How Original is Christianity?

Anangel13 says its all been done before:




[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Darryl

    The less you know, the more you can believe. None are more fervent than those that know the least.

  • http://www.evolvedrational.com Evolved Rationalist

    Most theistards don’t know nuts about the zombie cult they decide to waste their life in.

    Poor ignorant, deluded, moronic theistards. It’s hard not to feel bad for them sometimes.

  • Pseudonym

    Wow, what an incredibly sloppy piece of work. Where to start, where to start.

    First, there are two Mithraic traditions. One is the pre-Christian Persian tradition, and the other is the Roman tradition, which is contemporary with Christianity, and didn’t really flourish until 90CE. This is important, because the claims in the video are mostly about the Roman tradition, which largely post-dates Christianity (though, to be fair, they don’t post-date the building of the Vatican).

    Secondly, the earliest Mithraic inscription dates from about 100CE, and there’s no description of beliefs from before about 140CE. When talking about Mithraic beliefs, it’s extremely hard to tell what pre-dates Christianity and what post-dates it.

    So, let’s take these claims in turn:

    Mithras was born on December 25, as were a bunch of other pagan deities.

    As pretty much everyone knows, the festival of Jesus’ birth was changed to fit with the plethora of existing festivals on that date. The date of Jesus’ birth is not given anywhere in Christianity, only the date of the festival.

    By the way, pretty much every agricultural culture celebrates the solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter solstice is the “rebirth of the Sun”. Nobody should be surprised that Christianity also celebrates the solstice.

    Mithras was called the Son of God and Light of the World.

    I couldn’t find a scholarly reference for this claim. Even if it’s true, it’s hard to see what relevance it has. See below.

    Mithras died, was buried in a rock tomb, and was resurrected after three days.

    There is only one piece of historical evidence for this claim, and it’s Tertullian’s Prescriptions Against Heretics. Obviously, this was written after the New Testament. There is no evidence that this was believed before Christianity or, indeed, that Mithras worshippers believed it at all.

    “God” and “Jesus” are amalgams of pagan gods.

    Not exactly. More on this later…

    Egyptian “sun disks” became the halos of Catholic saints. Isis and Horus were an artistic “blueprint” for our images of Mary and Jesus.

    These are not beliefs, they are artistic conventions.

    Artists still paint halos, even on non-saint figures. They call it flagging the head.

    Besides, how many ways are there to depict a nursing baby?

    Christianity has attracted a lot of pagan ritualistic elements.

    Why, yes. In fact, as I noted in a previous thread, Chinese Christian churches look pretty much like joss houses.

    Christianity was designed, from the outset, not to be tied to a single ethnic group or nation. Even in the Bible, you can see Christianity evolving from a small Jewish sect to one that incorporates Greek philosophy. And since then, it’s taken the best of whatever it could find, including postmodernism.

    This is, surely, a strength, not a weakness. Evolution prevents you from becoming extinct as the external pressures change.

    Lots of religions built big structures to their gods, and we now know they are imaginary.

    Zomg! Christianity got the idea for building big structures from pagan religions!

    Just kidding. But the key problem I have with this claim is the word “imaginary”.

    Pretty much anyone who studies the psychology of religion will tell you that the reason why the same themes keep showing up in different religions is not that one borrows from the other, but that it’s the same human mind which produces both. Virgin births and resurrections are archetypes. Christianity has them not because it borrowed the idea from someone else, but because they work.

    All of this is perfectly explainable without resorting to pseudohistory and drawing very long bows.

    Now, the word “imaginary” is literally true: When humans experience the “divine” (whatever you think the “divine” actually is, even if you think it’s purely psychological, it’s undeniable that religious experience is real), it fires the imagination, and people interpret it in terms of whatever they understand. In a harsh, violent place, they interpret the “divine” as a harsh, violent deity. Modern Christians from the Western world live in a world where peace and love are considered desirable, and it’s not surprising that they concentrate on a peaceful, loving deity. And I’m cool with that.

  • Jen

    Most theistards don’t know nuts about the zombie cult they decide to waste their life in.

    Poor ignorant, deluded, moronic theistards. It’s hard not to feel bad for them sometimes.

    and you sound worse than them. at least they’re ignorant. you just sound like an immature 5 year old. there’s nothing evolved or rational about you.

  • Maria

    and you sound worse than them. at least they’re ignorant. you just sound like an immature 5 year old. there’s nothing evolved or rational about you.

    you have a point

  • http://cranialhyperossification.com GDad

    I can almost imagine today’s conversation about Christian rap music (“It’s almost like regular rap, as long as you don’t listen closely to the words.”) happening 1900 years ago (“It’s almost like Dionysian rituals, as long as you don’t pay attention to the names.”).

    I think in order for any meme to gain traction, it has to connect to people’s experience. Another example is the “desktop” meme used by a lot of computer operating systems. You have a desktop on which are folders and files. That maps directly to previous experience, and is easily assimilated.

    Interesting mechanism, that.

  • mikespeir

    How original is any human invention? We always build upon what came before.

  • Daniel Hoffman

    Question: If Christianity does in fact have a whole lot of parallels with pagan religions – what does that have to do with whether Christianity is true or not?

    In fact, if you look at it under the assumption that Christianity is true (as I am), the parallels and overlaps make perfect sense. Man is made in the image of God and knows God from creation – one would expect man to have inklings and hints of the truth all along, and manifest in a warped and distorted way.

    And anyway, technically that video uses real bad logic. It says “we know with complete certainty that these gods were imaginary because no one worships Zeus anymore”. We know he’s fake because no one worships him… ok? So by that standard the Christian God is real because people still DO worship Him.

    And also, halos around the heads of saints, December 25, etc, have nothing to do with the Bible and didn’t crop up until later, so don’t confuse scriptural Christianity with Roman Catholic tradition.

  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William

    The argument he’s making is that the number of believers does not validate the religion’s belief. Each of those religions had millions of believers, yet today we know that they’re not true.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    one would expect man to have inklings and hints of the truth all along, and manifest in a warped and distorted way.

    And maybe Christianity is yet another “inkling” and the true religion will be revealed to us in another 1000 years? How do you determine when the hints have stopped and the “real deal” has arrived? I guess the Muslims think Jesus was one such hint along the way to the Truth of Mohammad. How do you know they are wrong?

  • Pseudonym

    And maybe Christianity is yet another “inkling” and the true religion will be revealed to us in another 1000 years?

    Look up “Omnism” some time.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    Omnism

    Interesting! I heard similar idea a lot from “spiritual” people in college. They always said all religions are just different faces of the same God. The idea sounds nice and inclusive at first, but it is silly because each religion contradicts the other. (Eg. either Jesus is the son of God (Christianity) or he is something else (Islam, Judaism, etc.).)

    You could say all religions are just touching different parts of some greater truth, and you could be right, but you aren’t being inclusive. What you are really saying is that everyone is wrong, and your particular model of reality is right!

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    Pseudonym,

    You made a good critique. There is too much exaggeration, spin, and outright copy/paste dishonesty out there with this particular piece of atheist propaganda. Atheists should try to maintain the high ground of intellectual honesty, but as we all know the label “atheist” guarantees no such thing.

    This Wiki link also has a good overview:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitra

    ” * Mitra (Sanskrit Mitrá-, Mitrá?), a deity (asura) who appears frequently in the ancient Indian text of the Rigveda.
    * Mithra (Avestan Mi?ra-, Mi?r?), a yazata mentioned in the Zoroastrian sacred scripture of the Avesta, whose modern Persian equivalent is Mehr.
    * Mithras, the principal figure of the Greco-Roman religion of Mithraism.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    Pseudonym,

    You made a good critique. There is too much exaggeration, spin, and outright copy/paste dishonesty out there with this particular piece of atheist propaganda. Atheists should try to maintain the high ground of intellectual honesty, but as we all know the label “atheist” guarantees no such thing.

    This Wiki link also has a good overview:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitra

    ” * Mitra (Sanskrit Mitrá-, Mitrá?), a deity (asura) who appears frequently in the ancient Indian text of the Rigveda.
    * Mithra (Avestan Mi?ra-, Mi?r?), a yazata mentioned in the Zoroastrian sacred scripture of the Avesta, whose modern Persian equivalent is Mehr.
    * Mithras, the principal figure of the Greco-Roman religion of Mithraism.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    Sorry about that, some scary looking errors appeared and I didn’t know the first one got posted.

  • TolgaK

    Even if the parallels noted between Christianity and pagan religions were 100% proof that Christianity is just another form of those religions, this video is rather pointless.

    A video like this should be targeted to religious people, and in that case it fails. The second he starts bluntly saying that their god is a lie, Christian viewers will forget any of the previously noted facts of their religion. Any intent of getting them to question their beliefs will fail once the second half begins.

    What needs to be done is to round up all these facts, present proof that they are copies in the video’s description, and drop the whole “your god is a lie” part.

  • Becksi

    In fact, if you look at it under the assumption that Christianity is true (as I am), the parallels and overlaps make perfect sense. Man is made in the image of God and knows God from creation – one would expect man to have inklings and hints of the truth all along, and manifest in a warped and distorted way.

    I agree, it makes perfect sense! However, if you fail to see the truth of Christianity and don’t accept Jesus Christ as you savior, God WILL judge for your sins and you WILL face eternal punishment in Hell! I LOVE GOD!!

    The video probably got it’s “facts” from the Zeitgeist -movie’s first part.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Pseudonym: “There is only one piece of historical evidence for this claim, and it’s Tertullian’s Prescriptions Against Heretics.”

    Even this is dodgy, since what Tertullian says is, “if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, (in the kingdom of Satan, ) sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers; celebrates also the oblation of bread, and introduces an image of a resurrection, and before a sword wreathes a crown.” That’s not even clear enough to indicate that Mithras himself was thought to be resurrected.

    BTW, did anyone else notice the forged Orpheus amulet in the video?

  • RobL

    Hate to say it but this video turned me off as much as the banana video. Playing loose with the truth and facts to make your point is something I normally attribute to the religious – this just makes atheists look ignorant. At least Ray’s video made me laugh. This person needs to do some more reading.

  • Jen (the usual one)

    I think that the video is lazy- I disagree that proof of the religion is if the god is worshipped- I doubt the Eygptians were right about their gods, but for me the proof is not the all the believers are dead.

    On the other hand, I do agree that Christianity uses other religions to convert people. A friend of mine told me about a missionary trip to Mexico where they were instructed to throw “Marys” into the conversation to convert the Catholics to Lutheran. A little sick, really.

  • Mriana

    I could have told someone all of this.

    Pretty much anyone who studies the psychology of religion will tell you that the reason why the same themes keep showing up in different religions is not that one borrows from the other, but that it’s the same human mind which produces both. Virgin births and resurrections are archetypes. Christianity has them not because it borrowed the idea from someone else, but because they work.

    No, it has nothing to do with Psychology. It is rewritten mythical stories. The Christ myth is written to a particular culture, put previous myths were templates. This one “borrowed” from others in an effort to unite the religion and control the vulgar (masses). It is an institution meant to control what people think and do under pagan belief system. The only psychology is the brain-washing of millions and forcing them to think as the established institution tells them to think or be charged with heresy, which that charge still exists to this day and has been used against people. You won’t find it in the news though. I will tell you to research Anthony Freeman for starters, who Spong invited to come to the States and be reordained in the Episcopal Church. Spong came close, but pointed out to the accusers they believe the same thing about Xianity, but keep it secret. Currently Tom Harpur has a lot of accusations going his way too, as well as others, but the truth is the Jesus myth is just rewritten myth, a newer version of the sun god Horus, Mithra, etc and nothing more. All previous stories are templates, but the Vatican forced one world view on people, esp during the Dark Ages. Now that is the true psychology behind it- the controlling institution forced it on people, sometimes with extreme force, torture, etc. Did a real psychological number on people, that is for sure.

  • Darryl

    All religions that persist are syncretic to some degree. Most people aren’t interested in serious theology and of those that are, many are only interested in learning the theology of their tradition. For this reason, not that many Christians have understood the sources of ancient Christianity. The materials are easy to find; a good library has all you need. In its theological aspect, understanding the sources of Christianity was the final nail in the coffin for me. If a hard-headed man like me can see the light, anyone can.

  • Pingback: Nothing In Christianity Is Original (Video) « Atheist Okie

  • SerTyrion

    My biggest complaint with this sloppy video was those sentences that said stuff like (I’m paraphrasing), “We are absolutely certain that the Egyptian Gods were complete fiction.” Do we now? I don’t believe in any God, and I do talk about the absurdity of the proposition that God exists…. but that doesn’t mean I have rock solid proof that the any god is completely made up. His arguement that “noone believes in them anymore which proves that they are false” is fallacious and inconsistent. He then went on to argue that millions of people believing in something don’t make it true. So… if noone believes it, its false. But if a lot of people believe it, then its not necessarily true. Whether or not something is believed or disbelieved has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of the claim. Look at evolution, most Americans don’t believe in it… but its still true. Hell, noone believed in evolution up until Darwin (obviously they didn’t know of it…. and this analogy is probably weak) but that didn’t mean is was false because noone believed in it.

  • Ed

    It all boils down to what evidence do you have- what can you put in your hand and bring into court, or the lab? The answer is almost always nothing.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Mriana: “the truth is the Jesus myth is just rewritten myth, a newer version of the sun god Horus, Mithra, etc and nothing more.”

    I’m sorry, but this is just woo so bad that not even many Internet Infidels buy it.

  • Karen

    I agree, it makes perfect sense! However, if you fail to see the truth of Christianity and don’t accept Jesus Christ as you savior, God WILL judge for your sins and you WILL face eternal punishment in Hell!

    Wow, that was random. Why jump into the thread and post an empty threat? It has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    I LOVE GOD!!

    Hey, how can you not love somebody who tortures people for eternity? What a lovable, cuddly guy!

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Karen, check the batteries in your irony meter.

  • Pseudonym

    NYCatheist, on Omnism:

    You could say all religions are just touching different parts of some greater truth, and you could be right, but you aren’t being inclusive. What you are really saying is that everyone is wrong, and your particular model of reality is right!

    Spoken like a true religious person!

    Seriously, Omnism (as I understand it) is as much about the attitude of humility than anything else. This page sums it up quite well:

    All religions are true in part, none in totality, Omnism included.

    Mriana:

    In retrospect, I stated it a bit strongly. Obviously, psychology isn’t the only mechanism by which two religions end up with similarities. Sometimes, religions do indeed borrow material or ideas.

    Nonetheless, the incredible similarities between many disparate religions can’t be explained by borrowing alone.

    Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell have written volumes on exactly how the works, and exactly what the parallels are, and I don’t propose to go into the details right now. Suffice it to say, the evidence is pretty compelling.

  • Karen

    Karen, check the batteries in your irony meter.

    Ah … the batteries are dead. Thanks for the heads up! ;-)

    (Frankly, it’s hard to separate the parody from the reality when it comes to drive-by evangelist posters.)

  • Keith

    I agree, it makes perfect sense! However, if you fail to see the truth of Christianity and don’t accept Jesus Christ as you savior, God WILL judge for your sins and you WILL face eternal punishment in Hell! I LOVE GOD!!

    Becksi,

    Why? What could this post possibly accomplish? Please stop utilizing this kind of repugnant threat. In case it matters, I am a Chrstian.

  • Mriana

    J. J. Ramsey said,

    June 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Mriana: “the truth is the Jesus myth is just rewritten myth, a newer version of the sun god Horus, Mithra, etc and nothing more.”

    I’m sorry, but this is just woo so bad that not even many Internet Infidels buy it.

    That’s fine if you don’t want to buy it, but even Bob Price who has articles on Internet Infidels website has said similarly. There again you don’t have to believe it or take anyone’s word for it. Just do the research for yourself, find the texts of these other myths, like the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Coffin texts, and come to your own conclusion. It seems to me that so many on that board come to such a conclusion due to what they are told and not via their own research.

    Mriana:

    In retrospect, I stated it a bit strongly. Obviously, psychology isn’t the only mechanism by which two religions end up with similarities. Sometimes, religions do indeed borrow material or ideas.

    Nonetheless, the incredible similarities between many disparate religions can’t be explained by borrowing alone.

    Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell have written volumes on exactly how the works, and exactly what the parallels are, and I don’t propose to go into the details right now. Suffice it to say, the evidence is pretty compelling.

    Yes, I have read some of Jung and Campbell’s work. However, I do find the evidence that previous myths were templates for Christianity to be very compelling. I am with Robert Price when he says something like, “If there ever was an historical Jesus, he is too buried in myth to find.” I am also with Tom Harpur concerning the Jesus myth being a remake of the Horus myth, EXCEPT, I will also say it includes a mixture of other thoughts and myths- such as Mithra, Krishna, and other philosophies. It is not solely that of Horus, IMO. However, some of these ideas maybe common among cultures and not just shared by spoken word of travellers from else where.

  • Pseudonym

    Mrina, I’m curious why you find the Horus theory persuasive, or at least as much of it as you do find persuasive. No credible historical research on Horus that I’ve been able to find backs up any of Gerald Massey’s supposed factoids about Horus, apart from a small number of details (e.g. both being of “royal descent”, like that’s uncommon amongst mythological figures).

    And, of course, I’ve given my thoughts on Mitrha already. :-)

    Krishna is an interesting one, but Krishna is an amalgam of a bunch of tribal gods. If you buy the Jung theory about mythology developing by evolution, it seems to me that it’d be even more true in that case.

    Anyway, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

  • Mriana

    It’s not so much all the details as the basic outline, that and various parts of the text overlap. I did not say the whole of Horus was the Christ myth though. Given that it is 1:30 am and I have to be up at 5 am, I can’t go into great detail right now. That and I’m getting to sleepy to actually think straight and be clear in what I’m communicating this time of night.

  • Pseudonym

    That’s cool, Mriana. If you feel like responding (and that’s entirely up to you; I real life is important), feel free to take as long as you want.

    The “basic outline” that you mention is also interesting. I know I’m harping on this, the “story outline”, the journey of the hero, is surely one of the things that conforms the closest to the Campbell/Jung theory?

  • Becksi

    Keith,

    I’m an atheist trying to make a point in case you thought I was a Christian. I think there is something very wrong when someone loves and worships a being who he thinks will damn me and many others into eternal torture, especially when people are damned for guessing the wrong religion out of all those supposed “reflections” of the only true religion.

  • TheDeadEye

    Evolution prevents you from becoming extinct as the external pressures change.

    No, that’s not how it works.

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    To echo SerTyrion and some others, the assertions that we know with certainty that these gods don’t exist along with some other stretches really bring the whole thing down. Simply presenting the lack of originality in christianity should be all that’s necessary for this video and of course make sure all your info is pretty solid. If it isn’t, coupled with those certainty claims, then all you’ve made is something that christians can point to and exclaim “atheist propaganda”. True, they’d say that no matter what, but with those flaws their exclamations gain an air of credibility, whereas if your video was air tight, they’d just look like ranting loons.

  • http://http: grazatt

    All the cool links that I send here that don’t get posted and this crap does?

  • Keith

    Keith,

    I’m an atheist trying to make a point in case you thought I was a Christian. I think there is something very wrong when someone loves and worships a being who he thinks will damn me and many others into eternal torture, especially when people are damned for guessing the wrong religion out of all those supposed “reflections” of the only true religion.

    Glad to hear the post was sarcasm … I did mistakenly think you were a Christian. Please know that I don’t believe that hell is a place of eternal torture, and am thoroughly convinced that this concept is not taught in the Sriptures. You don’t have to believe in eternal torture of the damned to be a Christian, and in my opinion, you shouldn’t. I share your conviction and agree with your point that loving an evil torturer is wrong, but I do not share your belief that God (if he exists) is such an evil torturer. Thanks.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    All religions that persist are syncretic to some degree.

    Indeed. In fact I think one of the most fascinating things about Christianity is how many ideas it borrowed from Zoroastrianism. However, I don’t see any reason why this should cause me to question my faith. If God exists then he is the creator of the Persians as much as the Jews, so why couldn’t he have revealed his truth to Zoroaster as much as to Moses or through Jesus?

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    Well that’s all well and good to cover the similarities Mike, but what of the differences in religions?

  • B-Liever

    It was a very interesting video… It is also taken completely out of the context of first century Judeo-Christianity.

    By leaving out the entire story line of the Bible (which seems, at least from the sources I have read, to be quite historically accurate), from the New Testament flowing out of and fulfilling the Old Testament the video is quite convincing.

    However, when I contextualize the video within first century Palestine and the story that the Jewish people believed themselves to be in, it is weighed and found wanting.

    Thanks for the video and I love reading your guys comments. Always question and allow yourselves to be challenged.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Mriana: “Just do the research for yourself, find the texts of these other myths, like the Egyptian Book of the Dead and the Coffin texts, and come to your own conclusion.”

    And have your done this? Looks like you are relying largely on Acharya S, Tom Harpur, and Freke & Gandy. Look, when I see stuff like this:

    KRST is the word for “burial” (“coffin” is written “KRSW”), but there is no evidence whatsoever to link this with the Greek title “Christos” or Hebrew “Mashiah”.

    it doesn’t inspire much confidence in Harpur.

    Mriana: “It’s not so much all the details as the basic outline”

    The basic outline of the Osiris story is that Seth hacked up Osiris and scattered the pieces of his corpse, Isis put Osiris’ body back together again and revivified it long enough to have sex with it and conceive Horus, and then Osiris finally dies and becomes king of the underworld. You have to distort and downplay elements of the outline before it starts to resemble the outline of Jesus’ story.

    I have yet to see any of the pagan Jesus stuff that isn’t based on distortion, and sometimes–as with Mithras–it is based on making crap up. Sorry, but I’m not buying it.

  • Mriana

    And have your done this? Looks like you are relying largely on Acharya S, Tom Harpur, and Freke & Gandy.

    I don’t know a thing about Freke & Gandy, but I assure you it is more than that. I have and still am doing research on this.

    You’re going on what one person says? That’s ripe. :roll:

    I don’t think you understand what is meant by the main outline, but you don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to.

  • Pseudonym

    TheDeadEye: You know I was speaking figuratively, right?

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Mriana: “You’re going on what one person says? That’s ripe.”

    That one person is a columnist on a George Mason university web site, one not particularly related to religion, and he has consulted actual Egyptologists. How about we look at Harpur’s own words, though:

    Gasque denies that Horus had twelve disciples. This he says is a “questionable claim.” However, the twelve disciple gods is a prominent theme in the ancient Egyptian religion (as also in the cult of Mithras). Horus, the sun god, is surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac, his “helpers” and “disciples.”

    This is the same bogus zodiac connection used to allege that Mithras had twelve disciples. About the only thing that the twelve disciples and the twelve zodiac signs have in common is the number twelve.

    Or this:

    Regarding the age of Osirian religion, which Gasque naively assumes began in 2350 BCE, primary sources (which he declares I never refer to) such as the historian Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus make clear that the oral tradition indicates he “walked the earth” as God’s Incarnation thousands of years previously.

    Why should Harpur think that oral traditions about a god walking the earth are reliable enough to trump the archaeology?

    I don’t know much about your research, but I suspect that you are relying too much on Acharya S to interpret your findings, not on current scholars in the field.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Well that’s all well and good to cover the similarities Mike, but what of the differences in religions?

    What of them? Of course they’re different, as we all are.

  • Mriana

    Now that I am more refreshed and rested, for those of you who wish to know what I base my reasoning on Horus being another version of the Christ myth, it is not so much another version as it is a form of midrash.

    Don’t jump up yet, hear me out before you allow your mind to go nuts.

    I took a class a few years ago with Victor H. Matthews, yes the same one who wrote the book, Old Testament Parallels. This book was one of the texts in the class. I have taken many religious classes, but that class was what started my research concerning the Bible being rewritten myth. The O.T. has stories that originated from Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, and more. These stories were set to the Jewish culture, which at one time was polytheistic. The story of Moses has eliments of even Krishna in it- ie being shipped off to avoid the king from killing him as a baby. Horus also has this senerio too.

    Midrash takes eliments of previous stories, maybe even just a few verses here and there, to weave an new story to interpret meaning. That is the short and brief definition and in my words, not some dictionary or what have you. Midrash is not word for word the same, but verses or even parts of texts were used to weave yet another story or interpret scriptures to create new guides for behaviour and alike.

    No argument so far that the creation stories, flood stories, and alike originated with the Babylonians, Egyptians, etc? If so, I’m sorry and I wish you could have taken the classes I have and done the research I have done, but there is Victor Matthews’ book(s). Read more than one if you like. He has others too and even his co-authors have books too.

    OK get to Jesus, you say?

    The Gospels were created very much the same way. They are a continuation of the same traditional means of creating stories for a Jewish society. The NT writers took various ideas not only from the OT, but also from other cultures, just as the OT writers did. Jesus is Moses, Elisha, Elijah, and more, including eliments from other cultures such as Egyptian, even Robert Price has said this and has even done his own version of Parallels in a lecture with Minnesota Atheists, as well as discussed this in his podcasts called “The Bible Geek”. We have even discussed Jesus being a midrash of Krishna, for even Krishna was rushed off at birth to another country to save him from the King and he was also “the beginning, middle, and end”. Not only that, but if you research as one does for a paper in a class such as the one I mention at the beginning of this post, you have texts in front of you. Not only are the senerios the same, but there are various verses and some texts that are the same, minus names, places, etc. The only difference is that one is set to the Egyptian culture and the other the Jewish culture. The wording is either word for word or very strickingly similar.

    There are even eliments of the Book of the Dead in Revelations. Basically the Jesus story is fiction derived from various other sources, such as Horus, Osiris, Mithra, Joshua, etc, and woven into a new story for a new cult. Now here is the issue, that even the Jesus Seminar is working on or has worked on, under all this myth, there may have been a real man, but he’s hard to find because of it.

    Sadly, and I’ve talked to Dr. Matthews about such discussion as this that I’ve gotten into on the net, no one seems to comprehend any of this or they don’t want to comprehend it. Dr. Matthew only smiled and explained that I won’t get anywhere because people don’t want to know or learn any of this. Sadly, he’s probably right, because it would only ruin the delusion/illusion that some many people, even some atheists, seem to have concerning the Jesus myth. The truth is, though, the Christ myth is rewritten myth and IF there is a real man under all that myth, we won’t ever find the real him now.

    I suppose the next question is “Oh yeah, prove it!” or even statement “There’s no proof of that”. All I can do is shake my head, because it would take almost 20 years of research (on my own and under the guidance of various scholars) or more probably to prove it to such people. All I can say is, read Matthews’ book and other like books, read various texts from various sources like the Egyptians (a costly endeavour I know, but worth it), basically do your own research on the subject and come up with your own conclusions, unbiased from the norm of society that has been imposed on the Vulgar for years now.

  • Mriana

    I don’t know much about your research, but I suspect that you are relying too much on Acharya S to interpret your findings, not on current scholars in the field.

    Read the above before you start making such claims. I have studied under university religious scholars and even discussed the topic with those such as Robert Price. I have had more years being in contact with various scholars in various ways than I have with your one measly resource. Not only that, I have made A’s and B’s on the research papers I have written on such topics. So before you bring into question my relation with Acharya, you need know my background of study before making such BOGUS claims. I am friends with Acharya because she is telling it like it is and is NOT some silly apologists trying to perpetuate the myth and continuing to find means to keep the Vulgar brainwashed- including some ignorant and naive atheists. No, not all atheists are uneducated on the subject, just some, so please notice the word some.

  • Mriana

    Mike Clawson said,

    June 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    All religions that persist are syncretic to some degree.

    Indeed. In fact I think one of the most fascinating things about Christianity is how many ideas it borrowed from Zoroastrianism. However, I don’t see any reason why this should cause me to question my faith. If God exists then he is the creator of the Persians as much as the Jews, so why couldn’t he have revealed his truth to Zoroaster as much as to Moses or through Jesus?

    Yes, I agree with some of what you said here, but let’s keep in mind that each religion are human concepts of God. IF God exists, it is not in the form of a human interpretation. It could very well be in the form of the Taoists in that it cannot be explained or put into words, but only experienced and what we conceive of said deity is only an effect, such as in we can only see the wind via the effects it has on various things and people. This even goes back to the Hebrew words ruach and nephesh. Everything humans have conceived of concerning “God”, maybe just an illusion and the reality maybe not what it appears, thus the various human concepts over the centuries. Any attempt to describe God is only a human concept and not actuality or the reality of it.

    Here again, I am bring up various religious concepts/philosophies and not saying there is or is not a god. Rather stating they are all human concepts and the reality maybe that all these concepts are illusions.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Mriana:

    I suppose the next question is “Oh yeah, prove it!” or even statement “There’s no proof of that”. All I can do is shake my head, because it would take almost 20 years of research (on my own and under the guidance of various scholars) or more probably to prove it to such people.

    It would not take 20 years to point to references that would be accepted by a consensus of experts, or to briefly quote them.

    Take the relationship between later Judaism and Zoroastrianism, for example. It wouldn’t take you too long to find an uncontroversial scholarly reference on the matter. Furthermore, if the OT accounts of the Exile are even partway true, we have a trajectory as to how Judaism came to acquire elements of Zoroastrianism. Contrast this with your example of supposed borrowing of Krishna myth in the Gospels:

    We have even discussed Jesus being a midrash of Krishna, for even Krishna was rushed off at birth to another country to save him from the King and he was also “the beginning, middle, and end”.

    There is a much simpler explanation for the account of Jesus being rushed off to Egypt: It’s an echo of the OT. Saying that Jesus and Krishna were both the “beginning, middle, and end” is a pretty weak similarity. Any deity powerful enough could say that it was the “beginning, middle, and end” or “Alpha and the Omega” or what have you. It’s not a similarity that even points to borrowing. Midrash is commentary and interpretation of a text, especially a Jewish text. Your usage of “midrash” is at best unclear. What you’ve shown as evidence for a connection between Jesus and Krishna is pretty weak.

    I am friends with Acharya because she is telling it like it is and is NOT some silly apologists trying to perpetuate the myth and continuing to find means to keep the Vulgar brainwashed

    Yet when there is a lonnnnng thread on IIDB on her, we have, for example, her misrepresenting tablets at Luxor because she relied on a 19th century secondary source, or treating a quote from a translator introducing his translation of Macrobius as a quote from Macrobius himself. Before you accuse me of missing the forest for the trees, I quote one of the commenters in the thread responding to such an accusation: “we’re trying to determine how many of the trees comprising your forest are actually cardboard cut-outs so that analogy doesn’t really work.” So far, I keep seeing far more cardboard than tree. Sorry, but that’s how it is.

  • Darryl

    All religions that persist are syncretic to some degree.

    Indeed. In fact I think one of the most fascinating things about Christianity is how many ideas it borrowed from Zoroastrianism. However, I don’t see any reason why this should cause me to question my faith. If God exists then he is the creator of the Persians as much as the Jews, so why couldn’t he have revealed his truth to Zoroaster as much as to Moses or through Jesus?

    The “all truth is God’s truth” is about the only best option for orthodox believers when Christianity is challenged because of its sources. It’s just that, for me, all those sacred and secular sources would seem to most-simply and most-likely be explained as human imaginations which we would expect to be multiform.

    Also, it’s one thing to argue that all these other traditions have some component of the “one truth,” but some of them have significantly altered the faith and even disintegrated it at times. I think you could basically explain all the heresies and divisions in the church this way.

  • Mriana

    It would not take 20 years to point to references that would be accepted by a consensus of experts, or to briefly quote them.

    JJ I gave you three in what I posted to you. Any source that is named, even yours is controversial depending on who is view them. Apologists are also controversial, depending on who you are talking to, so it really doesn’t matter, but try the those that I named in my long post. In fact, Matthews has had many recognitions and alike for his work, including this past year.

    Saying that Jesus and Krishna were both the “beginning, middle, and end” is a pretty weak similarity.

    No it’s not, because it is written in the texts.

    There is a much simpler explanation for the account of Jesus being rushed off to Egypt: It’s an echo of the OT.

    No, midrash, not an echo. Something tells me you haven’t done any actual study of the subject. Echo, is completely and totally the wrong word and is not what it is.

    Midrash is commentary and interpretation of a text, especially a Jewish text. Your usage of “midrash” is at best unclear. What you’ve shown as evidence for a connection between Jesus and Krishna is pretty weak.

    No that is inaccurate. All it has to be is in the Hebrew tradition, but not necessary a Hebrew text. Nor is the connection I made weak, you just don’t want to believe any of it, which is fine. I can’t force you to believe anything, but I would think that would mean you believed in a historical Jesus, which to me makes one a Christian.

    BTW, you don’t know a thing about religion or Acharya, but that’s ok. I don’t really care. That is how it really is and I find it very sad.

  • Mriana

    One more thing, IF Victor Matthews were controversial, he would not be a professor at a university that is in the heart of the Bible Belt nor would his recognitions, not even the one in the past year be posted on that uni’s website.

    http://www.missouristate.edu/relst/53042.htm

    http://www.missouristate.edu/relst/matt.htm

    http://courses.missouristate.edu/victormatthews/vita.htm

  • aziz

    Ramsey “Yet when there is a lonnnnng thread on IIDB on her, we have, for example, her misrepresenting tablets at Luxor because she relied on a 19th century secondary source, or treating a quote from a translator introducing his translation of Macrobius as a quote from Macrobius himself. Before you accuse me of missing the forest for the trees, I quote one of the commenters in the thread responding to such an accusation: “we’re trying to determine how many of the trees comprising your forest are actually cardboard cut-outs so that analogy doesn’t really work.” So far, I keep seeing far more cardboard than tree. Sorry, but that’s how it is.”

    This really is crossing the line of intellectual honesty. I know who wrote that quote “Amaleq13″ a moderator at IIDB and he is so one-sided and biased against anything by Acharya that it borders hatred. If you (or he) bothered to check or research for yourself what is going on at Luxor you’d find that Acharya has been right all along. Richard Carrier made an egregious error “skimming” Brunner in German and actually cited the wrong tablets. Talk about poor and sloppy scholarship.

    Acharya’s translation of Macrobius is correct despite the desperate claims otherwise. Acharya’s new book “Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection” soon to be available will change the world of Egyptology.

  • Mriana

    Not only that, aziz, IF he thinks my long thread was about Acharya, he didn’t read it at all, because it was not about her, except at the end in response to what he said concerning her. In fact, those I referenced, have written things that actually support what Acharya has been saying, so I didn’t have to mention her name at all. With such info and text books being used at a university, I don’t have to use her as a reference when the person in the debate is so much against her. In all honesty I don’t think JJ read much of what I said in that long post.

    I also agree with you about the translation and intellectual honesty too.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    Mriana: “No it’s not, because it is written in the texts.”

    That’s not a valid reason to call a parallel strong. If the texts in question only weakly resemble one another, the parallel is still weak.

    aziz: “This really is crossing the line of intellectual honesty. I know who wrote that quote ‘Amaleq13′ a moderator at IIDB and he is so one-sided and biased against anything by Acharya that it borders hatred.”

    Care to cite evidence for this hatred? It shouldn’t be hard to find an IIDB post demonstrating this irrational hatred.

    aziz: “Richard Carrier made an egregious error ‘skimming’ Brunner in German and actually cited the wrong tablets.”

    I’ve Googled and have yet to find a confirmation of this. Again, care to show me?

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    BTW, the definition of midrash from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

    A term occurring as early as II Chron. xiii. 22, xxiv. 27, though perhaps not in the sense in which it came to be used later, and denoting “exposition,” “exegesis,” especially that of the Scriptures. In contradistinction to literal interpretation, subsequently called “pesha?” (comp. Geiger’s “Wiss. Zeit. Jüd. Theol.” v. 244), the term “midrash” designates an exegesis which, going more deeply than the mere literal sense, attempts to penetrate into the spirit of the Scriptures, to examine the text from all sides, and thereby to derive interpretations which are not immediately obvious.

    Speaking of “Jesus being a midrash of Krishna” just doesn’t make any sense.

  • Mriana

    Well, then listen to Robert Price’s podcasts and he’ll gladly explain it to you. Obviously you didn’t read what I said in it’s entirety, so it is pointless to continue any discussion with you.

  • Pseudonym

    For my own edification: What is IIDB?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    For my own edification: What is IIDB?

    Internet Infidels Discussion Board!

  • Pseudonym

    Thanks, Hemant. It looks like a huge time sink, so I think I’ll pass on it.

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    aziz, I found a link to what you were talking about: http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/luxor_2.html

    Somehow I didn’t see that Acharya S’ discussion was three pages and that Carrier’s stuff was on the second page.

    That said, you misrepresented Carrier as talking about a wholly different set of tablets, when at worst he overstated the sexual content of the panel in question–presuming that Acharya S isn’t pulling a fast one, which isn’t guaranteed either. Offhand, even from Acharya S’ words, it looks like there were two parallel inscriptions describing the same image. Tellingly, she leaves the second of JoeWallack’s complaints about the Luxor inscriptions unanswered. (See #330 in the lonnnnnng thread on Acharya S.) She tries to have it both ways, showing Sir Budge’s words indicate that Thoth appeared to the queen after she’d been impregnated, yet using a quote from Massey to say that Thoth was doing something analogous to the Annunciation in the Gospel of Luke.

    BTW, just to be careful, I’ve PMed Richard Carrier about whether Acharya S rebutted him accurately.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X