Raptor or Rapture?

A long time ago, when stories or religion were passed down by word of mouth, occasional errors crept in. Most were very minor. Little things like dropping the ‘S’ off ‘She’.

Unfortunately there was also a mis-spelling of ‘Celebrate’ as ‘Celibate’ at one point which has led to some trouble and frustration.

There have been other spelling problems and one of them is quite relevant to today’s modern Pentecostal world.

There was a Latin word, ‘Rapt’ which meant, variously, plunderer or seize or even ‘Rape’. It was used, biblically and in general to describe a group of birds. The hawks, eagles and owls.

The original stories had the followers of the Galilean Jesus being carried off, snatched away, plundered by Giant Eagles or Raptors at the ‘Second Coming’. This does not sound like a pleasant way to enter Heaven although it is on a par with the end of life habits of many other ancient Gods and religions. Another explanation is that it could be a veiled reference to the Vajrayana Buddhist sky burials.

Sadly, ‘rapture’ is also a word descended from the Latin ‘Rapt’ and is probably a mis-translation, mispronunciation or possibly a spelling error which has caused millions of people to believe they will be snatched, alive, from this Earth when Jesus returns. This is the Rapture we hear so much about from Pentecostal preachers. Those who are saved will float up into the air to join with a returning Christos figure.

It is also the end of the world as our current Prime Minister believes it will be. And soon. So he has no need to plan for any long term Governmental action.

Now, who has my handbasket?

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