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#61 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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Originally posted by Sean
[B]. Purgatory is not so clearly stated, but implied...
Where?

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and about the Assumption of Mary scripture is silent.

The rescue of the pre-Christian saints from Hell isn't only covered in the gnostic texts; it's also mentioned in the Bible. These were the righteous men and women who couldn't get into Heaven yet, because Christ had not redeemed mankind yet. His death on the cross made it possible for them to leave Hell (although this was obviously not the Hell of the damned, but more like Purgatory),
More like Sheol...?

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and I'll bet they were pretty anxious to get out of there, too. So it was a top priority.
I have no doubt this conflicts with Jewish teaching in a major way, but that would be OT.
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#62 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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I hope it's not long!!!
Me too :LOL

And just to add to the confusion...
Actually, "time" (as we know it) ceases to exist when we die, so it shouldn't matter anyhow.


but still, I do hope that it doesn't take long for me to be purified, nonetheless

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#63 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 06:20 PM
 
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Originally posted by DaryLLL
Where (is the implication of Purgatory in the Bible)?
Here's a page with a pretty good explanation of it, and answers to Fundamentalist objections to the doctrine. It's got dozens of Bible quotes.

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More like Sheol...?
Something like Sheol. Maybe something like the pagan Hades, too. But probably different enough that we can't equate the concepts.

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I have no doubt this conflicts with Jewish teaching in a major way, but that would be OT.
No doubt.
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#64 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally posted by Sean

The rescue of the pre-Christian saints...
you mean Jews? just for the record, what you describe is almost completely incompatible with any of the commonly held beliefs Jews have regarding their ancestors.
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#65 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally posted by dado
you mean Jews?
All the saints who died before Christ did. That would include Jews, but not exclusively. Just for instance, Adam and Eve were there, and they were pre-Abrahamic.
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just for the record, what you describe is almost completely incompatible with any of the commonly held beliefs Jews have regarding their ancestors.
So now we can summarize: Catholics are considered Christians.
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#66 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean
Adam and Eve
just out of curiosity, are Adam and Eve saints in catholicism?

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So now we can summarize: Catholics are considered Christians.
i said that 80 posts ago, don't know why people are still posting on this thread.
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#67 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 07:55 PM
 
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Me, b/c I am learning about the Catholic religion.

this:

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1 Peter 3:18b--He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in former times did not obey when God waited patiently in the days of Noah
gets made into this:

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After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19).
And that proves purgatory exists? There must be more.

There is:

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And what happens if a righteous man’s work fails the test? "He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, can’t refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven can’t be meant, since there is no suffering ("fire") there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage.
When I read the passage and its context, I see that the trying of a man's work , whether it is worthy of its foundation (Christ) does not refer to an afterlife experience, but a here and now one, perhaps of another preacher.

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10By the grace God has given me, I [Paul] laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

Oh well.

edited to add quote from 1 Cor.
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#68 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 08:09 PM
 
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Originally posted by DaryLLL
Oh well.
Oh well.
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#69 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 08:18 PM
 
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Originally posted by DaryLLL

Oh well.
google "purgatory apocrypha".
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#70 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 08:39 PM
 
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Originally posted by Sean
Here's a page with a pretty good explanation of it, and answers to Fundamentalist objections to the doctrine. It's got dozens of Bible quotes.
Thanks for that link, Sean. Very informative.
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#71 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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I have nothing to add but I want to say thanks for all the explainations of Catholic pratices and beliefs. Also thanks for the info and link on Santeria. Very interesting!
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#72 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 09:15 PM
 
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The Catholic belief in the ressurection of the body is central to our understanding of theology. Because Christ sacrilized the material world by becoming human and the most perfect state of a human person is with body and soul together, we beleive that at the final judgment our souls will be reunited with our bodies and we will live in a glorified state.

After the final judgment there will be no more Purgatory also.

So after you die and have your personal judgment you are just a soul. After the end of the world you get your body back. Awesome.

Also as to the Inquisiton, I am going to start a thread on this topic.
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#73 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 09:17 PM
 
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Awesome site! Explains santeria well to someone who is not familar, as a web search can bring up alot of sites claiming it is evil...(A member of my household is a practitioner and it is a very guarded religion, many are more open now-but they were persecuted for many a years).

BTW, I am glad some others made my praying TO/THROUGH comment clearer. It never ceases to amaze me how many actual Catholics don't understand that.Shoot, several told me they DO worship statues (As Catholics). GEEZ!

By the way, I currently consider myself "Gnostic Chritian".
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#74 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally posted by Paxetbonum

Also as to the Inquisiton, I am going to start a thread on this topic.
please don't. nothing good can possibly come of it.
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#75 of 116 Old 03-04-2004, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am learning so much from these answers--
I have friends who are in a Bible study & they have certain beliefs that I do not agree with but I feel we can all at least agree that Jesus died to save us from sin.

I feel we humans put to much emphasis on differences -every religion that is helping to make people here on earth better -is good for them .

God is limitless & we can not place so many limits on what God is /does & how it all works.

I just ordered a book on Jesus -
Jesus ,His Words Decoded -by John Van Auken that sounds quite interesting--I like to know about others views on religion-even if I do not agree.
Thank you all.

::
momma to 4
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#76 of 116 Old 03-05-2004, 11:02 AM
 
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Originally posted by dado
just out of curiosity, are Adam and Eve saints in catholicism?
Adam and Eve are not saints on the Roman Catholic canon. (Someday they might be; these things take awhile.) But the Eastern Christian tradition has regarded them as saints. As Genesis tells us, they sinned. But after that, they may have repented, and trusted in God's promise of a Redeemer, which would have been all that was required of them to be saved. Even in the West, where they aren't canonized, popular piety likes to think of them as first in line when Christ opened the gates. (Or maybe not first in line, since Abel died first.) Christian artists depicting the scene of Christ's Descent have always felt free to include an assortment of B.C. celebrities in the crowd, from Adam to Aristotle.

Interestingly enough, while we know infallibly that some people are in Heaven (because the Bible names them), we don't know that any particular person is in Hell. Even the worst characters in scripture, like Antiochus and Judas, are never explicitly said to be eternally damned. It is certainly dogma that Hell exists, that the fallen angels suffer there, and that all men and women would be there too if not for God's saving grace, and that they surely will be there if they reject that grace. But we don't know that any men or women actually are there, and Pope John Paul II has even expressed a hope that nobody's there! This caused quite a bit of controversy, as you might guess, with the critics accusing him of denying the existence of Hell or the efficacy of Baptism and all that, but that's not what he was doing. He was saying we just don't know whether the population of Hell is zero or billions of souls, and ceteris paribus, he hopes it's more like zero. If his hope is right, and nobody's in Hell, then the scene of Christ's Descent would have to contain everybody who ever died before that day, because they were all going to Heaven.
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#77 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 04:09 AM
 
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DaryLLL, from an art history perspective (among others) those pictures are depictions of the Harrowing of Hell.

As Sean has stated, our current pope has expressed the hope that no one is in hell. Someone - I'm blanking on who but maybe it was Thomas Merton? - wrote that since all these states of being, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, are in eternity and therefore outside of time, perhaps one way to imagine a Hell empty of humans is to imagine that the harrowing is always happening. Christ is always dying, always rising, always desending to Hell to free the righteous, always ascending to Heaven to be with His Father. But that's not dogma in any way, just something I read once and liked.
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#78 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 05:17 AM
 
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harrow:
To plunder; sack.
To inflict great distress or torment on.

Hmmm, to plunder Hades? To take out the souls as plunder from Satan?


plunder:
To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; pillage: plunder a village.
To seize wrongfully or by force; steal: plundered the supplies.
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#79 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 09:18 AM
 
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That's right, the Descent has been called the "Harrowing of Hell" in England since before 1000 A.D. Here the meaning of 'harrow' is indeed to plunder, or seize by force. In this sense 'harrow' is synonomous with 'harry', from the Old English hergian, 'to act as an army'. Icons usually emphasize the military aspects of the operation, featuring smashed gates and surrendering demons, and often Christ is armed with a spear or carrying a pennant.

(The other meaning of 'harrow', to torture, is actually from the Old English 'harowen', a farm implement with sharp teeth that was apparently sometimes put to non-agricultural use, and is not what is meant by the Harrowing of Hell.)

Most of the rest of western Europe just calls it the "Descensus ad Inferos," or vernacular words to that effect.

The Greeks actually call the Descent the Anastasis ('standing again', or resurrection), which has the exact opposite meaning from Descensus, and yet is still an apt term, because it is the rescued souls who are allowed to stand again. Their icons usually take the term literally, with Christ actually helping Adam stand up.
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#80 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 11:42 AM
 
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So just let me get this straight.

All of the above, reclaiming the "saints," the spears, banners, smashed gates, comes from this:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Peter 3:18b--He [Jesus] was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in former times did not obey when God waited patiently in the days of Noah...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because making a proclamation to souls from before Noah sounds (to me) like he was scolding the unrighteous who died before and in the Flood (all the ones God had given up on, only saving Noah and his family). It does not sound like rescuing the pre-or-post Noahide deserving souls.

Is this harrowing in some Apocryphal reference? Yes, it is. Acta Pliati (Acts of Pilate) aka the Gospel of Nicodemus.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01111b.htm

Does one learn about the origins of the belief in Purgatory and the harrowing of hell in those RCIA classes I hear of?

Off to read Nicodemus.
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#81 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
So just let me get this straight. All of the above, reclaiming the "saints," the spears, banners, smashed gates, comes from this:
No, not quite straight. All of the above doesn't come from that one verse in the Bible. All of the above comes from the Descent of Christ into Hell, held by orthodox Christians as doctrine from apostolic times. The orthodox interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 differs from yours. See also Acts 2:24. But a bigger point is, it doen't have to be explicitly taught in the Bible to be a true doctrine, unless you hold to sola scriptura. (For that matter, I think even Luther believed in the Descent into Hell, though you might have a better argument against him, since he did espouse sola scriptura.)

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Is this harrowing in some Apocryphal reference? Yes, it is. Acta Pliati (Acts of Pilate) aka the Gospel of Nicodemus.
Yup. But that isn't the source of the doctrine, which predates the Acta Pilati. That work, by the way, is apocryphal, in the sense that all writing that isn't Scripture is apocryphal. What I'm writing now is apocryphal. It means it is not infallibly inspired by God, and may therefore contain error. But Acta Pilati isn't a bad piece of writing, and contains no heretical teaching, just some fictional embellishments on the Gospel truth, a lot like Mel Gibson's apocryphal movie.

The iconography with smashed gates, spears, and so forth is metaphorical, teaching cosmic truths with physical analogues. If you were an eyewitness to the actual Harrowing of Hell, you would have seen.... nothing. Absolutely nothing. Incorporeal spirits can't be seen by eyes.

Quote:
Does one learn about the origins of the belief in Purgatory and the harrowing of hell in those RCIA classes I hear of?
I sure hope so.

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Off to read Nicodemus.
Cool. I hope I haven't spoiled it by giving away the ending.
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#82 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 12:54 PM
 
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So what is the source of the doctrine that predates Acta Pilati? Is it another document or imagined oral traditions?

I read some of it just now. It was written by a couple of guys who were sons of the Simon who held Jesus when he was born. They were raised up out of the grave when Jesus died on the cross. It says Satan killed Christ, prepared the cross, nails, and gall and vinegar even. Is this Catholic teaching? Why have we been saying all sinners killed Christ by their sins (and some still believe it was the Jews)? Was it God's plan, who ordered Satan to carry it out?

The Acta also says Hades (a person) now has Satan in his clutches, torturing him forever.

If apocrypha is fallible, how can it inspire infallible doctine like the "harrowing" of Hades' abode? Or is the belief in Purgatory and Jesus rescuing the souls of the patriarchs and prophets considered just an idea that may or may not be true, as it is based on fallible apocrypha? :

I bet Sean will have some answers, and I wish a couple other Catholics would give their impressions as well. Surely this is all taught in Catechism class?
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#83 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 01:01 PM
 
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I'm not going to try to answer your questions as Sean is doing a much better job than I could but I need to ask something. Why must oral traditions be imagined? Are all oral traditions imagined or just Christian/Catholic ones? I can accept that some might be but the implication that oral tradition is imagined (that is a story, to put it nicely) makes it seem that they are therefore not worthy of consideration.
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#84 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 01:25 PM
 
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Eazabet,
Not at all. If an oral tradition be not written down, I would need to have someone tell it to me to have it become real. Or hear a recording of it. An oral tradtion may exist, but until someone tells me it or writes it down (as the Jew did with their "Oral Torah" after the destruction and harrowing of Jerusalem for ex), it exists only in my imagination.

Sean said some "source" about the harrowing of Hades predates the Acta Pilati and I imagined it was an oral trad, as the Acta is pretty early, perhaps 4th century?

As far as an oral tradition being a story, well, it's all stories. Whether thought to be God-inspired (infallible) or just fiction. The Catholic Church itself insists even the canon is not meant to be taken as accurate history, but as a story about Christ's mission with a theological teaching. Sean said the Acta we are considering is fiction:

Quote:
It means it is not infallibly inspired by God, and may therefore contain error. But Acta Pilati isn't a bad piece of writing, and contains no heretical teaching, just some fictional embellishments on the Gospel truth.
In other words, it is orthodox, not gnostic, but may or may not be truly factual.
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#85 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 01:32 PM
 
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Originally posted by Elzabet
Why must oral traditions be imagined? Are all oral traditions imagined or just Christian/Catholic ones?
Excellent question, Beth! I was curious about that myself.

DaryLLL, you can read Adversus Haereses by St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Book V, Ch. 31 to see that the Harrowing of Hell was already doctrine as of the writing of that document (between 180-199 A.D.), predating the Acta Pilati by over a hundred years. Now, Irenaeus isn't the source of the Harrowing either. It is quite clear that he is citing it as settled doctrine among orthodox Christians, and putting forth arguments in its favor to persuade heretics. So what was Ireneus's source? He was a disciple of St. Polycarp, who in turn was a disciple of St. John the Apostle. These facts are not in dispute. The Tradition from John to Irenaeus may have been oral, or it may have been written but lost to us since. Either way, you have no basis to allege that it was imaginary.
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#86 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 01:52 PM
 
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Thanks Sean.

Actually, I will not debate, but just mention "these facts" are, indeed, in dispute in scholarly circles.
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#87 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 02:04 PM
 
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You're right, I was speaking too broadly. Or too narrowly. Or something. I guess there are no facts which aren't disputed by somebody, somewhere. There are even scholarly sorts who dispute all facts, saying "fact" is a meaningless concept with no basis in "fact." Or something. I shall try to use words even more precisely henceforth. Thanks for not debating.
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#88 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 09:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
As far as an oral tradition being a story, well, it's all stories.
didn't we just go through this discussion on another thread? it's *all* oral tradition. the fact that somebody, at some point, chiseled it into rock or inked it onto an animal hide doesn't change the fact that everything in the Abrahamic tradition is oral. even "historical" accounts of Jesus are ultimately oral because they are premised on a prophetic tradition that is, well, oral. one cannot read the bible in its native form without coming at it with millenia of oral tradition.

and since no tradition has an infallible document listing the canon, the best we can say about the infallibility of any of the stuff is that we have a "fallible list of infallible writings" - which is a pretty interesting statement if you think about it.

it is not correct to say the "descent into hell" is an "early" c'ian belief because the story predates c'ianity by at least several hundred years.
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#89 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally posted by dado

it is not correct to say the "descent into hell" is an "early" c'ian belief because the story predates c'ianity by at least several hundred years.
OK, I'll bite. Greek, Jewish, Persian or what? And by whom?
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#90 of 116 Old 03-06-2004, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
OK, I'll bite. Greek, Jewish, Persian or what? And by whom?
it's another of your universal stories. everybody from Krishna...

Quote:
…went down to hell to preach to the inmates of that dark and dreary prison, with the view of reforming them, and getting them back to heaven, and was willing himself to suffer to abridge the period of their torment.
...to Quexalcoatl(!).

it makes sense, right? if the resurrection story is universal - which it clearly is - it doesn't take much imagination to fill in the "dead days" with a trip to where the dead hang out. it's hard to imagine what else they *could* do.
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