14 May 2009

50 Answers to 50 Mormon Answers to 50 Anti-Mormon Questions



Notice the little picture above. It is an Oriborus. I really think it symbolizes Mormon theology, because if you share the truth with a Mormon long enough, their theology will start to eat itself.

Tower To Truth Question:

24. If the Adam-God doctrine isn't true, how come D. & C. 27:11 calls Adam the Ancient of Days which is clearly a title for God in Daniel Chapter 7?

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FAIR Answer:

The real question should be how do LDS justify their interpretation of Ancient of Days as Adam. LDS are not dependent upon biblical interpretation for a complete understanding of the meaning of this or any other term. Since LDS have a more expanded idea of Adam's role, it is not surprising that they interpret some verses differently.

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism notes:
For Latter-day Saints, Adam stands as one of the noblest and greatest of all men. Information found in the scriptures and in declarations of latter-day apostles and prophets reveals details about Adam and his important roles in the pre-earth life, in Eden, in mortality, and in his postmortal life. They identify Adam by such names and titles as Michael (D&C 27:11; D&C 29:26), archangel (D&C 88:112), and Ancient of Days (D&C 138:38).

Joseph Smith is one source for this view of Adam:
"‘Ancient of Days’ appears to be his title because he is ‘the first and oldest of all.'"

The critics are also perhaps too confident in their ability to definitively interpret an isolated verse of scripture. This section of Daniel is written in Aramaic, while the rest of the Old Testament is in Hebrew. The phrase translated "Ancient of Days" (attiq yômîn) as one non-LDS source notes, "in reference to God...is unprecedented in the Hebrew texts." Thus, reading this phrase as referring to God (and, in the critics' reading, only God) relies on parallels from Canaanite myth and Baal imagery in, for example, the Ugaritic texts. Latter-day Saints are pleased to have a more expanded view through the addition of revelatory insights.

Like many other Christians, the LDS see many parallels between Christ (who is God) and Adam. Christ is even called, on occasion, the "second Adam." It is thus not surprising that D&C 27:11 associates Adam with a divine title or status when resurrected and exalted—after all, LDS theology anticipates human deification, so God and Adam are not seen as totally "other" or "different" from each other. LDS would have no problem, then, in seeing Adam granted a type of divine title or epithet—they do not see this as necessarily an either/or situation.

This does not mean, however, that Adam and God are the same being, merely that they can ultimately share the same divine nature. Such a reading would be strange to creedal Christians who see God as completely different from His creation. Once again, the theological preconceptions with which we approach the Biblical text affects how we read it.

To learn more:Adam wiki articles
To learn more:Ancient of Days

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My Response:

Now, wait a minute. I thought the Mormon church never taught Adam-God! OK, let's work through this one point at a time.
The critics are also perhaps too confident in their ability to definitively interpret an isolated verse of scripture. This section of Daniel is written in Aramaic, while the rest of the Old Testament is in Hebrew. The phrase translated "Ancient of Days" (attiq yômîn) as one non-LDS source notes, "in reference to God...is unprecedented in the Hebrew texts." Thus, reading this phrase as referring to God (and, in the critics' reading, only God) relies on parallels from Canaanite myth and Baal imagery in, for example, the Ugaritic texts.

Um...yeah. No kidding! Just like interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2 relies on interpreting history. The reference to Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible (the "one non-LDS souce." Why don't they ever tell you what the non-LDS sources are?) is another of those "skimming the surface" type answers FAIR likes to give. Here is the full entry:
Such a term in reference to God, presumably the referent here, is unprecedented in the Hebrew texts, although associations with Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6 have been suggested. The most likely source of the imagery is Canaanite myth since El, the head of the heavenly pantheon, is referred to as the "Father of Years" and often portrayed on a throne with heavenly attendants. The association of El with age generally is also notabble in Canaanite mythology. The context of the phrase, occuring in proximity to "One like a son of man," which draws clearly on Baal imagery, further supports this association.

Unfortunately, FAIR gets caught up in the details, and gets distracted in trying to deal with Aramaic, so much so that they miss the clear words of the Scriptures.
Daniel 7:9-10--"I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened."

Let's see. One sat on a throne. Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, books were opened. These are some of the images we read about in Revelation referring to the Father and Christ. Then skip down to Daniel 7:13-14--
"I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed."

The Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven. To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom. His is an everlasting kingdom. If FAIR can show how any of these things do not refer to the Father and the Son, please show me. Next!
Like many other Christians, the LDS see many parallels between Christ (who is God) and Adam. Christ is even called, on occasion, the "second Adam." It is thus not surprising that D&C 27:11 associates Adam with a divine title or status when resurrected and exalted—after all, LDS theology anticipates human deification, so God and Adam are not seen as totally "other" or "different" from each other. LDS would have no problem, then, in seeing Adam granted a type of divine title or epithet—they do not see this as necessarily an either/or situation.

LDS theology anticipates human deification? Really? Try getting a Mormon to tell you that! Well, it is surprising that the D&C gives a divine title to Adam, since none is ever given to him in the Bible. And basically, FAIR is saying here that Adam is like God. Look at what they said: "God and Adam are not seen as "different" from each other." Now, I may not always be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I do know a thing or two about the English language (although I have never studied Reformed Egyptian). If two things are not "different" from one another, does that not, by default, mean that they are "the same"? So, are they not saying that Adam is LIKE GOD?

So, in a nutshel, since I'm sure by now you feel like something that rhymes with "Tetzel," is FAIR's answer to this question...........................yeah, I'm trying to figure it out, too. Once again, they don't answer the question. They do a little song-and-dance, change the subject, and leave the reader confused enough to believe they know something more than they really do.

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