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Virgin Birth

(1,601 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Radl, Walter | Beinert, Wolfgang
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The myths of many peoples speak of conception without a father. For the background of the virgin birth in the New Testament, the only examples of interest to religious studies are famous men whose special dignity or capacity is based on having been begotten by a god – especially rulers. A birth legend of the Egyptian king, for example, legitimates him as the “son of Re” (see II below). When Mesopotamian rulers are called the seed of a god and are born of a goddes…

Son of God

(2,958 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Karrer, Martin | Nüssel, Friederike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Son o…

Rapture

(461 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter
[German Version] is a sudden transfer by means of divine power to a remote location, usually heaven (Ascension), or to a far-away country, on a mountain, etc. This may pro-¶ vide for temporary protection or enable an ecstatic reception of revelation. It is granted to those with a special relationship to God as an alternative to death. Because it involves the physical body and not just the taking up of the soul, the search for a body by those left behind is often futile, and there is no grave.…