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Jragon
02-28-2010, 01:10 AM
Just curious. I can find plenty of gods that die, or die and are resurrected (often multiple times for temporary periods). From skimming there even seem to be gods who die for a certain purpose (i.e. agriculture gods who die to fertilize the Earth and are reborn periodically to facilitate this), but I'm having trouble finding one who is killed for "me" or martyred in some way. The god doesn't necessarily have to die for "sins" but should die for man, or the continuation/betterment of people in a direct way.

A couple ground rules:
It has to be legitimately worshiped or acknowledged in some way (I say acknowledged so as not to exclude more "philosophical" religions like Buddhism where there aren't worshiped gods so much as exalted mentors). No fiction (you know what I mean), like Aslan... or Optimus Prime.

No attacks on religion please. I'd really rather this stay in GQ. You can, of course, debate whether a character in question actually "martyred" him/herself, but that's it.

I'd prefer that we keep with deities/exalted figures who faced a deal of adversity leading to their death. While I'm sure Gautama Buddha suffered in absolving himself of his goods (even after he gave up the whole self-mortification thing), and while the end result showed people the way to enlightenment, I want someone who had a situation that was less of a choice, or at the very least wasn't an entirely personal matter.

They should at least be somewhat important in the religion they're part of. They don't have to be the central deity, or even one of the major ones, but they shouldn't be "that one dude who gets one candle lit for him during the ceremony celebrating all the deities, but almost nobody pays attention otherwise."

It can be before or after Christianity. Obviously the less directly influenced by the story of Jesus the better, but I'm not too picky on the time period or place of origin.

Kimstu
02-28-2010, 01:37 AM
Wiki sez (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xipe_Totec) that the Aztec deity Xipe Toltec flayed himself to provide food for humanity, like a ripening seed shedding its husk. That was a deliberate choice on his part, though.

Kama, the Indian god of love and desire, was burned to ashes by the deity Shiva (http://www.apamnapat.com/articles/020Shiva-KamaBurning.html) when he tried to make Shiva fall in love because it was foretold that Shiva's son would save the world from the Asuras or demons. AFAIK, according to the legends Kama didn't see that coming, so there's an instance of a deity dying involuntarily (although of course he has some kind of post-obliteration existence anyway, being a god and all). Of course, dying to save all the beings in the universe isn't quite the same as dying for humanity alone, but close enough.

Mosier
02-28-2010, 02:48 AM
Prometheus didn't die, but he is suffering eternal torment. Zeus bound him to a rock for eternity, while an eagle eats his liver (and it grows back) every day, because Prometheus championed humanity and gave us fire.

Jragon
02-28-2010, 03:12 AM
Prometheus didn't die, but he is suffering eternal torment. Zeus bound him to a rock for eternity, while an eagle eats his liver (and it grows back) every day, because Prometheus championed humanity and gave us fire.

I didn't think of Prometheus, that's almost perfect.

Captain Amazing
02-28-2010, 03:39 AM
Prometheus didn't die, but he is suffering eternal torment. Zeus bound him to a rock for eternity, while an eagle eats his liver (and it grows back) every day, because Prometheus championed humanity and gave us fire.

Hercules freed him, though.

Mosier
02-28-2010, 03:43 AM
Hercules freed him, though.

Didn't catch that part. Thanks for the update! :)

Sapo
02-28-2010, 05:51 AM
Didn't catch that part. Thanks for the update! :)
Trust the sdmb to have the most current info on developing events.

Bill Door
02-28-2010, 06:35 AM
Odin sacrificed himself by piercing himself with a spear and hanging himself on Yggdrasill.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
02-28-2010, 07:30 AM
Odin sacrificed himself by piercing himself with a spear and hanging himself on Yggdrasill.
He did that for Wisdom, not for Mankind.

Bill Door
02-28-2010, 09:12 AM
He did that for Wisdom, not for Mankind.


Odin is the All-father. His wisdom embiggens us all.

Maastricht
02-28-2010, 10:02 AM
Interesting question. But the answer broadens when you consider Jesus not to be god, but to be a sacrifice made by a god. He is Isaac (or rather, the lamb), not Abraham. The whole Jesus-son-of-god came later, and the trinity Jesus AS God, at least three hundred years later. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity)

So, you might try and look for gods who made a sacrifice on behalf of mankind, if you can't find any more martyred gods.

Chronos
02-28-2010, 12:29 PM
Wiki sez that the Aztec deity Xipe Toltec flayed himself to provide food for humanity, like a ripening seed shedding its husk. That was a deliberate choice on his part, though.While we're at it, the Mayans believed that they were created in the first place from cornmeal and the blood of the gods, so there you have an example of the gods shedding their own blood (though nonlethally) for humanity before we even existed.

Diogenes the Cynic
02-28-2010, 12:41 PM
Prometheus is the one I was going to say too. He sacrificed far more than Jesus, and gave more to humanity too. No he didn't die, but what he got was worse than dying. I love the Prometheus story because it involves sombody defying the gods to help humanity, and paying a huge price for it. Much more thankless than the Christ myth.

Diogenes the Cynic
02-28-2010, 12:45 PM
Hercules freed him, though.
And Jesus was in Heaven the same afternoon he was crucified. Prometheus had to suffer for thousands of years before he was freed. Plus, he didn't know he would ever be freed. Jesus from the outset that he was only going to suffer for a few hours.

ivan astikov
02-28-2010, 02:54 PM
Hercules freed him, though.

This in itself is criticism enough of The Bible. They copied all the crap bits and left out Hercules!

D18
02-28-2010, 02:57 PM
And Jesus was in Heaven the same afternoon he was crucified. Prometheus had to suffer for thousands of years before he was freed. Plus, he didn't know he would ever be freed. Jesus from the outset that he was only going to suffer for a few hours.

Nope, he was crucified, dead and buried. Then he descended into Hell. On the third day he rose. Didn't get to heaven until about 40 days later, no?

One of my favourite Sunday school moments. The minister was going over the events of Easter weekend and painted a very vivid picture of the suffering on Good Friday. He summed up with Jesus finally dying, and then he asked, semi-rhetorically, and then you know what happened? My friend, Doug, yelled out, "Yeah, he went to Hell!"

The minister was in a bit of a theological quandry at that point!

Diogenes the Cynic
02-28-2010, 02:59 PM
Nope, he was crucified, dead and buried. Then he descended into Hell. On the third day he rose. Didn't get to heaven until about 40 days later, no?
No, actually. The Bible doesn't say any of that. The Bible says he was in Paradise that same day (Lk. 23:43). There's nothing about descending to Hell. That's non-Biblical Christian tradition.

D18
02-28-2010, 03:04 PM
No, actually. The Bible doesn't say any of that. The Bible says he was in Paradise that same day (Lk. 23:43). There's nothing about descending to Hell. That's non-Biblical Christian tradition.

Well, I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable than I am to defend the Apostle's Creed, then!

Captain Amazing
02-28-2010, 03:12 PM
And Jesus was in Heaven the same afternoon he was crucified. Prometheus had to suffer for thousands of years before he was freed. Plus, he didn't know he would ever be freed. Jesus from the outset that he was only going to suffer for a few hours.

Wasn't it 30 years?

Diogenes the Cynic
02-28-2010, 03:13 PM
The Apostles' Creed is from the 4th Century. Jesus himself (according to Luke) said he was going to Paradise that same day.

Diogenes the Cynic
02-28-2010, 03:15 PM
Wasn't it 30 years?
Does simply being a human being count as "suffering?" If that's the case, then aren't all humans as great as Jesus?

Chronos
02-28-2010, 03:18 PM
Well, I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable than I am to defend the Apostle's Creed, then! Well, it's not inconsistent with Scripture to have him going down into Hell, so long as he's also in Heaven at some point. Maybe he popped upstairs just long enough to escort St. Dismas (the name being another thing that comes only from tradition; the Bible gives no name for the repentant thief) and introduce him around a bit, then went back downstairs to free the patriarchs and other righteous who predated him and to taunt Satan. Or maybe the routing of Hell only took an afternoon, and he went back up to Heaven that evening to kick back for the weekend.

Captain Amazing
02-28-2010, 05:45 PM
Does simply being a human being count as "suffering?" If that's the case, then aren't all humans as great as Jesus?

No, I mean, wasn't Prometheus chained to the rock for 30 years? Obviously, Prometheus suffered more than Jesus, but this thread isn't really about Jesus. It's about martyr gods in other religions.

Sapo
02-28-2010, 06:43 PM
No, actually. The Bible doesn't say any of that. The Bible says he was in Paradise that same day (Lk. 23:43). There's nothing about descending to Hell. That's non-Biblical Christian tradition.
Well, you know the whole "to God an instant is like an eternity and an eternity is like an instant" thing. 3 days to one afternoon is peanuts next to that.

Diogenes the Cynic
02-28-2010, 06:49 PM
No, I mean, wasn't Prometheus chained to the rock for 30 years? Obviously, Prometheus suffered more than Jesus, but this thread isn't really about Jesus. It's about martyr gods in other religions.
I haven't seen that 30 year number for Prometheus before. My imprssion was that it was from the time he gave man fire to whenever Hercules freed him. I'm pretty sure that even within the chronology of Greek mythology, fire was not still new within the lifetime of Hercules.

I'm not an expert on Greek mythology, though. I know the myths have a lot of variations, and there isn't really a canon, so it may be that there's a version of the story where Prometheus only suffers for 30 years. I'm juts not familiar with it. If I'm totally wrong about "thousands of years" (which was just an assumption about how long humans would have had fire before the time of Hercules), then I stand corrected.

Captain Amazing
02-28-2010, 07:13 PM
I haven't seen that 30 year number for Prometheus before. My imprssion was that it was from the time he gave man fire to whenever Hercules freed him. I'm pretty sure that even within the chronology of Greek mythology, fire was not still new within the lifetime of Hercules.

I'm not an expert on Greek mythology, though. I know the myths have a lot of variations, and there isn't really a canon, so it may be that there's a version of the story where Prometheus only suffers for 30 years. I'm juts not familiar with it. If I'm totally wrong about "thousands of years" (which was just an assumption about how long humans would have had fire before the time of Hercules), then I stand corrected.

I'm seeing it as being either 30 years, or 30,000 years. Genealogically, though, 30 years is too short, and 30,000 years is too long.

And technically, Prometheus didn't give fire to mankind. He gave fire back to mankind after Zeus had taken it in punishment for Prometheus tricking him about the sacrifices.

Lemur866
03-01-2010, 01:52 AM
Odin sacrificed himself by piercing himself with a spear and hanging himself on Yggdrasill.

Yes, Ošin sacrificed himself by hanging himself on Yggdrassil to learn wisdom. And who did Ošin sacrifice Ošin to? Ošin.

Icerigger
03-01-2010, 05:04 AM
Is there any connection between Prometheus and the Eden story? In both you have a jealous god getting pissed off because humans acquire knowledge they were not meant to have, the knowledge of good and evil and of fire. Both Prometheus and humans/serpent are punished by God for giving knowledge to mankind. Coincidence?

Bill Door
03-01-2010, 05:33 AM
Yes, Ošin sacrificed himself by hanging himself on Yggdrassil to learn wisdom. And who did Ošin sacrifice Ošin to? Ošin.

Sure he did. And who did the Christian god sacrifice himself to? That's right, himself. And why did he do it? to save us from, well, himself.

monavis
03-01-2010, 07:52 AM
Just curious. I can find plenty of gods that die, or die and are resurrected (often multiple times for temporary periods). From skimming there even seem to be gods who die for a certain purpose (i.e. agriculture gods who die to fertilize the Earth and are reborn periodically to facilitate this), but I'm having trouble finding one who is killed for "me" or martyred in some way. The god doesn't necessarily have to die for "sins" but should die for man, or the continuation/betterment of people in a direct way.

A couple ground rules:
It has to be legitimately worshiped or acknowledged in some way (I say acknowledged so as not to exclude more "philosophical" religions like Buddhism where there aren't worshiped gods so much as exalted mentors). No fiction (you know what I mean), like Aslan... or Optimus Prime.

No attacks on religion please. I'd really rather this stay in GQ. You can, of course, debate whether a character in question actually "martyred" him/herself, but that's it.

I'd prefer that we keep with deities/exalted figures who faced a deal of adversity leading to their death. While I'm sure Gautama Buddha suffered in absolving himself of his goods (even after he gave up the whole self-mortification thing), and while the end result showed people the way to enlightenment, I want someone who had a situation that was less of a choice, or at the very least wasn't an entirely personal matter.

They should at least be somewhat important in the religion they're part of. They don't have to be the central deity, or even one of the major ones, but they shouldn't be "that one dude who gets one candle lit for him during the ceremony celebrating all the deities, but almost nobody pays attention otherwise."

It can be before or after Christianity. Obviously the less directly influenced by the story of Jesus the better, but I'm not too picky on the time period or place of origin.

If death is final then even a God would not be alive. If a God were not alive then it couldn't come back. If death just means a change, then that would be different.

Kobal2
03-01-2010, 08:23 AM
Dying for you is easy. The Bodhisattva pointedly don't die for you. They choose to keep reincarnating over and over to help you get your own pass into Nirvana, rather than using theirs. Now that's commitment.

Didn't Osiris die for mankind as well ? My Egyptian mythology is really not up to speed, but I recall reading that parts of the story of Jesus were cribbed from prior legends about Isis & Osiris . Any details, ō cultured ones ?

ZomZom
03-01-2010, 09:53 AM
I hope this isn't too much of a tangent, but how do Christians connect the dots between Jesus dying and me being saved from my sins? The only thing I can think is that it serves as a sort of PR stunt so that he'd be remembered for a long time so we could learn of his teachings.

muttrox
03-01-2010, 03:56 PM
What did Prometheus do after Hercules freed him?

CJJ*
03-01-2010, 04:15 PM
I hope this isn't too much of a tangent, but how do Christians connect the dots between Jesus dying and me being saved from my sins? The only thing I can think is that it serves as a sort of PR stunt so that he'd be remembered for a long time so we could learn of his teachings.
Atonement theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity) covers this. There have been three major theories advanced (don't ask me to defend any of them):

1. Ransom atonement; basically, Adam and Eve's sin "sold" humanity to Satan (all souls went to hell at death), but the death of Christ was so valuable that it paid off this debt. This was prevalent in the early church, but is now out of vogue.

2. Substitution atonement; similar to the above, but discards the payment metaphor and emphasizes Christ's sacrifice as voluntary; he substitutes himself for whatever penalty we rightly deserve. This, I believe, is the mainstream Christian view.

3. Moral atonement; this is pretty close to your PR stunt; Christ's perfect obiendence "even unto death" serves as such a perfect moral exemplar that people who hear about it are naturally influenced away from sin.

CJJ*
03-01-2010, 04:28 PM
No, I mean, wasn't Prometheus chained to the rock for 30 years? Obviously, Prometheus suffered more than Jesus, but this thread isn't really about Jesus. It's about martyr gods in other religions.
Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound includes a lengthy dialogue between Prometheus and the wandering Io, another victim of the abusive gods. It includes the following passage:


IO: And who shall loose them if Zeus wills not?
Of thine own seed.
How say'st thou? Shall a child
Of mine release thee?

PROMETHEUS: Son of thine, but son
The thirteenth generation shall beget.

Gagundathar
03-01-2010, 04:40 PM
In some old versions, Osiris was the first to die and be resurrected and he represents both the renewal of the harvest from the flooding of the Nile and the rebirth of the Ba in the afterlife. There is also some indication that the relationship between Osiris and Ra was similar to the rebirth of the sun from the darkness every day.

Note that in the usual story, Osiris is not sacrificed ritually, but is instead entombed by his brother Set and then dismembered. This may represent the older agricultural aspects of this deity, in that the threshed wheat is 'dismembered' upon its death.

I suggest also that John Barleycorn might be a more modern variety of this story.

"They've hired men with the crab-tree sticks,
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller he has served him worse than that,
For he's ground him between two stones." -- Traffic

Diogenes the Cynic
03-01-2010, 04:45 PM
Osiris also had his "body" ritually eaten in the form of bread.

muttrox
03-01-2010, 04:50 PM
Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound includes a lengthy dialogue between Prometheus and the wandering Io, another victim of the abusive gods. It includes the following passage:

I admit it - I don't understand what that quote means or if it answers me.

I just have an image of the newly freed Prometheus cracking his knuckles and having a good stretch. Hercules asks him what he's going to do with himself. He says he a few old scores to settle. Or maybe he's going to wander the countryside planting appleseeds. Or maybe he's going to find his kinfolk and try and pick up life where he left off. Or maybe he's doubling down, he's going to give humanity the secret of squaring the circle. Or... are there answers about what he does?

Kimstu
03-01-2010, 04:56 PM
I admit it - I don't understand what that quote means or if it answers me.

I think it was meant to answer not you but Dio and Captain Amazing, who were trying to figure out how long it took to free Prometheus.

CJJ* notes that according to Aeschylus, it took thirteen generations after Prometheus' little chat with Io for Hercules to show up.

Frylock
03-01-2010, 06:12 PM
As to the question of whether Jesus went to Hell when he died, 1 Peter 3:18b-20aff seems to suggest so.

He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

"Seems to suggest" I said.

Anyway, it was actually a bit beside the point to ask whether the NT says Jesus went to hell, since clearly the quoted Creed says so and it is as definitive of Christian doctrine as anything.

Captain Amazing
03-01-2010, 06:40 PM
I
CJJ* notes that according to Aeschylus, it took thirteen generations after Prometheus' little chat with Io for Hercules to show up.

Because Heracles was the 13 times grandson of Io.

In case anyone is interested, Heracles was the son of Zeus and Alcmene. Alcmene was the daughter of Electryon and Anaxo. Electryon was the son of Perseus and Andromeda. Perseus was the son of Zeus and Danae. Danae was the daughter of Acristus and somebody. Acristus was the son of Abas and Aglaia. Abas was the son of Lynceus and Hypermestra. Hypermestra was the daughter of Danaus, father of the Argives and Pieria. Danaus was the son of Belus and Achiroe. Belus was the son of Poseidon and Libya. Libya was the daughter of Epaphus and Memphis. Epaphus was the son of Zeus and Io.

So that's 13 generations.

Jragon
03-01-2010, 11:49 PM
As to the question of whether Jesus went to Hell when he died, 1 Peter 3:18b-20aff seems to suggest so.



"Seems to suggest" I said.

Anyway, it was actually a bit beside the point to ask whether the NT says Jesus went to hell, since clearly the quoted Creed says so and it is as definitive of Christian doctrine as anything.

My old church omitted that part of the creed (I found it on the internet independently around the same time, which is the only reason i noticed). So yeah, the whole "descended into hell" thing isn't even consistent among Christians.

monavis
03-02-2010, 07:31 AM
Osiris also had his "body" ritually eaten in the form of bread.

Please cite that. I read a lot about Osiris and knew there was a bread and wine rememberance but no ritual of eating his body. Isis gathered his parts and then flew over him in the form of a dove and concieved Horus.

Bricker
03-02-2010, 08:02 AM
Interesting question. But the answer broadens when you consider Jesus not to be god, but to be a sacrifice made by a god. He is Isaac (or rather, the lamb), not Abraham. The whole Jesus-son-of-god came later, and the trinity Jesus AS God, at least three hundred years later. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity)


That's not true.

The concept derives most strongly from the Gospel of John, which most scholars agree was written earlier than 100 A.D. ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" the Word, as John uses it, is clearly Jesus.)

There are plenty of concatenations of "Father and Holy Spirit" in the Synoptic Gospels as well.

It's true that the doctrine was formalized by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., and it's that event you may be thinking of. But the idea did not originate there, and a moment's thought about the history of the early church and its relationship with Rome in the three hundred years prior might give a clue while there were not widespread, openly-attended theological conferences to authoritatively promulgate such points.

GoodOmens
03-02-2010, 10:09 AM
Odin is the All-father. His wisdom embiggens us all.

He's a perfectly cromulent God.

In the Norse mythos, there's also Balder, but if I recall correctly he didn't really die for humanity as much as die because Loki is a dick. But I suspect there's a deeper symbolism involved that I don't fully understand.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-02-2010, 10:43 AM
That's not true.

The concept derives most strongly from the Gospel of John, which most scholars agree was written earlier than 100 A.D. ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" the Word, as John uses it, is clearly Jesus.)

There are plenty of concatenations of "Father and Holy Spirit" in the Synoptic Gospels as well.

It's true that the doctrine was formalized by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., and it's that event you may be thinking of. But the idea did not originate there, and a moment's thought about the history of the early church and its relationship with Rome in the three hundred years prior might give a clue while there were not widespread, openly-attended theological conferences to authoritatively promulgate such points.
There is no Trinitarian doctrine in the New Testament. There are passages which were later used to paste one together, but the NT never actually says that God is triune or that the "father, son and holy spirit" are all the same thing).

Diogenes the Cynic
03-02-2010, 11:08 AM
Please cite that. I read a lot about Osiris and knew there was a bread and wine rememberance but no ritual of eating his body. Isis gathered his parts and then flew over him in the form of a dove and concieved Horus.
At the temple of Mendes, figures of Osiris are made from wheat and paste placed in a trough on the day of the murder, then water was added for several days, until finally the mixture was kneaded into a mold of Osiris and taken to the temple to be buried (the sacred grain for these cakes were grown only in the temple fields). Molds were made from the wood of a red tree in the forms of the sixteen dismembered parts of Osiris, the cakes of 'divine' bread were made from each mold, placed in a silver chest and set near the head of the god with the inward parts of Osiris as described in the Book of the Dead (XVII). On the first day of the Festival of Ploughing, where the goddess Isis appears in her shrine where she is stripped naked, paste made from the grain were placed in her bed and moistened with water, representing the fecund earth. All of these sacred rituals were climaxed by the eating of sacramental god, the eucharist by which the celebrants were transformed, in their persuasion, into replicas of their god-man (Larson 20).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris

Osiris' eucharist also included the drinking of beer. Osiris basically symbolized the annual "death and resurrection" of the wheat crop. His "body" was destroyed and scattered across the land until it was "resurrected" as grain. It was a fairly common agricultural mythological motif.

Practically all mythological motifs ultimately derive from agricultural, seasonal or astronomical events. The miracle of Dionysus, the god of the vine, for instance was changing water into wine. This was derived from the very literal "transformation" of water into grape juice via the grave vine.

Please note that I don't think any of the pagan mystery cult influences on Christianity mean that there couldn't have been a historical Jesus, just that his cult adopted some of the forms and motifs of traditional mystery cults once it became primarily a Gentile movement under Paul.

monavis
03-03-2010, 08:31 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris

Osiris' eucharist also included the drinking of beer. Osiris basically symbolized the annual "death and resurrection" of the wheat crop. His "body" was destroyed and scattered across the land until it was "resurrected" as grain. It was a fairly common agricultural mythological motif.

Practically all mythological motifs ultimately derive from agricultural, seasonal or astronomical events. The miracle of Dionysus, the god of the vine, for instance was changing water into wine. This was derived from the very literal "transformation" of water into grape juice via the grave vine.

Please note that I don't think any of the pagan mystery cult influences on Christianity mean that there couldn't have been a historical Jesus, just that his cult adopted some of the forms and motifs of traditional mystery cults once it became primarily a Gentile movement under Paul.

Thanks,

I always thought that Christians could have borrowed a lot from the Egyptian Gods as there was so much that Jesus had in Common with Osiris and Horus.

monavis
03-03-2010, 08:40 AM
Atonement theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_in_Christianity) covers this. There have been three major theories advanced (don't ask me to defend any of them):

1. Ransom atonement; basically, Adam and Eve's sin "sold" humanity to Satan (all souls went to hell at death), but the death of Christ was so valuable that it paid off this debt. This was prevalent in the early church, but is now out of vogue.

2. Substitution atonement; similar to the above, but discards the payment metaphor and emphasizes Christ's sacrifice as voluntary; he substitutes himself for whatever penalty we rightly deserve. This, I believe, is the mainstream Christian view.

3. Moral atonement; this is pretty close to your PR stunt; Christ's perfect obiendence "even unto death" serves as such a perfect moral exemplar that people who hear about it are naturally influenced away from sin.

There is no mention of a soul in the Genesis account that I have read...just that the punishment was death. People still die after the crucifixion, so I would guess that is how the theologians decided to use a soul that went to joy or eternal punishment. Why the soul should suffer for the body or vise versa does not make sense to me.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-03-2010, 11:15 AM
The Jewish eschaton prior to Christianity assumed a bodily resurrection of all the dead, followed by a judgement,after which the good people got eternal life in paradise (whether that paradise is worldly or otherworldly is a little vague...it seems like it was probably originally envisioned as simply a renewed Eden on earth), and the bad people were killed -- not sent to eternal torment, just eternal death, sometimes expressed as being metaphorically tossed into the flames of Gehenna.

The ancient Jews saw this resurrection as physical, but Paul said that physical resurrections can't happen, and that everyone would be given shiny, new "spiritual bodies" instead.

Skammer
03-03-2010, 11:49 AM
Interesting question. But the answer broadens when you consider Jesus not to be god, but to be a sacrifice made by a god. He is Isaac (or rather, the lamb), not Abraham. The whole Jesus-son-of-god came later, and the trinity Jesus AS God, at least three hundred years later. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity) The doctrine of the Trinity was codified later, but as Bricker says, the genesis of the doctrine can be found in the scriptures. It doesn't use the word trinity or triune, but it makes clear references in different places to Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit as God.

Your assertion that Jesus-as-God came later is totally false. Jesus claims to be God in all four Gospels, the latest of which written probably by the end of the first century and the earliest within the first decades after the crucifixion.

Chronos
03-03-2010, 03:39 PM
Quoth Jragon:
My old church omitted that part of the creed (I found it on the internet independently around the same time, which is the only reason i noticed). So yeah, the whole "descended into hell" thing isn't even consistent among Christians.More likely, your church uses a different creed. The Apostle's Creed, which mentions Jesus descending into Hell, is the older one, but the one more commonly encountered is the more recent Nicene Creed, which despite being longer and more detailed, does not say anything about Jesus descending into Hell.

Skammer
03-03-2010, 04:58 PM
I've also seen the Apostle's Creed rendered as "He descended into Death." Which may not be a faithful translation, but avoids the descent to Hell controversy.

elfkin477
03-03-2010, 11:51 PM
After finally making humans that were functional, the Aztec gods realized that they'd need sunlight to keep them alive. They asked for volunteers to become the suns (for some reason there needed to be two), knowing that the gods who became suns would die after throwing themselves into a fire. Nanahuatzin sacrificed himself first and had the honor of becoming the sun. Tecciztecatl, who was a coward and couldn't force himself into the fire until Nanahuatzin had, became the second sun, but annoyed at his cowardess the remaining gods threw a rabbit at his sun to dim it so he'd be less honored, and therefore he's now the moon.

Peanuthead
03-04-2010, 12:51 AM
Are there any other gods that died for me?

Not yet, but I'll put you on my list.

monavis
03-04-2010, 08:08 AM
The doctrine of the Trinity was codified later, but as Bricker says, the genesis of the doctrine can be found in the scriptures. It doesn't use the word trinity or triune, but it makes clear references in different places to Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit as God.

Your assertion that Jesus-as-God came later is totally false. Jesus claims to be God in all four Gospels, the latest of which written probably by the end of the first century and the earliest within the first decades after the crucifixion.

Jesus used the Psalmist to state that God was His father. He didn't(if you take all his teachings into account) ever really state that he was more divine than anyone else,he reminded the people that the psalmist stated, " I say you are gods and sons of the most high"He also refered at your father and mine and taught them to say 'Our Father'. If the psalmist used the singular, it would have been You are god and son of the most high!

Skammer
03-04-2010, 12:01 PM
He didn't(if you take all his teachings into account) ever really state that he was more divine than anyone else According to the Gospels he did.

Luke 5:20-21; Mark 2:5-7 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?'"

Mark 14:61-62 "Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' 'I am,' said Jesus." ["I am" -> YHWH, the holy name of God.]

John 10:31-33 "Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'"

It's arguable that without claiming to be God, Jesus was claiming for himself authority that the Jews generally believed only belonged to God. But it's clear that his followers and enemies believed he was claiming to be God, and he never corrected them. There are many more examples, these are just the first I thought of.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-04-2010, 01:41 PM
Claiming to be the Christ was not a claim to be God. The Christ was not God in Judaism.

"I am" is not the tetragrammaton in Greek or Aaramaic, only in Hebrew. Mark has Jesus say, "ἐγώ εἰμι," not "YHWH," and he does not indicate that Jesus spoke Hebrew. Nor would it be a claim to divinity even if he had. Speaking the name of God is not the same as claiming to BE God.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-04-2010, 01:54 PM
Your translation for John 10:33 is incorrect by the way. It doesn't say, "you...claim to be God," It says, "You make yourself God" (ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν θεόν ). That word, ποιεῖς ("you make"), can also mean to "act like" or "act as," but it doesn't mean to "claim," except (perhaps in the perception of those watching) by your actions. This passage is not an assertion by Jesus' assailants that he literally declared himself to be God, but that he was acting like he was.

monavis
03-05-2010, 09:35 AM
According to the Gospels he did.

Luke 5:20-21; Mark 2:5-7 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?'"

Mark 14:61-62 "Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' 'I am,' said Jesus." ["I am" -> YHWH, the holy name of God.]

John 10:31-33 "Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'"

It's arguable that without claiming to be God, Jesus was claiming for himself authority that the Jews generally believed only belonged to God. But it's clear that his followers and enemies believed he was claiming to be God, and he never corrected them. There are many more examples, these are just the first I thought of.

That still doesn't mean he thought he was more divine than any other human being. Looking back at the Psalmist when accused of Blasphmey, Jesus remineded them that their fathers were also called gods, and sons of god.

Notice he was quoted as saying"many miracles from the Father". Not from himself. Some followers today also believe that The Father is directly speaking to them,and some believe them, that doesn't take away the fact that Jesus (many times ) refered to "my father and yours", Notice no adoptions!

Jim Jones and others get people to follow them, but it is just that some humans need another to think for them.

HorseloverFat
03-05-2010, 10:06 AM
What did Prometheus do after Hercules freed him?

You ever see a greek eagle? Yeah, that's what.

matt_mcl
03-05-2010, 10:59 AM
From skimming there even seem to be gods who die for a certain purpose (i.e. agriculture gods who die to fertilize the Earth and are reborn periodically to facilitate this), but I'm having trouble finding one who is killed for "me" or martyred in some way.

A lot of modern Pagans think of the Grain God (under whatever name) as, indeed, dying for us (i.e. for humans, who practise agriculture): He grows, is cut down at the harvest to save the people from starvation during the winter, and is reborn in the seed-time.

Skammer
03-05-2010, 11:00 AM
I'm not sure how to respond without turning the thread into a debate. Your points are valid but I do think that, according to the authors of the Gospels, Jesus' contemporaries understood him to be claiming to be divine and equal to God.

superluser
03-05-2010, 11:12 AM
Claiming to be the Christ was not a claim to be God. The Christ was not God in Judaism.

"I am" is not the tetragrammaton in Greek or Aaramaic, only in Hebrew. Mark has Jesus say, "ἐγώ εἰμι," not "YHWH," and he does not indicate that Jesus spoke Hebrew. Nor would it be a claim to divinity even if he had. Speaking the name of God is not the same as claiming to BE God.

So why did the soldiers fall to the ground when Jesus said that? Regardless of what was actually said, the evangelist seems to be implying that the words said gave the impression of the Tetragrammaton.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-05-2010, 12:44 PM
So why did the soldiers fall to the ground when Jesus said that? Regardless of what was actually said, the evangelist seems to be implying that the words said gave the impression of the Tetragrammaton.
Mark seems to have thought that claiming to be the Messiah (which is what Jesus' "I am" was in reference to) was blasphemy, but it wasn't. It's just one of many aspects of Jewish law that Mark got wrong.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-05-2010, 12:46 PM
I'm not sure how to respond without turning the thread into a debate. Your points are valid but I do think that, according to the authors of the Gospels, Jesus' contemporaries understood him to be claiming to be divine and equal to God.
I think that the author of John did. I'm not convinced at all the the synoptics did, and even less so that Jesus himself did.

superluser
03-05-2010, 02:02 PM
Mark seems to have thought that claiming to be the Messiah (which is what Jesus' "I am" was in reference to) was blasphemy, but it wasn't. It's just one of many aspects of Jewish law that Mark got wrong.

Wait...what? Here's the relevant quote:

Jn 18:3-8 (NRSV): So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ (Gk the Nazorean) Jesus replied, ‘I am he.’ (Gk I am) Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus (Gk he) said to them, ‘I am he’, (Gk I am) they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ (Gk the Nazorean) Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. (Gk I am)

Why did the soldiers fall to the ground if Jesus was just saying that He was the Messiah? John seems to think that there's something special going on with those words.

I suppose I wasn't clear on which evangelist said that, but I didn't know, myself.

Diogenes the Cynic
03-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Ok, yeah, like I said, John probably thought Jesus was God. They weren't falling out of shock at the content of his words, per se, John is trying to suggest that they fell at the power of his presence. Essentially John does see this moment as a revelation of Jesus as the Logos, and the Logos is manifested literally in Jesus' words. The Logos knocks them over. John wants his audience to know that Jesus could have killed them all if he wanted, but chose to go willingly.

superluser
03-05-2010, 03:56 PM
Ok, yeah, like I said, John probably thought Jesus was God. They weren't falling out of shock at the content of his words, per se, John is trying to suggest that they fell at the power of his presence. Essentially John does see this moment as a revelation of Jesus as the Logos, and the Logos is manifested literally in Jesus' words. The Logos knocks them over. John wants his audience to know that Jesus could have killed them all if he wanted, but chose to go willingly.

I will grant that John is very clear on the point of Jesus' divinity, while the synoptics are much less explicit. Paul's letters are also pretty clear on the point. The epistles of Peter do not state it quite as explicitly, and wherever the Johannean comma comes from, it does not appear to be authentic (and, in fact, it does not appear to have been manufactured for Erasmus as one might suspect). Revelation (AD 96) also claims that Jesus is divine.

monavis
03-06-2010, 07:32 AM
I will grant that John is very clear on the point of Jesus' divinity, while the synoptics are much less explicit. Paul's letters are also pretty clear on the point. The epistles of Peter do not state it quite as explicitly, and wherever the Johannean comma comes from, it does not appear to be authentic (and, in fact, it does not appear to have been manufactured for Erasmus as one might suspect). Revelation (AD 96) also claims that Jesus is divine.

Perhaps they took the words of Jesus reminding them that the psalmist called their fathers god, had a different meaning to the 'word' god than we do today. If Jesus said he would return with His angels while some standing there were still alive (as Matthew and Mark state) then that makes Revelations not true. If Jesus did return in glory with His angels no one wrote about that, so either Jesus was wrong,misquoted, or the writers wanted that to happen. People are still awaiting for His return,just as the Muslims are waiting for Muhammad.