The book purports to be a modern revelation to Judah through a Modern Prophet (the first true Jewish Prophet in Modern Times), given in preparation for the turning of the Jews to the true Messiah. The text states it was given to Jachanan ben Kathryn (John Son of Kathryn) first in the year 1995/96, but was not commanded to be written until roughly 2004 when the prophet turned 38. From what I can gather, the Author is a Messianic Jew, born among the Gentiles (in the United States?) but taken at an early age to Israel? Like most true prophets, he did not seek out his calling, and in fact appearenly tried to flee from it (BOBK 1:2,9)
One must read it to make their own judgments, but It seems like the more I read most modern restorationalists texts or prophesies, the more I eventually get the impression that they have been distorted by their cultures, channels or means of revelatory reception. But this book (as with the Book of Mormon, D&C, etc) is one of the few that the more I read it, the more I am convinced it is an undistorted revelation straight from the highest levels of earth’s higher planes.
It truly is a spectacular revelation, rivaling any of those found in the Old Testament. Its subtle and ubiquitous references and allusions to the Books of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah make it seem as though it came from the same author. It is certainly not surprising that the revelation was given/written in both English and Hebrew.
Much as Joseph Smith was given a period of trial and molding before purportedly being given the ancient plates, so too this revelation was first given in 1995, but commanded not to be written until 2004 or published until 2006 (see chap 1 vs. 1-4). Further still it suggests that it will not gain any wide audience until the very unexpected events prophesied therein (a final 70 year destruction/captivity of the modern nation of Israel) begin to occur and the prophet is commanded to work miracles in the eyes of the nations.
The book suggests it need not be rejected or believed at present, since God will “prove” to the nations of its truth by miraculous events not seen since ancient days. (People raised from the dead, A man without legs to walk, Green fire from heaven, etc.)
An LDS Perspective
A separate restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem is of course, ubiquitously prophesied of in Mormon scripture (D&C 98:17; 18:26; 77:9-15; 109:62-66; 133:13-14; Ether 13:3–12). But Mormon’s should understand that this revelation is for Judah (The Middle Eastern World), not Ephraim (The “Western World”). There is an enmity between Ephraim & Judah which will not be unified until long after the establishment of both the New Jerusalem & the original Jerusalem at the end of this present dispensation of the fulness of times.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy of Ephraim also shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. (2 Nephi 21:12–13; Isa 11:12–13)
At present, the groups who have become very close to unity with God, who are responsible for revealing scripture and the restoration of Israel in both Jerusalem (& the Middle East) and the New Jerusalem (and the Western World) are still partly separate and estranged. Thus LDS scripture consistently derides Judah, and paints Ephraim as higher than Judah (ie D&C 133:32–35; 45:51-53). Whereas, restorationist Israeli scripture (like the Book of Ben Kathryn) derides Ephraim and paints Judah higher than Ephraim.
Despite very small doctrinal differences, one of the most catching aspects of the Ben Kathryn revelation is its style. Just as early Latter-day Saints were given the smell test to help detect true revelations from false (true revelations are given in a poetic form difficult for men or false spirits in the lower heavens to replicate- D&C 67:5–8), so also is the language of the Book of Ben Kathryn unparalleled. Likewise its references and allusions to old testament prophecy are unlike anything I have ever read.
One last very interesting aspect of the revelation is the way in which its prophesy of the restoration of Judah parallels the restoration of the Church/Latter-day Kingdom. (See my synopsis for a run-down of these events.)
-Just as Joseph Smith received his calling about 40 years before the partial destruction of the USA (civil war), and Christ began his ministry about 40 years before the partial destruction of Israel (siege of Titus), so too is the modern nation of Israel prophesied to be partially destroyed around 40 years after John Ben Kathryn’s calling.
-Just as shortly after Joseph Smith’s revelations on the restoration of the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom was taken over and absorbed into the powerful, expanding United States where although treated harshly at first, it is being nourished until the ‘fulness of times’ when it shall again be restored as an independent nation and kingdom, so too John Ben Kathryn declares that Israel after the new revelation is given will be taken over and absorbed into a powerful, expanding Arab Union/coalition where although treated harshly at first, will be nourished during 70 years of captivity until they are turned to the true Messiah and restored as an independent nation and kingdom.
-There is also a striking biblical type or shadow in the timing of this revelation in relation to the restoration of Ephraim with Joseph Smith.
These, of course, are just my interpretations of the prophecies given by Ben Kathryn, but if you would like to make your own judgements you can read the text yourself. The original version has been posted since about 2006 on Nabion.org here
to do: talk about the Nabion site and its relation to the text…. (likely a friend of his, but intersting views that I would imagine John would find presumptuous?
Read the Book of Jachanan Ben Kathryn here
Prophesy in the Book of Ben Kathryn http://themormonbox.com/3/prophesy-in-the-book-of-ben-kathryn/
The identity of Gog and Magog http://themormonbox.com/1137/the-identity-of-gog-and-magog/
The End of the Times of the Gentiles http://themormonbox.com/86/the-end-of-the-times-of-the-gentiles/
Additional Prophesies in the Book of Ben Kathryn http://themormonbox.com/81/additional-prophesies-of-the-book-of-ben-kathryn/