Showing posts with label Paganism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paganism. Show all posts

Friday, April 26, 2024

Too Hot to Handle: The Pagans Weigh In

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

You don’t have to spend much time in the company of Christians today before you start to hear questions like these:

“Wasn’t Easter a pagan holiday?”

“Isn’t the concept of a Christmas tree based on Odin’s sacred oak?”

“I read that the wedding ring originated in an old pagan superstition intended to protect a relationship from evil spirits. Should Christians really wear those sorts of symbols?”

Tom: Some of these concerns turn out to be baseless. Other accusations that a particular Christian symbol, practice or holiday actually had its origin in paganism are quite legitimate.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: The Pagans Weigh In

The most recent version of this post is available here

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Chaotic Mess

Yesterday I mentioned one similarity between churches in 2016 and life in Israel in the time of the judges roughly three thousand years ago.

This was an era repeatedly characterized with the statements, “There was no king in Israel” and “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. There was, of course, God’s law, given to Moses, and the name of Jehovah, the God who had brought Israel out of Egypt into Canaan. These somewhat influenced but did not control the daily habits of Israelite worshipers. The revealed truth of God was thoroughly co-mingled with the thinking and religious influences of Israel’s pagan neighbours.

In short, Israel was a chaotic mess.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Baal Worship, Howard Cosell and Little Details

In 1931, an excavator named Claude Schaeffer on a dig in Ras Shamra, Syria came across three clay tablets in the ruins of a house belonging to a high priest of the god Baal that have come to be referred to as the Krt Epic or the The Epic of Kret (without any vowels, it’s hard to be consistent in the transliteration of ancient Eastern names).

If you were to cherry-pick a few couplets from the Krt tablets you might observe that they bear a passing similarity to the language of the Psalms:
“To the earth Baal rained, to the field rained ’Aliy. Sweet to the earth was Baal’s rain; to the field the rain of ’Aliy.”
“In a dream of Beneficent El Benign, a vision of the Creator of Creatures, the skies rained oil, the wadis flowed honey. So I knew that Mighty Baal lives; the Prince, Lord of Earth, exists.”
The deity being worshipped is referred to as “mighty” and “beneficent”; his generosity in providing rain for the crops is called “sweet”. He is the “Lord of Earth”.

Even the bit about flowing honey sounds vaguely familiar.