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“Show Them unto No Man”: Part 2. The Book of Moses and the Early Jewish Christian Esoteric Tradition

Title“Show Them unto No Man”: Part 2. The Book of Moses and the Early Jewish Christian Esoteric Tradition
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBickmore, Barry R.
JournalBYU Studies
Volume62
Issue2
Pagination117–132
KeywordsBook of Moses; Early Christianity; Esotericism
Abstract

Whether the inspiration for Smith’s theology was divine or mundane, in this contribution I argue that Joseph Smith’s body of esoteric teachings simply could not have been constructed piecemeal from the sorts of sources Harrell proposes. Instead, he must have somehow gained relatively direct access to the early Jewish Christian esoteric tradition. We can be relatively certain of this because the book of Moses is composed in the form of a typical early Jewish and Jewish Christian esoteric text called an “ascent apocalypse.” I will argue that the evidence for this is so compelling that the focus of historians working on early LDS doctrinal history should shift more fully to whether and how Smith could have gotten his hands on early Jewish Christian esoteric traditions.

URLhttps://byustudies.byu.edu/article/show-them-unto-no-man-2/