The Wandering Mind


The Moundbuilders

Posted in Mormonism,Old Testament,Religious History by wandren on 10 June 2009

Although it is generally believed that the funeral mounds found largely in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys were built by Native American Indians, considering the plausible evidence* that today’s Native American Indians are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel, I don’t see a conflict between the conventional opinions and the oft-dismissed theories of older mound-builder cultures; just because a belief is widely-held, doesn’t mean it’s true – none of the experts believed the city of Troy was real until they excavated it.  I fail to see how the “alternative” theories about the Moundbuilders is so reviled by mainstream thought because they are, at the root, the same.

Ancestry of the Indo-European Languages

Ancestry of the Indo-European Languages

In 1820, Caleb Atwater (an Ohio postmaster), the first person to conduct an extensive study of the mounds, “cited the presence of Old World mounds from Wales to Russia, and brought the Mound Builders to America via Asia, the Bering Strait, and Alaska.   The migration had occurred long ago, he says, ‘as early as the days of Abraham and Lot.’   After building the humble earthen heaps in Ohio, though, the Mound Builders had begun gradually to move south, gaining in skill all the while, until they reached Mexico.  This can be seen in the line of mounds that, Atwater says, ‘continue all the way into Mexico, increasing indeed in size, number, and grandeur, but preserving the same forms.’”

Which is more likely?  That cultures all over the world developed similar rituals separately, or that they all share the same root, and branched-out from there?  Atwater’s hypothesis that the Moundbuilders gained skill and sophistication as they moved southward into Mexico is in perfect alignment with the linguistic and DNA evidence proving that Native Americans migrated southward from Alaska – whether they crossed the Bering Straights or sailed from Polynesia is still debated, but that they moved southward is not.

* See the Holy Stones of NewarkDecalogue of Los Lunas, Lamanai, The Olmecs, and the The Mesechs.

The Lost Tribes of Israel

Posted in Mormonism,The Twelve Tribes by wandren on 10 June 2009

17th- to Mid-20th-Century Theories

Wikipedia: Since at least the 17th century both Jews and Christians have proposed theories concerning the lost tribes, based to varying degrees on Biblical accounts. An Ashkenazi Jewish tradition speaks of the Lost Tribes as Die Roite Yiddelech, “The little red Jews“, cut off from the rest of Jewry by the legendary river Sambation “whose foaming waters raise high up into the sky a wall of fire and smoke that is impossible to pass through”.[2]

On December 23, 1649, after Manasseh ben Israel, a noted rabbi of Amsterdam had been told by Antonio de Montezinos that some of the Lost Tribes were living among the Native Americans of the Andes in South America, he wrote:

… I think that the Ten Tribes live not only there … but also in other lands scattered everywhere; these never did come back to the Second Temple and they keep till this day still the Jewish Religion … [3]

In his “Book of Travels (~1173),” Benjamin of Tudela wrote of tribesmen he encountered in the Arabian Peninsula, “There are men of Israel in the land of Persia who say that in the mountains dwell four of the tribes of Israel, namely, the tribe of Dan, the tribe of Zevulun, the tribe of Asher, and the tribe of Naphtali.  They are governed by their own prince, Joseph the Levite. Among them are learned scholars.  They sow and reap and go forth to war as far as the land of Cush, by way of the desert.  They are in league with the Kofar-al-Turak, pagan tribesmen who worship the wind and live in the wilderness.”

Of the Jews of Kheibar, the largest settlement in Arabia, he wrote, “These tribesmen are of the tribes Reuven and Gad, and the half-tribe of Menasseh.  Their seat of government is a great city surrounded by the mountains of the North.  The Jews of Kheibar have built many large fortified cities.  The yoke of the gentiles is not upon them.  They go forth to pillage and to capture booty in conjunction with the Arabs their neighbors.”

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Holy Stones in New Jersey

Posted in Mormonism,Old Testament,Religious History by wandren on 10 June 2009

Like the Decalogue Stone of Los Lunas, NM, several inscribed stones found in a burial mound in Newark, New Jersey suggest a Jewish presence in ancient North America.

Although the authenticity of these finds is suspect, the stone cups and bowls some of them were found with are consistent with Jewish rituals prior to the destruction of the second Temple in 70 A.D., a period known as the “Jewish Stone Age,” which is very unlikely to have been known by the discoverers of these objects in the 1860s.

“…in the late Second Temple period, the Pharisees ordained that observant Jews should ritually rinse their hands with pure water before eating, and that in order to be pure, the water had to come from a pure vessel. Pottery might be impure, but stone was always pure.  The result was a brief “Israeli Stone Age,” during which there flourished an industry of making stone teacups to pour the water from and stone jugs to store it in.   After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, this practice quickly disappeared.”  Magen  http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/decalog.html

Decalogue Stone in New Mexico

Posted in Mormonism,Old Testament,Religious History by wandren on 10 June 2009

If genuine, the Hebrew-Greco inscription in this 80-ton boulder in Los Lunas, New Mexico, also called “The Mystery Stone,” alludes to the possibility of Semitic influence on the ancient North American Continent.

“The inscription uses Greek tau, zeta, delta, eta, and kappa (reversed) in place of their Hebrew counterparts taw, zayin, daleth, heth, and caph, indicating a Greek influence, as well as a post-Alexandrian date, despite the archaic form of aleph used. The letters yodh, qoph, and the flat-bottomed shin have a distinctively Samaritan form, suggesting that the inscription may be Samaritan in origin.”  http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/loslunas.html

Called a “Decalogue” because it is an abbreviated version of the Ten Commandments, some believe it may be Samaritan because unlike the Jews, who printed the Decalogue on a small scroll and placed it at the entrance to a house, the Samaritans were known for carving their Mezuzot (decalogues) into stone and placing them at the entrances to properties or synagogues.

This is significant because the Samaritans, who were wealthy shipowners in Greece, underwent severe persecution and execution by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century for not being Christian; this may have prompted some of them to seek refuge on another continent, leading us to the theories that the “Lost Tribes of Israel” colonized the Americas.

See Also:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Lunas_Decalogue_Stone

Lamanai, Belize: Indian Church

Posted in Mormonism,Religious History,The Ancients by wandren on 10 June 2009

I didn’t know about Lamanai until recently watching an episode of “Cities of the Underworld” that talked about how it is the only Mayan ruin to retain its ancient name.  This caught my attention because of its similarity to a group of people mentioned in the Book of Mormon called the “Lamanites.”  The episode can be watched on Hulu.  The segment on Lamanai starts at the 20-minute mark (second dot).  http://www.hulu.com/watch/72069/cities-of-the-underworld-maya-underground

“Though the locale is generally known in Belize as Indian Church, a name apparently coined in the early 19th century, Lamanai is in fact one of the very few Maya sites for which the ancient name is recorded. It appears on a church list of 1582, and the site was visited and very sketchily described by Fathers Bartolome de Fuensalida and Juan de Orbita in 1618.”  Pendergast http://mayaruins.com/lamanai/b1_055.html

And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations.”  3rd Nephi 9:10  http://scriptures.lds.org/en/3_ne/9

“That portion of the monument found in situ, which included the feet of the personage depicted, bore evidence of fire damage on the front and sides, manifest in blackening and crazing of the stone and the loss of some areas of carving from spalling.  The plaster floor was also calcined in the immediate vicinity of the stela base, and the lower portion of the room wall behind the monument was blackened.  Clearly, a fire of considerable intensity was responsible for the breakup of the monument.  It also was probably responsible for the destruction of those portions of the carving that remain missing.” Pendergast http://www.mesoweb.com/bearc/cmr/20_text.html

7: Dispensation of the Righteous Reign of Jesus Christ

Posted in Dispensationalism,Mormonism by wandren on 4 October 2007

Primary source for this discussion: Ankerberg Theological Research Institute
Author: Dr. Renald Flowers

“The seventh dispensation will begin after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and will end immediately before the release of Satan from the abyss and his final revolt. ” Revelation 20:1-6.

“It appears that the seventh dispensation will have three ruling factors which God will use to govern the world: the human conscience, human government, plus the righteous, theocratic rule of Christ. Since the seventh dispensation will be the final one for this present earth, it will be characterized by the final fulfillment of the promises which God made to Abraham and his descendants. Once promises are fulfilled, they cease to be promises. Thus, promise will no longer be a ruling factor in the last dispensation. In addition, although salvation from the penalty of sin will continue to be by grace throughout the seventh dispensation, grace will not function as a ruling factor. The evidence for this is the fact that, during the theocratic rule of Christ, those individuals who rebel against that righteous rule will be executed (Isaiah 11:3-4; 29:20-21), and those nations which refuse to go up to Jerusalem to worship the King and celebrate the Feast of Booths will be punished (Zechariah 14:16-19).

The most significant ruling factor during the seventh dispensation will be the righteous rule of Christ over the entire earth (Isaiah 11:1-5; Zechariah 14:9-10). * The world will have a theocratic government in which the rule of God will be administered worldwide through His representative, Jesus Christ.”

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6: The Dispensation of Grace

Posted in Dispensationalism,Mormonism by wandren on 4 October 2007

Primary source for this discussion: Ankerberg Theological Research Institute
Author: Dr. Renald Flowers

“The sixth dispensation of God’s rule extends from the death of Jesus Christ to His Second Coming. This is the majority view concerning when the present dispensation will end. Some Dispensationalists believe that the Tribulation period will involve a separate dispensation, but the majority have held that the sixth dispensation will not terminate until Christ’s Second Coming; it should be noted that the restraint of lawlessness by the Holy Spirit will be removed as a ruling factor when it is time for the Antichrist to be revealed near the end of this dispensation (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8).” Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:50, and John 19:31 through Revelation 19:21.

“The fifth dispensation demonstrated that mankind would not obey God on the fivefold basis of the human conscience, the restraint of lawlessness by the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and the Mosaic Law. As a result, God began a sixth dispensation by instituting His grace as a new ruling factor.

As a ruling factor for the believer, grace consists of two things: a confirmed favorable disposition toward God (the law of God in the heart, Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 3:3-11; Hebrews 8:8-12) and the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).”

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5: The Dispensation of Law

Posted in Dispensationalism by wandren on 4 October 2007

Primary source for this discussion: Bible Study 102
Author: Virginia Marin

“The fifth dispensation covers the period of time from Moses receiving the Law at Mount Sinai to the cross of Calvary. At the death of Christ, the Law was ended.” Exodus 19:1 through Matthew 27:56, Mark 15:41, Luke 23:49, and John 19:30.

“The five tests are trials of conscience, restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and the Mosaic Law. As usual man will fail these tests, too. All five of them.”

“The Law was never given to the Jews, or anyone else for that matter, as a means of salvation. It is impossible for anyone to keep the Law. Moses could not keep it. Aaron could not keep it. We today cannot keep it. The only one who has ever been able to keep the Law is the Messiah Jesus Christ. Well, why did God give the Law to begin with if no one could keep it? The answer is found in Galatians 3:19 -‘The Law was given to reveal that we are sinners.’ Paul continues the thought in verse 24, ‘. . .the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.'”

4: The Dispensation of Promise

Posted in Dispensationalism by wandren on 4 October 2007

Primary source for this discussion: Bible Study 102
Author: Virginia Marin

The fourth dispensation begins after God confounded the language, while Abraham was still in Canaan, the Land of Promise, and continues until Moses receives the Law on Mount Sinai.  Genesis 12 through Exodus 18.

“Conscience failed. Promise will now be tried. The idea behind promise is that if God makes a promise, it will become a guiding force or ruling factor in the lives of those to whom the promise was made.”  WIIFM: What’s In It For Me?  We all listen to that radio station…  We are all willing to give or obey or do something we don’t want to do if something we like is reciprocated.

“There were four charges, tests, or responsibilities given to Abraham and his descendants in this dispensation. These tests were restraint by the Holy Spirit, conscience, government, and promise from God. What were the promises?

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3: The Dispensation of Human Government

Posted in Dispensationalism by wandren on 4 October 2007

Primary source for this discussion: Ankerberg Theological Research Institute
Author: Dr. Renald Flowers

The third dispensation extended from the Noahic Flood to the call of Abraham. Genesis 8:20-11:32.

“Shortly after Noah and his family left the ark, God ordained capital punishment for murderers (Genesis 9:5-6).

Capital punishment requires a human government agency to investigate the murder, and then apprehend and try the murderer, and administer the sentence of execution. God commanded that the murderer’s blood be shed by mankind. Thus, when God ordained capital punishment, He thereby instituted human government as a further restraint against the lawless rebellion of mankind. In Romans 13:1-7 the Apostle Paul indicated that human governmental authority derives its existence from God, that it was ordained for the purpose of restraining evil, and that it functions as the minister of God when it administers capital punishment.

Romans 2:14-15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:7, together with other passages, indicate that they continue as ruling factors even into today’s dispensation. Thus, the third dispensation had three ruling factors which God used to administer His rule over mankind: human conscience, restraint of lawlessness by the Holy Spirit, plus human government.”

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