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9 hours ago, Anna said:

It made me wonder what even was the point of the film?

That's the right question. A bit disturbing when you consider the question at that level, isn't it?

Yet, it could have been done fairly and honestly. All the people involved had the ability to present it that way if they wanted to. Then, of course, it would not have the same appeal. And it would only be information already known in scholarly circles. But that would still be of interest even if it admitted questions for further research.

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Just had to comment on the point at 23:55 in the video: "In a well-known Bible translation we can read, 'I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.' " The video won't say, of course, what translati

Most (perhaps all?) of the known people associated with the sponsor of the video (Reibling Foundation) are Witnesses, too. If they are trying to hide this fact they have not done a good job. Obviously

-----Found it (from a private conversation)... No. It's a common vowel pointing. It showed up this way sometimes in the Masoretic texts about 1,000 years ago. I know you already know that ther

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Please, do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless Naʹbal, for he is just like his name. Naʹbal is his name, and senselessness is with him..

There are some things I have not quite gotten my head around - even given that names could be assigned retroactively, like Peter and the rock, but .... during his lifetime? To his face? Did he introduce himself: "Pleased to meet you. My name is Worthless"?

It is almost like God being Hosea's matchmaker. Could I be so big? It's easy enough to get stuck with a 'wife of fornication' all on one's own without requiring divine help. Okay, okay, some of them had concubines back then, but still.

And don't get me started on Ezekiel staring at a brick. "Honey, I'm hooommee!" he hollers. "Tell me about your day, dear," his wife responds.

It's why those depictions don't entirely fly when these guys are portrayed as Ozzie and Harriet types, ever concerned about their dress and grooming. But we recognize the good intentions, and so we play along. After all, who can say what things were really like back in the day?

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2 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

There are some things I have not quite gotten my head around - even given that names could be assigned retroactively, like Peter and the rock, but .... during his lifetime? To his face? Did he introduce himself: "Pleased to meet you. My name is Worthless"?

I think the explanation is in the slight adjustments to words that the Hebrews used in order to remember how to pass on their stories verbally:

*** it-2 p. 457 Nabal ***

  • (Naʹbal) [Senseless; Stupid].

    A wealthy Maonite sheep owner who pastured and sheared his flocks in Carmel of Judah. Nabal was also known as a Calebite, that is, a descendant of Caleb. Few Bible characters are so contemptuously described as is Nabal. “[He] was harsh and bad in his practices”; “he is too much of a good-for-nothing fellow [son of Belial] to speak to him”; “he repays . . . evil in return for good”; “senselessness is with him.”—1Sa 25:2, 3, 17, 21, 25.

I could guess, but I couldn't say what his real name had been, although naming a kid "Stupid" seems like a self-fulfilled prophecy in the making.

Dozens of names were given slight adjustments in the Bible, the most notable of which were the ways in which a false god had his name changed to become something derogatory. Note the implication in this Insight book entry, starting with "Lord of the Flies":

*** it-1 p. 275 Beelzebub ***

  • (Be·elʹze·bub) [possibly an alteration of Baal-zebub, meaning “Owner of the Flies,” the Baal worshiped by the Philistines at Ekron. Alternately, Beelzeboul and Beezeboul, possibly meaning, “Owner of the Lofty Abode (Habitation)”; or, if a play on the non-Biblical Heb. word zeʹvel (dung), “Owner of the Dung”].

*** it-1 p. 234 Babel ***

  • (Baʹbel) [Confusion].One of the first cities to be built after the Flood. Here God “confused the language of all the earth.” (Ge 11:9) The name is derived from the verb ba·lalʹ, meaning “confuse.” Local citizens, thinking of their city as God’s seat of government, claimed that the name was compounded from Bab (Gate) and ilu (God), signifying “Gate of God.”

*** it-2 p. 39 Jerubbesheth ***

  • (Je·rubʹbe·sheth) [Let the Shameful Thing Make a Legal Defense (Contend)]. The name of Judge Gideon found at 2 Samuel 11:21. Evidently this is a form of Jerubbaal, the name given to Gideon by his father Joash when Gideon pulled down the altar of Baal. (Jg 6:30-32) Some scholars believe that the writer of Second Samuel replaced baʹʽal with the Hebrew word for “shame” (boʹsheth) in order not to use the name of the false god Baal as part of a proper name.—See GIDEON.

*** it-2 p. 424 Molech ***

  • (Moʹlech) [from a root meaning “reign as king” or “king,” but with the vowels of boʹsheth, “shame,” to denote abhorrence].

*** it-1 p. 1224 Ish-bosheth ***

  • (Ish-boʹsheth) [meaning “Man of Shame”].  Evidently the youngest of Saul’s sons, his successor to the throne. From the genealogical listings it appears that his name was also Eshbaal, meaning “Man of Baal.” (1Ch 8:33; 9:39) However, elsewhere, as in Second Samuel, he is called Ish-bosheth, a name in which “baal” is replaced by “bosheth.” (2Sa 2:10) This Hebrew word boʹsheth is found at Jeremiah 3:24 and is rendered “shameful thing.” (AS, AT, JP, NW, Ro, RS) In two other occurrences baʹʽal and boʹsheth are found parallel and in apposition, in which the one explains and identifies the other. (Jer 11:13; Ho 9:10) There are also other instances where individuals similarly had “bosheth” or a form of it substituted for “baal” in their names, as, for example, “Jerubbesheth” for “Jerubbaal” (2Sa 11:21; Jg 6:32) and “Mephibosheth” for “Merib-baal,” the latter being a nephew of Ish-bosheth.—2Sa 4:4; 1Ch 8:34; 9:40. The reason for these double names or substitutions is not known. One theory advanced by some scholars attempts to explain the dual names as an alteration made when the common noun “baal” (owner; master) became more exclusively identified with the distasteful fertility god of Canaan, Baal.

*** it-1 p. 967 Goat-shaped Demon ***

  • Just what such “hairy ones” (seʽi·rimʹ) actually were, however, is not stated. While some consider them to be literal goats or idols in the form of goats, this does not necessarily seem to be indicated; nor do other scriptures provide evidence of that nature. . . . Or, the use of “goats” in these references may be merely a means of expressing contempt for all idolatrous objects in general, even as the word for idols in numerous texts is drawn from a term originally meaning “dung pellets,” not denoting, however, that the idols were literally made of dung.—Le 26:30; De 29:17.

*** it-1 p. 1172 Idol, Idolatry ***

  • Often mention is made of “dungy idols,” this expression being a rendering of the Hebrew word gil·lu·limʹ, which is related to a word meaning “dung.” (1Ki 14:10; Zep 1:17) This term of contempt, first appearing at Leviticus 26:30, is found nearly 40 times in the book of Ezekiel alone, beginning with chapter 6, verse 4.

The Hebrew speakers took advantage of the fact that only a small change in spelling or vowels could attach a bad meaning to another term. Biblical Hebrew "play on words" was a very common practice, and is found in the words of the prophets especially. But in order to remember a story to pass on verbally, there are often more innocent reasons for the wordplay. For example, in the story of Isaac, you can almost tell that the "Yitzak" from which we get "Isaac" is onomatopoeia for "laughter" and the name means laughter. But the root term is used for several parts of the story. Sarah laughs ("yitzaks") that she will have a child in her old age and this is a significant part of the narrative.

  • (Genesis 21:6, 7) 6 Then Sarah said: “God has brought me laughter; everybody hearing of it will laugh with me.” 7 And she added: “Who would have said to Abraham, ‘Sarah will certainly nurse children’?. . .

But the next part of the story is important too, because Yitzak can also mean mean yuk-yuk/tsk-tsk in the form of mockery, and to some, can even imply sexual abuse:

  • (Genesis 21:9, 10) 9 But Sarah kept noticing that the son of Haʹgar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, was mocking ("Yitzack"-ing) Isaac. 10 So she said to Abraham: “Drive out this slave girl and her son, . . .

But the relationship between Isaac and his wife is also remembered through the same word as they were yucking it up in the sight of the king, because the word can even imply sexual foreplay.

  • (Genesis 26:8) 8 After some time had passed, A·bimʹe·lech king of the Phi·lisʹtines was looking out of the window, and he saw Isaac displaying affection ("Yitzack"-ing) for Re·bekʹah his wife.

So we see who gets the last laugh in this story.

These examples could be multiplied, and for some, might even provide an incentive to learn Hebrew.

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14 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

I understand people that you are inclined to support like Raymond Franz

I don't support Raymond Franz. I think he made some terrible mistakes.

14 minutes ago, AllenSmith said:

Then, if you people here are given undue reverence, and "protection" by the WorldNewMedia (Pete) owner, some people will think that you cannot be questioned, therefore, the discussion of the bible is also rendered invalid!!!!!

This might be true, too. If anyone is given undue reverence it can result in trouble. Although I don't know anything about who this "Pete" is, I'll take your word for it. By the way, I had three of my posts in a row deleted with no explanation a couple days ago, until I figured out that I was evidently helping to support "spam" by another member who was trying to promote a personal blog here. I actually found quite a bit in the blog that I wanted to discuss, but I kept referencing the source URL of the blog, which has become a kind of habit that was not considered useful in this case. I finally figured it out when I saw that the posts from the blogger had also been deleted.

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3 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

But I say-  "Riiight .  That's why they don't use the present tense of the verb "to be" in Hebrew.  Sure thing, Brah."/ sarcasm

If you were trying to be sarcastic about it then why did you quote a source that agreed 100% with what I said?

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20 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

The only thing that is offered by you is gossip and opinions from your time at Bethel. How does that bring anyone into spiritual maturity if the very fiber scripture talks about, you go against? 

Were it not for the flood of hateful remarks directed at theocratic authority, I would most likely agree with you. But like pus from a wound, it is everywhere. Maybe there is a place for someone from us who spills the dirt before the scoundrels do.

Online there are endless persons who spill dirt on God's organization. Often it is true dirt, or it is based upon something true. 'No human is able to exercise perfect self-control,' today's Watchtower says. Same with other qualities. Therefore there will always be dirt. Opposers misrepresent and exaggerate and always always always impute wrong motive. Eventually, John Q Publisher comes across it, and because he has been exposed to not a hint of it, he is floored - and in many cases he swallows it along with the negative spin supplied - and the spiritual consequences are dire. Therefore it may not be a bad thing if someone spills dirt in a 'loyal' context. You could almost liken it to a vaccine - exposure to a little bit of the crap by a physician better prepares one for when they encounter it in the wild. At any rate, you can do nothing about it, so you may as well adapt.

I don't think it is great, either, but there may be a practical use to it. People spill all kinds of confidential stuff here. It amazed me at first. Then they say where there is secrecy there is tyranny. The remark is not completely wet, but it is misplaced. 'Confidential' is not the same as 'secret.' Nor is it the same as 'not intended for public distribution.' John gave the reason that not everything is intended for everyone, and it reveals no ill intent whatsoever. Quite the contrary. 'I have many things to say to you, but you are not yet ready to bear them,' Jesus said. "Oh yes we are," says everyone on this forum (including me). I can picture some (if they dared) combing through all the stuff Jesus held back so that they could post it online in order to to fill our 'right to know.' Still, since the liars abound,  'loyal' ones can put a proper spin on the dirt they reveal.

Though I don't like to see confidential things displayed online, they yet serve to strengthen general confidence in the organization God uses. Shiwiii, for example, posted that confidential letter in which Bethel reminded local publishers to donate timely. He was hoping I would be outraged at the greedy Watchtower. Instead, I feigned outrage at the greedy Bible writers, for it was clear everything the organization did was based upon scripture. Even when you don't like the general direction in which godly counsel is heading, you nonetheless have to concede that it is godly - supported scripturally - and thus you can ask yourself: 'to what degree am I willing to be 'taught by Jehovah?' even as the ones publishing it ask themselves the same question. 

I will go out on a limb here and risk being presumptuous, but I'm not sure the brothers know what to do with the pure deceit that is so readily spewed online by many. I think they probably reign in some instincts on how to respond because that is what the Bible says they should do. Maybe I should too, and others here. But we get clobbered by apostates and one wants to do something about it, if at all possible. "I am stronger than you, and I thank God for it," says Miss Pross to the wicked foreign woman who would cut her throat. She fights not for herself, but for someone to whom she is loyal. It is the first century playing out all over again. There is not a NT writer who does not deal with it. The apostate issue was fueled by same thing then as it is today: a contempt for authority. (Jude 8) It's hard to know how to deal with it. 

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5 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

But I say-  "Riiight .  That's why they don't use the present tense of the verb "to be" in Hebrew.  Sure thing, Brah."/ sarcasm

Your focus was probably on the reason for this practice, which I gave as "because it is easily understood in most contexts without spelling it out." The source you gave didn't include any reason different from the one I gave, but this new answer referring to the idea of an Israeli chemistry teacher gives a different reason which is worth considering. He evidently said it was because as you said: " The word in Hebrew for existence is a form of the name of God, and is not used as it is in English." Then the person who made that comment added the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah  which says nothing of the sort.

So we could easily consider whether the "zero copula" is due to this particular reason. One point to consider is that after reading the article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_copula we notice that there are many languages that do the same, including Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Maori, Ganda, Irish, Welsh, ASL, and several Native American languages. Again it's mostly done for the present tense in these languages, too. There are several situations in which we follow this practice in English, too. And we surely don't do it because it's a form of God's name in Hebrew. And these languages with no relationship to Hebrew surely don't do it because of an issue in Hebrew or any similar issue in their own language.

It might also be worth considering that even when the name of God was spelled out in Hebrew at a time when there were no prejudices against using the name out loud, the zero copula was already in effect. We see this in at least 350 places in the Hebrew text. One obvious example is the twenty-third Psalm which says "Jehovah [blank] my shepherd I shall not want"  יְהוָה רֹעִי לֹא אֶחְסָֽר

So the practice could not very well have started because it is a form of God's name.

Even in the context of Exodus 3:12-15 the same practice is found:

It's found in the future tense in 3:12 and "famously" found in the present tense in 3:14, of course, but is left out of the surrounding verses:

  • (Exodus 3:13-15) 13 But Moses said to the true God: “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your forefathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is [blank] his name?’ What should I say to them?”  . . . 15 Then God said once more to Moses: “This is [blank] what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is [blank] my name forever, and this is [blank] how I am to be [blank] remembered from generation to generation.

Wherever you see an italicized "am," is," or "are" in the OT of the KJV (hundreds of times) you are mostly likely seeing the "zero copula."

5 hours ago, Nana Fofana said:

And sorry if I was inappropriately sarcastic, which is actually pretty much guaranteed, since I'm still not sure if you said this, or what exactly you are saying.

I have no problem with sarcasm in general. It's not usually necessary, but can sometimes help to make a point. It was just that, in this case, you said you were using sarcasm to make a point different from mine,  and then immediately quoted someone who apparently agreed with me 100%, so the sarcasm lost its effect.

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2 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Did the apostles honestly believe they were “above” other Christians or Christ? Then why bring up a “false” allegation that somehow Witness are giving “undue reverence” to the Governing Body.

No the apostles did not honestly believe they were above Christ. Some did believe they should be above other Christians, even above each other, and Jesus counseled them about that. (Mark 10:35+) So why bring up a "false" allegation that somehow Witnesses are giving "undue reverence" to the Governing Body? Easy. Because the Watchtower said they were. If you don't believe the Watchtower's claim, take it up with them.

Did you think that the counsel in the 1/16 Study Watchtower was unnecessary?

*** w16 January p. 27 “We Want to Go With You” ***

  • At times, well-known representatives of the Christian congregation—perhaps circuit overseers, Bethelites, members of the Branch Committee, members of the Governing Body as well as their helpers—may attend a convention or theocratic event that we also attend.


The counsel given referred to the kind of attitudes matched in the picture above from the same article. Similar counsel was repeated again in the 3/17 Study Watchtower.

*** w17 March p. 9 par. 6 Give Honor to Whom It Is Due ***

  • Most imperfect humans are strongly influenced by the spirit of SatanÂ’s world. That is why people tend to idolize certain men or women rather than just show them appropriate honor and respect. They place religious and political leaders, sports figures, entertainment stars, and other celebrities on pedestals, often considering them to be almost superhuman. . . . However, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses refrain from treating religious leaders as ones who merit extraordinary honor, even though those leaders may expect it.

Due to the problem of people worshiping Charles Taze Russell as if they were in a cult, up until at least 1931, Rutherford did all he could to separate from that type of mentality and move that kind of adulation to the theocratic organization itself, rather than a human being. You may have already seen the discussion on this topic linked here:Charles Taze Russell: Was he recently "canonized"?

2 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Now these so-called mistakes, by and large, are geared toward “prophecy”. . . . then, how can they claim the Watchtower to be in error?

The Watchtower itself claims that the Watchtower was in error (at one time or another) with respect to almost every prophecy they have ever attempted to explain. It's only the current version of the explanation of any of these same prophecies that is considered not to be in error, unless of course, they also go back to one of the previous explanations and say it was correct after all, which has also happened.

2 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

I read stipulations like, we must “confirm” for ourselves, what is told by the GB, is factual. That’s fine to a degree. What’s NOT fine, is the overzealous notion, that some, have to, “think” you understand scripture, better than those GOD, inspires and has entrusted (commissioned) to understand scripture for our “benefit”.

I'm sure you think yourself a good judge of what degree is "fine" and what degree is "NOT fine" in this regard. However, there is no scripture that says that God inspires, entrusts, or commissions the GB to understand scripture for our benefit. I accept that they do understand scripture for our benefit, but there is no such commission by God specifically for the GB to do this. We accept their leadership in this regard because it works for unity and peace and consistency in our teaching, which therefore allows for the efficient distribution of Bible-based publications with a common message we can all support whole-heartedly. Every religious group realizes that some can preside better, some can speak better, some can manage better, and some can teach better. Among true Christians today these are considered "gifts in men" where such ministries combine to help to maintain peace and unity in the worldwide congregation, just as they would in individual congregations. So there is nothing unbiblical and nothing wrong with accepting the services and benefits of a Governing Body. But they are not inspired and there is no Biblical commission for this specific group of brothers to teach and understand the Scriptures for us.

2 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

That in itself has NOTHING to do with the “anointing of the holy spirit” that we all share.

I am pretty sure I don't claim to share in the "anointing of the holy spirit" in the same way that you and others here might claim to share. This might not have been addressed to me, but since I chose to respond I thought I should clear up the fact that I certainly don't claim to be one of the 144,000 anointed.

I agree that there is more to say on these topics, but I think the info about God's name is more relevant to the topic at hand, so I'll bring those points up in my next post.

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6 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

If you did understand, then you would know that, while the common names for God have been stipulated as being, Yahweh, and then Jehovah by linguistic modifications made for the purpose of a better understanding with respect to “each” modern language? There has been a long time, new, ideology of God’s “real” name to be in the Tanakh, Anochi.

For how long a time has this info about Anochi been "new"? Otherwise, I agree with using either Yahweh or Jehovah, with preference for whatever people understand best in the context of communication. For us , this means "Jehovah" is best, in English, at least. Don't think I'll ever be using "Anochi" for either Jehovah or as some would say, for Jesus (in John 4:26 or 8:28 etc).

6 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

Under the prospects of Scholars, some have come to the conclusion that “Elohim” is not of the God of Israel, but a heathen deity. Those are the “facts” I deal with, when, debating with my scholarly counterparts.

Do you have a good answer for those who argue that EL was the name of the Most High Canaanite God, represented usually by a bull? The argument usually goes that they also had a "COUNCIL of GODS" called "The ELs" (GODs), or in their language and Hebrew: "ELOHIM" (plural). The COUNCIL of the Most High, EL, included GODs whose names were JEHOVAH, DAGON and BAAL, for example, depending on the nations/tribes governed by the Most High, EL. Temples to the Most High in the area of Canaan, Palestine, Israel, Judea, etc., would include images and sculptures of bulls. This is supposed to explain why the most valuable sacrifice to Jehovah was the bull.

  • (2 Chronicles 4:1-5) 4 Then he made the copper altar, 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 10 cubits high. 2 He made the Sea of cast metal.. . . It stood on 12 , 3 bulls facing north, 3 facing west, 3 facing south, and 3 facing east; and the Sea rested on them, and all their hindquarters were toward the center. 5 And its thickness was a handbreadth; and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. The reservoir could hold 3,000 bath measures.
  • (Numbers 23:22) 22 God is bringing them out of Egypt. He is like the horns of a wild bull for them.

  • (Deuteronomy 33:17) 17 His splendor is like that of a firstborn bull, And his horns are the horns of a wild bull. With them he will push peoples All together to the ends of the earth. They are the tens of thousands of Eʹphra·im, And they are the thousands of Ma·nasʹseh.”

  • *** it-1 pp. 374-375 Bull ***
    Bulls were offered in sacrifice by the Israelites (Ex 29; Le 22:27; Nu 7; 1Ch 29:21), and at certain times the Law specifically directed that bulls were to be sacrificed. If the high priest committed a sin that brought guiltiness upon the people, he was required to offer a bull, the largest and most valuable sacrificial victim, this undoubtedly in keeping with his responsible position as leader of Israel in true worship. A bull also had to be offered when the entire assembly of Israel made a mistake. (Le 4:3, 13, 14) On Atonement Day a bull was to be offered in behalf of the priestly house of Aaron. (Le 16) In the seventh month of their sacred calendar the Israelites were required to offer more than 70 bulls as burnt offerings.—Nu 29.

Of course, the primary argument that the Hebrew ELOHIM came from such a source is that the term in the plural came to refer to Jehovah who was ONE God. The ideas of EL and ELOHIM and MOST HIGH and the COUNCIL are supposedly seen in various scriptures such as the Psalm here:

  • (Psalm 89:5-14)  5 The heavens praise your marvels, O Jehovah, Yes, your faithfulness in the congregation of the holy ones.  6 For who in the skies can compare to Jehovah? Who among the sons of God is like Jehovah?  7 God is held in awe in the council of holy ones; He is grand and awe-inspiring to all who are around him.  8 O Jehovah God of armies, Who is mighty like you, O Jah? Your faithfulness surrounds you.  9 You rule over the raging of the sea; (2 Chron 4:2, above) When its waves surge, you calm them. . . . 12 The north and the south—you created them; Taʹbor and Herʹmon joyously praise your name. 13 Your arm is mighty; Your hand is strong; Your right hand is exalted. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;. . . . (2 Chron 4:4, above: the four directions of the bulls)

By translating both EL and ELOHIM as God, it's possible to lose sight of the actual argument being made, so here's another take on another Psalm commented upon in Wikipedia, marked in "blue" below:

In the Hebrew Bible, there are multiple descriptions of Yahweh presiding over a great assembly of Heavenly Hosts. Some interpret these assemblies as examples of Divine Council:

"The Old Testament description of the 'divine assembly' all suggest that this metaphor for the organization of the divine world was consistent with that of Mesopotamia and Canaan. One difference, however, should be noted. In the Old Testament, the identities of the members of the assembly are far more obscure than those found in other descriptions of these groups, as in their polytheistic environment. Israelite writers sought to express both the uniqueness and the superiority of their God Yahweh."[1]

The Book of Psalms (Psalm 82:1) states "God (אֱלֹהִ֔ים elohim) stands in the divine assembly (בַּעֲדַת-אֵל ); He judges among the gods (אֱלֹהִ֔ים elohim)" (אֱלֹהִים נִצָּב בַּעֲדַת־אֵל בְּקֶרֶב אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁפֹּט). The meaning of the two occurrences of "elohim" has been debated by scholars, with some suggesting both words refer to Yahweh, while others propose that the God of Israel rules over a divine assembly of other Gods or angels.[9] Some translations of the passage render "God (elohim) stands in the congregation of the mighty to judge the heart as God (elohim)"[10] (the Hebrew is "beqerev elohim", "in the midst of gods", and the word "qerev" if it were in the plural would mean "internal organs"[11]). Later in this Psalm, the word "gods" is used (in the KJV): Psalm 82:6 - "I have said, Ye [are] gods; and all of you [are] children of the most High." Instead of "gods", another version has "godlike beings",[12] but here again, the word is elohim/elohiym (Strong's H430).[13] This passage is quoted in the New Testament in John 10:34.[14]

In the Books of Kings (1 Kings 22:19) the prophet Micaiah has a vision of Yahweh seated among "the whole host of heaven" standing on his right and on his left. He asks who will go entice Ahab and a spirit volunteers. This has been interpreted as an example of a divine council.

The first two chapters of the Book of Job describe the "Sons of God" assembling in the presence of Yahweh. Like "multitudes of heaven", the term "Sons of God" defies certain interpretation. This assembly has been interpreted by some as another example of divine council. Others translate "Sons of God" as "angels", and thus argue this is not a divine council because angels are God's creation and not deities.

---end of Wikipedia quote---

But the curious issue of how to translate Deuteronomy also comes up here. For years, most translators found the Masoretic text preferable to the Septuagint because the Septuagint implied that people still remembered the Canaanite idea of a council of gods. (Not just Canaanite, but also Egyptian, Mesopotamian/Babylonian, etc.)

The NWT has:

  • (Deuteronomy 32:7-9)  7 Remember the days of old; Consider the years of past generations. Ask your father, and he can tell you; Your elders, and they will inform you.  8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When he divided the sons of Adam from one another, He fixed the boundary of the peoples With regard for the number of the sons of Israel.  9 For Jehovah’s people are his portion; Jacob is his inheritance.

But, after the Dead Sea Scrolls supported the Septuagint, the RSV, for example changed its translation from the Masoretic to say:

  • (Deuteronomy 32:7-9) Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.


  • New Living Translation
    When the Most High assigned lands to the nations, when he divided up the human race, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the number in his heavenly court.

    English Standard Version
    When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

    International Standard Version
    When the Most High gave nations as their inheritance, when he separated the human race, he set boundaries for the people according to the number of the children of God.

    NET Bible
    When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided up humankind, he set the boundaries of the peoples, according to the number of the heavenly assembly.

Commentaries had said that the LXX was probably corrupted because, as the Pulpit Commentary said:

  • From the very beginning, when God first allotted to the nations a place and a heritage, he had respect in his arrangements to the sons of Israel, who were his portion, and had as it were kept their interest in view in all that he appointed and ordered. According to the number of the children of Israel. When the Most High portioned out to the nations the heritage of each, he reserved for Israel, as the people of his choice, an inheritance proportioned to its numbers. The LXX. has "according to the number of the angels of God," an arbitrary departure from the original text, in accommodation, probably, to the later Jewish notion of each nation having its guardian angel.

The Canaanite idea was that the Most High divided the nations and gave a portion of the sons of men to each God of the Council. Baal got the Canaanites, and therefore Baal presided in the Council of EL as far as the Canaanites were concerned. Jehovah was given the sons of Israel, and therefore Jehovah presided in the Council of EL as far as the Israelites were concerned. To the Babylonians it was Shamash, the Sun, who presided in the Divine Council.

This "division" might have been said to have happened in the days of Peleg and was facilitated by the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, about the time of his generation:

  • (Genesis 10:25-11:9) 25 Two sons were born to Eʹber. The name of the one was Peʹleg, because in his lifetime the earth [earth's population] was divided. The name of his brother was Jokʹtan. 26 . . .  all of these were the sons of Jokʹtan. 30 Their place of dwelling extended from Meʹsha as far as Seʹphar, the mountainous region of the East. 31 These were the sons of Shem according to their families and their languages, by their lands and their nations. . . . 11:1 Now all the earth continued to be of one language and of one set of words. . . .  They now said: “Come! Let us build a city for ourselves and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a celebrated name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered over the entire face of the earth.” . . So Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. 9 That is why it was named Baʹbel, because there Jehovah confused the language of all the earth, and Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth.

Some have tied this idea of each nation getting a guardian angel to the "watchers" of the books of non-canonical Enoch and canonical portions of Daniel. This is why Michael is the guardian archangel of Israel, and other nations have their own guardian angels. This relates to a question that @Anna asked recently on this forum. https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/47150-why-do-we-understand-the-prince-of-persia-in-daniel-1013-to-be-a-wicked-angeldemon/?tab=comments#comment-69704


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    • An interesting concept, bible discipline. I am struck by the prevalence of ignorance about spiritual discipline on "Reddit." While physical and mental disciplines receive attention, the profound impact of spiritual discipline on a person's physical and mental well-being is often overlooked. Is it possible to argue against the words of the Apostle Paul? When he penned those words in Hebrews 12, he was recognizing that there are moments when an individual must be "rebuked" in order to be corrected. Even Jesus himself established a precedent when he rebuked Peter and referred to him as Satan for failing to comprehend what Jesus had already revealed to the apostles. Did that imply that Jesus had an evil heart? Not at all, it was quite the opposite; Jesus had a loving heart. His need to correct Peter actually showcased his genuine love for him. If he hadn't cared, he would have let Peter persist in his mistaken ways, leading to a fate similar to Judas'. There is a clear emphasis on avoiding the apostate translation and its meaning, yet many seem to overlook the biblical foundation for the reasons NOT to follow the path of the fallen brethren or those with an apostate mentality. Those individuals have embraced the path of darkness, where the illuminating power of light cannot penetrate, to avoid receiving the righteous discipline based on God's Bible teachings. They are undoubtedly aware that this undeniable truth of life must be disregarded in order to uphold their baseless justifications for the unjust act of shunning. Can anyone truly "force" someone or stop them from rejecting a friend or family member? Such a notion would be absurd, considering the fact that we all have the power of free will. If a Witness decides to distance themselves from a family member or friend simply because they have come out as gay, who is anyone within the organization to question or challenge that personal sentiment? It is unfortunate that there are individuals, both within and outside the organization, who not only lack a proper understanding of the Bible but also dare to suggest that God's discipline is barbaric. We must remember that personal choices should be respected, and it is not for others to judge or condemn someone based on their sexual orientation but should be avoided under biblical grounds. No one should have the power to compel an individual to change their sexual orientation, nor should anyone be forced to accept someone for who they are. When it comes to a family's desire to shield their children from external influences, who has the right to challenge the parents' decision? And if a family's rejection of others is based on cultural factors rather than religious beliefs, who can impose religious judgment on them? Who should true followers of Christ follow? The words of God or those who believe they can change God's laws to fit their lives? How can we apply the inspired words of Paul from God to embrace the reality of God's discipline? On the contrary, how can nonconformists expect to persuade those with a "worldview" that their religious beliefs are unacceptable by ostracizing individuals, when God condemns homosexuality? This is precisely why the arguments put forth by ex-witnesses are lacking in their pursuit of justice. When they employ misguided tactics, justice remains elusive as their arguments are either weak or inconsistent with biblical standards. Therefore, it is crucial to also comprehend Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 9:27. The use of the word "shun" is being exaggerated and excessively condemned by those who reject biblical shunning as a form of punishment. Eph 5:3-14 NIV 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.  8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible. The impact of the message becomes significantly stronger when we emphasize the importance of avoiding any association with unrighteousness and those who remain unrepentant. In fact, it becomes even more compelling when we witness how some individuals, who dismiss biblical shunning as a method of discipline, excessively criticize and condemn the use of the word "shun". Therefore, Jehovah's Witnesses do not shun people; instead, they choose to focus on the negative actions being committed, which is in accordance with biblical teachings. This should be construed as ex-Witness rhetoric. Now, let's consider why ex-Witnesses specifically target one particular religion. What justifications do they provide when other Christian denominations also adhere to the same principle grounded in the Bible? Chapter 1 - Preface Both must therefore test themselves: the one, if he is qualified to speak and leave behind him written records; the other, if he is in a right state to hear and read: as also some in the dispensation of the Eucharist, according to  custom enjoin that each one of the people individually should take his part. One's own conscience is best for choosing accurately or shunning. And its firm foundation is a right life, with suitable instruction. But the imitation of those who have already been proved, and who have led correct lives, is most excellent for the understanding and practice of the commandments. "So that whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."  It therefore follows, that every one of those who undertake to promote the good of their neighbours, ought to consider whether he has betaken himself to teaching rashly and out of rivalry to any; if his communication of the word is out of vainglory; if the the only reward he reaps is the salvation of those who hear, and if he speaks not in order to win favour: if so, he who speaks by writings escapes the reproach of mercenary motives. "For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know," says the apostle, "nor a cloak of covetousness. God is witness. Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children."   (from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2) Divine promises 2. The manner of shunning, in the word escaping. There is a flying away required, and that quickly, as in the plague, or from a fire which hath almost burned us, or a flood that breaketh in upon us. We cannot soon enough escape from sin (Matt 3:7; Heb 6:18). No motion but flight becomes us in this case. Doctrine: That the great end and effect of the promises of the gospel is to make us partakers of the Divine nature. (from The Biblical Illustrator)  
    • Clearly, they are already demanding your exile. Yes! It's unfortunate that Pudgy spoiled a great discussion about science. I hope the discussion can continue without any more nonsensical interruptions. Just a suggestion since they are on your heels. Wow! You speak! It seems you have a lot to say! Now they are going to treat like, who do you think you are, mister big stuff! Are those aliens now going to imply that anyone who speaks out against the five or six key contributors to this site will be treated as though it is George just because those in opposition speak the language they hate to hear, the TRUTH? They are seeking individuals who will embrace their nonconformist values and appreciate what they can offer in shaping public opinion contrary to the established agenda of God and Christ. Their goal is to enhance their writing abilities and avoid squandering time on frivolous pursuits, mainly arguing about the truth they don't care for. They see it all as a mere game, even when leading people astray. They believe they have every right to and will face no biblical repercussions, or so they believe. They just want to have fun just like that Cyndi Lauper song. Be prepared to be belittled and ridiculed, all the while they claim to be angels. Haha! By the way, please refrain from using the same language as George. They appear to believe that when others use the same words, it means they are the same person, and they emphasize this as if no one else is allowed to use similar grammar. It seems they think only they have the right to use the same or similar writing styles. Quite amusing, isn't it? See, what I just placed in bold, now I'm George, lol! Now, let's leave this nice science thread for people that want to know more about science. I believe George left it at "Zero Distance."  
    • Nice little thread you’ve got going here, SciTech. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it.
    • It's truly disheartening when someone who is supposed to be a friend of the exclusive group resorts to using profanity in their comments, just like other members claiming to be witnesses. It's quite a ludicrous situation for the public to witness.  Yet, the "defense" of such a person, continues. 
    • No. However, I would appreciate if you do not reveal to all and sundry the secret meeting place of the closed club. (I do feel someone bad stomping on Sci’s little thread. But I see that has already happened.)
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