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Topic: Biblical Comparisons

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Sep 14, 2009
Biblical Comparisons

Hump de bump....

So yer man J.R.R had a very religeous upbringing....

Their are some easy Biblical comparisons to be made........


I'll let you tell......

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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Yes, there are many parallels and influences from Christianity in Tolkien's work. He was a devout Catholic and this undoubtedly affected his writing.  However, his writing was also influenced by countless other religions, creation myths, and ancient cultures.  I think that sometimes the enormous range and depth of sources that influenced his writings are overlooked because most people are more familiar with Christianity.  Even if he was a very religious man, it's clear that he had a great love for religions and lore of every kind and they all influenced him in forming a creation myth and moral code for his writings.   I'm of the opinion that while Christianity influenced him in a broad sort of way,  there are very few direct and literal parallels.

Reading Tolkien's writings really makes me almost believe he was a Deist.  In Tolkien's universe, God (Ea, Iluvatar, what the fudge ever) is highly involved in the creation and ordering of the world, but seems to nearly completely "hand off" his responsibilities to the Ainur and maintains little or no direct involvement with the world as it develops.

In addition, Tolkien's world becomes more and more devoid of "divinity" with each passing age.  For many countless ages, the Valar walk Arda, creating, destroying, battling, restoring, Cuisinarting trees, whatever.  But as time goes on, first the Valar depart the world.  Then the few Ainur that descend to Arda come and go.  Next the Elves diminish and depart, leaving only mortals in an empty world devoid of immortality and higher power. We get the impression that the world feels empty and devoid of a connection to its spiritual history. 

This isn't very similar to Christianity, which says that God has a direct and personal connection to each and every one of us, and is deeply concerned with our behavior and life choices (ranging from whether we eat pork to who we sleep with).  In Tolkien's Universe, Iluvatar is checked out and off making a sandwich somewhere by the 4th Age, seemingly.

But you didn't want to read a book!  Get to the bullet points, TSF! 

Hmm, where do we even start with this?  How about at the beginning? Yeah, I think that's a good place.

Parallels with Christianity:

  • The one father God (Iluvatar, Yehweh) creates the universe and everything in it.
  • This father God creates immortal beinjs like himself (Ainu, Angels) that create beautiful music (Theme of Iluvatar, trumpets of God)
  • The father God creates all life and there is no other being in existence able to breathe life into their own creations.
  • At the end of time (End of Days, the Apocalypse, Judgment Day), some higher beings will regain some form of life and exist in peaceful harmony with God and all his creations.
  • Melkor is about as direct a parallel to Satan as you could hope to find in modern literature.  No explanation necessary, I feel.
  • Gandalf = Jesus.  They both live selflessly and were sent to spread a message of hope, love, peace, etc.  They both die an untimely death and are "resurrected". In an amusing but unrelated note, they both have beards.
There are more I'm sure, but that should get us started.



-- Edited by The Secret Fire on Tuesday 15th of September 2009 12:31:05 AM

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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yip de bip

hovv about Eonvve and St Michael ?

Both banner bearers and both physically defeated the dark lords.

Both anvvsered to a higher authority

vvho else.....is their a Judas ?

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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The Secret Fire wrote:
Reading Tolkien's writings really makes me almost believe he was a Deist.  In Tolkien's universe, God (Ea, Iluvatar, what the fudge ever) is highly involved in the creation and ordering of the world, but seems to nearly completely "hand off" his responsibilities to the Ainur and maintains little or no direct involvement with the world as it develops...

...In Tolkien's Universe, Iluvatar is checked out and off making a sandwich somewhere by the 4th Age, seemingly.


 I think we've seen this discussion on the forums before. Some believe that Iluvatar doesn't abandon control whatsoever, but has preordained the entire history of the world to his ultimate theme. You'll have to do a forum search on subjects like 'fate' and 'predestination' and stuff and see what comes up.smile.gif



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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Glorfindel1235 wrote:

 

The Secret Fire wrote:
Reading Tolkien's writings really makes me almost believe he was a Deist.  In Tolkien's universe, God (Ea, Iluvatar, what the fudge ever) is highly involved in the creation and ordering of the world, but seems to nearly completely "hand off" his responsibilities to the Ainur and maintains little or no direct involvement with the world as it develops...

...In Tolkien's Universe, Iluvatar is checked out and off making a sandwich somewhere by the 4th Age, seemingly.


I think we've seen this discussion on the forums before. Some believe that Iluvatar doesn't abandon control whatsoever, but has preordained the entire history of the world to his ultimate theme. You'll have to do a forum search on subjects like 'fate' and 'predestination' and stuff and see what comes up.smile.gif

 




Well, I think I explained myself poorly.  I would agree that Iluvatar preordaining the entirety of history could be completely plausible, and probably the most likely scenario.  I guess all I meant by my comment that he had "checked out" by the 4th age is that there was no visible involvement from him.  Sure, he may have determined the world's fate ahead of time, but was he still interacting with it in the later ages?  He may have been, but it doesn't seem readily apparent from what we know and can observe from the recorded history of Middle Earth.

I'll check out those threads, thanks.

 



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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Hi

Free vvill...vvhats the point of creating a vvorld...if all you do is intervene and control all the time.

Free vvill........vvith a slight shove novv and again.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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All,
"Tolkien stated on December 2nd, 1953, that "The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision"... (BBC 1953?)
...The centrality of the hidden presence of Christ is discernible...to the destruction of the Ring...
...Put simply, Christians believe that original sin was "unmade" by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.  Original sin is "the One Sin to rule them all and in the darkness bind them," and this "One Sin" is unmade by the Crucifixion of Christ...
...If the Ring is synonymous with sin in general and original sin in particular...Frodo, as the Ring-bearer, emerges as a Christ figure... (And in my personal thought...bearing the sins and hopes of all Middle-earth.)
...Although Frodo emerges as the most obvious Christ figure, it should be remembered that Tolkien disliked formal or crude allegory.  As such, Frodo is only a Christ figure insofar as he is the Ring-bearer and insofar as the Ring can be seen to signify sin. In every other respect, he is simply a hobbit of the Shire.  He is not a figure of Christ at all times in the way that a character in a formal allegory is merely personified abstraction of the thing or person he represents...In this context, it is important to recall Tolkien's distinction between the formal allegory he despised and the allegorical applicability he espoused.  According to Tolkien's understanding of applicability, aspects of a story can be  applicable to the world beyond the story, most notably to the world inhabited by the reader.
With regard to Christological applicability, it can be seen that other characters in the story, besides Frodo, emerge as Christ figures at certain applicable moments.
Gandalf clearly reminds us of Christ in his "death", "resurrection", and "transfiguration", especially in the way that Tolkien's description of Gandalf's "resurrection" resonates with the Gospel accounts of  Christ's Transfiguration.
Aragorn's descent to the Paths of the Dead reminds us of Christ's descent into hell following the Crucifixion.  Aragorn, like Christ, is "King of the Dead" who has the power to set the suffering souls free of the death curse.  Similarly, Aragorn is a Christ figure in his role as healer.  As Ioreth, wise woman of Gondor, proclaimed: 'The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' (The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter VIII - "The Houses of Healing", pg 862)
For Tolkien, as he insisted so memorably, in his famous conversation with C.S. Lewis on the nature of mythology in September 1931, Christianity was the "True Myth," the myth that really happened, the myth that gives ultimate meaning to all the lesser myths.
Similarly, the Person of Christ is the True Hero who gives ultimate meaning to the heroism of all the lesser heroes.  It is no surprise, therefore, that Tolkien's heroes emerge as Christ figures, reminding his readers of the archetypal Hero who gives his own lesser heroes their meaning and their very raison d'etre.
(Pearce, Joseph author "Christ",  J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. , Michael Drout editor, Scholarship & Critical Assessment ed. 2007.)

I think one major point here is although we can find in Tolkien's works an unconsciously applicable allegory, Tolkien emphatically denies ANY formal allegory.
So while you may find parallels and similarities to biblical stories, Tolkien intended no formal allegory, but found as he wrote applicable allegory in his characters, which he would deliberately modify to break the allegory...
So, yes, Saruman could be a Judas...but is not deliberately created so.
Melkor and Sauron could incarnations of Satan...but not deliberately created so.

What is deliberately created is a world where the heroic virtues and religious insight of J.R.R. Tolkien are
in "... a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision."


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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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n addition, Tolkien's world becomes more and more devoid of "divinity" with each passing age.  For many countless ages, the Valar walk Arda, creating, destroying, battling, restoring, Cuisinarting trees, whatever.  But as time goes on, first the Valar depart the world.  Then the few Ainur that descend to Arda come and go.  Next the Elves diminish and depart, leaving only mortals in an empty world devoid of immortality and higher power. We get the impression that the world feels empty and devoid of a connection to its spiritual history.

I have always wanted to know what happened to the Dwarves. I never could find out what happened to them. Does anyone know?


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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Very good point TNKA

The events in Arda do ssem to diminish vvith age.

Their seems to be themes running vvhich are connected but to a lesser scale....like a spiral.

Beren & Luthien vs Aragorn & Arvven is the most obvious

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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The New King of Angmar wrote:
n addition, Tolkien's world becomes more and more devoid of "divinity" with each passing age.  For many countless ages, the Valar walk Arda, creating, destroying, battling, restoring, Cuisinarting trees, whatever.  But as time goes on, first the Valar depart the world.  Then the few Ainur that descend to Arda come and go.  Next the Elves diminish and depart, leaving only mortals in an empty world devoid of immortality and higher power. We get the impression that the world feels empty and devoid of a connection to its spiritual history.


I have always wanted to know what happened to the Dwarves. I never could find out what happened to them. Does anyone know?
I think the general opinion is that they 'fade' into the mountains, and seemingly disappear. It seems only Men and Elves have definite futures planned out for them, Elves depart and Men thrive. Hobbits seem to become a wandering folk that gradually become rarer and rarer, eventually becoming almost a mythical-type creature in the shadows.
Perhaps Dwarves suffer the same fate as the Elves that did not depart West? It just seems to be called 'fading'.

 



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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Glorfindel1235 wrote:

 

The New King of Angmar wrote:
n addition, Tolkien's world becomes more and more devoid of "divinity" with each passing age.  For many countless ages, the Valar walk Arda, creating, destroying, battling, restoring, Cuisinarting trees, whatever.  But as time goes on, first the Valar depart the world.  Then the few Ainur that descend to Arda come and go.  Next the Elves diminish and depart, leaving only mortals in an empty world devoid of immortality and higher power. We get the impression that the world feels empty and devoid of a connection to its spiritual history.

 


I have always wanted to know what happened to the Dwarves. I never could find out what happened to them. Does anyone know?
I think the general opinion is that they 'fade' into the mountains, and seemingly disappear. It seems only Men and Elves have definite futures planned out for them, Elves depart and Men thrive. Hobbits seem to become a wandering folk that gradually become rarer and rarer, eventually becoming almost a mythical-type creature in the shadows.
Perhaps Dwarves suffer the same fate as the Elves that did not depart West? It just seems to be called 'fading'.

 

 




I almost cried when I read that the Elves had to leave :(, they were my favourite race.

 

But what I like about Tolkiens stories is that, I can almost believe that they happened and he was there writing things exactly as they happened. The only thing stopping me from believing is the fact that it is classified under fiction and that there is no evidence that they existed. But technically there would be no evidence of Elves, they faded away if they did not sail to Valinor. They can't prove anything against me there :p.



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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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BLOBBY BLOBBY BLOBBEEEE

Hi TKNA

I live in an infinite universe, vvith infinite possabilities.

In such an infinite universe there exists the minutest possability that Middlearth exists, then it does.

Very highly inprobable, but If I had infinite time to look in an infinite place...I'd find it.

Standing VVave of probability..or potential.

Mind you...I'd be looking for the universe of big boobs first



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
Spoken like a true soldier of the cross...
but ain't it the truth...


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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Filli wrote:

 

BLOBBY BLOBBY BLOBBEEEE

Hi TKNA

I live in an infinite universe, vvith infinite possabilities.

In such an infinite universe there exists the minutest possability that Middlearth exists, then it does.

Very highly inprobable, but If I had infinite time to look in an infinite place...I'd find it.

Standing VVave of probability..or potential.

Mind you...I'd be looking for the universe of big boobs first

 




Ah, yes, but would you find Valinor? You could if you could fin Middle Earth. Valinor should technically be hanging in space just above Arda.



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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Hey Bear...yes it is true...I can resist everything bar temptation.

TKNA yes Valinor vvould be there...put it vvould be even more unlikely that they vvould entertain me.

Filli vvould make ripples in the everlasting bliss, so much so that in one voice the Eldar vvould scream "COME BACK FEANOR....ALL IS FORGIVEN".

Oh and the nature chick.....dump the darvvf maker and come n party....




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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
"Oh and the nature chick.....dump the dawrf maker and come an party...."
I laughed until my gut ached!
I see you and Yavanna
'getting your groove on!'
Thanks for the spirit lifter.
Bear


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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Bear wrote:

Filli,
"Oh and the nature chick.....dump the dawrf maker and come an party...."
I laughed until my gut ached!
I see you and Yavanna
'getting your groove on!'
Thanks for the spirit lifter.
Bear




No the horrible images! Get them out of my head! GET THEM OUT!



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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Wasn't there a Vala whose only purpose was to run around weeping?

Nienna?

Don't party with her, she's a drag.

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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HAIRY HOOPS

Yeah I think I met Nienna at a party.

She vvas sitting on the stairs...sniveling.

I put my arm around her and said "Hey babe....did you knovv , that the vvord "gulible" isn't in the dictionary!

She looked at me, all bleary eyed..."Really ?"

"Uh-huh"........I led her upstairs...to explain............nasty



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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Filli wrote:

 

HAIRY HOOPS

Yeah I think I met Nienna at a party.

She vvas sitting on the stairs...sniveling.

I put my arm around her and said "Hey babe....did you knovv , that the vvord "gulible" isn't in the dictionary!

She looked at me, all bleary eyed..."Really ?"

"Uh-huh"........I led her upstairs...to explain............nasty

 




Oh, come on man! I only just got the other images out of my head!



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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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You see Filli, that is where she gets you. She turns the tears on. Big, strong, morally imperfect men like you come along to "comfort" her and then she has her fun with you and makes you pay for your arrogance!! mwahhaha!!

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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HMMMmmmmmmm

Not again.....!

There is so much more to me than just the flesh.......I have feelings...I have dreams..

I am more than a vvalking multiple oragasm.


.....am I still in the Tolkien forums ?......hmmmmmm, do Balrogs have vvings ?

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Servants of Mordor - Rank 1
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Well if they did, the Balrog Gandalf faced could have just flew off instead of falling.

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Fun as in poking with sticks, gutter baby!! lol

and not that kind of stick, gosh!!  Now you've got me reading into it.

confuse


-- Edited by lomoduin on Monday 28th of September 2009 05:08:37 AM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
walking multiple...
you wish...
Hell I wish!
Bear


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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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Trust me, every woman wishes this for all of mankind.

We would all live in a much happier world, but I imagine very little would get accomplished.

But would we care? I doubt it.  b0x0rz.gif

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Secret Fire!
Thank you for a big smile and chuckle!
Bear


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Tom Bombadil
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Actually Fili, Tolkien was an Atheist until he became friends with C.S. Lewis. Read Tolkien, the man

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Arwen Legolas wrote;
"Actually Fili, Tolkien was an Atheist until he became friends with C.S. Lewis. Read Tolkien, the man."
(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Biblical Comparisons > Arwen Legolas > October 11th, 2009)

Lady Arwen I beg your kind indulgence to contradict the statement of Tolkien ever having been an atheist.
Rather it was C.S. Lewis who was atheist until he converted after conversations with Tolkien.

Please let me offer two quotes from scholastic resources.
"It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of the Christian religion to J.R.R. Tolkien.  From his mother's controversial conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1904 until he died in 1973, Tolkien remained a pious and devout Roman Catholic. 'I have consciously planned very little; and should chiefly be grateful for having been brought up (since I was eight) in a Faith that has nourished me and taught me all the little that I know'...Only in the early 1920s when at Leeds University did Tolkien falter in his faith.  It was a time he remembered with bitterness and self-loathing.  It was, however, in the big scheme of things, a very brief part of his life.  His Roman Catholic faith not only defined his spiritual life, it also pervaded his family life, his academic life, and his social life..." (Birzer, J. Bradley. author: "Christianity", pg. 101,  J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. , Michael Drout ed., Scholarship & Critical Assessment ed. 2007.)
"...Tolkien played a vital role in C.S. Lewis's acceptance of Christianity in the fall of 1931.  The two had talked theology frequently after meeting in 1926.  It was shortly after a late-night conversation between Lewis, Tolkien, and another Inkling, Hugo Dyson, that Lewis converted to Christianity.  Lewis, of course, became the most important Christian apologist of the twentieth century..."  (ibid, pg. 102)

Of course there is always more to the story, Lewis became Protestant, not Roman Catholic, which disappointed Tolkien.  But his conversations have left us with a clear vision of Tolkien's faith;
"For Tolkien, as he insisted so memorably in his famous conversation with C.S. Lewis on the nature of mythology in September 1931, Christianity was the 'True Myth,' the myth that really happened, the myth that gives ultimate meaning to all the lesser myths.  Similarly, the Person of Christ is the True Hero who gives ultimate meaning to the heroism of all the lesser heroes. It is no surprise, therefore, that Tolkien's heroes emerge as Christ figures, reminding his readers of the archetypal Hero who gives his own lesser heroes their meaning and their very raison d'etre."  (Pearce. Joseph author: "Christ", pg. 98,  J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. , Michael Drout ed., Scholarship & Critical Assessment ed. 2007.)
Tolkien many times in letters and on the radio professed his faith.  Both Christopher Tolkien and his brother Michael state that Roman Catholicism, "pervaded all his thinking, beliefs, and everything else.' (Birzer, J. Bradley. author:  "Christianity", pg. 101,  J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. , Michael Drout ed., Scholarship & Critical Assessment ed. 2007.)

Hopefully these references help clarify and add weight that Christ and Christianity permeate Tolkien's work but his respect for his faith and his dislike for allegory limit the construct of biblical comparisons.








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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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It is hard to deny the fact that the very foundation for the Middle-earth myth is entirely based on Christianity.

God creates the Angels (Ainur), one primary Angel rebels (Melkor) because he envies the the gift of the soul that God has given to man (Melkor envied the gifts of the Children of Iluvatar), and is eventually thrust into Hell (cast into the Void) and will one day return to wage the Last Battle (Doomsday in the Bible, the Day of Doom in Middle-earth).

It is futile to deny the many comparisons between real life and religious events, regardless of what Tolkien says on the matter (though doubtless there are some comparisons which can be found which Tolkien did not actually intend at the time).

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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All,
I am double posting this both in the threads; " Inaction, hesitation, of the Valar" and in the thread "Biblical Comparisons."
Way back in October Filli posted;

"If there was but one innocent, would Eru have stayed his hand ...hmmm? Sounds familiar.
Whooosh went the waves...people go to meet the fishes."
(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Inaction, hesitation, of the Valar >Filli > October 18th, 2009)

The first part almost sounds like part of the Biblical story where Abraham tries to bargain with God for the saving of Sodom.
20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous
21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city?
Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?
25 Far be it from you to do such a thing-to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,
28 What if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?" "If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."
29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?" He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."
30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."
32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
Genesis 18:20-32 (New International Version)

The second part sounds like God's decision to destroy the earth through the Great Flood.
5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them." Genesis 6:5-7 (New International Version)
Yes! Whoosh....we all go down to the fishes"
Anorlas also makes an important point;
"Not all of them, Filli. Remember the ships of the "Faithful" Numenorians that were marked with the "seven stars" and carried the "seven stones". Oh yes! "and one white tree!" (Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Inaction, hesitation, of the Valar >Anorlas > October 18th, 2009)
This sounds like God decision saving Noah.
6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD...
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.
12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth...
17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.
18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark-you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you." Genesis 6:5-7 (New International Version)
And the Bible adds,
7:1, I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right. Genesis 7:1 (New International Version)

So why the double posting?
When re-reading both of these threads it felt to me that they both left things unsaid or things uncorroborated. Sort of like without references.
The biblical references may give us a sample of Tolkien's reconnection to his faith, thereby validating his works connection to his Christian mythos.
The Fall of Numenor and the inaction of the Valar helps us define what the Valar really are.
This may be evidence to support Glorfindel 1235's posting;

"I would say the Valar are gods - without a capital 'G'. They are not all-knowing or all-powerful, such as is Iluvatar, the One God, but they certainly warrant the titles of 'lesser gods'. They remind me of the AEsir and Vanir, the Norse gods, each one being associated with certain things, and being divided into two groups (such as the male and femaleValar are)."(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Inaction, hesitation, of the Valar >Glorfindel 1235 > October 19th, 2009)
It may be excused, if rather than a hierarchy of divinity, one assigns nomenclatures of angels and demons to the Ainur and Valar.

And let me add a biased opinion;
I do not think either of these threads is anywhere near finished.





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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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So many points to address in this thread, I'm confused!

What is the latest subject being discussed here?

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Mr. Baggins,
Filli's original question was...

"So your man J.R.R had a very religious upbringing...
There are some easy Biblical comparisons to be made...
I'll let you tell..."

And the rest has evolved from that...with the recent discussions looking for Biblical connections about the divinity of the Valar, comparisons between "The Destruction of Numenor" and the Biblical "Great Flood", and whether "The Faithful" saved in Middle-earth compare to the Biblical "Noah".
If you want to jump in go ahead and pick a Tolkien story and then add the Biblical comparison.
It is fun!
Bear




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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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I looked in the mirror
Did you know what I saw ?
Wonderfull just a whole lot of wonderfull

Here is one comparison.....

The diminishing lifespans as the ages move on

Methuselah 969 through to joshua 110

A steady declinging trend ...from an age of legends and pre-history ...to closer to our own times.

How very Numenorian.



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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
Alright my brother!
Here is a version of the verses and reference about the how and why God chopped man's lifespan down.
(according to the Good News Bible, Today's English Version)
It seems there was a little hanky-panky going down...sort of like Melian and Thingol in reverse!
From the Good News Bible;
"21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 And after he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed." 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth."
(Genesis 5: 21-32 Good News Bible)

"1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 some of the supernatural beings  of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not allow people to live forever, for they are mortal ; From now on they will live no longer than a hundred and twenty years."
(Genesis: 6: 1-3 Good News Bible)

Now we could dance around this but didn't Eru chop down men's lives compared to the elves' life?
And then we go on, both in the Silmarillion and the Bible, where men are such bad boys that the head honcho (God or Eru) wipes them out in a flood (seems we have been here before too) except for a few "faithful" who he rescues on a boat (or boats)


Maybe in our next life we should hook up with Elven women or female angels? (got to admit I already have one in Ellen)

What do you all think?


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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I think we've seen discussed in this forum. Some people think, Iluvatar not give up any control, but he has been destined to the final theme, the whole history of the world. Like you have to do an 'fate' and 'destiny' and the like and see what happens topics Forum Search...

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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He admired the spirit, God gave man (Melkor envy Iluvatar children gift) gift, and eventually into hell (into the void), will one day return to wage a final battle (end of the "Bible" in Turkey end of the world day).

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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here's one not mentioned yet in this thread:

Aule::Dwarves .... Abraham::Isaac

This thread is sort of a starting point for a very rich area for discussion: Tolkien obviously incorporated many themes from ancient and medieval literatures, some far more obscure than the stories of Genesis but with more direct parallels. The names of the dwarves in the Hobbit come from a Norse edda, and Beowulf has named swords and dragon that is brought the wrath by a burglar who steals a cup... (I seem to remember a Norse legend with a sword maiden much like Eowyn...)

But maybe that's a start for another thread.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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My friends,
 I think there were other substantial differences in this Abraham/ Isaac versus Aule/Dwarves comparison...


Here is the Biblical story of Isaac ~
1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, Abraham!
Here I am, he replied.
2 Then God said, Take your son, your only son, whom you loveIsaacand go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
5 He said to his servants, Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, Father?
Yes, my son? Abraham replied.
The fire and wood are here, Isaac said, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?
8 Abraham answered, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, Abraham! Abraham!
Here I am, he replied.
12 Do not lay a hand on the boy, he said. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time
16 and said, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,
18 and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me.
Bible (New International Version) Genesis 22: 1-19


And here is the story of Aule and the Dwarves
It is told that in their beginning the Dwarves were made by Aulë in the darkness of Middle-earth; for so greatly did Aulë desire the coming of the Children, to have learners to whom he could teach his lore and his crafts, that he was unwilling to await the fulfilment of the designs of Ilúvatar. And Aulë made the Dwarves even as they still are, because the forms of the Children who were to come were unclear to his mind, and because the power of Melkor was yet over the Earth; and he wished therefore that they should be strong and unyielding. But fearing that the other Valar might blame his work, he wrought in secret: and he made first the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in a hall under the mountains in Middle-earth.
Now Ilúvatar knew what was done, and in the very hour that Aulë's work was complete, and he was pleased, and began to instruct the Dwarves in the speech that he had devised for them, Ilúvatar spoke to him; and Aulë heard his voice and was silent. And the voice of Ilúvatar said to him: 'Why hast thou done this? Why dost thou attempt a thing which thou knowest is beyond thy power and thy authority? For thou hast from me as a gift thy own bring only, and no more; and therefore the creatures of thy hand and mind can live only by that being, moving when thou thinkest to move them, and if thy thought be elsewhere, standing idle. Is that thy desire?'
Then Aulë answered: 'I did not desire such lordship. I desired things other than I am, to love and to teach them, so that they too might perceive the beauty of Eä, which thou hast caused to be. For it seemed to me that there is great room in Arda for many things that might rejoice in it, yet it is for the most part empty still, and dumb. And in my impatience I have fallen into folly. Yet the making of thing is in my heart from my own making by thee; and the child of little understanding that makes a play of the deeds of his father may do so without thought of mockery, but because he is the son of his father. But what shall I do now, so that thou be not angry with me for ever? As a child to his father, I offer to thee these things, the work of the hands which thou hast made. Do with them what thou wilt. But should I not rather destroy the work of my presumption?'
Then Aulë took up a great hammer to smite the Dwarves; and he wept. But Ilúvatar had compassion upon Aulë and his desire, because of his humility; and the Dwarves shrank from the hammer and wore afraid, and they bowed down their heads and begged for mercy. And the voice of Ilúvatar said to Aulë: 'Thy offer I accepted even as it was made. Dost thou not see that these things have now a life of their own, and speak with their own voices? Else they would not have flinched from thy blow, nor from any command of thy will.' Then Aulë cast down his hammer and was glad, and he gave thanks to Ilúvatar, saying: 'May Eru bless my work and amend it!'
But Ilúvatar spoke again and said: 'Even as I gave being to the thoughts of the Ainur at the beginning of the World, so now I have taken up thy desire and given to it a place therein; but in no other way will I amend thy handiwork, and as thou hast made it, so shall it be. But I will not suffer this: that these should come before the Firstborn of my design, nor that thy impatience should be rewarded. They shall sleep now in the darkness under stone, and shall not come forth until the Firstborn have awakened upon Earth; and until that time thou and they shall wait, though long it seem. But when the time comes I will awaken them, and they shall be to thee as children; and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice.'
Then Aulë took the Seven Fathers of the Dwarves, and laid them to rest in far-sundered places; and he returned to Valinor, and waited while the long years lengthened.
(The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion: The History of the Silmarils,  Chapter II ~ "Of Aulë and Yavanna" pgs 43-44)


So ...


God was testing Abraham.
Eru was not testing Aule.


God stopped the sacrifice of Isaac but provided an animal sacrifice instead because the sacrifice was an act of worship.
Eru stopped Aule because he saw the dwarves were already alive ... an act of mercy not worship. And the dwarves were creatures of Aule's disobediance and impatience ... not beloved sons.

 

The planned sacrifice of Isaac was initiated by God not Abraham.
The creation and destruction of the dwarves was initiated by Aule not Eru.

 

And as a side note we should remember that Tolkien was a devout Catholic Christian ... an influence which included coverting to Christianity of the allegorical apologist C.S. Lewis ... and would find our seeking allegory and comparison between his work and the Bible highly offensive.

So I find myself in disagreement of a Biblical comparison in this specific case.





-- Edited by Bear on Monday 13th of February 2012 09:47:31 AM

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Tom Bombadil
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Too bad the last entry was almost 6 months ago. But you are right in your observation about
Aule::Dwarves .... Abraham::Isaac, it's just one thing, Isaac was a teenager, the seed promised to Avraham avinu by G-D. Although Eru knew what was going on, he did not intervene, and he also did not send Aule on a three day journey to sacrifice the naugrim, but it was Aule himself who started to destroy his creations, and Eru intervened

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