Marcia Montenegro is a former Certified professional astrologer, former teacher of astrology, former President of the Atlanta Astrological Society, and former Chairperson of the Atlanta Board of Astrology Examiners
In a video by Dr. Michael Heiser, “Reversing Hermon, 1 Enoch, the Watchers, Nephilim, & Antichrist,” Heiser discusses stars and constellations which he claims indicated the birth of the Messiah (this starts around the 47 minute mark). He refers to another video on that specific topic, “Revelation 12, Astral Prophecy and the Birth of Christ on 9/11,” which I also watched. This article combines statements in both videos though mostly in the latter.
This is not discussed here but should be noted: In the first video, Heiser claims that the mission of Jesus was “to reverse the sin of the Watchers.” This certainly was not the mission of Jesus. Heiser was quite taken with the mythology of the book of Enoch and although he admitted it was not Scripture, his seeming reliance on and fascination with it has led to corrupted views, spreading to many in the church who have trusted his ideas. I am hardly the only one who is concerned (see articles listed at the end).
This article is a response to claims made by Heiser related to three passages of Scripture cited by Heiser: Psalm19:1-4; Romans 10:16-18, but especially verse 18 (Paul cites Psalm 19); and Revelation 12:1-5.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Revelation 12:1-5
The Gospel and Psalm 19
In the video on Revelation 12, Dr. Michael Heiser presents the idea that Revelation 12:1-5 is an “astral prophecy” and that this is what Paul was referring to in Romans 10:16-18 when he writes:
However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.”
According to Heiser, the “voice” into all the earth is a celestial sign/s in the sky! However, Paul’s quote from Psalm 19 is about the splendor of creation giving evidence for a Creator and showing how majestic he is (see also Psalm 8:1). A commentary on Bible Hub for Psalm 19:4 states:
This proclamation is universal. The phrase Their line is gone out &c., is to be explained by Jeremiah 31:39; Zechariah 1:16. The measuring line marks the limits of possession. The whole earth is the sphere throughout which the heavens have to proclaim their message.
Every study I have examined agrees that Psalm 19 is about the heavens giving evidence of a Creator to all humanity, and it is the clear reading of the text. The reference to Psalm 19 by Paul in Romans 10:15 is commented on by Barnes:
Their sound went … – These words are taken in substance from Psalm 19:4. The psalmist employs them to show that the works of God, the heavens and the earth, proclaim his existence everywhere. By using them here, the apostle does not affirm that David had reference to the gospel in them, but he uses them to express his own meaning; he makes an affirmation about the gospel in language used by David on another occasion, but without intimating or implying that David had such a reference. In this way we often quote the language of others as expressing in a happy way our own thoughts, but without supposing that the author had any such reference. The meaning here is, that that may be affirmed in fact of the gospel which David affirmed of the works of God, that their sound had gone into all the earth.> From Bible Hub Commentaries
Those I have read interpret this passage as God’s general revelation. One even refers to the misinterpretation that Heiser makes, that this means the gospel had gone out to everyone prior to the New Testament:
But the conclusion that, according to our present passage, the gospel had at that time actually penetrated everywhere (even to China, America, etc.), is simply an errant mistake, contrary to the nature of the popularly poetical expression…<snip>….The universal extension of the gospel (comp. Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:23; Clem. Cor. Romans 1:5) set on foot by the apostles on a sufficiently large scale, is continually in course of development. From Meyer’s New Testament Commentary on Bible Hub
Paul is citing the Psalm 19 passage to refer to the gospel now going out to the Gentiles. This passage from Paul is in three chapters (9-11) having to do with Israel. Israel was hardened and rejected the Messiah, so God took the gospel to the Gentiles (this is backed up by numerous Old Testament and New Testament scriptures, and is even referred to in this chapter of Romans in verses 19-21). Paul is applying the message of general revelation in Psalm 19 to the message of the gospel being spread by the church/apostles. The message of general revelation to the world parallels the message of the gospel going out into the world by the church.
Another commentary on Psalm 19 points out:
The heavens and the sky carry their message about God’s glory throughout the earth. The apostle Paul quoted this statement in Romans 10:18. By doing so he noted that the message about God delivered by nature preceded the message of the gospel, and made the Gentiles and Jews inexcusable (Romans 1:18–20).
In his preaching, Paul often referred to nature as God’s creation before presenting the gospel of Christ. By doing this, he pointed out things which even non-believers can see as evidence of the truth. For instance, he told the pagans at Lystra they should turn from vain idols to the living God, “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them” (Acts 14:15). Also, at Athens he referred to God as the maker of the world and everything in it (Acts 17:24) before summoning the Athenians to repent (Acts 17:30–31).
I do not know of any credible theologian or Bible scholar who teaches that Psalm 19 is referring to to astrological signs in the sky of the Messiah’s birth as Heiser is asserting. However, GIS (Gospel in the Stars) proponents cite this passage as alleged evidence for their views.
Revelation 12, A Sign in Heaven
In the video, Heiser makes the astounding assertion that the sun in the constellation of Virgo with the sun placed “midway in her midsection” symbolizes pregnancy.
Heiser states this “symbology was known throughout the ancient world,” but whether it was or not does not support the context or plain reading of this passage (see articles on this matter at the end).
The “sign” in the heavens of the woman, the child, the dragon, etc. is a vision given to John which conveys a message from God. The book of Revelation is one revelation (Revelation 1:1). There are several visions and messages given to John as part of this revelation.
Out of 259 mentions of “heaven” in the New Testament books, those with the highest number of references are Matthew (72; many are the “kingdom of heaven”) and Revelation (47). The numerous incidents of “heaven” in Revelation are related to the visions given to John. There is no indication that this “sign” in chapter 12 is literal. It is not something we can see because it was part of a revelation given to John. So a sign in heaven refers to a vision, not a literal pattern of the stars or constellations.
Just three chapters later, John sees another sign:
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished. Revelation 15:1
If one is to be consistent with what Heiser claims about Revelation 12, then one should be seeing astronomical/astrological “signs” of these seven angels and the plagues in the sky.
The pertinent issue is not the interpretation of who the woman is but rather the correct understanding of “sign” and whether John is referring to the constellation of Virgo. I have never come across a view like this in Bible scholarship or in any credible Christian commentary.
The Jews and Astrology
There are scholarly sources indicating that some Jewish synagogues in the first century had astrological symbols. One such paper points out that distinctions need to be made between archeological finds and literary finds, as they are not the same thing; and that symbols could be re-cast in another cultural context without attaching any astrological meaning to them (see pdf document Cambridge University Press, “Jewish Astrology in the Talmud, Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Early Palestinian Synagogues,” by James H. Chatsworth).
The pro-zodiac or astrological ideas found in the Jewish sources are extra-biblical. The Bible clearly denounces astrology as divination, prognostication, and worship of the heavens along with other divinatory and magical practices. It is not surprising that some Jews would refer to or be receptive to astrological ideas because men are deceived and certainly God’s people had a history of falling away into idol worship and occult practices. Numerous incidents of this are recorded in the Old Testament. So following astrology would not unusual. This in no way sanctions the use of astrology nor does it change God’s condemnation of it. It also is not biblical grounds to interpret signs referred to in Scripture as astrological signs.
Despite the Bible’s clear denouncements of astrology, Heiser asserts there was a “Jewish astrology” and an “orthodox astrology” versus a pagan astrology. “Orthodox astrology” is an oxymoron. Nothing in God’s word or in history reveals an ”orthodox astrology.”
By its very definition, astrology is a form of divination. It requires discerning a hidden meaning in the sun, moon, planets, and constellations, and their relationship to each other. It is against God’s nature to give a sign of the birth of the Messiah through pagan divination that he has forbidden; and it is against God’s nature that he would expect anyone to use a denounced pagan method to interpret Scripture.
Some may be wondering about the Magi since astrology has come up in this article. The star followed by the Magi does not indicate that God was using astrology. There is little known about this star with the sole account is in Matthew chapter 2. From the description, it seems the star was supernatural because of its likely long term duration, unusual movements, and the fact it “stood over” the dwelling of Jesus, indicating to the Magi where Jesus was. However, the star initially led the Magi to Jerusalem where they found out about the Micah prophecy of the birth in Bethlehem from Herod’s counselors.
Much conjecture has surrounded this star, but, as of yet, nothing substantial or satisfactory has been found. Various conjunctions have been proposed but none are rare or special enough to indicate anything significant. Again, it requires reading a hidden meaning into the celestial bodies to suggest an interpretation of stars. How much simpler for God to lead the Wise Men with a supernatural star!
The fascination with wanting to find a natural explanation for this star is perplexing. The events leading up to and surrounding the birth of Jesus are supernatural, involving angels, the conception itself, and dreams from God. A supernatural star, which many believe was akin to the pillar of cloud and fire in the wilderness, resting over the dwelling of Jesus is a nice parallel with the glory of God resting over the tabernacle in the wilderness.
Is it that people think once we know which planet/s were involved, we would have some key to better understanding? Would we not then regard such planets or other celestial bodies as “special?” In fact, this is one reason it makes more sense that it was not a natural event.
September 11 as Christ’s Birth?
Heiser wants you to believe that God gave a sign through a pagan astrological belief (which did not even exist at the time) that prophesied the birth of Christ. He states that this shows the birth of Jesus was September 11, 3 BC.
Heiser continues by saying
“…above Virgo’s head is Leo, lion symbology, the Lion of Judah…”
It is irrational to think that God would couch meaning in his word by using astrology. Is there any historical data for Leo representing the “lion of Judah” to the authors of Scripture? The only source I know of that claims Leo is the “lion of Judah” is the debunked Johnny-come-lately GIS (Gospel in the Stars). This false idea continues to circulate in the church; it feeds a craving for the sensational and unbiblical, because this theory rests on the teaching that God gave Adam and Eve the gospel through secret meanings of the zodiac. The gospel, however, is special revelation and is not hidden in the pagan names of zodiac signs. The names “Leo,” “Virgo,” and the others are Latin terms for the Greek names (the Romans adopted the Greek gods and astrology). Such names hardly existed when Adam and Eve were around. Articles are given at the end with more information.
A Reasonable View of Revelation 12
A common and reasonable view of Revelation12:1-5 is that is about the birth of Jesus, his persecution by Satan, and his ascension to heaven. Verse 4 is about Satan who took 1/3 of the angels with him in his rebellion, although there are other views on this.
The word for “sign” in verse 1 is:
“sēmeíon – a sign (typically miraculous), given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate. 4592 /sēmeíon (“sign”) then emphasizes the end-purpose which exalts the one giving it. Accordingly, it is used dozens of times in the NT for what authenticates the Lord and His eternal purpose, especially by doing what mere man cannot replicate of take credit for.” From the Lexicon on Bible Hub
This word is usually understood to be a miraculous sign, not a natural one. It is not a literal symbol in the sky. The fact the sign is depicted as being in the heavens is a way of presenting it as a vision given to John.
There are many interpretations of this, the most common being that the woman represents Israel, which is the view most consistent with the context.
“The woman is Israel and the dragon is Satan. The woman with the sun, moon and 12 stars represents the 12 tribes of Israel and is taken from Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9:
Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
The “woman with child” is a depiction of Israel who longed for the appearance of their Messiah. The Dragon in front of the woman portrays how Satan sought to destroy the Jewish people throughout the Old Testament in order to destroy the coming Messiah. The language used is never meant to be taken as a literal constellation. Nor does it ever tell us to be looking for it as a special sign-constellation announcing the soon return of the Lord in the end times.” Source
“This ‘man child’ that comes from the woman is clearly showing the birth of Jesus. Who is also the one righteous person destined to rule all nations (Rev 19:16) in history and who has ascended to heaven John 3:13) as verse 5 also says.” Article by Tim McHyde
While not all may agree on the above interpretation, it is a reasonable and typical view that fits the context.
Looking at planetary positions for a meaning is divination. Seeing conjunctions, asteroids, or comets as some kind of “sign” is looking for omens. God condemns divination and omen-seeking in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and elsewhere.
There is a biblical distinction between the “signs” God gives, which are miraculous, and the “signs” man seeks in creation, such as omens or supposed messages discerned in patterns, in numbers, in shapes, etc., which is divination.
Thus says the LORD,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them.“ Jeremiah 10:2
(Divided into 3 categories: 1) Articles about the “Star of Bethlehem Video and on the Star in Matthew 2; 2) Articles on Hidden Messages in the Heavens; 3) Critiques of Michael Heiser’s works)
Articles by Christian astronomers debunking erroneous interpretations regarding the Star of Bethlehem/Star of the Magi
Excerpt: On September 23, 2017 the sun will be in the zodiac constellation Virgo — “a woman clothed with the sun”. The moon will be at the feet of Virgo — “with the moon under her feet”. The ‘nine’ stars of the zodiac constellation Leo, plus three planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars), will be at the head of Virgo — “on her head a crown of 12 stars”. The planet Jupiter will be in the center of Virgo, and, as the weeks pass after September 23, Jupiter will exit Virgo to the east, past her feet, so to speak — “She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth”. Jupiter is the largest of the planets, the “king” of the planets, so to speak — “She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod”.
Must this not be a sign of something momentous, as the Internet sources say? In fact, after researching it, I found that, in only the past 1,000 years, this same arrangement in the sky has happened at least four times, in 1827, 1483, 1293, and 1056.
….First, in one year, thanks to the Earth’s annual orbit, the sun travels the entirety of the ecliptic, and thus passes through every one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac. The sun is in Virgo every September.
Second, in one month the moon goes through its cycle of phases, and travels the entirety of the ecliptic, and thus passes through every constellation of the zodiac—all owed to the period of the moon’s orbit being one month.
Therefore there is always a day or two every year when the sun is in Virgo and the moon is just to the east of Virgo (just past the “feet”).
So, the celestial “woman clothed with the sun with the moon at her feet” is as common in September as is the U.S. holiday of Labor Day.
But what of the crown of 12 “stars,” comprised of three planets and the nine stars of Leo? The response to this question is another question — why nine stars in Leo? There are many more than nine stars in Leo. Those nine are just brighter ones that are often depicted as comprising the general outline or shape of the constellation. But in fact there are scads of stars in Leo and surrounding the “head” of Virgo. And not all depictions of Leo show those nine as its outline. Some show the outline of Leo as consisting of 10 stars, for example. That would give Virgo a crown of 13 stars here!
And yes, multiple planets being at Virgo’s head while Jupiter is in Virgo’s center and the moon is at Virgo’s feet is somewhat unusual. But it is not that unusual. The period of Jupiter’s orbit is a little less than 12 years, and therefore Jupiter will be in Virgo (with the sun there, too, and the moon at the feet) once every 11 or 12 years.
So the sun in Virgo, the moon at Virgo’s “feet”, and Jupiter in the constellation are regular occurrences. This leaves the planets at the “head” (the number depending on the number of stars granted to Leo) as the determining factor in making a “momentous” celestial arrangement. Indeed – while various Internet sources speak of the specific celestial arrangement here as being “unique in human history” or “once in 7,000 years” – in fact, it is not unique to September 23, 2017.
This basic arrangement happened before — in September 1827, in September 1483, in September 1293, and in September 1056. These are all shown at the end of this post. I only searched back one thousand years, from 2017 to 1017 — there are undoubtedly other examples outside of that time period, and probably a couple examples that I missed within that time period.
No doubt someone could go diving into the history books to scrounge up some events from 1827, 1483, 1293, and 1056 that the September skies of those years supposedly foretold. That’s the way it is with astrology. A person reads his or her daily horoscope and finds that it says “obstacles will be placed in your path today.” Then, that person picks those instances of getting stuck in
traffic, or in a long line at the grocery store, or wherever, and says “hey, that horoscope was right,” when, of course, we all encounter such things every day.
It is true that astrology — reading the heavens for signs — is something astronomers used to believe was valid (or, my guess is that many of them pretended to believe it was valid, because it paid the bills). But astrology has been found to have no more scientific basis than Harry Potter’s wand. It doesn’t work (something that does not seem to hinder its popularity). If astrology had anything going for it, astronomers would not need to go begging for money to fund astronomical research. We could just use our astronomical knowledge to divine which way the stock market was going, invest accordingly, become “astronomically” wealthy, and fund astronomical research from our surplus.
As it is, watching the heavens for signs of what is to come is a waste of time. And it is doubly a waste of time because “signs in the sky” appeal, for some reason, to all sorts of people out there — all of whom can use Stellarium to find this or that momentous “sign” signifying whatever they want to signify.
<snip> Bottom line: From the standpoint of astronomy, there’s nothing unique or unusual about the sun, moon and planets – or the constellation Virgo – on September 23, 2017, despite claims on the Internet of a unique and significant celestial event, supposedly “mirroring” the Bible’s Book of Revelation. In the past 1,000 years, this same event has happened at least four times already, in 1827, 1483, 1293, and 1056.> From Biblical signs in the sky on September 23, 2017? By Christopher M. Graney
Response by Christian astronomer Danny Faulkner to Rick Larson’s video of “Star of Bethlehem” which is based on the some of the same data and ideas used by Heiser:
Excerpt: Of particular interest to Larson is September 11, 3 BC. He reasons that on that date Jupiter and Regulus were close to one another. The sun was in Virgo (the virgin), and the crescent moon was below the virgin, though not visible in the morning when Jupiter was visible, but visible in the evening to mark Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the first month of the Jewish civil new year. Larson believes that this arrangement is what Revelation 12: 1–5 is referring to, though few, if any, commentaries endorse this view. True, most commentators think that Revelation 12:1–5 does speak of the birth of Jesus, but the passage speaks of far more. For instance, the child born in Revelation 12:5 certainly refers to Jesus, but the woman mentioned in these verses is almost certainly not Mary alone, as would be required by Larson’s teaching (though this is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church). There is much symbolism here, and making direct correspondences here can lead one astray. Making what appear to be direct astrological parallels appears dangerous and even unbiblical. Furthermore, the circumstances described here by Larson are not that unusual. The thin waxing crescent moon is in this part of the sky every year at Rosh Hashanah. Every twelve years Jupiter is near Regulus and is so for much of a year, so the circumstances Larson describes for this happen every twelfth year, which is not as remarkable as Larson implies to his audience.
<…snip…>There are problems with Jupiter’s stationary point being the star that guided the magi. First, Matthew 2:10 suggests that the magi had not seen the star for a while, for they were glad to see it on their way to Bethlehem from Jerusalem. The magi would have seen Jupiter much of the time that they traveled, so why the delight now? Second, the appearance of Jupiter over Bethlehem was of no use in finding Bethlehem, for they already had been told to go there and likely were given directions to the town just a few miles from Jerusalem. Third, the magi seemed to have had no difficulty identifying which house in Bethlehem to go to, suggesting that the star appeared over a particular house, rather than just appearing over the town in general. Thus, while Larson puts forth an argument for the star fitting Matthew’s description, the argument really doesn’t survive close scrutiny.
In conclusion, Larson’s thesis is fraught with problems. It completely relies upon the late death of Herod, something that few historians have embraced. It has some obvious astrological connections that we have not discussed in any detail here. These astrological connections are related to the so-called gospel in the stars theory, which is without foundation, and I have discussed elsewhere. <….snip….>
….If the star of Bethlehem was not a planetary alignment and conjunction with a star, then what was it? The only record we have of the star is Matthew 2. Presumably, the magi were very educated men, well versed in astronomical knowledge of the time. As previously mentioned, many have speculated that they were from Persia, and hence knew of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks, and thus knew that the time of the Messiah was nigh, as did many Jews at the time. Then they saw something in the sky that grabbed their attention and caused them to travel hundreds of miles to seek out this new king. If the magi were well schooled in astronomy, they would have known that any planetary conjunctions, though unusual, would have been repeated in the past and future, and so would not be the unique event suggested in Matthew 2. The Matthew 2 text suggests that the star wasn’t always visible to the magi, nor was it necessarily visible to others. This suggests that the star may have been a localized object specifically fashioned as a message to the magi. This supernatural object would not be bound by the motions of objects normally found in the sky, and thus its odd behavior, such as appearing over where Jesus was, is easy to explain. In short, the star of Bethlehem likely was a unique and miraculous local apparition to fulfill God’s purpose and one of the ordained purposes for stars to be for signs as in Genesis 1:14. This is not unusual, for the Lord used the Shekinah glory to guide Israel in the wilderness. Of course, others before me have noted the difficulty of relating Matthew’s account to any known astronomical object and have suggested such a thing (Custer (1977), DeYoung (1989), Gitt (1996), Lisle (2008), MacArthur (2006)). From “An Evaluation of the ’Star of BethlehemDVD” by astronomer Danny R. Faulkner
With any given star, Jupiter has 3 or 4 triple conjunctions per century, with either 12 or 71 years in between. These occur with Regulus in 1873, 1885, 1956, 1968, 2039, 2051, 2063, 2134, and 2146.
Jupiter takes 11.9 years to orbit the Sun, advancing at a fairly steady ~30° per year. From Earth, Jupiter appears to move ~40° forward and ~10° backward in a 13-month cycle. The retrograde loop happens when Earth and Jupiter are on the same side of the Sun.
We see a triple conjunction with a star when the retrograde loop encompasses it. Around the February 2051 opposition, Jupiter has conjunctions with Regulus in October, February, and June. Source
Articles Refuting the Gospel in the Stars/Hidden messages in the heavens
“Written in the Stars?” by Danny Faulkner
“Messages in the Stars?” by Marcia Montenegro
What About Genesis 1:14 and “Signs?” (see second question under “Astrology”)
Refuting Gospel in the Stars, article by former astrologer Charles Strohmer
Critiques of Heiser
Dr. Thomas Howe,
“Heiser says that we need to understand the culture in which these statements are made, and I understand and agree with this fact, but one must also interpret what one reads about the culture. All we have are things and texts that remain, and all of these are subject to interpretation. If one’s interpretive methodology is flawed, then his interpretations of these other matters are as flawed. Additionally, there are no extra-biblical Hebrew documents to which we can appeal for clarification, at least not until you get to the writings of the Essenes. But these are much too late to help.” From “The Unseen Assumptions” by Dr. Thomas Howe
“The “divine council” concept morphs from being “a neglected topic of study that legitimately needs to be examined more carefully” into “the key to everything.” Several of the reviews I linked above give examples of this phenomenon, so I don’t need to rehash all of it. This, however, does tie into the somewhat sensationalistic element I noted above. The reader is given the distinct impression that the “divine council” is the secret key to unlock all of the hidden mysteries of the Bible. The reader starts to pick up a subtle undertone: All of the theologians of the past 2000 years have misread the Bible. All of the creeds and confessions have mis-read it. But now! The key has been found!” Article by Keith Matheson
Why Michael Heiser is Probably Wrong About Satan in the Book of Job, by Kenneth Berding
David Wilber’s video on how R. H. Charles Mistranslated 1 Enoch 71:14
The Gospel Coalition Review of The Unseen Realm by Andrew Ken Moody
Critique of The Unseen Realm by Gary Gilley
Dr. Shandon Guthrie, Christian philosopher, comments:
“Heiser’s mistakes are committed by the fact that he lets poetry and mythographic accommodation do all of the metaphysical work in his biblical theology. For example, that Asaph mentions God taking his place in the divine council (Psalm 82.1) is not to say that *there is* a divine council, but that there is a God who has taken his rightful place (as sovereign judge). It’s roughly equivalent to saying that God is “God of gods” (e.g., Psalm 136.2) where this expression does not commit one to be affirming that there are indeed other gods out there. And, speaking of Psalm 82, it’s doubtful that 82.6’s reference to “gods” points all the way back to verse 1. It’s more likely that it refers to the wicked ones of the immediate verses–those who “have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken” (v. 5). That verses 2-5 are not describing the divine council is because verse 2 is *Asaph* speaking and *not God.* It is the *Psalter* who is crying out *to God* as to “How long …” before God himself judges the wicked (cf., 119.84; Habakkuk 1.2).”
**Dr. Guthrie has a Ph.D. in philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University, England and is Visiting Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, (2002 – current). Go here to download an mp3 of Dr. Guthrie’s talk, “The Apologetic Value of Christian Demonology” with interaction with Dr. Heiser