Funeral practices of ____ _____ are based on the Judeo/Christian tradition and this tradition is the result of a kind of cultural evolution of pagan customs of the Mediterranean world.
To say that funeral practices of today are pagan in nature is true but so are the traditions and customs originating from early Christians and Jews.
All are Interrelated
These are a result of the influence forced upon them, during conquest, by other semitic cultures, specifically 4.
Hebrew Death Beliefs
4 Specific Influences Forced Upon Hebrews
- 1700 BC- 1280 BC
- The concept of the soul reuniting with the body at a future time came about.
- Origin of Resurrection from re-animation
The Egyptian Captivity (of Hebrews)
- 597 BC- 547 BC
- The Hebrews rejected Polytheism, a belief in many Gods, and turned to Monotheism, a belief in one God called Yahweh.
The Babylonian Captivity
- 450 BC - 150 BC
- The Hebrews believed that man was composed of two elements:
- At death the soul would go to the netherworld. (arterlife)
Persian and Greek Domination
The name of the netherworld that the Hebrews believed in during Persian and Greek domination.
Hebrews basically believed in two different beliefs about death.
- Christ teached these tenants.
At the Time of Christ
- The soul of the good would pass on to a glorious existence; the soul of the evil would face eternal damnation (immortality of the soul)
- The soul at the last judgement would reunite with the body and be judged for the last time resuling in a final reward or punishment.
Two Hebrew Death Beliefs During the Time of Christ
A Jewish historian who makes historical accounts of Hebrew burial customs.
Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD)
- Remains were washed, annointed, and spiced to contain the odor of putrefaction.
- They were attired in their own clothing indicating their station in life. Shrouding the deceased seems to be a later development about the time of Christ (Christ was shrouded)
- Out of hygiene necessity, all Semitic cultures (Arabic, Muslim, Hebrew) buried their dead usually by the evening of the day of death because of rapid putrefaction.
- The poor were carried on a bier and interred in a shallow trench and covered with a mound of earth. The rich were interred in natural caves or in artificial sepulchers.
Hebrew Burial Customs
The use of _____ for Hebrews comes much later after Christ under Christian Domination.
- Originally the men were naked until the burial rites were completed, this gave way to tearing of clothes later in history (Black cloth) (Now they slit ribbons)
- Men would strip down to a loin cloth of goat's or camel's hair.
- Sandals were discarded as bare feet remained a symbol of death.
- Draped or covered their head during mourning.
- Shaved off beards and cut hair.
- Fasted during the entire mourning period (common to all)
- Hired mourners to sing special dirges.
Hebrew Mourning Customs
Rejected ancestor worship and the elaborate tombs associated with it. (Associated with Oriental Mystery cults- Japan, China, India).
Hebrews- Places of Burial
- One must be buried with their kin or clan in Sheol.
- Hebrew graves divided themselves into four varieties.
- Cremation was an insult and strictly forbidden.
- Even the poorest and most destitute were provided a grave. To leave the dead unburied or to violate a grave could be punished by death (Usually stoned to death).
Hebrew Places of Burial
- Sunken Grave
4 Varieties of Hebrew Graves
Has a stone cover on the grave.
Thick wall with areas for the deceased to be placed inside.
A simple ____.
There were two philosophies at this time. The oriental mystery cults in the east, were trying to dominate the minds of the people. The ____ were going in the opposite direction.
Member of the Sanhedrin, like a rabbinical council He has a multigrave chamber along with Nicodemous and claimed the body of Jesus against the wishes of the Sanhedrin. Both were credited with the emtombment of Jesus. This person owned the tomb of Jesus
Joseph of Arimathea
Discusses the quick sealing of the tomb of Jesus. The grave was sealed and a boulder was placed in front- double sealed to prevent desecration. V. 66 " so they went and made the tomb secure sealing the stone and setting the guard." Placing in guards in front.
Bible- Matthew Chapter 27- v. 57-66
Christ preached "the infinate and equal value of every human being."- The soul was both spiritual and immortal- no should could be totally destroyed.
Death Beliefs of Early Christians
- Follow the example of the master
- Resurrection and the body is a temple of the holy spirit
- Constantine the great- prohibited cremation
- Canon Laws 1203 and 1204
The Resurrection of the Body in Relation to Cremation
The early church never specifically prohibited cremation, but rather encouraged its flow to:
Follow the Example of the Master
Christ promised the _____ of a glorified body and preached that the body was the:
Resurrection, Temple of the Holy Spirit
As a reaction to the pagan Germanic tribes that were threatening western Europe who cremated their dead. (Constantine is not speaking for the Church).
Constantine the Great Prohibited Cremation