2008-10-28

A Pagan endorsement for the devout Jew, Christian, Moslem

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by Neil Godfrey

An ancient Akkadian wisdom text goes to the heart of the ideal relationship between a mortal and a deity. It makes no difference who one’s deity is. It is all the same. The text is clear evidence to me that there is no difference between pagan polytheistic religions and modern monotheistic ones in respect to a sense of pious devotion towards a deity.

Pay homage daily to your god

With sacrifice, prayer, and appropriate incense-offering.

Towards your god you should feel solicitude of heart:

That is what is appropriate to the deity.

Prayer, supplication, and prostration to the ground

Shall you offer in the morning: then your might will be great,

And in abundance, through god’s help, you will prosper.

In your learning examine the tablet.

Reverence (for the deity) produces well-being,

Sacrifice prolongs life,

And prayer atones for sin.

A god-fearing man is not despised by [his god];

Akkadian Proverbs and Counsels, p.427, ANET.

Does anyone else feel some loss that so few devotees of today’s one-and-only-gods evidence the same “live and let live” approach to religious diversity?

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