The very idea of heaven and hell came from the religion of Zoroaster (Zarathustra). It cannot be found in the Torah. It cannot be found in the Old Testament until AFTER the Babylonian captivity. It was during that captivity that the idea of ‘Schoel’ (which is what the Jews called their afterlife underworld) became a place of punishment.
Because of Greek influence it was called Hades. Both Hades and Schoel were not places for punishment. Nor can the idea of a 'final judgment' be found in Judaism before it was preached by Zoroaster.
The fact is there is very little of the practices, ideas and motifs of Christianity that cannot be traced back to the paganism that Christianity defeated only through synchronization, usurpation and plagiarism.
10-17-99, 05:34 AM
Very interesting information, I learn new things every day. I do concur and find it interesting that so much of Christianity is pieced together from neighboring religions. For a religion which has been "hell-bent," so to speak, on the destruction of opposing philosophies since its conceptualization, Christianity is sort of a living-museum of ancient pagan beliefs and practices.
"Not all who wander are lost..."
10-17-99, 02:39 PM
Perhaps Hell is a black hole at the center of our galaxy that will eventually consume all who don't escape it during life?
Mierdaan-Christianity is supposed to refrain from judging for the sake of being judgmental. Unfortunately, Christians who tear others down are more well-known.
I wanted to comment on one of your phrases, excerpted, though I don't think out of context:
* "...Christianity is sort of a living-museum of ancient pagan beliefs and practices."
I wanted to throw into that the notion that, if we pin Christ's birth down by the Star of Bethlehem, a celestial event occurred in July of the year Christ was allegedly born. I've heard several alternative notions ranging from July to early December as regards the time of Christ's birth. It seems that Christmas, as we recognize it on December 25th, may have been placed on that date to mask the various pagan winter solstice festivals. Along those lines, I wonder why Easter floats ... Miriam Simos, in "The Spiral Dance", cites a pagan fertility ritual called "Aostar", which marked the beginning of spring.
The other thing I wanted to toss out there is the image of the Devil. Goat-men, satyrs, fauns ... I'm wondering if anyone can show me a Christian icon representing this image of the Devil before encountering Zoroaster. But the horned God existed in Greece and Britain to say the least, before the Christians got there. Just as the dialect of the conquered becomes profane, so does its religion.
And if anyone has source information recording the transition of the image of Pan from its origins until its assignation as the Devil ... I've never found any good historical or anthropological information to document the transitions. The only books on the subject I've ever seen were written by "Christologists" at colleges like Notre Dame or Saint Whoosit, or so forth, and begin with dedications to the glory of God's kingdom on earth. Hardly objective, in my opinion, as the actual subject material was even sketchier.
"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)