A Spirit-filled Reading of CONTENT and CONTEXT is all that Matters in Mystical Christianity
For those engage in and waiting for the final installment of the current series I apologize for the fact that it may be a while before I get it posted. It is turning into a book of its own and my unruly mind keeps wandering.
When I do post, it may be in multiple parts.
From time to time I get into discussions with people on email that may be beneficial or at least thought provoking to other readers and therefore I post them. I just got one recently that I thought perhaps I should post (I have made a few minor changes to provide greater clarification):
The first email I got from him
I came across the following article concerning the word Lucifer and
the implications it has for the Church. Have you ever heard this
The word “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12 presents a minor problem to
mainstream Christianity. It becomes a much larger problem to Bible
literalists, and becomes a huge obstacle for the claims of Mormonism
John J. Robinson in A Pilgrim’s Path, pp. 47-48 explains:
“Lucifer makes his appearance in the fourteenth chapter of the Old
Testament book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere else:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art
thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”
The first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find
its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman
language? To find the answer, I consulted a scholar at the library of
the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. What Hebrew name, I asked, was Satan given in this chapter of Isaiah, which describes the angel who
fell to become the ruler of hell?”
It is commonly known that ancient texts in the apocrypha and other ancient texts differentiate Satan and Lucifer as two separate and distinct individuals. That is not a problem for me nor is the one being proposed in the article. The bottom-line for me is whether the cumulative messages and evidence of the restoration along with the witness of the spirit has validated Joseph’s mission to be true. Once it has, arguments like the one in the article become so insignificant to me that I can’t even justify my time digging in to determine where they went wrong in their conclusions.
Frankly, there are bigger problems with Isaiah. Many scholars believe that the Book of Isaiah was not written by just one person. They have great sounding reasons for their findings but I remain unimpressed because I have searched all of the words of Isaiah against the other scriptures and the spirit and I believe the entire book was indeed written by Isaiah.
“Deutero-Isaiah (chapters 40–55), the work of an anonymous 6th-century author writing during the Exile; and Trito-Isaiah (chapters 56–66), composed after the return from exile. While one part of the consensus still holds – virtually no one maintains that the entire book, or even most of it, was written by one person”
My point is that there are countless studies and articles that are written to challenge the faith of Christians and Mormons. My feeling is that someone struggling to gain a witness of modern revelation might struggle with the contention of the article but once one knows that the LDS restoration movement is true, then the contrary findings of intellectuals and scholars becomes insignificant.
Backing out the spiritual witness, the evidence that supports the truthfulness of section 76 is overwhelming in favor of it and I therefore accept that Lucifer and Satan are the same being. I believe that the JST was inspired and if JS did not find Isaiah 14 wanting, and if the Book of Mormon prophets find it acceptable then I have no problem with it.
It is certainly possible that much of the information provided about the historicity of the content in Isaiah 14, provided in the article you sent, is accurate, but typological, to a larger narrative and therefore, still an accurate narrative for Satan getting cast out of heaven.
Thanks again for the heads up
His Next Response by Email
Thanks for the reply.
To me the thing that is troubling is not if Isiah Ch 14 is actually about Satan or not. It is the word Lucifer itself. The word Lucifer isn’t in the original Hebrew text. It’s part of a language that did not exist yet.
If the Book of Mormon is really an ancient text it should read like Isaiah does in the ESV Bible. The ESV Bible is a more word for word translation. It doesn’t include the word Lucifer because that word was never in the original text. It just seems to be another one of the many errors that exist in the King James Version of the Bible that some how found their way into the Book of Mormon. I have read many excuses for this, but none of them have any substance.
My next response to him
How many times have you read section 76 and really pondered and prayed about it?
Does the dilemma that the word Lucifer is not part of the original Hebrew text in Isaiah 14 or in the repeat in the Book of Mormon negate the miraculous light contained in section 76 and in the Book of Mormon? If not, doesn’t Section 76 and the book of Mormon validate Isaiah 14?
Does Section 76 become a false revelation because you can’t figure out how the word Lucifer became part of the Isaiah text?
Have you ever taken the time to do an extensive keyword search on Section 76 to see how the context matches up with the four standard works? Are you aware that the concepts about different degrees of glory revealed in section 76 are not unique even though they appear to be? They in fact show up in the book of revelation, (as does the same scenario of Satan being cast out of heaven.)
I would suggest that if you obtained a spiritual conversion to the contextual truthfulness of section 76, the apparent intellectual dilemma in Isaiah 14 will become irrelevant. On the other hand, if you feel that the Christian scriptural texts (and Mormon scriptural texts) must conform to intellectual scrutiny, the Christian religion will become a mass of confusion and ultimately, old Scratch will chew you up and spit you out.
My point is, that in my opinion, the true evidence to be considered in a mystical religion such as Christianity is found in CONTENT and CONTEXT, confirmed by the Holy Ghost, not in approaching it from finding evidence to justify it based on a skeptical intellectual basis. There are countless intellectual technicalities and apparent discrepancies that one can spend a lifetime trying to reconcile if one approaches the mystical religion of Christianity as an intellectual skeptic. This is why I find LDS and Christian apologetics to be largely a waste of time.
How come you don’t have heartburn over the validity of the Book of Mormon since it contains the French word “adieu”. Where in the world did the word adieu come from?
On my ChiefInspector blog I identify 12 contextual declarations that God made in modern scripture BEFORE the church was even restored. The 12th declaration had to do with the very narrow parameter that God has given us by which truth is discerned.
“March 1829 Section 5 Belief in God’s words is the only parameter upon which salvation is based “Whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of the water and of the Spirit… and the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word… and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against me.”
12a See forthcoming post on how Biblical Christianity is a faith based religion and how according to the word of God, the reliance of science and the learning and wisdom of mortal man places a curse upon a person“
“The two great commandments that are linked to the objective of not being deceived are to treasure up the word of God and to take the Holy Ghost as ones guide. While keyword search technology can only facilitate in the human endeavor of reading, studying, searching and treasuring up God’ s word, there is no technological help or substitute for being inspired from heaven”.
I believe God had intentionally put lots of intellectual stumbling blocks in the road for those that allow themselves to get sidetracked from the promptings of the Holy Ghost. That is a great snare.
It is interesting that you bring the topic of Lucifer and his fall from heaven at this time because it intersects with the study I am currently doing in the Snuffer series. I am going to suggest something in the next installment about the timing and significance of Lucifer’s fall from heaven that is going to blow peoples minds.It will will show contextually, just how significant the doctrine of Satan’s fall really is with regard to the LDS restoration movement and the prophetic words of Daniel and the ending of the “Daily Sacrifice”. (BTW, if you want to have heartburn over biblical words, the word “Sacrifice” which is in italic, is not a direct translation from the original text, it is simply added by the translators for clarification, based on what they think the concept is referring to. Given the fact that biblical prophecy scholars have never correctly explained what the “daily sacrifice” is, as used by Daniel, one has to wonder how inspired the translators were, if one is an intellectual skeptic. The literal translation should simply read “The Daily”)
Anyway, I suspect that if you will Google this topic regarding Isaiah 14, you will find a Christian scholar that has had the same heartburn you are having over this issue and who has found peace in their search regarding this one issue.
The following article might be a good place for you to start, HOWEVER, I think you are approaching religion in a very problematic way, because as long as you continue to look for intellectual, scholarly justification for everything in God’s holy word, there will always be a new issue to create consternation in your life. I suggest that you approach Christ, his mystical WORD and his mystical atonement based on the mystical context of what is being revealed in scripture and let go of the technicalities. Life is too short to spend it trying to prove everything to the satisfaction of the natural mortal mind.
Some Bible critics get a bee in their bonnets about the translation Lucifer and they claim this is merely a Latin word, and they ask why does the King James Bible have a Latin translation in it. This is a really silly objection if you think about it. In 382 A.D. Jerome translated from the Hebrew into Latin and he believed Lucifer (bearing light) was the best translation to depict who this entity was that wanted to be like God and fell from heaven. In 425 the Latin Vulgate did the same and later on the Latin Clementine version did likewise. The 2005 electronic edition of the Latin Clementine reads this way: “Quomodo cecidisti de cælo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris?” You can see this Latin translation online here – http://vulsearch.sourceforge.net/html/index.html
Numerous other Bible translators agree. If you begin to criticize the Latin, you get yourself into all kinds of problems. Numerous words found in the English language come directly from Latin. In the Bible we get such words as justice = Latin iustitiam; sacrifice = sarificium; cross = crucem; saint= sancti; and revelation = revelationis, to name but a very few. Yet not one of these English words looks anything remotely like the literal Hebrew and Greek words in the texts from which we get our English translations. The Latin gave us many good words that eventually were carried over into English.The Greek Septuagint and Modern Greek TodayIt is also highly significant that the so called Greek Septuagint (LXX) also agrees with the reading of Lucifer. In the common copy of what is know as the Greek Septuagint, the Isaiah passage reads: πως επεσεν εκ του ουρανου, ο Εωσφορε” and the English translation is “How has Lucifer, that rose in the morning, fallen from heaven.” There are also at least three English translations of the Septuagint or Siniaticus copies, and all three of them translate it as Lucifer. The Septuagint online English translation can be see here- http://ecmarsh.com/lxx/Esaias/index.htm where it says: “How has Lucifer, that rose in the morning, fallen from heaven!” In addition to this there are The Septuagint Bible of 1954 by A.C. Muses, and the 2009 Old Testament According to the Septuagint. Then there is the modern Greek meaning of the word Εωσφορε. I have in my study a modern day Greek-English dictionary. It is called Divry’s Modern English-Greek and Greek-English Desk Dictionary, published by D. C. Divry, Inc. Publishers New York 1974. If you look under the English Lucifer page 182 you get Εωσφορε, and if you look up the word Εωσφορε on page 523 (the same Greek word found in all copies of the Greek Septuagint) you get the English word Lucifer
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