Christ as a Planetary Diety? (Revelation 22:16)

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre, M.A. Ed.

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05 July 2003

Greek philosophers speculated that the Cosmos was evidence of a planned creation due its harmony, ergo this harmony was evidence of a Creator Mind or God. Some philosophers put forth the proposition that the Creator Mind was TRANSCENDANT, that is remote and unapproachable, man's contact with this Supreme Intelligence could ONLY be via INTERMEDIARIES. Man was also under the control of these intermediaries, amongst who were PLANETS, who because they "wandered" or moved about into different positions in the heavens, were thought to be animated and alive (demi-gods). Of interest is that Christ is portrayed in metaphorical language in Revelation 22:16 as a PLANETARY DEITY, the Bright Morning Star, the PLANET Venus, a role which would be quite understandable to the Hellenized world of the 1st century CE, which believed the Supreme god of the Philosophers was unapproachable, except via a PLANETARY intermediary (Christians claiming God the Father is approachable ONLY via an INTERMEDIARY his "PLANETARY" son, Christ). Christianty's success in winning over the Hellenized Roman world was due to its Hellenistic Greek concepts which it borrowed from the Greek Philosophers and reinterpreted into a message of hope and salvation.

Revelation 22:16 RSV

"I Jesus have sent my angel to you...I AM the root and offspring of David, THE BRIGHT MORNING STAR."

Professor Peters (Emphasis mine):

"Who was this High God who was almost a commonplace figure on the landscape of later Greek theology? He was produced by the congurence of many forces, but essentially and in his origins he was the God of the Philosophers, a figure who was summoned forth to move the universe and stayed on to rule it...From the time of the Pythagoreans the Greeks had seen the universe as a sytem of order (Kosmos), and it was by a Supreme Iintelligence...Order suggested serial causality...God as Mind...Once past Plato the Philosophers could agree on the resolution back to a single divine principle, whether transcendant in the manner of the Aristotelians and later Platonists or immanent after the Stoics...the transcendentalists eventually carried the day, even among the Stoics...A HIGH GOD IN THE HEAVENS WHO CONTROLLED HUMAN AFFAIRS THROUGH HIS SUBORDINATE PLANETARY DEITIES was more than the subject of academic debate, as the passion for popular astrology eloquently testifies. A man's destiny might very well be the outcome of luck (Tyche) or of his own prowress (Arete), but as times passed, more and more people chose to see the workings of a Grand Design controlled from on high." 

(pp. 463-464. F. E, Peters. The Harvest of Hellenism, A History of the Near East from Alexander the Great to the Triumph of Christianity. New York. Barnes & Noble Books. [1970] reprint 1996)

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