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Why would Joseph Smith go against typical Jewish and Christian beliefs in his day by saying that the creation was the work of a divine council?

The Book of Abraham clearly describes a plurality of Gods involved in creation, such as in Abraham 4:1:

And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.

Intriguingly, the Book of Abraham includes reference to a “divine council” such as in Abraham 4:26:

And the Gods took counsel among themselves and said: Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness; and we will give them dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

This is in stark contrast to the typical Jewish and Christian views of Joseph Smith’s day but scholars now recognize a divine council as part of the Genesis account and its appearance in other ancient Near Eastern texts. 

If scholars have only recently discovered this, then where would Joseph Smith have gotten the idea from?


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