Applying Anthropology to the Bible
▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲
Friday, November 5, 2010
Christ as Alpha and Omega
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8
"He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life." Rev. 21:6
"And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Rev. 22:12
The alpha and the omega, the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet, do not correspond to the Phoenician exactly and do not resemble Egyptian hieroglyphics. However, the alpha and the omega are used to describe Jesus Christ because the Apostles recognized in Him the fulfillment of an ancient conception that is traced back to Egypt through the Canannite Phoenician language, from which Hebrew emerged. The prophet Isaiah tells us that Hebrew is a “language of Canaan” (Isaiah 19:18), which has been confirmed the study of ancient inscriptions.
When Herodotus visited the priests at Heliopolis (449-440 B.C.) he praised them for their wisdom. When Strabo visited in 25 B.C., he wrote "At Heliopolis we saw large buildings in which the priests lived. For it was said that anciently this was the principal residence of the priests, who studied philosophy and astronomy." This suggests that the esoteric knowledge of the ancient Heliopolitan priests was by Herodotus' time lost or obscured by the prevalent Hellenistic worldview.
Plotinus, a 4th-century A.D. Egyptian-born philosopher, interpreted hieroglyphic writing from the viewpoint of his priestly training under Ammonius Saccas, a priest of Heliopolis. It is not clear how well Ammonius understood the meaning of the hieroglyphic writings, but his association with Heliopolis and his name, which means Teacher, suggest that he was recognized as a learned man.
Heliopolis is the Greek name for the ancient Nile shrine which was dedicated to Horus. The Egyptian name waslunu, which means "place of pillars" because the temples were constructed with many wooden pillars. Arabs call the place Ain Shams, which means "the well of the Sun." The well was the Nile and when the Sun rested over the waters at noon, it was midway between the mountains on the east of the Nile and the mountains on the west.
According to Egyptologist Maspero, King Khufu, the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza, investigated the earlier sources of the Pyramid Texts. Maspero notes that “the likeness between what was copied in the various Pyramid Texts suggests that some of their information were directly derived from old written sources." Those sources are represented by the pictographs found at Hierakonpolis (Nekhen).
There is evidence that Horus was regarded as the beginning (alpha) and the end (omega). The beginning and the end of each day was symbolized by a double lion (Aker). In the New Kingdom, the lion was sometimes pictured as a falcon and called Hor-em-akhet("Horus in the Horizon") because Horus' emblem is the Sun. At the earlier Horus shrine in Hierakonpolis Horus was also known as "Nekheny", meaning falcon.
Hor-em-akhet (Horus) was represented as a child, a falcon, or as the leonine sphinx. The great east-facing Sphinx of Giza was viewed as "Horus in the Horizon" and it lay between the twin peaks of the giant akhet (horizon/mountain) formed by the pyramid ofKhufu and the horizon/mountain of the pyramid ofKhafre). In the relief scene carved on the "Sphinx Stele" at Giza, Tuthmosis IV is shown making offerings to twin sphinxes which represent the aspects of Horus in the Horizons. Horus' name appears above the animals' heads. These sphinxes are placed back to back with the winged sun disk above and between them, depicting Horus at the sacred center.Horus who is the beginning (east) and the end (west) is also present at the center (the eternal).
The Jews who affirmed Jesus as the Son of God thought in the language and symbols of the Phoenician Canannites. John McClintock observes, "The Hebrews adopted Phoenician as their own language, or, in otherwords, that which is called [ancient] Hebrew language was in fact "the language of Canaan." It is not merely poetic but literal and in the philological truth. One of the proofs for this is taken from the Bible itself: Isaiah 19:18 says "In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of Destruction -- City of the Sun (that is, Heliopolis). --John McClintock, Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature