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Category: cosmology

Michael Heiser, Myth, and My Evolving Approaches to Study of Ancient Scripture

Michael Heiser, Myth, and My Evolving Approaches to Study of Ancient Scripture

nephilim

Recently, Michael Heiser placed online (temporarily) a first draft of his book, “The Myth That Is True”. Among Biblical Studies circles, Heiser is well known for his scholarship concerning the Divine Council in the Bible. He was made more well known in Mormon academic communities by his somewhat lengthy exchanges/debates with LDS Scholar David Bokovoy.

Having a bit of interest in the development and interconnection of OT theology, myth, and history, I excitedly placed the digital draft of Heiser’s book on my Kindle, and began to read.

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“Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets”

“Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets”

The more I think about and have studied how Prophecy is used in the scriptures, and how our Living Prophets and apostles execute their calling, I have come to see some very strong parallels, which perhaps should (and could) lead us to a different understanding than how we usually think of “Prophecy” and “Fulfillment of Prophecy”, and even ‘historical’ scriptural/religious narratives. It also makes clear how each member of God’s Kingdom is able to participate to a degree in receiving the prophetic vision.

The way we are accustomed to thinking of it is in terms of a prophecy being when a Prophet literally sees forward in time, and may actually see the people and names and clothing and vehicles of a latter day, and writes it down in his own language.

When the literal ‘historical’ event that they saw happens, that prophecy is said to have been ‘fulfilled’.

Personally, I think we miss the mark when, in viewing what are generally understood of Isaiah’s writings said to be about the latter-days we envision him actually seeing airplanes, iPhones, our modern dress and buildings, etc, and specifically talking about us of the 21st Century – which, frankly, the people in 6th century BCE Judah couldn’t have cared less about.

A study of the textual history of Old Testament scriptures shows that there have been layers upon layers of redaction and revision. Pieces of an ‘Older Testament‘, and older versions of Israelite theology and imagery can be seen, but, based on the context of other material, it seems out of place, confusing, and without any real explanation.

Why was history rewritten? Was any of it valid, or authorized, or understood as part of the prophetic/priestly calling? Certainly there were alterations that were done for political and other socio-religious purposes. But why was this viewed as okay? Why are such practices viewed today as generally falsifying history? How can the answers to these questions relate to the LDS text known as the Joseph Smith Translation, and even what is presented in our Temple Drama?

These are some the aspects I want to explore, in a view of Dispensations in a way in which we are not generally accustomed to thinking of them.

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The Book of Enoch: An Introduction

The Book of Enoch: An Introduction

And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:24

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Jude 1:14–15

In the Bible as presently constituted, these verses, with the addition of his genealogy, is all that is said of the Enoch figure. The reference in Jude, however opens a flood of questions. This short reference hints of a larger record of Enoch, regards him as a prophet, and even quotes from one of his prophecies. What was Jude’s source? What is it about? What does it mean? The balance of this post attempts to briefly sum up and summarize some answers to these questions.

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