Mosiah 7:26-28 — LeGrand Baker — Jesus is God of the Old Testament
26 And a prophet of the Lord have they slain; yea, a chosen man of God, who told them of their wickedness and abominations, and prophesied of many things which are to come, yea, even the coming of Christ.
27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth–
28 And now, because he said this, they did put him to death; and many more things did they do which brought down the wrath of God upon them. Therefore, who wondereth that they are in bondage, and that they are smitten with sore afflictions?
It is interesting to me that King Limhi remembered Abinadi’s speech a little differently from the way Alma remembered it. (Mosiah 15) The doctrine Abinadi taught is one of the most significant in the Book of Mormon. I made passing mention of it once and Dil asked me to explain fuller. I shall do that, but I’ll wait until we get to Mosiah 15.
As I have studied, I have observed how completely the Prophet Joseph’s teachings are being vindicated by Christian scholars—not Christian preachers, that’s a different thing altogether.
I am now reading Henry M. Shires, Finding the Old Testament in the New (Philadelphia, Westminister Press, 1974). This author takes it for granted that in Hebrews, Paul taught that Jesus and Jehovah are the same person, and therefore that Jesus had a pre-mortal existence. (Well that’s not quite true. For one thing, he doesn’ t believe Paul wrote Hebrews, and for another, he probably doesn’t believe the things that “the author of Hebrews” wrote about Jesus’ pre-mortal existence, but at least he sort of understands what was written.)
What follows is a quote from Shires’ book, pages 61-63. Notice how close this is to what Abinadi taught.
Hebrews displays a marked reverence for the words of the O.T. It is the author’s firm belief that Scripture has been written by God and that its words are those which God has spoken in the past and still speaks. In Heb. 1 :6-9 citations of Deut. 32:43 (LXX) and Ps. 104:4; 45:6~ are introduced by a single formula, “God says,” even though the verse from Deuteronomy is in the song of Moses and the verses from Psalms are not ascribed to God. The third-person description in Gen. 2:2 of God’s rest on the seventh day from his work of Creation is in Heb. 4:4 presented as God’s own speech. Because he regards the words of Scripture as the utterance of God, the author of Hebrews can occasionally attribute personal attributes to an O.T. verse. In some cases the Greek can be equally well translated: “it [the scripture] says,” or “he [God] Says.” In Heb. 2:11-13 the words of Ps. 22:22; 2 Sam. 22:3 (LXX); and Is. 8:18 are attributed to Christ. Likewise, in Heb. 10:5-7, Ps. 40:6-8 is repeated as the speech of Christ when he came into the world. In Heb. 3:7-11, also, Ps. 95:7-11 (LXX) is cited as the utterance of the Holy Spirit. And in Heb. 10: 15-17 two verses of Jeremiah (Jer. 31 :3~4) are quoted as the words of the Holy Spirit. Yet these expressions of Christ and the Holy Spirit are also those of God himself. (Cf. Heb. 4:7; 8:8.) In all these cases the present tense is employed because the divine speech is timeless in its relevance. In the introductory formulas that precede O.T. quotations in Hebrews there are two references to Moses and one to David, as God’s servants; but otherwise all Q.T. citations are thought of as God’s words and so make no reference to any Jewish author, contrary to N.T. usage generally. The unity of Scripture is thus maintained. All the O.T. books that are cited in Hebrews are treated as Law and so are viewed as of the same authority and position.
Some sections of Hebrews are mainly a series of O.T. quotations with a minimum of interpretation or discussion. In chapter 1, seven O.T. passages are quoted in order to describe the person of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
Shires has mentioned that sequence before in his book. In that place he said he doesn’t know why in the world “the author of Hebrews” strung those scriptures together like that. But they are a wonderful sequence of kingship scriptures which Paul used to show that Christ is – and always has been – King of Israel. The other brackets in this quote are inthe original.
In chapter 11, a review of Jewish history is built upon references to about 30 sections of historical narrative from Genesis to 2 Chronicles; and Abraham and Moses emerge as the most important leaders. Altogether, at least 28 O.T. passages are cited, and 21 of these are not quoted elsewhere in the N.T. Dependence on the O.T. is extremely heavy throughout, and its interpretation involves ingenuity and creativity. Even though the O.T. is revered as the continuing word of God, it is nevertheless seen as a record of incomplete revelation. The contrast between the old and the new is presented at the start (Heb. 1:1-2): ‘In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” In fact, the O.T. cannot present the full truth (Heb. 10:1), “since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities.” The function of the O.T., therefore, is to predict and prepare for the coming of Christ, who is seen as in preexistent form active in O.T. history. Moses’ acceptance of his role as leader of the oppressed Jews in Egypt entailed (Heb. 11:26) “abuse suffered for the Christ.” For the author of Hebrews the O.T. is filled with symbols and types of the Son, in whom alone O.T. beginnings reach their successful conclusion.