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Nov 13, 2011

82 Is immortality original to Christianity

Pre-Christian Greeks and Romans believed that they could be godlike in the afterworld. And once in heaven, the mortal body underwent a change to an immortal one. Heroes were the top canditates to be rewarded with immortality in heaven. They could even be made one with the Olympian gods. 

For example in 44 BC the Romans believed Julius Caesar, their emperor, was made a god after his death. Caesar became a god thanks to the power and blessing of the god Jupiter. Then the Romans prayed to Caesar, hoping he might hear the prayer and protect Rome.

For another example, the gods carried the first Roman king to heaven, to the abode of the gods, after his death eight centuries before Christ. The Roman senators explained to the people that he had been made co-equal with the god Mars. Imagine believing in that kind of thing. 

Christianity says Christians receive a glorified body in heaven, too. In fact the new bodies will be godlike like Jesus.  

In the New Testament letter 1 Corinthians, written by the apostle Paul, Paul preaches that Christians will put on the likeness of the Savior in the next life 

1 Corinthians 15:49 Just as we wear the likeness of the man made of earth, so we will wear the likeness of the Man from heaven. 50 What I mean, friends, is that what is made of flesh and blood cannot share in God's Kingdom, and what is mortal cannot possess immortality. 51 Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed.

Recap: Ancient Greco-Roman religious belief and Christianity taught that any deserving man and woman gets an immortal body in the afterlife. Since Greco-Roman religious dogma was older than Christianity, it could be said that the dogma about transformation wasn't a Christian original one.

Related post on my other blog:
53 Is God mysterious and controversial

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