By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Another Dr. Nibley Piece

I have come across another article by Dr. Nibley that I found intriguing. This one is called "Apocryphal Writings and Teachings of the Dead Sea Scrolls." I have linked to where it is online at FARMS.

First, Dr. Nibley talks about how many discoveries of ancient documents have been made just since World War II. Examples include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi library, and the Manichaean discovery. He names a number of others as well.

One of the things that really caught my attention was what he had to say about how these writings had been "buried with the expectation of being received by a later generation." He talks about how they were sealed in jars and buried and all, making it clear that those burying them were not expecting to come back a short time later and retrieve them. True, the writings weren't engraved on metal plates, but they were preserved as well as could be and we do have them now, though not in perfect condition.

The article itself is a fine read. I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed as I read what Dr. N. had to say about the creation, referring often to the documents mentioned above. I thought about how little we really know about what it means for our Heavenly Father to be God--how much He has to know, how much He has to do. I felt a sense of near vertigo as I read of Abraham being shown the stars in the Apocalypse of Abraham. It reminded me of the pictures the Hubble telescope has sent back. Impressive.

The last part of this article talks a great deal about ordinances, including temple ordinances, and quotes from many of these newly discovered writings. That, too, was fascinating reading.

I enjoyed Dr. N.'s listing of the names of the writings he was refering to and thus giving me a list of writings to seek out. I do feel that this sort of "extracurricular" reading is best done by those who have a good grasp of what the gospel is and what it means. As the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith, referring to the Apocrypha, in D & C 91:4-5: "Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; and whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom...."

It is a wondrous thing to read many things on many topics and see how they begin to connect.

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