The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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Power of words By Lynn

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“....the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language, and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation....”
--Mormon 9:34

Words have shifted ...from language as invocation to language as declaration. From Bible language as celebration to Word Perfect language as installation, edit, delete, and save macro. It's taken a few centuries but the shift has happened. Sadly, it's happened. In other words, there is no longer a world within the word for our kids to worship.
Yes, it's been 1900 years since the Bible was written and over 1600 years since Moroni hammered out his last word. During then and now, something precious, something Divine, was lost.

The world within the word! Or more precisely, the power of words.

I'll say it again--language has shifted over time. We now live in a materialistic world where words are conveyers of information. Cognitive transmitters. Nothing more. We live in a world of syntax and concrete sidewalks and MS-Dos. We've "downloaded" even our hearts. We live in a world where computers tell us when to eat. Where Spock and logic have raised our children to believe in nothing much "out there." Metaphor is gone from our world. Language as psalmic and doxological, hailing and announcing the Creator's universe, praising Him, is a thing of the past, especially for most of our entering college freshmen. There's not much to celebrate, really. Not much to believe in these days. The magic has gone. Heaven is no longer our Tutor.

Now what am I getting at?....

Well, for one thing, addressing our subject as an etymologist could take volumes, so scratch that. (I'm not qualified anyway.) Another thing: I don't think many Kabbalic masters will be reading this post either. I'm writing on behalf of the average "churchgoer." I'm interested today in primarily the layman's response to what happened to our world within the word. Where did it go?
So, where do we begin?....

Understanding Bible Language:

We begin with the language of the Bible. Listen to the Master talk.

“....into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it; if not, it shall turn to you again. "
--Luke 10. 5-6

Hear the Master speak to a tree.

"....when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and there was not any fruit on it, but leaves only. And he said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward, forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. "
--Matthew 21:1 7

That's a different world from the one we live in. Speaking to trees? Calling down peace on houses? What's going on here?

In the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, language tends to gravitate to the point of intersection--intersecting and reconciling the temporal with the eternal. Words come alive when spoken. In plain English, words have power! The power of creation. Words for our Master were an invocation, not merely transmitters of information. The naming of a word, in other words, created the power to evoke that word's image.

Words "speak a thing" into existence. Again--that's a different world from the one you and I live in. But that's the Bible world. That's the world we're called on to live in as believers.

Two examples of the Bible world are before us by our Master: one involves a salutation; the other, a pronouncement. In both cases our Lord introduces us to the concept of creation by the use of words: God creates the words, speaks the words and then the physical creation takes place.

In Luke 10 the seventy are sent out. Our Lord is giving last minute instructions. Don't take any money. Don't worry about what you will say. And when you enter a house, say "...Peace to this house. " Note: if the son of peace is there (that is, if the home is "Christian") then the disciples' very words of salutation will have the power to "bring down peace" upon that house. "....your peace shall rest upon it..." was the way Jesus said it.

I know of only two modern-day examples left of what Jesus was teaching: 1) the eucharist ceremony, and 2) the marriage ceremony. In both instances the speaking forth of the word is believed to create the very event spoken of. For instance, it's the “…I now pronounce you man and wife" spoken by the minister that actually creates the marriage.

The man and woman are not married until the minister "speaks the marriage into existence. " And in Mass, as he holds up the elements before the people, it's the priest's pronouncement, "....this is the blood and body of our Lord Jesus Christ" that creates the presence of our Lord--according to Catholic theology.

But these are isolated incidents. Ceremonial incidents. These are words "spoken in church" in our day. In the real world, Monday through Friday, our speech is used as transference of information; i.e., giving directions, explaining details, clarifying memos; we're not transferring a blessing upon anyone's household when we say "how do you do, " to our boss or "how was your weekend?" Our salutations are meant for "small talk" only, "warm-up talk." Talk that "breaks the ice" with the boss. No sacramental world in our world. Just small talk.

And that’s too bad.

Power of Words.

But first, a brief word of justification is in order. When we dive into the Kabbalic mysteries and the strange art of Gemetria, some of the brethren accuse of us of mere mental masturbation—(if I may be so brutally blunt. I searched for another word and could not come up with one). I think, however, the brethren’s response is somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction—a bit excessive.

I see two extremes when approaching this topic: total ignorance and total obsession. Somewhere in between is, I believe, the way of the Spirit. Temperance in all things.

A word about…Kabbalic rules of language:

We must realize, Hebrew is as much a formula code as it is a language. In fact, the ancient prophets believed that language itself was created for the express purpose of testifying of the plan of salvation. In fact, the Kabbalic understanding of the creation comes out of the Hebrew alphabet and its order. God creates the words, speaks the words, and then physical creation takes place. To the Hebrew mind, there is power in phonetics. Even the power of salvation.

One cynical response could be—so what? The Jews have always been intellectually “top heavy” toward their approach to scripture. Question: what is the “…learning of the Jews?” (I Nephi 1:2). Could it not be the esoteric Kabbalah, and its various interpretive systems that remain with us? I submit, it is the study of Kabbalah that constitutes the “learning of the Jews.” We know Joseph studied the Kabbalah. He taught the Kabbalah. And he wrote much of the D&C in Kabbalic tradition.

At any rate…

I want to take two scripture passages—one from the New Testament, and another from the Book of Mormon—and much like a jeweler holds up his precious gem to the light, turn that Kabbalic gem and see if we cannot see the power of God’s words in it. May the Spirit of God grant us light, wisdom, and understanding.


Gematria Technique:

Gematria is the mother of the strange art of numerology. The ancient rabbinical world did not have the Arabic numbers as we use them in the West today and so the Hebrew letters served as numbers; thus, allowing linguistics and mathematics on the spiritual plane to interface.

I find this interesting...

You can factor entire passages of the Bible and Book of Mormon into prime numbers by using letters of the Hebrew and Greek alphabets. Each word in Hebrew and Greek represents a sum in arithmetic, obtained by adding the numbers for which each letter stands. Each letter has a place value and a numeric value. For example:

Place Value Numeric Value Value Letter Greek
1 1 2 alpha
2 2 4 beta
3 3 6 gamma
4 4 8 delta

There are twenty-four Greek letters.

The resultant sum of all the added letters in a word or phrase is called its gematria. For example, take Christ's genealogy in the passage Matthew 1:1-16.


Notice how the passage can be factored into sevens:

The genealogy of Christ is divided into 3 sets of 14--from Abraham to David, from David to Babylon, and from Babylon to Christ. The vocabulary has 49 words (7x7); the sum of its factor is 14 (2x7). Twenty-eight words begin with a vowel (4x7); 21 remaining with a consonant (3x7). Seven end with a vowel (lx7), and 42 end with a consonant (6x7). The 49 words have 266 letters and the sum of the figures 266 is 14 (2x7). Out of the 266 letters, 140 are vowels (2Ox7) while 126 are consonants (18x7). Of those 49 words, 7 occur in more than one form (7xl); 42 in one form only (6x7). Fourteen occur only once (2x7), and 35 (5x7) occur more than once. Forty-two (6x7) are nouns, 7 are not. Of the 42 nouns, 35 (5x7) are proper names, 7 are not. These remaining 7 common nouns are exactly 49 letters (7x7). Of the 35 proper names, 28 are male ancestors (4x7) after the flesh, and 7 are not. Male names occur in all 56 times (8x7). The name of 3 women occurs in the passage. The Greek letters in their names add up to 14 (7x2). There is only one city mentioned—Babylon—of which has seven letters.

Me thinks God loves a good riddle!

Just one example of the precious art of gematria. Does the art prove the Bible? No. It does, I believe, demonstrate that a Master Mind is behind it, however. Coincidental odds of coming up with numbers factored by sevens occurring by chance, I think, are next to nil.


Let’s take a simple Book of Mormon scripture, apply gematrian techniques to it, and see if gemetria will not add to our understanding, give us godly wisdom, and--merely bless us. Let’s use I Nephi 2:15, a very simple, easily skipped-over verse:

"...And my father dwelt in a tent. "

By the way, Joseph Neil Fairbanks, Jewish Kabbalist, did the translation on this verse.

Why would Nephi, ever conscious of the space occupied by his writing, asks Fairbanks, take time to include such an inane statement? Consider that he valued the statement enough to make it precisely:

"And" is rendered in Hebrew as Vav. Vav = 6 and represents the Nail, as the Nail in the Sure Place. Value: 6
"Father" is rendered Aleph Bayth Aleph = both 0 and 1, the breath of life, the coming into existence, and unity. Bayth = 2 and represents both life and death, and duality. Value: 3

"My" is added as an addendum to the end of Aleph Bayth to indicate possession by adding the letter Yod = 10 and represents the pillar of fire. Value: 10
"Dwelt" is rendered Yod Shin Bayth

Yod = 10
Shin = 300 and represents the element of fire, as the presence of the Spirit.
Rauch Eloheim is the Hebrew rendition of the Spirit of God and = 300.
Bayth = 2 Value: 312
"Tent" in Hebrew is rendered Aleph Hey Lamed.
Aleph = 0 and 1 - This is the dark Aleph, representing 0, or the spirit being that became physical.
Hey = 5 and represents the faculty of sight, especially spiritual sight.
Lamed = 30 and constitutes work & action (faith) Value: 35
Total Value: 366.
366 = a completed cycle. A year is 365.242 days. The transit of the sun around the ecliptic takes 365.242 years. Enoch dwelt in Zion 365.242 years (365 years, 88 days, 9 hours, according to ancient texts).

I find this utterly remarkable! It is the Prophet Joseph Smith that reveals that this is the number of years he dwelt in Zion.

The specific difference between Enoch and his company with their covenant of consecration and The Book of Mormon peoples and their covenant of consecration was--that Enoch and his people kept the covenant a complete cycle, in contrast with the people of The Book of Mormon who kept it about 200 years. The great sin of The Book of Mormon people was that they knowingly cast it aside and apostatized. In further contrast, the Church in Kirkland kept the law of consecration about 2 years, and we throw stones at the Nephites for failing to keep the covenant. By the way, the Great Pyramid in Egypt's base side is 365.242 sacred cubits, and was considered to constitute the most important number in stone. The Mayan calendar, based upon the sun cycles is the only calendar ever devised by man that required no adjustment.

3 + 6 + 6 = 15. The translation of the verse must necessarily add up to 15. So…

By Gematria one can verify the translation of the verse to see if it "adds up" to the value intended. In Kabbalic terms, the tent represents the tabernacle of the mother. In other words, Lehi dwelt within the tabernacle of the left hand of God. It is another manner of stating that Lehi was a visionary man. The bottom of the left column is the place of the reception of the spirit of prophecy. All these things state the same thing. Lehi was in constant reception of prophecy from the Holy Spirit. It was by this that he was aware of the impending fall of Jerusalem, and knew to flee into the desert. Nephi, by making this statement, "…And my father dwelt in a tent" is stating his own knowledge of the source of the understanding of his father.
Who can dismiss the above as folly?! Or mere mental gymnastics? No. There is much light, wisdom and godly understanding in the art of gemetria.

And that’s the power of words.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2011 12:46  

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