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Deathbed Conversion of Jesus

If you ask fundamentalist Christians, they will tell you that many well known atheists in history have had deathbed conversions to Christianity. Among the names that I have heard from Christians include Voltaire, Sartre, Mark Twain, Thomas Paine, and of course Charles Darwin. Of course, these well known freethinkers never really had a deathbed conversion.

It isn’t hard to look into each of these individual cases and see that none of these atheists converted to Christianity at the time of their deaths. What I find interesting though is that according to the Bible, someone else had a deathbed change of heart.

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – Matthew 15:34

Christians generally translate this to mean, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me.” But that is not entirely accurate. Eloi is translated as “My God” but it is not a generic form of god as most Christians seem to think. It is a particular god and not the God Yahweh.

Eloi refers to the God `Ely?n who like Yam (Yahweh) is a Canaanite deity. In the Canaanite pantheon of gods, `Ely?n was the “Most High” father deity. He was the Zeus of that mythology. Yahweh was one of `Ely?n’s sons. The Bible also mentions Yahweh’s brother god Ba’al Zebul (the fertility deity).

So when Jesus was being crucified, he was not calling out to himself because that would be just a little silly. Instead, he was calling out to a Canaanite deity.

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  • 1225truth

    Matthew is the most “Jewish” of the gospels. Jesus as prophet and “Messiah” is separate and distinct from the “father”. As progenitor of Gawd’s revised covenant, the emphasis was that he was the “last sacrifice” in Israelite observance.

    By the 1st century, the Canaanite leader of the pantheon of Elohim had become appropriated and interchangeable with YHWH as the one god of Hebrew observance.

  • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

    I don’t even bother arguing the Bible anymore with Christians. It doesn’t matter what argument you make, they will refuse to believe anything that contradicts their understanding of what the Bible says.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Maybe you’re right and should just give up and wait til the Religious Right bring about the end of the world and dumb down society. Great plan.

      • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

        The point is you gain nothing by arguing about the meaning of Bible passages. Since Christians can’t even agree on what it means, what does that say about the chances of success that an outsider will have in convincing them they are wrong? It’s much better to attack the historicity and ambiguous nature of the BIble’s origins than it is to argue what a specific passage means.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          Why can’t I do both?

          • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

            You can, just don’t expect any success with arguing the meaning of Bible passages. It means whatever people want it to mean. It’s like arguing whether a painting is beautiful.

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              First, I have argued the meaning of certain Biblical passages and have over time de-converted people because of it. Second, I ahave also argued about the the beauty (or lack there of) of a painting or two and changed people’s minds on the subject.

              Yes the Bible can mean whatever people what it to mean, but people generally have a particular meaning in mind. So when I analyze that meaning a particular Christian may see where I am coming from and change their mind on things. It is one brink in the wall.

  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    I have heard that Galileo repented the solar centric model of the solar system on his deathbed. However, today we know that we orbit the sun and we aren’t the center of the universe. Clearly Galileo repenting was either horseshit or was coerced.

    What the Catholic Church did to Galileo for making scientific progress was complete and utter horseshit and people need to know what religion (Christianity) does. Aristotle would be rolling in his grave if he known that zealots would defend his rhetoric of a geocentric universe when evidence to the contrary appeared thousands of years later.

    • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

      Agreed.

      Secondly, deathbed conversions have absolutely no bearing on whether the original idea is true or not.

      It Einstein had recanted his theory of relativity just before he died, that wouldn’t instantly invalidate it.

  • Katherine Heicksen

    Wow, I didn’t know this. Fascinating. Would you mind providing some references so that I could look into this further myself, and then perhaps update my religious studies professors?

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Over the years, I have read a lot of articles and books on the Canaanite Gods. I can’t remember them specifically, but I remember that Karen Armstrong wrote a good book mentioning some of this called “The History of God.” But a basic google search about the Canaanite Pantheon of Gods will give you a list of articles and books that would help you out. Within scholarly circles this is all pretty common knowledge. Slowly non-scholars are even realizing that the Jews believed that more then one god existed, but only worshiped their tribal deity Yahweh (aka Yam). Like I said, the Canaanite God Ba’al Zubal is even talked about in the Bible itself (Book of Numbers).

      If your religious studies professor hasn’t heard any of this, then I really can’t believe that he or she is very good.

  • Citation Needed

    [Citation Needed]

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      I don’t see why, First, this is not an academic article in an academic journal. It is a blog. Second, nothing said here is controversial it is in fact pretty common knowledge for anyone who actually looks. If I said that George Washington was the first President I don’t think a citation would be needed for that. Likewise this is not any different then that. Third, like I said before all one needs to do is do a google search and read a few of the articles that come up. Even Wikipedia takes about most of this (although as my wife often reminds me, Wikipedia is NOT a academic source). I would encourage the anonymous person to do a little research on his or her own.