By Hugh Nibley
Dr. Hugh W. Nibley, professor emeritus of historical scriptures at Brigham younger college, gave the next twenty-six lectures in an honors type at the Pearl of significant fee. This type used to be videotaped within the Maesar development in the course of wintry weather semester 1986 and the textual content was once then transcribed and is incorporated right here during this booklet.
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The early church was very literal minded. The doctors hated it and got rid of it. And then they had to restore a lot, but they restored it in a different department. They brought it back again after the manner of the schools. It has always been changing since. But the main thing was to keep it allegorical so that we would be safe, as Gibbon says, behind the broad veil of allegory. " Because this was the doctrine, you see. God had to be immaterial and had no contact with material at all. This was Neoplatonism, not Platonism.
St. Augustine and all had their theories about it. The one accepted today is that it always ties up with another world, or with heaven, or it ties you up with something beyond this world. You get out of this world, and so that puts it in a department by itself. You see, in any subject at all, you must deal with a thing that you can deal with-that you see, hear, handle, talk about, etc. But when you talk about religion, you've brought in an element that you are not allowed to bring in in any other subject.
They were wits, so they laughed at him and exercised some syllogisms. For example, why did God make a flea with eight legs when he made a huge elephant with only four legs to hold it up? Wouldn't that be silly of God? Then they would all roar and laugh. Barnabas said, "Well, I could answer you and I'd like to argue with you, but I have been sent on a mission here. I can only teach what I have come to teach, and I should not be distracted. " Then they started yelling, and somebody threw rocks, and there started to be a mob.
Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price by Hugh Nibley