A Book of the Dead is a funerary-religious scroll found in burial sites of ancient Egypt. It aimed to provide a kind of “afterlife insurance” guaranteeing safe passage for the journey along the way to the realm of the divine for pharaohs, and a bit less dramatically, merely to secure a blessed afterlife for others.
For example, see the Book of the Dead of Amen-em-hat — wikipedia styles it a “seven-metre-long scroll on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.”
I have come to believe, after conducting over 35 years of study, that the Hebrew-Christian Bible represents a novel form, much more extended than most by way of a redemptive-history account added to it, of just such a document. It displays a divine “Testament,” which according to Hebrews, presents itself as “surety” – where Jesus is the guarantor of safe passage into a blessed afterlife as “kings and priests” (just the most common person for whom a Scroll of the dead might be printed.
We have already considered (more or less) the following points, reprinted here in brief:
- The Book of Genesis compares Goshen (in Egypt) to the “Garden of the Lord” itself portrayed as an organic and heavenly “Egyptian Pyramid.” It sits atop a sizable mountain and has 4 rivers extending downward in four directions like the edges of the pyramids, as though circumscribed by the Nile (the Great River to noble Egyptians).
- The Book of Revelation concludes exactly the same way, with a heavenly Egyptian pyramid (the New Jerusalem, or “Church,” in the book’s symbology), descending from the heavenlies to land squarely in modern Turkey (Asia Minor), where sit 7 priestly “lampstand-churches.”
- Genesis remains obsessed with Egypt throughout — It begins with an Egyptian (Goshen-like [Nile Delta?]) Garden, has three Egyptian journeys of the patriarchs (Abram, Isaac and Jacob) throughout (and then of Joseph, who becomes second only to pharaoh in Egypt, delivers the world from famine, has granary-cities (e.g. Pi-Rameses?) and is embalmed in the Egyptian manner at death.
- Genesis arose as a prequel to provide a theodicy of, and to justify the people, the deliverance of Egyptian slaves from a heavy-handed pharaoh.
- The Tabernacle of the subsequent (add-on) chapters of Exodus (13-40 came after the original — which ended with the Passover account and explicandum of what “this (holiday celebration) is doing there” — represents a portable pyramid (You do what you know — “go with the tide” of the status quo in the absence of cultural innovation).
- The whole Bible obsesses over the fact and questions surrounding death, which requires redemption for afterlife insurance — a free ride to heaven. The genealogies of Genesis repeated “He lived so many years and he died … and he died … and then he died; in chapters 6-9 (Flood Account) — not counting the fishes, damn near everyone dies. Peace and blessing be upon the fishes. Starting at the end of chapter 9 animals are fair game (death of animals begins in earnests, leading to Passover and the tabernacle sacrifices later), despite the early cheating of Abel and God’s supposed clothing for Adam and Eve.
This happens much too early, yes? Then, of course, the Flood wacks most of them, adding the putative reason for the divine greenlight to do likewise by Noah’s seed at the chapter’s end After the tower of Babel account (according to many linguists, quite a false account of the linguistic history of the planet), we get the deadly Abrahamic War of the Kings, recycled famine accounts (BOR- ing), the fraternal (near-) murder of Joseph (much more exciting drama), and finally the worldwide famine account of Joseph, the account of Joseph’s death and the death of the generation of the patriarchs. Death is everywhere.
- In the Exodus account, widespread death comes early to the Hebrew male children at the heavy hand of the pharaoh “who knew not Joseph.” Then the Pharaph brings death and futility of life by hard bondage to the whole Hebrew People, followed by a divine retaliation of ten plagues (plenty of death to go around), eventuating in the wholesale slaughter of the firstborn male of Egypt by an angel (even more ubiquitous death); and then the Egyptian military drowns in a mighty miracle of YHWH, the deliverer and hope of slaves (Here, in the Exodus, we meet death, death, death — and now we really mean it this time — wholesale slaughter — ends in the Passover (cruel, unusual and grisly animal death everlasting, Amen).
- Then we move into the truly massive slaughter of the 7 Caananitic nations — those pesky Canaanites must go you know — and then “Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands” — thanks to the fact that they have Jehovah’s quickness and the divine blessing for some serious kickass.
- Skipping a bit into the Newer Testament, we have the all-important (did I mention torturous and gruesome as Hell?) death of Jesus, the Christian Passover slaughter, and surety for those in need of a new and improved Egyptian book of the dead.
- Finally, the NT closes with the Dead, from the very great and too the very least of servants — yeah brethren, all those of stiff competition, even unto the mortal wounding thereof, withal those betimes moving more slowly than most — ALL THE DEAD — are judged by YHWH (He of 4 letters only), until the Great Egyptian Pyramid falleth upon the earth from heaven to provide a new mailing address for the righteous — and presumably free postage.
- The Bible is thus the guarantee, as is Jesus, the Slain One, for your safe passage on the journey into the blessed afterlife.
Here is your Egyptian book of the dead — new and improved Testament version. This, of course, needs a new pharaoh which shall arise to govern the slaves of the new. Christianity actually largely attracted slaves in its earlier years. And Philemon also agreeth with this message. In part, this was due to the fact that at its flourishing, the Roman empire actually consisted of a populace made up of slave by 1/3. The new pharaohs were on the job. Replacing these in the Christian community, of course, with the fall of the Roman state by 565 (the death of Justinian) were the popes and then holy Roman emperors. Popes are all the pharaonic leftovers of the middle ages. And their mind-slaves are many. Recall that the title for YHWH (Adonai — something like Sovereign Lord) has the counterpart of slave of which Jesus is presented as the perfect type in Philippians 2. 5-11, here called a “Doulos,” or house-slave.
The perfect slave of YHWH, a type for all Christians to follow into holy slavery, receives representation later by the Pope as new Pharaoh. Keep these things in mind and you will do well brethren. remember that your New Testament — new Egyptian book of the dead (afterlife insurance) — comes at a high price, a new and improved Pharaoh to enslave your mind to absolute catechisms which “come down out of heaven” from the holy pyramidal Church — the new death and resurrection machine. Think about Christianity if you will, but think twice. Caveat Emptor.