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Featured Book of Abraham

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Watchmen, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    If Joseph Smith was a prophet, why do modern Egyptologists disagree with his translation of the papyri? We need go no further than the facsimile to see he was incorrect:

    upload_2016-7-2_8-35-35.png
     
  2. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    ***moving thread to Same Faith Debates*** rep#5186
     
  3. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi Watchmen :

    I noticed your made a set of assumptions in your OP. For examples :

    #1) Your presentation shows a “Modern Egyptological Interpretation” of Facsimile #1.

    You indicate the Bird is “The spirit or “ba” of Hor (The deceased fellow)” but other Egyptologists disagree with this interpretation. For examples : Deveria says the bird is “the soul of Osiris under the form of a hawk,..., Spaulding also accepts Deverias authority. Petrie says the bird “is the hawk Horus”. Breasted says the bird represents “Isis” in the hawk form. Sayce, mace, and Mercer were either unable or unwilling to commit to a meaning of anything in the facsimile. Who is your Egyptologist you are referring to and why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than the interpretations of these famous Egyptologists?

    You indicate the man standing over the bier is “Anubis”. The great Egyptologist Breasted disagrees and says it is “a priest officiating” while Peters says it is “an embalmer preparing a body for burial”. Meyer says the man is “a priest approaching it [the body]. The question is the same. Why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than these famous Egyptologists?

    The man on the bier you indicate is “The deceased : His name was “Hor”. Breasted disagrees. He says the figure “represents Orisis rising from the dead”, As with the other points, why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than Breasted or anyh other egyptologist?


    #2) Another conclusion you offer readers is :We need go no further than the facsimile to see he was incorrect.

    The problem with suggesting superficial examinations of complex historical issues, is that superificial examinations decrease rather than increase accuracy of historical conclusions.

    For example, the simple and superficial conclusion that Joseph Smith might have made mistakes tells us nothing about how Joseph Smith accomplished the things he accomplished. For example, Consider the correct and authentic historical themes of Smith version of the Book of Abraham found just within the first chapter. There are more examples of concurrence with early abrahamic literature, I simply took these from the first chapter of the book of abraham.

    Joseph Smith correctly places Abraham into a milieu of Idolatry.
    He correctly describes Abraham’s FATHER’S worship of idols.
    He describes the construction of idols (including both stone AND wooden idols)
    He includes the theme of children being sacrificed.
    He points out that those who will not worship idols were killed.
    He includes the theme of Abraham himself being brought to be killed or sacrificed.
    He includes the association of Terah with the attempt to kill Abraham.
    He includes the binding of Abraham.
    He includes the theme of Abraham being rescued by an angel (or by God) from death
    He includes the little known theme that altar and idols were destroyed (though Islam has history on this subject)
    He includes subtle details regarding Abraham’s prayer to be saved.
    Joseph includes the details regarding Abraham being heir to the Priesthood.
    He correctly links Abraham to Noah ( other than historians, how many know of this connection?)
    He included the “smiting” of the priest who was to kill abraham.
    He includes the improbable (yet authentic) history of Abraham’s knowledge of astronomy (including the details of having learned from ancient records and from God’s teaching.
    He includes the relatively unknown traditions about Abraham having taught astronomy.
    He includes Abrahamic knowledge regarding the creation of the universe and this world.
    He includes Abraham’s claim to have records of the ancients.
    He includes a claim that Abraham left his own records for others.
    He includes the almost unknown (even today) history of the founding of Egypt.
    He includes the rare tradition of the Abrahamic Pharoah’s descent from Ham and Canaan.
    He even includes the tradition of Abraham having sat on a king’s throne.

    AND WE’VE NOT LEFT THE FIRST CHAPTER


    Suppose Smith did not receive revelation in his production of the doctrines and history within the book of Abraham and Book of Moses. How did he accomplish the historical restorations he got correct? Most of these correlations come from abrahamic texts Smith would not have had access to (even modern non-historians know almost nothing of early abrahamic youth literature and its traditions. How did Smith get them?)

    Watchmen, I honestly hope your spiritual journey in this life is good and satisfying.

    Clear
    σεφυω
     
    #3 Clear, Jul 4, 2016
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  4. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    None of your sources agree with Joseph Smith, so what's your point?

    The problems are by no means limited to the Facsimiles, since the text itself includes anachronistic and impossible expressions (including a “Potiphar’s Hill” located in Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham 1:10) and situations (supposed Egyptian rites of human sacrifice in Ur conducted by a priest of Pharaoh “after the manner of the Egyptians,” Abraham 1: 11-12). Wherever one locates Ur of the Chaldees, human sacrifice dictated there by “priests of Pharaoh” is unbelievable to credible scholars of the Ancient Near East.4 Nor was there any “Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham” (Abraham 1:25). As previously noted, “Pharaoh” is a title, not a name. Neither is “Egyptus” (“Egypt”) an ancient Egyptian personal name, but the name for the primary temple in Memphis that became generalized outside of Egypt as a designation for the country. Accurate translation or revelation would not produce such basic errors. Source: CES Letter and cites therein.

    Scholarly rejection of the authenticity of the Book of Abraham is not new and has continued unabated since the study by Jules Remy and Théodule Devéria in 1861, with multiple scholars (including A. H. Sayce, Arthur Mace, Flinders Petrie, and James H. Breasted) dismissing the book’s validity in 1912. With the rediscovery of the papyri at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1967, analysis by John Wilson, Richard Parker and Klaus Baer (all 1968), and even the LDS apologist Hugh Nibley (in 1975) disproved any possibility that the Book of Abraham could be an acceptable translation. Id.
     
  5. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Facsimile 2 has similar problems. For example, Joseph Smith mistakenly labeled the God of fertility (with an erect penis) as Heavenly Father.
     
  6. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST ONE

    1) Regarding the data being offered to readers :

    Post #3 : Clear asked : “#1) Your presentation shows a “Modern Egyptological Interpretation” of Facsimile #1.

    You indicate the Bird is “The spirit or “ba” of Hor (The deceased fellow)” but other Egyptologists disagree with this interpretation.

    For examples :Deveria says the bird is “the soul of Osiris under the form of a hawk,..., Spaulding also accepts Deverias authority. Petrie says the bird “is the hawk Horus”.Breasted says the bird represents “Isis” in the hawk form. Sayce, mace, and Mercer were either unable or unwilling to commit to a meaning of anything in the facsimile. Who is your Egyptologist you are referring to and why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than the interpretations of these famous Egyptologists?

    You indicate the man standing over the bier is “Anubis”. The great Egyptologist Breasted disagrees and says it is “a priest officiating” while Peters says it is “an embalmer preparing a body for burial”. Meyer says the man is “a priest approaching it [the body]” . The question is the same. Why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than these famous Egyptologists?

    The man on the bier you indicate is “The deceased : His name was “Hor”. Breasted disagrees. He says the figure “represents Orisis rising from the dead”, As with the other points, why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than Breasted or any other egyptologist?”



    Post #4 Watchmen asked : “ None of your sources agree with Joseph Smith, so what's your point? “


    Hi Watchmen, I haven’t any main points yet. Right now, I am trying to discover why you think you are offering forum readers good data on this specific point, when multiple world class Egyptologists disagree with your interpretations. You offered interpretations. Why are your interpretations correct and those other famous egyptologists incorrect in their interpretations?




    2) How did Joseph Smith correctly restore so much authentic theology without revelation?


    Watchmen, your claim that there are “other errors” does not answer my second question.

    Anyone can explain how a 4 year old makes mistakes if attempting to build an automobile from parts, It is difficult to explain how the same 4 year old can do it without training. You believe Joseph Smith made mistakes, but this does not explain how he actually did the task of restore ancient principles and ancient historical teachings he had no access to.

    My point to LDS readers and others is that regardless of whether the record is translated or revealed, the doctrinal CONTENT of this history make impossible and correct historical connections with histories unavailable or undiscovered in Smith’s time. It also discusses historical and religious doctrines which were completely unorthodox in Smith’s time, yet were discovered to be correct only AFTER smith’s century. Smith includes both amazing and subtle histories of Abraham,

    for example: Regarding this history in the Peal of Great Price (the Book in which the Book of Abraham find’s itself..), the reference to Abraham’s youth is barely mentioned in the bible, yet Smith places the context of Abraham’s youth squarely in the midst of Abrahamic youth histories that he could not possibly be aware of. Though many ascension histories have only been discovered or available since Smith’s death, still Smith’s version of Abraham’s vision and ascension is by far the most clear of any of the several version available in our century and it is indisputably the most complete of any. How did Smith accomplish this? For examples :

    The contextual references to the eternal cosmology of the Priesthood as a perpetual and pre-creation principle and certainly as it relates to Abraham was unknown in Smith’s day (and few historians are very familiar with it even nowadays) and would have had to been a complete “shot in the dark guess” as a new religious principle in Christianity. Not only was this new principle unrefuted, it is supported by the early Judao-christian records available AFTER Smith’s day and age.

    The references to the creation saga and the purpose of God’s creation are more profound, and more descriptive and instructive of man’s relation to God than any other record of its type I’ve ever seen. The relationship of the pre-mortal Jesus to his Father and to creation has been debated FOR CENTURIES, yet it is clearly and neatly exposed in the pre-creation history contained in Smith’s version of Abraham’s vision AND is contextually accurate and comparable with early judao-christian texts and ancient christian teachings that are available. Even the early Christian Abbaton history is not as complete (though I think it is as clear...) Even the famous Apocalypse of Abraham history, which only few are aware of, even today, is not as clear and descriptive as Smith’s version of the same history.

    The enmity between Lucifer and the Father (and all who follow the father) is given clear contextual explanation AND it is consistent with multiple Judao-Christian records such as Abbaton and even Islamic histories.

    The doctrines of Pre-existence of Matter being used in creation, and even the subtle description of matter being “commanded” and “obeying” are present in Smith history. This was NOT an orthodox doctrine at Smith’s time, yet has only been shown to be consistent with early orthodoxy AFTER Smith’s lifetime.

    The same is true of the doctrine of Pre-mortal existence of the spirit (intelligences) of men that is so obvious in this history.

    How could Smith have hit exactly the mark on so many “unorthodox” points that are only discovered as being “orthodox ancient christianity” AFTER his death. Even the deeply subtle but important Cosmology and “orders” of heaven are explained with great clarity in his version of these histories. This specific doctrine of cosmology is not to be found in such clarity in the biblical record.




     
    #6 Clear, Jul 5, 2016
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  7. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST TWO OF

    Perhaps I can give other examples, not in any particular order, but as they come to me.

    Smith’s version of this history begins in chapter one with a panoramic of Abraham’s situation and desires. Abraham says :

    And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers. 3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me. (Abraham 1:2)

    The concept of a young and righteous Abraham, coming out of idolotry and seeking both the true God, and the principle of him receiving authority from God is woven into many histories unavailable to Smith :

    For example the Apocalypse of Abraham’s version has Abraham telling Terah : Listen Terah my father, I shall seek before you the God who created all the gods supposed by us (to exist)....who has given light to the moon and the stars with it, who had dried the earth in the midst of the many waters, who set you yourself among the things and who has sought me out in the perplexity of my thoughts? If [only] God will reveal himself by himself to us!” Apoc of Abraham 7:10-12; The same sentiments are repeatedly woven into such histories For example Jubilees’ Abraham not only searches but ask God to help him find him: And he prayed on that night, saying,: “My God, the Most High God, you alone are God to me.....and do not let them lead me astray from following you, O my God; but establish me and my seed forever,,,,And do not let me walk in the error of my heart, O my God.” Jubilees (the book of division) 12:19, 20,21

    The Apocalypse of Abraham text, After relating some of Abraham’s difficulties with his Idolatrous community (which Smith’s version authentically reproduces), has Abraham discover God in the clearest manifestation Abraham’s experienced yet : "Abraham, Abraham!” And I said, “Here I am.” And he said, “You are searching for the God of gods, the creator, in the understanding of your heart. I am he. (Apoc of Abr 8:1-4)

    This is even more clear in Smith’s version : “And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father's house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;” Abr 1:16


    SMITH’S VERSION OF ABRAHAM AND MOSES ASCENSION (I include Moses ascension because Smith text includes it and one has been discovered and is now available in our day)

    The ancient ascension version has God promising Abraham that : I will show you the things which were made by the ages and by my word, and affirmed, created, and renewed. And I will announce to you in them what will come upon those who have done evil and just things in the race of man.” Apo of Abr 9

    Note the things Abraham is to see. Things made “by his word” (the ancient term for his son in this document), things created, and men and the justice they will ultimately undergo.

    Smith’s Abraham relates that Abraham starts out relating that he saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it;” (more on this as we progress)

    And the authentic order is of orientation of Abraham into the correct place and an orientation into time within the various orders. (Smith even gets the ancient geocentric and the hierarchal descriptions correct) Even dante, did not describe it better in HIS his rendition of how the ancient system relates "each [sphere] moving more slowly according to it’s distance from a central point (paradiso 28:34-36). In this correct historical context Smith’s version relates this principle of time as follows: And the Lord said unto me: The planet which is the lesser light, lesser than that which is to rule the day, even the night, is above or greater than that upon which thou standest in point of reckoning, for it moveth in order more slow; this is in order because it standeth above the earth upon which thou standest, therefore the reckoning of its time is not so many as to its number of days, and of months, and of years.

    6 And the Lord said unto me: Now, Abraham, these two facts exist, behold thine eyes see it; it is given unto thee to know the times of reckoning, and the set time, yea, the set time of the earth upon which thou standest, and the set time of the greater light which is set to rule the day, and the set time of the lesser light which is set to rule the night.

    7 Now the set time of the lesser light is a longer time as to its reckoning than the reckoning of the time of the earth upon which thou standest.” 8 And where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is, there shall be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still; Abraham 3:5-8

    And then God relates to him the “orders” and their relationship based on their habitations.

    Apocalypse’s Abraham is shown intelligent, pre-creation spirits of mankind and is instructed to :“Look now beneath your feet at the firmament and understand the creation that was depicted of old (Lit “formerly shadowed” - Gk skiagraphein) on this expanse, (and) the creatures which are in it and the age (ages) prepared according to it”.....3 And (I saw) there the earth and it’s fruit, and it’s moving things and it’s things that had souls, and it’s host of men and the impiety of their souls and their justification, and their pursuit of their works and the abyss and its torments and its lower depths and (the) perdition in it....6 and I saw there the garden of Eden and it’s fruits, and the source and the river flowing from it...7And I saw there a great crowd of men and women and children, half of them on the right side of the portrayal, and half of them on the left side of the portrayal.” Apo of Abraham ch 22

    In this version abraham is told that some of these spirits will become evil, and other’s will become good, some will be his descendants : “And I said, “Eternal, Mighty One! What is this picture of creation?” 2 And he said to me, “This is my will with regard to what is in the council) and it became good before my face. And then, afterward, I gave them a command by my word and they came into existence. Whatever I had decreed was to exist they outlined to all, and all the previously created (things) came to stand before me.” 3 And I said, “O sovereign, mighty and eternal! Why are the people in this picture on this side and on that?” 4 And he said to me, “These who are on the left side are a multitude of tribes who existed previously...and after you.” some (who have been) prepared for judgment and order, others for revenge and perdition at the end of the age. 5 those on the right side of the picture are the people set apart for me of the people with azazel; these are the ones I have prepared to be born of you and to be called my people.” Apoc of Abr 21:1-7 and 22:1-5;
     
    #7 Clear, Jul 5, 2016
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  8. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST THREE

    Smith’s Abraham has the same vision of pre-creation spirit, including a broader context : Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face, as one man talketh with another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made;.....22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (B of Abrahm 3:22)

    The "choosing of Abraham" before he was born is a foreign concept to modern ex-nihilo theology, yet Smith places this history in it’s correct place in ancient religion. Just as Jeremiah was chosen before his birth,Abraham was chosen from the very beginning as well. The apocalypse history says it thusly: As soon as Abraham sees the pre-creation scene, he is also told “Know this that the Eternal One whom you have loved has chosen you. Be bold and do through your authority whatever I order you” (Apoc of Abr 14)

    Speaking of what Abraham is to do “through your authority” (i.e. Abraham’s special authority given him of God), what does modern Christianity know about the connection between Abraham and the priesthood? How much information on this specific subject could Smith or anyone else have gained from texts available to Smith? Yet again, smith offers history that would have been scoffed at in his day and age, yet has a great deal of textual confirmation after his death.

    THE ORDERING OF THE COSMOS

    Smith’s version of how God teaches Abraham about the cosmos (i.e. how things are organized) parallels but is superior to the other versions we’ve discovered.

    For example, regarding the differences and the orders of things, smith’s version has God teaching Abraham : 17 Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet or a star may exist above it; and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it. 18 Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal. 19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.

    enoch is taught this very same lesson to oriented him to to time and space and the nature of intelligences (i.e. the order of things) : “And In everything I discovered differences: One year is more worthy than (another) year, and day (than) day and hour (than) hour. Similarly also (one) person is more worthy than (another) person: one because of much property; another because of superlative wisdom of the hear; and another because of intelligence....but no one is better than the person who fears the Lord. (2en 43:1-3)

    Even the order of orientation is correct to the ancient pattern in Smith’s version.

    Smith’s Abraham is taught the order of authority AND the orders of habitations. For example

    "And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; 3 And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. (B of abr ch 3: 2-3)

    The Testament of Adam reveals the same teaching regarding The heavenly powers: what they are like and how each of their orders is occupied in the service and the plan of this world.


    “Listen, my beloved, as they are set in order one after another from the bottom, until we reach those who carry our Lord Jesus the Messiah and bear him up. The lowest order is the angels. And the plan has been revealed to it by God concerning every human being whom they watch over, because one angel from this lowest order accompanies every single human being in the world for his protection. And this is its service. 2 “The second order is the archangels. This is the service: directing everything in this creation according to the plan of God, whether powers or animals...and in short, whatever exists in this creation, besides human beings, they care for it and guide it. 3 The third order, which is the archons.... 4 The fourth order, which is authorities. This is its service: the administration of the lights, of the sun and the moon and the stars. 5 The fifth order, which is the powers. This is its service: they keep the demons from destroying the creation of god out of their jealousy toward human beings; ...6 The sixth order, which is the dominions. This is its service: they rule over kingdoms and in their hands are victory and defeat in battle. (TESTAMENT OF ADAM 4:1-6)
     
    #8 Clear, Jul 5, 2016
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  9. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST FOUR

    The point to the LDS is that Smith’s version of the Abrahamic history, even the small bit’s we’ve lightly touched on, could not have been a series of a thousand correct guesses. It’s not just the Abrahamic histories, but versions of Moses ascensions and Enoch have been discovered Since Smith died and he is “spot on” in those histories as well. He could not have made a thousand correct impossible guesses on those histories as well.

    MORE ON THE TRANSMISSION/TRANSLATION OF SMITH’S VERSION OF THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM


    1) THE ETERNAL NATURE OF GOD’S AUTHORITY OR “PRIESTHOOD” AND IT’S ORGANIZATION


    Smith starts off his version of the Book of Abraham with an interesting and unexpected theme. Priesthood and Authority to speak and act as an agent of God : vs1 IN the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence; 2 And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers. 3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me. 4 I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed. 5 My fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice; (B of Abr 1:1-5 - emphasis is mine)

    The casual reader will miss the import of this pattern as a stamp of authenticity. It is more than eye opening to have the opening verses of Smith’s version of the Book of Abraham to have “Priesthood Authority” as an initial main theme, it’s a thunderbolt. It IS the underlying theme and principle that concerned the ancients because Authority from God underlies man’s partnership with God in the accomplishment of God’s eternal purposes. Without authority given them from god, the powers of god cannot be administered by man. Not any man. No one.

    Not only that, but another unlikely but correct theme in Smith’s translation is the concept of priesthood being an ETERNAL principle, existing from the beginning (before creation of the earth). How does Smith guess correctly on such a principle which would have been completely unorthodox in Smith’s day, certainly unorthodox in the Christian Context, and especially in the protestant context? In fact, the concept of an eternally existing “organization” remains a principle MOST modern Christians are unaware of, yet the earliest Judao-Christian records place Smith’s version of Abraham precisely in the middle of ancient priesthood orthodoxy.

    For example, Smith’s history of the pre-flood prophet named Enoch, places Enoch into the correct context of authority (which cannot be done by use of the Old Testament Alone). The Enoch texts made available after Smith’s death show us Smith was correct in this principle. For example : 1 Enoch not only claims that ...he [God] has created [Enoch] me and given me the (authority of) reprimanding.” (1En 20:14:3) but Enoch gets HIS authority, not from God the Father, but rather from the SON (another ancient pattern that Smith got right) :

    “All these things which you have seen happen by the Authority of his Messiah so that he may give orders and be praised upon the earth.” (1En 37:52:4)

    Few scholars even nowadays know such specific details of Authority in ancient Christianity. Yet Smith “nails it” perfectly in his history. (“con-artist indeed...) The concept of having true authority to act for God (amongst the counterfeits) was important to the ancients and thus this was the reason for making it clear that one HAD proper authority and it is also the reason that this concept is woven into so many of the ancient accounts.

    It is perfectly consistent with the ancient pattern for Joseph Smith’s Abraham to seek for proper Authority just as it is for Enoch to make clear he acts under God’s authority. Enoch says : “I judged all the denizens of the heights on the authority of the Holy One...The princes of kingdoms stood beside me, to my right and to my left, by authority of the Holy One...” (3 enoch 16:1-2)

    Thus it is an important stamp of authenticity that Smith’s history has Abraham ALSO seeking to have proper authority as a prophet of God. This is EXACTLY what Abraham does in Smith’s version of this history: Smith’s Abraham says : ‘I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed..... (Abr 1:4)

    and God answered : Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee. (Abr 1:18)

    Smith’s version of Abraham correctly places Abraham in an eternal line of Authority AND importantly, he describes Abraham as receiving the authority from the Son and NOT directly from the Father. It is the same cascade of Authority as Clement taught anciently when he said The Apostles received the gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus the Christ was sent from God. So then Christ is from God, and the apostles are from Christ...Having therefore received their orders...” 51:42:1-2)

    This doctrine regarding the cascade of Eternally existing Authority, from God the Father, through his Son as Administrator is woven into ancient teachings, ancients texts, even the hellenistic synogogal prayers confirms Smith’s version as an authentic ancient doctrine : The one who is, Master, Lord, God the Almighty; the only one without origin and without a king;...7 the God and Father of your only Son, our God and Savior, the maker of the whole universe through him; 8 the Administrator, the Guardian, ....You are the one who marked out beforehand, from the beginning, priest for dominion over your people: 11 Abel at first, Seth and Enos and enoch and Noah, and Melchezedek and Job; the one who showed forth Abraham... (From HELLENISTIC SYNAGOGAL PRAYERS - #9 A Prayer of Praise to God for his greatness, and for His appointment of Leaders for His People (AposCon 8.5.1-4) )

    (The LDS will also recognize in this prayer that the AGENT of creation was different in ancient orthodoxy from modern orthodoxy - another impossibly correct “dead ringer” that Smith makes.)
     
    #9 Clear, Jul 5, 2016
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  10. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST FIVE
    In the ancient text, Apocalypse of Abraham, Abraham is told that God is in control of the overall history of the world which will be administered by virtue of this authority which exists in heavenly organization and in the earthly counterparts. In his vision Abraham is told : “Hear, Abraham! This temple which you have seen and the works of art, this is my idea of the priesthood of the name of my glory, where every petition of man will enter and dwell; the ascent of kings and prophets and whatever sacrifice I decree to be made for me among my coming people, even of your tribe. Apoc Abr 25:4-5.

    It makes perfect sense in this ancient context that it is righteousness and PRIESTHOOD which abraham is after.

    Though such ancient orthodoxy of eternal authority and organization goes well against the modern “grain”, it WAS ancient orthodoxy. For example, This is the very principle Levi tries to teach his sons regarding the priesthood saying :Because you have heard about the seventy weeks, listen also concerning the priesthood. 2 In each jubilee there shall be a priesthood: In the first jubilee the first person to be anointed to the priesthood will be great, and he shall speak to God as father; and his priesthood shall be fully satisfactory to the Lord, and in the days of his joy, he shall rise up for the salvation of the world. (Testaments of the twelve patriarchs - levi ch 17:1-2 ).

    This authority has always been an active and operative principle as it operates in the plan of Salvation for men in all ages, and for all men, whether Jews or Christians. Thus, the great “Levitical” priesthood holder Levi instructs his son’s regarding the three offices of priesthood of his posterity, that the gospel will operate according to the priesthood model among any nation it comes to, even after christ takes the gospel to the gentiles. He tell his sons : “the third [office] shall be granted a new name, because from Judah a king will arise and shall be found a new priesthood in accord with the gentile model and for all nations.” (TESTAMENTS OF THE TWELVE PATRIARCHS - LEVI 8:14)

    Though God’s authority and organization is eternal, the earthly organization mirrors a more substantial eternal organization. Clement (a companion to the Apostle Peter) in his discussion as to what is eternal and what is temporary, refers to the “Church of God” which “sojourns” on earth (it visits, but it’s home is not here). Clement warns the early Christian saints that they cannot share in the original (eternal) organization if they corrupt the church that exists now, in mortality. He says : the Books and the Apostles declare that the church not only exists now, but has been in existence from the beginning. For she was spiritual, [pre-creation or eternal] as was also our Jesus, [who was also pre-creation or eternal] but was revealed in the last days in order that she might save us. Now the church being spiritual, was revealed in the flesh of Christ, thereby showing us that if any of us guard her in the flesh and do not corrupt her, he will receive her back again in the Holy Spirit. For this flesh is a copy of the spirit. No one, therefore, who corrupts the copy will share in the original” (2 cl 75:14:3).

    It was this belief that christianity and it’s basic organization existed in the very beginning that underlie Ignatious claim that Christianity did not believe in judaism, but judaism in christianity (i.e. the Jews USED to teach what WE now teach) (Ign to magnesians 10:3); This is the same claim Chrysostom made to the Jews of his time. Though it was NOT orthodoxy in Smith's day, he places the authentic and correct doctrines into his history.

    2) THE ANCIENT DOCTRINE OF CREATION FROM MATTER

    In SMITH’S creation the text reads : And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; Abr 3:24

    Not only does Smith depart from orthodoxy in this doctrine of creation, but it is another thing that he gets right and according to the ancient doctrine. Most Christians STILL cling to “creation from nothing”. How does Smith know that it is correct to go against the teachings of his day when they still taught creation from nothing? He unabashedly gives a history that is AGAINST orthodoxy, but yet again, he comes away with the correct ancient teaching.

    Even the details of early descriptions of the “Gods” (or “god-like” as the dead sea scrolls describes them) having to “order” matter and even using the term that the matter “obeyed” is faithfully reproduced in Smith’s version : And the Gods ordered, saying: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the earth come up dry; and it was so as they ordered; And the Gods pronounced the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, pronounced they, Great Waters; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed. (Abr 4:9-10)


    It is in tune with the ancient manner of description that Enoch uses. Smith even uses the same idiom as the ancient version in Enoch : "..his work prospers and obeys him, and it does not change; but everything functions in the way in which God has ordered it. And look at the seas: They do not part; they fulfill all their duties (1 En 5:2-3)“ They do not depart from their orbit, neither increase nor decrease it; but they keep faith one with another: in accordance with an oath they set and they rise. For the first is the sun; and it executes its course in accordance with the commandment of the Lord of the Spirits —1En 32:41:6

    AND, This increasing list of impossible “guesses” of ancient history which smith transmits to us hits us like a freight train and does NOT STOP.

    Just as SMITH’S correct return to the ancient doctrine of existence of spirits prior to being placed on earth does away with 1300 years of debate between philosophers and Christians as to why spirits are born unequal, Smith clobbers us by the simple return to creation from material, rather than from “nothing”. Thus Christians and Scientists no longer fight over the irrational and unscientific concept of creation from nothing. Even the theists who wonder why God created man are given insight through the simple return to ancient historical description of man’s relationship to God. Is it just another good guess by Smith? At some point, the perfect answer upon answer upon answer upon answer MEANS something. And it doesn’t mean random guesswork.

    Hermas taught the ancient Christian saints that God ...created the world for the sake of man, and subjected all his creation to man, and gave him all authority to rule over everything under heaven..... the Lord created the whole of his creation, visible and invisible. And however much time there was went by. Understand how, on account of this, he constituted man in his own form, in accordance with a similarity....And the Lord set everything forth for the sake of man, and he created the whole of creation for his sake. ” (Her 47:2-4 and 65:1-3;

    Smith’s version not only reviews these same principles that creation was for man in authentic idiom, but adds the most profound insight of all to his version. It tells why : "..as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come, and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.


    So, while you disagree with Smiths comments on the fire/city/land of Chaldees , you still have not answered how he was able to accomplish the deep and specific historical connections he made and it's deep and profound correlations with early Christian witnesses which he would not have had access to. How was he able to do this?

    That was and still is my question to you.

    Please Watchmen, understand that I am perfectly fine with any faith you have adopted or even if you are agnostic or athiest. That is irrelevant to me. This is not a personal question, It is a historical question and one of how deep and profound historical correlations appear in an entirely different era, all of the sudden, with unknown sourcing. It is an objective question that I am asking. Regardless of claims of error unrelated to the authentic correlations, how does Smith make these many complicated but correct correlations with early christian theology?

    Clear
    ειδρφυω
     
    #10 Clear, Jul 5, 2016
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  11. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    I'll post later, but these are mere coincidences. Just like much of the "proof" for the Book of Mormon.
     
  12. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Watchmen said : “ …these are mere coincidences…” post #11

    I have already pointed out the many, many profound, specific, correct historical coincidences that originated with Joseph Smith. This observation (which I already made) doesn’t answer either question you were asked. The questions had to do with :
    #1 YOUR claimed egyptian interpretations and
    #2 HOW Joseph Smith accomplished the many historical coincidences of restoration he got right.



    Question 1)
    In Post #3 I pointed out :
    "You indicate the Bird is “The spirit or “ba” of Hor (The deceased fellow)” but other Egyptologists disagree with this interpretation.

    For examples :Deveria says the bird is “the soul of Osiris under the form of a hawk,..., Spaulding also accepts Deverias authority. Petrie says the bird “is the hawk Horus”.Breasted says the bird represents “Isis” in the hawk form. Sayce, mace, and Mercer were either unable or unwilling to commit to a meaning of anything in the facsimile. Who is your Egyptologist you are referring to and why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than the interpretations of these famous Egyptologists?

    You indicate the man standing over the bier is “Anubis”. The great Egyptologist Breasted disagrees and says it is “a priest officiating” while Peters says it is “an embalmer preparing a body for burial”.Meyer says the man is “a priest approaching it [the body]” . The question is the same. Why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than these famous Egyptologists?

    The man on the bier you indicate is “The deceased : His name was “Hor”. Breasted disagrees. He says the figure “represents Orisis rising from the dead”, As with the other points, why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than Breasted or any other egyptologist?


    I then asked regarding " why you think you are offering forum readers good data on this specific point when multiple world class Egyptologists disagree with your interpretations. You offered interpretations. Why are your interpretations correct and those other famous egyptologists incorrect in their interpretations? "


    Question 2)

    In posts 6 throught 10 I gave examples of many, many, many discrete correct historical restorations that originated with Joseph Smith which were unorthodox for his time but which were, coincidentally, historically correct.

    I asked you : “It is a historical question and one of how deep and profound historical correlations appear in an entirely different era, all of the sudden, with unknown sourcing. It is an objective question that I am asking. Regardless of claims of error unrelated to the authentic correlations, how does Smith make these many complicated but correct correlations with early christian theology?

    How did Joseph create this series of incredibly remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection? Of the billions of individuals who have lived and the thousands of historians and the hundreds of very famous historical historians, can anyone point out even 10 such gifted people, who have done such a series of historical coincidences that were correct without apparent source material? How did Joseph create so many correct historical coincidences on the scale he did it in?

    Clear
    τωφιακω
     
    #12 Clear, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  13. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    He didn't. The literature disputes the claims.
     
  14. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    Hi Watchmen
    Firstly; We’ve spent more than a dozen posts and you still have not responded to the first and simple question as to why you think you data regarding your interpretation of Egyptian is good data.

    I asked in Post #3, : “…Who is your Egyptologist you are referring to and why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than the interpretations of these famous Egyptologists?

    I asked in Post #5 : “… I am trying to discover why you think you are offering forum readers good data on this specific point, when multiple world class Egyptologists disagree with your interpretations. You offered interpretations. Why are your interpretations correct and those other famous egyptologists incorrect in their interpretations?

    I asked in Post #12 : “…Deveria says the bird is “the soul of Osiris under the form of a hawk,..., Spaulding also accepts Deverias authority. Petrie says the bird “is the hawk Horus”.Breasted says the bird represents “Isis” in the hawk form. Sayce, mace, and Mercer were either unable or unwilling to commit to a meaning of anything in the facsimile. Who is your Egyptologist you are referring to and why is your interpretation you offer readers more valid than the interpretations of these famous Egyptologists?

    YOU claim the figure of the "bird" is the spirit of the deceased fellow. However, World class, famous Egyptologists disagree with your interpretation. Do you have some qualifications in egyptian theology you have not described to readers? You are trying to influence readers, why do you think the information you are offering readers is good information?

    Clear
    τωνεφιω
     
    #14 Clear, Jul 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  15. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST ONE OF THREE

    REGARDING THE CLAIM THAT JOSEPH SMITH DID NOT RESTORE TO RELIGIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS MULTIPLE EARLY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES - YET ANOTHER SET OF EXAMPLES : PRE-MORTAL EXISTENCE OF SPIRITS OF MANKIND.

    Clear, SAID : Post # 10 : “Please Watchmen, understand that I am perfectly fine with any faith you have adopted or even if you are agnostic or athiest. That is irrelevant to me. This is not a personal question, It is a historical question and one of how deep and profound historical correlations appear in an entirely different era, all of the sudden, with unknown sourcing. It is an objective question that I am asking. Regardless of claims of error unrelated to the authentic correlations, how does Smith make these many complicated but correct correlations with early christian theology?

    Watchmen, in post #11, you did not answer my question, instead you agreed with me that these coincidences exist.

    When Clear, again, asked in post#12 “ How did Joseph create this series of incredibly remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection? Of the billions of individuals who have lived and the thousands of historians and the hundreds of very famous historical historians, can anyone point out even 10 such gifted people, who have done such a series of historical coincidences that were correct without apparent source material? How did Joseph create so many correct historical coincidences on the scale he did it in?

    In post # 13 Watchmen then said : "He didn't. The literature disputes the claims.”.


    OK. Let’s compare the early Christian historical literature to see how correct your new claim is. First, let’s discuss the doctrine of Pre-Existence which Joseph Smith claimed was early Christian theology and elaborated upon.


    A REVIEW OF EARLY JUDEO-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE DEMONSTRATING THE DOCTRINE OF PRE-EXISTENCE EXISTED AND WAS WOVEN INTO EARLY TEXTUAL WITNESSES


    THE DOCTRINE OF PRE-MORTAL EXISTENCE OF THE SOULS OF MANKIND AS AN EXAMPLE OF MULTIPLE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TEXTS DESCRIBING A SPECIFIC DOCTRINE

    Many, many of the earliest Judeo-Christian sacred Texts, relate the expansive doctrine of the pre-mortal realm and the nature of spirits there and God’s purposes for creation. The theme of pre-creation and what happened there is written into the early sacred texts, their hymns contain the doctrine; virtually ALL of the ascension literature contains the doctrine, the war in heaven texts certainly contain the doctrine; the earliest liturgies contain the doctrine; the midrashic texts contain the doctrine, the Jewish Haggadah contains the doctrine, the Zohar contains it; the testament literature is full of it. One simply cannot READ the earliest sacred Judeo-Christian texts without reference to this early Christian doctrine. This vast early literature is part of the context for early Christians and illuminates their understanding of biblical texts that reference this pre-creation time period and what happened there. For examples :

    There are more copies of enoch found in the Dead Sea Library than any other book outside the Pentateuch other than psalms. In the Prophet Enochs vision of pre-creation heaven, relates seeing the spirits that have populated and will populate the earth during its existence :

    ... I saw a hundred thousand times a hundred thousand, ten million times ten million, an innumerable and uncountable (multitude) who stand before the glory of the Lord of the Spirits. (1st Enoch 40:1)

    The great scribe Enoch is commanded by the angel to : “... write all the souls of men, whatever of them are not yet born, and their places, prepared for eternity. 5 For all souls are prepared for eternity, before the composition of the earth.” (2nd Enoch 23:4-5)

    In his vision the angel bids Enoch, “Come and I will show you the souls of the righteous who have already been created and have returned, and the souls of the righteous who have not yet been created.” After seeing various pre-existent souls, the ancient midrashic explanation is given us by himself Enoch regarding these many souls says : “the spirit shall clothe itself in my presence” refers to the souls of the righteous which have already been created in the storehouse of beings and have returned to the presence of god; and “the souls which I have made” refers to the souls of the righteous which have not yet been created in the storehouse.” (3rd Enoch 43:1-3)

    However, the Enochian literatures witness and description of this tradition are only part of the vast textual literature into which this doctrine is woven.

    The vast ascension literature, describes the pre-creation realm of spirits. Abraham, in his ascension Vision describes the unnumbered spirits he sees, many of whom are waiting to come into mortality. The angel says to Abraham : “Look now beneath your feet at the firmament and understand the creation that was depicted of old (i.e. planned). Among other things Abraham says “I saw there a great crowd of men and women and children, half of them on the right side of the portrayal, and half of them on the left side of the portrayal.”... He asks : “Eternal, Mighty One! What is this picture of creation?” 2 And he said to me, “This is my will with regard to what is in the council and it became good before my face (i.e. according to his plan).. “These who are on the left side are a multitude of tribes who existed previously...and through you. some (who have been) prepared for being put in order (slav” restoration”), others for revenge and perdition at the end of the age....those on the right side of the picture are the people set apart for me of the people with azazel; these are the ones I have prepared to be born of you and to be called my people (The Apocalypse of Abraham 21:1-7 and 22:1-5 and 23:1-3) Remember, Apoc of Abraham was not discovered until years after Joseph Smiths death, despite Joseph creating a version of this text (another entire genre of coincidences…).

    The doctrine of pre-mortal existence of the spirits within men permeates the biblical text as well. A knowledge of this simple principle explains and underlying so many of the quotes in many other texts as well. In the Old testament it was said : “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (ecclesiates 12:7). This principle is mirrored in multiple other early Judao Christian texts as well : When God the Father commands the son to “Go, take the soul of my beloved Sedrach, and put it in Paradise.

    The only begotten Son said to Sedrach, “give me that which our Father deposited in the womb of your mother in your holy dwelling place since you were born.” (The Apocalypse of Sedrach 9:1-2 and 5).

    When the Son finally DOES take the Soul of the Mortal Sedrach, he simply takes it back to God “where it came from”. God’s statement to the prophet Sedrach is simply a rephrase of what God said in Old Testament Ecclesiastes 12:7...” and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” This principle is repeated in this same ancient usage in many of the ancient sacred texts from the earliest periods.

    “Jesus said, “Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the Kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return.” (THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS v 49)

    Therefore, fear not death. For that which is from me, that is the soul, departs for heaven. That which is from the earth, that is the body, departs for the earth from which it was taken.” (The Greek Apocalypse of Ezra 6:26 & 7:1-4)

    The Early Christian usage of Ecclesiates 12:7 was used in this same way by the Apostle Peter as he explained to Clement that "This world was made so that the number of spirits predestined to come here when their number was full could receive their bodies and again be conducted back to the light." (Recognitions)

    In this same ancient context, the question God asked Job; “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?”; was NOT simply rhetorical, but it was a REMINDER :

    "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)

    In this early Judao-Christian context, Job KNEW the answer when God asked where Job was when God laid the foundations of the earth “and all the sons of God shouted for joy”. The texts are explicit that the spirits were taught regarding God’s plan to send the spirits of men to earth. They knew they would undergo a fall of Adam and Of the pre-mortal Redeemer. The savior describes this period of time to the ancient Prophet Seth when sons of God shouted for Joy. The redeemer said regarding this time period before creation in a assembly of jubilant spirits : “And I said these things to the whole multitude of the multitudinous assembly of the rejoicing Majesty. The whole house of the Father of Truth rejoiced that I am the one who is from them.... And they all had a single mind, since it is out of one. They charged me since I was willing. I came forth to reveal the glory to my kindred and my fellow spirits.” (The second treatise of the Great Seth)

    In explaining the relationship the pre-mortal realm of spirits, to the current time when individuals do as they please, unhampered (as it were), by a remembrance of pre-mortal relationships, the messiah remarked : “After we went forth from our home, and came down to this world, and came into being in the world in bodies, we were hated and persecuted, not only by those who are ignorant, but also by those who think that they are advancing the name of Christ, since they were unknowingly empty, not knowing who they are, like dumb animals. They persecuted those who have been liberated by me, since they hate them...” (The second treatise of the Great Seth)

    post two of three follows
     
    #15 Clear, Jul 17, 2016
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  16. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST TWO OF THREE

    The early Christian doctrine of Pre-mortal existence removed arbitrariness out of the accusation that God himself created spirits unequally. IN this ancient model, the spirits are partly responsible for their own nature upon entering this life. Instead of arbitrarily creating spirits with defects (the very defects for which spirits may be punished for later), in this early christian context, the Lord creates the body in relationship to certain characteristics the spirit has already obtained (or did not obtain) in it’s heavenly abode over vast periods of time. For example, Napthali explains this to his sons from the testament literature : “For just as a potter knows the pot, how much it holds, and brings clay for it accordingly, so also the Lord forms the body in correspondence to the spirit,” and, because the Lord knows and has known the spirit over eons, “ the Lord knows the body to what extent it will persist in goodness, and when it will be dominated by evil. For there is no form or conception which the Lord does not know since he created every human being according to his own image.” (Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs - Napthali 2:2-5)

    In the context of the spirit of man existing long before other spirits, Jewish Haggadah relates that Instead of being the last, man is really the first work of creation...With the soul of Adam the souls of all the generations of men were created. They are stored up in a promptuary, in the seventh of the heavens, whence they are drawn as they are needed for human body after human body.” The Haggadah (The Soul of Man)

    This it the very same teaching the Apostle Peter taught the Christian convert Clement. The Apostle Peter tells the young christian convert Clement about the pre-earth council and man’s place within this plan : "which (plan) He [God the Father] of his own good pleasure announced in the presence of all the first angels which were assembled before Him. Last of all He made man whose real nature, however, is older and for whose sake all this was created." (Recognitions)

    The principle that man’s spirit pre-exists the creation was one of the FIRST things the Apostle Peter teaches Clement. I believe there is a reason the Apostle Peter taught the principle of Pre-Existence to Clement at an early stage in Clements conversion to Christianity. Perhaps, for such theists, the key to understanding what God is doing with mankind is contained inside of the concept that we are eternally spiritual. IF it is a key principle to understanding and intelligently engaging in Gods’ plan for us then this is a profoundly important genre of doctrines to restore to modern awareness.

    Many early Judao-Christian texts are quite explicit in explaining the doctrines underlying the New Testament Theology on this subject. For example : Speaking of the souls of men and the manner after which they are sent from their heavenly dwelling place to earth, the Haggadah relates : “The soul and body of man are united in this way: When a woman has conceived...God decrees what manner of human being shall become of it – whether it shall be male or female, strong or weak, rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, long or short, fat or thin, and what all it’s other qualities shall be. Piety and wickedness alone are left to the determination of man himself. “Then God makes a sign to the angel appointed over the souls, saying, “Bring me the soul so-and-so, which is hidden in Paradise, whose name is so-and-so, and whose form is so-and-so.” The angel brings the designated soul, and she bows down when she appears in the presence of God, and prostrates herself before him.”

    Occasionally the spirit is reluctant to leave the untainted pre-mortal heaven for an earth where she knows her existence will be more difficult as she gains her moral education by coming to earth. In such accounts, God is NOT angry but the text says “ God consoles her. The text relates God telling the soul that “The world which I shall cause you to enter is better than the world in which you have lived hitherto, and when I created you, it was only for this purpose.

    The entire chapter regarding the soul of man discussed in detail what happens with spirits before they enter the body and it relates their forgetting of their prior preparation and existence with God. (I might mention that souls anciently are all described in the female gender - like ships are - in modern parlance)

    Such principles in the Haggadic text (which is related to the talmudic history) is mirrored in several other texts. For example, the Zohar confirms the doctrine as it relates essentially the same description. : “At the time that the Holy One, be blessed, was about to create the world, he decided to fashion all the souls which would in due course be dealt out to the children of men, and each soul was formed into the exact outline of the body she was destined to tenant. Scrutinizing each, he saw that among them some would fall into evil ways in the world. Each one in it’s due time the Holy One, be blessed, bade come to him, and then said: “Go now, descend into this and this place, into this and this body.” Yet often enough the soul would reply: “Lord of the world, I am content to remain in this realm, , and have no wish to depart to some other, where I shall be in thralldom, and become stained.” Whereupon the Holy One, be blessed, would reply: “Your destiny is, and has been from the day of thy forming, to go into that world.” Then the soul, realizing it could not disobey, would unwillingly descend and come into this world. (The Zohar - The Destiny of the Soul)

    In very symbolic language, the Zohar relates the creation of the souls in heaven to the point that they become formed and cognizant and take on characteristics they will keep with them when they are placed into bodies at birth, even to the point of having gender. Speaking of these fully developed souls it says : “the soul of the female and the soul of the male, are hence preeminent above all the heavenly hosts and camps.” The question in the sacred text is then asked : It may be wondered, if they [the souls] are thus preeminent on both sides, why do they descend to this world only to be taken thence at some future time? “This may be explained by way of a simile: A king has a son whom he sends to a village to be educated until he shall have been initiated into the ways of the palace. When the king is informed that his son is now come to maturity, the king, out of his love, sends the matron his mother to bring him back into the palace, and there the king rejoices with him every day. [...]Speaking of those left behind who mourn it was taught “Withal, the village people weep for the departure of the king’s son from among them. But one wise man said to them: ‘Why do you weep? Was this not the king’s son, whose true place is in his father’s palace and not with you?...’ “If the righteous were only aware of this, they would be filled with joy when their time comes to leave this world. For does it not honor them greatly that the matron comes down on their account, to take them into the King’s palace, where the King may every day rejoice in them?....And so, happy are the righteous and in the world to come, ... (THE ZOHAR - A SEAL UPON YOUR HEART)
    .
    My point is simply that the ancient Judao-Christian doctrine of pre-mortal existence existed and was believed by early Judao-Christians and assumed in their texts. (There is no need for Jesus disciples to ask him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2) if they did not believe he could sin before being born.

    If the doctrine existed, then it becomes very obvious that it was a tremendously important doctrine that affects Judeo-Christian theology in profound ways. The abandonment of this doctrine has had many controversial and adverse effects for Judeo-Christianities who have abandoned it.

    Though I do not believe the vast majority of LDS even know of the nature of early Judeo-Christian texts, even the LDS readers on the forum will recognize completely familiar and friendly and harmonious themes as well as distinct doctrinal detail that they could use in Sunday School without any doctrinal ripples or inconsistencies with their doctrines whereas most other Christian movements will not recognize much resemblance between their theology and the ancient Judao-Christian texts (to the degree that their theology has diverged from such doctrines). These principles apply to multiple early Judeo-christian doctrines that have been re-adopted by any restorational Christian movement.

    Early Judao-Chrisitan texts describe and demonstrate what the ancient Judeo-Christians believed. This can be compared to LDS base doctrines on the same subjects in a very objective manner. If specific early Judeo-Christian doctrines are not found in or do not match mainstream Christian movement then this indicates an evolution away from specific early doctrines. If specific early Judeo-Christian doctrines DO match their counterpart specific doctrine within LDS theology, then the specific match is objective data that the two specific doctrines are the same and their specific claim to a restoration of specific, ancient, Judeo-Christian doctrines is correct.

    post three of three follows
     
    #16 Clear, Jul 17, 2016
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  17. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    POST THREE OF THREE

    REGARDING THE ANCIENT JUDAO-CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF SOULS

    One might keep in mind that we are having a HISTORICAL DISCUSSION concerning a transfer of early doctrines into the modern era. In this context, the doctrine of Pre-mortal Existence of sprits as it existed in the many many early Judao-Christian textual witness, was perfectly orthodox in the textual witnesses of earlier centuries.


    THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE REGARDING THE PRE-CREATION CONDITIONS AND MANKIND AND EFFECTS OF A RETURN TO THIS DOCTRINE

    Pre-mortal existence of Souls was one of several authentic early doctrines whose abandonment has caused endless headaches, confusion and arguments among philosophers and theologians that the Christian Saints of former days were not subject to before the doctrine was abandoned. As an adult convert to the restorational movement (i.e. that which seeks the early and more authentic doctrines), I do not think many Latter Day Saints fully understand and appreciate the immense contextual value of a return to this doctrine and what sort of theological compensatory distortions occur in its absence for Christianities who've abandoned it. Many of the greatest existential questions concern the pre-mortal period of time. Without a knowledge and understanding of THIS time period, one cannot understand in context many of the greatest controversies and the most profound and sublime doctrines of Christianity.

    For example an understanding of what went on before the creation of the earth concerns such things as :

    1) The original purpose and plan of God and conditions under which he decided to initiate his creation have to do with this time period. Modern Christian theories that have no contextual knowledge of such events will have less contextual understanding of such things. When Luther was asked his opinion as to what God was doing BEFORE creation, he said to have quipped in reply : "Making a hell who ask those sorts of questions" (paraphrased). However, the ancient christianities HAD some knowledge of what was going on and how it related to current creation and it's conditions.

    2) The most profound considerations concerning the origin of evil relate to conditions Prior to creation of the earth. Simply put, philosophers ask "Why did God Create such Evil" and suffering if he could have accomplished the same purpose without evil? (i.e. if he "omnipotent"). This is important since the critics of religion have legitimate curiosity regarding such issues and are unsatisfied with many modern theories regarding this subject. The critics of religion often have legitimate reason for their criticisms.

    3) The nature of the devil and his fall from “heaven” has to do with the Pre-mortal time period. The origin of evil and it’s manifestations by another powerful agent having free will (lucifer) produces profound questions for anyone trying to understand why God allows Lucifer such rein on earth.

    Even the prophet Sedrach asked God “If you loved man, why did you not kill the devil, the artificer of all iniquity? ” (Apocalypse of Sedrach 5:1-7) Abraham also, asked God “How then, since he [Lucifer] is now not before you, did you establish yourself with (him)? “ (The Apocalypse of Abraham 20:5-7). Agnostics have a right to have authentic answers to such questions as well. The best contextual answers are to be found in pre-mortal/pre-earth creation conditions.

    4) The nature of and issues underlying the “war in heaven” have to do with the pre-creation period. Virtually ALL of the facts surrounding this this controversy and the reasons underlying it are found in early Judao-christian texts that begin their considerations with the time period in which the controversy took place; the pre-creation/pre-mortal time period.

    5) The role of the Fall of man in God’s plan has much to do with events PRIOR to Adam having been placed in the Garden. Modern christianities who have little understanding of pre-mortal issues often view the atonement of Jesus as a hastily prepared “plan B”, necessitated by a crafty Lucifer who scuttles God’s “plan A” for Adam in a Garden of Eden. The ancient christians, having a more complete understanding that the fall of Adam WAS part of the pre-mortal/pre-creation plan did NOT feel that God was "duped" by Lucifer, but that all had proceeded according to the original plan of God as they understood it.

    6) The underlying reasons why some individuals are born into apparently arbitrary and unjust life scenarios are placed into a more understandable context by the greater data provided by conditions during the pre-mortal existence. Arbitrariness, capriciousness and unjustness are consistent complaints that some individuals make about God since the world God created is not fair (if there are no other conditions which justify it). If God creates men ex-nihilo at an instant, and places some into conditions where they live happy lives and hear of Jesus and are ultimately “saved” and yet creates other men and places them into terrible and torturous conditions where they die before hearing of Jesus and ultimately suffer eternal punishment for not living laws they were never exposed to is seen as arbitrary and unjust. Without a consideration of events PRIOR to life, then some lives cannot make proper sense. It’s like coming into a movie that is more than half-over.

    Knowledge of the pre-existence gives us much greater insight into controversies which have plagued non-pre-existent Christianities for over 1700 years. Many of these millennia-long debates are neatly answered, simply by a return to the early doctrines. This is part of the immense value of a restoration to early Christian Salvational doctrines.

    I might as well point out that, just regarding this tradition of Pre-Mortal existence of souls, I have quoted from multiple texts, including (but not limited to - I simply read quickly some names of the texts and may have missed some...)
    The Old Testament
    The New Testament
    The apocalypse of Sedrach
    The apocalypse of Abraham
    First Enoch
    Second Enoch
    Third Enoch
    Ecclesiates (Old Testament)
    The Gospel of Thomas
    The Greek Apocalypse of Ezra
    Clementine Recognitions
    Job (Old Testament)
    The Second treatise of the Great Seth
    Testaments of the twelve patriarchs (Napthali)
    Jewish Haggadah (related to the Talmud)


    I was about to say that I have not even touched upon early Psalms, lectionaries, Hymns, diaries, decensus literature, etc. But perhaps I should touch on a couple of others so as to give the context that what you are reading is a summary of entire genres of early Judeo-Christian Textual witnesses that show the doctrine existed. So, add some more sources to the list I have just given...barnabas, apocalypse of baruch, the pearl...etc


    CONTINUING EXAMPLES OF THE EXISTENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE IN OTHER TYPES OF ANCIENT HISTORICAL TEXTUAL WITNESSES

    The ancient Judao-Christian expression "from eternity to eternity" was used in similar fashion to how the way the Dead Sea Scrolls used it. In fact, the Jewish Serek Scroll (DSS 2:1), uses the expression me'olam le'olam just as Christian Barnabas uses it (ep 8): "From eons unto the eons" means that "you come out of the eons and you go into the eons." There is an eternity behind you, and an eternity before you. This is the same as Barnabas’ saying that , "The way of light is the Lord from eons into the eons; the way of life leading from one eternity up to the other one to come.


    As I mentioned, much early Christian theology was taught in our earliest hymns. Even today, we still sing doctrines in verse: "mild he lays his glory by... Born that man no more may die" (from Hark the Herald Angels Sing). In a similar manner one can study ancient Christian doctrine by reading their hymns. One of the earliest (if not the earliest) Christian Hymns is "The Pearl". In "The Pearl" the early Christians sang doctrinal scenarios, regarding the per-creation spirits of men.

    In the symbolism of a spirit leaving a heavenly home where it’s been nurtured and comes to earth to gain knowledge and testing, the Hymn tells of a youth, nurtured well by his parents and who is given the task of having his glorious robes removed and being sent to a far and mysterious country where he is to obtain a pearl under difficult circumstances. While away, despite warnings, he slumbers and forgets who he is and his glorious past and even, for a time, his purpose of coming to this strange land.

    At some point, he is given help and as he reads a letter from his home, he remembers what it is that he is to accomplish here. He remembers his glorious past, his purpose and accomplishes it. Upon his return, his prior glorious robes are placed upon him, and family and friends now bestow accolades upon him, of which he is only then deserving.

    Historians discuss this ancient christian doctrine very differently than individuals who do not know how the Christians interpreted and used their texts. R. H. Charles, the premier expert in pseudographia and apocrypha in his great work, The Apocrypha and Pseudapigrapha of the Old Testament , volume 2, says, "The Platonic doctrine of preexistence of souls is here taught. We find that it had already made its way into Jewish thought in Egypt." So in explaining where the christians and Jews GOT this doctrine, he feels it was “through Egypt, Christians and Jews, he says, both adopted this” Even though pre-existent spirits was an Egyptian doctrine, I believe the Jews and Christians possessed this doctrine completely independent of the Egyptians.

    The doctrine was accepted and further developed by the great Jewish Historian (and Christian contemporary ) Philo. Josephus indicates it was also an Essene doctrine. You will find it in the Beresheit Rabbah and the Tanhuma , etc. The great Historian Meyer speaks of "The doctrine of preexistence as taught by the Essenes , by Philo , the Talmud and the Cabala". Regarding the Apocalypse of Baruch found in R. H. Charles says, "The multitude of those who should be born was numbered and for that number a place was prepared where the living might dwell."

    I have to stop how. I mentioned already the profound importance of this early doctrine and its value as a doctrine that is again brought into theological awareness.

    Knowledge of the pre-existence gives us much greater insight into controversies which have plagued non-pre-existent Christianities for over 1700 years. Many of these millennia-long debates are neatly answered, simply by a return to the early doctrines. This is part of the immense value of a restoration to early Christian Salvational doctrines.

    Since you say the existence of this coincidental doctrine is "disputed", you are welcome to discuss the historical “literature” which disputes the existence of the doctrine of Pre-existence in early Judeo-Christian textual theology.

    Watchmen, what literature do you have that shows this doctrine did not exist?

    Clear
    τωνεφιω
     
    #17 Clear, Jul 17, 2016
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  18. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Because based on my online research of the issue, many of the Egyptologists (not LDS apologists) say the same thing. You also ignore that the "world class, famous Egyptologists" don't support Smith's "translation." Do you think he literally translated the papyri or were the papyri an "instrument" that channeled the revelation or do you believe something else?
     
  19. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    Clear, regardless of your endless rants (which, frankly, I don't have time for - I spend my time with my family, friends and work) the simple fact is Joseph Smith was wrong about the papyri.
     
  20. Watchmen

    Watchmen Well-Known Member
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    The "literature" I was referring to are the writings of the Egyptologists that disagree with Smith.
     
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