Table of contents:
- 1. Apocrypha
- 2. Access to the Bible
- 3. Occultism
- 4. Other gods
- 5. White Jesus
- 6. Kinocephaly
- 7. Satanic ritual abuse
- 8. Self-flagellation
- 9. Sale of indulgences
- 10. Lilith
Christians are not as conservative as it might seem at first glance. In fact, over the 2000 years of existence of this religion, many different aspects have changed in it. Some beliefs and practices that might seem wild today have long been abandoned. In our review of 10 outdated Christian traditions and beliefs.
Many of the strangest beliefs on this list were taken from biblical books that were considered sacred by some early Christian sects (such as the Gnostics). It was later discovered that these books had been falsified.
Thus, the book of Enoch was allegedly a chronicle of fallen angels who gave people forbidden knowledge, but later it was proved that the book was written by those who claimed to have "discovered" it.
Another book, The Gospel of Thomas, chronicles Jesus' childhood. It tells how Jesus brought the clay birds to life and raised a dead friend. However, it has been proven that this book was written centuries after the death of Christ, and the events described in it have no documentary evidence.
More recently, the "Gospel of Judas" was discovered, which also soon turned out to be a fake.
2. Access to the Bible
The Bible has not always been as readily available as it is now. During the Middle Ages, some Bibles were chained to prevent theft. This is largely due to the fact that the complete Bible (handwritten by monks) was incredibly expensive. Since the majority of the people were illiterate, it was simply wasteful to make a copy for everyone (especially, people went to church every day, where they could read or hear something from the Holy Scriptures).
Even after the Bible began to be printed, there were still hundreds of years of controversy over who should read it. In modern times, Christians not only believe that everyone has the right to read and study the Bible, but also insist on the importance of studying and knowing the Bible.
Christianity today frowns on the occult, but there was a time when the occult movement was considered harmless and even useful. At the end of the 19th century, occult science was considered safe fun, and conducting a seance was not considered evil. And this despite the fact that the occult and spiritual arts are explicitly prohibited in the Bible. Later in the 1900s, with the emergence of controversial personalities such as Aleister Crowley, occultism began to be condemned again.
4. Other gods
Initially, the Scriptures did not exclude the existence of other gods. Often they even contained references to some other deities or demons, such as Baal. But suddenly this faith disappeared somewhere before the writing of the canonical Bible was finished. For example, the apostle Paul in his epistles scolds the early church for recognizing other gods. And the apostle Peter was indignant at the idea of placing the image of the Christian God next to the images of the Roman gods.
5. White Jesus
It has always been believed that Christ was a Caucasian man with brown hair. But there are also a number of other images that were never considered canonical. In thousands of paintings and thousands of statues, Jesus has a distinctly oriental appearance. Modern scholars often admit that church images are far from the truth, and Jesus looked somewhat different. There is also a theory that Jesus was an Ethiopian.
In the early days of Christianity, there were still beliefs in some of the old myths. One such example is the belief in kinocephals or people with dog heads. It was believed that many of the distant peoples, such as the inhabitants of central Africa or the Indians, have dog heads. Various saints who allegedly came from distant countries (for example, Saint Christopher) were depicted with the head of a dog. There were even myths about the descendants of Cain, who inhabited Canaan before the Israelites, who "barked and ate human flesh."
7. Satanic ritual abuse
In the late 70s and early 80s, many Christians believed that there was a total satanic conspiracy to recruit children into their ranks. Christians believed that Satanists used hidden messages in cartoons, games, and popular music to encourage children to go to Satanic churches, where they were used for debauchery and even sacrifice. This trend was largely discredited when many musicians and animators began to sue fanatics who accused them of such nonsense.
In the 13th century, a radical Christian movement of fanatic ascetics known as "flagellants" arose, who believed that self-torture was the best way to atone for sins. They beat themselves with whips, simulating the alleged beating of Christ. Despite the fact that the Pope soon condemned this practice of "mortification of the flesh", the sect continued to exist. Self-flagellation is still practiced in the Catholic Church today, as well as among various religious orders and among some cultures in South America.
9. Sale of indulgences
In the Middle Ages, some greedy bishops decided to earn extra money by selling indulgences - exemption from temporary punishment for sins in which a person repented during confession. Such sales of indulgences were practiced until 1567, when Pope Pius V prohibited monetary settlements when granting indulgences. After that, the role of indulgences in Catholicism decreased significantly, but the practice of issuing them still exists today.
The early church (mainly Gnostic sects) believed that Adam had another wife before Eve. According to a number of apocryphal books, Lilith was created simultaneously with Adam, but refused to obey him and became the wife of the angel of death Samael, after which she was expelled from the Garden of Eden. Many early Jewish and Christian myths are associated with Lilith and Samael. In some it is argued that Lilith became the mother of demons, in others - that demi-humans such as centaurs and minotaurs were born from them. The third sources say that the children of Lilith became vampires.