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 Post subject: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:15 am 
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Was reading a post by Robert F. Smith on the MD&D board that was intriguing.

Robert F. Smith wrote:
There are indeed many parallels or similarities between ancient Egyptian religion and ancient Near Eastern religion (including Christianity), not least of which is the notion of dying and rising gods -- of whom Osiris is only one example. Egyptian parallels include the concept of Virgin Mary as Mother of God (Theotokos, “God-bearer”), is identical to that of Hathor as mwt-ntr, “mother of god,” as well as Queen of Heaven (Regina caeli), Heifer, Star of the Sea, Intercessor, and “Virgin” (Egyptian hwnt) -- presented iconographically throughout the Mediterranean world as the Mother (Maria Lactans) suckling young Jesus/Horus. Gilles Quispel even argues that Revelation 12 is really a version of the Legend of Isis the Virgin fleeing with her son Horus from Seth (Typhon-Hydra), including the festal birth of the child-god who comes “to bring salvation into the world” through his legitimate kingship, the very son of the Sun-god, whose traditional birth date, like that of Jesus, is conceptually the very birthday of Reʿ at Winter Solstice, associated with formal temple triads/the Holy Trinity; the newborn child is blessed, “circumcised, purified, and” formally “presented . . . as the new king.” New Year’s gifts are given for “the feasts of Choiak and Nhb-kЗw as well as those of wp rnpt,” i.e., “the Opening of the Year,” just as they are on Three Kings Day among many Christians (January 6): also known as Twelfth Night or Epiphany. The iconography of St. George & the Dragon has its origin as “Horus as a mounted Roman warrior spearing Seth [Apophis] in the form of a crocodile.”

The Egyptian netherworld was foundational for the Hebrew and Christian Hell. For example, Hell or Amentit as a lake of fire and brimstone (sulfur) which purges or devours the evil ones. Isaiah alludes to the Egyptian underworld in Isaiah 66:24, “their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched” (with which compare Mark 9:47-49, rather than Matthew 5:29-30), and Deuteronomy 32:22, where one finds a fire burning in She'ol. Dante’s Inferno is mild in comparison with the Coptic Gnostic descriptions of rivers and seas of fire, chaos, outer darkness, demons and dragons, etc. (Pistis Sophia, Book of Ieu, etc.). The lake of fire can be found as early as the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts, but the best source for such imagery is the Late Egyptian Book of the Dead and its companion texts. Book of the Dead spell 43A, for example, speaks in its rubric of “Not Being Burned in the Fire,” and has a vignette of the deceased standing near flames of fire. Lake of fire vignettes can also be found in BD 42 (Papyrus of Ani, plate 33), 126 (Todtenbuch, I:140), etc.

The classic Judgment Scene in BD spell 125 (the weighing of the heart) is suggested by Nephi, Jacob, and Alma in the Book of Mormon as an occasion when one faces a “second death” (spiritual death) in which an “awful monster; yea, that monster death and hell” (II Nephi 9:10) and a “lake of fire and brimstone” (Jacob 3:11) await those found wanting in the final judgment of all (Alma 12:15-17,27,32).

Despite the “striking commonalities in ritual” which have been found among the various “dying and rising” gods, Attis, Adonis, Tammuz, Osiris, and Jesus, it is precisely Osiris who was par excellence “the mourned and resurrected god who experienced and overcame death,” and whose efficacy was fully democratized in late Egyptian funerary ritual (Book of the Dead), that all might have eternal life: Osirification thus represents the mode by which all deceased may identify with Osiris as the Osiris-such-and-such who overcomes death and achieves salvation by following the same ritual path.

What are your thoughts on this subject matter? Cross-cultural borrowing and the transformation of religious ideas across time seems fascinating.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/71571-book-of-abraham-horus/

Robert Smith is also able to make transformations of ideas across modern times as well. For instance, he says, ...we could take a gander at this fine steel dagger with gold hilt from his tomb, which matches the description of the Sword of Laban (1 Ne 4:9). But, the video he uses as evidence says the dagger was made of iron. We could always split the difference and say that it was made of Mormonium which changes states between iron and steel under Latter-day quantum belief.

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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:49 am 
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Moksha, you did not leave much clue as to which direction your curiosity goes with this subject. I think that similarities are primarily the result of human being in all sorts of places thinking about similar questions and using the basic patterns of human life as tools for that thought. Death and rising is a theme which addresses wondering about how death and life interrelate.Do our bad actions continue to trouble others after we die? are we influenced by our ancestors? Is there a continuance after death?

Does a dyeing and rising hero or god say anything about defeat and renewal? Does it say something about natural patterns? Transformations through time? Can we attach to the hero who overcomes trouble? defeat? death?

It is a theme of such broad interest and flexibility that it would be a surprise not to find such stories appearing in many places.

The discussion on the other board seems to focus on problems with the idea of inerrant revelation. It seems fairly common here as well to view scripture as either close to inerrant or just human and thus of little value. I am not attracted to the idea that human views are of little value. I do not hold such a low view of human inspiration.


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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:22 pm 
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Huckelberry, your post made me think of comparative mythology and LDS apologetics, where Jesus while attending the Wedding at Cana, turned water into red Kool-Aid.

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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:56 pm 
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What are your thoughts on this subject matter? Cross-cultural borrowing and the transformation of religious ideas across time seems fascinating.


I am always struck by many of the terms that Bob Smith uses to describe the similarities between the much older Egyptian customs and religious practices found in the newer versions of Hebrew/Christian/Mormon cultures.

"parallels" "similarities" "commonalities" "represents" and so on. When what we are really seeing is how newer cultures evolve from older ones. Smith is trying to paint what he sees in the older cultures as somehow justifying the newer ones. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

A myth evolves from an older myth is not evidence that ether one is somehow "true" and certainly does not mean the newer myth has more standing.

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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:32 pm 
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Fence Sitter wrote:
Quote:
What are your thoughts on this subject matter? Cross-cultural borrowing and the transformation of religious ideas across time seems fascinating.


I am always struck by many of the terms that Bob Smith uses to describe the similarities between the much older Egyptian customs and religious practices found in the newer versions of Hebrew/Christian/Mormon cultures.

"parallels" "similarities" "commonalities" "represents" and so on. When what we are really seeing is how newer cultures evolve from older ones. Smith is trying to paint what he sees in the older cultures as somehow justifying the newer ones. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

A myth evolves from an older myth is not evidence that ether one is somehow "true" and certainly does not mean the newer myth has more standing.

I agree about the implication of cumulative building of symbolic representations in myths.

I also believe that profound truths are revealed through symbols like myths... and it’s likely as Carl Jung suggested, there are archetypes and colllective unconscious that we all share - no matter the time period.


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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:34 pm 
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Amore wrote:
I also believe that profound truths are revealed through symbols like myths...

Will you please give me an example?

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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Amore wrote:
I also believe that profound truths are revealed through symbols like myths...

Will you please give me an example?

There are many and they’re interrelated.
Adam and Eve myth (similar myths like Sumarian Enki & Dazimua) teach the truth that we each take of knowledge that opens our eyes so we are no longer able to live in the old “ignorant bliss.”

Good guy vs bad guy & hostile brothers archetype: Able and Cane, Jacob & Essay, Christ and Satan. Bad seeks to kill or overrule the ideal good.

Mary and baby Jesus (& Egyptian Isis & Horus) tell of the truth by which all humanity is born of water through mothers, and also represents being spiritually born again, we are all children of God, etc.

Sacrifice: bargain with the future - make sacrifices in present for a better future. Choice involves sacrificing whatever’s not chosen. Christ represented taking responsibility - not shifting blame (evil) as in human sacrifice scapegoating. Believing the lie that the work, only you can do, was already done by Christ - is actually damning - holding people back from their own response-ability.

All nature carries with it some type of symbol or image that allows for instinct. Jung wrote, “The Yucca moth must carry within it an image of the situation that ‘triggers off’ its instinct to ‘recognize’ the Yucca flower.”

God was depicted as a grandpa-type figure, by Michelangelo. But notice the shape God is surrounded by - a human brain. “The kingdom of God is within you.” Obviously - where else would you experience your image of God? God is also symbolically represented as a higher power or realm - or aiming to the highest GOoD.

Image
http://www.spiritofthescripture.com/wp- ... Brain-.jpg

God is also yin/yang, feminine/masculine. What some now call the Holy Ghost was previously called Sophia or Astarte, the dove.


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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:35 am 
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Robert Smith and Clark Goble are two of my favorite armchair scholars. I prefer their stuff to most of the writings from LDS academics. Not being BYU profs or academics, they can go out on certain limbs the others won’t touch. They have wonderful imaginations and they know lots of interesting things. I think that what they write is valuable, and I wish more LDS thinkers were similarly inclined.

But in order to value this, you have to appreciate myth on more than a trivial level. If you think myth is worthwhile, say, you are more of a Jungian type, then these musings of Smith are very enjoyable.

Not everyone must be this type of person, but I think that those who lack this appreciation are more likely to dismiss it as nonsense and may be more likely to drop religion altogether. It’s a mental style that not everyone shares, and it takes all types. Personally, I find this stuff really cool. But, then, I also loved Nibley’s writings and lectures.


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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:03 am 
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I've been listening to some Robert Price of late. There is so much going on pre-jesus that I have a hard time following along with the cities, names, stories etc. The man has two Ph.D.'s and is blowing me away with the myths that pre-date and influenced Christianity.

Dr Robert M Price Genesis study part 1 of 9


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 Post subject: Re: Smith on Religious Similarities
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:13 am 
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RockSlider wrote:
I've been listening to some Robert Price of late. There is so much going on pre-jesus that I have a hard time following along with the cities, names, stories etc. The man has two Ph.D.'s and is blowing me away with the myths that pre-date and influenced Christianity.

Dr Robert M Price Genesis study part 1 of 9


Yes! Robert M. Price is a fun author. Lots of interesting stuff to read.


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