08
Apr
09

Paradise

 

     During this week which we observe our Lord’s crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection, countless are the people who have found comfort in the words that Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross:  “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  (Luke 23:43)  Jesus said this in response to his request:  “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”  I, along with countless millions of Christians, have understood his request as a simple statement of faith and Jesus’ response as reassuring him that he would be in heaven with him that day.  “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

     Mormonism, however, rejects that interpretation.  “To the thief on the cross who asked to be remembered after death, the Savior responded to give him what hope he could:  ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise, ‘ That is to say, today you shall be with me in the world of spirits, where you will be taught the gospel and your inquires will be answered. (See Smith, Teachings, p.309)  Jesus did not lend any credence to a death-bed repentance or (sic) the malefactor.  What Jesus did do was give recognition to the seeds of faith and repentance which were evidenced by a penitent man.  As always, the Lord’s efforts were directed toward offering as much hope as possible to one who would turn from darkness unto that everlasting light.”  (Life and Teachings. . .p. 186, emphasis added)

     The LDS Bible Dictionary says this:  “For example, when Jesus purportedly said to the thief on the cross, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’, the Bible rendering is incorrect.  The statement would more accurately read, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in the word of spirits’ since the thief was not ready for paradise.”

     The two different interpretations of this statement is another in a long list of examples illustrating the great difference between Mormonism and Christianity on the most fundamental of all doctrines, namely, how a person will live eternally with Jesus.  Again this Holy Week I will be praising my Savior for the incredible love and acceptance he showed the thief – and he has shown me.

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34 Responses to “Paradise”


  1. April 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Anglican Bishop and noted Christian author N.T. Wright has also said that most Christians misinterpret Christ’s words to the thief on the cross.

    He has explained that Paradise is more a sort of holding-pattern prior to judgment. Not a final destination.

  2. 2 ADB
    April 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Seth,

    I have recently had a friend who is quite a devout Anglican (Episcopalian) ask me about this, because he’s been troubled by it. His trouble has come from trying to reconcile what he’s been taught from birth on up (which is virtually identical to the Bishop’s take in your post) to the fact that he can’t find any biblical basis whatsoever when studying Scripture to come to such a conclusion. By his own study of Scripture he can only understand paradise to mean “heaven.”

  3. April 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Take-home point:

    The Christian afterlife is a matter of disagreement and dispute with different camps presenting differing reads on the biblical evidence.

    Mark’s post tries to present a united Christian front against Mormon beliefs here.

    No such united front exists in modern Christianity – even among scholars who are widely accepted as “Christian” (even if they are disagreed with).

    Mark, would you say that N.T. Wright is not a Christian?

  4. 4 GB
    April 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    “By his own study of Scripture he can only understand paradise to mean “heaven.””

    This topic came up in one of my conversations with an anti-Mormon. In the end she had to resort to time travel to resolve the problem. LOL!!!

    “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

    And on the third day after this Jesus said. (John 20:17) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

    And where did Jesus say His Father resided?

    Matt 7:21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    Matt. 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    Matt. 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

    Yup, paradise=heaven=time travel

    Or perhaps paradise=Abraham’s bosom.

    Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
    23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

  5. 5 ladonnamorrell
    April 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Mark,

    You have presented just a small example of the confusion of the Bible. THAT is why the restoration is such an amazing blessing! The Savior appeared to Joseph in the grove and dispelled the darkness that we refer to as the “apostacy”. Thanks to the Book of Mormon, we have the answers to your questions. Does anyone here care??

    ladonna

  6. 6 GB
    April 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    According to Strong’s.

    The word Greek word that is translated to “paradise” means;

    1) among the Persians a grand enclosure or preserve, hunting ground, park, shady and well watered, in which wild animals, were kept for the hunt; it was enclosed by walls and furnished with towers for the hunters

    2) a garden, pleasure ground

    a) grove, park

    3) the part of Hades which was thought by the later Jews to be the abode of the souls of pious until the resurrection: but some understand this to be a heavenly paradise

    4) the upper regions of the heavens. According to the early church Fathers, the paradise in which our first parents dwelt before the fall still exists, neither on the earth or in the heavens, but above and beyond the world

    5) heaven

    So there you have it folks, the Mormon position is a legitimate position where you agree with it or not.

  7. April 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    In a lot of ways, Mormonism matches up with ancient (Old Testament) Judaism far better than the rest of Christianity does.

  8. April 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Seth: you wouldn’t happen to have the specific reference for the N.T. Wright info would you?/

    This is a new angle to me, but I’ll say Bishop Wright is generally someone whose knowledge of the scriptures is quite good.

    GERMIT

  9. April 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I love the story of Jesus and the thief. It touches my heart to know that our precious Lord and master in the final moments of His life reached out as only the Savior does to extend the gift of salvation to this soul. Truly He is the Son of God – the Messiah – the King of Kings and the great I AM.

    I want to take a moment and wish you all a blessed and JOYous Easter!

    I will be offline for the next coming days.

    Our family will be focusing on our precious Lord as we remember and recall his amazing sacrifice on calvary and His glorious resurrection.

    May each one of you, LDS and Christian included enjoy a lovely & peaceful weekend,

    Gloria

  10. April 9, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Here’s a link for you Germit:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/april/13.36.html?start=1

    I don’t pretend that Wright is a closet-Mormon or that his view doesn’t have some real conflicts with the Mormon view. But it does present a picture of the afterlife much less stark than the us-and-them contrast Mark is trying to draw with Mormonism.

  11. April 9, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Seth,

    I have not read “Surprised by Hope” but I read some reviews on it and have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. As I understand it N.T. Wright’s thesis is that the final destination after death is the “new earth” that will only come after the second advent of Christ and the resurrection of the body. Wright’s view is that “paradise” in Luke 23:43 does not refer to the end state after the resurrection, and that the place commonly referred to as Heaven is in fact a place of worship and waiting for the new creation. From the reviews I have read he also refers to the worship in Revelation 4 and 5 not as the worship that will take place after the resurrection but the
    worship that is ongoing.

    From what I have read his book is orthodox and consistent with the Episcopalian Catechisms. If you are interested I would look at the section Titled “The Christian Hope”. So is “paradise” Heaven? Yes. But is this the last stage of redemptive history? Surly not, our hope is for the “resurrection of the body” and the new heaven and new earth.

    Like I said I have not read this book. With that said, from what I have read about Wright’s views on the afterlife appears to be generally comparable to the Westminster Confession of Faith Articles 32 and 33 on the resurrection and the final judgement. Two complaints that I have read are first, the “political” claims the Wright puts forward. I cannot comment on that because I have not read the book. The other complaint that I have read about Wrights book is that he spends to much time trying to prove that many Christians have forgotten the orthodox belief of the new creation. But this may in fact explain GB’s time traveling friend.

  12. 12 Stephanie
    April 10, 2009 at 12:03 am

    A Joyous Easter to everyone!

    Before I go to church tonight for a Maundy Thursday service, I’d like to share a scripture from Isaiah 53, a foreshadow of Christ’s sacrifice. May everyone here have a wonderful, joyous Easter weekend.

    Isaiah 53 “3 He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has born our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did not esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.

    6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

    Tonight is also the Jewish Passover, when the Jewish people remember the angel of death which passed-over the homes of the Jews who smeared the blood of a lamb on their doors, sparing the lives of their first-born sons. The blood of those lambs was a foreshadow to Christ, who is THE LAMB, the perfect sacrifice for our sin.

    May you all have a blessed Easter! In Him, Stephanie

  13. 13 GERMIT
    April 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Thank youi Stephanie, and a joyous Easter to you, and ALL who post here, as well.

    GERMIT

  14. April 10, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    LDS Bible Dictionary says this: “For example, when Jesus purportedly said to the thief on the cross, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’, the Bible rendering is incorrect. The statement would more accurately read, ‘Today shalt thou be with me in the word of spirits’ since the thief was not ready for paradise.”

    This is complete garbage! The Greek word in Luke 23:43 is παραδείσῳ – paradeiso… hmmm, I wonder what that means… paradise perhaps?

  15. 15 GB
    April 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Joseph S.,

    See post #6 above.

  16. 16 ladonnamorrell
    April 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    wow, Joseph, I am glad I LIVE IN A WORLD where the LORD is in charge, not you!!

    sounds to me like some mormon beat you in a wrestling match, or beat you out of a promotion..there is pure hatred in your post!

  17. April 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    God’s Sovereign Choice – Romans 9
    “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ” Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.” What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.””

  18. 18 ADB
    April 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Seth,

    This part caught my attention from your post to Joseph:

    “Yeah, and I find it interesting that you worship a God who is actually some sick-headed puppet master who damns people for evil he deliberately caused them to do in the first place.”

    Unless I missed it previously in our discussion about hell & worship of God, I don’t recall you having this understanding … in what way do you mean that God deliberately caused people to do evil? Are you referring to Adam & Eve?

    Just trying to understand your comment. Thanks.

    Hope everyone had a Good Friday:) Can’t have a great Easter without a Good Friday!

  19. April 11, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I have read through much of “Surprised by Hope”, Gundeck. Interesting book.

    I think your thoughts are helpful for Seth.

    It is Wright’s seeming ambiguity on PSA that frustrates me.

    Looking forward to tomorrow,
    et

  20. April 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks Todd,

    I trust you are referring to the earlier remarks and not my “charming” exchange with Joseph.

  21. 21 ladonnamorrell
    April 11, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    so joe, why the hatred? you didn’t answer my question.

  22. 22 markcares
    April 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Joseph and Seth:
    I deleted some of your comments. I, once again, ask everybody to speak frankly but also respectfully. I, for one, believe that a person can be both frank and respectful. Spitting matches don’t accomplish anything.
    I dind’t check all the way back to see if I should have deleted more. If there are any more of your comments that you would like deleted, let me know and I will oblige you.

  23. April 11, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks Mark.

    In post #19, ADB quotes a portion of my inflammatory response to Joseph. I don’t know if ADB is game for having that quote stricken or not. Also, I don’t think my post #21 is really necessary absent the rest of the exchange between Joseph and I.

  24. April 12, 2009 at 11:23 am

    First of all, sorry to everyone for getting carried away in a polemical diatribe. Mark, please delete my #16 comment.

    LaDonna, I apologize for using such harsh language. I repented and asked God for forgiveness for not showing Christian love.

  25. April 12, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Well, Joseph… I’m a repeat offender in the getting carried away department. And as I mentioned earlier, I’m aware of more nuanced explanations of traditional Christian belief. My comments were a deliberate caricature, and didn’t represent my full view of Christian thought.

    Have a nice Easter.

  26. 26 germit
    April 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    wow, with people confessing stuff right and left, GERMIT is getting nervous; I may have to act like a christian to stick around….

    Seriously: we have our kids say “sorry” , so why not us…

    have a joyous Easter one and all

    GERMIT

  27. 27 ladonnamorrell
    April 13, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Joseph,

    apology accepted. :) thanks.

  28. 28 faithoffathers
    April 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Simple question- what happened to the spirits of all those who lived before Christ? Christ was the first to be resurrected, right? So none of them could have been resurrected before He arose from the tomb. What of that period between their death and eventual resurrection?

    What of the statement “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” 1 Peter 3:18-19. How does one explain the last sentence that Christ preached unto spirits in prison? Where was that prison where “spirits” dwelt?

    What of the verse “For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” 1 Peter 4:6 The prior verse is speaking of the “quick and the dead,” meaning the “alive and dead.” So it is not referring to those who are spiritually dead. It is referring to the physically dead.

    fof

  29. 29 ADB
    April 16, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    FoF

    Here’s a quick response: prison = hell. Since Scripture nowhere else refers specifically to such a “prison,” (with the exception of 2 Peter 2:4, in which hell is equated with a “gloomy dungeon”) but does speak clearly of the unbelieving going to hell, it seems in keeping with the greater context of Scripture to assume hell is being referenced in 1 Peter 3:19.

    Also, it helps to understand that Christ didn’t descend into hell to preach the gospel to those in hell (the Greek word simply means “proclaim,” not necessarily “preach the gospel”), but rather to proclaim his victory over the powers of hell by the cross (think Colossians 2:15). Second chances are foreign to Scripture (cf. Hebrews 9:27), so we can’t justify any idea that he was going to give the damned a second chance.

    As to the last point (admittedly a difficult passage to understand), here’s something to consider: while physical death may certainly be what Peter had in mind, the verb tenses don’t require the understanding that the gospel is being preached to the dead in their present state; rather, it could simply be saying that the gospel was preached previously to those who now currently happen to be dead. In other words, it could have been preached to them while they were still alive. Now, however, they are dead.

    It’s a tough passage, to be sure, but perhaps some of this may help.

  30. April 16, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    faithoffathers ~ Here’s the ESV Study Bible on those passages, emphasis original:

    1 Pet. 3:19 spirits in prison. There is much debate about the identity of these spirits. The Greek term pneuma (“spirit”), in either singular or plural, can mean either human spirits or angels, depending on the context (cf. Num. 16:22; 27:16; Acts 7:59; Heb. 12:23; etc.). Among the three most common interpretations, the first two fit best with the rest of Scripture and with historic orthodox Christian doctrine. These are:

    (1) The first interpretation understands “spirits” (Gk. pneumasin, plural) as referring to the unsaved (human spirits) of Noah’s day. Christ, “in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18), proclaimed the gospel “in the days of Noah” (v. 20) through Noah. The unbelievers who heard Christ’s preaching “did not obey . . . in the days of Noah” (v. 20) and are now suffering judgment (they are “spirits in prison,” v. 19). Several reasons support this view: (a) Peter calls Noah a “herald of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5), where “herald” represents Greek kēryx, “preacher,” which corresponds to the noun kēryssō, “proclaim,” in 1 Pet. 3:19. (b) Peter says the “Spirit of Christ” was speaking through the OT prophets (1:11); thus Christ could have been speaking through Noah as an OT prophet. (c) The context indicates that Christ was preaching through Noah, who was in a persecuted minority, and God saved Noah, which is similar to the situation in Peter’s time: Christ is now preaching the gospel through Peter and his readers (v. 15) to a persecuted minority, and God will save them.

    (2) In the second interpretation, the spirits are the fallen angels who were cast into hell to await the final judgment. Reasons supporting this view include: (a) Some interpreters say that the “sons of God” in Gen. 6:2–4 are angels (see note on Gen. 6:1–2) who sinned by cohabiting with human women “when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah” (1 Pet. 3:20). (b) Almost without exception in the NT, “spirits” (plural) refers to supernatural beings rather than people (e.g., Matt. 8:16; 10:1; Mark 1:27; 5:13; 6:7; Luke 4:36; 6:18; 7:21; 8:2; 10:20; 11:26; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 19:12, 13; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 4:1; Rev. 16:13–14; cf. Heb. 1:7). (c) The word “prison” is not used elsewhere in Scripture as a place of punishment after death for human beings, while it is used for Satan (Rev. 20:7) and other fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). In this case the message that Christ proclaimed is almost certainly one of triumph, after having been “put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18).

    (3) In a third view, some have advocated the idea that Christ offered a second chance of salvation to those in hell. This interpretation, however, is in direct contradiction with other Scripture (cf. Luke 16:26; Heb. 9:27) and with the rest of 1 Peter and therefore must be rejected on biblical and theological grounds, leaving either of the first two views as the most likely interpretation.

    1 Pet. 4:6 the gospel was preached even to those who are dead. Although some maintain that Peter offers a second chance after death for those who rejected Christ, this view is untenable since it contradicts both the clear teaching of Scripture throughout the rest of the Bible (e.g., Luke 16:26; Heb. 9:27; see note on 1 Pet. 3:19) and the immediate context, concerning the importance of perseverance of believers (4:1–6) and the coming judgment of “the living and the dead” (v. 5). Given the immediate context, “those who are dead” refers to Christians to whom “the gospel was preached” when they were alive but who have since died. This fits with the meaning of “dead” in v. 5. Even though believers will experience physical death (i.e., they are judged in the flesh the way people are), believers who have died live in the spirit the way God does (that is, they live in heaven now, and they will live as well at the resurrection when Christ returns).

    That’s pretty much what you’re going to get for the evangelical interpretation of those passages, what ADB said but in more detail.

  31. 31 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 1:33 am

    One of the Old Testament prophecies of Christ is Isa. 61:1.

    “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”

    Which “prison” did Christ open if not the prison spoken of by Peter? (Or could it be bridging the “gulf” mentioned in Luke 16:26)?

    And what of Isa. 24:22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

    Visited by whom?

    And also Isa. 49:9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

  32. April 17, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Isaiah 49:9 & 61:1 are easily understood as references to Christ’s mission to free His people from the captivity of sin and death. (See John 8:34-36)

    “Visit” is really not a very accurate translation for פקד in Isaiah 24:22. It often does mean that, but it can also mean to visit in punishment or wrath. Since verses 21 and 23 both speak of punishment and shame, v. 22 is best understood as “they shall be punished,” and that’s how almost every translation of the Bible has it today (NRSV, RSV, ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV). The only versions I saw that still use “visit” were KJV and ASV. Given the context of the verse, interpreting it as a happy visit to free these prisoners is rather awkward.

    I certainly don’t have a problem with Latter-day Saints interpreting these passages in other ways, but they’re far from the only way to read these verses.

  33. 33 GB
    April 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Bridget,

    You said, “I certainly don’t have a problem with Latter-day Saints interpreting these passages in other ways, but they’re far from the only way to read these verses.”

    That is nice to hear. I appreciate your willingness to share some of the various EV interpretations. It is interesting to me that there are various interpretations. Interesting because the standard anti-Mormon approach is to give the impression that there are no variations in Christianity and that Mormonism is an anomaly.

    NOTE: I am not expressing or implying that you are an anti-Mormon, I know otherwise.

    But I must say that it is coming across a little bit like, “We don’t really know what it really means, but we know you Mormons are wrong”.

    I have had the same type of response from another EV over 1 Cor 15:29 (baptism for the dead). He didn’t know what that verse meant but he did “know” that Mormons were wrong.

    I find that type of response very humorous.

  34. April 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    GB ~ Interesting because the standard anti-Mormon approach is to give the impression that there are no variations in Christianity and that Mormonism is an anomaly.

    Well, the evangelical anti-Mormons and I have been at odds with one another for some time now, and I’ve long felt that LDS interpretations are not so far off from interpretations which do fall under Christian orthodoxy. I really consider Mormonism to be potentially “on the edge” as far as Christian orthodoxy goes.

    But I must say that it is coming across a little bit like, “We don’t really know what it really means, but we know you Mormons are wrong”.

    That really wasn’t my intention. I may personally agree with the ESV Study Bible notes that Hebrew 9:27 and Luke 16:26 preclude the possibility of salvation after death, but I understand that Mormons have their own interpretations of those passages. I’m pretty giving in letting people interpret the Bible how they choose.

    I did have one LDS professor who argued that John 1:1 should be translated “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was among the Gods, and the Word was Himself a God.” Now that was taking things too far even for me.


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