Comments about ‘Hamblin & Peterson: Deciphering the esoteric in religion’

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Published: Friday, July 12 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Hutterite
American Fork, UT

What it all seems to come down to is that there is an infinite number of combinations and permutations of meanings that can be attributed to all this stuff, let alone the errors of dozens of translations to and from obscure and dead languages, human error, lost or omitted portions of the texts, and so on. Then there is discussion of what is taken in context, what is to be literally interpreted, and so on, and you end up with exactly what we have today. A text that can be lawyered to mean exactly what we want it to, with any contradictory portions ignored entirely. Add to this the users claim to unchallengeable infallibility and you have the poison that is religion today.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

So, according to Hutterite, religion is poison. What I sense in the invective that comes from some of the non-religionist commentators is much worse. They have every right to ignore religion if they choose. But they seem to be out to kill it altogether.
As far as I can see, Hutterite's arguments leave the door wide open for the need of prophets and continued revelation--which the LDS Church teaches and all others reject.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Here's a revision to an earlier comment that was first approved and posted, then denied and removed. Hopefully, this one is more acceptable:

Critics of Dr. Peterson use pedantic logic to try to give him comeuppance. But they don't hold a candle to him in either logic or intellect. Until they can be a little less narrow-minded in their commentary, their arguments are pointless.

Jeff
Temple City, CA

This is what I understand from the article: Another evidence of the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the references in the scriptures (regardless of translation) to the temple.

The "esoteric" in Mormonism is the "inner sanctuary" of the temple, a place that will become increasingly important to us as the world becomes more wicked.

It occurs to me that the Holy Ghost is more important to an understanding of the scriptures than knowledge of ancient languages, but an understanding of ancient languages gives clarity and support to the witness of the Holy Ghost.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Hamblin and Peterson read far too much into the etymology of words than is warranted.

They admit: "esōteros" is a rare term meaning "the inner chamber of the temple, that is, the Holy of Holies" OR "the inner court of the temple. Do they tell you that there are multiple "veils" in the Temple?

Westcott appealed to the Septuagint's use of "katapetasma" to translate "paroketh," but admits that the distinction between paroketh/katapetasma and mosak/kalumma "is not strictly preserved in the LXX [Septuagint]."

In fact, the Septuagint's use of katapetasma and kalumma within the Pentateuch reveals that katapetasma is the favorite for all three of the sanctuary's veils, as illustrated very well in Exodus 37:3, 5, and 16 (Septuagint only):

Verse 3 paroketh is used for the inner veil and the Septuagint renders it katapetasma;

Verse 5 uses masak for the veil between the holy place and the court and it is rendered katapetasma;

Verse 16 masak is used for the courtyard veil and is translated with katapetasma.

Thus, within one chapter, katapetasma is used for all three sanctuary veils.

This suggests Hamblin and Peterson are wrong.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Moreover, Judaism had excluded non-Jews from the inner courts of the Temple (not just the Holy of Holies), as well as from private (familial) but still Temple ceremonies such as the Passover Seder. Even Greek and Roman Temples had a "pronaos" (anticum) - the inner area of the portico of the Temple, as contrasted against a "epinaos" (posticum).

Similarly, among early Christians the Eucharist was also a private/secret meal only for "family" (insiders). This is because, at least after Nero, but certainly before as well, the illegality if not unacceptability of Christianity made it thoroughly secret (esoteric) - to speak or write openly was not only against the law and could cost one his life, but it could cost one friends and social standing as well, even among fellow Christians among whom "the mysteries" were to be kept carefully guarded lest they be discovered and mocked.

Among ancient Christian esoteric traditions, doctrines (dogmata) and proclamations (kerugmata) were distinguished: the former are written teachings and the latter are "secretly transmitted from the apostolic tradition" (largely verbally).

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

G L W8,

"....As far as I can see, Hutterite's arguments leave the door wide open for the need of prophets and continued revelation--which the LDS Church teaches and all others reject...."
______________________________

I need continued revelation. I read books. In them, I've received many revelations that are altogether different from the Joseph Smith variety.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Craig Clark, the books you read--do they represent God's continued revealed word to current prophets, or are they the theories of men? We're talking two different types of revelation here. The door is still open.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

G L W S, What is one mans meat is another mans poison.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Jeff,” Another evidence of the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the references in the scriptures”.

Mormon encyclopedia,“the word Sacrament never occurs in the Bible”?

Sacrament occurs in the Latin Vulgate Eph 1:9, “That he might make known unto us the mystery(sacramentum)…. Also in Eph 3:9, Col 1:27,1Tim 3:16, Rev 1:20; 17:7.

late 12c., from Old French sacrament (12c.), from Latin sacramentum "a consecrating," from sacrare "to consecrate" (see sacred); a Church Latin translation of Greek mysterion "mystery."

As Latin replaced Greek, the Biblical writers had this in mind when we approach baptism and the Lord’s supper, sacrament(mystery)is a visible sign of invisible grace.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

It all makes one wonder what the cave man was wondering about all this esoteric and exoteric jumbo before man written scriptures were invented to cause angst for his worries. It is clever commerce how the industry of religion has developed a profitable enterprise of exploitation from the invention of fear and pie in the sky multi-level marketing.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Jeff – “The "esoteric" in Mormonism is the "inner sanctuary" of the temple”

The “esoteric” in most traditions is the inner sanctuary or “temple” that is found inside of us. And the deeper one goes the esoteric looks more and more the same across all traditions.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

skeptic,

"It all makes one wonder what the cave man was wondering about all this esoteric and exoteric jumbo before man written scriptures were invented to cause angst for his worries..."
______________________________

I imagine that the primeval forest was a font of both wonder and terror about the unknown. Imagination without restraint was the precursor to what would come to be regarded as knowledge. It was probably inevitable that ‘knowledge’ would be a basis for power, hence something to be hoarded, controlled, and dispensed by the strong to consolidate their hold on power and authority.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Jeff
Temple City, CA

The "esoteric" in Mormonism is the "inner sanctuary" of the temple, a place that will become increasingly important to us as the world becomes more wicked.

=======

I somewhat disagree.
Look up the word "esoteric".

You can have things hidden plain sight,
When only those who have "eyes to see, and ears to hear" fully recognize and understand something's true intended meaning.

Bible stories are nice "stories" for children,
put the true meaning therein is the allegory, or metaphor as it is applied to each of us.

Jesus told a lot of cute stories about "sheep" and shepherds,
Good Samaritans, and such --
but what he really told us was deeper things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

The Temple is just a structure,
and the esoteric messages taght therein go far, Far, FAR beyond the re-telling of the story of creation and Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden...

Figurative, as far as the man and the woman are concerned.

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