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A problem I was wondering about at United Brethren vis-avis the Quaker idea of utterly following the Inner Light vs. Joseph Smith's rejection of the same. No good answer...

P.S. I agree with him on the Hebrew. It literally reads: sound/voice--calm, soft.

Ronan, it's unfair for me to comment on Friedman's book before I've finished it, but my guess is both the Quaker reliance on the Inner Light and the Mormon view of active mediated prophecy would be retrograde to the steady retreat of divine interaction with humankind that he maps out in his book. After I read the second half of the book, dealing with the modern era, I'll do another post on this topic. Friedman sure is a lot of fun to read--he also did the very popular book Who Wrote the Bible?

Ronan wrote I agree with him on the Hebrew. It literally reads: sound/voice--calm, soft.

If this is your assertion of what the Hebrew reads, then how can you agree with Friedman on it? According to Dave, Friedman interpreted the phrase to mean "a sound of thin hush," representing essentially a sound of silence. That is not the same as what you wrote, Ronan, which would support the LDS view of a still small voice rather than what appears to the Friedman view (from what Dave has written) of God withdrawing from direct revelation.

I said I agreed with him on the Hebrew not on the interpretation. Demamah can mean "hush". It also means "calm, still" i.e. what accompanies a "hush". So it is the sound of silence or the sound of quiet. Quiet and silent are slightly different.

Friedman's "Who wrote the bible" summarises the documentary hypothesis. It's interesting to see that he posits another role of the Deuteronomist: not only to explain where Israel went wrong but why God doesn't thunder to them anymore.

The Joseph Smith era would be 1 Kings 18, then. We live in the 1 Kings 19 era. Nice to see there is scriptural precedent for a shift in God's dealing with prophets.

I would not interpret "a sound of a thin hush" as a silence. In music recording, a "thin" sound is one that is weaker - less audible. Hush can mean "quiet" or "quieter". A "thin hush" seems to imply less than silent. This is consistent with my experience with the "still small voice".

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