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Scripture Says…What? for the Week of December 4th

open bibleThis week’s look at the funny, the scary and just plain weird passages in humanity’s holy texts comes from listener Christoph from Germany, we look at the religion of Zoroastrianism, a religion that predates both Christianity and Islam.

It has an odd definition of evil. Today’s passage comes from the Avesta, Zoroastrianism’s sacred text

Vendidad, Fargard 17: 1-3:

1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: ‘O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the most deadly deed whereby a man offers up a sacrifice to the Daevas1?’

2. Ahura Mazda answered: ‘It is when a man here below, combing his hair or shaving it off, or paring off his nails, drops them2 in a hole or in a crack3.

3. ‘Then by this transgression of the rites, Daevas (demons) are produced in the earth; by this transgression of the rites, those Khrafstras (noxious creatures) are produced in the earth which men call lice, and which eat up the corn in the corn-field and the clothes in the wardrobe.

So, yeah. If you cut your hair and nails, they’ll turn into demons and lice. I can’t imagine why this never became a major world religion. No, seriously. This is no sillier than some of the stuff in the Bible, a book with talking donkeys and unicorns.

If you have a passage of holy scripture that you find funny, scary or just plain weird, send it our way. Whether it’s from the Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Mormon, or even Dianetics, click on the big, red, shiny button at the top of the page and we may even read it on the show!

About the Author: Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis is co-creator, and co-host of Ask an Atheist. He hosts the Radio vs. the Martians! and Mike and Pól Save the Universe! podcasts. He also enjoys comic books, the Planet of the Apes, and the band Queen.

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Daevas are not demons. They are, more or less, gods. the reason I say more or less is because there is some question about how gods are divided up as god is a generic term while most religions have more specific categorizations… for example Titans vs Olympians.

Also the word you were looking for to describe Zoroastrianism is theistic dualism

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