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Peter Stanford

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Xity adopted idea of Heaven as an antidote to the miserable existence most people led on Earth.

Egyptian afterlife ruled by Osiris, the first Pharoah, who judged the dead and welcomed into a pleasure dome where no illness or sorrow or pain, or else sent them to an underworld of monsters.

OT hebrew scriptures originally had an unreachable world where the gods lived, and only a few (named) prophets were admitted, and rest of dead went to a subterranean 'sheol'. But during Babylonian Captivity adopted Zoroasrin ideas of Heaven for the righteous. Ans since Israel's oppressors were unassailable, idea of a final and terrible justice had great appeal.

Daniel one of last additions to OT(written about 167-4 BC) first to describe everyone being judged on basis of how lived their earthly lives.

Revelations most detailed description of Heaven. God is sitting on a throne surrounded by other thrones (for other gods?). Walls of diamonds and city of pure gold..

Moslem Heaven banquets of finest foods in place of peace and tranquility. Greeted by beautiful virgins, though apparently no provision for straight women. Paradise the antithesis of Arabic terrain - instead of desert,

Will you see God when you make it to Heaven? Scholars get stuck on this bc in Paul's First Letter to Timothy God is described as 'the one who no man has seen and noman is able to see'.

Book of Death 1491 predicted eternal health, with everyone aged 33 bc that was how old Jesus was when he died.

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