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Zoroastrianism And The Christian Dualism


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A continuance of the "mythology of Satan' thread...

 

Followers of Yahweh before the Exile were not monotheistic. Indeed, even after the return of the Exiles and the beginning of development of Judaic theology, the Hebrews still maintaining their beliefs in different Gods particularly Phoenician ones like Ba'al and Asherah and El. 

Phoenicia had a more advanced civilization than the Hebrews, as acknowledged by the myth about King Solomon's import of Phoenician engineers to build the Second Temple. In fact the Hebrews lived surrounded by more advanced civilizations including the Philistines, and later the Arab Nabataeans, and imported from them a considerable amount of cultural features, including Hebrew-Arabic, important used for accounting, and which grew from the commercial relations the Nabataeans had with other countries, in which the Hebrews acted as Middlemen. 

The development of Zoroastrianism preceded Judaism by some 700 years. It was prevalent in Persia, which included much of the southern part of Mesopotamia, which is Iran and Iraq today. 

The identity of the religions, strongly suggests that the Exiles brought back with them the Zoroastrian traditions, including the erection of a Temple, which was carried out in Mesopotamia itself, before the return of (some) of the Exiles.

One observes that upon return, the Judaic theology began to evolve. Indeed, the Torah and the Laws were instituted at that time, and were documented.

One of the major results was the establishment of Judaism as a monotheistic religion, and the demand of the followers of Judaism to renounce other Gods. Even then, this was not adhered to strictly, as King Solomon himself, would give sacrifices to Pagan (Phoenician) gods in the temple.
 

More and more scholars are inclined to believe that Judaism, like Islam, re-formulated Zoroastrianism as Islam did with Judaism and Christianity.

 

 

"Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence....” - Mary Boyce, Op. Cit. p. 29.

 

http://www.meta-religion.com/Philosophy/Articles/Philosophy_of_religion/zoroastrianism_christ.htm#.U7qYehbd7wI

 

History
[edit]

excerpt: Moral dualism began as a theological belief. Dualism was first seen implicitly in Egyptian Religious beliefs by the contrast of the gods Set (disorder, death) and Osiris (order, life).[2] The first explicit conception of dualism came from the Ancient Persian Religion of Zoroastrianism around the mid-fifth century BC. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion that believes that Ahura Mazda is the eternal creator of all good things. Any violations of Ahura Mazda's order arise from druj, which is everything uncreated. From this comes a significant choice for humans to make. Either they fully participate in human life for Ahura Mazda or they do not and give druj power.

 

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

 

 

 

Zoroastrianism and Parsiism.

Ancient religion that originated in Iran based on the teachings of Zoroaster. Founded in the 6th century BCE, it influenced the monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It rejects polytheism, accepting only one supreme God, Ahura Mazda. In early Zoroastrianism, the struggle between good and evil was seen as an eternal rivalry between Ahura Mazda's twin sons, Spenta Mainyu (good) and Angra Mainyu (evil).

 

http://www.godweb.org/linkszoroastrianism.htm

 

 

 

Another point is the theme of brothers or 'twins' in ancient mythology. One is seen as good and one as well.. not so good. This is a very ancient concept.. the first instance we see is in Sumeria.. with Enlil and Enki, then with Osiris and Set in Egypt… with Ohrmuzd and Ahriman in Zoroastrianism… and, with Jesus and Lucifer in the Bible.

 

​They are all 'sons' of the creator(s) and represent dualism. I know… you may say Jesus and Lucifer are not written down as brothers but there is at least one verse which points to it… both are referred to as, the 'Morning Star'.. this is the connection in the Hebrew and Greek texts…

 

​The theme of brothers in opposition, runs through the Bible in many other stories as well… it all began in Sumeria, then Egypt and Persia… then to a little group of goat herders (probably through the Canaanites and during the exile in Babylon/Mesopotamia).

 

Comparative religion is fun!  :)

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My take is that the dualistic relationship is not between Jesus and Satan, but between Yahweh and Satan. They are rival gods (perhaps brothers?). Yahweh is a warrior god granted dominion over the Israelites. Satan is the divine lawyer, the lawkeeper so to say. I draw this interpretation from the book of Job mostly. And a book that I read some months ago called "The Great Angel" that lead me to examine some of my thoughts in greater detail.

 

Dualistic sons are employed elsewhere in scripture though.

  • Cain and Abel. (Guilt vs. Innocence. Death vs. Life. Sin.)
  • Isaac and Ishmael. (Patience vs. Impulse. Sacrifice.)
  • Jacob and Esau. (Chosen son vs. Unchosen son. The Lard's holey plan...)
  • Joseph and his 11 rotten brothers. (Righteousness vs. Sin. Redemption.)

Jesus (imho) is a typical rising god/sun god. Jesus has quite a bit in common with Apollo.

Apollo - a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. [taken from wikipedia]. Was the patron defender of herds and flocks.

Jesus - a god of light [John 8:12], truth [John 14:6], healing [several tales of miraculous healing found in the gospels], plague [hell], music and poetry, [he was a great orator, or so the gospels make it seem]. Jesus was always using pastoral analogies [John 10:16, Luke 15, others]. His character reads as that of a "patron defender" of the defenseless herds of marginalized people in his day.

 

If we take this line of thought and follow it through to Acts and the Epistles, we can draw a fair comparison between Saul/Paul and Asclepius. Both could claim power through their god/father. Asclepius was Apollo's son; Paul claimed power through his re-birth in Christ and as a "son of God". Both claimed healing powers (although to be fair, Asclepius was dedicated good health and hygiene, whereas Paul scorned such things as vanity).

 

Asclepius was killed for bringing the dead back to life; wasn't Jesus said to have done the same? It is said that Apollo sometimes sometimes worked through his son Asclepius to heal others similar to the way that God worked through Jesus and his followers, such as Paul.

 

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I do believe that Judaism was influenced by Zoroastrianism, as well as other faiths in the area. It is clear by examining passages in the OT that Judaism (pre-Temple and First Temple) were not strictly monotheistic. There are mentions of idols and Asherehs (don't think I spelled that right...) and Ba'al, Ba'al there everywhere a Ba'al Ba'al.....

 

Christianity (more accurately dubbed as Paulism, imo) was a melding of Judaism with Hellenstic mythology and stylings. This is in large part no doubt because it was the official religion of the Roman empire during its last hurrah and was so adapted to fit the culture, I suppose.

 

It is fascinating to me how many of the faiths of old borrowed from one another and bled into one another without a lot of distinction. Until the adoption of what would become Catholicism in the later days of the Roman empire. Suddenly, adaptation and innovation ground to halt. A new Abrahamic faith would come about a few hundred years later, making even more fantastic claims and taking the Middle East captive for the next 1,400 years or so.

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A continuance of the "mythology of Satan' thread...

 

Followers of Yahweh before the Exile were not monotheistic. Indeed, even after the return of the Exiles and the beginning of development of Judaic theology, the Hebrews still maintaining their beliefs in different Gods particularly Phoenician ones like Ba'al and Asherah and El. 

 

Phoenicia had a more advanced civilization than the Hebrews, as acknowledged by the myth about King Solomon's import of Phoenician engineers to build the Second Temple. In fact the Hebrews lived surrounded by more advanced civilizations including the Philistines, and later the Arab Nabataeans, and imported from them a considerable amount of cultural features, including Hebrew-Arabic, important used for accounting, and which grew from the commercial relations the Nabataeans had with other countries, in which the Hebrews acted as Middlemen. 

 

The development of Zoroastrianism preceded Judaism by some 700 years. It was prevalent in Persia, which included much of the southern part of Mesopotamia, which is Iran and Iraq today. 

 

The identity of the religions, strongly suggests that the Exiles brought back with them the Zoroastrian traditions, including the erection of a Temple, which was carried out in Mesopotamia itself, before the return of (some) of the Exiles.

 

One observes that upon return, the Judaic theology began to evolve. Indeed, the Torah and the Laws were instituted at that time, and were documented.

 

One of the major results was the establishment of Judaism as a monotheistic religion, and the demand of the followers of Judaism to renounce other Gods. Even then, this was not adhered to strictly, as King Solomon himself, would give sacrifices to Pagan (Phoenician) gods in the temple.

 

More and more scholars are inclined to believe that Judaism, like Islam, re-formulated Zoroastrianism as Islam did with Judaism and Christianity.

 

 

"Zoroaster was thus the first to teach the doctrines of an individual judgment, Heaven and Hell, the future resurrection of the body, the general Last Judgment, and life everlasting for the reunited soul and body. These doctrines were to become familiar articles of faith to much of mankind, through borrowings by Judaism, Christianity and Islam; yet it is in Zoroastrianism itself that they have their fullest logical coherence....” - Mary Boyce, Op. Cit. p. 29.

 

http://www.meta-religion.com/Philosophy/Articles/Philosophy_of_religion/zoroastrianism_christ.htm#.U7qYehbd7wI

 

History

[edit]

excerpt: Moral dualism began as a theological belief. Dualism was first seen implicitly in Egyptian Religious beliefs by the contrast of the gods Set (disorder, death) and Osiris (order, life).[2] The first explicit conception of dualism came from the Ancient Persian Religion of Zoroastrianism around the mid-fifth century BC. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion that believes that Ahura Mazda is the eternal creator of all good things. Any violations of Ahura Mazda's order arise from druj, which is everything uncreated. From this comes a significant choice for humans to make. Either they fully participate in human life for Ahura Mazda or they do not and give druj power.

 

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

 

 

 

Zoroastrianism and Parsiism.

Ancient religion that originated in Iran based on the teachings of Zoroaster. Founded in the 6th century BCE, it influenced the monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It rejects polytheism, accepting only one supreme God, Ahura Mazda. In early Zoroastrianism, the struggle between good and evil was seen as an eternal rivalry between Ahura Mazda's twin sons, Spenta Mainyu (good) and Angra Mainyu (evil).

 

http://www.godweb.org/linkszoroastrianism.htm

 

 

 

Another point is the theme of brothers or 'twins' in ancient mythology. One is seen as good and one as well.. not so good. This is a very ancient concept.. the first instance we see is in Sumeria.. with Enlil and Enki, then with Osiris and Set in Egypt… with Ohrmuzd and Ahriman in Zoroastrianism… and, with Jesus and Lucifer in the Bible.

 

​They are all 'sons' of the creator(s) and represent dualism. I know… you may say Jesus and Lucifer are not written down as brothers but there is at least one verse which points to it… both are referred to as, the 'Morning Star'.. this is the connection in the Hebrew and Greek texts…

 

​The theme of brothers in opposition, runs through the Bible in many other stories as well… it all began in Sumeria, then Egypt and Persia… then to a little group of goat herders (probably through the Canaanites and during the exile in Babylon/Mesopotamia).

 

Comparative religion is fun!  smile.png

 

Sorry Ravenstar!  :(

 

But Ironhorse doesn't believe what you've posted.  Therefore, it isn't true.

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So then, who is the "heavenly father" that jesus taught about?

 

 

 

I have thought that the Heavenly Father was the master God, above both Yahweh and Satan in the pecking order. Jesus is merely Yahweh encapsulated into human form. Or so the legend goes. Perhaps he is like a minotaur, half god and half man. Who knows? It's mythology, not history. Although some treat it as history...

 

 HF is not one of the names of God. The Father (or Pater) is the term Jesus used, so we can assume that he is speaking of his own father here. Since Jesus is a god (or perhaps demigod), the view I take on the subject is that he is referring to the father of all gods. Thus, I interpret him as speaking of "El Elyon" here and not Yahweh.

 

And why does the heavenly father's nature seem such sharp contrast to Yahweh?

 

 

Because the HF is not Yahweh. The HF is El Elyon, if he is anything at all in this mythology.

 

Did Jesus believe Yahweh was his heavenly father?

 

 

Possibly. As a Jew, Jesus would have had a very different take on the nature of God. It may serve well to remember that Yahweh is only one of the many names for God given in the OT.  He had many other names, such as: El Shaddai, Adonai, Yahweh, Jehovah _______ (lots of terms followed Jehovah), El Olam, Elohim, and Qanna (which means Jealous and is the source for the whole "Jealous God" thing).

 

The term El Elyon is used in the OT as well. El Elyon means "The Most High God". I think that this name refers to the ruler of this particular pantheon of gods, much like Zeus was the ruler of the Greek/Roman pantheon of gods.

 

Or was Jesus actually introducing a different religious/theological concept to rival Yahweh? Or was Jesus confused?

 

 

No, he was not introducing a new concept. It may be interesting to note that the term "heavenly father" only appears in the book of Matthew and the book of Luke. It appears in Matthew 5 or 6 times and in Luke only once. So it seems to me that it is quite likely that the term had no strongly held meaning, but may have been a generic term to describe a male figure from heaven. That is, someone who was enlightened in the ways of this particular god and was seen as having earned his favor.

 

Jesus was not confused. It was likely insomuch that he ever existed, he was probably an Essene or a Gnostic. Perhaps an amalgamation of the two. Both groups had conflicting views on Judaism and had different theologies. The concept of the HF is confined to the gospels, and was likely a deliberate choice to avoid conflict.

 

Christianity is ultimately defined by the Epistles, which are quite the different beast. The Epistles really lay the debate out in far greater detail than the Gospels. What gets you into heaven? Works or faith? Who should you worship, God or Jesus or Paul? And so on...

 

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Whoever wrote the red lettered portions of the Bible made sure to render Jesus as neutral as possible. We will never have a clear answer as to the meaning of his words or his actual theology. Which is why Catholicism and later Christianity, Islam and Mormonism were all able to diverge from the beaten path of the OT and the ruins of Hellenistic Judaism, fairly unhindered. Catholicism stayed closest to the roots of the actual 3rd century empirical faith of Constantine. Christianity is essentially Pauline, or Paulism, a form of Catholicism stripped of its Hellenistic roots and devoid of the deeper understandings of Judaism or the mythos that birthed their faith. Islam threw out the majority of the NT and bastardized the OT to fit their own needs about 600 years after the fact. Mormonism straight up plaguarized a good chunk of their content from Catholicism and Christianity and threw in some Islamic-ish nonsense and bullshit historical fiction to make themselves seem legit.

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Correct… El is the creator god… Yahweh is a son, or subset god.. one of a former pantheon.

 

Wait BAA!!!   IH doesn't believe me? Whatever will I do!    GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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The more I think about it the less Christianity is like Judaism at all. Early Judaism did not have a concept of an evil force or an evil god in opposition to the creator.. the very concept was foreign.

 

On another forum years ago we had a Jewish scholar… in the religion forum. He was extremely enlightening when it came to Judaism and the concepts that Christians misinterpret from the Torah. I miss that.. I learned a lot from him. I do remember that he stated that Jews do not believe in a devil like christians do… they understood 'the satan' in context and 'Satan' as the personification of people's own weaknesses. Of course the main difference is that the Jews DO believe that works, i.e.: following the spirit of the law, not necessarily the letter… was what was important. There is less dualism in Judaism… they are far more purely monotheistic than christians.

 

So even modern Judaism is less 'zoroastrian' than christianity.

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The more I think about it the less Christianity is like Judaism at all. Early Judaism did not have a concept of an evil force or an evil god in opposition to the creator.. the very concept was foreign.

 

 

I agree. Chrisitianity is not like Judaism.

 

My former church is of the Messianic variety, with strong Emergent roots. They claim that the roots of modern Christianity are to be found in Judaism and that the Judiastic roots of the faith are to be found throughout the OT. All of the prophecies point to the coming messiah, Jesus (whom they call Yeshua). Yeshua's chosen messenger was Saul (aka Paul). Paul spoke the true roots of the Judaistic faith that Yeshua intended to bring to the earth. It was the Roman empire that perverted Paul's message and diverted the faith away from its truly Judaistic roots. To hear my former church speak on the matter, Paul was the prime example of Judaism, of the one true faith of old. The Gospels were generally disregarded except for the red lettered parts; Revelation was not taught. The OT was considered too much for most laypeople and so they only taught Genesis and occasionally the Wisdom books. And the selected prophecies that spoke of the coming messiah, the one and only Yeshua.

 

That is the context of which I learned about Judaism. One could not be a Christian without also admitting that you partly a Jew. Although you weren't really a Jew at all, since you believed that the Messiah had come. Due to this belief, you were following a false teacher, which is a big no-no in real Judaism.

 

I have heard that the correct translation of Satan in Hebrew is Ha Satan, or "The Satan". Which makes sense. "Satan" means "Adversary" and that matches his character to the nth degree as presented in Genesis, Job and in the Gospels. The Satan is a personification of desire, of knowledge. If we assume that Lucifer and Satan are one in the same, then Satan brings the light to our dim conscience. It is he/it and NOT God/El/Yahweh that gave us a desire to know, a craving for knowledge, the capability of sense, logic and emotion. God as presented in Genesis seemingly had no plan for us but to be dumb, unfeeling beings under his thumb at all times. At best, we were like small children, nodding in blind obedience to our father/maker, without the capability nor the desire to be anything else. Did we have knowledge of any other way? Probably not.

 

Which makes the evidence against a loving creator/God and his divine planning all the more damning, IMO. Whatever he had going on was easily thwarted by a talking lizard/snake and a piece of tainted fruit from a tree that he created. Satan did nothing but converse with the woman and encourage her and her mate to use their minds for something other than a blank servile existence.

 

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Of course the main difference is that the Jews DO believe that works, i.e.: following the spirit of the law, not necessarily the letter… was what was important.

 

 

I've heard this argument before.  Spirit of the law vs. the letter. In my former place of worship, this concept plays out like so: The Law says that pork is unclean. Therefore we don't eat pork...except for when we forget that bacon is pork. The Spirit of the Law is that Jesus said that no food was truly unclean, so it really doesn't matter if we eat pork or not. It's having the thought in one's heart that obeying said Law is important that matters.

 

Does that really make sense? Hell to the no, imo. Eat pork or don't eat it, but don't make a bunch of bs excuses justifying why it's ok to eat a piece of organic farm raised maple bacon with your bagel in the morning when you bash the host for putting sausage on the pizza she made from our group Bible study session. Shit like that always rubbed me the wrong way because it seemed like they were always looking for loopholes. Pork is a pretty obvious example, but the Spirit vs. the Law was a common thing in my old church.

 

The Law says that homosexuals are deviants, sinners and should be outcast. The Spirit says that all who accept Jesus are welcome in the church. The consensus was that homosexuals were allowed in the church, but should try very hard to suppress or erase their homosexuality, even going as far as to renounce their homosexuality if "God" led them to do so. Wendytwitch.gif

 

So even modern Judaism is less 'zoroastrian' than christianity.

 

 

IMO, Christianity is not truly based on Judaism and any comparing of the two is faulty at best.

 

Judaism went through at least 4 separate evolutions, if you will. Pre-temple, First Temple, Second Temple, Modern Judaism (post WW2).

 

Pre-temple was polytheistic and morphed into a mostly monotheistic cult based around a warrior god called Yahweh and occasionally his female counterpart, Asherah. This form was closest to Zoroastrianism, having borrowed from it to some degree.

 

First Temple and Second Temple were the varieties of Biblical times, when they started writing things down and codifying how to run their societies. Jesus came of age during these turbulent times, when many Judiastic cults were flourishing.

 

Modern Judaism is what remains of Judaism after 6,000 years of infighting, terrorism, wars, greed, and utter chaos from all sides.

 

Christianity was born out of these ruins at various points. Catholics and Christians killed Jews for centuries. In fact, it is still possible to find Jew-hating varieties of Christianity today. After all, they killed Jesus...

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So, do you find the portrayal of Jesus in The Last Temptation (book and/or movie by Kazantzakis/Scorsese) to misrepresent Jesus' understanding of his own beliefs and assumed mission? It would be fascinating to see a movie portrayal of Jesus and his theology along the lines of what you describe.

 

 

I have not seen "The Last Temptation" nor have I read the book. So I can't say much on the topic. You will never see a movie that depicts Jesus as I described in my last reply. This is because that Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible has to speak to everyone, speak for everyone. He cannot say that he believes one thing and not another. He cannot say that one thing is true and another isn't. He must always be vague. If memory serves, this is why most of his speech is veiled in parable, as to confuse those around him. He rarely speaks plainly and even his companions were befuddled by his dense sayings and parables from time to time.

 

In the US, Jesus is thoroughly American and conservative. Sure, he loves the poor...but fuck welfare. Sure, he loves the children when they're in the womb...but they're on their own once they're out of the womb. And so on. Any version of Jesus that is too "hippie", too loving, too compassionate, would be tossed out on the rubbish heap ASAP. Jesus may be conflicted, but not too much. After all, he's a sinless man and has not our limitations. Even if he is tempted, his temptation is rendered meaningless by his godhood. A god can have anything, do anything, say anything. What can possibly tempt it, an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, non-feeling being.

 

If Jesus had human sensations, a human body and experienced what we experienced, then he was limited as we are limited and not a god. Ok, so then he can be tempted...but unless he is very daft or brash, he would not sacrifice power and glory in eternity for a piece of 1st century ass or a fat stack of coins. So what would his motivations be? A god cannot commit sins and neither can the sinless man. Sin is nothing more than what we desire, be it sexual, material or otherwise. Supposing that Jesus was both a god and a sinless man, he was no more at risk of temptation than I am of jumping to the moon of my own power.

 

Any temptation that Jesus experienced was likely Satan (or perhaps his own conscience) fucking with him, testing his willingness to remain sinless, to be a god. Or maybe just for the hell of it. God didn't need a reason to let Satan fuck with Job, yet he did. And if Jesus were really God in human form, Satan was probably just getting his kicks in while he could.

 

yelrotflmao.gif <<<It's all mythology, stories of old. Laughter is the best medicine.

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The more I think about it the less Christianity is like Judaism at all. Early Judaism did not have a concept of an evil force or an evil god in opposition to the creator.. the very concept was foreign.

 

On another forum years ago we had a Jewish scholar… in the religion forum. He was extremely enlightening when it came to Judaism and the concepts that Christians misinterpret from the Torah. I miss that.. I learned a lot from him. I do remember that he stated that Jews do not believe in a devil like christians do… they understood 'the satan' in context and 'Satan' as the personification of people's own weaknesses. Of course the main difference is that the Jews DO believe that works, i.e.: following the spirit of the law, not necessarily the letter… was what was important. There is less dualism in Judaism… they are far more purely monotheistic than christians.

 

So even modern Judaism is less 'zoroastrian' than christianity.

 

 

Like I said on previous threads,  When Jesus rolled up he made the situation for mankind much worse,  Before it was - God vs Dead not it is God vs Eternal Torture like seriously thats messed up!

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Anyone,

If Judaism generally does not view Satan as an evil power rivaling Yahweh, does Judaism view Satan as a manifestation of Yahweh's darker nature and behavior? If not, how does Judaism treat Yahweh's antagonism toward Humanity? That is, how do they treat it theologically and sociologically (how humans should think of and interact with Yahweh)?

Thanks,

+ Human

 

Judaism generally (not all sects or all believers) views the character of Satan as representing the inner carnal nature of mankind. Satan is us, an aspect of us. Satan is all that is sin. It is in this way that Satan is our adversary, our enemy, so to speak. Satan is what keeps us from being pure. And so this is why we needed a messiah to act as a holey and final blood sacrifice ala Yeshua, the Christ.

 

Mind you, this is how the theology of Satan was taught in my old (somewhat Jewish-leaning) church. Take out the part about Yeshua, the Christ and I think that is probably a decent interpretation of what Judaism actually has to say on the matter of Satan.

 

Satan is not on equal footing with Yahweh in this scenario. Although from my pov, I'd argue that Yahweh and Satan are two "sons" of the same creater God, El or more specifically, El Elyon. That's what I think, but as I say, it's all mythology anyway.

 

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As far as Yahweh's antagonism goes, how can we be certain that Yahweh is one responsible for all of the violence and hubris in the Bible? Oh sure, it is quite likely that he is indeed responsible, but Yahweh was but one face of a vast army of gods, imho. I view Yahweh as being the patron god of the Israelites. He was a warrior god and that is why there are so many tales of war and conquest in the OT, all sanctioned by the warlord Yahweh.

 

Life was short, brutal and nasty. There were no compassionate gods to be found. Why? Because when most people don't make it to 40, compassion isn't high on the priority list. You want a god who is going to protect you, bless you and favor you. A god created by the small-minded and young isn't going to care about others. He will care about himself, and those under his rule. He will be petty and he will have idiotic aversions like menstrual blood, mixing fibers and making idols. His punishments will be visible and literal, easily interpreted by the ignorant masses. His miracles will be whatever the priest says they are and fantastic tales will be believable because no one will know any better.

 

Ignorance, lies, fear...that's what God embodies. His followers are to be like sheep, children....not knowing and obeying with cheerful hearts.

 

-----------

 

I can't say much about what actual Jews think or believe or how they act....

 

To me, it really doesn't matter much. They are the chosen people, some live in the holy land. They were the ones that turned away Jesus and are awaiting their messiah. I don't doubt that some of them have a deep relationship with God or Yahweh. Imo, they can talk to themselves all they like. It doesn't have any deeper meaning than when a Christian or a Catholic talks to their version of God. Or a Hindu or a Native Shaman or a member of any other faith. God and gods are just manifestations of our conscience and nothing more.

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Anyone,

If Judaism generally does not view Satan as an evil power rivaling Yahweh, does Judaism view Satan as a manifestation of Yahweh's darker nature and behavior? If not, how does Judaism treat Yahweh's antagonism toward Humanity? That is, how do they treat it theologically and sociologically (how humans should think of and interact with Yahweh)?

Thanks,

+ Human

 

My understanding is that Jews see Satan as God's Prosecutor's Office. So Satan's job is to point out everything humans do wrong, not out of malice or evil, but just because he's doing his job. God is the judge who decides whether or not to do anything about all the issues Satan brings up. Christians still think that Satan is the "accuser of the brethren" pointing out humans are being bad, but think that it's out of spite and that Jesus is the defense attorney (who just brings up his bloody death as the way to win every case).

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Two interesting passages from the link that Ravenstar posted:

 

"He is the incarnation of all evil, and his thoughts and activities are devoted to the destruction of man; so that Satan, the impulse to evil ("yeẓer ha-ra'"), and the angel of death are one and the same personality. He descends from heaven and leads astray, then ascends and brings accusations against mankind. Receiving the divine commission, he takes away the soul, or, in other words, he slays (B. B. 16a). He seizes upon even a single word which may be prejudicial to man; so that "one should not open his mouth unto evil," i.e., "unto Satan" (Ber. 19a). In times of danger likewise he brings his accusations (Yer. Shab. 5b et passim). While he has power over all the works of man (Ber. 46b), he can not prevail at the same time against two individuals of different nationality; so that Samuel, a noted astronomer and teacher of the Law (d. at Nehardea 247), would start on a journey only when a Gentile traveled with him (Shab. 32a)."

 

"Yet it is also evident from the prologue that Satan has no power of independent action, but requires the permission of God, which he may not transgress. He can not be regarded, therefore, as an opponent of the Deity; and the doctrine of monotheism is disturbed by his existence no more than by the presence of other beings before the face of God. This view is also retained in Zech. iii. 1-2, where Satan is described as the adversary of the high priest Joshua, and of the people of God whose representative the hierarch is; and he there opposes the "angel of the Lord," who bids him be silent in the name of God. In both of these passages Satan is a mere accuser who acts only according to the permission of the Deity; but in I Chron. xxi. 1 he appears as one who is able to provoke David to destroy Israel. The Chronicler (third century B.C.) regards Satan as an independent agent, a view which is the more striking since the source whence he drew his account (II Sam. xxiv. 1) speaks of God Himself as the one who moved David against the children of Israel. Since the older conception refers all events, whether good or bad, to God alone (I Sam. xvi. 14; I Kings xxii. 22; Isa. xlv. 7; etc.), it is possible that the Chronicler, and perhaps even Zechariah, were influenced by Zoroastrianism, even though in the case of the prophet Jewish monism strongly opposed Iranian dualism (Stave, "Einfluss des Parsismus auf das Judenthum," pp. 253 et seq.). An immediate influence of the Babylonian concept of the "accuser, persecutor, and oppressor" (Schrader, "K. A. T." 3d ed., p. 463) is impossible, since traces of such an influence, if it had existed, would have appeared in the earlier portions of the Bible."

 

[All emphasis mine.]

 

Some points:

  • Satan does not act independently of God. He is under the authority of God and is not represented as an equal to God in the early days. This includes much the OT and most definitely the book of Job.
  • The concept of Ha Satan evolved throughout the Old Testament.
  • His character development progresses throughout the Bible, meaning that there isn't just one character called Satan to deal with.
  • His job (if you will) was to accuse, to oppose, to conflict, to argue. That is, he was an adversary of God, of the "good" that God supposedly represented.
  • Satan was an angel of death, similar to Hades. Nothing less and nothing more.
  • All of this is mythology.
  • The character of Satan is far more mysterious and complex than I originally thought. He's a tricky guy, but I find his character more compelling than that of God/Yahweh/El/Sky-daddy or Yeshua/Jesus/Dead Sun. Satan was just doing his job and he gets a bad wrap for being a scumbag. We can't all have rainbows of sunshine shooting out our magical, miraculous assholes like the members of the Trinity....

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That was a good link, Ravenstar. Very informative. :)

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Just to throw in some non-Western religion: The Mayan Popol Vuh features hero twins prominently in its mythology. The dualism thing seems to be trans-cultural.

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