Q1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium

So we start Section 1.

Q1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium
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Akhenaten, Nefertiti and three of their Daughters; limestone; New Kingdom, Amarna period, 18th dynasty; c. 1350 BC. Egyptian Museum Berlin, Inv. no. 14145.

All the depictions of the ‘heretic pharaoh’ Akehnaten’s family life show his wife Nefertiti, the ‘beauty who comes here’, and his daughters. The dominant figure in these family scenes, is no longer the pharaoh but the royal couple ‘united’, bearer of the same divinity and bound to their family by their mutual love. They sit, in love, under the disc representing the Aten, the one almighty God, whose long arms extend through the Pharaoh to the family and us.

As early as 2400 BCE, the importance of the family is shown, with the wife depicted alongside her husband. Their children are shown too, even when the man is receiving his social subordinates. The wife appears with the husband in depictions of celebration, sport and leisure as well as in their home. The couple depicted the great love bond between Isis and Osiris.

By the time of Akhenaten, 1000 years later, the family was used to demonstrate the universal love that we should all have for each other. A divine bond that united members of a family, each family to every other and to the pharaoh, to the Universe and the Aten.

If the earliest scriptures of the Ancient Egytians show the importance of the family, it should still be important to us.

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