I get a lot of email about my views on Yahweh and divine plurality. You’d think people would find my material via Google or my divine council website, but I guess not. I’m making this page for you all, of course, but also to provide myself a convenient one-stop link to send people.

Mike’s “lay level” work on the divine council and the nature of Israelite monotheism (the basic essays)

Mike’s relevant scholarly publications

  • Some of these live on my divine council site as well. Others cannot be posted here due to the wishes of the academic journal that published the content (if you subscribe to my newsletter you can access articles not linked here via a protected folder). These articles tend to be technical, save for the one critiquing Mormonism’s use of Psalm 82.
    • My Bibliotheca Sacra article (published by Dallas Seminary): “Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God
      • Obviously, Dallas Seminary isn’t a liberal institution. This article provides a text-critical analysis of why “sons of Israel” (Masoretic Text) is thoroughly contradicted by ancient manuscript data and logic. It contains a bare-bones discussion of the divine council to demonstrate that “sons of God” is not a reading that leads to polytheism.
    • My first Bulletin for Biblical Research article (published by IBR, an evangelical scholarly society): “Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible
    • My Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament article: “Does Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible Demonstrate an Evolution from Polytheism to Monotheism in Israelite Religion?” This article was originally read as an invited paper at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting.
    • My Tyndale Journal article: “Monotheism and the Language of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
    • My first Bible Translator (vol 59, no. 137) article : “Does Deut 32:17 Assume or Deny the Reality of Other Elohim?” (2008)
      • This article demonstrates why the ESV (virtually alone among major translations) is incorrect in translation  ʾeloah as a plural (“gods”0, creating an internal contradiction within the verse, within Deut 32, and with other passages in the Hebrew Bible.
    • My second Bible Translator (vol 61, no 123): article:  “Should Elohim with Plural Predication Be Translated ‘Gods’?” (2010)
      • This article addresses the pseudo-defense of elohim as men offered by evangelicals fearful of divine plurality due to misunderstanding it as pointing to polytheism. Specifically, Exodus 18 gets attention, as do Exod 22:7-9 (Hebrew text = Exod 22:6-8) and Exod 21:2-6. Those passages cannot coherently be used to defend the idea that the elohim of Psalm 82 and other passages are men.
    • My second Bulletin for Biblical Research article: “Co-regency in Ancient Israel’s Divine Council as the Conceptual Backdrop to Ancient Jewish Binitarian Monotheism” (vol 26, no 2, 2015).
      • The essay suggests that Judaism’s two powers theology had its roots in an ancient Israelite co-regency notion that departed from the ancient Canaanite / Ugaritic divine council co-regency, in that it presumed an invisible, transcendent YHWH and a second, visible YHWH figure occupying both roles of the co-regency. This conception in turn was one means of framing later (2nd Temple period) Jewish binitarian monotheistic thought.
    • My Hiphil journal article, “Are Yahweh and El Distinct Deities in Deut 32:8-9 and Psalm 82?” (pp. 17ff. in the above JESOT article also touches on this).
    • My article published in Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (a Mormon journal; vol 19, no 1, 2007) critiquing Mormonism’s understanding of Psalm 82: “You’ve Seen One Elohim, You’ve Seen Them All? A Critique of Mormonism’s Use of Psalm 82
      • For all those out there that think letting Psalm 82 say what it says is Mormonism: The Mormons know I’m not a Mormon. Time to get with the program.
    • My UW-Madison dissertation: “The Divine Council in Late Canonical and Non-Canonical Second Temple Jewish Literature

Other content on Yahweh:

The ideas that Yahweh is found in Ugaritic texts, or that Yahweh is really Qos, the national deity of Edom, or that Yahweh can be found in Akkadian texts are on shaky ground. Few scholars (within evangelicalism or not) take such positions. Why? Because they know such ideas over-reach the available data and require too much speculation.