Hi people,

Just been watching some documentary on TV - some guy went to live in some outback Indian village somewhere way out in the boonies - anyway they had a ceremony - “Aran” the subtitles had it - which involved sacrificing a bull to the village spirits, by hauling it up over a tripod - strangling the beast. Then the meat was distributed amongst the entire village. Finally a festival in which the jungle was off-limits for five days, meaning the villagers were together (and drunk on the village moonshine) dancing and renewing old ties.

Anyway it struck me that it wasn’t so different from Islam’s ‘sacrifice’ holiday, when a sheep or a bull is sacrificed (throat cut after koranic blessing) and the meat distributed throughout the familly and local poor followed by a three-day festival.

That got me to wondering where the comparable sacrifice festival was in Christianity. At first I thought - stingy christians, there isn’t one - but then another penny dropped: that in Christianity we celebrate a human scarifice - that of Christ, and distribute his body and blood by proxy of wafer and wine. A less bloody verison.

Hinduism has a detailed tradition of vedic sacrifice - though there doesn’t seem to be the element of distribution - more of a simple sacrifice to the Gods for their favour, like the old Greek tradition of burnt offerings and whatever described in the Iliad/Odyssey.

So I’m wondering - what is with all this sacrifice stuff, and why does it seem to be a common vein running through many, if not all religions…?

Any comments…?

Its not just religions its relationships of many kinds that require sacrifice too.

I think sacrifice is used as a token of devotion to your…fill in the blank…

A bull, a sheep , human , self , all are valuable items, If you are willing to sacrifice such a thing you show your devotion by this token.

I dunno, I haven’t sacrificed many sheep to show my devotion to my wife recently. Unless you’re counting burning Sunday lunch… :astonished:

The principle is often referred to as “sang reale” … holy blood.

Blood, in virtually any religious tradition, is thought to be a holy substance. Life cannot maintain itself without blood, so this is a descendant tradition from the early shamanistic days of pre-religion, where likely, seeing one die from injuries with blood loss, showed the “power of God” to take away that which gives life -


Joseph Campbell talks about this, but I can’t remember in which book.

Sacrifice has many advantages. The blood of innocence to placate or honor a God. Then we augur the guts looking for ‘signs’ of good times ahead. (power to the priests). And finally, the people get a little protein reward for participation. Everyone gets what they need - except the poor sacrifice.

The christian version is sanitized and probably misses the point for most believers. But hey, we all have to be somewhere on Sunday, or is that Saturday?

It’s almost dinner time here, so I’ll burn a kielbasa or two and wash 'em down with a Moose Drool or three and be thankful for pork. :evilfun:

Hello, Tab.

Just wanted to throw in what my Zondervan NASB study bible (1999) has to say on the subject – in the “Themes” section of the introduction to Leviticus…

Tab, I noticed your mention of the documentary. In “Eternity in their Hearts” by Don Richardson, he mentions more cultures which had sacrifice rituals.

And Jesus was not a “human sacrifice” (forbidden by God).

If you want to see the “notes” referred to in the quote, just ask. Also see the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapters 8 through 10, to see why Jesus died (and rose again).

Sacrifice of blood and self is a given in any deep relation. Your sacrifice to your spouse is in the vows that you not only say but, feel.

The sacrifices are tokens of devotion.

You sacrificed your freedoms for commitment to another. If that does amount to bloody after the first 5 to 10 years you ain’t normal. :laughing:

Humans don’t trust. Thus sacrifice is required. The biggest most interesting question is which came first; The token to another human or the token to the beliefs of a god. Did the first humans create sacrifice to a god because they already required it from their fellow humans?