Monday, June 13, 2011

The Bible on ET

“Put on the whole armor of God to enable you to stand up to the strategies of the Adversary. That is not to us the wrestling against blood and flesh, but against the ancient ones, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of the dark of this age, against the spiritual forces of wickedness among the ones from the stars.” - Ephesians 6:11-12, translated from the Greek 
For a similar translation see: 
http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2007/03/21/01414.html 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians to the church in Ephesus so that they might receive the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” and that the eyes of their heart “may be enlightened” in order to know the hope of God's calling—that is, his great power that he gives to us and the inheritance of his glorious goods. The whole letter is addressing the strengthening of the Ephesian church that they might be well-equipped warriors for God. Paul walks the Ephesians through their previous struggle and reminds them of how they all—Jew and Gentile alike—came to be citizens of God's household. This in mind he informs them that he was tasked with enlightening them with God's big secret plan, hidden for ages, that the church will make known God's manifold wisdom to the ancient ones and the authorities among the ones from the stars. Paul says that because of this big plan for the church he prays for them that they have the power to grasp Christ's love that surpasses knowledge, so they may be filled with the fullness of God. Following his prayer, Paul urges them to live their whole life in focus of this plan. He reassures them again that Christ will help them and that he has given them gifts—as well as reminding them that Christ ascended so that he might finish his work throughout the universe. Paul then gives them suggestions on how to live in order to further this goal—emphasizing that they be enlightened and pursue the truth. He asks them to give thanks to God for everything. Before his conclusion Paul addresses the working of households, that no area of life will be left in the dark. He urges fathers to train and instruct their children in the ways of the Lord. Finally, Paul concludes with a passage beginning with the verses above—that we may gird ourselves as warriors for God so that we may take on the evil forces among the ones from the stars as we accomplish our mission of making known God's wisdom among them.

“If you have been driven to the furthest reaches of space, Yahweh Elohim will gather you and from there he will take you and Yahweh Elohim will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.” - Deuteronomy 30:4-5, translated from the Hebrew 
For a similar interpretation see: 
http://www.bajcvermont.org/torah/nitzavim.pdf 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
In Deuteronomy 29 the writer of Deuteronomy tells the people under God's covenant that the things that God has revealed to them are for later generations and those from distant lands—that if they follow his instruction his blessing will be upon them but if they abandon his covenant his curse will be on them and their land. In Deuteronomy 30 the writer says that when the blessings and curses have come on them and they are scattered among all beings, once they return to God and obey him with their heart and soul according to his command, he will restore their fortune and have compassion on them and gather them from all the beings where he scattered them. This is when the writer reaches the verses above telling them that even if they were driven to the furthest reaches of space, God would bring them back. He goes on to say that once they are back God will circumcise their hearts and the hearts of those they have witnessed to who have followed him, and that God will put all the curses on their enemies who hate and persecute them. It seems that God does not distinguish between beings on earth and beings in space. The followers of his covenant will be sent to all of them and any who follow will be blessed as well. The writer concludes Deuteronomy 30 with the ultimatum, the command that is set before them: to love God. If they follow they will be blessed wherever they go. If they turn away, they will be destroyed. The writer calls those in space and on earth as his witnesses that he has set before them life and death, blessings and curses, and has instructed them how to choose life.

“You, Yahweh alone, you made the cosmos, the abode of the worlds, and all the host of them, the earth and all that are on it, the seas and all that are in them, and you give them all life; and the host of the cosmos worships you.” - Nehemiah 9:6, translated from the Hebrew 
For a similar interpretation: 
http://www.helium.com/items/1595994-is-god-an-alien-or-are-the-sons-of-god-aliens 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
Nehemiah writes that on the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month in the newly reconstructed Jerusalem, the Israelites had gathered to fast and confess their sins and their ancestors' sins in front of their foreign audience. The Levites called out that everyone should stand and praise God. Their praise begins with the verse above and continues to say that God chose their ancestors and made a covenant with them. They say that God kept his promise. They say he spoke to their ancestors and revealed his good commands to them. They go on telling how disobedient their ancestors were yet how faithful God remained. They finish with “We are in distress.” The statement in the verse above says that God gives life to all the multitudes—the multitudes of space, earth, and the seas—all those in the cosmos who worship him. Clearly the Israelites are recalling in this praise the instruction given in the aforementioned Deuteronomy passage. The fact that they are recalling this in the presence of foreigners is significant. They seem to have realized the cosmic importance indicated in Deuteronomy and are making their best effort to achieve it in the moment. While the foreigners in their presence are hardly from the farthest reaches of earth (much less the farthest reaches of space) their allusion to the inhabitants of space indicates that they still realize the full extent of their ultimate goal.

“In that day Yahweh will punish the high host above and the kings of the earth on the ground.” - Isaiah 24:21, translated from the Hebrew 
For a similar interpretation: 
http://www.geocentricity.com/ba1/no112/spacetravel.pdf 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
Isaiah, in chapter 24 of his book of prophecy, foretells a time when the earth will be laid waste and ruined. In the midst of his description of the earth's devastation, Isaiah indicates that not only will the earth be desolated, but the universe will also be desolated along with the earth. He then goes on about the earth's disobedience until he reaches the verse above in which he declares that God will not only punish the kings of the earth down here, but that he will also punish the multitude of dignitaries throughout the universe. He continues, saying they will be herded together and bound like prisoners. They will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. It seems that there are rulers throughout the universe that are just as guilty as the rulers on earth. It says that only before the elders of Mount Zion (the promised home of God's followers) will God reign in glory.

“But in those days after the affliction, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its beam. And the stars of space will fall and the powers in the universe will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with much power and glory. And then he will dispatch his angels and assemble his elect out of the four winds from the farthest reaches of earth to the farthest reaches of space.” - Mark 13:24-27, translated from the Greek 
For a similar interpretation: 
http://www.religion.emory.edu/faculty/robbins/Pdfs/RhetMark13FinalPubPgs.pdf 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
In Mark 13 Jesus is describing the end times to his disciples. He tells them the signs of the end, and he tells them what will happen when the desolation occurs. Then in the verses above, Jesus indicates that after this time of affliction the sun and moon will be darkened and the burning ones of space will fall (this could be meteorites). Once these signs have occurred the powers in the universe will be uprooted much like they are in Isaiah. Jesus indicates that the Son of man will come at that point in power and glory (evocative of the Ephesians passage above). He will dispatch his messengers and gather his elect from all of the universe. Jesus finishes by saying that even those messengers that he will send do not know when this will happen, so his followers must be ready. He says that he will be going away and they do not know when he will come back to their house, so they must watch. In Matthew Jesus follows up this warning with a parable about a master who is going to other countries and will later return to his servants. In this context it seems that earth is one house/country that Jesus left, and that he will return only after visiting other countries (other worlds?). This viewpoint would seem to be consistent with the fact that he will send messengers throughout the universe to gather his elect.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. Because of this my Father loves me, that I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No one takes it from me, but I am laying it down myself. I have the authority to lay it down and take it again. This instruction I received by my Father.” - John 10:14-18, translated from the Greek 
For a similar interpretation: 
http://www.logoschristian.org/ufo.html 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
In further support of this is this passage containing Jesus' imagery of the good shepherd. He says that he has other sheep that are not of this sheep pen, and they he must bring them together also so that there may be one flock and one shepherd. 1 Peter 3 says that after Christ was made alive he went to the spirits in prison (this prison is elsewhere in the Bible stated to be among the stars) to distribute what is being done (literal translation of the word translated as proclaim). Jesus, of course, does not need to die again, but he goes to other worlds to distribute his sacrifice. Much like he showed Thomas his scars, Jesus can show the evidence of his death and resurrection to the whole universe so that they too might believe.

“The kings came and fought, then fought kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no plunder of silver. From space the planets fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. March on, my soul; be strong. Then the horse hoofs thundered—galloping, the galloping of his mighty ones. 'Curse you planet Meroz,' the angel of Yahweh said, 'curse greatly its inhabitants, because they did not come to help Yahweh, to help Yahweh against the mighty.'” - Judges 5:19-23, translated from the Hebrew 
For a similar translation: 
http://www.meaningfullife.com/spiritual/nature/Life_on_other_Planets.php 
Note: I do not endorse the views held on this website.
After Sisera and Jabin were killed, Deborah and Barak sing a song concerning the events. They call all kings and rulers to listen to their words. Their song says that God came down to earth and chose new leaders in Israel. New willing volunteers in Israel rose up to fight against the mighty kings. When the song comes to the verses above, the mighty rulers have come to fight. At this point God summons other planets to assist in fighting the mighty kings. He curses the planet Meroz because they did not come to help fight. Why would God summon other planets to assist in defeating these earth rulers? Sisera means “servant of Ra” and Sisera had previously defeated every country that he had fought against. He had superhuman powers: a voice that could shake solid walls and cause animals to fall dead. He had nine hundred iron chariots at his command. The king Jabin through men like Sisera held Israel in subjection for twenty years despite the fact that Israel had a fighting force of ten thousand. Jabin means “the wise,” and it is possible that, like Sisera, he was given superhuman powers (in this case wisdom) through occult means.

In summary, the seeming lack of mention of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe in the Bible is due mostly to the translation of certain passages in language that today has only poetic, symbolic, or spiritual meaning—but in another time had a more concrete meaning. This is demonstrated in the above passages translated directly from the original language with the assistance of interlinears, lexicons, and commentaries in order to best ascertain the meaning in the context of the passage. These are not the only passages in the Bible concerning ET, but they are the most easily ascertainable.

3 comments:

  1. I like the idea of the "sheep pen" and Jesus having to go out to find those other sheep from other pens.

    I find nothing wrong with it, but neither do I say that this is "gospel truth." :P

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  2. First, interesting idea, and if the gospel is fully preached to all the earth and Jesus hasn't returned yet, maybe we should look into it. :) Since we haven't finished that yet (and we currently have no way to travel space at great lengths, I think that this doesn't have much bearing with our daily lives.

    As a side note, I don't think the Ephesians scripture works that well for this interpretation. The word "heavenlies" (translated heavenly places or heavenly realms, or high places depending on what translation you use) is used several times through out Ephesians. If we translated this as "Space, or among the stars" It would mean that Christ is seating on a throne in space, and that we are currently seated with Him on His throne Space, next to the Father, who is also therefore in Space. Also, "from" is not in the verse but IN. So the most you could say is the "spiritual forces of wickedness in outer space". I guess my question to you then would be, do you see Christ's throne (and therefore God the Father's throne) as being in outer space?

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  3. Nicholas, thanks for your comments. First of all, I don't think that Jesus has not yet returned because he is still visiting other planets. I believe he finished instantaneously and ascended to the throne. He can still appear in visions to any individual on any planet but is not visiting them in body. Second, I believe that it is time to move beyond the idea that interstellar neighbors have little to no bearing on our lives. As I expressed in my previous post, they may very well be at our back door. However, I do believe that it is more important for us to focus on evangelism on earth than on other planets at this point. Lastly, I don't think there is any problem with my translation of Ephesians. Also, you are misunderstanding where I got from. The "in" is what I have translated as "among" which is a valid translation from the Greek. The from comes from within a word. The word translated "in high places" or "on heavenlies" literally means "ones from the stars". I have fully translated the entire letter here with commentary so you can see the consistency:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R12TdTh55_sUvOUBXeuSGzqNXaWcV5bdaPNfj4rHNSw/edit?hl=en_US&authkey=CODC__EI

    ReplyDelete