The Unseen Realm – Michael S. Heiser

I have begun reading The Unseen Realm – Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible by Dr. Michael S. Heiser.

I doubt anyone will agree with me but, in my mind, it is a non-fiction version of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Here’s a quote from the Preface to the Paperback EditionThe Unseen Realm is an encouragement to believe in the sort of spiritual world that has been denigrated or dismissed in our modern, post-Enlightenment culture.”

The author put 15 years of research into this book. What started him on this path of  research was a “watershed moment” when a friend, a fellow student also working toward a PhD in Hebrew studies, asked Michael Heiser to read Psalm 82 closely. This catalyst which changed the way he read his Bible forever appeared already in verse one.

God [elohim] stands in the divine assembly; he administers judgement in the midst of the gods [elohim].

The word elohim appears twice in the same verse, once meaning the God of Israel and the second time is with a preposition indicating plural, a pantheon of other gods.

He spends much of the next couple chapters explaining why the second elohim has to refer to “the sons of God” who are what I’ll call his divine administrative staff. He eliminates all the other interpretations others have put forth by explaining the clear meaning of the Hebrew.

Dr. Heiser was catapulted by Psalm 82 into research and he came to the realization, concerning scripture, he had “tamed its ultimate author” and allowed theological systems not invented until thousands of years later to cloud his interpretations of Old Testament Hebrew. Instead of reading the Old Testament in the way the authors wrote it and the way the original readers read it, he was allowing his modern mind full of rationalism and skepticism of the supernatural cause him to completely miss what difficult passages of scripture were actually saying.

Right now I’d rather read more of The Unseen Realm than write about it, so this is all for tonight.

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