are no subtle differences due to the similar words from different languages often may have different layers of meaning and is often not a precise one to one correspondence.
 

Unless we can gain confidence through receiving revelation ourselves that confirms the truth in what is spoken and imparts caution when the translation varies from what the Spirit intends to teach . 

Personal revelation is irrelevant and subjective if the facts are wrong. The divorce rate within the church is evidence. They were all sure their was a marriage forever, this was the person that was intended to be with and chosen by God and it failed later. That is how marriage is sold to converts the world over. Facts matter and the church spends millions to package the facts about the truth claim of the Restoration because they are important. 

God commanded to put to death anyone that spoke as a prophet when in fact it was not so. Why? Because whether or not He speaks and what He says matters. There is no room for error there. if you want to find an accommodation in view of inconsistencies, go right ahead. But you find yourself outside of what God says when it comes to His revelation.

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5 minutes ago, Islander said:

God commanded to put to death anyone that spoke as a prophet when in fact it was not so.

Should we assemble a death posse and mercilessly run down Prophet Shiloh?

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29 minutes ago, Chum said:

Should we assemble a death posse and mercilessly run down Prophet Shiloh?

You missed the point. It was important for God to issue such command. What is said in the name of God is equally important now. Lucky us we are under grace and no longer under the Law. Otherwise we should have put to death all of the prophets from B. Young to S.W Kimball for a racial ban that was never revelation from God but rather just racial bias. Which kept millions of God's children from the blessings of the temple and the priesthood. Given that during the life of Joseph black men were ordained to the priesthood and there is absolutely nothing in the biblical record that God himself had such restrictions. To the contrary. Moses was married to a black woman and had children that were counted among the Levites. Simon, also called Niger was counted among the "teachers and prophets" in the church in Antioch. But I digress.

Edited by Islander
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On 6/6/2022 at 1:47 AM, Calm said:

From God himself when imparting revelation to the individual, I agree.  But God didn’t write the scriptures, men did and God isn’t speaking at the pulpit, men (and women) are.  The individual has the work of imparting/translating that which they received to others. They are not simply an empty vessel that is filled and then releases whatever liquid is stored when the proper knob is turned. 
 

It would seem you believe the Spirit somehow takes over/controls the human brain and no human thought interacts with revelation before it is spoken or written out so it is issued in pristine, unmodified by the thoughts and word choices of the person/revelator speaking.  Is that how revelation works for you personally in your view?  If you are explaining a revelatory experience to another, is God essentially doing the speaking for you or are you thinking about what was revealed to you and then finding the words to explain the revelation you received?

I am curious where you believe scripture teaches there is no error in how humans impart what revelation they have received to others, either by writing or speaking. I recall the Book of Mormon which seems to me to accept the human side of revelation is error prone, the “mistakes of men” verse where it seems to be teaching the opposite of your claim.  Then there was the time Brigham spoke before the Saints in the morning and came back in the afternoon and said to disregard everything he had said that morning. I will try and find the quote. 
 

Then there is the issue of sharing original revelation with others in another language than the original language, assuming God speaks in our languages rather than directly imparts concepts to our minds that we then translate into words ourselves.  Do you believe that the revelation that was originally written for the Doctrine and Covenants which was in English is identical  in all languages it has been translated into, that there are no subtle differences due to the similar words from different languages often may have different layers of meaning and is often not a precise one to one correspondence.
 

Unless we can gain confidence through receiving revelation ourselves that confirms the truth in what is spoken and imparts caution when the translation varies from what the Spirit intends to teach . 

I am talking about direct revelation from the mind of God to the mind of the prophet. Your view of the God of the universe is too low. You do not believe that He can use the words, language and intelligence of men to get a clear and concise message to them, meaning precisely what He wants to say while ensuring they understand precisely what He means? You may be worshiping another God.

Because, by the same argument, we can not be sure then than the translation and revelation of the Restoration are accurate. After all Joseph was mostly illiterate and unsophisticated. You can't have it both ways. Either the revelation is what God intended to say or is not. There is but ONE meaning to the word of God. Applications may very but God says what He means to say and what He intends us to understand from His word. How does that applies to our lives is a different story.

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

You do not believe that He can use the words, language and intelligence of men to get a clear and concise message to them, meaning precisely what He wants to say while ensuring they understand precisely what He means?

Show me an example where prophets describe this as happening as opposed to them using words like ‘cannot describe’ for some of their experiences, please. I am seeing you make assertions, but not backing them up with scripture unless I have missed them. 
 

I am not saying God can’t do it, but that he chooses to allow humanity their errors, their agency. 
 

Who is trying to have it both ways?  God’s perfect word is transmitted by humans imperfectly. That means some will be truth and others will not. The only way to confirm the truth is to go to the source, God. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Islander said:

I am talking about direct revelation from the mind of God to the mind of the prophet. Your view of the God of the universe is too low. You do not believe that He can use the words, language and intelligence of men to get a clear and concise message to them, meaning precisely what He wants to say while ensuring they understand precisely what He means? You may be worshiping another God.

Because, by the same argument, we can not be sure then than the translation and revelation of the Restoration are accurate. After all Joseph was mostly illiterate and unsophisticated. You can't have it both ways. Either the revelation is what God intended to say or is not. There is but ONE meaning to the word of God. Applications may very but God says what He means to say and what He intends us to understand from His word. How does that applies to our lives is a different story.

How do you account for changes that Joseph Smith made to revelations that he'd received?

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Doctrine_and_Covenants/Textual_changes/Why_did_Joseph_Smith_edit_revelations

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On 6/4/2022 at 11:01 AM, LoudmouthMormon said:

Totally disagree.  It's not how human brains work, it's not how we process, retrieve, and communicate information.  Doesn't matter how important something is, moving through grey matter and voice boxes is hardly a perfect thing. 

Even the process for translating the Book of Mormon, with its direct divine miraculous aid, is flawed and error prone because humans are involved.

No analogy is perfect but yours is extremely flawed. More accurately stated it would go something like this.

Account 1- I had a meeting with lots of people it was really special to me

Account 2- I had a meeting with 1 other person who was amazing. He even knew my name. It was special.

Account 3- I had a meeting with 2 other beings. It was an amazing event and I learned that God and Jesus are 2 separate physical beings.

A very core element has changed between the different accounts. Sure brains aren't perfect and details change but with a vision of God, and whether it was God, or a number of angels, or God and Jesus etc. it seems like that would be a very significant detail that would not change, regardless of who is being told or when it occurred.

 

At best, your argument seems to make the point that even the official version of the first vision is most likely inaccurate.

 

See the source image

Edited by HappyJackWagon
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7 hours ago, Calm said:

Show me an example where prophets describe this as happening as opposed to them using words like ‘cannot describe’ for some of their experiences, please. I am seeing you make assertions, but not backing them up with scripture unless I have missed them. 
 

I am not saying God can’t do it, but that he chooses to allow humanity their errors, their agency. 
 

Who is trying to have it both ways?  God’s perfect word is transmitted by humans imperfectly. That means some will be truth and others will not. The only way to confirm the truth is to go to the source, God. 

So, it is the word of God, in part, with errors, thus not reliable or trustworthy? So why bother? Notice that is just opinion rather. You have absolutely no evidence that the word of God lacks precision and certainty. That is a very low view of God and scripture. I guess we'll have to disagree on that point.

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7 hours ago, ksfisher said:

How do you account for changes that Joseph Smith made to revelations that he'd received?

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Doctrine_and_Covenants/Textual_changes/Why_did_Joseph_Smith_edit_revelations

Those are good questions. Apologists twist into a pretzel to explain those changes. I tend to question the changes. In Hebrew every letter has a numerical equivalent so the sentences are totaled by the scribes to ensure accuracy. The changes are problematic, no doubt. There is no history of prophets during OT times editing revelation. God seems clear in Deuteronomy about the fate of a prophet who says something in the name of the Lord that the lord has not spoken. It seem God did not extend any margin for error to His prophets. 

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Posted (edited)

No one who has ever given a legal deposition has any problem reconciling the three or more versions of the JS Vision. Going round as you all are is silly. We have a final version, approved by the “deposed”, of what JS saw and I for one, am happy with it. 

Edited by mrmarklin
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For fun I wrote down an account of one of the most dramatic revelatory experiences I ever had. Then I pulled out my old journal and compared.

Honestly I think the latter one was more accurate. The first one fixated on some irrelevant details in an attempt to be accurate and missed some of the core meaning I knew then too. My interpretation of it is also probably better now. That might be hubris.

I also realized another detail on rereading that makes the account improbable. I have almost complete visual aphantasia. I think I didn’t have it so completely as a kid but by the time I was 18 it was almost as complete as it is now.

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21 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

No analogy is perfect but yours is extremely flawed. More accurately stated it would go something like this.

Account 1- I had a meeting with lots of people it was really special to me

Account 2- I had a meeting with 1 other person who was amazing. He even knew my name. It was special.

Account 3- I had a meeting with 2 other beings. It was an amazing event and I learned that God and Jesus are 2 separate physical beings.

A very core element has changed between the different accounts. Sure brains aren't perfect and details change but with a vision of God, and whether it was God, or a number of angels, or God and Jesus etc. it seems like that would be a very significant detail that would not change, regardless of who is being told or when it occurred.

Except there is no change, only more or less detail. Not mentioning God the Father is not the same as saying He wasn't there, unless he specifically said He wasn't there, you have no case. In a witness account it is a rare to resolve all questions after interviewing a witness only once. Credibility is only harmed by contrary information, not the same information said in a slightly different way or after a first accounting the individual later gives a better assessment.

Edited by Pyreaux
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11 hours ago, Islander said:

Those are good questions. Apologists twist into a pretzel to explain those changes. I tend to question the changes. In Hebrew every letter has a numerical equivalent so the sentences are totaled by the scribes to ensure accuracy. The changes are problematic, no doubt. There is no history of prophets during OT times editing revelation. God seems clear in Deuteronomy about the fate of a prophet who says something in the name of the Lord that the lord has not spoken. It seem God did not extend any margin for error to His prophets. 

That's an interesting assertion.  If a prophet edited a revelation, we wouldn't know about it because of how old it is.  We do know that the early books in the Old Testament were written decades/millenium after the events occurred so, during all that time, it is extremely likely that it got modified.

We also know that there are differences between different versions of the Old Testament.  Compare the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I have almost complete visual aphantasia.

I am finding that impossible to imagine.  Do you dream with images?

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14 hours ago, Islander said:

In Hebrew every letter has a numerical equivalent so the sentences are totaled by the scribes to ensure accuracy. The changes are problematic, no doubt. There is no history of prophets during OT times editing revelation. God seems clear in Deuteronomy about the fate of a prophet who says something in the name of the Lord that the lord has not spoken. It seem God did not extend any margin for error to His prophets. 

The Dead Sea Scrolls show that after 70 AD the dutiful Masoretic Jewish scribes intentionally whitewashed what we all use as holy writ. Before that the Jews  have completely lost the entire Torah three times and only decades later were they restored to them (b. Sukkah 20a; Ezra 8:15-20). When the unnamed Deuteronomic scribes put together the histories Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel and Kings, Chronicles and are the primary redactors of some other books, bearing the same ideals of the Deuteronomic reformers of KingJosiah. They abridged their books from older books and documents that have long since passed away from the Bible and this world, Song of Hannah, the Deeds of Samson, Book of Nathan the Prophet, Book of Samuel the Prophet, Book of Gad the Seer, Book of Iddo the Seer (2 Chronicles 9:29). Though Jesus and the Apostles still used it, and we use it. It remains the primary source on King David, and that history serves us to understand Christ's claims.

Deuteronomy (Greek: The Second Law) only newly discovered during the reign of King Josiah, says many things you probably disagree with. Among the Deuteronomists, their prevailing thought was to close the cannon of scripture in their day. Deuteronomic law denied that anyone could have a vision of the Lord; it denies that anyone had revelations from heaven and they insisted the Laws and Commandments of Moses were all that was necessary and nothing was to be added to them. Prophecies, they said, were genuine only if they had already been fulfilled and had no more power. They killed every priest that that was not a descendant of Aaron, which would forbid Christ from claiming the priesthood.

They returned under Ezra. There are many things that Ezra said that you probably disagree with. He replaced divine revelation ("Wisdom") with the Law of Moses (Ezra 7:21, 25), decreed only pure descendants of Aaron can serve as priests (Ezra 2:62), and forced priests and Israelites who married to other people in the land that weren't lead captive, to divorce their wives and disown their children (Ezra 10:3). While the prophets like Malachi seems to believe that Ezra's mass divorces were wrong (Mal 2:14-16), that his new temple priesthood was corrupt, their offerings were polluted (Mal 2:5-9; Isa 66:3). The only recourse against his Aaronic priesthood is for one day let non-Aaronic Gentiles become priests to offer a pure offering of bread (Mal 1:11; Isa 66:19). Christ forbid divorce, claimed the priesthood, and established a temple bread ordinance among the Gentiles.

There is history of prophets editing revelations in their life times. Jeremiah 36 recounts, He dictated to his scribe Baruch everything that God had said to Jeremiah. The Deuteronomic reformers that preached that obeying the Deuteronomic Law will lead to prosperity were troubled by Jeremiah’s prophecies about Babylon conquering Jerusalem, and the scroll was thrown in the fireplace (Jeremiah 36:22-26). Jeremiah rewrote, "and there were added besides unto them many like words." (Jer. 36:32) So, he added to the original scripture. There is nothing wrong with a prophet adding to Scripture. If Jeremiah’s additions to the destroyed revelation do not disqualify him as a true prophet of God, then your standards are false. You better be circumcised.

Jeremiah says the "word of the Lord" is not the written scriptures ("the law") alone when written by the lying and vain "pen of scribes", but the oracles that are uttered by prophets (Jer 8:8-9). We can only know the truth when the records of their words are interpreted correctly and the only way we can truly know is by revelation of divine authorities, "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in olden time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pt 1:20-22). If you believe our prophets are false, pray tell where are your prophets that I should follow them? It is as it always was in the scriptures, wherever the oracles of God are not, the church of God is not.

Edited by Pyreaux
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21 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

No analogy is perfect but yours is extremely flawed. More accurately stated it would go something like this.

Account 1- I had a meeting with lots of people it was really special to me

Account 2- I had a meeting with 1 other person who was amazing. He even knew my name. It was special.

Account 3- I had a meeting with 2 other beings. It was an amazing event and I learned that God and Jesus are 2 separate physical beings.

A very core element has changed between the different accounts. Sure brains aren't perfect and details change but with a vision of God, and whether it was God, or a number of angels, or God and Jesus etc. it seems like that would be a very significant detail that would not change, regardless of who is being told or when it occurred.

Could it be that Joseph was simply emphasizing different elements of the same event?

Account 1 - I was at a party yesterday.

Account 2 - I saw Brandon yesterday.

Account 3 - I saw Brandon yesterday, and his dad was with him.

Account 4 - I saw Brandon and his dad yesterday at a party. 

None of them are factually incorrect and may be emphasizing different parts for different purposes. 

Edited by pogi
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5 hours ago, Calm said:

I am finding that impossible to imagine.  Do you dream with images?

I used to. I don’t remember my dreams much anymore. I suspect I dream primarily in concepts based on the memories I have. I might dream in full visual. I know I did as a child.

I always assumed when people were saying to picture something in your mind it was just a metaphor. I can’t picture things in “my mind’s eye”. I don’t think in pictures. I also realized that most of the meditation advice I got was bunk for me. The reality is that I am often in a state of meditation as some would define it.

It does have some advantages. It is very hard for me to be traumatized by anything I see or experience since I can’t get it stuck in my head except as a thing that happened. I can feel emotions about the events but I don’t relive them. I also tend to problem solve better in some ways since I can think more abstractly in general concepts. It also makes up a lot of my oddball humor. That being said I would love to have that imaginative capacity back. I barely remember it except as a series of events so I am not sure if that is just the way my less developed brain remembers the events but I have memories of pictures and I can describe them. I don’t have total aphantasia. With some effort I can kind of bring up a fleeting vague blurry image but they are vague and fade almost immediately.

If I witnessed a crime and was taken to a sketch artist it would be an absolute disaster.

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17 hours ago, Islander said:

God seems clear in Deuteronomy about the fate of a prophet who says something in the name of the Lord that the lord has not spoken. It seem God did not extend any margin for error to His prophets. 

How we know that that passage in Deuteronomy is saying exactly what God actually said? 

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12 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I used to. I don’t remember my dreams much anymore. I suspect I dream primarily in concepts based on the memories I have. I might dream in full visual. I know I did as a child.

I always assumed when people were saying to picture something in your mind it was just a metaphor. I can’t picture things in “my mind’s eye”. I don’t think in pictures. I also realized that most of the meditation advice I got was bunk for me. The reality is that I am often in a state of meditation as some would define it.

It does have some advantages. It is very hard for me to be traumatized by anything I see or experience since I can’t get it stuck in my head except as a thing that happened. I can feel emotions about the events but I don’t relive them. I also tend to problem solve better in some ways since I can think more abstractly in general concepts. It also makes up a lot of my oddball humor. That being said I would love to have that imaginative capacity back. I barely remember it except as a series of events so I am not sure if that is just the way my less developed brain remembers the events but I have memories of pictures and I can describe them. I don’t have total aphantasia. With some effort I can kind of bring up a fleeting vague blurry image but they are vague and fade almost immediately.

If I witnessed a crime and was taken to a sketch artist it would be an absolute disaster.

How do you recognize people?

I think I have limited face blindness that has been increasing with age.  Even in my 30’s when I wasn’t on meds at all when we were in Russia for 6 months, I came back to the ward and didn’t recognize anyone.  Even my son took a couple of moments when he showed up unexpectedly.  His voice triggered the recognition. If I see people at church outside of church, I don’t recognize them.  I thought it was a memory issue due to sleep deprivation, but now not so sure.  I can’t tell my baby pictures apart from my siblings or who is who unless the pictures are all together and I can see the differences (I have a smaller head and mouth than my older sister, my younger sister had more hair, etc)

Edited by Calm
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9 hours ago, Calm said:

How do you recognize people?

I think I have limited face blindness that has been increasing with age.  Even in my 30’s when I wasn’t on meds at all when we were in Russia for 6 months, I came back to the ward and didn’t recognize anyone.  Even my son took a couple of moments when he showed up unexpectedly.  His voice triggered the recognition. If I see people at church outside of church, I don’t recognize them.  I thought it was a memory issue due to sleep deprivation, but now not so sure.  I can’t tell my baby pictures apart from my siblings or who is who unless the pictures are all together and I can see the differences (I have a smaller head and mouth than my older sister, my younger sister had more hair, etc)

It is not the same as face blindness. While I can’t pull up a mental picture of someone I remember them when I see them. When people talk about remembering grandpa’s smile though I don’t. I remember how it made me feel but not the look. I can also pull up words to describe people if I associated them with them when I saw them. Eye color, hair color, height, stuff like that. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

While I can’t pull up a mental picture of someone I remember them when I see them

So does that mean a visual memory is there, you just can’t access it consciously? Sorry for the questions, it is fascinating how the brain works and so much better to talk to someone rather than read stuff that leaves out details that seem important.  I will stop if it is intruding too much or you feel like I am treating you like an exhibit on display….cause I guess I kind of am.

Edited by Calm
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On 6/8/2022 at 9:22 AM, webbles said:

That's an interesting assertion.  If a prophet edited a revelation, we wouldn't know about it because of how old it is.  We do know that the early books in the Old Testament were written decades/millenium after the events occurred so, during all that time, it is extremely likely that it got modified.

We also know that there are differences between different versions of the Old Testament.  Compare the Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Again, you are speculating as to the likelihood of the text being edited. We know that the Genesis was extemporaneous; a revelation of God to Moses. but subsequent books are not likely to be distant from the source. The same the Gospels and all of Paul's letter being written within a few decades after the events and during the lives of many eyewitnesses. 

The Greek texts are translations and thus not relevant to the discussion.  

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On 6/8/2022 at 3:41 PM, manol said:

How we know that that passage in Deuteronomy is saying exactly what God actually said? 

Well, the people to whom the revelation was given believed it. If you don't believe that revelation you should not believe any other. The scriptures are not a buffet line to pick and chose what you would like to believe and discard what you would not. 

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