Saturday, December 01, 2007

"Helel Ben-Shachar"

The word 'Lucifer' appears once in the Bible, in the Old Testament book of Isaiah. In the original Hebrew, the word was 'Helel,' and did not refer to a fallen demonic angel, but rather to a fallen earthly king. The Greek or Septuagint old testament, compiled about 300 BC, uses the word 'heosphoros,'and means essentially the same thing as helel- a morning light, or Venus. When St. Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate version of the bible (about 385 AD), he replaced the Greek/Hebrew term with the Latin 'Lucifer.' It was at about this point in time that the confusion about Lucifer=Satan came into play-Church father Tertullian picked it up about 180 AD ( The ancient Israelites had only a vague concept of demons, or the soul and the afterlife, for that matter).

In the Book of Mormon, whole passages from the book of Isaiah are repeated word for word-the claim being that the original author of the Book of Mormon had access to the book of Isaiah , since they were supposedly written about the same time (600 BC and forward)- and Joseph Smith merely translated what he saw. (The Mormon peoples fled the middle east about this time, and settled in the Americas, taking a copy of Isaiah with them, and thus passages from it ended up in the Book of Mormon- this is the official line of the Mormon church) But Smith included the word 'Lucifer,' a Latin word that did not exist in 600 BC. If Smith had really been translating from a 600 BC or so year old text, the word he ought to have put in his work should have been the Hebrew 'Helel,'or the translation of Helel in 'reformed Egyptian' and/or maybe the 1820's English equivalent substituted for it. What he actually did was copy from the bible that was in common use around his locality at the time, the King James version, which contained the erroneous 'Lucifer=Satan' concept.

Mormons believe that some Israelites settled in the new world, forsook their native Hebrew, and used the language of their enemies- 'reformed Egyptian.' But no such language ever existed. The Book of Mormon is written in an Elizabethan-King James style (compiled 1611 AD), something that could not happen if it was translated into 1820's American English from 'reformed Egyptian' circa 600 BC-421 AD, when the civilization of the transplanted Israelites were supposed to have vanished in the Americas.

In 1823 and 1825, a book called 'View of the Hebrews' was published by Ethan Smith (no relation to Joseph Smith) who happened to be the pastor to Oliver Cowdery, a later close confidante of Joseph Smith. This work has many parallels with the Book of Mormon, which was first published in 1830. 'View of the Hebrews' has Indians with an Israelite origin, a ocean voyage with a religious motive, and a buried holy book-all elements that are contained in the Book of Mormon-even the phrases "curious workmanship" (VH,p.4,par.2, and BM 1 Nephi 16:10),"Reckoning of time" (VH, p.207,par.7, and BM 3 Nephi 8:2),"Path of duty" (VH p.199 par.1, and BM Helaman 15:5) appears in both works. 'View of the Hebrews' was available in Joseph Smiths hometown library throughout the 1820's and probably was a source for much of The Book of Mormon.

The Martyrdom of Joseph Smith in 1844 created many competing factions within the Mormon church- who would lead the flock? Should there be a dynasty, led by blood relations of Smith, or should the church hierarchy lead?Out of this confusion arose one of the oddest sects within the Mormon umbrella- the Strangites.
James Strang was a recent convert to the LDS Mormon church, yet when Joseph Smith died, Strang claimed angels appeared and anointed Strang the leader and prophet-successor to Smith. Strang even produced a document claiming to be a letter from Smith confirming that Strang was the intended choice to lead the Mormons. Strang then said he received communications from heaven, giving him the knowledge of the location of buried records; the Voree plates, and the plates of Laban. Strang dug these up, translated them, and produced new scriptures for his sect-the 'Book of the Law of the Lord.' There are even signed testimonies by several witnesses, stating that Strang discovered the hidden sacred plates by divine inspiration. Persecuted, Strang tried to settle in Wisconsin, then Mackinac island, Michigan. Two disgruntled ex-followers shot him in the back in 1856. Today, about 300 followers persist, reading Stragite scripture and awaiting the second coming.
To be a Strangite, one is suppose to believe that Joseph Smith communed with angels, translated lost holy records while founding the one true church, suffered martyrdom, and then the whole process exactly repeated itself with James Strang. Strange indeed.

To compound the Luciferian issue, several times in the New Testament Jesus Christ is referenced as "the son of the morning" (22 Revelation, 2nd Peter 1:19).

1 Comments:

Blogger Jack said...

For a little more information on this subject readers may want to go to
http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=636.
We often hear comments about literal translations and problems some folks have with the Book of Mormon or prophecy or apostolic utterances and writings and so forth. It is quite understandable. We Mormons have not done a good job of telling the entire story. The practice has been to provide milk before meat and remember we to to learn to walk before we run. So, the deeper concepts have not been talked about too often. But, the general public now knows more about the mysteries and advanced stuff than they do the basics and, as was predicted, have much of it is all wrong. If ity is important enough for readers to have an opinion about Mormons and what we believe it is important to arrive at conclusions using correct information, not the gibberish heard all to often. There are three correct sources, all varying in depth, that can be considered authoritative. Just remember, a live prophet is better than a dead one and the dead do not always represent the living. Hold us accountable for what wee believe by all means. It makes us stronger. But please, don't hold us accountable for the stuff others say we believe when in fact we do not believe that way. Ask us, not your bartender or pastor or some ex-communicated Mormon. Ask us.
www.lds.org or www.fairlds.com or http://www.lib.byu.edu/Macmillan/

1:39 PM  

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