I recently watched the movie, ‘Avengers, Age of Ultron’. I know, don’t say it! I am late on the bandwagon. I don’t spend a lot of time watching movies or television. I liked the movie, overall. It was descent; Many characters who I was not familiar with. My collegue, C. Matthew McMahon is a great fan, so I had to consult him on these characters as to get a better grip on who and what was actually going on; The main character are the Avengers (as the good guys) and the evil ‘Thanos’ (Immortal one). Many of the scenarios are some-what biblical. I will discuss these later in the paper.
The gist of the movie is Thanos’ pursuit of the 6 ‘Infinity Stones’. The stones are powerful in that they give the holder of the stones special unlimited powers directly related to each; These six stones were created before time began when the ‘Big Bang’ occurred. The stones are generally held in nebulous containers as they cannot be held in the hand; Thanos has a glove that he wears that has 6 empty compartments, where the stones are to be placed when they are retrieved, called the ‘infinity Gauntlet’. Apparently, Marvel created a fake gauntlet that shows its face in Thor Ragnarok on Asgard, in their ‘Treasure room’. The villain ‘Hela’ discovers it, seizes it only to later toss it to the side after discovering it is fake.
- The Space stone or “Tesseract”: This gives the holder power over ‘space’ and the holder can transport himself from one portal in the universe to another.
- The Mind Stone: This stone first showed it’s face in 2012’s movie ‘The Avengers and was held by Thor’s brother, Loki; Loki had a scepter with the stone in the head of the scepter. This stone has the power to control the mind of others. When Loki touched the stone to his assailed, Loki was able to control the person’s actions.
- The Reality Stone: This stone allows the user to manipulate matter. The Reality stone had a companion result in some of the Marvel movies called, ‘Aether’. It is a manifestation of the reality stone.
- The Power Stone: This stone gives the user unlimited power, power strong enough to destroy a planet. This stone first showed up in the original ‘Guardians of the galaxy’.
- The Time Stone (The Eye of Agomoto): This stone allows the user to time travel at their will. In Infinity wars, Dr. Strange holds this stone in an amulet around his neck.
- The Soul Stone: In Infinity wars, Thanos and his daughter, ‘Gamora’, go to ‘Vormir, where the stone is held by The red Skull’. Thanos is told that to tget the stone, he must give up the thing most dear to his heart, that being his daughter Gamora, who he eventually throws off a cliff to her death.
Some Greek interpretations:
Zodhiates renders the word better defined as ‘incorruptable’. An example would be here:
1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
ἀθανασία (ἀθάνατος) → ζωή, θάνατος.
1. Ἀθανασία is primarily a literary term found in Greek from the time of Plato and Isocrates. It means “immortality.” According to Gk. belief this is proper to the gods, the ἀθάνατοι. Whether it is also true of the human soul is a matter of debate. Plato tries to prove that it is, and in his school the immortality of the soul becomes a characteristic dogma,3 so that later Christian Apologists refer to Plato and claim that he took his teaching from Moses. In Hellenism the demand for immortality is great but belief in it meagre.5 Apart from the διὰ τῆς δόξης ἀθανατισμός, an attempt is made through Pantheistic Stoic speculation to show that the individual belongs organically to the living cosmos and has impersonal immortality in it. To some extent ἀθανασία is also sought in the mysteries, in magic9 or in mystical contemplation.
Rudolf Bultmann, “Θάνατος, Θνῄακω, Ἀποθνῄσκω, Συναποθνῄσκω, Θανατόω, Θνητός, Ἀθανασία (ἀθάνατος),” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 22–23.
Thanotos: Death, died, die
Strongs number G2288
θάνατος, θνῄακω, ἀποθνῄσκω, συναποθνῄσκω, θανατόω, θνητός, ἀθανασία (ἀθάνατος) → ζωή.
θάνατος, θνῄσκω, ἀποθνῄσκω, συναποθνῄσκω.
Contents: A. θάνατος in Greek Usage: 1. Classical Usage; 2. Hellenistic Usage: a. Stoicism; b. Neo-Platonism; c. Gnosticism; d. Philo. B. The Concept of Death in the NT. On the thought of death in the OT and Judaism → ζωή, II, 851; 855 f.
A. θάνατος in Greek Usage.
1. Classical Usage.
If according to a popular Greek view death does not end human existence to the degree that the dead lead a shadowy existence in Hades, this cannot be regarded as a life. For what is called life is destroyed by death, and none can talk away the terror of death (Hom. Od., 11,487 ff.). Life is the supreme good. Except for the idea of the translation of individual heroes to the isles of the blessed, for the belief in Orphic and Pythagorean circles that death is the liberation of the soul imprisoned in the body, and for the idea of the transmigration of the soul in the same circles, death is accepted as the end of life and therefore as something terrible,2 for otherwise why should not the blessed gods die? (Sappho acc. to Aristot. Rhet., II, 23, p. 1398b, 27 ff.). That death is the general lot of men (as in the old saying, θανάτῳ πάντες ὀφειλόμεθα) is no comfort. The necessity of death casts its shadow on life and calls its meaning into question. There is better comfort in the thought that life itself is a questionable good with its toil and tribulation, so that it can seem to be better never to have been born or, having been born, to die again. Death does at least bring rest,5 and suicide can be represented as a liberation from ignominy and suffering. Yet when death comes, no one wants to die.7 Nor is there any knowledge of what will come after death.
But as the Homeric heroes hazard their lives for fame, so κλέος (δόξα) offers the opportunity of bringing death as an act into life. Those who fall in glorious battle live on immortally in their renown on earth, and perhaps the dead hear something of this renown.11 But the ἀρετή (ἀνδρεία) which brings death upon itself does not always have to be accompanied by reflection concerning δόξα: οὐδὲ ζῆν ἂν ἐγὼ δεξαίμην δειλὸς ὤν, Plat. Alc., 115d. Above all death is a great thing for the πόλις in which the κλέος lives on. Thus καλῶς ἀποθνῇσκειν becomes the typically Greek conquest of θάνατος.
If it thus appears that in Greek thought death is not originally understood as a natural phenomenon but as the particular lot of human existence with which we have all to reckon, it is equally typical of Greek thought that it tries to reckon with it by interpreting it as a natural phenomenon.
For Ionic philosophy the vital force, the ψυχή, is immortal, but only as the force which indwells the κόσμος and which is the same in all the forms and changes in which it appears, among which are to be counted human life and death (→ ζωή, II, 833). The birth of one is the death of another, so that Heracl. Fr., 62 expressly relativises the antitheses life and death: ἀθάνατοι θνητοί, θνητοὶ ἀθάνατοι, ζῶντες τὸν ἐκείνων θάνατον, τὸν δὲ ἐκείνων βίον τεθνεῶτες (I, 89, 14 f., Diels).
Rudolf Bultmann, “Θάνατος, Θνῄακω, Ἀποθνῄσκω, Συναποθνῄσκω, Θανατόω, Θνητός, Ἀθανασία (ἀθάνατος),” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 7–9.
Hitler and the like:
Many rulers had good intentions when they started, but end up losing their minds in their pursuit of good.
Now just to be clear, I am not advocating for Adolf Hitler here; he did start well, but ended up being a raging lunatic. I watched a program once on his inital attempts to better Germany and it was impressive. Lots of (seemingly) good programs for the people of Gemany as well as youth programs, funded by the government that would challenge any industrialized nation. What seemed good on the front end, was the method to his madness; in time, the plan reared it’s ugly head as Hitler brought into the battle for world domination, even young children known as the ‘Hitler Youth’. But I digress, in the midst of how evil he became.
The character of Thanos is like Hitler. He believes killing off the majority of creation will be the greater good; the planents resources are close to exhaustion. Hence, his desire to get the stones. As well, the character is genuinely convinced he is the one with the great insight. He is generally calm and composed throughout the movie, not ever breaking a sweat, even while fighting. After the battle he is as composed as a man who just woke up from a long nights sleep. He talks calmly and cohesively, routinely. His character, did infact, intrigue me. If I ever paln on taking over the world, I would want to be Thanos.
Biblical account of various stones:
Jesus is the stone of offense:
2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but mchosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, mmare built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, fa peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the gpraises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 1 Pe 2.
Matthew Poole writes:
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, oeven to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; i. e. a stone at which they stumble, a rock at which they are offended; and so it implies Christ not to be the cause of their stumbling, but the object of it; they of their own accord, and through the pravity of their nature, without any just occasion given by him, being offended, either because they find not that in him which they expected, viz. outward encouragements; or find that in him which they do not like, the holiness of his law, and purity of his doctrine, contrary to their corruptions and lusts, and especially his requiring of them faith in him for the justification of their persons, which was so contrary to the pride of their hearts, and which was one great reason of the Jews stumbling at him, as seeking to establish their own righteousness, and therefore not submitting to the righteousness of God, Rom. 9:32, 33, compared with 10:3. This stumbling includes not only their falling into sin, but into destruction too, the punishment of sin, Isa. 8:14, 15; whereof Christ can be no more than the inculpable occasion, but their own unbelief the proper cause. Which stumble at the word, being disobedient; these words may have a double reading: one according to our translation; and then the sense is, that stumble at the word of the gospel, i. e. are disobedient to it, in rejecting Christ therein offered to them: or, that stumble, being disobedient to the word; i. e. stumble at Christ preached to them in the word, and therefore will not obey it; they show that they are offended at Christ, by their not receiving his doctrine, nor accepting his offers. Whereunto also they were appointed; either this may refer, 1. To ver. 6, where Christ is said to be laid (the same word in the Greek with that which is here translated by appointed) in Sion, as a chief corner-stone, elect and precious, on whom whosoever believeth, shall not be confounded. The apostle then adds, that even these unbelievers were appointed (viz. in their external vocation, as being taken into covenant with God) to be built on Christ by faith, but they stumbled, by their unbelief, at the word of the gospel, and consequently at this stumbling-stone. And then it is a high aggravating the unbelief of the Jews, that they, being God’s peculiar people, should reject that salvation which was sent to them, and to the first offer of which they were designed, Acts 13:26, 46, 47. Or, 2. To the words immediately going before, which stumble at the word, being disobedient; and then the sense is, (speaking concerning the reprobate Jews.) that God appointed them to this stumbling, in his decreeing not to give them faith in Christ, but to leave them to their unbelief, and to punish them justly for it: see Rom. 9:17; 1 Thess. 5:9; Jude 4. The scope of the apostle in this whole verse seems to be, to keep weak Christians from being offended at the multitude of unbelievers, and especially at their seeing Christ rejected by the Jewish rulers and doctors; and this he doth by pointing them to the Scripture, where all this was long since foretold, and therefore not to be wondered at now, nor be any occasion of offence to them: see the like, John 16:1, 4.
Matthew Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible, vol. 3 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1853), 905.
Peter is the stone where Christ builds the church:
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Jn 1:39–42.
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Mt 16:13–20.
Stones were used for various means in scripture:
4 And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying, 2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, 3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night. 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: 5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. 8 And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Jos 4.
20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Jos 4:20–24.
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God,
Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone,
A tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Is 28:16.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. 20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Ge 28:18–22.
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 1 Sa 17:48–50.
The Stone believers will get in eternity
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Re 2:17.
In summary, all believers have life eternal. All of us will be rendered ‘incorruptible’ in Glory. We will put on immortality in the name of Christ Jesus. Unlike Thanos in the Marvel movies, we will live forever with Him who is worthy to be worshipped for all time. Lonliness, tears and pain are a thing of the past. Praise God!