Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The gift of God

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 21, 2017

Mateus, also spelled Matheus, is a Portuguese given name and surname, equivalent to the english Matthew. It ultimately derives from the Hebrew name Matityahu which means “Gift of Yahweh”.

The Hebrew name Matityahu was transliterated into Greek to Mattathias. It was subsequently shortened to Greek Matthaios; this was Latinised as Matthaeus, which became Matthew in English. The name is also sometimes used as an anglicisation of the Irish name Mathúin, meaning bear.

Popularity of the name is due to Matthew the Apostle who in Christian theology is considered one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the author of the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.

The narrative tells how the Messiah, Jesus, rejected by Israel, finally sends the disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world. As Son of Man he will return to judge the world, an expectation which his disciples recognise but of which his enemies are unaware.

As Son of God he is God revealing himself through his son, and Jesus proving his sonship through his obedience and example. The gospel reflects the struggles and conflicts between the evangelist’s community and the other Jews, particularly with its sharp criticism of the scribes and Pharisees.

Prior to the Crucifixion the Jews are called Israelites, the honorific title of God’s chosen people; after it, they are called “Ioudaioi”, Jews, a sign that through their rejection of the Christ the “Kingdom of Heaven” has been taken away from them and given instead to the church.

Matthew drew on three main sources: the Gospel of Mark, the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source, and material unique to his own community, called the M source or “Special Matthew”.

The Gospel According to Mark, the second book of the New Testament, is one of the four canonical gospels and the three synoptic gospels. It tells of the ministry of Jesus from his baptism by John the Baptist to his death and burial and the discovery of the empty tomb – there is no genealogy or birth narrative, nor, in the original ending at chapter 16, any post-resurrection appearances.

It portrays Jesus as a heroic man of action, an exorcist, a healer, and a miracle worker. Jesus is also the Son of God, but he keeps his identity secret, concealing it in parables so that even the disciples fail to understand.

All this is in keeping with prophecy, which foretold the fate of the messiah as suffering servant. The gospel ends, in its original version, with the discovery of the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and an unheeded instruction to spread the good news of the resurrection.

Traditionally thought to be an epitome (summary) of Matthew, which accounts for its place as the second gospel in the Bible, most scholars now regard it as the earliest of the gospels, dating from c. AD 66–70.

Most scholars also reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative.

Attis was the consort of Cybele in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, the Galli, as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis and castration. Attis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation, and in his self-mutilation, death, and resurrection he represents the fruits of the earth, which die in winter only to rise again in the spring.

Adonis, in Greek mythology, is a central figure in various mystery religions. In 1966, Wahib Atallah wrote that the “cult of Adonis belonged to women”, and further asserted “the cult of dying Adonis was fully developed in the circle of young girls around Sappho on Lesbos, about 600 BC, as a fragment of Sappho reveals.” His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype.

There has been much scholarship over the centuries concerning the multiple roles of Adonis, if any, and his meaning and purpose in Greek religious beliefs. Modern scholarship sometimes describes him as an annually renewed, ever-youthful vegetation god, a life-death-rebirth deity whose nature is tied to the calendar.

Adōnis was a borrowing from the Canaanite word ʼadōn, meaning “lord”, which is related to Adonai, one of the names used to refer to the God of the Hebrew Bible and still used in Judaism to the present day. Syrian Adonis is Gauas or Aos, akin to Egyptian Osiris, the Semitic Tammuz and Baal Hadad, the Etruscan Atunis and the Phrygian Attis, all of whom are deities of rebirth and vegetation.

Circa the sixth century BC, the appearance of the cult of Adonis is reported in Jerusalem by the biblical Book of Ezekiel, although under the Babylonian name Tammuz (Sumerian: Dumuzid (DUMU.ZI(D), “faithful or true son”), a Sumerian god of food and vegetation, also worshiped in the later Mesopotamian states of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.

In Babylonia, the month Tammuz was established in honor of the eponymous god Tammuz, who originated as a Sumerian shepherd-god, Dumuzid or Dumuzi, the consort of Inanna and, in his Akkadian form, the parallel consort of Ishtar.

The Levantine (“lord”) Adonis, who was drawn into the Greek pantheon, was considered by Joseph Campbell among others to be another counterpart of Tammuz, son and consort.

The Aramaic name “Tammuz” seems to have been derived from the Akkadian form Tammuzi, based on early Sumerian Damu-zid. The later standard Sumerian form, Dumu-zid, in turn became Dumuzi in Akkadian. Tamuzi also is Dumuzid or Dumuzi.

Beginning with the summer solstice came a time of mourning in the Ancient Near East, as in the Aegean: the Babylonians marked the decline in daylight hours and the onset of killing summer heat and drought with a six-day “funeral” for the god.

Recent discoveries reconfirm him as an annual life-death-rebirth deity: tablets discovered in 1963 show that Dumuzi was in fact consigned to the Underworld himself, in order to secure Inanna’s release, though the recovered final line reveals that he is to revive for six months of each year.

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