Mormonism 201 (Preexistence): Response to Allen Wyatt

Response to Allen Wyatt
Rejoinder by John Divito

In order to make this review easier to read, all original quotes from the Mormonism 201 rebuttal are boldfaced and italicized to separate these from the rest of the rejoinder.

Allen L. Wyatt responded to chapter four of McKeever and Johnson’s text, “Preexistence and the Second Estate.” His reply sought to defend the claims of Mormonism and to argue against the orthodox Christian position. To discover whether or not Wyatt was successful, this rejoinder will take a look at the areas he addressed: 1) common sense, 2) historical precedence, 3) biblical considerations, and 4) latter-day revelation. After this, additional relevant biblical texts will be brought into the discussion. Finally, a conclusion will be reached and a judgment rendered.

However, before looking at Wyatt’s major points, a brief observation needs to be made. Wyatt states, “. . .neither Bill McKeever nor Eric Johnson examine much of the evidence available in support of the LDS position.” What Wyatt seems to misunderstand is the intent of the book. It was written to familiarize those who do not know much about Mormonism with the basic doctrine of the Mormon faith and to compare this doctrine with that of Christianity.

While Mormonism 101 does give good supporting evidence from LDS sources, it never claims to be a thorough treatment of Mormon doctrine. This is why the book bears the title it does—introductory college courses tend to have the number 101 listed after them. In a Philosophy 101 class, a person would not expect a detailed treatment of Nietzsche’s nihilism. The class may deal with it, but a professor would never claim that this class would thoroughly handle the topic. It is a serious mistake to believe that McKeever and Johnson were trying to do this.

Wyatt goes on to say, “In fact, had McKeevers [sp] and Johnson done their reading, they would have known that such challenges have been answered many times in the past. In other words, the authors are not providing new information or even a new angle on existing information. Instead, assertions previously made—and previously answered—are being made again.” Unfortunately, Wyatt once again misses the audience for which the book was intended.

Wyatt then makes a remarkable statement, “It can be stated right up front that the authors do a fairly good job of concisely stating the views of the LDS Church in relation to preexistence and the plan of salvation.” Wyatt wisely recognizes the objectivity of McKeever and Johnson as they present Mormonism’s teaching on this topic. However, Wyatt obviously does not like the caseMormonism 101 brings against the Mormon view. It is this to which he spends the majority of his time responding. As a result, these sections need to be given special consideration here.

Common Sense

Wyatt begins by giving an argument from “common sense.”  He states, “Many see this mortal life as nothing more than a temporary way [sp] station on some cosmic journey.” He continues, “A common question faced by parents, holding their newborn child for the first time, is where this tiny miracle comes from. The origin of the child’s physical body is obvious, but the beginnings of personality evident at the earliest stages of child development are easiest explained through an understanding that our spirits—which make up our personality—do not have their beginnings in the womb.” Finally, he points out that many Christians speak of our “immortal spirit” or “eternal spirit.”

The problem with this whole argument is that it does not demonstrate that preexistence is common sense. One dictionary defines common sense this way: “In general, the kind of opinions about life at large. . . [that] people take for granted. The attempt solemnly to justify these notions appears comical, pedantic, or esoteric, except in circumstances in which they are being doubted or denied. When they are defended, the defense characteristically relies on an appeal to the general or universal consent that exists about them.” But preexistence is not taken for granted, nor does it by any means have a general or universal consent. The appeal that Wyatt is making is not to a known reality, but to a person’s emotions.

This makes his argument completely subjective and ultimately based on one’s feelings. However, the Bible says that we are not supposed to rely on our hearts; we can be deceived. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The author of Proverbs 28:26 says, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” Therefore, our hearts (feelings) are not to be trusted, for what we feel is right may in fact be wrong. As Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” We simply cannot rely upon our emotions and feelings to establish truth.

Everyone knows that feelings change and vary from person to person. For example, when I first held my daughter in my arms, I believed that she was a gift from God (I still believe this!), but I have never felt for a moment that she existed before she was conceived. Does this mean that preexistence is false merely because my feelings have not supported it?  Of course not! Feelings never prove or disprove what is true. Wyatt anticipates this and says, “As appealing as the concept of a premortal life may be to some, to others the idea smacks of emotionalism, wishful thinking, simplistic superstition, or outright heresy. Common sense ideas, however, often have their roots in deeper doctrinal concepts, as shall be shortly seen.” While common sense may indeed be rooted in truth, feelings alone are not common sense. The Apostle Paul shares the biblical method of understanding truth in 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

Historical Precedence

Wyatt continues his reply by mentioning how some people from history have held to some kind of view of preexistence. However, before a person can look at the doctrinal beliefs of certain individuals, he or she must begin by understanding how Christians know what is true. This is established by the famous phrase Sola Scriptura, which means “by Scripture alone” — Scripture here meaning the 66 books that make up the Holy Bible. A good summary of this view was given by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, as they summarize Sola Scriptura this way:

We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.

We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.

Therefore, all doctrine, beliefs, and theories need to be measured by the Bible to see if they are true or false. Unfortunately, Wyatt seems to be confused in using the early Christian Fathers. He says, “While these teachings [on preexistence] may have been dropped from the rote canon of the church, there is little doubt that they were understood and espoused from the earliest recorded times.” The problem with this statement is that the teachings of the Church Fathers were never considered Scripture or part of “the rote canon of the church.” What the Church Fathers believed may or may not have been correct (just as what I believe may or may not be correct). The way one knows whether something is correct is by comparing it with God’s Word, the Bible.

As a result, when reading the Church Fathers (or any religious doctrine for that matter), the key is comparing their beliefs with the Bible. Wyatt lists two Church Fathers who held to some sort of preexistence, Clement and Origen. And while some type of preexistence was indeed taught by these individuals, the fact is that neither of them (nor anyone else who believed in a preexistence) held to people being the literal spiritual offspring of Elohim. They never suggested that Jesus was Elohim’s literal spiritual son or that we are Jesus’ literal spiritual brothers and sisters. Their ideas on the preexistence were drastically different than what Mormonism teaches. While this does not disprove the LDS position, it essentially eliminates the Church Fathers as forebearers of the Mormon concept of the preexistence.

Even more can be known about Clement and Origen’s belief in this issue. Historian Justo L. Gonzales says,

The spirit of Origen’s theology is very similar to that of his teacher, Clement. It is an attempt to relate Christian faith to the philosophy that was then current in Alexandria, Neoplatonism. He was aware of the danger of abandoning Christian doctrine in favor of the teachings of the philosophers, and thus declared that “nothing which is at variance with the tradition of the apostles and of the church is to be accepted as true.”. . .

However, once these points have been affirmed, Origen feels free to rise to great speculative flights. For instance, since the tradition of the apostles and of the church gives no details as to how the world was created, Origen believes that this is a fair field of inquiry. . . . According to Origen, the first creation was purely spiritual. What God first created were spirits without bodies. . . .  God’s purpose was that the spirits thus created would be devoted to the contemplation of the divine. But some of them strayed from that contemplation and fell. It was then that God made the second creation. This second creation is material, and it serves as a shelter or temporary home for fallen spirits.  Those spirits who fell farthest became demons, while the rest are human souls.  It was for these human souls―fallen preexistent spirits―that God made the bodies we now have, which God “shaped” put of the earth, making some male and some female.

This implies that all human souls existed as pure spirits―or “intellects,” as Origen calls them―before being born into the world, and that the reason why we are here is that we have sinned in that prior, purely spiritual existence.  Although Origen claims that all this is based on the Bible, it is clear that it is derived from the Platonic tradition, where such ideas had been taught for a long time.

While portions of what Origen believed are similar to Mormon doctrine, overall his beliefs are quite different. One also should not miss that his beliefs on the preexistence and creation came more from Platonic philosophy than from the Bible.

Gonzales goes on to state, “One must also acknowledge that Origen proposes all of this, not as truths to be generally accepted, nor as something that will supercede the doctrines of the church, but as his own tentative speculations, which ought not to be compared with the authoritative teaching of the church.” These were his thoughts written out, not necessarily to be taken as truth. Yet Wyatt appears to be doing just that.

Wyatt then goes on to refer to the Essenes, a Jewish ascetical sect, for support. It is helpful to also understand what the Essenes believed and practiced:

…they practiced poverty, held their property in common, were celibate (although Josephus states that one group of them could marry), were devoted to prayer, reading, self-support (involving farming), and frequent ritual baths. They venerated Moses, believed in the angels, and in the immortality of the soul, which they conceived to be an emanation from some higher substance, they separated themselves from worship at Jerusalem (which they looked upon as corrupt), and did not offer animal sacrifice. . . . While usually classified as Jews, they seem to have admitted at some time outside doctrinal influences such as Zoroastrian dualism.

Once again, outside influences, not biblical interpretation, led the Essenes to many of their beliefs.  Therefore, while Christians do not deny that there were some in religious history that held to some form of preexistence, we maintain that these beliefs are not rooted in Scripture but rather in outside influences. The Essene beliefs were a conglomeration of Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and other philosophies. Their views on the preexistence were not taken from Scripture. Instead, they arise from their dualistic understanding of reality.

One must never forget that while some historic figures have held to some kind of view of preexistence (there was a very small minority of them that did), what matters is whether or not their view is taught in the Bible.

Biblical Considerations

Since a correct interpretation of the Bible is essential to one’s understanding of truth, the majority of this response will be spent dealing with the various texts. Wyatt lists four texts in support of the Mormon view: Jeremiah 1:5, Job 38:1-7, Ecclesiastes 12:7, and John 9:1-3. Each of these passages will be looked at in turn.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Wyatt argues,

The wording itself indicates that God literally knew Jeremiah and was familiar with his spiritual attitudes and abilities. In addition, God sanctified Jeremiah, a description not of foreknowledge but of an actual event with participants present. The process of sanctification, or setting something apart as holy, by definition requires that something (such as Jeremiah himself) be present to be set apart. Likewise, the act of ordaining a person—in this case a prophet—requires that the individual be present. These acts—sanctification and ordination—are not mental exercises, but actual events.

One must ask, where in the text does it say God “was familiar with his spiritual attitudes and abilities” as Wyatt asserts?  This is not what the text means by “knew.”  The context of this passage is God’s call of Jeremiah to be His prophet. When looking at the Hebrew word for “knew,” the following can be learned: “The word knew (yāda’) means far more than intellectual knowledge. It was used of the intimate relations experienced by a husband and wife (‘lay,’ Gen. 4:1) and conveyed the sense of a close personal relationship (‘chosen,’ Amos 3:2) and protection (‘watches over,’ Ps. 1:6). Before Jeremiah was conceived God had singled him out to be His spokesman toIsrael.” Nothing in the word “knew” requires the actual existence of Jeremiah.  Since God is omniscient (He knows all things), God could know of Jeremiah before He actually created him.

God could also set Jeremiah apart and ordain him before He created Jeremiah. Wyatt says that setting something apart requires something to be present. Would not the concept of Jeremiah in God’s mind be enough?  And why would these actions of God require Jeremiah to be present, as Wyatt asserts?  He simply assumes this must be the case. This assumption is simply unwarranted.

The text itself does not teach the preexistence of Jeremiah or of any other humans. The verb “knew” does not assert it, and neither does “sanctified” or “ordained.”  Nevertheless, even if people were to insist that sanctification and ordainment required Jeremiah to be present, the text still does not teach preexistence. Notice the verse — God sanctified and ordained him “before thou camest forth out of the womb.” The only action that the passage states was completed before conception was that God “knew” Jeremiah. As a result, God could have sanctified and ordained Jeremiah while in the womb, before he was born. To see the preexistence of people in the text, one must presuppose it. The doctrine is not established in the text itself.

Job 38:1-7

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Regarding this passage, Wyatt writes: “When it comes to the trials of Job and the discussions that God had with Job, it seems that McKeevers [sp] and Johnson are actually the ones taking scripture out of context. They are quick to cite the rhetorical nature of the questions posed to Job, but slow to understand the concepts being conveyed by the Lord through such literary means.”

Concerning the rhetorical question God asked Job in verse 4, Wyatt continues, “Such a question, by its very nature, implies that Job was somewhere.” Unfortunately, Wyatt does not appear to understand “such literary means.” Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “rhetorical” as follows:“employed for rhetorical effect. . . . often used without regard to some actual condition or circumstance qualifying or negating the literal significance of the statement.” The dictionary goes on to define a rhetorical question as “a question not intended to elicit an answer but asked for rhetorical effect often with an assumption that only an answer is possible.” Wyatt is simply wrong in stating that a rhetorical question “by its very nature” means that Job was somewhere.

Actually, quite the opposite is true.  Rhetorical questions often state impossible things to help demonstrate the futility of answering a question any other way. An example may prove helpful.  Let’s say that a husband and wife are shopping in a mall. The wife has made a lot of purchases this day and the husband’s hands are filled with bags of purchased goods. The wife makes another purchase and asks the husband to hold yet another bag. The husband replies in exasperation, “Do I have an extra hand to carry that with?”  Would Wyatt suggest that this husband must have three hands for his rhetorical question to be asked?  Of course not. The point of the question is to make the obvious answer crystal clear.

Following Wyatt’s definition of a rhetorical question, one will completely misunderstand the point of God’s questions in this passage. God is showing Job how little Job really understands. And if Job cannot understand these earthy realities, how can he understand God’s providence over all things?

Ecclesiastes 12:7

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.           

Of this verse Wyatt states, “The simple question remains as to how something could return to a point it had not been to before.” The problem with Wyatt’s conclusion is his misunderstanding of “the spirit” referred to in this passage. One commentary elaborates, “The ‘breath’ [or ‘spirit’ as translated in the KJV] is not one’s soul or one’s identity, but simply the life force that came from God in the first place (Gen 2:7; see also Job 34:14-15; Ps 104:29).”

Therefore, this text is not dealing with the “spirit” of man, but the “spirit” of God. The verse itself does not touch on a person’s immortality, though the Bible teaches this elsewhere (i.e. Ps. 17:15; 49:15; 73:24; Isa. 14:9; 1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. 5:1-6; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Tim. 1:10; etc.). In this instance, “the spirit” refers to the life that God has given and then leaving a person and returning to the One who gave it. As Old Testament scholar Duane A. Garrett says, “This is the Teacher’s final meditation on the fall. The return of the spirit to God refers to death. All life comes from God.”Therefore, Wyatt’s assumption of preexistence is brought to the text.

John 9:1-3

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Wyatt argues, “Since he was born blind—a fact the record indicates that both Jesus and His disciples knew—then the wording of the question indicates that the sinning must have taken place before the birth of the man, by the man himself. How could the man have sinned, resulting in a punishment of being blind at birth, unless he had lived before he was born?”To this, New Testament scholar George R. Beasley-Murray replies, “The possibility of a child sinning before birth was discussed by the rabbis, not in respect of a pre-existent life . . . , but of life in the womb.” Consequently, the disciples may have asked Jesus this question based upon the common Jewish rabbinic teaching of the day.

As a result, it is clear that the question Jesus was asked dealt with whether the man’s blindness was a result of parental sin or of a sin the man had already committed in the womb. However, Wyatt goes on to assert, “If the concept of a premortal life was in error, then the Master Teacher had a perfect opportunity to correct His students.” While this is an argument from silence, it nevertheless fails. Since the disciples never asked about (nor believed in) preexistence, Jesus had no reason to deal with it in His reply.

Wyatt concludes his section on biblical considerations by saying, “There are other scriptures in the bible that can be used to support the concept of a premortal life. Suffice it to say that for the time being, however, the words of God and Jesus may be sufficient to the task at hand.”No additional biblical texts are given. In fact, none of the passages Wyatt uses actually teaches the doctrine of the preexistence. Since God and Jesus’ words never taught what Wyatt assumes, he has no biblical leg to stand on. Additional texts from the Bible will be considered below to give further proof that the Bible cannot teach the preexistence.

Latter-day Revelation

Wyatt argues, “While the biblical record is extensive for at least acknowledging the possibility of life before life, those who believe in continuing revelation are left with no doubt as to the veracity of premortal life.” The problem is that orthodox Christianity does not maintain a doctrine of continuing revelation. The canon of Scripture is closed — it is complete in the 66 books that make up the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, none of the support Wyatt gives can be admitted as evidence. Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson wrote about this in the fourth section of their book called “Examining the LDS concept of Revelation.”

Therefore, we admit that latter-day revelation teaches the pre-existence. The problem is that latter-day revelation is not revelation from God, and hence it cannot be used to support preexistence as truth. This is why a chapter on it was included in Mormonism 101!  If all Wyatt was trying to do was continue to demonstrate what Mormonism 101 already did (that Mormons teach and believe in the preexistence), then he succeeded.

Additional Biblical Evidence

Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Notice, first God formed man from the dust, and then man received the breath of life. It was at thispoint that man became a living soul. This breath of life is the “spirit” that is spoken of as returning to God in Ecclesiastes 12:7 (see above). A more full explanation may be helpful:

The work of the Lord in creating human life involved both fashioning from the dust and inbreathing. The word formed (yāsar, 2:7) describes the work of an artist. Like a potter shaping an earthen vessel from clay, so God formed man from clay. Man was made by divine plan; also he was made from the earth. He is “earthy” in spite of subsequent dreams of being like God (3:5).  The Hebrew for man (‘ādām, whence “Adam,” 2:20) is related to the word for ground (‘ādāmăh; cf. 3:17).

God’s breathing the breath of life into man transformed his form into a living being (lit., “a living soul”). This made man a spiritual being, with a capacity for serving and fellowshipping with God. With this special Creation in mind, the reader can see the significance of the Fall. Since the Fall, regeneration by the “inbreathing” of the Holy Spirit is essential in order for people to enjoy fellowship with God.

In short, the natural man is formed from the dust first and then the spiritual being is made by the breath of life. However, because of the spiritual death resulting from the Fall (Genesis 2:16-17), people need to once again receive spiritual life through the Holy Spirit.

Zechariah 12:1

The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

This passage clearly shows when God created the spirit — it is within a manThis order is the same given in Genesis 2:7 above. Again, notice what is maintained: the physical body is formed first, thenthe spirit is added within. Neither of these texts (Genesis 2:7 and Zechariah 12:1) allows for a preexisting spiritual being.

1 Corinthians 15:46

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

The Apostle Paul gives this general law in the context of his exposition on the resurrection of the dead. While this law obviously applies to God’s creation of man (see above), it reveals much more:

This does not mean simply that the natural body precedes the spiritual body, but it announces, as it were, a general law. The lower precedes the higher; the imperfect precedes the perfect. This is true in all the works of God in which there is a development. Adam’s earthly state was to prepare the way for a heavenly one.  The present life is like a seed time; the harvest is hereafter. The natural comes before the spiritual.

The separation of the physical and the spiritual was the horrible result of the Fall, but through Jesus Christ, the two can be rejoined. This begins when the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart of an individual, and he or she will be completely restored at the resurrection on the last day.

It should be clear that the Bible teaches that there is a sovereign God (the only God) who has created people according to His will and for His purposes. Their physical bodies are formed and then immediately God’s breath of life is given to them. It is only by God’s grace and through Him that we have life and continue to exist. And it is only through His Son, Jesus Christ, that we can be restored to all that God has created us to be.

Conclusion

What can one draw from assessing Wyatt’s reply?  First of all, McKeever and Johnson were accurate in their portrayal of the Mormon doctrine of preexistence in Mormonism 101. Secondly, Wyatt’s four sources for establishing preexistence as true all fall short. Additional biblical passages demonstrate that physical existence comes first, then the spiritual.

Wyatt states, “. . .they present alternate interpretations of selected scriptures that fit with their preconceived notions concerning where we came from.” Wyatt never produces proof that McKeever and Johnson ever fallibly conducted biblical interpretation. Yet many problems can be seen in Wyatt’s abuse of the rules of hermeneutics when he interacts with Bible verses. As a result, his argument is unconvincing.

Wyatt ends his response by saying, “Unfortunately, the doctrine put forth by McKeever and Johnson cannot really answer where we came from.” But how can this be true?  God decided that He wanted to create us in His image and did so, taking special care with each one of us. He intimately knows us and has fashioned us according to His will and for His glory. Let us look forward to the day when we can give God the glory He deserves through His Son, Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote in Philippians 2:10-11, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

For other rejoinders to the rebuttals of Mormonism 201, click here.


 

John Divito is a former Mormon who currently volunteers as a research associate for Mormonism Research Ministry. He is a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University (B.S., 1999) and is currently attending The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. student). He is married to Jennifer; together they have two daughters.


 

Allen L. Wyatt, “Mormonism 201: Preexistence and the Second Estate,” http://www.anti-mormonism-revealed.com/M2014.htm, accessed July 24, 2002. Hereafter referred to as Wyatt, “PSE.”

Ibid. In order to make this review easier to read, all original quotes from the Mormonism 201 rebuttal are boldfaced and italicized to separate these from the rest of the rejoinder.

Throughout this response, Christianity will refer to the historic, orthodox Christian faith, and Christians as those who hold to this faith.  Many Mormons claim that they are Christians, but this ignores the fundamental differences between the two faiths. To better understand this, consult James R. White, Is the Mormon My Brother?: Discerning the Differences Between Mormonism and Christianity (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1997).

Wyatt, “PSE.”

Ibid.

Ibid.

Ibid.

Anthony Flew, ed., A Dictionary of Philosophy, rev. ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984), 67.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

“The Cambridge Declaration of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals,”http://alliancenet.org/intro/CamDec.html, accessed July 24, 2002.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

Justo L. Gonzales, The Story of Christianity, vol. 1 (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1984), 78-80.

Ibid, 80-81.

Paul Kevin Meagher, Thomas C. O’Brien, and Consuelo Maria Aherne, eds., Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion, vol. A-E (Washington DC: Corpus Publications, 1979), 1238.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1130.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc., 1986), 1946.

Ibid.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

Leander E. Keck, ed., The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 5 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997), 355.

Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, vol. 14 of The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1993), 343.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

George R. Beasley-Murray, John, vol. 36 of Word Biblical Commentary, 2nd ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), 155.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

Ibid.

Ibid.

McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 231-276. Of course, the Mormonism 201 project has replied to these chapters as well. But the rejoinders offered provide further support for the Christian view.

Walvoord and Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, 30.

Charles Hodge, 1 Corinthians, in The Crossway Classic Commentaries, ed. Alister McGrath and J.I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1995), 303.

Wyatt, “PSE.”

Ibid.