This book had a different view than usual and supported the idea of the unseen realm through Biblical quotes (several of them). Enough of them to prove to the open minded person that the unseen realm is real although it is ignored sometimes even by believers in God. Although some are apparently not sure about what to do about his view, at least one well respected scholar reviewed his book with respect for his scholarship and knowledge of Biblical languages. Thereby, I think, validating that the unseen realm which Dr. Heiser explores is real and indicated in Biblical text. That being said, I do not think that he is correct in his interpretation of the texts that he identified. That is, he thinks that God has two families: an earthly one and a heavenly one. I believe that God has no parallel and that the "family" that he has identified concerns the terminology used by the Bible concerning the prophets of God. In other words, many of them are identified as sons of God. This is acknowledged by Dr. Heiser. He makes the identification of Jesus as a son of God different from other applications of the term because of the way in which it is applied to Jesus. Thus, it enabled him to identify a "family" for God. I do think that the identification of quotes showing episodes and actions of "angels", of council meetings which imply that God confers with a group of heavenly beings is important. I think that other explanations for them are not only possible but more likely than the ones that Mr. Heiser have offered. Nonetheless, the fact that such a respected scholar has been thinking about these quotations and has offered an explanation for them is necessary for the discussion of what these verses mean in God's Plan.
- Hi Cynthia Did you write a review somewhere and compared your views with his and provided support? Would like to read it. Thanks
- Hi, Jacobus, That was my review. I just don't think that his interpretation of a "family" for God is correct. Other than calling Jesus His Son, there is no other indication that there would be a family as Dr. Heiser interprets it. I think he is on the right track when he talks about the elohim as those who were created to carry out God's will. But he identifies them as "angels" who administer in heaven the way that those who follow God on earth administer His will on earth. He separates them completely and offers no indication about who these other elohim are. This word would be interpreted as "God" in translation although it is in plural in this case. The only indication that there can be other gods is in John 10:35. Jesus says that the Prophets to whom the word of God came were identified as "God". This can also be seen by following the following verses: Genesis 50:24-25 where Joseph says that "God will visit you". In Exodus 4:16 God tells Moses that Moses will be "God" to Aaron who will speak to the people. That would indicate that Moses is one of the elohim. Then Moses tells the people that God says: I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. (Deut 18:18) Deuteronomy also tells us that even though there have been prophets to come to the Hebrews, there has never been anyone like Moses whom the Lord knew face to face. (Deut 34:10). If Joseph is right that Moses is "God" (that is, He is called God because He is the closest we (humanity) can come to a physical representation of God, the Spirit) and Aaron represents humanity, then Moses is one of the elohim. Jesus too would be one of the elohim. When Jesus came, He said: For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:46-47) But God was not done and likely will never be done in His shepherding of humanity. Jesus promised another "Comforter" (John 14:16-17) Some people see the Holy Spirit which visited the apostles as the fulfillment of that prophecy but it doesn't fit all the perimeters. When the day of Pentecost came, the apostles were all together and they were filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:1-4) But that wasn't the Holy Spirit/Comforter promised by Jesus in John 14:16-17 because a little later, Peter addressed the people telling them that Jesus the Christ would come again and quoted the promise of Moses again. (Acts 3:12-23) He wasn't speaking of the fulfillment by Jesus. He says that He WILL come. I believe that the Prophets Who revealed God's Word to humanity are the elohim and the divine council which judges humanity. For further evidence, the promise of Moses is repeated in the Qur'an. First, Mohammad confirms that He was intended by the prophecy: A similar (favour have ye already received) in that We have sent among you an Apostle of your own, rehearsing to you Our Signs, and sanctifying you, and instructing you in Scripture and Wisdom, and in new knowledge. Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith. Qur’án 2.151-152 (Yusuf Ali translation) And then Mohammad repeats the promise of Moses again: One day We shall raise from all Peoples a witness against them, from amongst themselves: and We shall bring thee as a witness against these (thy people): and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims (Those Who Submit Themselves to God). Qur’án 16.89 (Yusuf Ali translation) One thousand two hundred and sixty lunar years later (1260 lunar years because that is the calendar used by the Muslims), the Bab affirms that He is "God" (i.e., one of the elohim) when He says: This is a letter from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, unto God, the Almighty, the Best Beloved, to affirm that the Bayan and such as bear allegiance to it are but a present from me unto Thee and to express my undoubting faith that there is no God but Thee, that the kingdoms of Creation and Revelation are Thine, that no one can attain anything save by Thy power and that He Whom Thou hast raised up is but Thy servant and Thy Testimony. The Bab: Selections from the Bab, p 6-7 The Bab(the Gate) was Elijah or John the Baptist to Baha'u'llah (the Glory of God) as well as an elohim. Although the Bab does not repeat the promise of Moses, He does indicate that there is Another (He Whom God Will Make Manifest) to come. He is the One intended by "God, the Almighty, the Best Beloved" in the above letter. In a Tablet to the Christians, He Whom God Shall Make Manifest (Baha'u'llah) says: "The river Jordan is joined to the Most Great Ocean, and the Son, in the holy vale, crieth out: 'Here am I, here am I O Lord, my God!', whilst Sinai circleth round the House, and the Burning Bush calleth aloud: 'He Who is the Desired One is come in His transcendent majesty.' Say, Lo! The Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled! This is the Word which the Son concealed, when to those around Him He said: 'Ye cannot bear it now.' And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon of the Will of God."" (Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 11) Cynthia