The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ulan
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by Ulan » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:25 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:16 pm
Ulan wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:01 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:22 pm
nightshadetwine wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:17 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:22 pm
What I wonder is whether Yahweh himself might not have been viewed as a dying and rising deity. There is no direct evidence for this of which I am aware. It is all a matter of (A) Ba'al being a dying and rising deity and Yahweh being so similar to Ba'al in so many other ways; (B) the cultic cry of "Yahweh lives" in Psalm 18.46, which would make the most sense on the presupposition that Yahweh had previously died; and (C) a dying and rising Yahweh providing a perfect missing link between Ba'al and Jesus.
There seems to be some debate about some of the Psalms being influenced by Egyptian hymns to the sun god and Yahweh having solar aspects. I personally suspect that Yahweh is an amalgamation of different gods or that he took on the roles of other gods. So the "Yahweh lives" in Psalm 18 could possibly related to his sun god aspect(if he has one). The sun god was said to die and resurrect so that could be a connection.
Could be, but I have found the connections between Ba'al and Yahweh to be more pervasive: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3139.
For what it's worth, Thomas Römer would probably go with the answer that Yahweh was both. While he, like you, sees him mostly as a typical Ba'al, which all had their local names, the connection to the sun god comes with Jerusalem, going with the idea that the etymology of the city name may not necessarily be connected to "peace", but rather to the sun god Shamash. He sees the temple in Jerusalem as an original Shamash temple that housed both gods (among others) at the same time during the early era after the Israelite conquest of the city, with Yahweh absorbing both, the sun god and much of the connected imagery, later on.
Okay, I have found some information on this in The Invention of God. If there are other sources for Römer's judgments on Shamash and Ba'al, please do share. I am enjoying reading his stuff so far.
I was just typing the answer when you posted this. Yes, that's the book that summarizes most of his ideas about the development of Yahweh. It's quite interesting. You can find some of his lectures online, but it's basically the same stuff. Also, mostly French with some English spoken over it.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:27 pm

nightshadetwine wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:34 am
I've also read that "Elohim" is both singular and plural depending on the context it's used in and is also both masculine and feminine.
The form is unmistakably masculine plural, even when used of the singular deity Yahweh or the feminine deity Ashtoreth. (Just clarifying that the word is not using some "neuter" gender which can automatically go either way; it is definitely a masculine plural which is applied against the grain.)
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:27 pm

Ulan wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:25 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:16 pm
Ulan wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:01 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:22 pm
nightshadetwine wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:17 pm


There seems to be some debate about some of the Psalms being influenced by Egyptian hymns to the sun god and Yahweh having solar aspects. I personally suspect that Yahweh is an amalgamation of different gods or that he took on the roles of other gods. So the "Yahweh lives" in Psalm 18 could possibly related to his sun god aspect(if he has one). The sun god was said to die and resurrect so that could be a connection.
Could be, but I have found the connections between Ba'al and Yahweh to be more pervasive: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3139.
For what it's worth, Thomas Römer would probably go with the answer that Yahweh was both. While he, like you, sees him mostly as a typical Ba'al, which all had their local names, the connection to the sun god comes with Jerusalem, going with the idea that the etymology of the city name may not necessarily be connected to "peace", but rather to the sun god Shamash. He sees the temple in Jerusalem as an original Shamash temple that housed both gods (among others) at the same time during the early era after the Israelite conquest of the city, with Yahweh absorbing both, the sun god and much of the connected imagery, later on.
Okay, I have found some information on this in The Invention of God. If there are other sources for Römer's judgments on Shamash and Ba'al, please do share. I am enjoying reading his stuff so far.
I was just typing the answer when you posted this. Yes, that's the book that summarizes most of his ideas about the development of Yahweh. It's quite interesting. You can find some of his lectures online, but it's basically the same stuff. Also, mostly French with some English spoken over it.
Perfect. Thanks.
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nightshadetwine
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by nightshadetwine » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:17 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:27 pm
The form is unmistakably masculine plural, even when used of the singular deity Yahweh or the feminine deity Ashtoreth. (Just clarifying that the word is not using some "neuter" gender which can automatically go either way; it is definitely a masculine plural which is applied against the grain.)
Oh Ok. I think I was mixing that up with Genesis 1:27 being used by people to show that god has masculine and feminine aspects.

nightshadetwine
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by nightshadetwine » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:03 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:23 am
I have this tab open on my browser though: The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God, Margaret Barker
From the description of that book:
She claims that pre-Christian Judaism was not monotheistic and that the roots of Christian Trinitarian theology lie in a pre-Christian Palestinian belief about angels--a belief derived from the ancient religion of Israel, in which there was a "High God" and several "Sons of God." Yahweh was a son of God, manifested on earth in human form as an angel or in the Davidic King. Jesus was a manifestation of Yahweh, and was acknowledged as Son of God, Messiah, and Lord.
I agree that the gospel writers are presenting Jesus as the "new king of the Jews". Kings in antiquity were often considered to be the son of god or a representative of god on Earth. This why Jesus has the same birth narrative as a lot of other kings. The Egyptian Pharaohs were considered to be the son of a god and were given mythological birth narratives that included their mother being impregnated by a god and the mother being told that the baby will be king. Then when they died they were resurrected.

From "Chronicle of a Pharaoh: The Intimate Life of Amenhotep III" by Joann Fletcher:
At Luxor we can follow the great king from his divine conception right through his life, and beyond. The story begins with Amun diplomatically taking the form of Tuthmosis to visit Mutemwia, who is asleep in the inner rooms of her palace. According to the inscriptions that accompany the temple reliefs, "She awoke on account of the aroma of the god and cried out before him ... He went to her straight away, she rejoiced at the sight of his beauty, and love for him coursed through her body. The palace was flooded with the god's aroma. "Words spoken by Mutemwia before the majesty of this great god Amun-Ra: `How strong is your power! Your dew fills my body,' and then the majesty of this god did all that he desired with her.Words spoken by Amun-Ra: `Amenhotep, ruler of Thebes, is the name of this child I have placed in your body ... He shall exercise the beneficent kingship in this whole land, he shall rule the Two Lands like Ra forever.'" The sandstone reliefs depict the couple's fingers touching briefly—and in this auspicious instant Amenhotep, son of Amun, is conceived.
From "God's Wife, God's Servant: The God's Wife of Amun (ca.740–525 BC)" by By Mariam F. Ayad:
...a union with the king's mother and the supreme deity imbued the future king with his divine nature. It was precisely this divine nature that enabled an Egyptian king to serve as a mediator between mankind and the gods.Temple scene representing the king's divine conception and birth are known from the reigns of Queen Hatshepsut(c. 1479/73-1458/57 BC) and Amenhotep III(c. 1390-1352 BC)
The Search for God in Ancient Egypt By Jan Assmann:
Quite similarly, at a very early date, Egyptian texts began to celebrate the resurrection of the king, who has emerged from his tomb and ascended to the sky, as a theophany.

nightshadetwine
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by nightshadetwine » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:59 am

I think this concept of divinity multiplying itself or dividing itself is found throughout the books of the Bible. I think Abraham's seed/descendants is an allegory for this concept. Abraham representing divinity multiplying itself(his seed/descendants) and returning to "the bosom of Abraham" is divinity becoming whole or one again. I think throughout the Bible the prophets/heroes/saviors and even Israelites represent aspects of divinity incarnating into the physical realm.

Hosea 6:2 says:
Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us to pieces, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bind us up. 2After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence.
I think this passage is referring to the same thing. Divinity multiplying itself(the Israelites, being "torn to pieces") and then "returning to the lord". The myth of Osiris and Dionysus being ripped into pieces and then the pieces being brought back together again and then being resurrected has the same meaning.

From Orphic Tradition and the Birth of the Gods By Dwayne A. Meisner:
Dionysus...is the soul of the universe, which is divided and yet retains it's indestructible unity. The Titans represent the evil principle of division which is hostile to the abiding aspiration of the universe toward unity...More precisely, the Titans represent the division that occurs as the forms proceed from soul into matter...Having been dismembered and brought back to life, Dionysus represents the center-point between these two where the processes of preceding and reversion intersect...In this way, Dionysus is the center-point between Zeus and the many...The spiritual interpretation is basically a consequence of the metaphysical interpretation since, as encosmic soul is distributed throughout the universe into physical matter one of the natural results of this "Titanic Division" is the insertion of human souls into bodies.
I think Jesus represents the same thing as Dionysus is said to represent in that quote. Jesus Is the center-point between his "father"/god and the many/humanity.

Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets By Fritz Graf, Sarah Iles Johnston
The Titans, Jealous of Dionysus' new power and perhaps encouraged by Hera, used various toys, and a mirror to lure Dionysus away from his guardians, the Curetes, and dismembered him. They cooked his flesh and ate it. Zeus, being angry at this, killed the Titans, and from their remains, humanity arose. Because humanity arose from material that was predominately Titanic in nature, each human is born with the stain of the Titans' crime, but a remnant of Dionysus leavens the mixture
I think the myths about the Titans represent the same thing as the myths about the Nephilim and the Watchers. The sons of god mating with the daughters of men is an allegory for divinity incarnating into the physical realm. Same with the Titans and Watchers being bound or thrown into a pit and chained.

Ulan
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Re: The Story of the Savior/hero as an Allegory

Post by Ulan » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:24 am

Ulan wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:25 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:16 pm
Ulan wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:01 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:22 pm
nightshadetwine wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:17 pm
There seems to be some debate about some of the Psalms being influenced by Egyptian hymns to the sun god and Yahweh having solar aspects. I personally suspect that Yahweh is an amalgamation of different gods or that he took on the roles of other gods. So the "Yahweh lives" in Psalm 18 could possibly related to his sun god aspect(if he has one). The sun god was said to die and resurrect so that could be a connection.
Could be, but I have found the connections between Ba'al and Yahweh to be more pervasive: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3139.
For what it's worth, Thomas Römer would probably go with the answer that Yahweh was both. While he, like you, sees him mostly as a typical Ba'al, which all had their local names, the connection to the sun god comes with Jerusalem, going with the idea that the etymology of the city name may not necessarily be connected to "peace", but rather to the sun god Shamash. He sees the temple in Jerusalem as an original Shamash temple that housed both gods (among others) at the same time during the early era after the Israelite conquest of the city, with Yahweh absorbing both, the sun god and much of the connected imagery, later on.
Okay, I have found some information on this in The Invention of God. If there are other sources for Römer's judgments on Shamash and Ba'al, please do share. I am enjoying reading his stuff so far.
I was just typing the answer when you posted this. Yes, that's the book that summarizes most of his ideas about the development of Yahweh. It's quite interesting. You can find some of his lectures online, but it's basically the same stuff. Also, mostly French with some English spoken over it.
As a (late) addendum, you can find the etymology of Jerusalem repeated in the 2008 book "Das antike Jerusalem: Archäologie und Geschichte." (Ancient Jerusalem: Archeology and History) by the theologian Eckart Otto (he was professor for OT in Munich) (see here). Basically, he says the name "Jerusalem" means "foundation of (the god) Shalem", Akkadian "urusalim" (city of (the God) Shalem), Egyptian "rushalimum" (mountain top of (the God) Shalem; this is not a direct translation of the meaning, but the sound of "jeru-" into Egyptian).

Shalem is known from Ugarit as the god (he is included in the schedule of offerings) of the evening star and had some bonds with Shamash (the sun god) and Shahar (the morning star). Shalem also had roles as a god of war and death. In Jerusalem, instead of Shahar, the god Zedek was more important. He represented the ideas of justice and the community of men and gods, which were also aspects of the sun god. Otto translates Psalm 85:13-14 as follows:

„Jahwe verleiht seinen Segen und unsere Erde gibt ihre Frucht. Zedek geht vor ihm her und Schalem auf der Wegespur seiner Schritte.“
"Yahweh gives his blessing and our soil will give fruit. Zedek walks before him and Shalem in the track of his paces."

In a roundabout way, this would put Yahweh in the place of Shamash during this procession of gods.

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