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Posted on Sunday, September 25 - 2005

" In Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ said he would build his church; "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Putting the word "hell" in context here is important because whereas the later meaning of the Greek word a/&dhß (transliterated "Hades" hah'-dace) was confused with deat..."

The Ahriman Gate Book Cover

In Matthew 16:18, Jesus Christ said he would build his church; "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Putting the word "hell" in context here is important because whereas the later meaning of the Greek word a/&dhß (transliterated "Hades" hah'-dace) was confused with death and the grave (Thanatos [also see Re 1:18]) at the time Jesus chose to use this word, the reference was to the person of Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions, and Orcus, the nether world and realm of the dead.Why would Jesus mention a Greek deity, as if Hades were a personal, sentient combatant? Perhaps there is more than meets the contemporary religion-student's eye.In Hesiod's Theogony weare told of twelve pre-Olympian gods known as Titans, who ruled the Universe.

These were the children of Gaia, who gave birth to the "elder" gods by cohabiting with Uranus. The important Titans included Oceanus, Tethys, Mnemosyne, Themis, Hyperion, Lapetus, and Atlas. When Uranus attempted to imprison the Titans within the body of his wife (the earth), Cronus, "the youngest and most terrible of her children," conspired with his mother and castrated Uranus with a sickle. The mutilation of Uranus separated Heaven from Earth and succeeded in freeing the Titans. When the powerful Cronus later cast the severed genitals of his father into the sea, a white foam enveloped them from which Aphrodite was born; thus the name aphros, or "foam-born."As the newly crowned king of the gods, Cronus married his sister Rhea. Six famous god-children were born of their union: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades,Poseidon, and Zeus. Mother Earth and Father Uranus warned Cronus that his offspring would someday try to overthrow and replace him as the king of the gods. Cronus therefore attempted to circumvent the possibility of threat by swallowing each child whole as it was born. Rhea was displeased and, "cunning as the night air," replaced baby Zeus with a cloth-wrapped stone which Cronus unwittingly swallowed instead. She then hid Zeus at Crete where he was fed on the milk of the goat Amalthaea and remained until adulthood, protected by the nymphs. Years later, Zeus made Cronus regurgitate his brothers and sisters. A fierce ten-year war ensued, and the younger, more powerful Olympians overthrew the elder Titans, casting them down into Tartarus where they (except for Hecate) were to remain fettered forever. Eventually Zeus reconciled with the Titans and proclaimed Cronus the ruler of the Golden Age. Meanwhile hesum......


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