1 Nephi 11:7 Descending Out of Heaven

1 Nephi 11:7 Descending Out of Heaven

The words “descending out of heaven” (1 Nephi 11:7) derive from John 1:32, which, being in the New Testament, was unavailable to the Nephites, who left Jerusalem six centuries before Christ’s birth.

Book of Mormon FrenchThese words are also found in Matthew 28:2 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, so the expression was common and not unique to John. The verb “descend” was not used by the KJV Old Testament translators, who preferred to render the Hebrew verb “come down.” Consequently, “come/coming down from heaven” appears eight times in the Old Testament. Especially note the following from Daniel 4, where the context is similar to that of 1 Nephi, which describes Nephi’s vision of Christ’s coming to earth:

“an holy one came down from heaven” (verse 13)

“an holy one coming down from heaven” (verse 23)

Daniel was a younger contemporary of Nephi, and though his writings would not have been available before Nephi’s departure from Jerusalem, the two would have used the Hebrew language of their time.