The word eloheim.

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deacon blues
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The word eloheim.

Post by deacon blues » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:28 am

Joseph Smith argues: " In the very beginning (Gen. 1:1)the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. the word "eloheim" ought to be in the plural all the way through- Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us; and when you take [that] view of the subject, it sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth. (HC:6, p. 475-76)

I have written about this before, but I found another place in the bible that points out that the word "eloheim" should not be translated as Gods. In 1st Samuel 28:13 the King James reads: "And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods (Heb.- eloheim) ascending out of the earth." Every other translation uses a singular noun for "eloheim" such as "spirit", "a god", "a divine being", etc. But why do all the modern translations change gods to god? Because of the context. If one reads all of chapter 13 it is obvious that the women, often referred to as the "Witch of Endor" saw only one being- the spirit of the prophet Samuel.

How could Joseph make a such mistake which affects our understanding of God and man? He explains later in the next paragraph: "I learned it by translating the papyrus which is now in my house."

If you build on a bad foundation you get a crooked house, and doctrine. :o :shock:
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Re: The word eloheim.

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:40 am

This has always been a point of weirdness for me too.

Eloheim, I beleive, is just a different spelling of elohim. From Wikipedia: "The word is the plural form of the word eloah and related to el, which means gods or magistrates, and it is cognate to the word 'l-h-m which is found in Ugaritic, where it is used as the pantheon for Canaanite gods, the children of El, and conventionally vocalized as "Elohim"."

Besides teaching the elohim means plural gods, Joseph Smith used both Jehovah and Elohim to refer to the same person. He also made it very clear that he did not associate Jehovah with Jesus. In a prayer in 1842 he said, "O thou... eternal, omnipotent, omniscient , and omnipresent Jehovah - God - Thou Elohim, that sittest, as saith the Psalmist, "enthroned in heaven," look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy son Jesus Christ... be conferred upon him." (History of the Church, 5:127)

Of course, Yahweh and Elohim are the two names of God used by the J and E sources of the Old Testament and were never intended to refer to separate individuals.

The association of Jesus with Jehovah, by the way, didn't start creeping into Mormon theology until 1885. (Harrell, This is My Doctrine: 175)

Today I think we call the head God Elohim mainly because that is his name in the temple. I would love to see what the earliest versions of the endowment looked like, and what the Hedrickite(?) version looks like that was passed down directly from Joseph's original, versus the Brighamite version.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: The word eloheim.

Post by jfro18 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:24 pm

It's been a while since I listened, but I think on the David Bokovoy Mormon Stories on the Old Testament he talks about how they believed in multiple gods and that the wording also implied it in the OT.

But as Hagoth says, I think Joseph Smith's issue comes in part from not understanding that the different documents used different terms that meant the same thing.

Those David Bokovoy episodes on how biblical scholarship helps us understand what Joseph Smith was doing (and what he got wrong) are really worth listening to.

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Re: The word eloheim.

Post by moksha » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:18 am

If you run with the Joseph Campbell idea of myths transforming over time, looking at the gods from older surrounding cultures might also help in understanding the transformations that occurred over time in the Judaic religion.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Re: The word eloheim.

Post by Apologeticsislying » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:14 pm

Joseph Smith sad: All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth. (HC:6, p. 475-76)
"Some truths aren't very useful." Boyd K. Packer
The same energy that emerges from the fountain of eternity into time, is the Holy Grail at the center of the universe of the inexhaustible vitality in each of our hearts. The Holy Grail, like the Kingdom of God, is within. -Joseph Campbell-

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