Monday, March 28, 2011

The Mormon God "Elohim" - Part Two

In my previous post, I began to discuss why, if the Mormon "Elohim" is a real god, humankind's Heavenly Father, and the god we are to worship, are there no verses about him in the Old Testament? In this post, let's look at a few Hebrew words, and undo the mess Joseph Smith got Mormons into when he found out in 1835-6, during his attempt to learn Hebrew, that "elohim" was a plural word.

אֵל - el. Occuring 245 times in the Old Testament, this word is most often translated "God" (the capital-G designates the "one true God" of Israel) in our King James Version bibles. However, it is also translated "god" (the lowercase-g is used for any "god" other than Israel's God), "power," "mighty," "goodly," "great," "idols," "Immanuel," "might" and "strong." A couple of example verses for "el" are:

Genesis 14:22, "And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God(el), the possessor of heaven and earth" and
Jonah 4:2 "And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD... for I knew that thou art a gracious God(el), and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil."

אֱלוֹהַּ - eloah. With the root "el," this Hebrew word is also translated "God" and "god" in the KJV. A couple of example verses for "eloah" are:

Psalms 18:31, "For who is God (eloah) save the LORD?" and
Proverbs 30:5, "Every word of God (eloah) is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him."

אֱלֹהִים - elohim. This word occurs 2606 times in the Old Testament, and is the word most often used for the God of Israel. It is also translated "god(s)," "judge," "goddess," "great," "mighty," "angels," "exceeding," "God-ward," and "godly." In a moment, I will give several example verses for "elohim."

יהוה - Jehovah. In our King James Bibles, we are usually reading this word when we read the all-caps word "LORD." יהוה means "the existing One." Unlike "el," "eloah," and "elohim," the word LORD and/or the name "Jehovah" is never used for any god other than Israel's God. Unlike "el," "eloah," and "elohim," יהוה is never used for idols or false gods. Unlike "el," "eloah," and "elohim," Jehovah is a proper name, a specific designation. (Note: Transliterated, the word is "YHWH" and it is currently thought that the pronunciation for this word is actually "Yahweh" rather than "Jehovah.")

And now, a few of the many example verses for elohim (and also Jehovah).

Exodus 6:2 "And God (elohim) spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD (Jehovah)" (also see here #)

Exodus 20:1-3 "And God (elohim) spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD (Jehovah) thy God (elohim), which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods (elohim) before me." (#)

Deut 4:35 "Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD (Jehovah), he is God (elohim); there is none else beside him." (#)

Deut 10:17 "For the LORD (Jehovah) your God (elohim); is God(elohim); of gods (elohim); , and Lord of lords, a great God (el); , a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward"

Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD (Jehovah), choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods (elohim) which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods (elohim) of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Jehovah)." (#)

1 Kings 8:54-60 "And... when Solomon had made an end of praying ... he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying... the LORD (Jehovah) our God (elohim) be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us...That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD (Jehovah) is God (elohim), and that there is none else." (#)

1 Kings 18:24-39 " ye on the name of your gods (elohim), and I will call on the name of the LORD (Jehovah): and the God (elohim) that answereth by fire, let him be God (elohim). And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken... And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, the LORD (Jehovah), he is the God (elohim); the LORD (Jehovah), he is the God (elohim)." (#)

Isaiah 44:6 "Thus saith the LORD (Jehovah) the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (elohim)." (#)

Also see Exodus 18:11 (#), Deut 4:39 (#), Deut 5:6-7 (#,#), 2 Kings 19:19 (#), Isaiah 45:5-6 (#,#), and many others.

Let's summarize:

  1. There are no verses about a Heavenly Father named "Elohim" in the Old Testament, but instead, the verses that are supposed to be about him, according to the LDS leadership, are really about "Jehovah."

  2. Jehovah is a proper name, while elohim, like el and eloah, are labels used to describe something powerful.

  3. Though the Bible acknowledges that many things are worshipped as though they were God, it also says Jehovah is the only true God.

The Biblical facts are these: 1) There is only ONE GOD, 2) The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, 3) The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the Father. God's triune nature is hard for our little brains, and Joseph Smith is not the first or last to try to get around it. Joseph ignored Biblical fact number one, because he failed to bow his knee to YHWH, but wanted power and glory to himself. Please pray for the Mormons who are still sincerely trapped in his lies.

© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Mormon God "Elohim" - Part One

In the Mormon religion, "Elohim" is the name of the god who is the father of our spirits. More commonly referred to as "Heavenly Father," Elohim is the literal father of all "spirits" - ours, Jesus', Satan's, etc. - by union with his many goddess wives. Since the religion teaches that God was once a man and righteous LDS men can become gods, Elohim is the highest god of all the gods being grown on this planet - the LDS Most High God.

The LDS leadership has collected the scripture passages specifically about their Heavenly Father and put them in their Topical Guide, under the heading "God the Father - Elohim." Please take a moment to open the link, and look at the verses. Notice that the first three (four) scriptures on the list are from the Old Testament. (Do you also find it odd that there are only four?) I intend to show that these selections to not lend any support to their belief.

Now let's take a look at three of the Old Testament selections for "God the Father - Elohim." I'll first give the reference as it is found in the Topical Guide, and then I will put each reference back into its Old Testament context.

TG selection 1: "Blessed be Abram of the most high God, Gen. 14:19."

OT Context: Genesis 14:18-22 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth..."

The Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, is "the LORD." In the KJV, the all-caps word "LORD" shows up often. But who is the LORD? We'll look at that in a moment.

TG selections 2 and 3: "God of the spirits of all flesh, Num. 16:22 (Num. 27:16)."

In Context: Numbers 16:20-23 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying..."

Numbers 27:16: "Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation..."

The God of the spirits of all flesh is also "the LORD." Let's talk about who "the LORD" is then.

Of the 7,970 times the all-caps word "LORD" occurs in the entire KJV Bible, 6510 times it has been translated from the Hebrew word יְהֹוָה. This Hebrew word can be transliterated "YHWH" and is thought to be pronounced "Yahweh." It is the very same Hebrew word from which we get the name with which many of us are already familiar: Jehovah.

But who is Jehovah, in Mormonism? Let's go back to the Topical Guide. Click on this link and scroll down a bit, to see that in Mormonism, there are two "God the Father"s: Elohim and Jehovah. Notice that one of the subheadings of "God the Father - Jehovah" is "Jesus Christ--Jehovah." Also click here to see the LDS Bible Dictionary definition for Jehovah (notice particularly the second paragraph).

By putting each reference back into its context, we've seen that the few in the Old Testament which have been designated by the LDS leadership as being about their god “Elohim,” who is Jesus’ supposed spiritual and earthly father, known to us as Heavenly Father, are, in actuality, about Jehovah, whom Mormons believe is Jesus himself. Confused?

Joseph Smith published his "Book of Mormon," began his "Doctrine and Covenants" and started his church in 1830. His view in 1830, as can be seen by what he was writing, was that there was just one (modal) God. In 1832, Joseph began to tell people that he had seen "the Lord" in a "First Vision," back in 1820. It wasn't until 1835-6, when Joseph began trying to study Hebrew, that he began to tell people he had seen two gods in that "First Vision." This was also when he wrote his "Book of Abraham," which contradicts his earlier attempt at rewriting Genesis (his "Book of Moses") by giving credit to many gods for the creation of the earth. And it wasn't until after 1835-6, that he first came up with the idea that Heavenly Father's name was "Elohim."

In part two of this post, which is coming shortly, I'll revisit the Hebrew words that divided Joseph from his previous thinking and teachings, and members of his earliest congregation from being able to follow him any longer.

© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine