I'm currently preparing a lesson on this Mount of Transfiguration event and everyone seems to insist that Elijah was here, but nothing I've read has cited any really good sources. I'm familiar with the way Elias can mean a number of different things, but it doesn't seem to imply that it means Elijah here. Here in particular the Joseph Smith Translation indicates the term is referring to John the Baptist. In Matt 17:3 that doesn't seem so clear and if we understand from Mark that at least Jesus, John the Baptist, and Moses were there, then Matt 17:4 would seem to suggest that there were no more. (Perhaps this was just who was there when Peter made the suggestion, or perhaps these are the only men he felt ought to have tabernacles made for them.) --Seanmcox 01:46, 8 April 2007 (CEST)
- Hmm, difficult stuff, the Elias/Elijah business. I lean toward Elijah personally here, but I usually lean toward Elijah over Elias (mostly because I don't know what to make of most talk about Elias). If some kind of precedent is needed, Mal 4:4-6 is certainly relevant, as well as the two prophets to come according to Rev 11 (described quite clearly as a Moses figure and an Elijah figure). Moses was, of course, the outstanding figure related to the Law, and Elijah was the same related to the Prophets: together, they represent the intertwined "Law and Prophets."
- But, again, I have no idea what to make of the Elias business. I'd really like to see some serious textual discussion of the difficulty (I'm vaguely recalling a recent article in Dialogue on this, but one that ultimately didn't help much). Anyone know of any really helpful resources (I mean sources that take the texts up in some kind of critical/systematic fashion; I'm quite aware of the modern prophets' words on the subject)? --Joe Spencer 05:26, 8 April 2007 (CEST)
Good question, Sean. Make sure you read the Bible Dictionary entry for Elias, which I think explains some of the difficulties and issues and lists the key scriptures (and esp. the key JST passages). I'm not quite sure where the BD gets this notion of both John the Baptist and Elijah being there, though perhaps it is an effort to reconcile the JST with the other Gospel accounts, and perhaps Talmage's (apparent) assumption that Elias was Elijah (they're the same in Greek, so I think all modern translations go with Elijah instead of Elias--I'm assuming this is what's found in the LXX, but I don't have my books handy to check...). I'd love to see more references or more work done on this topic. (This article at the FAIR wiki might also be helpful.) --RobertC 07:25, 8 April 2007 (CEST)