Friday, August 2, 2013

KJV versus JST: All Things Delivered to the Son, Luke 10:22

All things are delivered to me of my Father:
and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father;
and who the Father is, but the Son,
and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (Luke 10:22)
All things are delivered to me of my Father:
and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father,
and the Father is the Son,
but him to whom the Son will reveal it. (JST Luke 10:22)
Of course we can see that the KJV is nonsensical; the Father is not the only one to know who the Son is (otherwise how could we ever have a testimony that Jesus was the Christ?).

But then the JST seems to open a huge can of worms for Latter-day Saints because it seems to go back to the sectarian notion that the Father and the Son are one and the same person.  Yet we know they are separate, distinct beings because of the First Vision, so this bit about them being each other can’t be literal.

So in what sense are we to understand it?  The first part of the verse gives a clue. “All things are delivered to me of my Father.”  It seems to speak of authority handed over to the Son, such that the Son acts like the Father while the Father takes second place for a while like a son would.  This is confirmed by Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision in which He saw the Father point to Jesus and say, “This is my beloved Son; hear him,” and Jesus took over from there.  It is a concept we’ve given the name “divine investiture of authority.”

Does this happen because Heavenly Father is lazy or weak?  No, of course not.  I think maybe it was part of giving Jesus the chance to act on the Father’s behalf.  There’s no chance to use authority if the Father uses it all the time and does everything Himself.  I suppose the Father gets pleasure out of seeing His Beloved lead in the same righteous way He would.  I don’t think the Father is threatened by His Son wielding His power because they are one in purpose.