Comparison Between Egyptian and Christian Afterlife
|Criteria||Egyptian Afterlife||Christian Afterlife|
|Underworld Gods||- In Egyptian mythology there where many deities, each has an specific function, dominion and cult center.
- Gods like Ra and Amun seem to have little role in the underworld.
- The undisputed Lord of the underworld was Osiris
|- Christians believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only God, both on earth and in heaven|
|Mummification||- The Egyptian people believed that the human soul used the first night after death to travel into the afterlife.
- However, the body, which the Egyptians believed was an essential element to the afterlife had to be mummified to preserve it for eternity.
- The Mummification process took 72 days to perform properly. This was the time to put finishing touches on the tomb and to pack all the deceased's worldly possessions, which surely would be needed in the afterlife.
|- The burial of the mortal remains of the Christian dead can be regarded as an act of religious import, since it has no importance in determining the afterlife of the deceased|
|Tombs & Funerals||- Eternal life was only granted to those who had a proper tomb and funeral, thus rich men had greater chance of achieving eternity - this idea of justice by modern standards seems unjust by itself!!
- The dead were provided with food and drink, weapons, and toiletry articles.
- Tombs were often visited by the family, who brought new offerings. The practice of feeding the dead continues in Egypt even in our own day!!
- Proper precautions and care for the dead were mandatory to insure immortality.
|- The first Christians likely followed the national customs of the people among whom they lived,
- Funerals provide hope and support for the family and friends, but has no lasting effect in determining the fate and future afterlife of the deceased
|Judgment:Hall of Maat||- The Hall of Maat is located in the underworld, here the
judgment of the dead was performed in the afterlife.
- This was done by weighing one's heart (conscience) against the feather of Maat (truth and justice).
- The concept of hell did not exist in Egyptian mythology until the 19th Dynasty, Ammut was a daemon who devoured the heart of sinners, but no eternal punishment for sinners was recorded
Starting from the 20th Dynasty a new funerary text called "The Book of Caverns" appeared, focusing on the rewards and punishments in afterlife, this text is the first view of the Egyptian concept of Hell
|- Heaven is a place for the saved only, those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal
Savior and Lord, regardless of their rank and position on earth
- Christians also believe in purgatory, a temporary place of punishment for those who have died with sins.
- Christians believe in the existence of hell, where unbelievers or sinners are punished for eternity
- The judgment court is located in a 'heaven above' as compared to the Egyptian vision of an underworld realm
|Paradise - Fields of Reeds||- In the Egyptian paradise or Fields of Reeds, there was a continuation of the earthly necessities and challenges such as eating, drinking and fighting||- In heaven Christians believe in a completely new spiritual life, souls become like angels free from all their earthly necessities|