The Common Israelite Background

Chapter 6

The Common Israelite Background

The previous pages display many differences between the Sermon on the Mount
and the Sermon at the Temple and show that all those variations were purposeful
and consistent with the delivery of the Sermon in Bountiful. In further support
of the assertion that the Sermon on the Mount appropriately appears in the Sermon
at the Temple, one may wonder if Jesus did not change some things from
the Sermon on the Mount that he should have changed in order to make the text
understandable to the Nephites. Although it is impossible to know for sure how
much of the Sermon at the Temple the Nephites readily recognized from their
Old Testament and Israelite heritage (and 3 Nephi 15:2 makes it clear that
they did not immediately understand everything that Jesus said), I conclude
that there are few individual words or concepts in the Sermon at the Temple
that should have been puzzling to the Nephites. There are no other words or
phrases in the Sermon where something needed to be changed but was not.

Indeed, most of the words and phrases, images and ideasof the Sermon on the
Mount are rather universal to all mankind. What person does not understand such
basic concepts as the poor, mercy, peacemakers, salt, light, sun, wind, darkness,
open, secret, treasure, heart, mote, beam, bread, serpent, tree, fruit, blossom,
rock, sand, men, brother, love, hate, enemy, adversary, marriage, divorce, greet,
day, tomorrow, throw, hand, pigs, dogs, grass, power, glory, rejoice, fields,
barns, ask, seek, knock, listen, clothing, good, evil, sin, forgive, righteousness,
obey, cut off, swear, kill, prophet, wide, narrow, parents, children, holy,
stature, eye, call, judge, lamp, riches, pearls, fast, pray, law, debts, and
so forth? There are some 383 Greek words in the total vocabulary of the Sermon
on the Mount. Most are everyday words. The translation of these words is generally
straightforward. Their overt meanings can hardly be mistaken, whether they are
expressed in English, Latin, Greek, Aramaic, Nephite, or any other language.

Krister Stendahl has suggested one such translation problem in the way the
Sermon at the Temple renders the fourth Beatitude. It reads, "Blessed are
all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled
with the Holy Ghost" (3 Nephi 12:6). He remarked that it seemed unnatural
to associate the Greek word chortazō ("physically filled")
with a spiritual filling, since the New Testament Greek usually uses a different
word, pleroō, when it speaks of being filled with the Spirit and
since chortazō appears in passages about actual feedings of multitudes, eating
crumbs, and so on.1

The problem, however, is solved when we turn to Old Testament backgrounds of
the Sermon. The promise of Jesus, that those who hunger and thirst after "righteousness"
(dikaiosun&#275n) shall be filled (chortasthesontai), is closely
related to the last two verses of Psalm 17 in the Greek Septuagint (the "LXX"),
a rarely mentioned text that Stendahl apparently overlooked. The Psalm contrasts
the filling (echortasthesan) of the stomach in uncleanliness with beholding
the face of God in righteousness (dikaiosunē): "I shall be
satisfied [chortasthesomai] when I awake, with thy likeness" (Psalm
17:15). Here the word chortazō is used to describe one’s being
filled with the Spirit and being satisfied by beholding the righteousness of

The distinctiveness of this use of chortazō in Psalm 17 and Matthew
5:6 only increases the likelihood that Jesus’ New Testament audience would have
recognized his allusion to these words in the Psalm, a passage that would have
been quite familiar to them. It shows that the translation in the Sermon at
the Temple does well by making explicit this particular understanding of chortazō
as having reference to a spiritual filling by the Holy Ghost, such as that which
comes when a person beholds the face of God in righteousness.2

Moreover, the text of the Sermon on the Mount is steeped in phraseology of
early biblical literature. Although most Christians assume that Jesus’ words
were completely original, in fact many of the words and phrases in the Sermon
on the Mount were taken directly from the Old Testament scriptures. These expressions
would have had a familiar ring to his audience in Galilee and probably also
to his listeners in Bountiful, who shared the Israelite scriptural heritage
up to the time of Jeremiah. The following list shows the main biblical antecedents
and precedents drawn upon by Jesus in the Sermon. Some are direct quotes; others
are paraphrases or closely related expressions.

Old Testament

New Testament

"To comfort all that mourn"
(Isaiah 61:2)

"Blessed are they that
mourn: for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4)

"The meek shall inherit
the earth" (Psalm 37:11); "good tidings unto the meek"
(Isaiah 61:1)

"Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5)

"The meek also shall increase
their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy
One of Israel" (Isaiah 29:19)

"Blessed are the poor in
spirit. . . . Blessed are the meek" (Matthew 5:3, 5)

"I shall be satisfied (chortasthesomai) . . . , I will behold thy face in righteousness
dikaiosunē)" (Psalm 17:15 LXX)

"Blessed are they which
do hunger and thirst after righteousness (dikaiosunē): for they shall be filled (chortasthesontai)" (Matthew 5:6)

"Who shall ascend into
the hill [temple] of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart" (Psalm 24:3—4;
see also Psalm 73:1)

"Blessed are the pure in
heart: for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8)

"They shall be called (klēthēsontai) the sons (huioi) of the living God" (Hosea 1:10

"They shall be called (klēthēsontai) the children (huioi) of God" (Matthew 5:9)

"They mocked the messengers
of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets" (2 Chronicles

"Men shall revile you,
and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely
. . . for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you"
(Matthew 5:11—12)

"Trodden under foot"
(Isaiah 18:7; 28:3; Lamentations 1:15; cf. Psalm 119:118)

"Trodden under foot"
(Matthew 5:13)

"I will also give thee
for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the
end of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6; see also Isaiah 42:6)

"Ye are the light of the
world" (Matthew 5:14); [ST] "I give unto you to be the light
of this people" (3 Nephi 12:14)

"For thou wilt light my
candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness" (Psalm 18:28)

"Neither do men light a
candle, and put it under a bushel" (Matthew 5:15)

"Thou shalt not kill"
(Exodus 20:13)

"Thou shalt not kill"
(Matthew 5:21)

"Thou shalt no commit adultery"
(Exodus 20:14)

"Thou shalt not commit
adultery" (Matthew 5:27)

"Lust not after her beauty
in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids" (Proverbs

"Whosoever looketh on a
woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in
his heart" (Matthew 5:28)

"Seek not after your own
heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring" (Numbers

"If thy right eye offend
thee, pluck it out" (Matthew 5:29)

"Let him write her a bill
of divorcement" (Deuteronomy 24:1)

"Let him give her a writing
of divorcement" (Matthew 5:31)

"The Lord, the God of Israel,
saith that he hateth putting away" (Malachi 2:16)

"Whosoever shall put away
his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit
adultery" (Matthew 5:32)

"Thou shalt not bear false
witness" (Exodus 20:16); "ye shall not swear by my name falsely"
(Leviticus 19:12; see Numbers 30:2)

"Thou shalt not forswear
thyself" (Matthew 5:33)

"Pay thy vows unto the
most High" (Psalm 50:14)

"Perform unto the Lord
thine oaths" (Matthew 5:33)

"If thou shalt forbear
to vow, it shall be no sin in thee" (Deuteronomy 23:22)

"Swear not at all"
(Matthew 5:34)

"The heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool" (Isaiah 66:1)

""Neither by heaven;
for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool"
(Matthew 5:34—35)

"Zion, . . . city of the
great King" (Psalm 48:2)

"Jerusalem; . . . the city
of the great King" (Matthew 5:35)

"Eye for eye, tooth for
tooth" (Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21)

"An eye for an eye, and
a tooth for a tooth" (Matthew 5:38)

"I gave my back to the
smiters (rhapismata, LXX), and
my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair" (Isaiah 50:6)

"Whoever shall smite (rhapizei) thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also"
(Matthew 5:39)

"If thou at all take thy
neighbor’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by [sundown]"
(Exodus 22:26)

"If any man will sue thee
. . . and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also" (Matthew

"[Thou] shalt surely lend
him sufficient for his need" (Deuteronomy 15:8)

"From him that would borrow
of thee turn not thou away" (Matthew 5:42)

"Love thy neighbor"
(Leviticus 19:18); "in that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest
thy friends!" (2 Samuel 19:6)

"Love thy neighbor and
hate thine enemy" (Matthew 5:43)

"If thou meet thine ememy’s
ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again"
(Exodus 23:4); "if thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat;
and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink" (Proverbs 25:21)

"Love your enemies, bless
them that curse you, do good to them that hate you" (Matthew 5:44)

"Ye are the children of
the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 14:1)

"That ye may be the children
of your Father" (Matthew 5:45)

"Ye shall be holy: for
I the Lord your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2); "thou shalt
be perfect" (Deuteronomy 18:13)

"Be yet therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48)

"He went in therefore,
and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the Lord" (2
Kings 4:33; cf. Isaiah 26:20)

"When thou prayest, enter
into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father"
(Matthew 6:6)

"I shall sanctify [hallow]
my great name" (Ezekiel 36:23)

"Hallowed be thy name"
(Matthew 6:9)

"This is the bread which
the Lord hath given you to eat" (Exodus 16:16)

"Give us this day our daily
bread" (6:11)

"Thine, O Lord, is the
greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; this is the
kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all" (1 Chronicles

"Thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever" (Matthew 6:13)

"Is it such a fast that
I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down
his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day of the Lord?"
(Isaiah 58:5)

"When ye fast, be not .
. . of a sad countenance. . . . When thou fastest, anoint thine head,
and wash thy face" (Matthew 6:16—17)

"If a thief be found breaking
up" (Exodus 22:2)

"Where thieves break through
and steal" (Matthew 6:19)

"The spirit of man is the
candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27)

"The light of the body
is the eye" (Matthew 6:22)

"Delight thyself also in
the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heat" (Psalm

"Seek ye first the kingdom
of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
you" (Matthew 6:33)

"Gather [manna at] a certain
rate every day" (Exodus 16:4)

"Take . . . no thought
for the morrow" (Matthew 6:34)

"Holy men . . . : neither
shall ye eat flesh that is torn of beasts . . . ; ye shall cast it to
the dogs" (Exodus 22:31)

"Give not that which is
holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine" (Matthew

"Ye shall seek me, and
find me" (Jeremiah 29:13)

"Seek, and ye shall find"
(Matthew 7:7)

The Two Ways (see Deuteronomy
11:26; 30:15; Jeremiah 21:8; Proverbs 28:6, 18)

The Two Ways (see Matthew 7:13—14)

"The prophet, which shall
presume to speak [what] I have not commanded him to speak, . . . shall
die" (Deuteronomy 18:20)

"Beware of false prophets"
(Matthew 7:15)

"Her princes in the midst
thereof are like wolves ravening the prey" (Ezekiel 22:27)

"Inwardly they are ravening
wolves" (Matthew 7:15)

"The Lord alone shall be
exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:11, 17)

"In that day" (Matthew

"[They] prophesy lies in
my name" (Jeremiah 14:14; cf. 27:15)

"Have we not prophesied
in thy name" (Matthew 7:22)

"Depart from me, all ye
workers of iniquity" (Psalm 6:8)

"Depart from me, ye that
work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23)

"And one build up a wall,
and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter [sand]: . . . there
shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall;
and a stormy wind shall rend it" (Ezekiel 13:10—11)

"A foolish man . . . built
his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came,
and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell" (Matthew

"A broken spirit: a broken
and contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17)

[ST] "Come unto me with
a broken heart and a contrite spirit" (3 Nephi 12:19)

This list is undoubtedly incomplete, but it is striking—and
I believe most readers will be as surprised as I was by the substantial number
of phrases in the Sermon on the Mount that essentially repeat or allude to
phrases in the Old Testament. Many other parallels can also be adduced from
the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish writings. Obviously, the lines of the
Sermon "are not a spontaneous lyrical outbreak of prophecy, but a profound
message founded on a complex network of biblical reminiscences and midrashic

My purpose in displaying these parallels and likely precedents is not to claim
that Jesus quoted each of these Old Testament passages verbatim. Several of
them are precise quotes; others only paraphrases or similar concepts. My point
is simply to show that Jesus’ words would not have sounded strange to either
his Jewish or Nephite listeners. Their common Israelite and prophetic heritages
would have prepared both audiences to understand and appreciate the messages
in this Sermon, as Jesus transformed their understanding of the old laws into
the new.

While we cannot know for sure how many of these Old Testament expressions were
found on the Plates of Brass or how closely they were rendered by Jesus into
the contemporary Nephite dialect, certainly many of these phrases were known
to the Nephites (especially the passages in the Pentateuch and Isaiah). Accordingly,
although the Sermon is often thought of as a uniquely "Christian"
scripture, it is saturated with Israelite and Jewish elements.4 Passages from the law, the prophets, and the
Psalms; covenantal injunctions about giving to the poor (see Mosiah 4:16—25)
and praying and fasting (see Omni 1:26; Mosiah 27:23; Alma 5:46); and specific
references to wealth (see Jacob 2:12—19), the temple of Solomon (see 2
Nephi 5:16), and the "strait and narrow" (1 Nephi 8:20) were familiar
territory to the Nephites.

An informed Israelite or a devout Nephite would
have readily recognized that the Sermon took the threads of the old covenantal
law and wove them into a splendid new tapestry. Once we are aware of this
rich background of Israelite origins, we can hardly imagine a reaction more
fitting than that of the Nephites: Their reaction was one of marvel and wonder
at how all their old and familiar things had suddenly become new (see 3 Nephi

It is not difficult to identify many ways in which the Nephites could well
have recognized that Jesus presented ideas to them that they had known before
but that now appeared in a new form or context. Their Israelite backgrounds
had schooled and prepared them to recognize and finally receive the principles
and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the places in the Sermon
at the Temple where one can discern points of transforming continuity between
the old and the new include the following:

(1) Whereas previously "the Lord descended upon [Mount Sinai] in fire"
and tumult t (Exodus 19:18), now he came peacefully to the temple as "a
Man descending out of heaven" (3 Nephi 11:8).

(2) The old Hosanna Shout of Psalm 118 could only look forward to him "that
cometh in the name of the Lord" (Psalm 118:26), but now it rang out to
bless him who had finally come (see 3 Nephi 11:17). This long-awaited event
must have broken forth into the lives of the people at Bountiful with the kind
of unbelievable euphoria that so many people in the world experienced with the
initial opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989—they had never dared to dream
that they would actually live to see it happen.

(3) To take the place of the old sanctification of the people and the ritual
washing of their clothes (for widespread indications of ceremonial ablutions
to remove impurity both from the worshippers and temple priests, see Exodus
19:14; Leviticus 13:58; 15:17; Psalms 24:4; 26:6; 73:13; 2 Samuel 12:20;
2 Chronicles 4:6; Ezekiel 16:9.)5 , the Nephites were given an expanded understanding of the ordinance
of baptism for the remission of sins.

(4) Radically upgrading the nature of witnesses, which under the old law could
be stones (see Joshua 24:27) or the heavens and the earth (see Deuteronomy 4:26),
now the Godhead itself stood as primary witnesses of the doctrine and covenants
of Jesus Christ (see 3 Nephi 11:35).

(5) The old curses, that for centuries had been ritually invoked upon those
who privily worked wickedness (see Deuteronomy 27:11—26), were now converted
into glorious blessings upon those who secretly worked righteousness (see 3 Nephi
12:3—11; 13:4, 6, 18).

(6) The old view of creation had presented the words "Let there be light"
as a physical phenomenon, but now it became a personal creation, "Let your
light so shine" (3 Nephi 12:16).

(7) The old law of sacrifice was explicitly replaced by the sacrifice of the
"broken heart and a contrite spirit" (3 Nephi 12:18—19),
and whereas previously the sacrificial animal was to be pure and without blemish
(haplous), now the disciples themselves were to become "single"
(haplous) to the glory of God (see 3 Nephi 13:22; Matthew 6:22).

(8) Similarly, old commandments regarding murder, adultery, divorce, and oath-swearing
were dramatically transfigured in the new order of Christ to promise results
even more glorious than Solomon’s temple of old (Matthew 6:29; 3 Nephi 13:29).

(9) Finally, in the covenant at Sinai, the people covenanted to do "all
the words which the Lord hath said" (Exodus 24:3), and the Lord promised
in return to "bless thy bread, and thy water; and [to] take sickness away
from the midst of" the people (Exodus 23:25). So, too, the Nephites newly
covenanted with blessed bread and wine to do what the Lord had commanded (see
3 Nephi 18:10), and he healed all their sick (see 3 Nephi 17:9).

Over and over it is evident in the Sermon at the Temple that indeed "all
things had become new" (3 Nephi 15:3) in a great and marvelous way.

Only a few passages require discussion in regard to the Nephites’ ability to
understand what Jesus was talking about. The first instance is whether the Nephites
would have understood the word mammon. The ancient origins and etymology
of this word are highly uncertain.6 Around the time of Jesus it was a frequently used Aramaic word in Palestine,
meaning "wealth, property, profit, or money," appearing in the Targums,
the Mishnah, the Talmud, and the Damascus Document.7 It is unknown how far back in history the word was known or where it
came from, and thus one cannot be certain about the nature of its occurrence
in 3 Nephi. Aramaic is old enough that a Nephite word for money could have
been "mammon," but without access to the original Nephite texts it
is unclear if Jesus used this Aramaic word in the Sermon at the Temple, or if
it was a part of Nephite vocabulary, or whether Jesus used some closely comparable
Nephite word for "wealth" that was simply translated as "Mammon."
Nevertheless, the context makes it clear what Jesus was talking about. Similar
things can be said of the Aramaic word Raca, whose antiquity and possible
derivation from Hebrew is also uncertain but whose basic meaning is unmistakable
in its context.

The second asks if the Nephites would have known where it was written, "Hate
thine enemy"? One searches in vain in the Old Testament for exactly such
a writing; and, indeed, in this particular instance Jesus does not say to the
Nephites, "It is also written before you" (3 Nephi 12:43),
as he did with the first law against murder. Thus the Nephites may have been
left to wonder who had written such a thing. Several scholars have
suggested that Matthew 5:43 refers to a text from the community at Qumran: God
commands his sons to "love everything that he has chosen but to hate everything
that he has rejected."8 Thus Jesus’ listeners in Palestine may have recognized in his
words a veiled criticism of that specific sect. Another possibility is that
Jesus was responding to some other contemporary "popular maxim or partisan
rallying cry" glossing Leviticus 19:18.9 The roots of Matthew 5:43, however, may run much earlier, for
similar sentiments are found in 2 Samuel 19:6, which criticizes the king
for having everything backwards, "in that thou lovest thine enemies, and
hatest thy friends." The implication is that one should hate one’s enemies
and love one’s friends. In any event, whether or not the Nephites knew where
such a saying was written, they would have had no difficulty understanding Jesus’
meaning. They may have thought immediately of their own ongoing, painful problems
with the Lamanites, a group that expressly taught their children to hate their
enemies eternally (see Mosiah 10:17; Jacob 7:26).

Third are the "figs" and "grapes" mentioned in 3 Nephi
14:16: "Do men gather grapes [literally "bunches"] of thorns,
or figs of thistles?" Thorns and thistles were present in the New World,
but grapes and figs are slightly more questionable. John Sorenson points out
that "certain grapes were present, but we do not know that they were used
for food or drink,"10
although he reports that this is now thought to be more likely. Still, we cannot
be sure what a Nephite might have thought when he heard the words "figs"
and "grapes." There are several possibilities: Certainly the words
were known to the Nephites from the Hebrew records brought with them from Jerusalem,
and thus these fruits may have been known to them simply as archaic terms; or
perhaps the Nephites used these names for local fruits; or again, perhaps the
word staphulas ("bunches," usually of grapes) was simply
understood to mean bunches of some other kind of fruit. In any event, several
varieties of figs and grapes existed in the New World (fig bark was used to
make paper in Mesoamerica), and the context would have made it clear to Jesus’
audience that he was talking about bunches of fruit gathered from trees.

Fourth is the "sanhedrin" mentioned in Matthew 5:22. Since the Greek
word synedrion seems to have been first used in the days of Herod as
a title for the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem,11 one may wonder if the Nephites would have
understood what Jesus meant when he said, "Whosoever is angry with his
brother shall be in danger of his judgment [krisei]. And whosoever
shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council [synedrion].
But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (3
Nephi 12:22). Commentators on Matthew sometimes assert that the Greek words
"judgment" and "council" refer technically to local Jewish
courts, the Small Sanhedrins and the Great Sanhedrin,12 but the terminology is not so specific. Courts or councils of all
kinds could be denoted. Strecker argues that "judgment" can be understood
only "figuratively. . . . Jesus is thinking of the final judgment."13 Alternatively, the "council" could allude to the council
in heaven, which figures in God’s judgments upon the world (see 1 Nephi
1:6—10),14 or, as I have suggested above, to an apostolic council that
judges mankind in this world or in the world to come (see 3 Nephi 27:27).15 All these are concepts the
Nephites would have readily understood.

These are the cases where a Nephite might have had difficulty readily understanding
the Sermon at the Temple. Most of its common human experiences and life settings,
such as thieves breaking in or going a second mile, need not presuppose anything
out of the ordinary in Nephite civilization. To my mind, this result is worth
observing: In all the places where the two texts differ, good and sufficient
reasons exist for the divergence; yet no further changes were probably needed
in deference to the Nephite culture or audience, for which much of the newness
of the Sermon was firmly grounded in familiar terrain.

1.   Krister Stendahl,
"The Sermon on the Mount and Third Nephi," in Reflections on
, ed. T. Madsen (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 1978),
142. Stendahl, an outside observer, offers several valuable insights into
the Sermon at the Temple, but his explanations of them usually fall short.
He notes well the emphasis on baptism, the ordination of the twelve, "coming
unto Jesus," and the role of the commandments (ibid., 141—43).
More is involved in 3 Nephi 11—18, however, as shown above, than
the mere introduction of certain literary Johannine features.

2.   See also
numerous references to the notion of being physically "filled with the
spirit" in Book of Mormon Critical Text, 3 vols. (Provo: F.A.R.M.S.,
1986), 3:1039 n. 297.

3.   D. Flusser,
"Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit," Israel Exploration Journal
10 (1960): 13.

4.   In further
discussions of the thoroughly Jewish character of the Sermon on the Mount,
others have convincingly found Jesus the Jew at virtually every turn in the
Sermon on the Mount. See, e.g., Strack and Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen
, 1:188—474; Lachs, Rabbinic Commentary on the New
; W. D. Davies, "Does the Sermon on the Mount Follow a
Rabbinic Pattern?" in "My Odyssey in New Testament Interpretation,"
Bible Review 5/3 (1989): 15.

5.   Hugh W. Nibley,
The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book,
1975), 93—96; Robert A. Wild, Water in the Cultic Worship of Isis
and Sarapis
(Leiden: Brill, 1981), 143—48; and Thomas F. Torrance,
"The Origins of Baptism," Scottish Journal of Theology
11 (1958): 158—71.

6.   TDNT,

7.   Matthew Black,
An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon,
1967), 139—40, citing A. M. Honeyman, "The Etymology of Mammon,"
Archivum Linguisticum 4:60; and GELNT, 491.

8.   1QS
1:3—4; Strecker, Sermon on the Mount, 87; mentioned also in
S. Kent Brown, "The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Mormon Perspective," BYU
23/1 (1983): 65.

9.   O. J. F.
Seitz, "Love Your Enemies," New Testament Studies 16 (1969):
51; on the possible historical settings of Matthew 5:43—44 and Luke
6:27—28, see pp. 39—54.

10.   John L. Sorenson,
An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City:
Deseret Book and FARMS, 1985), 186 n. 70.

11.   TDNT,

12.   See, e.g., Strecker,
Sermon on the Mount, 65—67.

13.   Ibid., 65, as the concluding
reference to "hell fire" makes apparent.

14.   Raymond E. Brown,
"The Pre-Christian Semitic Concept of ‘Mystery,’" Catholic Biblical
20 (1958): 419 n. 10, includes the word synedrion
among the terms used in "the vocabulary [of] the LXX to translate sōd
where it is used of the heavenly assembly," citing, however, only Proverbs
3:32 and Jeremiah 15:17. See, generally, E. Theodore Mullen, Jr., The
Assembly of the Gods
(Chico, California: Scholars, 1980); and John W.
Welch, "The Calling of a Prophet," in First Nephi, The Doctrinal
, ed. M. Nyman and C. Tate (Provo: Religious Studies Center,
Brigham Young University,1988), 35—54.

15.   On the use of
the word synedrion in early Christianity to refer to a council of
apostles, see TDNT 7:871. Ignatius spoke of a council of elders as
the topon of the synedrion of the apostles and as "the
council [synedrion] of God and the council [synedrion] of
the apostles."