Jer 11:1-20:18

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Home > The Old Testament > Jeremiah > Chapters 11-20
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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →

  • Jer 20:9. In verse 9 Jeremiah describes the effect of the things that he learns from the Lord as “burning fire” in his heart. How can critics maintain that Jeremiah views the heart as an untrustworthy receptacle of divine messages?
Some critics of LDS methodology suggests that in this passage Jeremiah is merely describing the zeal and passion he has for preaching the word of God. In this interpretation, the “burning fire” in Jeremiah’s heart is not an indication of truth from God, but is an emotional desire to teach God’s word. That begs the question as to where such a feeling originated; did it originate from God or from Jeremiah? One can be assured that it is from God, for that is how Jeremiah understands it. Jeremiah directly attributes the “burning fire” in his heart to the fact that the word of the Lord was shut up in his bones. Would that feeling have existed had it not been the true word of the Lord? That is doubtful, and Jeremiah does not even consider the possibility.
After determining to no longer speak the words of truth, God, an exterior agent, encourages Jeremiah on by rekindling Jeremiah’s heart. Evangelical scholar A. R. Faussett agrees that the burning in Jeremiah’s heart was “the divine afflatus or impulse to speak" (see link below). Jeremiah’s burning in the bosom is similar to, if not precisely what, LDS claim to experience.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Jer 16:16. Is the fishers = missionaries interpretation wresting this passage? See this post at the BCC blog.


Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.

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