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Baptismal Covenant vs Endowment Covenants


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24 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Wikipedia?  Seriously?  On LDS topics?  That is demonstrably thin ice.  

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/mormonism-and-wikipedia-the-church-history-that-anyone-can-edit/

And plainly, your response to mfbukowski, not only ignores what I provided but adds in Robert M. Price as a supposedly relevant authority.  While Robert M. Price has favorably reviewed a couple of her books (The Older Testament and The Great Angel) almost thirty years ago, and published one of her essays in a journal he edited ("The Secret Tradition" in The Journal of Higher Criticism) decades ago, he is not the most interesting nor most contemporary, nor the most representative of the scholars who have promoted her work.  I should think that Dr. Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, who provided jacket comments on two books (Temple Themes in Christian Worship and The Mother of the Lord vol. 1) and who awarded her the Lambeth Doctor of Divinity "in recognition of her work on the Jerusalem Temple and the origins of Christian Liturgy, which has made a significantly new contribution to our understanding of the New Testament and opened up important fields for research" should count.  But then, mentioning or acknowledging people who approve of Barker's work, like Rowan Williams, N.T. Wright, Samuel Zinner, Crispen Fletcher-Lewis, Hi All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholowmew, Andrei Orlov and such would tend to undercut the aptness of the rhetorically potent label of "fringe."   Whereas Price is most famous nowadays as an atheist, a lasped fundamentalist, the scholars I cited tend to be not only noted scholars but committed believers, as well as more recent champions of her work.  So, why ignore them in favor of Price, unless, of course, there is an ideological motivation for doing so?

Robert M. Price's turn to atheism and secular outlook and relative obscurity and, for Latter-day Saint readers in particular, his take on the Book of Mormon (in American Apocrypha in 2002) compared to hers (in BYU Studies in 2005) provides a particularly enlightening contrast.  (I published on this specific topic in "Notice and Value" in the 2019 Midgley Festschrift, Remembrance and Return.)  Where Price looked to the Deuteronomist Reform as paradigm of pious fraud to define his approach to Joseph Smith, Barker took took the very same events as a historical context against which to test the contents of the Book of Mormon.  And though Price had read at least some of Barker's early books, it did not occur to him that her paradigm, indeed, the specific essay he published in The Journal of Higher Criticism,  provided a different way to interpret the specific evidence he brought forward in his approach to 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

Barker is deliberately offering up a new paradigm in Biblical studies.  The fact that others who are trained in and professionally and personally committed to older paradigms are not immediately swayed is expected, and not by itself, a substantial argument.  The question in not whether some people, trained in different approaches, disagree with her newer approach, but rather, which paradigm is better? 

"But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." (Luke 5:38-39)

And a self-referential "Not us!" argument can be easily distinguished from a comparative and open "Why us?" inquiry.

I've been carefully exploring Barker's work ever since I ran across a copy of The Great Angel in a Dallas Half Price Books in 1999, and have read all of her books, corresponded now and then for 23 years, met five times, and once collaborated in an essay published by Oxford University Press.  After her three years at Cambridge, she once wrote that "It has been my ambition to redraw the map of biblical studies."  She understands that this sort of thing does not happen instantly, that people trained in and committed to other approaches will not automatically, instantly, and universally accept a new approach, as though facts speak for themselves in one voice to all scholars who all hear the same voice, make the same interpretations, and have no motives or values or ideology other than following truth wherever it leads, as though the facts themselves anthropomorphically know exactly where they should be leading us.  Rather, as Jesus says, seeds sowed in different places and nutured in different ways, will produce vastly different harvests.  "Know ye not his parable?  How then well ye know all parables?"  Barker understands that such changes to "maps of biblical study" are generational, not as sudden as a light switch, but gradual, as more and more people are attracted to the new paradigm over time.  That is what is demonstrably happening with her work.  More and more people are being attracted to, exploring, and drawing upon her work.   And many of them have demonstrably impressive credentials, and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be dismissed as "fringe."

But there are always those who cannot escape their training and traditions. Kuhn explains that “paradigms provide scientists not only with a map, but with some of the directions for map making.”  And there are always those who can say 

"Thou art his disciple: but we are Moses disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." (John 9:28-29)

And I very much like the answer given by the formerly blind man to this kind of argument.

Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, yet he hath opened my eyes. (John 9:30)

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Wikipedia is an easy and usually adequate resource for discussions like these. I appreciate that you are appreciative of Barker's work, that it fits your theological ideas. But most scholars are not convinced of her interpretations. 

 

Quote

Barker is deliberately offering up a new paradigm in Biblical studies.  The fact that others who are trained in and professionally and personally committed to older paradigms are not immediately swayed is expected, and not by itself, a substantial argument.  The question in not whether some people, trained in different approaches, disagree with her newer approach, but rather, which paradigm is better?

Yes, a new paradigm, but not a paradigm her peers find convicting. I can see why - it requires swallowing some rather large contrivances that don't seem historically likely. 

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56 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

Wikipedia?  Seriously?  On LDS topics?  That is demonstrably thin ice.  

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/mormonism-and-wikipedia-the-church-history-that-anyone-can-edit/

And plainly, your response to mfbukowski, not only ignores what I provided but adds in Robert M. Price as a supposedly relevant authority.  While Robert M. Price has favorably reviewed a couple of her books (The Older Testament and The Great Angel) almost thirty years ago, and published one of her essays in a journal he edited ("The Secret Tradition" in The Journal of Higher Criticism) decades ago, he is not the most interesting nor most contemporary, nor the most representative of the scholars who have promoted her work.  I should think that Dr. Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury, who provided jacket comments on two books (Temple Themes in Christian Worship and The Mother of the Lord vol. 1) and who awarded her the Lambeth Doctor of Divinity "in recognition of her work on the Jerusalem Temple and the origins of Christian Liturgy, which has made a significantly new contribution to our understanding of the New Testament and opened up important fields for research" should count.  But then, mentioning or acknowledging people who approve of Barker's work, like Rowan Williams, N.T. Wright, Samuel Zinner, Crispen Fletcher-Lewis, Hi All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholowmew, Andrei Orlov and such would tend to undercut the aptness of the rhetorically potent label of "fringe."   Whereas Price is most famous nowadays as an atheist, a lasped fundamentalist, the scholars I cited tend to be not only noted scholars but committed believers, as well as more recent champions of her work.  So, why ignore them in favor of Price, unless, of course, there is an ideological motivation for doing so?

Robert M. Price's turn to atheism and secular outlook and relative obscurity and, for Latter-day Saint readers in particular, his take on the Book of Mormon (in American Apocrypha in 2002) compared to hers (in BYU Studies in 2005) provides a particularly enlightening contrast.  (I published on this specific topic in "Notice and Value" in the 2019 Midgley Festschrift, Remembrance and Return.)  Where Price looked to the Deuteronomist Reform as paradigm of pious fraud to define his approach to Joseph Smith, Barker took the very same events as a historical context against which to test the contents of the Book of Mormon.  And though Price had read at least some of Barker's early books, it did not occur to him that her paradigm, indeed, the specific essay he published in The Journal of Higher Criticism,  provided a different way to interpret the specific evidence he brought forward in his approach to 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

Barker is deliberately offering up a new paradigm in Biblical studies.  The fact that others who are trained in and professionally and personally committed to older paradigms are not immediately swayed is expected, and not by itself, a substantial argument.  The question is not whether some people, trained in different approaches, disagree with her newer approach, but rather, which paradigm is better? 

"But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." (Luke 5:38-39)

And a self-referential "Not us!" argument can be easily distinguished from a comparative and open "Why us?" inquiry.

I've been carefully exploring Barker's work ever since I ran across a copy of The Great Angel in a Dallas Half Price Books in 1999, and have read all of her books, corresponded now and then for 23 years, met five times, and once collaborated in an essay published by Oxford University Press.  After her three years at Cambridge, she once wrote that "It has been my ambition to redraw the map of biblical studies."  She understands that this sort of thing does not happen instantly, that people trained in and committed to other approaches will not automatically, instantly, and universally accept a new approach, as though facts speak for themselves in one voice to all scholars who all hear the same voice, make the same interpretations, and have no motives or values or ideology other than following truth wherever it leads, as though the facts themselves anthropomorphically know exactly where they should be leading us.  Rather, as Jesus says, seeds sowed in different places and nutured in different ways, will produce vastly different harvests.  "Know ye not his parable?  How then will ye know all parables?"  Barker understands that such changes to "maps of biblical study" are generational, not as sudden as a light switch, but gradual, as more and more people are attracted to the new paradigm over time.  That is what is demonstrably happening with her work.  More and more people are being attracted to, exploring, and drawing upon her work.   And many of them have demonstrably impressive credentials, and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be dismissed as "fringe."

But there are always those who cannot escape their training and traditions. Kuhn explains that “paradigms provide scientists not only with a map, but with some of the directions for map making.”  And there are always those who can say 

"Thou art his disciple: but we are Moses disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." (John 9:28-29)

And I very much like the answer given by the formerly blind man to this kind of argument.

Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, yet he hath opened my eyes. (John 9:30)

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Note also that all three of his sources, academia.edu, and the other, and of course wikipedia, are all sources are available to anybody with a computer who has a point of view, they are not edited, not peer reviewed and are used by actual scholars,  or anyone else, to "try out" their ideas for as yet unpublished material.

In other words, anyone can write anything they like on them

Edited by mfbukowski
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35 minutes ago, Eschaton said:

But most scholars are not convinced of her interpretations. 

Are then most scholars convinced of the interpretations of the LDS world?

Is that our criterion for truth?

We are used to it. What possible effect has this comment?

This is not physics.

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22 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Are then most scholars convinced of the interpretations of the LDS world?

Is that our criterion for truth?

We are used to it. What possible effect has this comment?

This is not physics.

The LDS world doesn't even operate in the same universe. Like I said, theology is not the same thing as Biblical scholarship. Just because they both talk about the Bible doesn't mean they're at all related. It's like the difference between dancing and physics. Dancing certainly involves physics, but it's an art, not a science. I wouldn't even try to compare them.

Barker also isn't operating in the realm of theology, even if some on the theological or apologetics side of things find her useful. 

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55 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Note also that all three of his sources, academia.edu, and the other, and of course wikipedia, are all sources are available to anybody with a computer who has a point of view, they are not edited, not peer reviewed and are used by actual scholars,  or anyone else, to "try out" their ideas for as yet unpublished material.

In other words, anyone can write anything they like on them

Sounds an awful lot like this forum and we each enjoy being here and learning from each other. ¿Verdad?

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1 hour ago, Eschaton said:

Just because they both talk about the Bible doesn't mean they're at all related. It's like the difference between dancing and physics. Dancing certainly involves physics, but it's an art, not a science. I wouldn't even try to compare them

Every observation, every comment, every word every idea is a human construction, subject to interpretation.

Every bit of human construction is art, and a human interpretation 

The only question is how they harm a given paradigm in a context, or interpretation of "reality", or help it.

These interpretations help LDS paradigms immeasurably, and harm your biases.

That's life. You have your prejudices and we have ours.  Ain't truth wonderful?

It's undefinable unfortunately. Never been done, especially in religion. 

No facts on how you hear a voice of a person without a mouth, or if embodied, how tall He is.  :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Eschaton said:

Dancing certainly involves physics, but it's an art, not a science. I wouldn't even try to compare them

And that's exactly the problem. That's what you are doing.

Category mistake.

""Category mistakes are sentences such as ‘The number two is blue’, ‘The theory of relativity is eating breakfast’, or ‘Green ideas sleep furiously’. Such sentences are striking in that they are highly odd or infelicitous, and moreover infelicitous in a distinctive sort of way. ""

-Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy

(Peer reviewed, Big Time)   :)

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

Sounds an awful lot like this forum and we each enjoy being here and learning from each other. ¿Verdad?

Yeah right.

All scholars world wide quote all of us, if it's on this board.

Shirley, you jest. 😉🤭

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I am wondering if you all realize that, in addition to and in the same way as LDS Christians, many, if not most non-LDS Christians make covenants to the Lord that are in every way similar to the eight covenants mentioned in this thread? In our culture and tradition, and in this context, the church refers to the entirety of the Christian community world-wide. On several occasions I have been told that the sacrament can't have the same meaning to me that it does to the LDS participants because "you haven't made any covenants, and we, during the sacrament recommit ourselves to our covenants." Huh? There has never, to my recollection been a time I participated in the communion, sacrament, or Lord's Table (the name depending on the tradition) that I have not searched my heart to recommit myself to the covenants I have made with the Lord and those in turn He makes to me, exactly in the same way you would do if you participated in a sacrament in a church of another tradition. Could you not bow your head quietly and recommit your heart and soul to your Savior and Lord while sitting in a Methodist communion service? Or in the woods? Or on a train? Or riding a tractor?

The concept or belief that the Lord doesn't participate in the covenants I make because I wasn't baptized by someone from the "right" denomination, or having the "right" authority, or with the upraised arm exactly to the square is beyond my ability to reason or believe. I would value your thoughts or comments on this. Thanks.

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23 hours ago, Navidad said:

The concept or belief that the Lord doesn't participate in the covenants I make because I wasn't baptized by someone from the "right" denomination, or having the "right" authority, or with the upraised arm exactly to the square is beyond my ability to reason or believe. I would value your thoughts or comments on this. Thanks.

Yes, I agree. "Similar" is not the "same", unfortunately.

It's about what you UNDERSTAND about the words tha you are using that make it all different.

When you for example renew covenants of Chastity does it include exaltation?

Are you thinking about what it takes to be God? 

Even being baptized is the first step to the temple and all that implies.

These are not magic incantations where what matters is not how you stand, the words you say, or authority, and of course you know that.

It HAS to be a different mindset when you earnestly believe that one can become like God, and that is one of the underlying concerns for all of it.

Not that it is "less" for you, just a different milleau

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Yes, I agree. "Similar" is not the "same", unfortunately.

It's about what you UNDERSTAND about the words tha you are using that make it all different.

When you for example renew covenants of Chastity does it include exaltation?

Are you thinking about what it takes to be God? 

Even being baptized is the first step to the temple and all that implies.

These are not magic incantations where what matters is not how you stand, the words you say, or authority, and of course you know that.

It HAS to be a different mindset when you earnestly believe that one can become like God, and that is one of the underlying concerns for all of it.

Not that it is "less" for you, just a different milleau

 

 

My covenants include a quest for and commitment to sanctification where I can hope and aim to become increasingly like God (as you have written) in both this world and the next - right into the eternities that in this life we can only gasp at, never grasp at. I just don't believe I can aspire to be as God is in nature and form, therefore I have no desire or interest in that.

One of the key characteristics of God in my mind (consciousness) is that He is able to balance perfect mercy and righteousness. My covenants help me, together with His grace to hope to become more like Him in that sense; not to be as He is in terms of spirit, authority, power, or immutability.

I am not sure I grasp how my different perspectives on eternity progression negate my covenants with Him and He with me in this dispensation? My understanding and your understanding are not the same. That doesn't make either of us void of understanding or commitment to that understanding. As you I believe would accept - the opposite of one profound truth is often another profound truth.

It also doesn't keep God from guiding and help us to grow in our disparate and shared understandings. Neither of us may change that our mutual understanding until we each cross through the veil, however we will both cross through it and be amazed! I am certain (hah!) of that!

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On 10/29/2022 at 11:19 AM, Navidad said:

I am wondering if you all realize that, in addition to and in the same way as LDS Christians, many, if not most non-LDS Christians make covenants to the Lord that are in every way similar to the eight covenants mentioned in this thread? In our culture and tradition, and in this context, the church refers to the entirety of the Christian community world-wide. On several occasions I have been told that the sacrament can't have the same meaning to me that it does to the LDS participants because "you haven't made any covenants, and we, during the sacrament recommit ourselves to our covenants." Huh? There has never, to my recollection been a time I participated in the communion, sacrament, or Lord's Table (the name depending on the tradition) that I have not searched my heart to recommit myself to the covenants I have made with the Lord and those in turn He makes to me, exactly in the same way you would do if you participated in a sacrament in a church of another tradition. Could you not bow your head quietly and recommit your heart and soul to your Savior and Lord while sitting in a Methodist communion service? Or in the woods? Or on a train? Or riding a tractor?

The concept or belief that the Lord doesn't participate in the covenants I make because I wasn't baptized by someone from the "right" denomination, or having the "right" authority, or with the upraised arm exactly to the square is beyond my ability to reason or believe. I would value your thoughts or comments on this. Thanks.

Perhaps another way to look at other denominations' attitudes toward your own covenants is, "Am I participating in the covenants the Lord authorizes?" That way if you believe in the denomination presenting them, or in the covenants as that denomination presents them, you can answer, "Yes," and if you don't, you can still answer, "Yes."

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

My covenants include a quest for and commitment to sanctification where I can hope and aim to become increasingly like God (as you have written) in both this world and the next - right into the eternities that in this life we can only gasp at, never grasp at. I just don't believe I can aspire to be as God is in nature and form, therefore I have no desire or interest in that.

That's exactly what I mean. You have no desire for what I long for!  Obviously I cannot BE you, but only LIKE you. You already exist and ARE YOUR BUNDLE OF EXPERIENCES

I also said this:

"Are you thinking about what it takes to be God"

And I believe you already ARE like Him in "nature and form" according to my understanding of those words. Same species. You and I ARE of the same form and nature, which IS God's form and nature

It's an entirely different language, mindset and different Weltanschauungen.

The words do not translate 

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 10/29/2022 at 8:19 AM, Navidad said:

There has never, to my recollection been a time I participated in the communion, sacrament, or Lord's Table (the name depending on the tradition) that I have not searched my heart to recommit myself to the covenants I have made with the Lord and those in turn He makes to me, exactly in the same way you would do if you participated in a sacrament in a church of another tradition. Could you not bow your head quietly and recommit your heart and soul to your Savior and Lord while sitting in a Methodist communion service? Or in the woods? Or on a train? Or riding a tractor?

Yes I agree that you can renew your covenants anywhere.

But I cannot renew YOUR Covenants even if we used the same words.

Edited by mfbukowski
Spelling correct changed a word
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10 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

That's exactly what I mean. You have no desire for what I long for!  Obviously I cannot BE you, but only LIKE you. You already exist and ARE YOUR BUNDLE OF EXPERIENCES

I also said this:

"Are you thinking about what it takes to be God"

And I believe you already ARE like Him in "nature and form" according to my understanding of those words. Same species. You and I ARE of the same form and nature, which IS God's form and nature

It's an entirely different language, mindset and Weltanschauungen.

The words do not translate 

Of course they don't translate - which has no bearing on their veracity or validity to the particular person or to God. I also am pretty sure that no eight year old undergoing any ordinance in any church is thinking about "What it takes to be God." When I did my mission as a helper to a translator, he often would say "that word in English has no translation in Boko." Or "that word in Boko has no translation in English." That certainly didn't negate the importance or validity of either word or either language.

Nicholas Humphrey, a psychologist-writer I enjoy reading, said in his well-known essay The Society of Selves, "I believe the realization that other people may possibly experience the world differently is potentially life transforming." I think the fact that you and I experience the world of faith differently is potentially life transforming for both of us. I love that idea; how about you? I can't ever be sure how different our own Weltanschauungen is from each other. Sometimes I think we just are set in concrete that we want it to be different, because that differentiates us from the other. In our respective faiths, differentiation from the outside world (the other) is good! One thing is for sure the majority of Mennonites and Mormons who I know have high needs to be differentiated from those who are not of their specific faith. You call those folks Gentiles, we call them English. You call those who leave your faith apostates; we shun them. No real difference. That is one silly reason that the Mennonites in Chihuahua are loathe to have services in English. If it wasn't for that however, we probably would not have found our way to the ward we attend. We would be safe back in our own spiritual cocoon, not exploring yours.

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13 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Yes I agree that you can renew your covenants anyway.

But I cannot renew YOUR Covenants even if we used the same words.

I understand. but your inability to renew my Covenants even if we used the same words in no way, nor vice-versa negates either of our Covenants right? In my mind or in the mind of God (Father, Son, or Holy Spirit). I think my challenge comes when an LDS literalist (Fundamentalist) tells me I can't have valid Covenants with God (if-then statements honored by both of us) because I am not a member of the LDS church. Therefore during the Sacrament I am pretending.

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Nicholas Humphrey, a psychologist-writer I enjoy reading, said in his well-known essay The Society of Selves, "I believe the realization that other people may possibly experience the world differently is potentially life transforming." I think the fact that you and I experience the world of faith differently is potentially life transforming for both of us. I love that idea; how about you? 

Of course! This is Rorty stuff, Wittgenstein and all of postmodernism. And

This is the cornerstone of my whole world view that our realities are totally different.

So now what is "truth" if everyone lives in a different world?  NOW THAT has been my point forever (well actually 55 years 🤭😉, yes we are close in age 😱)

So finally you are a postmodern relativist !! 

Religion doesn't work any without it!

If God cannot be experienced, He cannot be real. 

But we have no "objective evidence" for God.  So the evidence, IF he exists must be in our hearts.  And it is.

BUT if it is only in our hearts, we have no words to describe a "God evidence feeling", yet we know it when we feel it!

But it then is ineffable!

And so we cannot compare MY heart felt beliefs with YOURS.

IN OTHER WORDS, logically we cannot compare my covenants with yours.

So the thread is attempting the impossible.  :)

 

 

 

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On 10/27/2022 at 10:03 AM, Benjamin McGuire said:

While there isn't any relationship between the Aramaic Levi Document (ALD) and the Testament of Levi (TLP), there are fragments of the ALD from the Cairo Genizah. Some of these fragments overlap with material found at Qumran. The Qumran texts that are part of the ALD are 1Q21, 4Q213, 4Q213a, 4Q213b, 4Q214, 4Q214a, and 4Q214b. The first publication of these fragments occurred in the DJD volumes 1, 22, and 37. But, the best edition (with as complete a translation as exists) would be this is the edition - I have a copy. But, as with anything published by Brill, its pricey.

Thanks. Aren't the words of Levi from the Testament of Levi is quoted in the Damascus Document (IV:15) of Qumran?

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On 10/28/2022 at 6:36 PM, mfbukowski said:

Every observation, every comment, every word every idea is a human construction, subject to interpretation.

Every bit of human construction is art, and a human interpretation 

Yes indeed

 

On 10/28/2022 at 6:36 PM, mfbukowski said:

The only question is how they harm a given paradigm in a context, or interpretation of "reality", or help it.

These interpretations help LDS paradigms immeasurably, and harm your biases.

I'm sure they are useful to LDS assumptions about the past, where Christianity is projected back onto the very beginnings of humanity. The trouble is the evidence just doesn't support it. 

 

On 10/28/2022 at 6:36 PM, mfbukowski said:

That's life. You have your prejudices and we have ours.  Ain't truth wonderful?

It's undefinable unfortunately. Never been done, especially in religion. 

No facts on how you hear a voice of a person without a mouth, or if embodied, how tall He is.  :)

 

 

 

My prejudice is to really stick to mainstream Biblical scholarship that has broad academic support. I'm not in search of any particular conclusion. I actually find the conclusions of mainstream scholarship a little disappointing, but my bias is to stick to things that are most likely to be well supported by evidence, rather than cherry picking fringe scholars who tell me what I want to hear

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On 10/28/2022 at 6:38 PM, mfbukowski said:

And that's exactly the problem. That's what you are doing.

Category mistake.

""Category mistakes are sentences such as ‘The number two is blue’, ‘The theory of relativity is eating breakfast’, or ‘Green ideas sleep furiously’. Such sentences are striking in that they are highly odd or infelicitous, and moreover infelicitous in a distinctive sort of way. ""

-Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy

(Peer reviewed, Big Time)   :)

 

 

Forgive me, but I think that's the mistake you are making. You keep conflating theology with academic Biblical scholarship. This is like a priest of Horus trying to get all his information about his God from Egyptologists rather than his own theological tradition. History is history, theology is theology. They do not play by the same rules. 

Edit: An example of this is when you asked what Academic Biblical Scholars think of LDS beliefs. The answer is that has nothing to do with their jobs. Their job isn't to confirm or contradict any particular church's faith position. That would be completely out of bounds for the academic study of these texts. 

Some people, usually conservatives/literalists/fundamentalists, wish to use science and academics as a means to bolstering their faith, and so cherry pick whatever non-theological material they think will help to that end. For instance, some will find fringe biologists to help discredit evolution, because they have a creationist outlook. And so forth. I think that's a mistake. They really shouldn't mix like that. Motivated reasoning isn't what science is about. 

Edited by Eschaton
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17 hours ago, Pyreaux said:

Thanks. Aren't the words of Levi from the Testament of Levi is quoted in the Damascus Document (IV:15) of Qumran?

No.

The text from the Damascus Document 4:15 appears nowhere in the extent versions of the Testament of Levi, and by the mid-1980s, this idea had largely been rejected (it had previously been assumed that this could be a lost part of the text - from when it may have been translated into the Greek). It was noted, however, that the text of the Damascus document here was very similar to some of the Aramaic fragments of the Aramaic Levi text found in the Cairo Genizah. This identification was first proposed in 1988, and has found broad acceptance since then. The 1988 publication of that proposal can be found here. The book I linked to earlier follows this proposal. So rather than coming from the Testament of Levi, this text is now attributed to the Aramaic document also found at Qumran (as well as in the Cairo Genizah).

Edited by Benjamin McGuire
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3 hours ago, Eschaton said:

Forgive me, but I think that's the mistake you are making. You keep conflating theology with academic Biblical scholarship. This is like a priest of Horus trying to get all his information about his God from Egyptologists rather than his own theological tradition. History is history, theology is theology. They do not play by the same rules. 

Edit: An example of this is when you asked what Academic Biblical Scholars think of LDS beliefs. The answer is that has nothing to do with their jobs. Their job isn't to confirm or contradict any particular church's faith position. That would be completely out of bounds for the academic study of these texts. 

Some people, usually conservatives/literalists/fundamentalists, wish to use science and academics as a means to bolstering their faith, and so cherry pick whatever non-theological material they think will help to that end. For instance, some will find fringe biologists to help discredit evolution, because they have a creationist outlook. And so forth. I think that's a mistake. They really shouldn't mix like that. Motivated reasoning isn't what science is about. 

I think perhaps you went too far in one direction in this response. Certainly there are a diversity of conclusions within the academic Biblical scholarship world. There certainly are hermeneutics going on within the academic Biblical scholarship world. There is even a bit of homiletics as well here and there. I have known some genuine scholars who were also, in another aspect of their lives excellent preachers/pastors and vice versa. I would question that systematic theology has no place in Biblical scholarship. There are many who integrate the two disciplines successfully.

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I think perhaps you went too far in one direction in this response. Certainly there are a diversity of conclusions within the academic Biblical scholarship world. There certainly are hermeneutics going on within the academic Biblical scholarship world. There is even a bit of homiletics as well here and there. I have known some genuine scholars who were also, in another aspect of their lives excellent preachers/pastors and vice versa. I would question that systematic theology has no place in Biblical scholarship. There are many who integrate the two disciplines successfully.

I think what I said was accurate. There are theologians who teach at universities, for sure. Many of them understand historical and textual criticism. There are many historical and textual critics who understand theology. But they are not the same discipline. 

There can be a blurring of the lines - for example someone like NT Wright seems to let his theological commitments influence his scholarship to a certain extent. But the more influence it has, the more "conservative" the scholarship and the closer it becomes to something that isn't academic but is instead apologetics. Someone like Dale B. Martin, who definitely has strong theological views, is an example of someone who can set them aside and do real critical scholarship. He talks about scholarship almost like playing the rules of a game. In the game of critical scholarship, if you don't leave your theological views to the side you are breaking the rules of the game. He is someone who believes Jesus rose bodily from the dead, but he says he would never make that claim with his scholarship hat on, because per the rules of scholarship the evidence just can't take you that far. 

Part of the problem is of course we really don't have fantastic evidence to begin with, so it takes quite a lot of discipline to not let the ambiguity become an excuse to force the evidence where you want it to go. 

Edited by Eschaton
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On 10/27/2022 at 5:38 PM, mfbukowski said:

Of course they are about a school of thought which benefits millions.

Theology is a relationary discipline, not an experimental one.  There is no such thing as an "objective fact" in theology, there are simply interpretations which clarify other interpretations.

I don't know what you expect.

Perhaps you could outline the meaning of how "truth" is established in theology.

Wikipedia?

Self published "Academia.edu" ?

SBL, written by a Catholic priest?

Perhaps he is a little pro-Catholic?

 

@Eschaton

This is what I wrote that started this squabble and you have still not addressed the issues I have brought up which now have been "seconded" and "thirded" ;) by both Kevin C, and Navidad.

I'm done, but wish you well.

You have still not shown how "truth" is defined in either biblical studies OR theology, but seem to be saying that alleged truth is established by majority rule, ie: whoever is most popular in academic circles, when we already know that beliefs which are similar to LDS beliefs tend to be NOT popular among those who place the importance of the bible above the Book of Mormon.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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9 hours ago, Eschaton said:

Edit: An example of this is when you asked what Academic Biblical Scholars think of LDS beliefs. The answer is that has nothing to do with their jobs. Their job isn't to confirm or contradict any particular church's faith position. That would be completely out of bounds for the academic study of these texts. 

Their "jobs"? 

Huh? Sorry, NO IDEA what you're talking about.

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