Below are links to my posts here at the Naked Bible that deal with the divine council, my academic specialty. Several of the post contain links to papers I’ve read at academic conferences on the topic. For those who might inquire, I’m a very traditional Trinitarian (and so, I consequently affirm the deity of Christ), but I at times defend the idea in ways unfamiliar to many (i.e., I believe that there was a Godhead in the Old Testament / Israelite religion, and that the divine council is in part related to that Godhead idea). My website introducing the theology of the divine council is located here.
Heiser, Mormonism, and the Divine Council of Psalm 82
- No, I’m not a Mormon (as my academic Mormon friends will tell you). This post links to an article I had published in a Mormon journal explaining why I think the Mormon understanding of Psalm 82 is wrong (really — how refreshingly open-minded). Still, some people out there like to (literally) lie about me (i.e., they know about that paper and omit it in their online material about me when expressing disagreement with my take on Psalm 82).
The Plural Elohim of Psalm 82: Gods or Men?
- My answer: “gods” (i.e., elohim, as the text says). This post contains a link to my paper on Psalm 82 read at the 2010 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). It refutes all the arguments that the elohim of Psalm 82 are humans (an argument that undermines the deity of Christ in John 10:34-35). I think the divine plurality of the psalm is part of John’s portrayal of Jesus as God, and it is impossible to make that argument if the elohim are mere men.
- The post also contains a link to a second ETS paper of the same year about what the term elohim means, and why plural elohim are compatible with monotheism. Short answer: since the biblical writers use elohim of a five entities besides the God of Israel, it cannot be a term associated with one unique set of attributes — one has to deny demons are real, for example, if one denies other elohim besides the God of Israel are real (Deut 32:17).1
Dan McClellan on What is Deity in Septuagint Deuteronomy?
- Dan is a Mormon scholar and friend of mine. We therefore disagree about a number of things, but have a cordial relationship. This post features some of my response to his regional SBL paper of 2011.
Dan McClellens Response to Yours Truly, and My Rejoinder Points
- This is Dan’s Response to my response, with some added rejoinder points of my own (hey; it’s my blog).
Divine Plurality in the Dead Sea Scrolls
- This is one (of two) of my 2011 regional SBL papers. It is a revision of my dissertation chapter in regard to the 200 or so references to plural elohim in the Dead Sea Scrolls, many of which are in divine council contexts.
- This post contains a link to both my 2011 regional SBL papers, the one above on divine plurality and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and paper number two on Jesus’ quotation of Psalm 82:6 in John 10:34-35.
Did the Religion of the Biblical Writers Evolve from Polytheism to Monotheism? A Paper and Response to Thom Stark
- This post contains a link to my 2011 ETS paper on how divine plurality in the Hebrew Bible (and a divine council) does not prove an evolution in Israelite religion from polytheism to monotheism. I reject that idea, though it is the majority view of scholars working in this area. The post also contains a response to (atheist?) Thom Stark on that same issue.
- For further reading on that, see my published articles: M. Heiser, Does Deuteronomy 32:17 Assume or Deny the Reality of Other Gods? Bible Translator 59:3 (July 2008): 137-145; M. Heiser, Should elohim with Plural Predication Be Translated Gods? Bible Translator 61:3 (July 2010): 123-136; M. Heiser, Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible, Bulletin for Biblical Research 18:1 (2008): 13-18. ↩