ANSWERS: 16
  • Did the other ones rise from the dead? Or did humans just make them up? If Jesus is a myth why did his religion spread around the world while the others died off?
  • Looks like some one just watched zeitgeist, the biggest source of disinfo next to mainstream media..
  • Perhaps you should try asking a christian instead of seeking opinions about Christians - which are notoriously biased or misinformed
  • No. The solar myths existed long before Christianity. The more I look, the less I can find that is truly original to the Christian belief system.
  • ????? I'm talking about church motives not wealth of empires. Bottom line, the basis of my argument is the fact that almost all of the attributes of Jesus are similar to dying & resurrecting god-men ("sons of God") from various cultures many centuries before him. From Egypt to Greece to Persia to Rome (Even Asia, Northern Europe and the America's). A blind eye can dismiss these, but they exist non the less. Logical steam?? Please sir.
  • To 23Skidoo: What does modern scholarship have to say about this alleged reliance of early Christianity upon pagan mystery religions (notably Mithraism) for construction of the "Jesus story"? A lengthy entry for "Mysteries" in The Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and Religion notes that the first part of the twentieth century was dominated by the notion that various pagan mystery religions had strongly influenced (or even produced) Christian theology and that those religions were believed to be "the essence of oriental religiosity." It was also believed that pagan mystery religions found in the Greco-Roman world focused upon "dying-rising" gods who offered salvation to those initiated into them, as Sir James G. Frazer asserted in The Golden Bough, an influential study in comparative folklore, magic, and religion. But scholars in the mid- and late-twentieth century challenged and eventually rejected these assumptions, demonstrating that the pagan mystery religions of the Greco-Roman world were quite different from those found in the ancient Far East. The Oxford Dictionary concludes that "their prominence in modern scholarship is quite disproportionate to their ancient profile." In addition, there is little or no evidence that most pagan mystery religions such as the Egyptian cult of Isis and Osiris or the cult of Mithras existed prior to the mid-first century in the forms described in The Da Vinci Code or Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Sufficient source materials to reconstruct a reliable semblance of the pagan mystery religions did not exist until at least the second century. "Far too many writers use this late source material (after A.D. 200) to form reconstructions of the third-century mystery experience and then uncritically reason back to what they think must have been the earlier nature of the cults," writes Ronald Nash. Nash, E. O. James, Bruce Metzger, Günter Wagner, Hugo Rahner, and others have pointed out that the pagan mystery religions were quite different from Christianity in significant ways. They were based on an annual vegetation cycle, they stressed esoteric (hidden) knowledge, they emphasized emotional ecstasy over doctrine and dogma, and their central goal was mystical experience. They were also very syncretistic, taking elements from other pagan movements and shedding beliefs with little regard for any established teaching or belief system—completely contrary to the apostolic Tradition so intensely guarded by Christians. History v. Myth: A Case in Point There is a sharp contrast between the mythological character of pagan mystery religions and the historical character of the Gospels and the New Testament writings. In his study Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish, and Christian, Bruce Metzger writes: Unlike the deities of the mysteries, who were nebulous figures of an imaginary past, the divine being whom the Christian worshiped as Lord was known as a real person on earth only a short time before the earliest documents of the New Testament were written. From the earliest times the Christian creed included the affirmation that Jesus "was crucified under Pontius Pilate." On the other hand, Plutarch thinks it necessary to warn the priestess Clea against believing that "any of these tales [concerning Isis and Osiris] actually happened in the manner in which they are related." A glance at Mithraism demonstrates how different from Christianity the pagan mystery religions were. Mithras was originally a Persian god depicted as a bucolic deity who watched over cattle. Mithraism was not introduced to the West and the Mediterranean world until the first century at the earliest, where it eventually attracted Roman soldiers. Contemporaneous with Christianity, this second form of Mithraism was for men only. By the time Mithraism became popular in the Roman Empire it had changed from a public religion for the many to a mystery religion meant for the elite. It took on a Greco-Roman quality and absorbed elements of astrology and Platonic philosophy. Although scholars distinguish between the earlier Persian Mithraism and the later Roman Mithraism, most popular works straining to connect Mithras to Jesus do not. This failure to distinguish between the two forms of Mithraism has often resulted in the assumption that Roman Mithraic beliefs also existed in the earlier, pre-Christian form. But the Mithraic beliefs and practices that Christianity is accused of "stealing" did not come into vogue until the end of the first century, far too late to shape the Gospels and their depiction of Jesus. David Ulansey, author of The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, writes: The earliest physical remains of the cult date from around the end of the first century A.D., and Mithraism reached its height of popularity in the third century. In addition to soldiers, the cult’s membership included significant numbers of bureaucrats and merchants. Women were excluded. Mithraism declined with the rise to power of Christianity until the beginning of the fifth century, when Christianity became strong enough to exterminate by force rival religions such as Mithraism. ("The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras," at www.well.com/user/davidu/mithras.html) The Roman Mithras is "born" from a rock; he is called "the rock-born god." He was commonly depicted as naked, wearing a cap and holding a torch and a dagger. In the Persian legends, he was born of a virgin mother, Anahita (once worshiped as a fertility goddess), who swam in Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan, where Zoroaster/Zarathustra had left sperm four hundred years earlier. The central feat of Mithras’s life on earth was the capture and killing of a stolen bull at the command of the god Apollo, symbolizing the annual renewal of life in spring. Mithraism did not originally have a concept of a god who died and was then resurrected. Despite the claims made in The Da Vinci Code, there is no ancient account of Mithras dying, being buried "in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days." That assertion is taken (either directly or from a second-generation source) from The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, where Graves wrote, without documentation, that several pagan deities (including "Mithras the Mediator" of Persia) rose from the dead after three days’ burial. But E. O. James, professor of history and philosophy of religion at the University of London, noted that "in contrast to the other Graeco-Oriental Mystery divinities, the Persian saviour-god did not himself pass through death to life." A Different Gift of Life James observed that Mithraism was not absorbed by Christianity but overcome by it, "because the Church was able to meet its adversary on the sure ground of historical fact." Christianity went far beyond "the ancient seasonal drama with its polytheistic background" and offered initiates a "renewal of spiritual life and regeneration of outlook . . . to a degree unknown and unattainable in any rival system. Therefore, Christianity ultimately prevailed because it provided a different gift of life from that bestowed in the pagan cults." This is one answer to a question that critics either ignore or attempt to explain away with elaborate conspiracy theories: Why did Christianity not only survive the first, second, and third centuries but eventually thrive and spread globally, while all of the pagan mystery religions disappeared? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Carl Olson is editor of IgnatiusInsight.com and co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius, 2004).
  • The significant difference between Jesus and other so-called 'savior gods'is that the story and history of Jesus became literalised. The others were read and understood as metaphor/ myth, allegory, etc. Never, was Heru a human being,nor Apollo, Shanghai, Krishna, Hunab ku or Thor. All of which preceded Jesus, originating from the story of Heru (Anc. Eg.) and TYPED the life and will of woman and man, on earth. The story of Jesus Christ is the interpolation, plagiarism, and copy of his precedent and 10,000 year old proto-type , HERU (the son of Ausar and Auset,) of whom Gerald Massey and his writings honestly explains. Stories are open to interpretation. The literal meaning is first, grasped at face value. Then we grow up and realize fables are fab-u-lous, stories that don't exist in fact. The falling number of believers reflects a rise in peoples free independent thinking and common sense.
  • Yes my friend - Invented, fabricated. To wit... Despite the attempts of the Christian fathers to prove the antiquity of their savior, Hotema maintained that the name “Jesus Christ” was not formally adopted as a phrase until after the first Council of Nicea, i.e., in 325. Says he, “The name Jesus Christ was unknown until after the Nicean Council. It appeared in no writings before that time.”dccxliv And Roberts says: Prior to the Fourth Century, there was frequent and general mention of “Christos,” and his worship to the east of Rome. But nowhere can be found any authentic mention at that time of a Jesus Christ. It was not until after the Nicean Council that the name Jesus Christ was ever known to the world.dccxlv
  • espien, You sound like an intelligent man. So either you are lying or you are so ignornant of the facts. The name Jesus Christ was known and used in the first century. It was found right in the middle of small fish symbols used by the first century church IXOYE in the Greek standing for Jesus Christ Son of God and Our Saviour. They have been dated and authorized long long before the council of Nicea. So what does that say about the rest of the nonsense you post. Quit watch hollyweird movies.
  • Most of the early Christians are no longer with us. :)
  • I have a hard time believing anything of a religious nature. I'm sure they had questions themselves on various issues.
  • You still have not addressed the fact that the name of Jesus Christ was used hundred of years prior to the council of Nicea which you claim when His anme came into existance. This article first appeared in the Practical Apologetics column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 23, number 2 (2000). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org A common refrain sung by those determined to demolish the biblical Jesus in the court of public opinion is that His death, burial, and resurrection are myths borrowed from ancient pagan mystery religions. Once reverberating primarily through the bastions of private academia, this refrain is now also commonly heard in public arenas. A classic case in point is the following conversation between ABC News’s Peter Jennings and Jesus Seminar fellow Marvin Meyer: Peter Jennings: Some scholars think the resurrection stories were borrowed from eastern pagan cults popular throughout the Roman world at the time, called mystery religions. Professor Marvin Meyer: The conviction was in the mysteries that there is death and resurrection, just as crops go into the ground and die and come back again for a new season in a wonderful kind of way. So also in human life we go through a kind of death and resurrection. Peter Jennings: Now hold it. You're saying that the mystery cults had an influence on the Jesus story because people who wrote the Jesus story took an earlier story and passed it on via Jesus? Professor Marvin Meyer: I believe so. One of the greatest difficulties that early Christians had if they were going to cope with the reality of the crucifixion of Jesus is what do you do with that? I mean, how do you keep the movement going? How do you have some hope in the face of this kind of shameful and horrible death? And one of the things I believe that early Christians did is they took the model of the mystery religions; they took that story and retold that story as the story of Jesus.1 Within days of this television conversation, calls, letters and e-mails began arriving at the offices of the Christian Research Institute. Christians worldwide wanted to know how to respond to such prime time propaganda. Initially, we referred people to an article by Dr. Ronald Nash featured in the Christian Research Journal.2 As requests for information continued to flood into CRI’s offices, however, I realized the need for an easy-to-remember response. I’ve thus organized Nash’s scholarly material around the memorable acronym F-A-L-S-E. “F” in the acronym FALSE represents the fallacy of false cause. As Nash aptly notes, “Arguments offered to ‘prove’ a Christian dependence on the mysteries illustrate the logical fallacy of false cause. This fallacy is committed whenever someone reasons that just because two things exist side by side, one of them must have caused the other. As we all should know, mere coincidence does not prove causal connection. Nor does similarity prove dependence.”3 Far from being dependent on mystery religions, Christianity can be correctly traced back to the life of a real flesh and bone person named Jesus4 as well as to Old Testament Judaism. By way of illustration, the Lord’s Supper initiated by Christ has its historical roots firmly planted in the Jewish rite of Passover. “A” will serve to remind you of alleged similarities. A prevailing myth widely circulated is that the similarities between Christianity and the mystery religions are striking. Purveyors of this mythology employ biblical language and then go to great lengths to concoct commonalities. Take, for example, the alleged similarities between Christianity and the cult of Isis. The god Osiris is supposedly murdered by his brother and buried in the Nile. The goddess Isis recovers the cadaver, only to lose it once again to her brother-in-law who cuts the body into fourteen pieces and scatters them around the world. After finding the parts, Isis “baptizes” each piece in the Nile River and Osiris is “resurrected.” Alleged similarities as well as the terminology used to communicate them are greatly exaggerated. Parallels between the “resurrection” of Osiris and the resurrection of Christ are an obvious stretch. Likewise, Nash notes that “the fate of Osiris’s coffin in the Nile is as relevant to baptism as the sinking of Atlantis.”5 Sadly for the mysteries, this is as good as it gets. As Nash elaborates in his book The Gospel And The Greeks,6 other parallels cited by liberal scholars are even more far-fetched. “L” represents liberal revisionism. Suffice it to say that liberal scholars are frequently guilty of employing historical revisionism in an effort to parallel Christianity with the mystery religions. Take, for example, Mithraism, in which Mithra was deemed to be a powerful mediator between humanity and the forces of darkness. As Nash observes, “The flowering of Mithraism occurred after the close of the New Testament canon, much too late for it to have influenced anything that appears in the New Testament. Moreover, no monuments for the cult can be dated earlier than A.D. 90–100, and even this dating requires us to make some exceedingly generous assumptions. Chronological difficulties, then, make the possibility of Mithraic influence on early Christianity extremely improbable.”7 Additionally, as Bruce Metzger explains, “It must not be uncritically assumed that the Mysteries always influenced Christianity, for it is not only possible but probable that in certain cases, the influence moved in the opposite direction.”8 “S” will serve to remind us of syncretism. The mystery religions were syncretistic in that adherents not only worshipped various pagan deities but also frequently embraced aspects of competing mystery religions while continuing to worship within their own cultic constructs. Not so in Christianity. Converts to Christ singularly placed their faith in the One who said, “I am the way and the truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Says J. Gresham Machen, “A man could become initiated into the mysteries of Isis or Mithras without at all giving up his former beliefs; but if he were to be received into the Church, according to the preaching of Paul, he must forsake all other Saviors for the Lord Jesus Christ....Amid the prevailing syncretism of the Greco-Roman world, the religion of Paul, with the religion of Israel, stands absolutely alone.”9 “E” represents esotericism. The mystery religions reduced reality to a personal experience of enlightenment. Through secret ceremonies initiates experienced an esoteric transformation of consciousness that led them to believe that they were entering into a higher realm of reality. While followers of Christ were committed to essential Christian doctrines, devotees of the mysteries worked themselves into altered states of consciousness. They were committed to the notion that experience is a better teacher than words. In fact, the reason mystery religions are so named is that they directly involve secret esoteric practices and initiation rites. Far from being rooted in history and evidence, the mysteries reveled in hype and emotionalism.
  • In a way, yes, many still do believe that. That is, the evidence indicates that the vast majority of these supposed similarities find their way into pagan cults and mysteries AFTER the Gospel was being preached. The syncretic (and often competitive) nature of these cults and mysteries, and paganism in general, brought about the incorporation of various Christian terms, motifs, and themes into their own practices - and thus one might rightly say "Satan" counterfeited them. Even so, the supposed comparisons are pretty weak and, in modern times, grossly exaggerated or even completely fabricated. However, there are still certain motifs (though often in inverted or negative form) that show up in cultures of all ages in all parts of the world prior to Christianity, or far separated from Christianity and any of its roots. Jungian archetype theory and the collective unconscious (or Fabre's "innate ideas") is a far better explanation for these commonalities than anybody "copying" anybody else. Instead of attributing these commonalities to Satan, more literary minded Christians - most notably C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton, and George MacDonald - argued instead that these motifs - which by comparison to the Gospel accounts seem more like weird if prophetic dreams and foreshadowing - are an example of God preparing all peoples for the Gospel, that in some way they all glimpsed (or longed for) the Truth which was to manifest itself in Christ, even if they often grossly misunderstood it - e.g., by taking stories of miraculous conceptions as a directive for temple sex and orgiastic rites, or the Father's sacrifice of the Son to redeem the world as a directive for child sacrifice. So in general, they held that the root idea was from God and/or common human hopes, and the corruption of them was from Satan and common human sins.
  • These so-called religious experts have polluted your question. True Christians still believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Osiris, Mithra and others fell from the glory of God, but Jesus didn't! Romans 3:23 "For [all] have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
  • You're wrong of course. Osiris is the father of Horus who was killed by his brother who coveted his throne- he's in Egyptian mythology. Mithra was the god of light in the Persian-Greco mythologies. Neither were "sons" or from the same "region".
  • they might

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