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Egads, does anyone really believe this stuff? (Jesus/Mithras/Krishna/etc. comparisons

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Egads, does anyone really believe this stuff? (Jesus/Mithras/Krishna/etc. comparisons

Old 12-05-07, 06:09 PM
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Egads, does anyone really believe this stuff? (Jesus/Mithras/Krishna/etc. comparisons

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

This is a two hour long movie that my youngest brother-in-law sent me and is "the most amazing documentary of my life." I will admit to only having watched about 25 minutes so far, but it is basically an anti-establishment type movie that then goes into the "similarities" of Jesus, Mithras, Horus, and others.

But having done research on all this type of stuff in the past, most of this is just absolutely looney. That was why I didn't get the uproar over The DaVinci Code, etc. All these issues were dealt with so long ago, and most are fairly modern investions.

Is it just because we love a good conspiracy? There is no true scholarship to these things, so I am truly perplexed.

Here is what I have written down in response to him, and feel free not to read it. It is long, and probably boring, and isn't what I am posting for, but figured I might as well include it. I'll spoilerize to keep this post more brief.
Spoiler:
I am watching Zeitgeist and wanted to run a number of things by you, as well as respond to some things in the film. First, here are two general observations about this film, and similar films.

One of the hardest things to do is to refute conspiracy theories. Generally conspiracy theories aren’t built upon evidence or solid fact. And then the lack of actual data is used as further proof to show just how deep the conspiracy runs. So as I go through my review of the film’s contents, I will do my best to use credentialed scholars and data to back up any claims that I make.

Another general flaw of these types of films is that they rely heavily on guilt by association. For example, one can make a claim that our government is bad and use actions by Bush to back that up. Government itself is not bad nor good, but just an institution. Likewise, I can’t really point to Stalin as an argument that Communism is bad. His killing millions of people is really an indictment of him rather than Communism, which is merely a philosophy. Communism, governments, etc. are not good or bad by definition, and it is the people in them that should get our criticism. But these types of films are generally more about “anti establishment” rather than taking a hard, truthful look at the facts.

This is exactly the same as religion. Religions are truth claims. They can be shown to be true (to some extent) or false, but generally are not good or bad in themselves. One often cited claim against Christianity is The Crusades. But is that a legitimate indictment of Christianity? Or is it the people in power? Do the actions taken reflect what is in the Bible, or are they the actions of men? To really understand that point, you need a little history of Christianity. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity around 330 AD. Prior to that, Christianity really had no power, but since that time, it became a powerful institution. When you look at the Vatican, Popes, and other religious leaders, they were very powerful. In fact, if you were a person who wanted to pursue power from 400 AD to about 1750, if you wanted power, and were not born to a noble family, the church was the only way to reach that goal. As a result, you had many people reach high level of power in religion who were not truly religious, but were looking for power. That accounts for The Crusades, the Inquisition, and many other nasty segments in the history of religion. But again, can one fairly just the truth claims of any particular religion on that? In order to truly “judge” a religion, one has to see what that religion claims, and see how those claims correspond to the data and reality. But to condemn an institution like religion based on actions by members claiming to be a part of that religion, and do not adhere to the teachings of that religion is clearly a straw man attack by association. It makes a good argument for those that are already predisposed to condemn something, but it does not stand up to legitimate study and scrutiny.

Okay, I’m about to dive into discussing the film, and that comes with a bit of an “unknown” on my part. I don’t know your motivation for finding this film to be like yourself. It may be because it reinforces beliefs you already have and want to strengthen, or it may be because you find the film trustworthy and compelling. I am proceeding as though you are looking for actual truth and knowledge because if you are only looking to reinforce currently held beliefs, there isn’t an argument that will be persuasive. At roughly 10 minutes into the film, there is a great point that people trust the government as the authority when we should trust truth as authority. I could not agree with this more, and that is why I will do my best to back up any counter claims that I have with credentialed scholarship. I think you and I would both agree that we should use truth as the authority.

At roughly 13 minutes into the film we see a segment on Horus the son god in Egypt. Claims are made that he was born of a virgin, was born on December 25th, was heralded by a star in the East, was adored by 3 kings, was a teacher at 12 and was baptized and had his ministry by age 30, etc.. I have heard these claims before and studied them at length. I have also heard these claims attached to Mithras, Dyonisis, Adonis, and multiple other Pagan mystery religions. They got significantly more popular with the book The DaVinci Code, which claimed that nothing in Christianity is unique, but it has been a popular theme on the internet for a long time.

What this has taught me is that the church does a very poor job of educating people on the history of the religion, and that people believe things despite the evidence because it conforms to what they want to believe. But let’s discuss the history of these ideas, because they are fascinating. One things you might try to do is to look up the sources for any of these types of claims. The books I have read on the subject generally leave out the dating of these things, which is the most important fact. They will say that a religious person like Horus had these Christian themes and that the religion predates Christianity, but they will not cite the fact that these themes do not occur in history until after the first century, which begs the question, who is borrowing from whom? But on to the sources.

Interesting that the film has a German name, as the fist time in history that comparisons with other gods/religions were made was in a book by Richard Reitzenstein called ReligionsgeschichtlicheSschule which he wrote in 1910. He was part of the”History of Religions School” in Gernmany. The book was only translated into English in 1978. He mainly used comparisons with Mithras (which are the same as Horus). In the meantime, his work influence three French scholars who wrote in the 1930s that Christianity was influenced by the Hellenistice mystery religions.

Now, for Horus specifically, the first time he is compared to Jesus is in poetry written by Gerald Massey who lived from 1828-1927. His claim was that Jesus was more of a compilation of several ancient religions, and not just Horus, specifically. I have to assume that the filmmaker took some of that and applied it all to Horus because that is one of the only places where I have seen all the comparisons made of just Horus. Again, the most popular comparison is with Mithras. But let’s take the claims individually.

1) Horu and Jesus born on December 25th - Here is a good history on the birth of Horus if you want to fact check http://www.earth-history.com/Egypt/L...10summary5.htm What we know of Horus comes from hieroglyphics, but none of it mentions when Horus was born, which is consistent with the birth of all mythic gods. It happened at some unspecified time in the past. It is quite possible that there was a celebration on the 25th for Horus, and that is a very common date for such celebrations because it is close to the winter solstice. But, there is also no mention in the Bible as to the day Jesus was born. The earliest Christians actually celebrated it on January 6th. Some Greek Orthodox Christians still use that date. SO where did Christians get it? Constantine, before his conversion, worshipped Sol Invictus (the “Unconquerable Sun”), whose temple was dedicated on December 25th by the earlier emperor Aurelian. About 336 AD, which a year before Constantine died, Christmas began to be celebrated on the same date. It was also during this time that religious leaders said that rather than fight Pagan celebrations, they should be used to celebrate Christ instead.

The point is, this has never been a claim of Christianity, and I think most people realize that the actual date of the birth of Jesus is unknown. But obviously, given the time line, it wasn’t something Peter, Paul, and John sat around and decided to use as they formed a relgion.

2) Horus and Jesus were both born of a virgin – I don’t know how much needs to be written on this. Even from the above link on ancient Egyptian history, Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. There is no mention of Isis being a virgin, and Horus is described as the “flesh and bone” of Osiris. Far more often than associating a virginal birth with Horus, you see it applied to Mithras, but he was born, fully formed, emerging from a rock. I’ve heard the same claim of Alexander the Great, but his mother was married to Philip of Macedonia before that and she even wrote that it was false (he made the claim that Zeus was his father in an effort to support his claim that he should be worshipped). But nowhere in antiquity do you find anything that actually claims a virginal birth for these people that predates Christianity. And for most of them, you don’t find anything at all, certainly not Horus.

3) Star in the east/Adored by 3 kings/teacher at 12/ etc. – These are pretty easy to sum up in one argument. The claims appear nowhere in antiquity. Horus is said to have “his seats were the stars of heaven which never set, and the imperishable stars were his ministers.” But that is it? Kings worshipped him just as they worshipped the other gods like Osiris, etc. but there isn’t any indication that any Egyptians though he was an actual historical figure. No one claims to have seen him, nothing about being a teacher, etc. He was a god.

So if truth is the authority, where do claims like this come from? It really does not matter where they come from, the real question is what is the motivation in making these claims that are so easily dismissed? Is it just a need to reject Christianity, or be against another “establishment?” Why would someone make these claims? Why would anyone believe them when it takes so little effort to look at real scholarly work to dismiss them?

Here is a great quote from Thomas Boslooper about the comparison made between mythic gods and Jesus on the virginal birth. (Journal of Bible and Religion, Vol. 30, No. 4 (Oct., 1962), pp. 334+336-337)
“Contemporary writers invariably use only secondary sources to verify such claims. The scholars whose judgment they accept rarely produced or quoted the primary sources. The literature of the old Germans Religiongeschichtliche Schule, which produced this conclusion and which has become the authority for contemporary scholars wo wish to perpetrate the notion that the virgin birth in the New Testament has a non-Christian source, is characterized by brief word, phrase, and sentence quotations that have been lifted out of contxt or incorrectly translated and used to support preconceived theories. Sweeping generalizations based on questionable evidence have become dogmatic conclusions that cannot be substantiated on the basis of careful investigation.”
Two things of note: that quote is from 1962 and from a religious scholar who rejects even the virginal birth of Jesus. This isn’t a guy with an ax to grind. That’s how long this issue should have been dead. But the internet has resurrected more things like this. In 1974 there was a conference in Tehran, Iran where a number of scholars discussed the mystery religions (specifically Mithras) and Christianity. It came to the same conclusions. The claims are based on poor scholarship, wild generalizations, and actual evidence post dates Christianity.

It isn’t a big deal to me if people want to reject Christianity. But most do it using things like this as an excuse, and it is built on bogus information that even non-Christian scholars agree are bogus. I’m not going to lay out an affirmative argument for Christianity, though I believe a great one can be made, but don’t think you can intellectually dismiss it based on claims of borrowing from other religions. Again, what does it say about the real agenda of those that do, and then claim that we should take truth as the authority? Doesn’t it then lay doubt on all other things they have claimed as true? Well, let’s see how the rest of the movie does.

Crap, I didn’t realize they weren’t done with Horus. The resurrection thing. There is no indication of any resurrection. The most often comparison is to Attis or Mithras, but neither had a resurrection. Attis pissed off a goddess that loved him, Cybele, who then drove him mad, he castrated himself and died. The first appearance of any resurrection tied to him occurs in 150 AD. How could Christianity have borrowed it if it occurred more than a century later? Mithras died and became god of the underworld. That isn’t a resurrection. Most of those are tied to the vegetation cycle and show why plants start to grow again in the Spring and die in the Winter.

Holy crap. Krishna? Really? Somebody thinks Krishna was born of a virgin? Okay, let me take a step back and say that these guys must have a serious ax to grind with Christianity, or they just don’t care about the truth. Look up the history of Krishna on the internet. Even the followers of Krishna say that he had 7 older brothers. That makes a virginal birth pretty darn tough. You can look up Krishna in the Mahabharata, which is a Hindu religious text, and it says that Krishna was born in prison, and his father was a nobleman. I almost hate to press “play” again and see what comes up.

Dyonisis. Notice the little amulet that looks like someone that is crucified? This is very common in these types of films. Here is what they didn’t tell you…That wasn’t the actual amulet, it was an artist’s rendition of the amulet. And that artist’s rendition is not actually based on the real amulet, but based on a line drawing of the amulet. The actual amulet is dated from the 3rd to 4th century. You can look this up in a book called Orpheus – The Fisher by Robert Eisler. And he isn’t a pro-Christian guy either. Another German dude, Otto Kern, a scholar on the subject, says in the same book that he considers it a fake, and cites others that do as well.

Well, we got to Mithra, which I should have guessed we would. I think I covered that earlier. He wasn’t born of a virgin, he was born from a rock. He didn’t have disciples, nor was he a teacher. He was a god. When he died, he didn’t come back to life on earth, he became ruler of the underworld. It isn’t a resurrection, it’s a zombification. And none of the mentioned have anything written in antiquity that says how long they were dead. That should be obvious because none of them say they were resurrected either, but for the one that actually dies and becomes lord of the underworld, where he is essentially lord of the dead, there is no indication of how long he was dead either.

Okay, they are on to Jesus, and let’s point out that they surely aren’t using the Bible as the source of their information. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention the day Jesus was born. It also doesn’t mention the number of “wise men.” So where does any of this “truth” come from? If you were going to make a film and include claims about a figure in the Bible, wouldn’t you at least look at what the Bible said? It actually makes me angry and sad that this film would claim any of these as facts and then show just how much they don’t care about facts by doing enough research to pick up a Bible and see what it says about Jesus. They have a copy at all the motels? Couldn’t he find one to do some fact checking?

Okay, they just went through the solstice thing. I expect they will be making some point about Jesus not being a real historical figure before long, but for now they are trying to show how the sun stays below “the cross” for three days and then starts to rise. Obviously, remember the above, there are some obvious problems. The main one is the fact that none of the other figures show a resurrection being associated with them. This entire argument relies on the idea that their previous claims of all these people being born of a virgin, being resurrected, etc. are true. But none of them are. They are an invention that can only be dated to the past 100 years!!!

This is reading Christianity into paganism. None of these things can be shown to predate Christianity.

Okay, we’re on to Easter and the idea that it is centered around the Spring Equinox. The actual name “Easter” can be shown to have pagan origins, but not the timing of the Christian holiday. The Christian holiday is centered around the Jewish Passover. That is when the crucifixion took place. If they really wanted to try to make some point about this, the least they could have done is tried to tie the Passover to the equinox. You don’t have to know hardly anything about Christianity to know that this had to do with the Jewish Passover. That is when “the last supper” occurred.

This actually reminds me of how conspiracy people use to look at the “number of the beats” of 666 and say, “Hey, that’s Hitler (6 letters in each name) and Reagan (6 letters in each name), etc.” Well, here is a little secret. A few years ago the earliest text of that part of Revelation was found. You can google a search of that, but it looks like the original Number of the Beast was 616. What does that do to all the conspiracy theories that were built on 666? It exposes them for what they were, flimsy theories with no substantiating evidence to back them up, just like the theories in the movie.


This is my Ralph Nader loving BIL, and honestly I don't even know if it is worth responding to him. But how do people claim to have any idea what truth is when they just pass this type of crap along without ever looking into the claims? I can't believe how much of this garbage is on the internet (shocking, I know). Especially in a movie that claims that "Truth is the Authority."

As a warning, I haven't spell checked or grammer checked or even reread the spoilered stuff, so cut me some slack if you do read it.
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Old 12-05-07, 06:58 PM
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That was quite the interesting read.

It is interesting just how much conspiracy theorists will rely on practically nothing to put forth their theories.

It is amazing that things like DaVinci Code, etc... which put forth theories (fictional at that) which have been around for a long time and were debunked in the past... can have such an impact on today's society. I read the DaVinci Code and thought "why not?" granted at the time I was agnostic. But I never thought of it as truth... it was a fictional story, and only referenced what was supposed to be true places and things.

I recently read The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel... ok I read most of it. It was quite interesting. Basically it looked at a bunch of different arguments put forth by evolutionists and debunked them using scientific facts... granted they could "tell" me anything and I wouldn't know the difference... but I like to believe that I could check anything in the book. He has a whole series of "Case" books, but this is the only one I've read. Anyway, if you don't mind a bit of a scientific read, the Case for a Creator was pretty interesting.
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Old 12-05-07, 07:00 PM
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I'm guessing 26 pages for this thread.
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Old 12-05-07, 07:03 PM
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616: The Typo of the Beast
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Old 12-05-07, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by C-Mart
I recently read The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel... ok I read most of it. It was quite interesting. Basically it looked at a bunch of different arguments put forth by evolutionists and debunked them using scientific facts... granted they could "tell" me anything and I wouldn't know the difference... but I like to believe that I could check anything in the book. He has a whole series of "Case" books, but this is the only one I've read. Anyway, if you don't mind a bit of a scientific read, the Case for a Creator was pretty interesting.
I read one of his books, but I forget which one I have. I liked that he provided good footnotes and references, but I found that I had read the majority of those books, so I didn't bother with the other ones. I may pick them up though. I do remember enjoying his writing style. Most of the books on the subject (especially written by those he interviewed) were pretty dry.
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Old 12-05-07, 07:23 PM
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I should probably mention that my even though I dislike this type of thing from a religious point of view, my biggest problem with it is from an education/truth point of view. I'm honestly perplexed about how things like this persist.
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Old 12-05-07, 08:56 PM
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It's consistently fascinating to me how some people seem to take comfort in the idea that they're <i>always</i> being lied to, that they find reassurance in the idea that everything commonly accepted as being true is because of some mysterious cabal or something.
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Old 12-05-07, 10:22 PM
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And the idea that you can't trust anyone except those who tell you not to trust anyone. Why would they be a reliable source?
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Old 12-05-07, 10:37 PM
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Aside from the obvious doctrinal issues I have with something like "Da Vinci Code", the biggest problem IMO is that it's just poorly written. Dan Brown couldn't write a thriller to save his life (I've read "Angels and Demons" and that one about "aliens") -- compared to the average NYT bestselling adventure (think Cussler, Clancy, etc), his work comes off as very shoddy and hardly groundbreaking. The only way I can see him becoming popular is the whole "conspiracy" schtick.

The sad thing is, even that part is pretty badly done. Whenever someone brings up something like DVC or templars, etc. - I have to point them to "Foucault's Pendulum" for an actual interesting, well written, well researched novel.
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Old 12-06-07, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by C-Mart
I recently read The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel... ok I read most of it. It was quite interesting. Basically it looked at a bunch of different arguments put forth by evolutionists and debunked them using scientific facts... granted they could "tell" me anything and I wouldn't know the difference... but I like to believe that I could check anything in the book. He has a whole series of "Case" books, but this is the only one I've read. Anyway, if you don't mind a bit of a scientific read, the Case for a Creator was pretty interesting.
Turns out I read The Case for Faith, but I got home and had a package of books that arrived and his latest "The Case for the Real Jesus" was in there. There is a chapter on mystery religions and comparisons. I only glanced through it, but it looks like I could save a lot of time by just sending my BIL that chapter.

Turns out Strobel interviews Edwin Yamauchi for that part. I've read his stuff, and it should make for a good chapter.

I am thankful for the writer's strike. I've had a backlog of books to read for about 2 years. I haven't read a Star Trek book in about 4 years.
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Old 12-06-07, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wishbon3
616: The Typo of the Beast
$665.99 - the MSRP of the beast.
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Old 12-06-07, 07:14 AM
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probably parts of it are true that Christianity borrowed from other religions. The Iranians with Zoroastronism were next door along with the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians with their systems of many gods and they were all very similar.

Most of what we consider Christianity didn't start until after the Jewish revolts against the Romans which is when Christianity started to become more Roman
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Old 12-06-07, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
It's consistently fascinating to me how some people seem to take comfort in the idea that they're <i>always</i> being lied to, that they find reassurance in the idea that everything commonly accepted as being true is because of some mysterious cabal or something.
It makes an otherwise dull life more interesting.
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Old 12-06-07, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
But again, can one fairly just the truth claims of any particular religion on that? In order to truly “judge” a religion, one has to see what that religion claims, and see how those claims correspond to the data and reality. But to condemn an institution like religion based on actions by members claiming to be a part of that religion, and do not adhere to the teachings of that religion is clearly a straw man attack by association. It makes a good argument for those that are already predisposed to condemn something, but it does not stand up to legitimate study and scrutiny.
This seems extremely appropriate for our time. I don't know if it applies, only time will tell, but I certainly hope it does.

Nice read, Dave. I will ask you this: Will you at least admit that Christianity over time has appropriated certain aspects of other religions, specifically: some of the "traditions" of Christmas and the popularity of different patron saints in places like Latin America to semi-replace polytheism?
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Old 12-06-07, 08:44 AM
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I'm not a big fan of Stroebel's. I've only read one of his books but didn't really think he made great arguements. Someone like Zacharias is much better.


I couldn't get past 10 seconds of the funky intro. I skimmed your letter but it looks like the movie just talked about a lot of made up stuff. I don't know much about Egyptian mythology but I know a decent amount about Krishna and other than the divine claim, I'm not sure what else he has in common with Jesus.
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Old 12-06-07, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Nice read, Dave. I will ask you this: Will you at least admit that Christianity over time has appropriated certain aspects of other religions, specifically: some of the "traditions" of Christmas and the popularity of different patron saints in places like Latin America to semi-replace polytheism?
I'm not Dave, but I play one on Halloween....I'll admit it. (I think Dave does too in his letter about the date of Christmas and all). There are a lot of traditions that Christianity stole from other religions...or one would say incorporated. The hard thing though is to know if it came from religion or from culture. Sometimes those are hard to separate. Take India for example. It is hard to find many customs that are "Indian" and not "Hindu". Almost all holidays have some religious basis. So if an Indian is a Christian and wants to continue to celebrate Indian holidays they will have to "borrow" them from Hinduism. They can remove the Hindu portions but someone taking a casual look at it might not understand that idea.

Latin America has some weird beliefs with saints.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
probably parts of it are true that Christianity borrowed from other religions. The Iranians with Zoroastronism were next door along with the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians with their systems of many gods and they were all very similar.

Most of what we consider Christianity didn't start until after the Jewish revolts against the Romans which is when Christianity started to become more Roman
Easy to say, but can you back any of that up? Zoroaster is another common myth that the internet claims had a virgin birth. But the evidence for that shows up in the 9th century.

Textually, the Bible has not changed enough to matter. The end of Mark was added and the story about Jesus forgiving the prostitute aren't authentic, but other than that, what has changed? Or are you talking about tradition rather than ideology?
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Old 12-06-07, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
Most of what we consider Christianity didn't start until after the Jewish revolts against the Romans which is when Christianity started to become more Roman
I'd say The Council of Nicea had a lot more to do with it than the Jewish revolts.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Nice read, Dave. I will ask you this: Will you at least admit that Christianity over time has appropriated certain aspects of other religions, specifically: some of the "traditions" of Christmas and the popularity of different patron saints in places like Latin America to semi-replace polytheism?
Oh absolutely. I've written before with a timeline of many of the changes in tradition that Catholicism created. Jesus called for all fallowers to be priests, yet Catholicism established a separate preistly order. They didn't wear robes until the 4th century. It was, and is, common practice for missionaries to incorporate traditions of other religions into Christianity. Traditional changes and cultural changes around Christianity have changed greatly through the ages. I think I wrote before about how celebrating Christmas was illegal in early America and if you didn't show up for work on Dec. 25th in Boston, you would be fired from your job.

Looking at the writing of early church fathers like Turtullian, Justin Martyr, etc. from the start of the 2nd century, though, you see that the tenents of Christianity haven't really changed. The only significant change I have seen is that there was some dispute early on about the inerrancy of scripture. But whether one believes in that or not isn't a salvation issue. The role of women has certainly changed. It was much more "inclusive" until about the 3rd century.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I'd say The Council of Nicea had a lot more to do with it than the Jewish revolts.
That is a claim I have never understood either. People act like there was some change at the Council of Nicea. If you look at what the council did, it affirmed the divinity of Jesus by a vote of something like 112-2 (I'd have to google for the exact vote, but I know there were two against). But it wasn't as though no one thought that Jesus was divine prior to that, or that there was no idea for the Trinity. Again, if you look at the earliest church father's writings, everything was as it is concerning orthodoxy. Nicea is basically where you get your first established creed. But later you get the Westminster catechism, and nearly every denomination set forth their own. Nicea just happened to be the first because it was the first time you had a ruler that converted to Christianity and made it the state religion.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:57 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
That is a claim I have never understood either. People act like there was some change at the Council of Nicea. If you look at what the council did, it affirmed the divinity of Jesus by a vote of something like 112-2 (I'd have to google for the exact vote, but I know there were two against). But it wasn't as though no one thought that Jesus was divine prior to that, or that there was no idea for the Trinity. Again, if you look at the earliest church father's writings, everything was as it is concerning orthodoxy. Nicea is basically where you get your first established creed. But later you get the Westminster catechism, and nearly every denomination set forth their own. Nicea just happened to be the first because it was the first time you had a ruler that converted to Christianity and made it the state religion.
The Council of Nicea was an incredible political turning point for Christianity. Christianity was and has been evolving since then anyway. You probably know more about it than I do and I'm certainly not going to get into a doctrinal debate with you, because I'm not a bible expert. It's my personal opinion that had the Roman state not adopted the religion, it would not have become what it is today. That is probably a thread hijack, so I'll leave it at that and not try to hijack the thread any further.
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Old 12-06-07, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
I'd say The Council of Nicea had a lot more to do with it than the Jewish revolts.
that came something like 300 years after the first revolt. the outcome of the revolts was that Jews were kicked out of Jerusalem and something like 3 million were killed or enslaved and this pretty much destroyed the early 'Jewish Christians". you still have some groups left like Jews for Jesus. The only ones left were the Romans who turned to Christianity.
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Old 12-06-07, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
That is a claim I have never understood either. People act like there was some change at the Council of Nicea. If you look at what the council did, it affirmed the divinity of Jesus by a vote of something like 112-2 (I'd have to google for the exact vote, but I know there were two against). But it wasn't as though no one thought that Jesus was divine prior to that, or that there was no idea for the Trinity. Again, if you look at the earliest church father's writings, everything was as it is concerning orthodoxy. Nicea is basically where you get your first established creed. But later you get the Westminster catechism, and nearly every denomination set forth their own. Nicea just happened to be the first because it was the first time you had a ruler that converted to Christianity and made it the state religion.

some of the barbarian tribes like the Vandals were Arian Christians who didn't believe in the divinity of Jesus. When the Vandals ruled North Africa they presecuted Catholics and Orthodox Christians and they weren't defeated until Justinian sent Belisarius.
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Old 12-06-07, 11:20 AM
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Constantine was Arian, wasn't he?
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Old 12-06-07, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
some of the barbarian tribes like the Vandals were Arian Christians who didn't believe in the divinity of Jesus. When the Vandals ruled North Africa they presecuted Catholics and Orthodox Christians and they weren't defeated until Justinian sent Belisarius.
weren't the Vandals and Justinian before the Great Schism?
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