Mormonism and the council of "gods" in Ps. 82, by Matt Slick

brotherofJared

Well-known member
God's nature has EVERYTHING to do with this debate!
No, it doesn't.
And we can judge what God means by seeing what ELSE He said through Asaph, in the same Psalm--and what God Himself says about Himself in the other Prophets, especially Isaiah.
So far, you have failed to make any connection whatsoever. When you talk about what the psalm, itself says, you insert your own words to make it say something it doesn't say. To start with, where does it take place? Where is the council of El? Where did God rise to judge gods and say those things? There is no council of El anywhere on the earth. Second, Isaiah isn't talking about rulers and judges, he's talking about everyone and he's not talking about a council. Bonnie, Ps 82 is a council. That council doesn't exist on earth. The connection between the two has nothing to do with human judges, but all humans who can and do judge and STILL, God called those beings, gods.
But again, IF these "gods" are not like Jehovah, the most High God (I thought Mormons teach that Jehovah is Jesus in the OT)
Jehovah is not the most High God. They are separate beings, at least, that's the indication that we get from the text.
It has everything to do with it
No. It has nothing to do with it.
because Mormonism teaches that man can evolve into gods and [do] everything ... "Elohim" has done on this world.
Ps 82 has nothing to do with evolving into gods. You're dragging, as did Matt, something into the argument that is completely unrelated.
and the Bible clearly indicates that there are NO OTHER GODS EXCEPT GOD.
No. That is your unfounded and unsupported assertion. Ps 82 is evidence, among others that there are other gods. God said so. It is clear that you all are taking the phrase out of context. There is no other LORD {YHWH}. No one is debating that, but there are other gods. In order to come to your conclusion, you have to ignore the text in the Bible that refutes that and that's what you guys do.
There is ONLY one true God--and it ain't the "gods" of Ps. 82!
I never said that they were. There has never been an argument about "true" gods concerning Ps 82. Ps 82 doesn't say anything that would indicate who amongst these gods is the true God.
That means all others called "gods" in the Bible are, by default, UNtrue gods!
Well, at least you are admitting that there are other gods. That's an improvement.
Matt didn't have any in the part I quoted. But I noted that, just like some Mormons on this board, Larry failed to answer one of Matt's questions--something that Matt noticed right away. Why is that?
I have no idea. I'm not interested in arguments that rove all over the place randomly. If Matt actually discussed Ps 82, then it might be worth reading, but he doesn't.
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Thanks. What do you make of Gen 14:17-24 in which YHWH is equated with El Elyon (God Most High)?
The name that Abraham used, as opposed to the name that Melchizedek used, simply preserves the order of YHWH in the scheme of things, that we approach the most High God, through YHWH. They both have the same authority. Referring to one, refers to the other.

In Ps 82, YHWH is not mentioned. It might be reasonable to assume that the most High [God], el elyon, is YHWH, but we have Jesus Christ, deferring to God the Father throughout the New Testament, seemingly setting the record straight that YHWH, the God of Israel, is not el elyon. Paul clarifies this in 1 Cor 8:6. Therefore, it seems reasonable that God, who stood in the council of El to judge the gods, is the same God that will just the children of God, or YHWH and that el elyon is God, the Father and direct progenitor of the Son in mortality.

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament have been through some heavy emendations which were done intentionally. We're certain this occurred with the Old Testament under the priests of King Josiah, but it was probably a feudal dispute that had been ongoing for some time. When all else fails, look to when the record was set straight. The most direct course correction would have been under the direction of Jesus Christ in the first century. That didn't last long, about 70 years and then there were no more apostles or prophets. All that was left was a bunch of Bishops who had political objectives and could care less about the gospel. It worked only so long as it served their corrupt ends. The next great course correction came under Joseph Smith.

YHWH is the Son of God and God is el elyon, though - technically speaking, el elyon does not have to be the actual Father of Christ in the flesh. The concept of elohim is a difficult one for humans to fathom. We are not capable of that kind of oneness in mortality.
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Except that Jesus is Himself, fully God, the eternal Word of God.
That is not being debated here. We are all in agreement that Jesus is Himself, fully God. But Jesus is not God the Father, who is also fully God. That makes two Gods, the same as we see in John 1:1
He doesn't just speak on behalf of His Father, but Jesus is fully God by nature, like His Father
I agree. It's not quite right to say Jesus speaks on behalf of his Father. Jesus speaks for His Father.
As Paul wrote "for in Him {Jesus} ALL the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.
You know Jesus was dead when Paul wrote that, right? All the fullness of diety did not dwell in Christ in bodily form during Jesus' life. Though he was 100% God, He still learned. He acquired experience that he could not obtain in any other way. And, Jesus obtained something He did not have before, a body. These were vital changes that made him who He is today, now having all the fullness of deity.

Now you might disagree and that's okay. Jesus stated after his resurrection that he had been given all power and authority. I take that to mean that before his resurrection, he did not have all power and authority. He earned it through the things which he suffered.
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
God refers to these other "gods" because He knows that the nations surrounding Israel worship other "gods"--idols.
Not just idols. There are many things that men worship. It isn't always objects of wood or stone. In is interesting that with that commandment and Israel's intimate knowledge of worshipping idols, that the psalmist would say that God said those beings in Ps 82 are gods and sons of the most High [God], every one of them. Why would he do that when supposedly there are no other gods? And why would God quote him?
Did God not say that the "gods of the nations are idols"? Do idols really exist in the world? Did Marduk exist? Dagon? Ba'al?
Well, yes they do really exist in the world, that's for sure. But those idols are not the gods being discussed in Ps 82. The question has no relevance to the current topic.
 

The Prophet

Active member
You haven't defined "untrue Gods" or "deity by nature". Until you do--then discussion on those phrases is compromised. One has to have some parameters to discuss a particular. Please define what those phrases mean to you.

The gods of Psalm 82 are identified as the "sons of the Most High". Is that their nature?

Psalm 82:1-6---English Standard Version
1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
5CdQOq3.jpg
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Not just idols. There are many things that men worship. It isn't always objects of wood or stone. In is interesting that with that commandment and Israel's intimate knowledge of worshipping idols, that the psalmist would say that God said those beings in Ps 82 are gods and sons of the most High [God], every one of them. Why would he do that when supposedly there are no other gods? And why would God quote him?

Well, yes they do really exist in the world, that's for sure. But those idols are not the gods being discussed in Ps 82. The question has no relevance to the current topic.
Yes, they could also worship the moon and sun...but that would still make them idols, would it not? False gods?

Idols of wood and stone exist--but not as deity. That is what Paul meant when he wrote that "we know an idol is nothing in the world"--because the "gods" represented by these idols of wood and stone do not exist. They are, as Paul wrote "by nature NO GODS."

So, are the "gods" of Ps. 82 "by nature God"? If so, why doesn't God acknowledge them in Is. 44, when He said that He alone is God and HE knows of no other Rock? Was He forgetful? Having a senior moment? How could He forget all about the supposed other "gods" in Ps. 82, which was written long before Isaiah?

“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God....
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

So, why doesn't God acknowledge these "gods" as gods in Ps. 82, if those were real, true gods?
 
Last edited:

dberrie2020

Well-known member
Good evening, dberrie... the writer (singular) responsible for this psalm believed that these deities existed, as did numerous other authors of texts in the Hebrew Bible. Whether these divine beings actually existed is another question entirely, as is what relation, if any, ancient Israelite monolatry has to the polytheism that Joseph Smith envisioned.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
Good morning, Jonathan, and thanks for the reply:

If the Biblical writer(s) believed in the existence of other deities--then the explanation of polytheism not only pertains to Joseph Smith--but also is required of the Biblical text. The general scholarly thought or suspicion is-- the notion of the divine council might not be isolated to the author of Psalms.

My point is to possibly isolate some points to serve as a springboard to broader thought than the usual "taint so" arguments.

IOW---maybe we could create some fertile fields of ponderance and reflection-- if we point out that if one believes in Biblical inerrancy--and the Biblical writer(s) believed in other gods, as deities--then how do they collate that as a whole?
 

Bonnie

Super Member
That is not being debated here. We are all in agreement that Jesus is Himself, fully God. But Jesus is not God the Father, who is also fully God. That makes two Gods, the same as we see in John 1:1

Never said Jesus was His Father, as the BoM does. But it makes nothing of the kind, since the entire Biblical witness says there is ONLY ONE GOD and GOD IS ONE.
I agree. It's not quite right to say Jesus speaks on behalf of his Father. Jesus speaks for His Father.

He did both.
You know Jesus was dead when Paul wrote that, right?

Dead? I thought Jesus is alive forevermore in His glorified body, such as we will have one day at the Resurrection....

Rev. 1:

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
All the fullness of diety did not dwell in Christ in bodily form during Jesus' life. Though he was 100% God, He still learned. He acquired experience that he could not obtain in any other way. And, Jesus obtained something He did not have before, a body. These were vital changes that made him who He is today, now having all the fullness of deity.

How do YOU know the fullness of deity didn't exist in Jesus during His earthly ministry? Where does the Bible say it did not? He DID empty Himself, to become one of us, but that just means that He gave up most of HIs heavenly privileges as God to become human so He could suffer and die for us, on the cross for our sins.

Yes, Jesus learned as a man....that is true. That is what humans do--and Jesus was fully Human. But He was also fully God, even when He took on flesh and blood.


Now you might disagree and that's okay. Jesus stated after his resurrection that he had been given all power and authority. I take that to mean that before his resurrection, he did not have all power and authority. He earned it through the things which he suffered.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
No, it doesn't.

Yes, it does.
So far, you have failed to make any connection whatsoever.

NO, it is you who has failed to SEE the connection. There is a difference.
When you talk about what the psalm, itself says, you insert your own words to make it say something it doesn't say.

Where did I do that?
To start with, where does it take place? Where is the council of El? Where did God rise to judge gods and say those things? There is no council of El anywhere on the earth. Second, Isaiah isn't talking about rulers and judges, he's talking about everyone and he's not talking about a council. Bonnie, Ps 82 is a council. That council doesn't exist on earth. The connection between the two has nothing to do with human judges, but all humans who can and do judge and STILL, God called those beings, gods.

I have written that that the divine council COULD be God along with His holy angels, with God then judging unrighteous judges on earth.

And one would have to be blind NOT to see that the verses from Isaiah that I quoted WERE about wicked rulers and judges!
Jehovah is not the most High God. They are separate beings, at least, that's the indication that we get from the text.

Oh, yes He is--in Him ALL the fullness of deity dwells in Him in bodily form and He is the Image of the Invisible God. He himself called Himself "I AM" in John. That is God's unique and holy name for Himself from the burning bush. It means absolute existence. Only God has that.
No. It has nothing to do with it.

Ps 82 has nothing to do with evolving into gods. You're dragging, as did Matt, something into the argument that is completely unrelated.

I didn't say Ps. 82 is about evolving into gods.
No. That is your unfounded and unsupported assertion. Ps 82 is evidence, among others that there are other gods. God said so.

God says that HE alone is God, that apart from Him there is NO GOD and He knows of no others. Was He forgetful, when He said that? IF the gods in Ps. were actual deities, then why didn't He acknowledge them?
It is clear that you all are taking the phrase out of context. There is no other LORD {YHWH}. No one is debating that, but there are other gods. In order to come to your conclusion, you have to ignore the text in the Bible that refutes that and that's what you guys do.

I am doing nothing of the kind. I looked at in context and even quoted it more in context. And then there are those OTHER verses where that proclaim there is ONLY ONE TRUE GOD. Why do Mormons ignore THOSE texts?
I never said that they were. There has never been an argument about "true" gods concerning Ps 82. Ps 82 doesn't say anything that would indicate who amongst these gods is the true God.

Oh, brother--how about the God who is lambasting these "gods" for being wicked and making unjust judgments being the "true God? Could it be that HE is the one true God?

But then if HE IS THE true God--then that means the "gods" of Ps. 82 are false gods by default--doesn't it?
Well, at least you are admitting that there are other gods. That's an improvement.

I am admitting that there are things that are CALLED gods but they are "by nature no gods." NOT deity.
I have no idea. I'm not interested in arguments that rove all over the place randomly. If Matt actually discussed Ps 82, then it might be worth reading, but he doesn't.
But he did bring up Ps. 82 in his argument....didn't you see that?
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
God says that HE alone is God, that apart from Him there is NO GOD and He knows of no others. Was He forgetful, when He said that? IF the gods in Ps. were actual deities, then why didn't He acknowledge them?
That's a humorous, if not naive statement, IMO.

What do you not consider as an acknowledgement of the gods of the divine council--which God Himself takes His place in?

Psalm 82:1---English Standard Version

1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:


So--interesting article here:

READINGS OF PSALM 82 IN CONTEMPORARY SCHOLARSHIP---The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures


It is a commonplace of biblical scholarship to affirm the mythological character of Psalm 82. Most scholars by now agree that the -'!+ that come under divine judgment and are condemned to death in this Psalm are not human leaders, or judges, but divine beings, members of a divine council.1
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
That's a humorous, if not naive statement, IMO.

What do you not consider as an acknowledgement of the gods of the divine council--which God Himself takes His place in?

Psalm 82:1---English Standard Version
1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

If you would spend HALF of the hundreds of hours you obsess over Ps. 82, and spend that time instead studying and addressing all the "only one god" passages, that would be a breath of fresh air.

But you won't, because as a general rule, Mormons reject the Bible.
Hide behind one out-of-context verse, and throw away 20 others which prove your interpretation of the first one false.

So--interesting article here:

READINGS OF PSALM 82 IN CONTEMPORARY SCHOLARSHIP---The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures


If you spend half the time articles about Deut. 4:35,39, Deut. 32:39, 1 Kings 8:60, Ps. 86:10, Isa. 43-46, Mark 12:32, etc. etc., as you do on articles about Ps. 82, that would certainly be a breath of fresh air.
But you won't, because Mormons HATE the truth.

It is a commonplace of biblical scholarship to affirm the mythological character of Psalm 82. Most scholars by now agree that the -'!+ that come under divine judgment and are condemned to death in this Psalm are not human leaders, or judges, but divine beings, members of a divine council.1

Worthless self-serving rhetoric.

PROVE that "most scholars by now agree with [this]".

Cite a thousand of them, along with their citations supporting this bogus claim.
I bet you didn't even check the authenticity of the claim for yourself, you simply blindly accepted it, because it was self-serving to do so.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Jehovah is not the most High God. They are separate beings, at least, that's the indication that we get from the text.

Apparently God disagrees with you.
Go figure.

Gen. 14:22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath
to the LORD ["YHWH", "Jehovah"], God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,

Well, at least you are admitting that there are other gods. That's an improvement.

Well, yes, Romulus and Remus, Artemis of the Ephesians, Baal, Zeus, Apollo, Mercury, were all worshipped by people.
That doesn't make them TRUE "gods".
Paul said they were IDOLS.
Paul said they were "nothing in this world".
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Moreover, I think it’s important to note that even though the Son received everything from the Father, that doesn’t take anything away from his Divinity.
This statement is a little confusing. take anything away from whose Divinity? I'm assuming you mean, it doesn't take away from the Father's Divinity. Is that right?
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Apparently God disagrees with you.
Go figure.

Gen. 14:22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath
to the LORD ["YHWH", "Jehovah"], God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,



Well, yes, Romulus and Remus, Artemis of the Ephesians, Baal, Zeus, Apollo, Mercury, were all worshipped by people.
That doesn't make them TRUE "gods".
Paul said they were IDOLS.
Paul said they were "nothing in this world".
Ah, I forgot about that Genesis verse. And Paul said those "are by nature NO GODS."
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Moreover, I think it’s important to note that even though the Son received everything from the Father, that doesn’t take anything away from his Divinity.
I intended to write more on this:
take anything away from his Divinity.

I believe the thing that is difficult for us to understand (by us, I mean humans), is the idea that giving someone total power and authority, somehow undermines the power and authority of the person giving it. We tend to believe that in order to be in charge, the big honcho, jefe, we must keep the power to veto or the power to crush opposition. Therefore, God can't give anyone all his power because then there would be arguments and someone else might take over. They assume that all power originates in God. He is a dictator and we are his minions and that will never change. But that is not how it works. Power comes through harmony with law. Satan, of course, disagrees.

The laws set forth by God are the path to happiness, not because if we follow them, He will make us happy. Simply relieving us of daily concerns isn't happiness. No. In fact, we need daily concerns to be happy. Needless to say, our daily concerns will be different there than they are here, but it isn't going to be all happiness. The message in the law is that happiness comes from making those laws written on our hearts, such that they become our very nature and only those who can make these part of their nature will be able to enjoy the eternal presence and abode of God.

In a nutshell, God's source of power is derived from the principles engendered by the law (not the 600 amendments prescribed by men, but the 2 great commandments upon which all the law and the prophets are founded).
 
Top