Fallen angels and pagan ideas food for stories

Mankind may find the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia which gave us a treasure of many valuable inventions, discoveries and stories.

Many may say that it was here that agriculture began, but they should know that already long before that age, people tried to cultivate the earth to extract edible products from it. Several people before them sought ways to give the plants enough water.

The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Hieronymus Bosch is based on Genesis 6:1–4

Several people also think there have been ‘fallen angels‘ and as such it is also a popular theory that Gilgamesh was not just  a very tall man, but was a giant who was one of the so called fallen angels who  took human women as wives (from Genesis chapter 6 of the Bible). Their offspring were Nefilim (Nephilim) and were (according to the legends) half angel, half human and grew to be giants.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a historic piece of poetic literature that actually predates Homer’s earliest writings by 1,500 years and stands out as one of the earliest-known pieces of writings in human history.

Citing the earliest examples of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and if the myths around Gilgamesh are to be believed, the epic stood right at the top of the great literary masterpieces of ancient times. It is without doubt a gem in the history of cuneiform literature, a writing system developed by the ancient Sumerians themselves around 3500 to 3000 BC. {Epic of Gilgamesh – summary, by Benjamin Night}

The Mesopotamians may be responsible for the earliest form of writing and for the first means of transportation, the chariot and the sailboat, whereby also texts could travel to other places.

Archaeologists are yet to discover any actual evidence that could date the epic back to its time of origin, but multiple copies of certain snippets of the epic have been found in modern-day Israel, Syria, and Turkey. Furthermore, the main character Gilgamesh is mentioned throughout ancient Greek and Roman literature. {Epic of Gilgamesh – summary}

Like other ancient writings we do now have to relate to them by the few surviving cuneiform tablets depicting the epic, and these older stone tablets which showcase the Babylonian version, dating back well into the second millennium BCE.

It is only two-thirds complete and presents the story of Gilgamesh in a different light. Then there is the Akkadian version from the early 13th to the 10th century BC. It wasn’t until the seventh century AD that contemporary historians found the best-preserved copies in the ruins of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal’s library. {Epic of Gilgamesh – summary}

In the times after the Nazarene Jew Jeshua (Jesus Christ) was born, many legends and Greek philosophies were taken into several religious groups. These created an unseemly blemish on the teachings of those who wanted to follow Jeshua or Jesus.

In the 4th century the worst event brought a schism in the group of followers of Christ, creating a so called Catholic church which said it was the only one true church to follow. That group which agreed to a three-une godhead created many monastic communities. Lots of them were influenced by Augustinian literary theory which was contained within De doctrina Christiana, which, according to Huppe, provides the basic program for a Christian culture, and is a work mentioned numerous times by Old English scholastics such as Bede, Alcuin, and Rabanus (Huppe, B. Doctrine and Poetry. Augustine’s Influence on Old English Poetry. Modern Language Notes, 75(7), 1959, pp.602.).

In this work, Augustine argued that

“the Bible was divinely ordained to be obscure, in order to prevent slackening of attention when the intellect was not strenuously engaged” (Augustine).

This is what Marrou, elaborating on Augustine, has called Gymnastique Intellectuale – a process considered an essential part of the mind moving toward divine truth (Marrou 58).  This argument was used in the justification by Augustine for the contradictions between the Old and New Testament. {Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf}

When one would read the Bible from a real Christian view, not adhering that false teaching of the Trinity one can see that there are no contradictions at all in the Bible. But by all the false teachings introduced by several ‘theologians‘ in the following centuries, several matters seemed to contradict each other, and strange ideas came into being, like God having a mother (Mary), though God has no beginning (no birth) and is the First of everything, not having a mother at all.

In De doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine) a theological text written by Augustine of Hippo, the writer set three tasks for so called Christian teachers and preachers: to discover the truth in the contents of the Scriptures, to teach the truth from the Scriptures, and to defend scriptural truth when it was attacked. But he went out from the idea that his trinitarian thinking or ideology, was the truth and that the many philosophical teachings from the Greek philosophers were basic teachings people had to follow and to believe. Though people should know they should abstain from such beliefs.

There had been edicts against paganism that concluded in 391 with a law making pagan worship illegal, though Christendom had by then already been contaminated with a lot of pagan ideas and pagan rites.

They also attacked those who kept following the true teachings of Jesus, concerning the worship of Only One true God, Jehovah Who is an eternal all-knowing Spirit God no man can see.

It became worse when Augustine demanded everybody to make effective use of his teachings, and until today still lots of so called Christians refer to his works as the guide.

When one looks at the epic poem of Beowulf, it is rife with slaughters, intrigues, and a warrior-like ethos.

The poet, Cain argues, deliberately parallels the pagan Germanic past with the pre-Christian world of the OT with the aim of demonstrating the prefiguration of the Christian world, just as it was demonstrated in the world of the old dispensation of the Hebrews. (Cain, C. Beowulf, the Old Testament, and the Regula Fidei. Renascence, 49(4), 1997 pp.227-240.) {Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf}

We wonder how they look at the “prefiguration of the Christian world”, probably they looking at an other god than we wood do. For most Christians their god is on who exist out of three units, a god the Father, a god the son and a God the Holy Spirit and as such are really polytheists, though they claim to be monotheists, who in their services of worship and in their feasts and festivals have taken a huge amount of heretic pagan rites.

Beowulf differs to David (and thus to Christ) is his reliance on the Heroic Germanic ethos him holding on also onto the Germanic gods and also having Christ as one of his gods.

Beowulf holds close to this ethos throughout the poem, but as is inevitable if we consider the poem to be essentially Christian the synthesis falls apart, it fails him and results in his death and the destruction of his people. In a twist of irony, Beowulf’s sacrifice to defeat the dragon shadows Christ’s own passion to save his own people. And in what greater way could the poet reveal the essence of the poem in a demonstration of Christian action (that can only go as far as typos) as divorced by Christian thought and belief (understood as logos) which for Beowulf has been substituted for heroic ethos, which has him sacrifice himself not for love but because he was “keenest to win fame” as the poet chooses to remember him in the last line (Heaney 99). {Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf}

Conor Ross thinks the writer of the poem who feels pity for his ancestor “who in time of trouble has to thrust his soul in the fire’s embrace, forfeiting help; he has nowhere to turn” (188). In imbuing the work with this intentional obscurity the poet has avoided reducing his art to mere propaganda. Ross believes we can find a sentiment that proves the essence of the poem is Christian and renders allegorical evidence in the contrary as redundant in their use as ingredients to this final synthesis.

To conclude, from allegorical evidence as justified by scholastic literary theory we can determine the poem to be essential Christian. I will posit that if a detractor argued that allegorical evidence is not valid evidence to determine the poem to be essentially Christian, I would add that the same principle must be held to claims of the poem’s essential paganism. In other words, we must decide whether the poem is essentially Christian as argued or, in mutual destruction, merely make the same common ground conclusion that Tolkien wrote of the poem: (final universal chorus of all voices) it is worth studying. (Tolkien, J R. R. Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. London: Oxford University Press, 1963.)  {Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf}

In ancient literary works we can find several gods who had lots of adventures which would have influenced the ongoings on earth. Many writers want others to believe that God and gods have dwelt, for a time, in good and bad days, even in misery among  banished monsters.

There are writers who want to make believe that

Cain’s clan, whom the Creator had outlawed/and condemned as outcasts. For the killing of Abel,/the Eternal Lord had exacted a price:/Cain got no good from committing that murder/because the Almighty made him anathema/and, out of the curse of his exile, there sprang/ogres and elves and evil phantoms/and the giants, too, who strove with God/time and again until He gave them their reward. {God in English Literature}

From all those stories and from many writings of lots of people, we come to see and hear that lots of people are also concerned about the future or what would happen when they die. Intrigued by the beginning of the world many also want to know how everything shall end.

Oh, cursed is he/who, in time of trouble, has to thrust his soul/in the fire’s embrace, forfeiting help;/he has nowhere to turn.  But blessed is he/who, after death, can approach the Lord/and find friendship in the Father’s embrace. – Beowulf (lines 87-98, 104-114, 175-188), translated from the Old English by Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) {From: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 10th edition, Stephen Greenblatt, general editor; Volume A, “The Middle Ages,” edited by James Simpson (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2018), pp. 44, 45, and 46.}

In the following articles we shall see that the set apart or sacred Writings which were inspired by the Kol of Elohim, break down all those man-made epic stories and poems. Though lots of thinkers may want others to believe that the many myths were the first words about how everything came into being, the Divine Creator gave already His Word from the beginning of times to mankind. All the time that time That Word of God was given from parents to their children, going on from generation to generation. Though by the times many preferred to listen to other human opinions than to those Words given by the Divine Maker Himself.

The world continues and each of us can read and research a lot of writings.

But it is God who is building and, under His hands, the structure rises as steadily as it does slowly and, in due time, the capstone shall be set into its place and, to our astonished eyes, shall be revealed nothing less than a saved world. (From: “God’s Immeasurable Love” (John 3.16), in The Savior of the World: Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary by Benjamin B. Warfield (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), pp. 124-125.) {God and His Elect}

We always should be very careful not to be carried away by the ideas presented in human stories, saga’s, epics, poems or musings. We should remember that there is the infallible Word of God, the Bible, Which should be our Guide for life.

In that Book of books people can find the story of mankind and how badness entered the world but also caught many, so that lots of problems, which could be avoided, could come over many.

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Preceding

Stories of the beginnings, and one Main book composed of four major sections

Gilgamesh

Between gods and animals: becoming human in the Gilgamesh epic

Humanity vs. Divinity: The Role of Religious Perspective in The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf

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Additional reading

  1. Genesis Among the Creation Myths
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  3. Creation of the earth and man #2 Evil Angels and moments of creation
  4. First mention of a solution against death 6 Authority given to the send one from God coming out of the woman
  5. Bad things no punishment from God
  6. Has the devil got you?
  7. Where does Satan lives?
  8. Because men choose to go their own way
  9. A 1st reply to the 4th Question Who is God 2 A Singular Supreme Spirit Being
  10. Politics and power first priority #1
  11. Politics and power first priority #2
  12. Edward Wightman

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Further Related

  1. Constantine and Christendom: Glory or Calamity? | Catholic Lane 1
  2. Constantine and Christendom: Glory or Calamity? | Catholic Lane. 2
  3. Is Peter Leithart right to defend Constantine?
  4. Modern Christians Are Polytheists
  5. A Reader Reviews: ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War’
  6. The Deus ex Machina
  7. God in English Literature
  8. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  9. Odysseus is fun to read about, but Beowulf is the hero you’d actually date and marry.
  10. A Word on Behalf of Beowulf
  11. Humanity vs. Divinity: The Role of Religious Perspective in The Epic of Gilgamesh and Beowulf
  12. Beowulf – “Heroes Under Heaven”
  13. Egotistical Epic Heroes
  14. Paper: Is Beowulf the Epitome of the Germanic Warrior Hero?
  15. Beowulf Revisited
  16. Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf
  17. The Anglo-Saxon Tradition of Alexander the Great: Tyranny or Hero? 
  18. Gaining Appreciation for a Epic of Old English
  19. The 2019 New York Tolkien Conference: A Singular Proceeding

2 thoughts on “Fallen angels and pagan ideas food for stories

  1. Interesting article. I’ve just given it a quick glance because I am on holiday but once I am not I’ll have a proper read.
    All the best,
    Conor

    Like

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