Demonizing the Gods in Jewish and Christian thought – from the Archeology News Network blog

300px-Qetesh_relief_plaque_(Triple_Goddess_Stone)

Ashera/Astaroth

I found this interesting blog post at The Archeology News Network called Demonizing the Gods in Jewish and Christian thought. To quote Aleksander Michalak from this short article:

“In the Testament of Job and the Book of Revelation, it was Satan, the Devil himself who was worshipped in the polytheistic temple. In these texts, he is also closely connected with idolatry and is, in fact, responsible for it. In Joseph and Aseneth, however, he is the protector (monarch) of the Gentile (Egyptian) gods […]. In addition, in Jubilees and the 4QPseudo-Daniel the pre-exilic gods of Canaan, to whom Israelites offered child sacrifices, are imagined to be demons”, he continues.”

I find it interesting that the most pagan “demonic” gods were said to be from Egypt, which fits in with Gnostic thought of this time, and the Hermeticism that came down to us today from what i consider to be the ultimate source – Egypt. The inks within the article will take you back to the original sources of this synopsis. The images are open source of various older sculptures.

lilith

Lilitu

6 thoughts on “Demonizing the Gods in Jewish and Christian thought – from the Archeology News Network blog

  1. Really interesting post, I don’t know much about the Gnostics or Egyptian traditions, but I know the Christians certainly demonised pagan gods – where they didn’t appropriate them that is!

    • Yes they put a new face on many of the old European gods for sure. Some Hermetic Gnostics were Very dualistic, thinking God created the lower gods, which they called Archons, which then created the world. Jehovah could be considered an Archon, a power hungry despot war god. Many others were helpful to men, teaching them science and magickal arts, and were called “The Watchers” who in my lineage of Witchcraft were our first teachers. All were considered “fallen” in some way or another in Kaballah systems because of their place on the QBL Tree. But in a practical sense the people realized “God” was far away and the Archons ruled the earthly plane so they prayed to them for practical things. Thus Satan became for them “the Lord of this world” in this kind of dualism. There are tons of variants of various forms of Gnosticism.

  2. Gnosticism sounds really interesting, especially about the Archons and I like the idea of the watchers as teachers. I think what bugs me about a lot of current mainstream religions is that they seem to view the material plane (and the spiritual aspect of the material plane), or the Earth itself as in some way fallen or evil/corrupt and something to be avoided whilst waiting for whatever is next. But it makes a lot of sense to approach more earthbound/earth focused entities for assistance in practical matters – I mean we are all part of the Earth – makes sense to enjoy it and get a long with it and not ignore or exploit it. It also seems logical (if that can be applied to spiritual views) to look for answers in the world around you. It may have been George Bernard Shaw who said ‘never trust a man whose god is in the sky’! I think you have to have a connection with the planet you live on or you’ve had it!

    You can tell I’m rambling here, I’m one of those untutored but fascinated vague-pagans who should really pull their fingers out and DO something – its one of the reasons I love your blog so much. So much to think about!!

    • Like i said, there are many kinds of Gnosticism over the millenia. Just look up the word on Wikipedia and you will have hours of reading the variations. Western civilization based on the religions of the Book (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) feel the world is fallen, like Eve, and has to be raised up, like Jesus and Mary. So their philosophy is God made the world and us and we are allowed to exploit it. Well guess what? The world is a Goddess already and can shake us off like fleas if we are not careful. In the West there is a schizophrenia of the spiritual and the material, and that the cause of many of our problems in dealing with reality. The earth, the body, sex, is sacred already.

      • I totally agree, we can’t exploit the earth ad infinitum and the religions of the book (and the consumer culture we all seem to inhabit right now) will have to wake up sooner or later.

        And, don’t get me started on Eve (feminist rant coming on!) I mean so Eve wanted knowledge and that was BAD? What kind of deity wants to keep their followers in ignorance (!?). I sound really anti-mainstream religion here, when really I have no issue with what anyone believes so long as they don’t oppress anyone or trash the planet while they do it (its not much to ask is it?)

        Anyway I must be off now! Posts to prepare etc

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