Source Materials for the Luke 11 Commentary
Hello class! For those of you wanting to read some of the apocryphal texts I mentioned, here are the books I referenced. But first, a definition!
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines apocrypha as:
1: writings or statements of dubious authenticity
2: capitalized a : books included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but excluded from the Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament
b : early Christian writings not included in the New Testament
The Ascension of Isaiah: Translated by R.H. Charles
The Books of Enoch: Compiled by David Hammer
The Apocalypse of Abraham: Translated by G.H. Box and Dr. Moses Gaster
Paul references the third heaven: "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven." (2 Cor. 12:2)
Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner states that she heard Joseph say, "John the Revelator was caught up to the third heaven, but I know one who was caught up to the seventh heaven and saw and heard things not lawful for me to utter." (Hyrum Andrus, They Knew the Prophet, pp. 24-25).
In Tad Callister's talk "Joseph Smith-Prophet of the Restoration": "Many teach that there is one heaven and one hell. Joseph Smith restored the truth that there are multiple heavens. Paul spoke of a man who was caught up into the third heaven (see 2 Corinthians 12:2). Could there be a third heaven if there was no second heaven or first heaven?"
In the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith :
"Wherefore, we again say, search the revelations of God; study the prophecies, and rejoice that God grants unto the world Seers and Prophets. They are they who saw the mysteries of godliness; they saw the flood before it came; they saw angels ascending and descending upon a ladder that reached from earth to heaven ..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.12)
"Paul ascended into the third heavens, and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob's ladder—the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, where Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful for him to utter. I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.304)
I hope this give you a starting place. In Hebrew religion, these divisions of heaven were referred to as "Jacobs Ladder" which is referenced in Genesis 28.
And lastly, may this picture is to remind you to make space--for divinity, pondering, study and prayer.