The Son of God

08/29/2013

Ludwig Feuerbach, a 19th century philosopher, once observed that “Religion is the dream of the human mind.”  If indeed it is a dream, it certainly is a persistent one with the same beliefs and concepts popping up in various religions.

Early religions all centered around the sun which, for obvious reasons, was considered the source of life and, therefore, the symbol of an unseen Creator. People rightfully thought of the sun as the savior of the world, as without the sun there would be no life. Their beliefs were based on the movement of the sun through the heavens, thus the origins of the Zodiac. They named the constellations and personified them in legends and myths.  For example, the sun of God became the Son of God.  The sun was truly man’s risen savior.

The god-man of various religions had similar attributes. He was typically born of a virgin mother on December 25th, was crucified and later resurrected, among other things.  All of these concepts have their roots in cosmology. With respect to civilizations in the northern hemisphere, the sun reaches its lowest point above the horizon at the Winter Solstice (on December 22nd). The ancients would refer to this event as the death of the sun (son). The sun would remain at its lowest point for three days, at which time it would move north once again (on December 25th). Ancient man considered that the sun was resurrected (born again) on December 25th, which resurrection would then be celebrated at the following Spring Equinox. Therefore, spring religious festivals (like Easter) generally centered on a god whose own death and rebirth symbolized the death and rebirth of life associated with the Spring Equinox.

These pagan concepts carried forward even into biblical times.  For example, sun worship is mentioned in the Bible as follows: “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2) and “For the Lord God is a sun and shield” (Psalm 84:11), just to cite a couple. In early Christianity, the disciples observed the Sabbath on Saturday (the Jewish day of rest) as opposed to the pagan Day of the Lord (Sunday), with Sunday named for the day of the Sun. The birthday of Jesus was originally celebrated on January 6th. Even today, the Eastern Orthodox (Christian) Church and the Seventh Day Adventists still celebrate it on January 6th, whereas all other Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th which is the date of the pagan festival honoring the Sun god.

Epilogue

The human mind is a curious thing. I marvel at the intellect required to create astrotheology, but it’s a mystery as to why people deny that it is part of religion today. Ludwig Feuerbach would have been proud.

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought.”

                  – Joseph Campbell

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11 Responses to “The Son of God”

  1. I have read a little on astro-theology and recall reading that Jesus represents the Sun, and the apostles the twelve signs of the zodiac. While there are a great many things about Jesus I don’t believe, the one thing I do believe is that he was a real person having lived in ancient Palestine, so I am not sure how to take astro-theology claims other than an interesting theory for influences on Christianity. But admittedly, I have not reviewed it in depth so my understanding about what it may represent is negligible.

    • chicagoja said

      Jesus was a real man, but the religion that grew up about, and around, him was largely symbolic and mostly intended for the masses. Jesus esoteric teachings are, for the most part, missing from the Bible.

      • Arkenaten said

        Jesus was a real man

        You sound very sure. What criteria/ basis do you use to make this assertion if may ask?

      • chicagoja said

        Didn’t know that I said that Jesus was a real man. That post was a history of religious belief systems prior to Christianity and how they might have influenced Christian thought.

      • Arkenaten said

        <blockquote?Jesus was a real man, but the religion that grew up about, and around, him was largely symbolic and mostly intended for the masses. Jesus esoteric teachings are, for the most part, missing from the Bible.

        Your comment right above mine…first sentence.

      • chicagoja said

        Sorry. Couldn’t find it. Are you sure that we’re talking about “The Son of God”?

      • Arkenaten said

        Your response to unconventional spirituality began with the words jesus was a real man.
        Maybe I am reading something different from my side by this is what it says in the comment.

      • chicagoja said

        You had me going there for a moment. Kept rereading the post without realizing that it was a comment that you were referring to. Yes, Jesus was a real man, sort of. I believe that his life story is actually based on more than one person. My belief is based on personal revelation. By the way, Judaism and Islam and Gnostic groups all believe that Jesus was a real man also.

      • Arkenaten said

        Well, of the first Jewish references that refer to Jesus their is no consensus. Apparently they don’t refer to the biblical jesus.
        I have no faith whatsoever of Islamic views in this regard as pretty much all of the foundation of their religion is plagiarised.

        Many people consider the biblical jesus was based on one or more itinerant eschatological preachers.
        This may be true. Difficult to say though, but the veracity of the biblical character? Hmm… based on the evidence, doubtful.

  2. Why do you think it’s so hard to get people to be willing to at least discuss the possibilities? When I broach the subject of religion with family members, they get so uncomfortable it’s ridiculous. Then when trying to talk about these things with “open minded” people, it’s like they as well already “know” it all. Where’s the people willing to say, “I just don’t know, let’s discuss it.”

    • chicagoja said

      Mark:

      Thanks for commenting. Yea, where are they? Unfortunately, cultural indoctrination plays an important role in peoples’ beliefs and psychologically it’s very hard for them to be open to a real discussion. Parents who have kidnapped their children away from cults typically find that they have to put their kids through often difficult de-programming sessions in order to break through the brainwashing that they had received while in the cult.

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