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trialjohnelijah ( ** )

“The Trial”  — Section 27

Aren’t John the Baptist and Elijah the same person?

Representative of a Christian church:
If I am not mistaken, the Latter-day Saints interpret Matthew 17:11 to mean that John the Baptist was the “Elias” which was for to come, and that Malachi 4:5-6 referred to ‘Elijah the Prophet’.  However, upon examination of the original writings, the words Elias and Elijah are interchangeable.  Malachi 4:5-6 said “Elias [Elijah] would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children”.  Latter-day Saints claim a fulfillment of that prophecy in 1836, yet Luke 1:17 tells us that John (or the Elijah of Malachi) “…shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.”  Therefore, Elijah of Malachi 4 was none other than John the Baptist of Matthew 17:11 and Luke 1:17.  What is your response to this logic?

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
You are correct about the interchanging of Elias and Elijah, but remember that we had a great prophet named ‘Elijah’ in 2 Kings 2:11 who was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven, and John never claimed to be that Elijah.  Concerning the prophecy in Malachi 4, please notice that Elijah was also to turn the hearts of the children to their father , which did not occur with the mission of John the Baptist.  That John was not the Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6, and this is affirmed by his own testimony in John 1:21, which states, “…and they asked him, what then?  Art thou Elias?  And he said unto them, I am not.  Art thou that prophet?  And he answered No,”   John’s mission was to prepare the way for the Lord’s mortal ministry, and he did go forth in the spirit and power of Elias, but he was not the Elias.

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