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Ministry Training Program World Religion “Gods of the OT World”

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Presentation on theme: "Ministry Training Program World Religion “Gods of the OT World”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ministry Training Program World Religion “Gods of the OT World”

2 World religions 2006 WHY STUDY THESE PRACTICES? “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience” Hebrews 4:14 “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience” Hebrews 4:14 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man” “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man” 1 Corinthians 10:14

3 World Religions 2006 TOOLS OF THE TRADE A Good (not cheap) Bible Dictionary A Good (not cheap) Bible Dictionary A Bible background commentary A Bible background commentary Scholarly websites, (.edu) Scholarly websites, (.edu) OT Survey Tools OT Survey Tools An inquisitive mind An inquisitive mind Diligence and Application Diligence and Application

4 world religions 2006 World of PATRIARCHS Monotheism not the norm in the ancient world Worship of YHWH outnumbered by paganism Paganism is ‘folk’ religion Primal, not “Primitive” Could be elaborate and sophisticated Generally not “text-based” Experiential/oral tradition

5 world religions 2006 World OF PATRIARCHS Pagan rituals often contained a ‘clergy’ or priesthood Gender roles often inverted/women prominent Fertility, Seasons/Harvest are common themes Polytheistic/Pantheon of gods and goddesses Local/Regional/City-based deities Anthropomorphism was very common Gods are ‘humanized’, weak, capricious

6 World religions 2006 MESOPOTAMIAN/SUMERIAN ANU- Supreme god, lord of constellations/heavens INANNA- Mother goddess, fertility, love and war Priesthood and Temple worship Gods of sun, water, earth City gods/local gods Gods have families and servants Statues need care and feeding 3000-2300 bc

7 World religions 2006 Akkadian religion King Sargon- mixed Semitic & Babylonian EL = Anu Ishtar = Inanna SIN = GOD OF SUN CHEMOSH = GOD OF MOON CHEMOSH = GOD OF MOON

8 World religions 2006 Ur dynasty 2100 – (time of Abraham) Fall of Sargon Fall of Sargon Gilgamesh epic (flood story) Gilgamesh epic (flood story) Begin to be more concerned with life than death Begin to be more concerned with life than death Signs and Omens Signs and Omens Trained Priesthood Trained Priesthood Early Astrology Early Astrology

9 World religions 2006 Egyptian religion Obsession with death, immortality & after-life Half animal/half human figures are prominent Sphinx = body of lion with human head Anubis = jackal-headed god of Death Horus = hawk Individual Pharaohs had gods Numerology is significant (3, 4, 7)

10 World religions 2006 Egyptian pantheon Ra = god of sun Isis = goddess of fertility, corn harvest Osiris = fertility and vegetation, ruler of after-world Bull, sacred in most of Egypt (Exodus 32) Dog, Ibis, Frog, Baboon, Crocodile also had powers

11 World religions 2006 Egyptian symbols

12 World religions 2006 Canaanite Religion General correlation w/ gods of Mesopotamia and Egypt General correlation w/ gods of Mesopotamia and Egypt El = father of the gods and humans El = father of the gods and humans Asherah = consort of El Asherah = consort of El Baal = son of Asherah and El, name means ‘master’; also god of rain, crops and general vegetation Baal = son of Asherah and El, name means ‘master’; also god of rain, crops and general vegetation Anat = daughter of El, sister and lover of Baal Anat = daughter of El, sister and lover of Baal Molech/Moloch = god of war (child sacrifice) Molech/Moloch = god of war (child sacrifice) Mott = god of death Mott = god of death 1800 - 1200 BCE

13 World religions 2006 GODS AND MONSTERS ELBAALASHERAH/ASHTORETHANUINANNAMOLECHCHEMOSH

14 World religions 2006 Baal worship Ritual prostitution Child sacrifice (2 Kings 17:17, Jer. 19:5) Stone idols (2 Kings 3:2) Burning incense (Jer 11:17) Connected to worship of Ashtoreth and the use of the Asherah pole (Judges 3:7, 10:6, 1 Kings 11:5) Wild chanting, ecstasy, the pouring out of human blood (1 Kings 18: 25-29)

15 World religions 2006 BAAL WORSHIP Baal = ‘master’, possessor, husband Native religion of Canaan Each locale had own ‘version’ or local version of ba’al (Baal of Peor) Fertility god, controlled the seasons Said to ‘go away’ in winter, and return in spring Wife of Baal “colorless reflection of himself”

16 World religions 2006 dagon Dagon is primary deity (polytheistic) Body of fish, hands and head of man Syrians inverted into mermaid Greek version is Aphrodite, goddess who comes from foam of the sea Water purifies and fertilizes crops See 1 Sam 5 for cutting off head/feet! 1 Chron. 10:10- fate of Saul!

17 World religions 2006 Chemosh God of Moab Human w/Bulls head with arms outstretched Jewish tradition holds his symbol to be a black star/Arabic symbol is black stone Perhaps identified with Mars/Saturn He is giver of military success/bringer of war Required human sacrifice for success in battle (‘passing them [children] through the fire’ (1Kings 11:7, 1 Kings 23:10, Ezek 16:20) AKA Ashtar and later Astarte

18 World religions 2006 asherah Symbol of agricultural fertility and prosperity Symbol is a tree, or tree stump w/branches removed Sometimes symbolized by a conical stone Ritual prostitution/goddess of love Often portrayed with lion or ibex at her side Mother and creator of mankind Seen as ‘tree of life’ Consort and lover of Baal, her brother

19 world religions 2006 Tammuz of Egypt  Husband of Ishtar, traveled to underworld to bring him back from the dead (Adonis/Gk)  Ritual Sex/prostitution at temple  Killed by a wild boar/sentenced to spend half the year on earth and half in Hades  When he is away, winter comes, returns in spring  June feast celebrating his return involves tearing out of hair and orgies

20 World religions 2006 Babylonian/Assyrian views of the after-life Resurrection was a very big deal Immortality was an obsession Went to ‘land of no return’ Must pas through the ‘judgment of souls’ Underworld contained the water of life (used by Tammuz to rescue his wife) Elaborate burial rituals, never cremation Place articles in tombs for the dead to use in the afterlife Great distinction was given in afterlife based on the manner of death (death in battle was great honor)

21 World religions 2006 Babylonian/Assyrian views of the after-life Some believe that zodiacal signs are operated by Sin, Shamash and Ishtar Heavens are a ‘mirror’ of the earth and each heaven has an earthly counterpart (i.e. ‘copies of the heavenly things in Hebrew temple) See Word document handout for more details

22 world religions 2006 Paganism in the n.t. Artemis/Dianna in Ephesus/Mother of the living (anti-Eve) Image of wood ‘fell from the sky’ (Act 19:35) Images carved in wood and later silver Headdress had veils, upper body covered with breasts Often represented with stags of lions on either side Head of cult was high priest, male eunuch Many, many prostitutes at temple, all ‘virgins’ Virgins symbolized by a bee, temple is ‘beehive’ Simon Magus (Acts 8) Superstition (Acts 28: 1-6)

23 World religions 2006 Practical applications Understand the reasons that God prohibited these practices Understand our tendency to adopt the traditions, practices and values of the culture we live in Forbid any form of it in yourself or your house Teach your Christians about idolatry and preach against it

24 World religions 2006 Practical idolatry Worship of career and ministry above the spiritual welfare of our kids (Sacrificing the children to Molech) Worship of comfort and a good life above the worship of God (living like the ‘nations around us’) Manipulating God by ‘completing all the rituals’ yet lacking a devout and self-controlled lifestyle (Col 2:20-22) Allowing career aspirations (the trade guilds of our day) to kill our love of Christ (Rev 2) Putting ‘democratic’ American ideals above the lordship and kingship of Jesus Christ (Col 2:8-10) Generally behaving and having lives than blend in with our neighbors and friends (compromise of Balaam Rev 2:14) Failure to renounce and denounce idolatry and false worship when we see it in our churches (Ezek 33:1-9)

25 World religions 2006 The real danger Reduction of the role and nature of God Reliance on ritual and chance Reversal (perversion) of gender roles Revision of established biblical principles Rebellion against the will and plan of God


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