Egyptian Religions No other country- not even China or India had such a long history as Ancient Egypt. For nearly, 3,000 years before the birth of Jesus, the Egyptians had already a high developed civilization. The Egyptians lived in an orderly government; they built great stone structures; most of important of all they established an acquired religion. For the Egyptians there was no break between their religious beliefs and their daily life. Even their culture would all lie at the bottom compared to their religious beliefs. For an example, Egyptian art was never reflected as a representation; however, it was a sense of symbolic pictures that spoke of the life of the gods and the hope of eternity to come.
This desire for the renewal of life, and the creative urge to ensure it by ritual and symbolism existed in Egypt from the earliest times of the Neolithic Era. Archaeologist were able to uncover clay figurines of Osiris laced with sprouting corn. As the corn grew the model would open, as an image of life-in- death. Archaeologist were also able to find that their people also liked to keep the dead close to them. The Egyptians soon came to believe deeply that the good administration of the dead, just like the management of the Niles water could lead to an everlasting life. Many think of the Ancient Egyptians as a morbid, death-obsessed people.
We think of this because all of what we have uncovered is mummies, tombs, and graves. However, we know more about the Egyptians in death than what we know about their lives. Since, the earliest times the Egyptians were very passionately concerned with the continued existence of their loved ones and their souls. The idea that Osiris had passes through death and risen into a new life was deeply rooted in the Egyptian consciousness that Osiris had to struggle against the forces of evil. So did the human soul now following him to gain eternity.
By 2,500 BCE, helpful instructions, known as the pyramid texts were carved or painted on tomb walls to help the soul act in the various trials of it journey in the Netherworld (also referred to as the Under World). A thousand years later, in the New Kingdom, these instructions had been formalized into The Coming into Day, or The Egyptian Book of the Dead. This magical text for the underworld journey was a set of spells, incantations, and mummification techniques designed to help the dead person resurrect into a glorious afterlife in “heaven, ” or “The Hall of the Two Truths.” These mystical texts are from the New Kingdom. The similar ones that were found in the pyramids from the Old Kingdom, and the coffins were from the Middle Kingdom. One can imagine these text by thinking about how church rituals are run.
One goes to church, and the rituals are holy texts that come from a book known as the bible or genesis. In Ancient Egypt, these burial rituals are not read from a book. At first, they are read directly off of the wall in inner chambers of a pyramid; later they were read directly off sides of the coffins. The Coming into Day, which was from the New Kingdom, was read off of papyrus sheets, much as religious rituals are today as they are read out of books. The Book of the Dead was to be relatively cheap to purchase.
As an Egyptian that had more riches in the New Kingdom, one would be able to buy a copy that would have blanks where the names go. A scribe would be hired to insert the name in all those blank spots. In the text, the blank spots were the name of the deceased. The letter “N” indicates it. If there were no name to be put in it they would refer to the Dead person as “N”.
Wealthy Egyptians had a personalized version prepared before their death so many versions have been discovered. One of the most famous one was created for Ani, a Royal Scribe, who lived during the nineteenth dynasty, and died in 1250 BC. If one were to die or a loved one dies, one would be buried with the papyrus scroll. As a result, a few of these texts survived. In the book the body was represented as the Ka.
The Ka was the spiritual body that everyone had, which was the mirror image of the physical body. When a person died it was the Ka, which lived on in the underworld. The Ka was not trapped inside a material body but lived symbiotically with it. This was why it was so vital to preserve the bodies of those who were believed to be living in the future world. In many of the great Egyptian tombs, spare heads and hearts were buried with the mummified body in case the mummy should be damaged.
Many of the spells in the book for the dead are for protecting the physical body so that the Ka body could live free and happy in the Underworld. One of the most well renowned parts in the book of the dead is the Hall of Maat, which is first introduced in the book. The Hall of Matt is where the judgement of the dead was preformed. The goddess Matt stands for truth, justice, morality and balance. The symbol that was used to shows ones innocence was the “heart”. The Egyptians believed the heart was one of the most sacred parts of the body.
In the Book of the Dead, it was the heart that was weighed against the feather of Maat to see if an individual was worthy of joining Osiris in the afterlife. In the book Anubis, the Jackal god of embalming leads “N” to the scales of Maat to be weighed. Anubis then weighs the heart against the feather to see if it is worthy. As, Thoth, the god of wisdom is right next to the scale recording the results. If passing this test one will be brought by Horus to meet Osiris, the king of the dead.
To claim the purity and the principles of a sinless life is known as “The Declaration of Innocence.” Here during the Declarations of Independence, “N” (the deceased one) must claim his innocence. Much of this declaration was based on causing human suffrage and about taking care of e …