The Open Scriptures
The world today has forgotten that the most shocking and offensive thing about the Book of Mormon was what? For years and years, nobody could find any objectionable teachings in it. So what were they so upset about? It was this: It presented a completely unfamiliar set of scripture and revelation—a completely new idea of scripture. Nobody had ever thought of the scriptures being open like that. They said, "Now look, we have the Bible, and this Bible was a concrete, monolithic block written by the hand of God, and there is nothing else." Then came the Book of Mormon, not only butting into the picture, but giving a whole new conception of what scripture was, how it had been composed, and how it had been made, how things built up; it tells us a lot about writing, about recording, about handing down traditions, about how the people thought of the book. If we go into all the early criticism of Mormonism, this is the thing people resented. They couldn't understand anything like it. But this is exactly what we run into in the newly discovered apocryphal texts.
We have in the Book of Mormon a unique treatise on how men receive revelation from above; we find there a great deal on the subject of revelation. The Book of Mormon is much preoccupied with the physical transmission of records, as well as with visitations of angels. We are told that there exist records that reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof—there are records that contain all basic knowledge (2 Nephi 27:7, 10-11). The mysteries of God are to be had on ancient plates and ancient records. There is a basic body of knowledge around which history pivots, and this is recorded knowledge, sometimes hidden away, and sometimes available—in libraries here and corpuses there. That is, the books have been "kicking around," often concealed, but kept and transmitted; they possess a tremendous amount of information if men could only get hold of them. And now some of those books are here upon the earth. Again, this was a new concept, and it comes up a great deal in the Book of Mormon.
These documents are an indispensable aid to the knowledge of things as they are. What the Book of Mormon does! I've mentioned the third dimension. The other churches live in a two-dimensional world. But our gospel adds a third dimension, so to speak. We think of the other world as being a reality, and so we actually live in another dimension. That's a nice thing, theoretically, but what we have got to show is more than theory. We have the Book of Mormon; it cuts a furrow through everything that's been done before. It plows right through all our old concepts, upsetting things! It breaks the circle, the age-old argument of the scripture and the apocrypha. The world says that the documents of the Bible, properly selected and evaluated, are the word of God. But they select the documents! So we go around in a circle, declaring these to be the word of God, insomuch as they're properly selected and evaluated. But who selects and evaluates? Oh, we do! We make our own word of God. That is what it amounts to. And that's all we can do—just run around in a circle. The Book of Mormon breaks right into that—coming in from the outside, having nothing to do with any of the formal concepts of scripture. It's a completely jarring note, and so it's a remarkable document.
The apocryphal writings, especially those recently discovered, pay the same careful attention to bookkeeping that the authors of the Book of Mormon do. They represent a tradition handed down at all times, the idea that a particular volume or volumes are hidden, and thus transmitted. It is an old story, and we run into it frequently. The Egyptians are especially full of the idea; the Dead Sea Scrolls are completely caught up in it.
The Egyptians, from the earliest to the latest times, frequently refer to a mysterious box that contains a record of the race. It has been hidden, and if they could only get to it, they would have something. An Egyptian noble of the old kingdom boasts that he has seen the box, the ephod of sia ("wisdom"), and he knows what is in it. Many a noble Egyptian, many a pharaoh, and many a king spent all his days reading the tablets and writings in the House of Life, above all seeking for the book. The House of Life was a very important institution in Egypt, a magnificent building, a library; and it contained mostly genealogical records.1 That's what the great Gardiner, just before he died, found out. The Egyptians used to spend their days in the House of Life, looking for something they felt was lost—especially the book. Somewhere in these treasures was the book, the book written by the hand of Thoth himself, Dhwty, or whatever name we want to give him. It would contain all knowledge—certain secrets, secrets of life.
A New Kingdom writing: "It is in the midst of the Sea of Coptos, in a box of iron, in a box of bronze, which is in a box of kita wood, which is in a box of ivory and ebony, which is in a box of silver, which is in a box of gold, in which is the book"—if we could only get into it! This account says the story can only be read once we've found the book by the inspiration of Ammon.
The Babylonians were, if anything, even more taken with the Book of Life than the Egyptians, and indeed (we should read something from the Gilgamesh epic here), the legends in both countries reflected real practices throughout the Near East of recent years. Piggott tells us that "the whole business archives of a single family have sometimes been recovered from the ruins of a single house."2 Throughout the Near East—Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, or Egypt—it is not uncommon to discover the business archives and histories in private libraries. We realize that most of the great libraries of antiquity were private libraries, kept in people's houses. This came as a surprise too; they are not even temple libraries.
Again, we find a good Book of Mormon custom, according to which Laban had the archives, and it was there he kept the plates. Why? Because it was a private record; he was directly descended from Joseph, and the family kept the genealogy there, in their house of life. Lehi had to get the records from Laban, and we can see why Laban was in no mood to part with them!
The idea that a king, a near contemporary of Lehi, should cause transcriptions and translations to be made of a royal speech and sent to various parts of his dominion, so a copy of it should turn up in the ruins of a Jewish community far up the Nile in Elephantine (among Jewish refugees from Lehi's Jerusalem), would not have occurred to anyone before 1906, unless one happened to have read about such things in the Book of Mormon. Yet another, even better example has recently turned up in Egypt, in the form of the royal speech. The king at his coronation gave a speech, and since the speech could not be heard by everyone, he had brochures made of it and circulated, as Benjamin did in the Book of Mormon.
Among the Jewish apocrypha, Baruch is particularly concerned with a guiding book. Baruch read this book in the hearing of the king's son, and in the hearing of all the people that came to hear it in Babylon; then they had a copy made and sent to Jerusalem. Baruch was the secretary of Jeremiah, the friend of Lehi, and so all these customs were familiar—we see why the Book of Mormon people would take them with them. And "this is the Book of the Commandments," says Baruch; "the Book of the Commandments of God. . . . All they that hold it fast are appointed to life; But such as leave it shall die. Turn thee, O Jacob, and take hold of it: Walk towards her shining in the presence of the light thereof."3 This is the idea of taking hold of things, the motif of grabbing the iron rod. Baruch comments on the custom of hiding the book, a theme often mentioned in the apocrypha: the holy book has to be hidden. All the treasures of Israel, he says, must be hid up unto the Lord, "so that strangers may not get possession of them. For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time, until it is said that it is again restored forever. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed [the records] up."4
In 2 Baruch we read an interesting thing. All the treasures of Israel, he says, must be hid up unto the Lord so that strangers may not get possession of them. And in Helaman, where people are rebuked for hiding their private treasures, we read, "They shall hide up treasures unto [the Lord]" (Helaman 13:19). It's a commandment. We usually think of this as denouncing people for hiding up treasures. It's Samuel the Lamanite who says their treasures are going to become slippery because they did not hide them up to the Lord when they fled from their enemies; when we do flee from the enemy we must hide up our treasure to the Lord (cf. Helaman 13:31, 20).
Later Baruch tells us how "they hid all the vessels of the sanctuary, lest the enemy should get possession of them."5 Though this writing was published only since Cumorah, a more recent find gives it solid historical dimensions—the famous Copper Scroll, found in Cave Four at Qumran. The significance of this, an important record written on copper alloy sheets and hidden up, is that it was in fact written and prepared with the express purpose of its being hidden up. That's why it was written, for it contains a record of all the other treasures hidden up to the Lord.
Here we have a concrete and indisputable example of an ancient Israelite practice: "For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; and cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me" (Helaman 13:19). If we hide them unto the Lord, that's a good thing; he wants us to hide treasures to him, in regular old Jewish fashion. Again, Baruch, the secretary of Jeremiah, writes that when Jerusalem was destroyed (referring to the destruction of Jerusalem at the time of Lehi), the Lord wanted the treasures to be buried up unto him. It's a rule, and now we know from the Copper Scroll it was actually done.6 And this is the way it was done. And then Baruch says, "And none shall redeem it. . . . And the day shall come that they shall hide up their treasures, because they have set their hearts upon their riches. . . . When they shall flee before their enemies; because they will not hide them up unto me" (Helaman 13:19-20). When we flee before our enemies, we hide our treasure up unto the Lord; it's a commandment.
Let me say a word about reformed Egyptian here. It was demotic, learned by Lehi in the Old World. Spiegelberg defines demotic as the cursive form of writing developed between the eight and fourth centuries B.C., an abbreviation of the hieratic.7 So we start out with the hieroglyphic; then came the hieratic, which was, in turn, a short form of hieroglyphic. As a shorthand of a shorthand, demotic was the best shorthand ever invented. It was ideal for saving space, putting a great deal of writing into a small amount of space. It became the cominant type of writing in Egypt about Lehi's time. About 600 B.C., everyone turned to it; it became the way of doing things, and the script really was reformed. Here's one way the name Ammon is written in Egyptian. Next it was written more rapidly in hieratic, but by the time of the demotic representation, the name Ammon is simply this. You can recognize the hieratic, but the demotic form is reformed Egyptian. We can see what economy they would enjoy in writing documents that way. It's strange that people made so much fun about Joseph Smith and his "reformed Egyptian"; what other name could he possibly give it? It was Champollion who first gave it the name of demotic. In 1828 he published his first work on the subject, about the same time the Book of Mormon appeared. Nobody had ever given any name to this before, and what better name could we give it than reformed Egyptian? Hebrew writing, on the other hand, has always been singularly clumsy from this point of view. It's quite correct to call the last of these forms reformed Egyptian, reformed beyond recognition by anyone but an expert.
In the old apocrypha, both Jewish and Christian, we find certain favorite images and expressions. This is mostly what I will talk about now, because there are some very nice ones. I have talked about doctrines, the same doctrines emphasized in the Book of Mormon, but now I will talk about images, because they're more concrete. Again, if we arrange these types and images in order of frequency, they are as distinctive as fingerprints. First consider the images, which are peculiar and characteristic; they also reflect the peculiar cultural background of the people. I could talk about the geographical, physical, and cultural background, but instead I will speak about the images as they appear in both the Book of Mormon and the apocryphal writings. Their literary occurrence is a different thing, a comparison that hasn't been done before. What we didn't fully appreciate was their literary and scriptural importance, and that's not surprising, since it was the Dead Sea Scrolls that first brought those to light, and the scrolls were first discovered in the very same year that I wrote my series of "Lehi in the Desert," though nobody even knew about any Dead Sea Scrolls then.
Desert imagery has been shown to be vivid in the writings of the Jewish sectary. For example, a wealth of expressions refers to travel in the desert—the desert road that is so dangerous to leave. "That I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!" (2 Nephi 4:32). This prayer of Nephi, the desert traveler, sounds like stilted English until we take it in a literal sense. "The mists of darkness," says Lehi, explaining this image, "are the temptations of the devil. . . . [He] leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost" (1 Nephi 12:17). In our civilization, the broadest roads are the safest; in the desert, they are the most confusing and dangerous. "Walk in the strait path," says good old Nephi—in true desert style—"which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation" (2 Nephi 33:9). It is not the geographical, but the apocryphal reference that interests us now. In the late Egyptian period (the Egyptian of Lehi's day), according to Grapow, it became a very common teaching that a man should never depart from the right road, but be righteous, not associate his heart with the wicked, nor walk in the path of unrighteousness. This had actually become a literary convention in Lehi's day; and in his culture, it is very closely connected with the Israelitish use of it.
That's not accidental at all. It is an early appearance of the Doctrine of Two Ways: the road of safety and the road of danger; the road of life and the road of death. Couroyer shows a definite connection between the Egyptian and the Israelite teachings on the way of life.8 The Wisdom of Ben Sira, from the early second century B.C., says, "the paths are plain for the blameless, even so they offer stumbling blocks to the presumptuous."9 Compare this with Nephi's plain road: "Oh Lord, . . . wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way, . . . and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy" (2 Nephi 4:33)—the same image, praying that his enemies may get the stumbling block, and that he may have the plain road.10
Ben Sira accords the desert traveler "the image of the man most dependent upon God."11 So he refers to the traveler again and again, and to life as a journey through the desert, where man is most dependent upon God; and this is the lesson of 1 Nephi. The Wisdom of Solomon says, "We went astray from the way of truth, . . . [and] we journeyed through trackless deserts. But the way of the Lord we knew not."12 This expression is of the very same type the Book of Mormon uses. This is what Lehi dreams about, what terrifies him—getting lost. "The eternal being," says the Manual of Discipline, "is the rock which supports my right hand, the road to my feet."13 Notable here is the common practice of mixing metaphors, especially in enthusiastic passages. The metaphors are closely parallel, and sometimes they appear in rather tasteless profusion. Helaman 3:29-30 is a classic instance, so thoroughly typical that anyone reading much of the Dead Sea Scrolls would notice how much alike they sound. "Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold . . ." (Helaman 3:29). Helaman has just spoken about support for his hand and laying hold of the way of truth—"he is the rock that supports my hand, the road to my feet." These expressions are like fingerprints; they crop up in abundance:
Whosever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder [it's now a two-edged sword] all the cunning and the snares and wiles of the devil [now we've got the image of a trap], and lead the man of Christ in a straight and narrow course [now we get the road] across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked [it is the road across the gulf]—And land their souls [now they're crossing some water], yea, their immortal souls, . . . in the kingdom of heaven [even more imagery], to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out. (Helaman 3:29)
Such a mixture of familiar metaphors is fairly characteristic of this type of literature.
Another favorite desert image is the great castle in the desert, which, as Nephi tells us, represents "the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceeding great" (1 Nephi 11:36). Consider the castle of Agormi, from the time of Nectanebos the Second (from the time of Lehi); it was indeed a great and lofty building, with date trees growing at the foot of it and a big fruit tree in the courtyard—reminiscent of Lehi's description. The archetype of the great building that falls and slays its wicked owner is the house of Cain; we can trace this to the work called the al-Iklil, the crown. The castle of Ghumdan is described by al-Hamdani as the "great and spacious buildings" which "stood as it were in the air, high above the earth," with the finely dressed people.14 It falls, representing the destruction of the wicked, the vanity of the world—and it's overwhelming. The Jewish legend goes back to the house of Cain, the first house to be built of stone. It was a very splendid house, and the way Cain died was that the house fell on him and killed him. The book of Jubilees reports that Cain was killed when his stone house fell on him: "For with a stone he had killed Abel, and by a stone was he killed in righteous judgment."15 We have cited the Arabic versions of the tradition of the great house, but this text shows that it's also among the oldest of Hebrew traditions. The book of Jubilees itself is relatively old. Cain built the first great house of vanity, and it fell upon him and killed him.
When I recently collected, sorted, and classified many doctrinal elements in the early apocrypha, the most conspicuous was the plan laid from the foundation of the world. The idea has been suppressed by the editors and translators of the Bible, but it breaks out repreatedly in the apocrypha, and it is nowhere more succinctly and emphatically stated than in the Book of Mormon: "The way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world" (1 Nephi 10:18). It provided every man with a choice throughout his life, by placing not one but two ways before him. "It must needs be that there was an opposition," as Nephi says, "even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life [there was a tree of life and a tree of death; there was fruit to eat, and a fruit forbidden], the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself" (2 Nephi 2:15-16). Accordingly, "if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean" (1 Nephi 10:21). "And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God" (2 Nephi 2:21).
Sometimes the way is called the plan, sometimes the will of God, sometimes both. That's what the "will of God" means—what he gave in the beginning, what was agreed on then. "The days of the children . . . were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore their state became a state of probation" (2 Nephi 2:21). "Because . . . they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon" (2 Nephi 2:26). "O how great the plan of our God" (2 Nephi 9:13), exclaims Nephi, using the word "plan." The plan was laid in the premortal existence through worlds already provided; the righteous shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was "prepared . . . from the foundation of the world" (1 Nephi 10:18). The plan laid at the foundation of the world was met by a counterplan of the devil—"O that cunning plan of the evil one!" (2 Nephi 9:28).
Centuries after Nephi, Alma summarized the doctrine: "There was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state" (Alma 12:24). "If it had not been for the plan of redemption, which was laid from the foundation of the world, there could have been no resurrection of the dead" (Alma 12:25); and all things trace back to this plan of redemption. "Therefore, [God] sent angels to converse with [men], . . . and made known unto them the plan of redemption, which has been prepared from the foundation of the world; . . . [so they could become] as Gods, knowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act" (Alma 12:29-31). Notice, "to act for themselves and not to be acted upon" (2 Nephi 2:26). The fact that reference to the plan occurs forty-seven times in the Book of Mormon shows the extreme prominence of the idea.
The concept receives the same emphasis and expression in the newly found apocrypha as in the Book of Mormon, though it's minimized by the editors of the Bible. Let me add a few points. "Let us prepare our soul," says Baruch, "that we may possess and not be taken possession of."16 Ours is the active, not the passive part; man is "to act, . . . and not to be acted upon." We are to take possession, and not to be taken possession of. The notion of opposition is the same, the antithesis that Alma and Nephi, Book of Mormon writers, use.
Speaking of mankind in general, the Wisdom of Solomon remarks, "by judging them by little and little," the plan extends mankind's means; it extends the day of probation: "Thou gavest them a place of repentance, though thou knewest their nature."17 His judging them little by little prolongs the day of their repentance (cf. 2 Nephi 2:21). Of the righteous, the Wisdom of Solomon says, "God tested them, and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace he proved them; . . . in the time of their visitation they shall shine forth."18
This passage appeared almost verbatim on the first page of the first Dead Sea Scroll discovered (the Serekh scroll). The Zadokite Fragment, the oldest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, says that "the righteous person who fails to follow the command is one that has failed his testing in the furnace" (the citing of the place being a test).19 One of the most striking statements of Lehi's principle is that there "must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things; . . . all things must needs be a compound in one" (2 Nephi 2:11). Sometimes these expressions in the Book of Mormon make us look twice; could they have used language so sophisticated to express the idea so perfectly?
The newly found Gospel of Philip starts out in the best vein of the apostolic Fathers, denouncing those members of the church who desert the doctrine of the resurrection of the flesh. The work is strictly orthodox, and very strongly anti-gnostic, although some people try to explain it away by saying it is gnostic. The same idea occurs exactly: "In this world, the right and the left, the light and the dark, the good and the evil are twins, and they cannot be separated." They are compounded in one; they belong right together. "And this is according to the Lord's plan," that there should be one.20 The Lord intends it that way.
The Book of Mormon begins with a report of a vision, which Lehi has of affairs in heaven. He goes out in the desert, where he sees a light. He goes home and throws himself on his bed. There he has a vision. He's carried away into the court in heaven, where he attends a great meeting and sees the great assembly, the great council, held at the foundation of the world, where the gospel plan was explained.
When the people in the assembly were very downcast, like Job, or the Hodayot singer in the Milhamah (War) Scroll, after the army was beaten, they are all taken back and reminded of the council in heaven, and told, so to speak, "Now don't be worried—this is all going according to plan." This is exactly what happens to Lehi. He sees the council at the foundation of the world, the Lord's way of explaining to him the gospel plan. Everything actually begins with that council. A very large portion, the majority, in fact, of early Christian and Jewish apocrypha belonged to a type of literature designated as the testaments (testamentary literature), which I have treated elsewhere.21 The genre is typical of the great patriarchs—there are testaments of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the Twelve Patriarchs, and Job. Some of these, such as the testaments of Isaac and Job, have been discovered fairly recently. There are all sorts of testaments, all basically telling the same thing. There are testaments because the man is talking to one or two of his children or to one of his new disciples. He names them in order, then gives them instructions; often the author tells that he's been to heaven and seen a vision—God on his throne, being acclaimed.
This is the way Lehi starts out in 2 Nephi 1-4. Lehi gives advice to his sons—Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Jacob, and Joseph; the sons of Ishmael; and even Zoram and his descendants, giving each one a prophecy, a promise, a warning, a little history of the past. In each instance he refers to the story of the heavenly vision, because it has changed his view of everything. This is the main characteristic of the testamentary literature.
"It is only natural," explains a modern commentator, "that the last words of a dying patriarch [the testamentary literature in general] contain the predictions of the future as well as reminiscences of the past, and exhortations for the present." Each of Lehi's speeches is the same. To each of his sons in the wilderness, he tells the past trials, tribulations, temptations, and sins of their ancestors; he tells of his present danger, gives a warning, tells what the situation is, why he named each as he did, and then prophesies the future. So the Book of Mormon is strictly in the authentic tradition.
One striking image that meets us in this account of Lehi's heavenly vision is that of a meeting breaking up. Lehi sees God on his throne, the people are singing the hymn; but then the hymn stops, the meeting breaks up, and everyone goes about his business (1 Nephi 1). One of the newly discovered apocrypha, the so-called Creation Apocryphon, also describes such a situation. And what was decided on in the heavenly council is now being carried out by Gods, angels, and men. This concept of heaven is alien to conventional Judaism and Christianity, in which the chief characteristic of the heavenly order, conforming to the teachings of Athanasius, is absolutely motionless stability. Heaven is complete fulfillment, static permanence, a meeting in the presence of God where the opening hymn is sung forever and ever and ever. Christians can't think of anything else to do, just go on singing that hymn. This is why the Christian heaven is such a bore. When Athanasius was asked, "What do we do?" he replied, "If we read in the Bible that people sing hymns, I guess that's all we ever do!"22 What he didn't know was that these scenes are merely a flashback to the great conference in the premortal existence.
The meeting that Lehi sees breaks up; it's apparently the meeting where the great plan was approved. It could have been the later one, when Christ's mission was confirmed and more local arrangements made, but it looks like the first one, where all present shouted for joy, because they were all singing to and acclaiming the One on the throne. Other prophets have seen the same vision, as a means to explain to them why we have to go through with what we do here on the earth.
When the meeting breaks up, twelve particular persons descend to the earth. And yet another: Nephi saw one descend out of the midst of heaven (cf. 1 Nephi 12:6); "he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth" (1 Nephi 1:10-11). It is the image of the descending stars to which I draw attention, for the correct and conventional way of designating holy persons who descend to earth to carry out assignments among men is to call them stars, or the stars that shine above the stars.
There are some interesting references to that. In the Coffin Texts, the Pharaoh coming to earth is referred to as the unique star, as he comes forth through the gates of heaven to circulate among men. The gatekeeper hails him as the unique, the only, the unequalled star; the indestructible stars—the other stars—turn aside for him.23 Of course the seven moving heavenly bodies, the planets, are the origin of the idea of the seven wise men, who circulate constantly among the children of men. The seven wise men must lay the foundations of Uruk, the oldest city in the world, for all sacred foundations have to be established with direct reference to the stars. In an Egyptian building, palace, or temple, the foundation had to be laid by the Pharaoh, and it had to be laid at night. He would go out at night with his chief astronomer, and they would take very careful observations. The Pharaoh would drive the pegs. It had to be done at night, because reference had to be made to the stars. We are told that the hero, Enkidu (a friend of Gilgamesh), in this very archaic, prehistoric epic of the Babylonians, is equal to the star of heaven who came down to him. In the beginning, according to the Enuma Elish, the creator created the stations and established the stars in their places, especially the star Nibiru, who represents the Savior with them, shining forth to all who see in him their beginning and their end.24 Nibiru alone abides in his place. When the God descends to earth from the holy mountain in the Ras Shamra Texts, from the Palace of Baal, he is preceded by Qodesh, the Holy One, carrying a torch to light the way.25 Even Amrur, coming down like a star from the heights, from the heights of Saphon to move among men, bears a torch like the star. In the same work the hero is called the Man of Hermi, with the specification that the offering of Hermi is the offering of the stars.26 According to the Mandaeans (theirs was the cult of Venus), the morning star, Lucifer, brings great sin into the world. There is a negative star, a bad star, as well as the good. According to the Mayas, Venus is the morning star, the bringer of all evil, a very dreaded thing. Enoch reports that he "saw many stars descend and cast themselves down from heaven to that first star" which had come down. Later, God summoned the first star, who led away all the other stars and cast him into an abyss.27 But the idea of coming and going is represented by circulating stars, and this first comes out in Lehi's vision, in which he sees the meeting break up in heaven. Then some individuals descend like stars. One comes down, and twelve others like him, he being brighter than any of the others. The Lord says in a work called the Secrets of Enoch, "I appointed for him four special stars, and called his name Adam, and I showed him the two ways."28
After apostasy, the time will come to restore things. In the very important, old Jewish Testament of Levi, he prophesies to his sons, "Then shall the Lord raise up a new priest. And to him all the words of the Lord shall be revealed. . . . His star shall rise in heaven as of a king. The heavens shall be opened. . . . And in his priesthood the Gentiles shall be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth."29 One thinks immediately of the star of Bethlehem, of course, and few Christians would deny it some element of reality, if only on the charts of the magi. It was in the form of a star, according to an early apocryphon, that Michael led the magi to Christ.30 Judah, in the Testament of Judah, tells the same sort of thing. After long ages of darkness and captivity, "after these things shall a star arise to you from Jacob, in peace, and a man shall arise [from my seed] like the Sun of Righteousness, . . . and the heavens shall be opened unto him."31 The righteous, according to 4 Ezra, "are destined to be made like the light of the stars, henceforth incorruptible." Their faces "shall shine above the stars," while the faces of the wicked are "blacker than the darkness."32 Again we have the faces shining above stars—as in Lehi's vision. "The stars shined in their watches, and were glad," says the book of Baruch, which again reminds us of the designation of the watchers as stars. When he called, they said, "We are here" (the stars all called out together). They shined with gladness unto him that made them.33 We are reminded of the morning stars shouting for joy at the creation. In the War Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the deliverer, the leader of the sects of that time, a prophet who led them in the desert, was called the Star from Jacob—reference to the older writing, in which a star is said to arise from Jacob. Sometimes he's referred to just as "the Star," the name for the leader of the community.34
In the Zadokite Fragment, the Star is the searcher of the law, a real person who came to Damascus, as it is written.35 The Star is specifically an inspired lawgiver to the order. The mystery of Christ's birth was made known to the Aeons, says Ignatius, speaking in what some would call the purest gnostic theme, by a star—a completely new star. All the other stars and the sun and the moon made a chorus to the star, while it cast its radiance over all.36 Clement, in his Recognitions, describes the pirating of Christian ideas by the Zoroastrians, and he resents it: "They call their prophet the 'living star,' whereas that name is what we really give to Christ, calling him the friend of God, and saying that He too was taken up to heaven in a chariot."37
The star image had nothing to do with the worship of stars. When Lehi goes home, convinced he has had a vision in which he saw the stars coming down, he prophesies. He feels good about it; everything is strictly in order with his soul. The visions just cited—from Baruch, Enoch, and others—were also writings from Lehi's culture.
Another image of great importance in the Book of Mormon is the treasure. The Book of Mormon has much to say about earthly and heavenly treasures, in the same sense in which the newly found apocrypha do. Of course the image is also found in the New Testament. The Book of Mormon prophets explain many references to heavenly treasures in the Bible. Helaman is fondest of treasures. "And even at this time, instead of laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where nothing doth corrupt, . . . ye are heaping up for yourselves wrath against the day of judgment" (Helaman 8:25). This is the correct concept of what is meant by a treasure; it is a very common idea in the early apocrypha. We find in the many treasure passages that the treasure is the wisdom and knowledge we left behind us when we came down to this earth. In the premortal existence, we left our treasure in God's treasury, in his keeping. There it is, and by our good works here we can add to it; more will be waiting for us when we go back. So let us not try to pile up wealth and possessions on earth. They're not going to do us any good; we can't take them back there. Let us lay up our treasures there—add to our treasure store. We really do have one there, because we had one before we came. We left it behind, and we're going back to it. It's a very vivid concept, and basic to it is the doctrine of the preexistence.38 There's a great treasury in heaven which contains all good things; it is to share in this treasury that all seek. But in the Jewish apocrypha, in the Wisdom of Ben Sira, God orders, by his word, the lights in the heavenly height, and by the utterance of his mouth he opens the treasury, where the righteous have a store of good works preserved.39 These are good works preserved, already done. And they're being preserved; everything we add to our credit is being preserved in God's treasury.
"At that time," says 2 Baruch, "the treasuries will be opened in which is preserved the number of the souls of the righteous."40 Second Enoch puts another unpopular interpretation on the heavenly treasury. It is the treasure house of the various elements.41 We're told, in a recently discovered writing, the Syriac writing called The Pearl, how the prince is completely outfitted by his heavenly parents to come down to this earth. He's warned and given final instructions; then with a heavy heart they send him forth. They know he's going to be tested, but it's quite a happy event nevertheless. He's left his treasure behind, and also his special garment, which he will resume when he comes back if he's worthy. So he goes down and lives in the wicked world in Egypt, becomes defiled, forgets his treasure, and has to have a special messenger sent to remind him that he has a treasure, and that he's going to lose it if he doesn't behave himself. So he reforms his ways and works hard, trying to gain the pearl again so he can bring it back, to put it into the treasury, where his garment is waiting for him.42
This idea of a waiting garment occurs many times—about a hundred times—in the newly discovered texts. The righteous are completely outfitted by the treasurers with the garments and jewels from the royal treasury, and those God returns. "God has hidden the kingdom as a treasure," says Peter in the Clementine Recognitions, "burying it under mountains, where it can only be reached by zealous work. The righteous attain to it, enjoy the treasure, and want to give it to others."43 In another text, the Lord commands at the creation, "Bring out all the knowledge, bring the books from my storehouse, bring the necessary equipment from my laboratory and my treasury, and bring a reed of quick writing, and give it to Enoch and let's get to work here."44 These things are in storage. The Zadokite Fragment explains that God laid open his hidden things before them, as well as knowledge of the times and the seasons which is kept in the treasury.45
According to the Serekh Scroll, or the Manual of Discipline, God in the beginning opened his treasury and poured out his knowledge. That knowledge is being kept there. He poured out his knowledge before the first angels.46 (This is the time when the world was created in the presence of the first angels.) The writer of the Thanksgiving Hymn rejoices constantly in being able to receive from the treasury of God's secret knowledge. This is what 2 Jeu calls "the great mystery of the treasury of light," which can be approached only by those who have passed through all the eons and all the places of the invisible God.47 We return to obtain it, bringing a lot of experience.
"The treasury of the heavenly king is open," says the Acts of Thomas; "and everyone who is worthy takes and finds rest, and when he has found rest he becomes a king."48 The Gospel of Thomas counsels us to "search for the treasure which fails not," and tells us that the kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field; someone bought the field, found it there, and began lending money to everyone. So also we want to share the treasure.49 In the Psalms of Thomas the evil one and his robbers attack and plunder the great treasure ship, and carry off the booty to other worlds, using it to adorn and furbish their own planets. God has vivid things in this treasury, and he sends out various issues from it; one of these is raided by a band of the evil ones, who carry off the stuff. And when they get it they use it to make their own worlds and fit them out. Anything they happen to have on their planet has been stolen from people going and coming. It's something for a science fiction writer, a vivid picture drawn in the Psalms of Thomas. It goes on: Hearing that this stuff has been plundered, has been taken away, and is being falsely used by people who aren't qualified to use it, the Lord calls his treasurer, namely Reason (this is a gnostic work, which rationalizes the doctrine), and finally gets back the treasure—the treasure of life, which the thieves have hidden under a black mountain. Then, having summoned all the heavenly host, the father establishes a treasure house of life containing living images that do not perish. Moreover, in the presence of the first angel, he opens his treasure chest and takes from it the elements from which he is to organize another world.50 So there are great supplies, in large supply houses.
Another image is interesting because it comes out in the Book of Mormon, the first source we have that talks about it. Apocalyptic imagery is not missing from the Book of Mormon, though it's not nearly as prominent as one would expect if the book had actually been composed in the world of Joseph Smith, because this was the one kind of doctrine that did have popular reception—the apocalyptic destruction. End-of-the-world sects were very common in Joseph Smith's time; the forerunners of the Seventh-Day Adventists were expecting the end of the world in 1843 or 1844, as were many people. The Book of Mormon avoids this image. The fire and smoke of hell, and other apocalyptic images, are clearly stated to be types, rather than realities, as is the monster death and hell. This practice agrees with the old apocrypha. Typical is the phrase of Alma: "I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God" (Mosiah 27:29). "He has freed us from the darkness to prepare himself a holy people," says Barnabas.51 To the image of the diggers of the pit who themselves fall into it, there are many parallels. Nephi mentions it twice (cf. 1 Nephi 14:3; 22:14). Ben Sira says, "He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and he that setteth a snare shall be taken therein."52
The solemn and impassioned outbursts of prophets and patriarchs, appealing to their sons and followers in this testamentary literature, come from this same mold. Where does the following passage come from? "And now, my children, . . . how terrible and awful it is to come before the face of the heaven. . . . Who can endure that endless pain?" This sounds like Alma talking to his sons, or like Nephi; or compare it with Alma 36:21. It's actually from the Secrets of Enoch,53 discovered in 1828, shortly after Joseph Smith received the plates of Mormon, though in 1820 a text had already been made available in England, an Ethiopian text, from the sixteenth century (it would be interesting to know if it made it to New York state). Compare Alma 36:21 with this statement by Enoch: "And now my children, how awful it is to come before the face of the ruler of heaven. Who can endure that endless pain?" This is a translation by R. H. Charles. The Book of Mormon says, "Yea, I say unto you, my son [not my children], that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains" (Alma 36:21). "The very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror" (Alma 36:14). My sons, how terrible, how awful, it is to come before the face of the Ruler; that was what "racked his soul with horror." And who can endure that endless pain, as he puts it, "so exquisite and so bitter were my pains"—the same ideas, presented in the same ways.
In one verse, Alma 19:6, the word light occurs six times, in every one of the familiar senses in which it meets us in the Nag Hammadi texts and in the Dead Sea Scrolls:
Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that King Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God. (Alma 19:6)
Mohlin's book on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Die Söhne des Lichtes, deals extensively with the images of light and darkness;54 the images are so constant that the Dead Sea Scrolls people are today called the "Sons of Light." The title to the second of the great scrolls is in fact The War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness. It is exactly the same light and darkness of which Alma speaks, in the same sense, when talking about King Lamoni, who was overcome in this struggle.
The Right and Left Hand of God
The ritual significance of the right and left hand of God receives far more emphasis in the apocrypha than in the Bible. It's a very old theme. Siegfried Morenz has recently written a study on the right and left hand, and on the judgment of the dead.55 Right and left always refer to a position near the throne of God, in the sense that Mosiah uses it in a solemn ritual text (Mosiah 5:9-10). Whoever accepts the name and covenant will be on the right hand of God, and whoever rejects it will be on the left hand. It is a common image.
The White Garment
The image of the white garment is interesting, and Erwin Goodenough has made a study of it. It appears in the earliest Jewish art, among the earliest Jewish expressions he could find anywhere.56 Alma is obsessed with the image of the white garment: "There can no man be saved except his garments are washed white" (Alma 5:21); "therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb" (Alma 13:11). "Now they, . . . having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin" (Alma 13:12). "May the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless," Alma says to his sons, "that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the holy prophets [the "big three"], . . . having your garments spotless even as their garments are spotless, in the kingdom of heaven, to go no more out" (Alma 7:25).
Such expressions forcibly call to mind the recent work of Professor Goodenough, in which he shows that the white garment had a special significance for the early Jews. God himself may be represented in the earliest Jewish art as one of three men clothed in white. The three men have a very special significance. Sometimes they are Moses, with Hur and Joshua; sometimes they are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—but always three men clothed in white, and sometimes the Godhead itself. We may sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, having our garments spotless as their garments are spotless. This image wasn't even known to exist until 1958, but every time Goodenough goes back into the earliest Jewish pictorial representations he can find, there are the three men in white, or a single figure, the prophet in white. The symbol of the chosen prophet, an emissary from God, is always the white robe, which is reserved for heavenly beings. Nephi says that the righteous shall be "clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness" (2 Nephi 9:14).
The Strait Way; the Filthy and Pure Waters
When Lehi had a vision of a fountain, he failed to notice, according to his son who had the same vision, that the water of the fountain was filthy water; it swept people away to their destruction, because they weren't faithful. "The fountain of filthy water, . . . and the depths thereof are the depths of hell" (1 Nephi 12:16). Though a queer and unpleasant image, we meet it a number of times in the newly discovered apocrypha. Remembering that this flood of filthy water swept many away to destruction, as 1 Nephi 8:32 says, we turn to the Odes of Solomon, discovered in 1906: "Great rivers are the power of the Lord: and they carry head-long those who despise Him and entangle their paths: and they sweep away their fords, and catch their bodies and destroy their lives."57 This is exactly the picture of the wild desert sail or sayl, sweeping away the unwary, as the Book of Mormon describes, the thing that Lehi dreaded. In another of the same Odes of Solomon there is an impassioned invitation, such as Lehi gave his family, to "Fill ye waters for yourselves from the living fountain of the Lord. . . . Come all ye thirsty, and take the draught; and rest by the fountain of the Lord."58 This is like Lehi's beckoning to his family in the vision: Lehi saw that Sariah, Nephi, and Sam rested by the fountain and drank of the water, but he couldn't get his other sons to do this, though he invited them to do the same thing. "Blessed are they who have drunk therefrom and have found rest thereby," the same ode continues.59 The poet plays freely with the same ideas. The wild desert torrent, which is the power of God sweeping the wicked to destruction, in a mass of wreckage, is described in the Odes.60 In a Thanksgiving Hymn of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we read of the same wild torrent, but this time it's the way of the princes of this world.61 They go forth suddenly, with a great rush and a fuss, sweeping all things away, only to dry up just as suddenly, while the spring of life flows pure and even forever. "It is the sweet spring that never faileth," says the Acts of Thomas, "and the clear fountain that is never polluted."62 Never filthy, never polluted. In other words, they see the filthy fountain, and the pure fountain; the family of Lehi drank from the pure fountain, as he wanted them to. The others were swept away in the filthy fountain. Notice how the metaphors mix all the time, though the basic ideas remain. The filthy water sweeps them away, or it is the dirty water we don't want to drink. On the other hand, both the Zadokite Fragment and the Habakkuk Commentary speak of the false teachers of Israel as "drenching the people with waters of falsehood"—evil water, filthy waters, which cause the people to go astray in a wilderness without a way.63 This is because of the pride of the world, which causes them to turn aside from the low way, the path of righteousness.
But aren't we lifting all this from the Book of Mormon? No, this is from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Notable are the connections between the water which they refuse and the desert road—all in the same sentence. Nephi says, "May I be true in the low way," not only in the plain way, but in the low path, the path of righteousness. The foul waters and the straying in the desert are part of the same verse and sentence in the Zadokite Fragment, as they are also in 1 Nephi 8:32: "Many were drowned; . . . and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads."64 The fountains and the road are not only related images, but they also occur in the same peculiar combination in these earliest Jewish apocrypha and the Book of Mormon. The apocryphal Baruch says, "Thou hast forsaken the fountain of wisdom" and wandered away from the "way of God."65 Forsake the fountain and wander away on the false road—the same combination.
Looking beyond the Mark
One of the most powerful verses in the Book of Mormon says, "Jews . . . despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall" (Jacob 4:14). This "looking beyond the mark" now occurs with surprising frequency. The Jews usually moved the mark, or went beyond the bounds, or crossed the mark; that is the difference (cf. Deuteronomy 19:14; 27:17; Proverbs 22:28; 23:10). But in the Zadokite Fragment, they're the false teachers of Israel, the very types of Jews of whom Jacob is speaking: You have removed "the landmark which our forefathers had set up in their inheritance." All those who entered the covenant have broken out of the boundary of the law of God, and have stepped over the line and gone beyond the mark.66 This was the sin of the false teachers of the Jews.
Jacob talks about the wise ones, the intellectuals, the Jews who wanted to be so smart, and for that reason they overlooked the simple things and went beyond the mark. This is exactly the charge the Zadokite Fragment brings against the false teachers who had been teaching the Jews at this time, the very same smart-alecks, in the very same sort of way. Interestingly, the writer uses that point.
The reason the people receive error, according to the so-called Gospel of Truth, is that they insist on looking for a God who is so far beyond the mark.67 This passage from the early Christian library in Egypt uses the same expression. Bright minds insist on looking for a God who is far beyond the mark, far beyond any place we can measure. When they expect that kind of God, they're not going to find him.
Most conspicuous among false teachers in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the "man of the lie," a theme that goes back to a very early time, the time of Jeremiah. The account is of Belchir, a false prophet, from the Ascension of Isaiah. "He was found," says this writing, "in the days of Hezekiah, speaking words of lawlessness in Jerusalem." He accused Isaiah the prophet and those who were with him, saying, "Isaiah himself has said [notice how clever he is in his arguments, arguing exactly as the opponents of the the prophets argue in the Book of Mormon]: 'I see more than Moses the prophet,' but Moses said, 'No man can see God and live.' And Isaiah hath said: 'I have seen God and behold I live.' . . . Isaiah and those who are with him prophesy against Jerusalem and against the cities of Judah that they shall be laid waste."68 This is the typical Book of Mormon false prophet who goes around using clever arguments, flattering words, and contradictions to tie people up. Belchir led most of the people astray, and he definitely got the edge on Isaiah.
Flight into the Wilderness
The idea of quarantine, the lone prophet, is interesting. The way they observe the law of Moses is unique. The flight into the desert is very important. The Book of Mormon begins with the flight of Lehi; and the righteous keep fleeing forever after. In this they consciously compare themselves to the movement of Israel in the desert. Lehi fled into the wilderness from his brethren, he said, so he could observe to keep the judgments, statutes, and commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses—this almost directly parallels the opening first two lines of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And the redundance of expression is very characteristic. What's the difference between a statute, a commandment, a judgment, and a law? They're all basically the same. The redundance is necessary—though it would be very tasteless in our way of writing. But the Dead Sea Scrolls writers never say just one thing, always three, as if there were some charm connected with it.
"Keep[ing] the law . . . [thus]," says Jacob, "it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness" (Jacob 4:5). The Nephites compare themselves to Abraham in the wilderness: "Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy" (Jacob 4:6). They had the spirit of prophecy, as an inspired, charismatic group, searching the prophets and having their own revelations. It was with us, says Jacob, even as it was "in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness" (Jacob 1:7).
Now he compares the Nephites to the children of Israel in the wilderness at the time of Moses. Every phase of Israel's wandering in the wilderness is compared in 1 Nephi to that of his own people, including their rebellion, "and notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, . . . they hardened their hearts, . . . and reviled against Moses," says Nephi (1 Nephi 17:30).
The Tree of Life
The tree of life is very common image, but I won't go into it at length. The idea of its being white is not common. The perfect whiteness of the tree is an odd twist. Nephi says, "the whiteness [of the tree] thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow" (1 Nephi 11:8); and "the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen" (Nephi 8:11). White is not an appetizing quality in trees or fruit; I would not like to eat perfectly white fruit, and we do not think of perfectly white trees as particularly charming, unless they're covered with blossoms. Yet the whiteness of trees and the fruit is a strong image. In the Creation Apocryphon, the tree of life is described as a cypress that has fruit that is perfectly white. Incidentally, in the newly discovered Genesis Apocryphon, Abraham compares himself in a dream to the cedar tree. Nephi makes much of those lost souls who refused to eat the fruit of the tree, which reminds us of a newly discovered logion of Jesus: "You do not know who I am, you who have become as the Jews who love the tree but hate its fruit." It's the story of the olive tree.
The prophet Zenos, who lived long ago in Palestine, gives us a particularly valuable clue; more common than the image of the water or the tree alone are those pictures in which they appear together—the tree growing by the water of life. Again, it's a natural combination. So I'll turn to a specialized instance: the story of the olive tree, a particularly valuable clue, since the Book of Mormon author, Jacob, gives his source. It is the prophet Zenos, who lived long ago in Palestine, not in the new world. He is introduced in the Book of Mormon a number of times as representative of the long line of messianic prophets who suffered persecution for his messianic teachings. He was no minor prophet; he's cited in the Book of Mormon more than any other prophet but Isaiah. His name, along with the names of other prophets—Zenock, Ezias, Neum—has disappeared without a trace. The Book of Mormon explains why they disappeared: Their messianic doctrine was highly offensive to the leaders of the Jews. Is the existence of such a line plausible? It's not only plausible, today it's demonstrable. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, forgotten prophets of major stature now emerge. Speaking of one of these, Father Daniélou writes,
Between the great prophets of the Old Testament and John the Baptist, he emerges as a new link in the preparation for the Advent of Christ: "He is," as Michaud writes, "one of the great figures of Israel's prophetic tradition." "It is amazing," he says, "that he remained so unknown for so long. Now that he is known, the question arises as to what we are to do about this knowledge. It is a question that is posed to the Jews. . . . Furthermore, the question is put to the Christians: . . . Why does not this message, then, form part of the inspired scripture?"69
The Book of Mormon gives the answer clearly. We are actually given a brief biography of Zenos, and a very precious one, in Alma 33. We get his life's history; his written records were in the possession of the Nephites, who brought them across the water. Alma reminds them, 550 years later, "Don't you remember to have read . . . ?" So Zenos was popular; people were expected to have read him. "Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said concerning prayer or worship? . . . Thou art merciful, O God, for thou hast heard my prayer, even when I was in the wilderness" (Alma 33:3-4)—it starts right out like a Thanksgiving Hymn from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the man who wrote these hymns talks just like Zenos. In fact, it sounds much like Zenos; both write the same type of hymns in the same way, and both also tell us about the olive trees. Furthermore, in 1893, some other fragments of an old Hebrew prophet Zenez were discovered—sometimes Zenez, sometimes Kenaz. They were published in Cambridge and edited by Montague Rhodes himself.
From the Book of Mormon, we know the following about Zenos. He wrote: "Yea, thou wast merciful when I prayed concerning those who were my enemies." He had enemies, who were making trouble for him. "And thou didst turn them to me" (Alma 33:4). But they turned to him again; he won them back. These are the troubles we usually encounter. Then what happened? "Yea, O God, and thou wast merciful unto me when I did cry unto thee in my field" (Alma 33:5). He also worked in the fields. "When I did cry unto thee in my prayer, and thou didst hear me. And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer" (Alma 33:5-6). Then he continues, "Yea, O God, thou hast been merciful unto me, and heard my cries in the midst of thy congregations" (Alma 33:9). "Congregations" occurs only thrice in the Old Testament, in particular in the Psalms (Psalms 89:5).70 Yet "the midst of the congregations" occurs repeatedly in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and these are the communities out in the desert. So he lives in the wilderness, is rejected, people take him back again, praise him, and then he is accepted. His voice is heard in the midst of the congregations—that is, he is taken in by some of the desert communities. But he has a rough time: "Yea, and thou hast also heard me when I have been cast out and have been despised by mine enemies; yea, thou didst hear my cries, and wast angry with mine enemies [the tables were turned against them], and thou didst visit them in thine anger with speedy destruction" (Alma 33:10). Something calamitous happened to them. "And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou has turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son" (Alma 33:11).
Alma continues: "Do ye believe those scriptures which have been written by them of old?" (Alma 33:12). He's reading from the scriptures, the writings of Zenos. Then he goes on to tell them about Zenock, who was put to death. We learn from Alma 33:3 that even the Zoramites know about Zenos. According to Alma, they actually had read Zenos's words, from which it is clear that his writings were among those contained in records brought from Jerusalem by Lehi and his family. This being so, it becomes clearer yet how intimate Lehi's people were with that outcast desert branch of Judaism, of which this man is so representative, to which they constantly refer, and with which they constantly associate themselves.
Hymn 14 of the wonderful Thanksgiving Hymns of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the writer's own biography; in Hymn 14, the writer talks about the trees, particularly the olive tree, though the references are scattered. Hymn 8 starts out, "I thank thee O my Lord," exactly as Alma does in quoting Zenos. It continues, "those who have led thy people away, those false prophets who by their flattering words. . . ."71 The false prophets in the Book of Mormon—the Sherems, the Nehors, the Zeezroms, and the Korihors—also always use "flattering words."
I have mentioned above the writing of Belchir, a false prophet who made a lot of trouble for Isaiah, who gained the ear of the king, and who was responsible for having Isaiah thrown out. Such false prophets were an institution in Israel; people fled to the desert mostly because of threats that drove them out. There was much tension between the two, and this is part of the tradition carried across the water by these people; specifically, Laman and Lemuel favored the other faction in Israel. They liked to go along with such people and accused Lehi and Nephi of being the visionary type of prophet they didn't like; they preferred the other school of prophets. This old feud carried right over to the new world, as did the same type of prophecy: "Those false prophets who have seduced thy people by their flattering words, and have by their tricks and their falsehood wrested the scripture. And I was despised by them"; "they held me in no esteem whatever; they caused me to be cast out"; "they drove me out of their country and out of their communities like a bird from his nest. All my companions, all those who were my followers and friends were turned against me," just as Lehi says his people turned against him right at the beginning (1 Nephi 1:20); then as the scrolls say, they turned back to him again: "They turned against me, they considered me of no more use. While they, those false interpreters, those liars, they formed against me a clever plan, plots of Belial, and by twisting the law, which thou hast engraved in my heart, they by their flattering words led thy people astray. And they have forbidden those who were thirsting from going and drinking of the water of life and of knowledge."72 (The Book of Mormon imagery of the early period always comes back, when those memories were yet so vivid.) The false prophets forbade the people from partaking of the waters of life: They have locked them out from it. "They have kept the thirsty from drinking, even when they had thirst. They made them drink vinegar [not filthy water, but vinegar], and we have seen their distress." They have been caught in their nets, tricked in their dismay, "and O, and they, those who are hypocrites, those whose projects were those of Belial, those who conceived evil and sought for my undoing, being double-hearted; those who were not firm in the way of truth, their work has produced a bitter fruit." This is the bitter fruit of the olives, which he also liked to talk about.
And their obstinate hearts are now seeking after idols, for thou hast caused them to stumble [compare the stumbling block of Nephi], caused them to stumble in their sins, and they have fallen on their face, they have not been able to oppose me, they have not been able to achieve their aims. For they did not hearken to thy voice, they did not lend an ear to thy word, for they have said of the vision and the revelation, "there is no more vision, there is no more revelation," and this way they led this people astray from the ways of thy heart, and then that they may be taken in their own plots and lead many away from thy covenants. But thou, O Lord, will affirm thy judgments and will reveal the trickery, the wickedness of all men, and they will not find themselves successful.73
He goes on to talk about how they will be overthrown:
As for me, because I have leaned on thee, I will arise, I will be victorious again. I will arise again and will return to those people, will preach to them again; I will go again to those who despised me, who turned their hand against me because they had been led astray by false teachers, false traditions [compare the Book of Mormon missionary stories] and had me as a thing of nought. For thou didst appear to me in a vision, just at dawn, and my face was not covered with shame, and all those who had sought after me have now come back again and joined into thy alliance, and are now listening to my word. And those are now walking in a way which is dear to thy heart. They have raised themselves on my side, they have again joined the assembly of the saints. Thou hast made triumph their cause, through truth and through justice, and thou hast given no concern for those miserable ones who have gone astray.74
This is the way the scroll reads—the same story as Zenos, who is driven out like a bird from its nest and turns back victorious (notice the sudden overthrow of his enemies). And then the scrolls talk about the trees, describing Israel as God's plantation, in which he plants trees in various parts of the world; the fruit shouldn't be bitter:
Thou hast planted precious trees, cypresses and elms, mixed with all sorts for thy glory. [These are trees of life.] Throughout secret places, in unknown places [again, they were planted in secret places in Zenos's story in Jacob; Jacob was just quoting Zenos] these are planted for an eternal planting, and they shall take root in the various places where they have been set up, in many places, and they shall send out their roots toward the waters, even toward the waters of life. . . . And those that don't send out their roots won't have the waters of life. . . . And, from these trees which partake of the water, they shall raise up their branches because of their planting, they shall grow and they shall flourish. . . . And thou, O God, thou hast shut in thy vineyard [notice he's calling the orchards vineyards] in the mystery of those who are valiant in thy service, who come to work in the vineyard, and the spirits of the saints that work for thee. . . . And with ancient and withered trees they do not drink the water, even the water of holiness, therefore they wither up and are lost.75
It's the same imagery of the withered trees that don't partake of the water, trees being cultivated by God, but some will bear good fruit and others will not; and the trees get old and die and are weak. This would have been written many hundreds of years after Zenez, and handed down in this form to these people who preserved it. These hymns are very valuable because they are beautiful. Whether Alma would have a better text, I don't know, but we certainly have the same type of men, doing the same type of thing, writing the same type of scripture.
We should note here that aside from literary parallels, Jacob's treatment of olive culture in the Book of Mormon shows a remarkable grasp of the business. Jacob 5 is a long, long discourse, one that always stops the little kids who start reading the Book of Mormon. Everything goes lovely until they get to Jacob and the olive tree. Then they grind to a halt; it's like walking through sand. That's as far as I ever got for years—I'd start out with high resolve, but as soon as I got to the olive part, I'd bog down. Joseph Fielding Smith says it's the best part of the Book of Mormon, the most powerful part.76 And there is a lot to it.
Jacob knows much about olive culture! Olive trees do have to be pruned and cultivated diligently, they were commonly planted in vineyard areas in the old world. In fact, the word carmel, in one early text, means either olive orchard or vineyard; and these two words are used interchangeably in Jacob's account. The tops do perish first, the good stalk is greatly cherished, and if you get a good olive tree, it's rarer than fine gold; many things must be done to preserve it. Some have been preserved for as long as thirty-five hundred years! Trees that old are still alive today—the stalk is so rare, so important. The common way to strengthen the old trees was, indeed, and it still is in Greece, to graft in the shoots of the wild olive, the oleaster, when the tree starts to get weak. Olive shoots from valuable old trees were often transplanted to keep the stalk alive, as the Lord does here. The best trees do grow, surprisingly, on the poorest and the rockiest grounds, whereas very rich soil produces inferior fruit. Nevertheless, the plant must be very diligently fertilized, dug about, and especially dunged—since ancient times this has been the fertilizing practice in olive orchards.
Again, this is the very expression of the Book of Mormon. The grafting of shoots does lead to a cluttered variety of fruit, and is considered a risky business. Our tree is encumbered with all sorts of fruit because we did too much grafting, he says. The top branches, if they are allowed to grow, as they are in Spain and France, to provide shade trees along the roads, make a picturesque tree, but they completely sap the strength of the trees, as they are said to do in the Book of Mormon. The tall branches take away the strength of the tree and get too high. The thing most to be guarded against in the fruit, of course, is bitterness. And so all these things are casually included in Jacob's story of the olive culture. This is just a lesson in agriculture, but who would know anything about olive culture in upstate New York in 1829? Today we find it all quite accurate; it follows the ancient method, not the way it's done today, necessarily, but of course olive culture is very ancient. All this is very authentic.
Redeemer of Israel; Likening the Scriptures
Reference to the Redeemer is very significant—the Lord their God, the Redeemer, going before them. Studies are now being done on the patriarchal tradition in Moses and the great emphasis on the go'el, the doctrine of the Redeemer—a new thing in Old Testament study. It was the Redeemer who led them. And this applies to us all. For example, the Habakkuk Commentary compares the things described in Habakkuk with other battles that Israel has had to fight. Who were the Kittim, for example? Were they the Romans? The Greeks? The Babylonians? The Assyrians? The Persians? The Philistines? Various scholars say it was one, others say it was another; suddenly there was a big fight, and it occurred to them that the comparison applied to all these peoples. They were comparing all the scriptures to themselves, to their own fight. Israel had done it before. So today, scholars are no longer thrashing that out as they used to. Isaac Rabinowitz was the one who started it going. We were at school together in a Hebrew class from Professor Popper; it was he who first suggested that the Kittim were the Romans, and speculated on various other things. There was in the 1950s very active discussion. All that has been put to bed now, because of this principle Lehi teaches us: We "did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23). When the Zadokite Fragment deplores the apostasy of Israel in its own time,77 it reminds us this is the very thing that Jeremiah said to Baruch (Jeremiah 36:1-32), and which Elisha, long before, had said to his servant Gehazi: "All of them have forsaken the well of living water" (cf. 2 Kings 4-5). It's the same combination of ideas—"all of them have forsaken"—referred to in the Zadokite Fragment. The Jews had forsaken it, just as Jeremiah said to Baruch in the time of Lehi, just as Elisha has said to his servant Gehazi long before that (2 Kings 5:26). They compare the scriptures to themselves.
The Rekhabites, as early as the time of Lehi, observed this principle; they called themselves the "ones who had kept the covenants of their fathers." One peculiarity of the apocrypha is their description of the righteous as the poor. This is very striking in the Milhamah (War) Scroll. The people arrange themselves for battle and go forth in their might. It's a very elaborate arrangement of things, skillfully ordered, with strict ritual accompaniments. Yet after all this has been done, they know they don't have a chance. If they win at all, it will be in the same way that David beat Goliath—because the Lord helped them.
And they are the poor; the host of Israel are always described as being the poor, the down-trodden, those cast out from the world, as against the world, which are the mighty and the powerful. The issue is always drawn between the rich and the poor. However correct this may be, it's strictly in the tradition of the Book of Mormon, where the poor are mentioned no fewer than thirty times. H. J. Schoeps says the proper designation for these people in the Dead Sea Scrolls should be ebyônîm, the poor. They always talked of themselves as being the poor, as against the rest of the world, and the rest of Israel.
The organization of the church is rather elaborate. The keeping of the books and reading of the records is also striking. The people are always reading out of the scriptures; as Nephi said, "I did rehearse unto them the words of Isaiah, who spake concerning the restoration of . . . the house of Israel" (1 Nephi 15:20); "wherefore they may be likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel" (2 Nephi 6:5). Then he says a remarkable thing: "I have read these things that ye might know concerning the covenants, . . . that he has covenanted with . . . the Jews, . . . from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God" (2 Nephi 9:1-2).
The Manual of Discipline likewise begins by instructing the people that these things shall be read to them from generation to generation until the restoration of Israel—the very same thing. Alma had to get permission from king Mosiah to found churches; "therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches; every church having their priests and their teachers. . . . And they were called the people of God" (Mosiah 25:21, 24)—which is what the Jewish sectaries called themselves, the Bene El.
Then Limhi wanted to found a community along these lines, but he couldn't because he lacked the authority: "Therefore they did not at that time form themselves into a church, waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord" (Mosiah 21:34). The tradition goes right back to Jerusalem, when Zoram thought that Nephi "spake of the brethren of the church" (1 Nephi 4:26).
The waiting upon the spirit of the Lord is very common. The word El is used a great deal. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, everything exists only until there shall come a Messiah of Aaron and Israel. All is temporary; the community are simply waiting upon the Lord. They describe themselves as the remnant, and those who are waiting as the church of anticipation.
Another characteristic of the Book of Mormon is the ritual nature of war. In Alma 44:5, we have what can be called a "Rule of Battle for the Sons of Light." War is highly ritualized in the Book of Mormon. It is one thing that used to excite derision from Book of Mormon critics. What could be more silly, they used to ask, than a general who would give away his plan of battle to the enemy, or allow him to choose the time and the terrain? Yet this is very particular and strictly in order. In a study by Gardiner, he himself refers to "Piankhi's Instructions to His Army." That is a peculiar name, a pure Egyptian name, and one odd enough that no one could have possibly invented it in the Book of Mormon. Piankhi was a general before the time of Lehi, was very famous, became king of Egypt, and the name became quite popular afterwards. Piankhi-meri-amen has a very "Book of Mormon" sound. But of course the name occurs in the Book of Mormon (Helaman 1:3). It was this name, I strongly suspect, that first put Professor Albright on the track of the Book of Mormon. He recognized that it couldn't possibly have been faked or forged. Here's Piankhi, and there are the instructions. "Piankhi commands his generals to give the enemy choice of time and place for fight."78 This is the way it was usually done, arranging battles ahead of time, just as the Book of Mormon people used to.
Kings and Covenants
I've already written somewhat about patternism and royal cult in the Book of Mormon and in the Near East.79 Some points have recently arisen since then which deserve notice. In 1959, a study was published called "Der Vertrag zwishcen König und Volk in Israel" ("The Contract between the King and the People in Israel").80 This is exactly what we find in Mosiah 5, of course, a formal contract entered by the king and the people. According to the Talmud, when Josiah invoked all the priests and prophets and the people of Jerusalem and read its contents to them from a platform erected in the court of the temple (the way Benjamin does), the people enthusiastically entered into a new covenant, "to walk after the Lord, and keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes" (2 Kings 23:3; cf. 2 Chronicles 34:31). Notice the three—commandments, testimonies, and statutes. The king reads the covenant to them; they enter into the contract, the covenant, exactly as we find it in the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon.
The tower is also interesting. The best description of that is in Nathan the Babylonian, who is a tenth-century writer who witnessed it with his own eyes, in the ninth-century coronation of the Exilarch, the Hebrew king in exile.81 The most striking thing is Benjamin's oration. A very Book of Mormon character was King Horemhab of Egypt, a philanthropic, idealistic, religious man who had a dream and founded a dynasty. But in Israel these were not merely individual but formalized qualities. J. K. Bernhardt has recently shown that the sacral kingship in Israel, the priesthood of Melchizedek transferred to David, goes back indeed to the common great year festival—as I have said it does, but with a difference. In Israel it got a peculiar twist. There is, he notes, a marked tendency to democratization which receives its most striking expression in an oration the king is expected to give on the occasion of his coronation. Bernhardt says,
The characteristic feature of the Israelitic concept of kingship is the formal refusal of the office of king with explanatory arguments. The custom of a royal polemic on the subject of kingship is among the oldest utterances about monarchy in the Old Testament. The king formally refuses the office and accepts it on other grounds.82
Benjamin formally refuses in a set oration to accept the kingly office in its standard Near Eastern form. He says you accept the office, but you do it to the Father, not for me; he has never asked the people to bring the treasures to him as you do to a king; he has never asked for offerings, has never imposed taxes; has never asked them to bow down to him. They claim him; he's been elected. He gives himself and the setting a human and a much broader twist and democratic turn. At the end of his speech, Benjamin has the people formally enter into a covenant, with the statement: "This day he hath spiritually begotten you; . . . therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters" (Mosiah 5:7).
In the newly found sayings of Moses from the Dead Sea Scrolls, we are taken back to the occasion on which the state of Israel was founded by Moses. Moses announces it with a formal statement: "This day you have become the people of God." Then follows a list of all the good things God has given them—the vineyards and the olive trees, which they did not plant, of which they can eat and be filled, for God had given them victory over their enemies.83 Need I discuss Benjamin's oration? Victory, plenty, and sharing with one's neighbor are the themes. Benjamin formally renounces kingship; as Bernhardt puts it, "the characteristic feature is the formal refusal of the office of king with explanatory arguments."84
Benjamin does—he refuses it in the old sense and gives his explanatory arguments, his speech on government. He gives them a royal polemic on the subject of kingship, which is among the oldest practices of the Israelite nation. It's not a recent thing; it always went with kingship. But most of the royal rights have been lost—they're not in the Bible, they're not in the prophetic writings, except in the Psalms, which deal a lot with the coronation. This stuff is now meeting us exactly as it is in the Book of Mormon.
Even in Egypt something similar happens. Here is a typical description of an Egyptian coronation: as Moret has revived it, the king introduces his son and announces his name, declaring him to be his successor on the throne. All present then acclaim him in a single voice, at the invitation of the king, who then gives an oration. "This speech of the king is received with an acclamation, which proclaims the name of the new king. Then all smell the earth at his feet, prostrating themselves at the royal command."84 Notice that Benjamin accepts the prostration, only on the condition that it is for the heavenly king. "I know you've fallen down. That's the thing you should always do on this occasion, but remember, you're falling down for God, your heavenly king, and not for me." "For the absent ones, a copy of a circular," as Moret puts it, "is sent around the land, telling of the coronation." This was all strictly understood by the Egyptians to correspond to the assembly in heaven. After the acclamation, the king receives a crown from God, is purified and clothed in the holy garment, and takes his place in the double divine pavilion (heb-sed) with a priest on either side of him, who represent Seth and Horus; they usually wear masks, and there he's crowned on his throne, always with the three.85 And this is exactly the way the Jews do it in the writings of Nathan the Babylonian. The ceremony ends with the dancing maidens, followed by the coronation, and a thunderous acclamation.
In 1816, the apocrypha were outlawed by the American Bible Society (which had great influence). They were regarded as devilish works, not to be used at all. So they came to have no prestige, were not read, were not known at all. They were not published in this country; little was known about them. The apocrypha sank to their lowest level in 1945, when H. H. Rowley, the last surviving person to study the apocrypha, said, "We'll just close the door now and forget about these. Nobody's reading them anymore. It is so." And then, bingo, next year the whole thing broke loose again, and everyone was embarrassed, because no one knew anything about apocrypha. The new discoveries caught them completely off guard.
A study should be made of exactly what books were available to Joseph Smith in his time. Wilford Poulson has compiled a bibliography of works available in libraries in Palmyra in Joseph Smith's time; from it, we can see what books Joseph Smith could have read, but it is very doubtful that he read many, because he was very busy. He was very hard pressed by poverty; what could he have had at his disposal? Very little. Allowing the maximum, if he'd spent all his free time studying, and had people going around the countryside bringing these books to him, he still wouldn't have had much to go on. Yet again and again we see in the Book of Mormon the world of ideas and images now unveiled by the rediscovery of the apocrypha.
1. Bob Brier, Ancient Egyptian Magic (New York: Quill, 1981), 41-45.
2. Stuart Piggott, The Dawn of Civilization (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961), 188.
3. 1 Baruch 4:1-3, in APOT 1:591.
4. 2 Baruch 6:7-10, in ibid., 2:484.
5. 2 Baruch 80:2-3, in ibid., 2:522.
6. John M. Allegro, The Treasure of the Copper Scroll (Garden City: Doubleday, 1960), 61-62.
7. William Spiegelberg, Demotische Grammatik (Heidelberg: Winter, 1925), 1.
8. B. Couroyer, "Le chemin de vie en Égypte et en Israël," Revue biblique 56 (1949): 412-32.
9. Wisdom of Ben Sira 32:15, in Patrick W. Skehan, tr., The Wisdom of Ben Sira (New York: Doubleday, 1987), 34.
10. Wisdom of Ben Sira 32:15, in ibid.
11. Wisdom of Ben Sira 42:17-26, in ibid., 486.
12. Wisdom of Ben Sira 5:6-7, in APOT 1:542.
13. Millar Burrows, tr., The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking, 1955), 387.
14. Al-Hamdani, Al-Iklil VIII (Baghdad: Syrian Catholic Press, 1931), 15-16; cf. Hugh W. Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976) 211-12; reprinted in CWHN 6:257-58.
15. Jubilees 4:31, in APOT 2:19.
16. 2 Baruch 85:9, in ibid., 2:525.
17. Wisdom of Solomon 12:10, in ibid., 1:554.
18. Wisdom of Solomon 3:5-7, in ibid., 1:539.
19. Zadokite Fragment 9:31, in APOT 2:820.
20. Gospel of Philip 101:10, in R. McL. Wilson, tr., The Gospel of Philip (New York: Harper and Row, 1962), 29.
21. Hugh W. Nibley, Since Cumorah, 2nd ed., CWHN 7 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and F.A.R.M.S., 1988), 37-38.
22. Cf. Athanasius, Oratio Contra Gentes (Oration against the Heathen) 2-3, 22, 27-30, 38, in PG 25:5-9, 44-45, 52-61, 76-77; also see Athanasius, Oratio de Incarnatione Verbi (Oration on the Incarnation of the Word) 6-7, 15-19, 42-43, 45, in PG 25:105-9, 121-29, 169-73, 176-77.
23. Coffin Texts, spells 722, 724, and 443.
24. Enuma Elish V, 1, 6.
25. Ras Shamra Texts from the Palace of Baal 4:16-17, in J. C. L. Gibson, tr., Canaanite Myths and Legends (Edinburgh: Clark, 1977), 59.
27. 1 Enoch 86:1, 3; 88:1, 3, in APOT 2:250-51.
28. Secrets of Enoch 30:14-15, in ibid., 2:449.
29. Testament of Levi 18:1-3, 6, 9, in ibid., 2:314-15.
30. The Gospel of the Hebrews, fragment 1; cf. Edgar Hennecke and William Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1963), 1:137, 163.
31. Testament of Judah 24:1-2, in Hennecke and Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha, 2:323-24.
32. 4 Ezra 7:97, 125, in ibid., 2:589, 591.
33. 1 Baruch 3:34, in ibid., 1:590.
34. Cf. Millar Burrows, More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking, 1958), 224, 335.
35. Zadokite Fragment 9:8, in APOT 2:816.
36. Ignatius, Epistola ad Ephesios (Epistle to the Ephesians), in PG 5:659-60.
37. Clementine Recognitions IV, 28, in PG 1:1327; cf. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, trs., Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981), 8:141.
38. This theme is treated at length in Hugh W. Nibley, "Treasures in the Heavens: Some Early Christian Insights into the Organizing of Worlds," DJMT 8/3-4 (1974), 76-98; reprinted in CWHN 1:171-214.
39. Wisdom of Ben Sira 39:17, in APOT 1:457.
40. 2 Baruch 30:2, in ibid., 2:498.
41. 2 Enoch, ch. 5-21.
42. Hugh W. Nibley, Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1975), 267-72.
43. Clementine Recognitions III, 53, 58, in PG 1:1305-7; see Roberts and Donaldson, Ante Nicene Fathers, 8:128-29.
44. 2 Enoch 22:11; in OTP 1:140-41.
45. Zadokite Fragment 2:3-8, in APOT 2:807.
46. 1QS 3:13-4:26.
47. 2 Jeu 42, in Carl Schmidt, The Books of Jeu and the Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex, tr. Violet MacDermot (Leiden: Brill, 1978), 99-100.
48. Acts of Thomas 136, in ANT, 424.
49. Gospel of Thomas 50:109, in NHLE, 129.
50. Psalms of Thomas 3; cf. C. R. C. Allberry, ed., A Manichaean Psalm-Book, 2 vols. (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1938), 2:207-9.
51. Barnabas, Epistola Catholica (Catholic Epistle) 17-21, in PG 776-81.
52. Wisdom of Ben Sira 27:26, in APOT 1:408.
53. Secrets of Enoch 39:8, in ibid., 2:454.
54. Georg Mohlin, Die Söhne des Lichtes (Vienna: Herold, 1954), 21-23, 31, 33, 43, 98, 129, 151, 160, 169, 178, 182, 185.
55. Siegfried Morenz, "Rechts und Links in Totengericht," Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 82 (1958): 62-71; reprinted in Siegfried Morenz, Religion und Geschichte des alten Ägypten: Gesammelte Aufsätze (Cologne: Böhlav, 1975), 281-94.
56. Erwin Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period, 13 vols. (New York: Pantheon, 1964), 9:165-74; 10:95-97.
57. Odes of Solomon 39:1-3, in J. Rendel Harris, ed., The Odes and Psalms of Solomon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909), 134.
58. Odes of Solomon 30:1-2, in ibid., 128.
59. Odes of Solomon 30:7, in ibid., 128.
60. Odes of Solomon 39:1-3 in ibid., 134.
61. Thanksgiving Hymn 2; cf. Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (New York: Penguin, 1975), 155-56.
62. Acts of Thomas 39; cf. ANT, 384.
63. Zadokite Fragment 1:10-17, in APOT 2:801-2; Habakkuk Commentaries 1-2.
64. Zadokite Fragment 1:10-17, in APOT 2:801-2.
65. 1 Baruch 3:12, in ibid., 1:588.
66. Zadokite Fragment 1:11, in ibid., 2:801.
67. Gospel of Truth 17:10-20, in NHLE, 38; cf. Gospel of Truth 22:20-34, in ibid., 40.
68. The Martyrdom of Isaiah 3:6-11, in APOT 2:161-62.
69. Jean Daniélou, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Primitive Christianity, tr. Salvator Attanasio (Baltimore: Helicon, 1958), 83-84.
70. [The Topical Guide lists the word "congregation" as appearing eight times in the Old Testament.]
71. Cf. Hymn 8, in Theodor H. Gaster, The Dead Sea Scriptures in English Translation, 3rd ed. (Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday, 1976), 157.
72. Hymn 8, in ibid., 157-58.
73. Hymn 8, in ibid., 157-59.
74. Hymn 8, in ibid., 159.
75. Cf. Hymn 14, in ibid., 175-76.
76. Cf. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book: 1957), 1:150-53.
77. Zadokite Fragment 1:9-17, in APOT 2:800-802.
78. Alan H. Gardiner, "Piankhi's Instructions to His Army," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 21 (1935): 219-23.
79. Nibley, Approach to the Book of Mormon, x, 243; in CWHN 6:v, 295.
80. Georg Fohrer, "Der Vertrag zwischen König und Volk in Israel," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 71 (1959): 1-22.
81. Nathan Ha Babli (Nathan the Babylonian), "The Installation of an Exilarch," ch. 10, in Benzion Halper, Post-Biblical Hebrew Literature (Philadelphia: Jewish Public Society of America, 1943), 64-68. Adolf Neubauer, Medieval Jewish Chronicles and Chronological Notes (Anecdota Oxoniensia IV and VI), 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1887-1895), 2:77-88.
82. Karl-Heinz Bernhardt, Das Problem der altorientalischen Königsideologie im alten Testament (Leiden: Brill, 1961).
83. The Oration of Moses, in Gaster, Dead Sea Scriptures in English Translation, 374.
84. Bernhardt, Das Problem der altorientalischen Königsideologie.
85. Alexander Moret, "Du caractère religieux de la royauté pharaonique," Annales du Museé Guimet 15 (1902): 82.
86. Ibid., 84.