I’m a big fan of Avraham Gileadi’s work on the Book of Isaiah. We’ve all been put here on the earth for a purpose and to do great things, especially here in the last days. I think that it is likely that Gileadi was inspired to help amplify Isaiah’s message to world at this important time.
When I mention Avraham Gileadi I usually get one of two responses, “Who is he?” or “Wasn’t he excommunicated?” The latter group seems very wary and cautious that I’m encouraging the work of some fringe apostate. I feel so strongly about the message of Isaiah and the value of Gileadi’s work that I want to use the platform I have here on oneClimbs to put to rest any misconceptions they may have about the man by sharing with you his own words which are posted at avrahamgileaditestimony.blogspot.com:
Responses to Wikipedia Article Dated 12th June 2012
Having attempted over the years to correct erroneous statements about me that others have made under my name on Wikipedia—only to have them intentionally or non-intentionally replaced by the same ones as before—I feel constrained to clarify several things in regard to myself for the benefit of those who might otherwise be prejudiced toward my life’s work on the Book of Isaiah. First, although I am a Hebrew scholar and literary analyst, I was never a “Mormon historian” or “researcher of Mormonism,” considering the literary analysis of the writings of Isaiah and their scriptural connections of themselves worthy of a life’s commitment. Second, as I taught college at Brigham Young University by way of supporting my family only during my academic years (1973–1981), I was never “terminated” as either a teacher or professor. I thus can’t be considered to have a “post-termination career.” Third, although I was excommunicated in 1993 from the LDS church in a disciplinary council that began a wave of several thousand excommunications on the Wasatch Front in the 1990s, in my case—as not a single charge was true or supported by evidence—all record of it was expunged from the church’s records nearly a decade ago in a tacit admission that the church had made a mistake. In other words, as my excommunication from the church was a non-event so far as the church is concerned, it doesn’t define me as a person. Yet there are those who take it on themselves to define me as such throughout the current Wikipedia article, attaching it even to my listed name. Fourth, while several prominent writers who were excommunicated in 1993 pleaded their cause in the media at that time and thus embarrassed the church, I never did so, even though my family, reputation, work, etc. were adversely affected by the church’s action. Yet those same prominent writers were evidently glad to see me among their number and to ascribe to me the very same questioning of the church’s authority and “speaking against church doctrine or leadership” in which they engaged, as the current Wikipedia write-up asserts. As I have never been asked to change my conclusions that derive from applying several methodologies of literary analysis to researching scriptural texts, my supposedly “challenging the exclusive right of leaders to define doctrine” is a non sequitur. In short, the above writers have no evidence of any such spurious claims and I ask them to desist from their calumnies. As in this instance, the abject practice of citing anti-Mormon sources to supply the “truth” or of defaming the messenger whose findings happen not to coincide with your opinion is further unbecoming of Wikipedia, whose goal is to convey information to the world, not misinformation. Fifth, I appeal to anyone who studies the contributions I have made over many years of researching the Book of Isaiah to check out for himself the scriptural evidence I present instead of depending on hearsay, preconceived ideas, or popular opinion. A major part of the opposition I have received (though I confess I have caused some by my own follies) has been the nature of Isaiah’s message itself. Because to certain defenders of religious orthodoxy Isaiah’s message has seemed controversial, therefore by them I have been deemed controversial. Admittedly, Isaiah’s paradigm of end-time realities, while terribly indicting of those who profess to be God’s covenant people in that day, also holds out hope for those who dare to search their souls and let go of all things materialistic and ungodly. And as a new paradigm that is grounded in the truth of God inevitably wins out in the end, so the prospect exists that Isaiah’s message to the world will ultimately bear good fruit.
Posted 14th June 2012
It saddens me to see how badly an innocent person’s reputation is damaged in light of accusations. Perhaps this is why the Lord was so persistent in counseling us not to judge unrighteous judgement.
Someone at church HQ made a mistake, but I do not condemn them or the church for that any more than I think Avraham Gileadi does. We all do better when there is forgiveness in our hearts, even when we do not feel that proper recompense was made for a particular injury.
I think the most important sermon Jesus ever taught was what he said after being tortured and nailed to a cross to suffer a horrific and humiliating death: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Even the best of us are not immune from mistakes and Gileadi’s experience has given me much to think about.
Some of the best men in history have been brought up on spurious charges and even executed. I wonder how many, when they heard Alma’s preaching of Abinadi’s words, said, “Wait, wasn’t that man legitimately condemned and executed?” I’m not trying to equate Gileadi to Abinadi here, but it made me wonder if God’s own people persecuted the Lehis, Abinadis and Samuels sent to them, how will God’s people react if that pattern repeats itself in the future?
Why did Mormon intend for us to learn by included those accounts? I’m so grateful for the Holy Spirit that leads us to all truth and helps discern things in their true light. We cannot go wrong if we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and seek to gather into one the words of all of God’s servants, especially Isaiah.
I have witnessed many Latter-day Saints set their hearts against the words of Isaiah because they believe the parroted saying that he is just too difficult to understand. I recently heard a preeminent LDS scholar who I really respect erroneously suggest that Isaiah is irrelevant to us today.
“…in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass. Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them.” (2 Nephi 25:7-8)
Moroni specifically counseled us to search the words of Isaiah:
“For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled. Search the prophecies of Isaiah. Behold, I cannot write them.” (Moroni 8:22-23)
But maybe Nephi and Moroni are not worthy enough to convince you, so how about Jesus who commanded us to search the words of Isaiah diligently:
“And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles. And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake.” (3 Nephi 23:1-3)
If the words of Nephi, Moroni and Jesus are not enough to convince you, then I do not know what will. Perhaps you have felt the pull of these words and the nagging impression to dig into Isaiah for years, but felt like you just hit a wall when it came to getting anything significant out of Isaiah.
If you have felt this way, then I would suggest taking Avraham Gileadi’s advice and investigating his work for yourself. He’s written many books so if you are looking for the best place to start, I recommend The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretive Keys from the Book of Mormon; you will not be disappointed. The first half of the book outlines an approach to the Book of Isaiah that picks up on cues given by Nephi and Jesus on how we can unlock Isaiah’s words.
Here is the breakdown of the book:
- Foreword by Dean Emeritus, Religious Instruction BYU
- Preface by Avraham Gileadi p.1
- INTRODUCTION: INTERPRETIVE KEYS p.9
- The Spirit of Prophecy p.11
- The Letter of Prophecy p.13
- Governing Structures p.17
- Forms of Speech p.29
- Parallelism p.32
- Metaphors p.35
- Hebrew Language p.48
- Searching p.53
- Reading Between the Lines p.56
- Rhetorical Connections p.59
- Zion and Babylon p.68
- Scriptural Links p.73
- Types p.87
- New Events p.90
- Assyria and Egypt p.94
- An Analogy with Today p.96
- Applying the Interpretive Keys p.99
- Conclusion p.114
The Book of Isaiah (All 66 chapters beautifully translated and clear as a bell)
Suggested reading plan
After reading Isaiah Decoded which is a phenomenal work and one of my new favorite books of all time, I applied the seven part literary structure identified there to my reading of the Book of Isaiah and it was a real treat:
- Ruin & Rebirth (1-5, 34-35)
- Rebellion & Compliance (6-8, 36-40)
- Punishment & Deliverance (9-12, 41-46)
- Humiliation & Exaltation (13-23, 47)
- Suffering & Salvation (24-27, 48-54)
- Disloyalty & Loyalty (28-31, 55-59)
- Disinheritance & Inheritance (32-33, 60-66)
Not only have I read many of Gileadi’s works, I had the pleasure of meeting him at one of his lectures. I observed a soft-spoken and humble man who was blessed with gifts that have helped many to make the Savior’s command to diligently search the words of Isaiah a possibility.
Following the commandment to search Isaiah will bless your life as it has mine. You will gain a clearer understanding of the current events in the world and a greater peace of what the future will bring, all while being lifted spiritually out of the ever increasing darkness in this world.
I am confident that you will find Brother Gileadi’s work to be a valuable asset to your studies.