Transformational Narrative: Resurrection & Nekyia
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However when we come to the idea of Jesus’ decent into hell it seems that we have a direct borrow from the Adonis religion, and in fact from other religions also. Both the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian {Creed} say that between the Friday night and Sunday morning Jesus was in Hades. Now this idea has no scriptural foundation except in those difficult passages in the First Epistle of Peter\[Footnote:] I Peter 3:19–4:6.\ which many scholars have designated as the most ambiguous passages of the New Testament. In fact the idea did not appear in the church as a tenet of Christianity until late in the Fourth Century.\[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., p. 113.\18 Such facts led almost inevitably to the view that this idea had a pagan origin, since it appears not only in the legend of Adonis, but also in those of Herakles, Dionyses, Orpheus, Osiris, Hermes, Balder, and other deities.\[Footnote:] Ibid, p. 114.\

-- Martin Luther King, Jr,
"The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity"
DATABASES
However when we come to the idea of Jesus’ decent into hell it seems that we have a direct borrow from the Adonis religion, and in fact from other religions also. Both the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian {Creed} say that between the Friday night and Sunday morning Jesus was in Hades. Now this idea has no scriptural foundation except in those difficult passages in the First Epistle of Peter\[Footnote:] I Peter 3:19–4:6.\ which many scholars have designated as the most ambiguous passages of the New Testament. In fact the idea did not appear in the church as a tenet of Christianity until late in the Fourth Century.\[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., p. 113.\18 Such facts led almost inevitably to the view that this idea had a pagan origin, since it appears not only in the legend of Adonis, but also in those of Herakles, Dionyses, Orpheus, Osiris, Hermes, Balder, and other deities.\[Footnote:] Ibid, p. 114.\

 -- Martin Luther King, Jr, 
"The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity"
In the ancient world, the coming of spring was often linked to mythical tales of rebirth and resurrection. At the centre of these stories were a cast of fertility gods who share similar origin stories, and parallels with the Christian festival of Easter.

Springtime is celebrated with a diverse array of traditions across the world. Christians associate the season with Easter when they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But the idea of a deity who perishes and is brought back to life was a common theme in the ancient world, predating the Bible. Spring mythology is often intertwined with the Earth’s cycle, meaning the stories feature fertility gods as the focal point.

The connection between rebirth, resurrection and spring can be tracked as far back as ancient Egypt and the god Osiris. Osiris was murdered by his rival Seth, who tore his body to pieces and scattered the parts across Egypt. The goddess Isis retrieved the pieces and buried them – an act that brought Osiris back to life to sit as judge in the underworld. His demise and rebirth speak to his dual role as the fertility god who gave life to plants and vegetation while controlling natural phenomena such as the annual flooding of the Nile.
As applied in the scholarly literature, "dying and rising gods" is a generic appellation for a group of male deities found in agrarian Mediterranean societies who serve as the focus of myths and rituals that allegedly narrate and annually represent their death and resurrection.

Beyond this sufficient criterion, dying and rising deities were often held by scholars to have a number of cultic associations, sometimes thought to form a "pattern." They were young male figures of fertility; the drama of their lives was often associated with mother or virgin goddesses; in some areas, they were related to the institution of sacred kingship, often expressed through rituals of sacred marriage; there were dramatic reenactments of their life, death, and putative resurrection, often accompanied by a ritual identification of either the society or given individuals with their fate.

The category of dying and rising gods, as well as the pattern of its mythic and ritual associations, received its earliest full formulation in the influential work of James G. Frazer The Golden Bough, especially in its two central volumes, The Dying God and Adonis, Attis, Osiris. Frazer offered two interpretations, one euhemerist, the other naturist. In the former, which focused on the figure of the dying god, it was held that a (sacred) king would be slain when his fertility waned. This practice, it was suggested, would be later mythologized, giving rise to a dying god. The naturist explanation, which covered the full cycle of dying and rising, held the deities to be personifications of the seasonal cycle of vegetation. The two interpretations were linked by the notion that death followed upon a loss of fertility, with a period of sterility being followed by one of rejuvenation, either in the transfer of the kingship to a successor or by the rebirth or resurrection of the deity.
Resurrection tales abound across the planet. This was first brought to broader attention thanks to James Frazer's The Golden Bough, an exhaustive survey on world mythologies that was originally written to show their inadequacies by a skeptical Frazer, yet turned out to influence entire academic departments in the comparative mythology and comparative religion fields that grew from his work. 

While much speculation has been offered as to why resurrection cycles persisted, the annual birth, death, and rebirth of the soil provide an important clue. The plants that grow, wither, and die seasonally only to return to nourish us once again makes for a convenient segue to the concept of souls. Frazer consciously linked this fact with the cults of Persephone, Adonis, Attis, Osiris, and Dionysus. As he writes,
A dying-and-rising, death-rebirth, or resurrection deity is a religious motif in which a god or goddess dies and is resurrected.[1][2][3][4] Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them include Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity. The concept of a dying-and-rising god was first proposed in comparative mythology by James Frazer's seminal The Golden Bough (1890). Frazer associated the motif with fertility rites surrounding the yearly cycle of vegetation. Frazer cited the examples of Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis and Attis, Dionysus and Jesus.[5]

Frazer's interpretation of the category has been critically discussed in 20th-century scholarship,[6] to the conclusion that many examples from the world's mythologies included under "dying and rising" should only be considered "dying" but not "rising", and that the genuine dying-and-rising god is a characteristic feature of ancient Near Eastern mythologies and the derived mystery cults of Late Antiquity.[7] "Death or departure of the gods" is motif A192 in Stith Thompson's Motif-Index of Folk-Literature (1932), while "resurrection of gods" is motif A193.[8]
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