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← Religion's Real Child Abuse

gazzalw1's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by gazzalw1

Notice that all these references to 'Hell' (translated actually as Hades) are from the NEW Testament and not the OLD Testament. Now bearing in mind who the new testament was written for, and it wasn't the Jews, this is no suprise. The Greeks and Romans were already familiar with the concept of Hades the ruler of the underworld but Jews were not so would have either difficulty in accepting the concept or would expect punishment from Yahweh anyway not roasting for all eternity with some bearded bloke with a pitchfork for company. Throw in a few more concepts the Graeco-Romans are familiar with namely Virgin birth (Mithras and various Greek gods), miracles (Mithras again) and the resurrection (Greek and Egyptian mythology) and you have what is in effect a great set of recruitment pamphlets for citizens of the empire and a new trendy mystery cult that they just lapped up. Well done 'Saint' Paul, a great cut and paste job done. Of course nowadays we can all see through this can't we.

Bear also in mind that the Greeks already expected their 'souls' to end up with Hades, remember they used to place coins (obols) on the dead persons eyes to pay the ferryman who takes them over the river Styx so a new concept that if they behave themselves they could end up somewhere nice instead would have been a great alternative now wouldn't it. Particularly as they would all be familiar with the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice as well as Persephone in that no matter how hard you try you cannot escape the realm of Hades.

I think that effectively takes care of the Hell/Hades argument that fundamentalists are so keen to scare our children with.

Thu, 21 Jun 2007 04:36:00 UTC | #47999