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In pagan times, the dove was sacred to Venus (Deutsch 1874 p.439), the pagan icon of the eternal feminine.
I think you have something here. Icons are very powerful in illiterate populations today. They also cross language barriers with ease, notably in India, the UK and the US at election time. In the post-Roman world, branding of the main characters would have been key to keeping the main messages in the minds of the newly-converted pagans who spoke several languages. Look around any European church built in the last 1500y and you will find the dove, JC's lamb, St Mark's lion, St Luke's Ox, St John's eagle or chalice, St Matthew's angel or young man, (see Wikipedia - apostle spoon - for the apostles). These icons are known as attributes rather than brands or icons - a nicety to avoid commercial or Orthodox connotations. It was common for the evangelists' attributes to feature upon the rood cross; somewhere above the Christ would be a dove to symbolise the Holy Spirit. Remember that it is not easy for even the smart to remember all the Bible characters easily, hence the early church spent considerable cash on religious art, illustration and other mnemonics like the Stations of the Cross. The New American Bible acknowledges that the Noah story has two earlier sources. The iconography is like an audit trail back through time. It sounds to me like the earlier sources used a dove to represent something else perhaps, something that represented a concept that helped the conversion of one or more earlier religions to another; but those worshippers were doubtless massacred by e.g. Maccabeus and their artefacts and oral traditions destroyed. However, 11th century churches in the UK included pagan icons in the architecture to help the pagans feel comfortable in converting - there is much evidence for a re-labelling of many pagan concepts in Christianity if you look across European history. The altar is the most obvious. In pagan times sheep and goats were sacrificed on altars, blood collected in cups. Maintaining this tradition would have kept the pagans on side. Stale blood from sacrifices would have become very smelly, like the unwashed agricultural congregations - hence the use of censors to 'purify' the air. Over time, the pagan actuality was gradually moved to a symbolic rendering of the animal. The blood became wine, perhaps during a time of famine when animal sacrifice would have meant children dying; the bread became wafers and the sacrifices became donations - early rural churches could only afford one set of vestments, and the minimum of trappings. Money was needed to buy additional status (to win more converts), vestments and teaching materials - murals initially, windows and paintings later. The early agricultural congregations' financial sacrifices (remem that pagans had little money, so giving up a lamb - future breeding stock - was a big deal) bought augments to improve the focus and mood enhancement facilities of the buildings. Eventually, of course, the pilgrim fathers exported the traditions and teaching methods to the new world, others took them to the colonies, so the iconography became globalised. The history is only obvious if you study English church architecture, mediaeval literature, art history, paganism, ritual history, etc, then compare it to European examples and Greco-Roman practices (e.g. in Pliny the Elder's writings). RC archbishops and priests regularly verbalise pagan iconography in metaphors within their sermons, even this year. The irony is that they don't seem to notice, or realise just how far back those traditions and imagery actually go. But if you only study the one book, it doesn't leave much time for reading widely enough to spot the bigger pattern in the history.
thx 4 this, he had parrots as well, which are also good at coming back to their owners. In addition he had many other birds which wd have come back to him simply because he had the only source of food on the planet. Why would he choose the one bird which was a major pagan symbol, instead of something more Christian like St Mark's attribute, the eagle?
The feminine connection with 'dove' continues in the Song of Songs as a female endearment, and this theme recurs in many religious texts as a female name.
The dove also appears in the Talmud a lot as well, its proverb section has this interesting line: 'There is not a single bird more persecuted than the dove, yet God has chosen her to be offered upon the altar. The bull is hunted by the lion, the sheep by the wolf, the goat by the tiger. And God said: "Bring me a sacrifice, not from those that persecute, but from them that are persecuted." ' - - Why would people name their daughters after the most persecuted bird?
The root problem is that the Bible refers to many other books, evidently major history texts, now lost. As with the Quran, there would also have been a major oral tradition, held in the memories of people tasked for this lifetime purpose, passing the info from father to son. The absence of these keys makes interpretation hazardous. At the end of the day, millions of person-years have brought us to this point in time where there are still more questions than answers. If we had all the jig-saw, I suspect we'd have a different picture, but others would expect the picture would simply be a more detailed version of the picture they already have...
The dove is from the same lines (species) as pigeons. The dove was used as it could travel long distances and has great homing abilities. Noah released the dove a few times, the first time it return as it could not find anywhere to land. The second time, the bird return with a branch or fig. The third time, the dove never returned back to the Ark. :-)
doves seem to be one of those recurring symbols in the bible - its often used to depict the holy spirit etc. Also, it may simply be a tranlation thing. Like the way people seem to to think the forbidden fruit was an apple but in fact its more likely it was something like a fig
God told noah to send out a dove, thats all. this wasnt exactly pagan times, although there everyone alive at that time were pagans except noah, but im sure it wasnt the pagan times that youre thinking of. so the only reason i can think of is that God told him to and he did.
You are welcome. I will answer your comment later. Off to work shortly. Have a good one doll.
The bible doesnt make sense...its better when you just accept that.
I meant person-years in terms of scholastic study, of course.