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  1. Well, that might be said of any reference in the Biblical text the LDS point to in order to support their doctrines. I don't think I have ever used this scripture as proof texting to support baptism at eight years old--only that it is an interesting scripture that contains some relative wording. I find that most LDS get eaten for lunch, when trying to use the Biblical text, no matter what the subject is, or given a knowledgeable person. The number eight is a figure--no matter how knowledgeable a person is that takes up this argument. To take it beyond that--one has to enter a world that only a few can understand to begin with. And if we depend on that kind of academic involvement for every point we read within the Biblical text--then the Bible is only meaningful to those few, and reduced to an enigma for the rest. That might be a good point--but considering that the BOM prophets knew of baptism at eight--then the LDS could also believe that baptism at eight was known to Peter. Knowing that--it is not out of the question that the scripture could have been a reference to that very figure. I am in no way am postulating it as a definitive definition of scripture--only that, as written in the KJV-- it is an interesting thought and possibility--and one connected to LDS beliefs.
  2. Well--"figure" is an English word. In the translation process, the translators, in a translation from Greek to English--usually look for the English word, of that day, that most closely defines the Greek counterpart, if there is one. One does not have to go back to the Greek to look up the definition of the English word. Our English translations would not be a very accurate source of truth if it did not reflect the meaning of the Greek texts. And there would be but a few who could understand it, if the English only reflected only what the Greeks would define it as.:)
  3. Or, according to Merriam Webster: fig·ure noun \ˈfi-gyər, British & often US ˈfi-gər\ Definition of FIGURE 1 a : a number symbol : numeral, digit b plural : arithmetical calculations <good at figures> c : a written or printed character d : value especially as expressed in numbers : sum, price <sold at a low figure>
  4. Pretty interesting thought, PC--"evil act of rebellion" as a lead-in to becoming more like God.
  5. Hi Justice. Hope you had a merry Christmas. I read that no telling how many times before I connected it. But that may be just me. I brought that up in Sunday School class, when we reached that scripture this last month--the SS class just stared at me. I dropped it without further comment. Two people did inquire about it afterwards, though. Allowed me to believe that at least it could be considered.
  6. And, to be sure--the number 8 is also a figure, literally. 1 Peter 20 connects the two together, for me--both eight and water. Interesting. I have not ever considered that before.
  7. Of course, then we could say that it would only have relevance to baptism, if we baptized in and during flood waters.
  8. 1 Peter3:20-21--"Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" Has anyone ever considered this like figure--eight, and water---as the very practice the LDS church has?
  9. Another observation, Michael Heiser: "Monotheism as a term was coined in the seventeenth century not as an antonym to polytheism, but to atheism.32 A monotheist, then, was a person who believed there was a God, not someone who believed there was only one spiritual entity that could or should be named by the letters G-O-D. This understanding of the term has been lost in contemporary discourse, and so it would be pointless to call for a return to its original meaning. A more coherent approach is to describe what Israelites believed about their God rather than trying to encapsulate that belief in a single word. When scholars have addressed this tension, however, a shift to description over terminology has not been the strategy. Rather, scholars have tried to qualify the modern vocabulary. Terms like inclusive monotheism or tolerant monolatry have been coined in an attempt to accurately classify Israelite religion in both pre- and postexilic stages.33 These terms have not found broad acceptance because they are oxymoronic to the modern ear." dberrie---The way we define "monotheism" is foreign to it's original meaning. The belief that if one even believes there are other Gods--they are polytheistic--would be foreign to ancient Israel, or it's original understood meaning of monotheism That is a modern add-on to the word. As the modern scholars agree now--trying to impose that thought now would fall on death ears--tradition is always stronger than truth. More from Michael Heiser: "Psalm 82 is considered late in composition on several grounds, most notably because of its placement in Book III of Psalms and its use by Deutero-Isaiah.12 The clear reference to a pantheon over which Yahweh presides must be explained since by this time Israelite religion is assumed to have evolved to an "intolerant monotheism." As a result, many scholars consider Psalm 82 to be either a vestige of polytheism overlooked by monotheistic redactors or perhaps a deliberate rhetorical use of Israel's polytheistic past to declare the new outlook of monotheism.13 After the exile, so it is put forth, the gods of the nations are relegated to the status of angels. Both proposals fail on a number of levels. With respect to the first option, it is evasive to appeal to inept redactors when one's theory of a campaign to stamp out polytheistic texts encounters a "problem passage," especially when Psalm 82 is by no means the only text evincing divine plurality and a divine council "missed" by redactors. To cite but one example, there are explicit references to gods and a divine council in Second Temple period Jewish literature. In the Qumran sectarian material alone there are approximately 185 occurrences of ʾĕlōhîm, hāʾĕlōhîm, bĕnê ʾēlîm, bĕnê ʾêlōhîm, and bĕnê hāʾĕlōhîm in contexts where a divine council is mentioned with the same vocabulary (ʾēdāh, sôd, qāhāl, ) utilized in texts of the Hebrew Bible for a divine assembly.14 In fact, it is apparent that some of these references allude to or draw on canonical material. If there was a campaign to allegedly correct ancient texts and their polytheistic views, the postexilic Jewish community either did not get the message or ignored it."
  10. Which means, for the LDS---that you worship one more God that the LDS do. Which, at that point, would be as false as the orthodox claiming they only worship one "God-being"? I personally believe that is a problem for the LDS, which they will work that out over time, just as the 1st century church worked out the circumcision and Gentile problems--which caused much strife in the church, but they survived it. The Divine council was not made up of false Gods, but a council that was headed by El, and attended by the Gods who made up that council--which numbered in excess of 70.
  11. 1 Cor8:6--"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." Why did Paul separate out Jesus Christ from the "one God" and place Christ is a different designation apart from the Father--as the "one Lord"? Why is there not a single reference in the NT that connects the "one God" to anyone but God the Father? IE-- Ephesians4:4-6--"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Trinitarianism lists their Godhood as such: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Which is the same as the LDS do. But if they were indeed the same God--would it not be listed as follows? : God---the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
  12. Well hear, hear, PC!!! Most all Christians worship both the Father and the Son--don't you? Worship of both the Father and the Son was mentioned in the NT. I believe most LDS balk at the worship of the Son because they believe the object of their worship is the Father, not because of it's association with polytheism. It has been shown that early Israel did believe in the existence of more than one God, as evidenced by their written accounts of the Divine Council, even the Biblical text still have vestiges of that belief. Revisionism has taken over most of the evidence of henotheism, so some scholars state, which I believe is true. As Michael Heiser stated--"Anyone doing serious research in Israelite religion is soon confronted with the powerful evidence for a pantheon in the Hebrew Bible." Something the orthodox Christians reject as true, but then--they have a dog in the fight. But alas!--satan can be a god--but the children of God cannot: 2 Cor4:4--"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." So--you talk about little g and big G gods. Are you saying that there can be gods, as in little g--and the fact of monotheism still remain in tact? IOW--the parameters are only breached if it is a big G?
  13. And so did early Israel consider themselves--who believed in the Divine Council, which consisted of a number of Gods. As of today--anyone who espoused Trinitarianism to a Jewish audience would be considered a polytheistic religion. The discovery of the Ugarit material changed a lot as thinking, as to what the scholars believe today. There is not many scholars left who believe that psalm 82 is referring to judges or mortal humans. That may be so--but what are those who participate at this level: Revelation3:21--"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation3:12--"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." What would one consider those who sit on the throne of God, and have the name of God upon them, and are one with the Father and the Son? As Michael Heiser commented: You've Seen One Elohim, You've Seen Them All? A Critique of Mormonism's Use of Psalm 82 Michael S. Heiser Over the course of the last eight years I have read several papers dealing in one way or another with that feature of Israelite religion known as the divine council. Anyone doing serious research in Israelite religion is soon confronted with the powerful evidence for a pantheon in the Hebrew Bible. Position statements on Psalm 82 and the divine council with which many evangelicals would probably disagree and with which many Latter-day Saints would likely agree: 1. The plural ʾĕlōhîm of Psalm 82:1, 6 are divine beings, not human judges or humans fulfilling any role. 2. The term monotheism is inadequate to describe what it is Israel believed about God and the members of his council. As the text explicitly says, there are other ʾĕlōhîm. 3. References to "us" and "our" in passages like Genesis 1:26 do not refer to the Trinity. The plural ʾĕlōhîm of Psalm 82 are also not members of the Trinity. 4. The denial statements of Isaiah and elsewhere ("there is no god beside me") do not constitute denials of the existence of other ʾĕlōhîm. Rather, they are statements of Yahweh's incomparability.