1. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Nov '05 07:161 edit
    Seems like a lot of the ideas that were incorporated into Christianity were present in a religion that had existed for about 2800 years before the birth of Christ. This also happened to be the most popular cult religion in the Roman Empire in the first few centuries AD. HMMM. Anyway, here's an excerpt of an article on the god Mithra:

    Mithraism and Christianity
    Page 1 of 3



    A Comparison:

    Most of the research into Mithraism, a religion with many parallels to Christianity, comes from two writers, Cumont and Ulansey with a variety of other writers input. Some Similarities Between Mithraism and Christianity are:
    Virgin birth
    Twelve followers
    Killing and resurrection
    Miracles
    Birthdate on December 25
    Morality
    Mankind's savior
    Known as the Light of the world

    Have you ever wondered why December 25th was chosen to celebrate the birth of Christ? If the accounts in the Bible are correct, the time of Jesus birth would have been closer to mid-summer, for this is when shepherds would have been "tending their flocks in the field" and the new lambs were born. Strange enough there is an ancient pagan religion, Mithraism, which dates back over 2,800 years that also celebrated the birth of their "savior" on that date. Many elements in the story of Jesus' life and birth are either coincidental or borrowings
    from earlier and contemporary pagan religions. The most obviously similar of these is Mithraism.

    http://www.vetssweatshop.net/dogma.htm
  2. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Nov '05 07:29
    Interesting claim about the origin of Satan:

    "As a result of the Babylonian captivity of the Jews (597 B.C.E.) and their later emancipation by King Cyrus the Great of Persia (538 B.C.E.), Zoroastrian dualism was to influence the Jewish belief in the existence of HaShatan, the Adversary of the god YHVH, and later permit the evolution of the Christian Satan-Jehovah dichotomy."
  3. Standard memberNemesio
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    29 Nov '05 07:31
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Some Similarities Between Mithraism and Christianity are:
    Virgin birth
    Twelve followers
    Killing and resurrection
    Miracles
    Birthdate on December 25
    Morality
    Mankind's savior
    Known as the Light of the world
    http://www.vetssweatshop.net/dogma.htm
    Wow.

    This guy was born of a virgin, was killed and rose from the dead.

    I wonder why he didn't have a big following?

    Nemesio
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Nov '05 07:41
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I wonder why he didn't have a big following?
    His following might have doubled if women had been included.

    "It is one of the great of ironies of history that Romans ended up worshipping the god of their chief political enemy, the Persians...The Romans viewed Persia as a land of wisdom and mystery, and Persian religious teachings appealed to those Romans who found the established state religion uninspiring - just as during the Cold War era of the 1960's many American university students rejected western religious values and sought enlightenment in the established spirituality of Communist east-Asian "enemy countries"."
  5. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Nov '05 07:43
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Wow.

    This guy was born of a virgin, was killed and rose from the dead.

    I wonder why he didn't have a big following?

    Nemesio
    According to the article he did; it was the largest pagan religion in the Roman Empire by the third century AD. If Constantine had decided to make Mithraism the state religion, blindfaith101 and RBHILL would probably be telling us to repent and be saved by Mithra!
  6. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Nov '05 07:481 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    If Constantine had decided to make Mithraism the state religion, blindfaith101 and RBHILL would probably be telling us to repent and be saved by Mithra!
    It'd be interesting to know what Constantine's soldiers made of the new state religion.

    By the way, I didn't know that Constantine was allegedly responsible for the wording of the Nicean creed (http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/313ad.htm).
  7. Standard memberwindmill
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    29 Nov '05 08:31
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    According to the article he did; it was the largest pagan religion in the Roman Empire by the third century AD. If Constantine had decided to make Mithraism the state religion, blindfaith101 and RBHILL would probably be telling us to repent and be saved by Mithra!
    And then you would be saved and we could be friends and say nice things to each other!!!
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    29 Nov '05 09:10
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Virgin birth
    Twelve followers
    Killing and resurrection
    Miracles
    Birthdate on December 25
    Morality
    Mankind's savior
    Known as the Light of the world
    Most of these concepts are not specifically Christian. I would hope that almost all religions preach morality !
    Also as it appears to have originated in Persia, many of the concepts will have been shared with the jews.
    The virgin birth is a concept which came from the old testament.
    Twelve has often been thought of as a good number.
    Without at least some miracles very few religions could survive !
    Christmas was taken from the old pagan festival held at approximately mid winter and is not Jesus' birthdate.
  9. London
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    29 Nov '05 15:14
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Seems like a lot of the ideas that were incorporated into Christianity were present in a religion that had existed for about 2800 years before the birth of Christ. This also happened to be the most popular cult religion in the Roman Empire in the first few centuries AD. HMMM. Anyway, here's an excerpt of an article on the god Mithra:

    Mithraism and C ...[text shortened]... ons. The most obviously similar of these is Mithraism.

    http://www.vetssweatshop.net/dogma.htm
    A reasonably well-written debunking of the Mithraism-Christianity parallels can be found at http://tektonics.org/copycat/mithra.html

    Here are a few examples:

    Virgin birth
    ... First of all, Mithra was not born of a virgin in a cave; he was born out of solid rock, which presumably left a cave behind -- and I suppose technically the rock he was born out of could have been classified as a virgin! Here is how one Mithraic scholar describes the scene on Mithraic depictions: Mithra "wearing his Phrygian cap, issues forth from the rocky mass. As yet only his bare torso is visible. In each hand he raises aloft a lighted torch and, as an unusual detail, red flames shoot out all around him from the petra genetrix." [MS.173] Mithra was born a grown-up, but you won't hear the copycatters mention this! (The rock-birth scene itself was a likely carryover from Perseus, who experienced a similar birth in an underground cavern; Ulan.OMM, 36.)


    Twelve followers
    Now here's an irony. My one idea as to where they got this one was a picture of the bull-slaying scene carved in stone, found in Ulansey's book, that depicts the scene framed by 2 vertical rows with 6 pictures of what seem to be human figures or faces on each side. It occurred to me that some non-Mithraist perhaps saw this picture and said, "Ah ha, those 12 people must be companions or disciples! Just like Jesus!" Days later I received Freke and Gandy's book, and sure enough -- that's how they make the connection. Indeed, they go as far as saying that during the Mirthaic initiation ceremony, Mithraic disciples dressed up as the signs of the zodiac and formed a circle around the initiate. [Frek.JM, 42] Where they (or rather, their source) get this information about the methods of Mithraic initiation, one can only guess: No Mithraic scholar seems aware of it, and their source, Godwin, is a specialist in "Western esoteric teaching" -- not a Mithraist, and it shows, because although writing in 1981, well after the first Mithraic congress, Godwin was still following Cumont's line that Iranian and Roman Mithraism were the same, and thus ended up offering interpretations of the bull-slaying scene that bear no resemblance to what Mithraic scholars today see in it at all. (To be fair, though, Freke and Gandy do not give the page number where Godwin supposedly says this -- and his material on Mithraism says nothing about any initiation ceremony.) However, aside from the fact that this carving is (yet again!) significantly post-Christian (so that any borrowing would have had to be the other way), these figures have been identified by modern Mithraic scholars as representing zodiacal symbols. Indeed, the top two faces are supposed to be the sun and the moon!


    Killing and resurrection
    ...I see no references anywhere in the Mithraic studies literature to Mithra being buried, or even dying, for that matter [Gordon says directly, that there is "no death of Mithras" -- Gor.IV, 96] and so of course no rising again and no "resurrection" (in a Jewish sense?!) to celebrate. Freke and Gandy [Frek.JM, 56] claim that the Mithraic initiates "enacted a similar resurrection scene", but their only reference is to a comment by Tertullian, significantly after New Testament times! Tekton Research Assistant Punkish adds: The footnote is for Tertullian's Prescription Against Heretics, chapter 40 which says, "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" ...so their argument relies on Tertullian's memory, and it isn't the initiates but Mithra who does the celebrating and introduces an *image* of a resurrection?! How is that at all related to initiates acting out a scene? Wynne-Tyson [Wyn.MFC, 24; cf. Ver.MSG, 38] also refers to a church writer of the fourth century, Firmicus, who says that the Mithraists mourn the image of a dead Mithras -- still way too late, guys! -- but after reading the work of Firmicus, I find no such reference at all!) Acharya adds the assertion of Dupuis that Mithras was killed by crucifixion, but from the description, either Dupuis or Acharya are mixing up Mithra with Attis!


    I'll stop the copy-paste now and wait for no1's ranting and raving.
  10. London
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    29 Nov '05 15:24
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    It'd be interesting to know what Constantine's soldiers made of the new state religion.

    By the way, I didn't know that Constantine was allegedly responsible for the wording of the Nicean creed (http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/313ad.htm).
    By the way, I didn't know that Constantine was allegedly responsible for the wording of the Nicean creed

    This is a reference to the term 'homousios'. If Constantine did, indeed, propose the term, then his subsequent behaviour is very puzzling:
    It is not surprising that with its use of the word homoousios the Council could be called into question. Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia gained the confidence of Emperor Constantine. He convinced Constantine that the Council's use of the word homoousios was Sabellian (Father and Son were identical). The Emperor now favored the Arians. With the death of Constantine the Empire was divided between his sons. Constans who ruled in the West favored Nicaea while his brother Constantius who ruled the East was anti-Nicaea.

    http://www.monksofadoration.org/arianism.html
  11. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Nov '05 15:47
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    This is a reference to the term 'homousios'. If Constantine did, indeed, propose the term, then his subsequent behaviour is very puzzling:
    I don't follow your train of thought. Could you explain what you mean?
  12. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Nov '05 15:49
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    A reasonably well-written debunking of the Mithraism-Christianity parallels can be found at http://tektonics.org/copycat/mithra.html
    In what way do you consider this debunking? I don't claim that Christ was copied from Mithras; however, a certain number of parallels are quite evident.
  13. London
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    29 Nov '05 16:06
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I don't follow your train of thought. Could you explain what you mean?
    If Constantine did, indeed, propose the term 'homoousios', then why would he later think the Council was Sabellian?
  14. London
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    29 Nov '05 16:07
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    In what way do you consider this debunking? I don't claim that Christ was copied from Mithras; however, a certain number of parallels are quite evident.
    The article debunks both the copycat theory as well as several of the parallels themselves. The quotes I provided, for instance, debunk the idea that Mithras had a Virgin Birth or a Resurrection.
  15. Subscriberno1marauder
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    29 Nov '05 18:011 edit
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    The article debunks both the copycat theory as well as several of the parallels themselves. The quotes I provided, for instance, debunk the idea that Mithras had a Virgin Birth or a Resurrection.
    Actually you debunk nothing: the author attempts to use prior legends concerning a very ancient God as proof of what was believed in the first century AD. This is poor, biased scholarship; it is unsurprising that the worship of an ancient God would change over centuries in different areas. I'll get to the other claims later, but the genesis of the Twelve Disciples is based on the zodical signs. Here's a well-researched article that shows that your Christian apologists are full of it:

    Mithra and the Twelve

    The theme of the teaching god and "the Twelve" is found within Mithraism, as Mithra is depicted surrounded by the 12 zodiac signs on a number of monuments and in the writings of Porphyry, for one. Regarding the Twelve, Robertson says:

    On Mithraic monuments we find representations of twelve episodes, probably corresponding to the twelve labors in the stories of Heracles, Samson and other Sun-heroes, and probably also connected with initiation.

    As they have been in the case of numerous sun gods, these signs could be called Mithra's 12 "companions" or "disciples." Furthermore, the motif of the 12 disciples or followers in a "last supper" is recurrent in the Pagan world, including within Mithraism:

    [Mark] gave Jesus a last supper with twelve followers, identical in every way with the last supper of the Persian god Mithra, down to the cannibalisation of the god's body in the form of bread and wine (14:22-26).

    The Spartan King Kleomenes had held a similar last supper with twelve followers four hundreds years before Jesus.

    This last assertion is made by Plutarch in Parallel Lives, "Agis and Kleomenes" 37:2-3.

    Obviously, the Last Supper with the Twelve predates Christianity by centuries. It would therefore be a mistake to contend that Mithraism copied Christianity, rather than inheriting this motif from earlier Pagan religions.

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/mithra.htm
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