The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

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nightshadetwine
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by nightshadetwine » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:55 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:49 am
If there is no such evidence, then we are stuck with a situation in which the four gospel symbols match the creatures of Revelation 4.7 and Ezekiel 1.10 (human, lion, calf/bull/bullock, eagle) exactly, the four fixed zodiacal signs (human, lion, bull, scorpion) almost exactly, and the four sons of Horus (human, baboon, jackal, falcon) quite inexactly. Are we seriously suggesting a direct relationship between this Egyptian quartet and the four gospels, one that bypasses the zodiac, the Babylonian setting (in which are found statues both of human/eagle/lion creatures and of human/eagle/bull creatures), and the texts of Ezekiel and Revelation? A direct borrowing from Ezekiel/Revelation seems far more likely, does it not? Or am I missing something?
I agree with you. I think there's a relation between the four sons of Horus, the four creatures/cherubim, and other creatures/angels from ancient Near Eastern religions that were associated with the cardinal points. As far as the gospel symbols, I think those were based on the cherubim/creatures from Ezekiel and Revelation. So I'd say there's just an indirect connection.

Apparently Scorpio is also associated with an eagle. So the living creatures in Ezekiel and Revelation match the fixed signs of the zodiac. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpio_(astrology):
Scorpio is associated with three different animals: the scorpion, the snake, and the eagle

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:12 pm

nightshadetwine wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:55 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:49 am
If there is no such evidence, then we are stuck with a situation in which the four gospel symbols match the creatures of Revelation 4.7 and Ezekiel 1.10 (human, lion, calf/bull/bullock, eagle) exactly, the four fixed zodiacal signs (human, lion, bull, scorpion) almost exactly, and the four sons of Horus (human, baboon, jackal, falcon) quite inexactly. Are we seriously suggesting a direct relationship between this Egyptian quartet and the four gospels, one that bypasses the zodiac, the Babylonian setting (in which are found statues both of human/eagle/lion creatures and of human/eagle/bull creatures), and the texts of Ezekiel and Revelation? A direct borrowing from Ezekiel/Revelation seems far more likely, does it not? Or am I missing something?
I agree with you. I think there's a relation between the four sons of Horus, the four creatures/cherubim, and other creatures/angels from ancient Near Eastern religions that were associated with the cardinal points. As far as the gospel symbols, I think those were based on the cherubim/creatures from Ezekiel and Revelation. So I'd say there's just an indirect connection.

Apparently Scorpio is also associated with an eagle. So the living creatures in Ezekiel and Revelation match the fixed signs of the zodiac. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpio_(astrology):
Scorpio is associated with three different animals: the scorpion, the snake, and the eagle
Excellent. Good to know. I did not know that.
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Stuart
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Stuart » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:20 pm

Ben,

Nah, the symbols for the four Gospel writers developed probably in 4th or 5th century (any church father reference --which I don't think there are-- to this would suggest a later interpolation IMO). This is long after their production, and probably after their binding into a single volume. The zodiac is the likely source in this I agree. I am merely saying that the people were probably more familiar with the Egyptian and other art of this form than an obscure passage in Ezekiel, as the pictorial evidence is pretty much nil for the Ezekiel passage. (I general I think Biblical scholars inflate Judaism in both it's size and influence, even in Christianity, based on the assumption of a direct break between the two; whereas it is my opinion they were separated for as much as a century before Christianity erupted via evangelism.)

And yes there is variance in the symbols, from culture to culture, based perhaps on local fauna (Falcon/Eagle/Scorpian, Baboon/Ox/Calf, Jackal/Lion). But it get back to your zodiac symbols for the seasons.

Actually the NT in several references, and in particular Revelation is loaded of astrological symbols. In chapter 6 the various symbols associated with the four horsemen and two others of the six seals (six Caesars most people think, ending with Nero probably). The horses can be mapped to visible planets, Jupiter = white, Mars = red, Mercury = black, Venus (or Saturn) = Pale. The items associated with each match constellation symbols, bow = Sagittarius (or Sirius or Orion), sword = Orion or Perseus, balance/scales = Libra, Hades = Hyades, altar = Ara (only visible part of the year in Mediterranean). Chapter 12 the woman seems to align with a pattern in the night sky aligned with Cronos Borealus as her crown, as a female constellation has it's head resting on the moon and Michael = Hercules battling the serpent = Serpens (as the night wears on the serpent comes to the ground vanishing over the horizon), all three would be visible at the same time. And on it goes.

Of course the church decided astrology was a bad thing and suppressed it, claiming no such roots in Christianity.

But yeah, astrology seems to have left footprints here and there in the NT.
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:26 pm

Nah, the symbols for the four Gospel writers developed probably in 4th or 5th century (any church father reference --which I don't think there are-- to this would suggest a later interpolation IMO).
This kind of argument is no different than 'I believe it because I believe it.' The difficulty with arguing that it came to be in the 4th or 5th century and Irenaeus's reference to the gospel writers = Ezekiel 'living creatures' IS THAT HE GETS IT 'WRONG' when compared with the normative understanding that emerges later. Matthew is the 'man' and Mark the 'eagle' (as opposed to the lion) etc. It is simply silly to argue that in an age where the Church = the state that all this variation and 'sorting out' was still taking place. But that's nothing in the face of understanding how Epiphanius and Eusebius could be citing Irenaeus in the fourth century ... if his writings came after at least Eusebius.

Why do you continue to put forward these stupid suggestions? Yes the texts could have altered this way or that way. I can see the argument that Eusebius might have 'standardized' Josephus, 'standardized' the gospels, 'standardized' this or that. But clearly the Church Fathers became standardized in the fourth century - they were 'created' or 'invented' in the fourth century. Sheesh. The spirit of mountainman lives apparently. There might have been differences between Epiphanius's Hegesippus and Eusebius's Hegesippus for argument sake. But Hegesippus is a second century writer as is Irenaeus.
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MrMacSon
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:13 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:26 pm
... The difficulty with arguing that it came to be in the 4th or 5th century and Irenaeus's reference to the gospel writers = Ezekiel 'living creatures' IS THAT HE GETS IT 'WRONG' when compared with the normative understanding that emerges later.
Huh?? How could Irenaeus have got 'it' wrong compared to what happened later?

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:26 pm
... It is simply silly to argue that in an age where the Church = the state that all this variation and 'sorting out' was still taking place.
it is very likely that 'sorting out' was still taking place in the 4th century [and later].

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:26 pm
There might have been differences between Epiphanius's Hegesippus and Eusebius's Hegesippus for argument sake. But Hegesippus is a second century writer as is Irenaeus.
We don't really know to what extent the texts attributed to Hegesippus and Irenaeus represent what they originally wrote.

nightshadetwine
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by nightshadetwine » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:28 pm

Stuart wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:20 pm
Actually the NT in several references, and in particular Revelation is loaded of astrological symbols.

I think the 24 elders in Revelation might have a connection to the 24 hours of the day which are represented by gods and goddesses in the Egyptian books of the underworld. The following website says the 24 elders in Revelation represent the 24 hours of the day http://www.solarmythology.com/biblenotes/revelation.htm:
The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sits on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.

The 24 Elders represent the 24 hours of the day
Revelation 4:
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it...Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads... the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say...
In the third register of the picture below you'll see the sun god sitting on his throne and 24 gods and goddesses that represent the hours of the day and night in front of him that have stars(crowns?) on their heads.

Image

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Secret Alias
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:14 pm

Huh?? How could Irenaeus have got 'it' wrong compared to what happened later?
The other guy is claiming that Irenaeus wasn't from the 2nd century but the 4th or 5th century, the period when the iconography for the gospel writers became standardized. Victorinus of Pettau (d. 304), Epiphanius (310-403), Jerome (347-420), Pseudo-Athanasius (c. 350), Ambrose (340-397), St Gregory the Great (540-604). This isn't just any tradition. It is the Imperial Christian tradition.
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MrMacSon
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:50 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:14 pm
The other guy is claiming that Irenaeus wasn't from the 2nd century but the 4th or 5th century, the period when the iconography for the gospel writers became standardized. Victorinus of Pettau (d. 304), Epiphanius (310-403), Jerome (347-420), Pseudo-Athanasius (c. 350), Ambrose (340-397), St Gregory the Great (540-604). This isn't just any tradition. It is the Imperial Christian tradition.
Ah, ok. How much of what is said to be stated by Irenaeus was actually his?

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MrMacSon
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:09 pm

In The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey talks about the time that Celsus is said to have written On the True Doctrine [a weird title for a polemic against Christianity?] and refers to a popular and influential philosophical theory that rivalled the 'Creation Myth' - a proto-Darwin, evolution-like a-temnos philosophy which contemplated how different animals were contemplated and characterised -

To many intellectuals such as Celsus, the whole idea of a ‘Creation myth’ was not only implausible but redundant. During this period in Rome, a popular and influential philosophical theory offered an alternative view. This theory – an Epicurean one – stated that everything in the world was made not by any divine being but by the collision and combination of atoms. According to this school of thought, these particles were invisible to the naked eye but they had their own structure and could not be cut (temno) into any smaller particles: they were a-temnos – ‘the uncuttable thing’: the atom. Everything that you see or feel, these materialists argued, was made up of two things: atoms and space ‘in which these bodies are and through which they move this way and that’.31 Even living creatures were made from them: humans were, as one (hostile) author summarized, not made by God but were instead nothing more than ‘a haphazard union of elements’.32

The distinct species of animals were explained by a form of proto-Darwinism. As the Roman poet and atomist Lucretius wrote, nature put forth many species. Those that had useful characteristics – the fox and its cunning, say, or the dog and its intelligence – survived, thrived and reproduced. Those creatures that lacked these ‘lay at the mercy of others for prey and profit . . . until nature brought that race to destruction’.33

The intellectual consequences of this powerful theory were summarized succinctly by the Christian apologist Minucius Felix. If everything in the universe has been ‘formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, what God is the architect?’34 The obvious answer is: no god at all. No god magicked up mankind out of nothing, no divinity breathed life into us; and, when we die, our atoms are simply reabsorbed into this great sea of stuff. ‘No thing is ever by divine power produced from nothing,’ wrote Lucretius in his great poem, On the Nature of Things, and ‘no single thing returns to nothing’.35 Atomic theory thus neatly did away with the need for and possibility of Creation, Resurrection, the Last Judgement, Hell, Heaven and the Creator God himself.

As indeed was its intention. Thinkers in the classical world frequently lamented the mortal fear of divine beings. Superstition, wrote the Greek biographer Plutarch, was a terrible affliction that ‘humbles and crushes a man’36 ... Writers such as Lucretius argued that atomism, correctly applied, could blast this fear into tiny pieces. If there was no creator – if lightning, earthquakes and storms were not the actions of irate deities but simply of moving particles of matter – then there was nothing to fear, nothing to propitiate and nothing to worship 38 Including no Christian God.

Nixey, Catherine. The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (Kindle Locations 763-783). Pan Macmillan UK.
Perhaps the reverence of animals and their perceived characteristics gained traction in Christianity at that stage? and thus persisted as a form of Christian art and literature.

et: Celsus, and likely ohters of his time, are said to have philosophised over the flood, which would have contemplated pairs of animals, etc.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The book of Revelation and the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:17 pm

Stuart wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:20 pm
Ben,

Nah, the symbols for the four Gospel writers developed probably in 4th or 5th century (any church father reference --which I don't think there are-- to this would suggest a later interpolation IMO). This is long after their production, and probably after their binding into a single volume. The zodiac is the likely source in this I agree. I am merely saying that the people were probably more familiar with the Egyptian and other art of this form than an obscure passage in Ezekiel, as the pictorial evidence is pretty much nil for the Ezekiel passage.
I am not sure what the point of this observation about Ezekiel is. Even if it is 100% true, it is still beyond reasonable dispute that the four symbols came directly from Ezekiel and Revelation, and not from Egyptian or even Babylonian mythology. I have no doubt that many/most would recognize something zodiacal and/or directional going on in these four symbols; yet Ezekiel and Revelation are indeed the source of the four extant symbols, no matter how rare pictography based on the former might be.
Actually the NT in several references, and in particular Revelation is loaded of astrological symbols.
I agree with this. Neither it nor the rest of your post in any way impacts the simple textual fact that the four evangelical symbols match Ezekiel and Revelation perfectly and the other zodiacal references (Babylonian, Egyptian, and what have you) imperfectly. Unless I am missing a source text which you are not sharing with the class, Ezekiel and Revelation are the source.
Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:26 pm
Nah, the symbols for the four Gospel writers developed probably in 4th or 5th century (any church father reference --which I don't think there are-- to this would suggest a later interpolation IMO).
This kind of argument is no different than 'I believe it because I believe it.' The difficulty with arguing that it came to be in the 4th or 5th century and Irenaeus's reference to the gospel writers = Ezekiel 'living creatures' IS THAT HE GETS IT 'WRONG' when compared with the normative understanding that emerges later. Matthew is the 'man' and Mark the 'eagle' (as opposed to the lion) etc. It is simply silly to argue that in an age where the Church = the state that all this variation and 'sorting out' was still taking place. But that's nothing in the face of understanding how Epiphanius and Eusebius could be citing Irenaeus in the fourth century ... if his writings came after at least Eusebius.
Victorinus has the same arrangement as Irenaeus, though he lists them in the order J-M-L-K (K = Mark) instead of Irenaeus' J-L-M-K. Both agree that John is the lion, Matthew the human, Luke the calf, and Mark the eagle.

Augustine specifically mentions this arrangement and says it makes less sense than his own preferred option, Matthew being the lion, Mark the human, and John the eagle.

Jerome has Matthew as the human, Mark as the lion, Luke as the calf, and John as the eagle.

I thought that everybody agreed that Luke was the calf, but not pseudo-Athanasius, who has Matthew as the human, Mark as the calf, Luke as the lion, and John as the eagle.

I have not looked up Gregory's treatment or any of the others.
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