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

Post by nightshadetwine » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:13 pm

Paul uses the sowing of a seed, it's germination, and then it's sprouting as a metaphor for resurrection:

1. Planting or sowing the seed(death, day 1)
2. Germination(day 2)
3. Sprouting of the seed(resurrection, day 3)

The Egyptians also used the sowing of the seed, it's germination, and then it's sprouting as a metaphor for Osiris' death and resurrection.

From http://www.historyplace.com/specials/sl ... mies12.htm:
Osiris, supreme god of resurrection, was closely associated with the life-giving forces of nature, particularly the Nile and vegetation. Above all, he was connected with germinating grain. The emergence of a living, growing, plant from the apparently dormant seed hidden within the earth was regarded by the Egyptians as a metaphor for the rebirth of a human being from the lifeless husk of the corpse. The concept was translated into physical form by the fashioning of images of Osiris out of earth and grain. These “corn-mummies” were composed of sand or mud, mixed with grains of barley.
Image

Exploring the New Testament World: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Jesus and the First Christians By Albert Bell:
Most of the gods associated with mystery cults had some connection with a cycle of death and rebirth or with going into the underworld and coming out alive...The association of grain or vegetation of any type with death and rebirth is not difficult to make. Each year the seed is put into the ground (buried) and comes up again (rebirth, resurrection). This was a familiar symbol to an agrarian society, so familiar that Paul even used it in his discussion of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:35-44.

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

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:48 pm

nightshadetwine wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:13 pm

Paul uses the sowing of a seed, it's germination, and then it's sprouting as a metaphor for resurrection:
  1. Planting or sowing the seed (death, day 1)
  2. Germination (day 2)
  3. Sprouting of the seed (resurrection, day 3)
. . .

Exploring the New Testament World: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Jesus and the First Christians By Albert Bell:
Most of the gods associated with mystery cults had some connection with a cycle of death and rebirth or with going into the underworld and coming out alive...The association of grain or vegetation of any type with death and rebirth is not difficult to make. Each year the seed is put into the ground (buried) and comes up again (rebirth, resurrection). This was a familiar symbol to an agrarian society, so familiar that Paul even used it in his discussion of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:35-44.
There's reference to Paul planting a seed earlier in Corinthians: in 1 Corinthians 3:5-8 in relation to 'Apollos' -
1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Also, the references to "What...is Apollos? .. what is Paul?" are intriguing i.e., not 'Who?'
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Post by nightshadetwine » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:49 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:17 pm
If you can get hold of it, try Geo Widengren, "Early Hebrew Myths and Their Interpretation," in S. H. Hooke, Myth, Ritual, and Kingship: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and in Israel.

Also, I suspect you would like a lot of stuff by Margaret Barker. Start with The Great Angel and go from there.
Thanks, will look into those. I've heard of Margaret Barker.

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

Post by nightshadetwine » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:01 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:48 pm
Also, the references to "What...is Apollos? .. what is Paul?" are intriguing i.e., not 'Who?'
Have you come across any explanation for why it says "what" instead of "who"?

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

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:23 am

nightshadetwine wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:01 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:48 pm
Also, the references to "What...is Apollos? .. what is Paul?" are intriguing i.e., not 'Who?'
Have you come across any explanation for why it says "what" instead of "who"?
No, I haven't (but I haven't looked).

I have this tab open on my browser though: The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God, Margaret Barker

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

Post by Ulan » 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.

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:37 am

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.
Thanks. Do you have a particular book title in mind that I could peruse?
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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 10:34 am

Ulan wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:01 am
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.
I agree with this view of Yahweh. I think he picked up aspects of other gods as time went on. I also think the Israelites believed in a divine council or other gods that accompanied Yahweh but over time their roles were given to Yahweh.

In ancient Egyptian religion the creator god creates the world through the "Word". The Egyptians deified this "Word" or had a god that represented this "Word" named Hu.

Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch:
Hu was the power of authoritative speech, which enabled the creator to bring things into being by naming them.
So the Israelites have Yahweh or Elohim create using the "word" or speech but they don't deify the "word" like the Egyptians.

Also, the Egyptians had the goddess "Maat" who was always with the sun god from the beginning of time. I was just looking through "The Invention of God" by Thomas Romer after reading your post mentioning him and came across this:
In verse 14 in Psalm 85(Justice shall walk in front of Yhwh and mark out his steps on the path"), Sedeq(Justice) walks in front of Yhwh as the Egyptian goddess Ma'at walked in front of the Egyptian sun god.
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. I wonder if this has any relation to the Egyptian(and ancient Greek) idea that god is "one and many" and also has masculine and feminine aspects. Maybe Elohim is always supposed to mean singular AND plural regardless of context.

Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch:
The creator was sometimes referred to as "the One Who Made Himself into Millions" or "He Who Made Himself into Millions of Gods." Creation could be seen as a process of differentiation, in which one original force was gradually divided (without necessarily diminishing itself) into the diverse elements that made up the universe...New Kingdom hymns, such as those preserved in Papyrus Leiden I 350, Explore the idea that all deities are aspects of the creator. They speculate on the miraculous process by which the one creator, usually named as Amun-Ra, was able to divide himself into many...Before creation begins there is no division into genders. The creator seems to include both the male and female principles. Creator deities were commonly called "the father and mother of all things."

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » 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.
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