Question by ina_nutshell: Jesus a recycled pladgerized copy of older pagan mystery cult dieties? What youd church doesn’t want you hear!
“We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides.”
- St. Ignatius Loyola
A fair number of people are aware of the pagan origins of many Christian rituals. A couple of the better known ones are a celebration around the winter solstice that involves symbols of life (evergreens in the dead of winter), and a celebration around the spring equinox that involves fertility symbols (rabbits, eggs).
So, surely, if I was talking about a God in the middle east that was born of a virgin birth on December 25th, was visited by shepherds and magi, traveled the countryside, performed miracles including casting out devils, healing the lame and restoring sight to the blind, had a group of twelve disciples, was known as the “Light of the World,”
of whom it was said that if you drink of his blood you will have eternal salvation, who was persecuted, had a last supper, was killed, buried in a rock tomb, rose from the dead around the spring equinox, was worshipped by the Roman Empire and whose worship spread far around the world, whose followers worshipped on Sunday, believed in baptism and were led by a pope who ruled from Vatican hill and celebrated a sacrament of bread and wine with candles, incense and holy water, I suspect you’d know who exactly who I was talking about. Yes, I’m talking about Mithra.
Mithra (or Mithras) was first worshipped as a minor God in Persia as long ago as 2000 BCE, and later as a God who lived in human form from 272 to 208 BCE. Mithra was the God of the Roman Empire for hundreds of years, and it was not until 358 CE that followers of Mithra began to be persecuted under the new state religion, Christianity. Here’s another story:
“In the first century of the Common Era, there appeared at the end of the Mediterranean a remarkable religious leader who taught the worship of one true God and declared that religion meant not the sacrifice of beasts but the practice of charity and piety and the shunning of hatred and enmity. He was said to have worked miracles of goodness, casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead. His exemplary life led some of his followers to claim he was a son of God, though he called himself the son of a man. Accused of sedition against Rome, he was arrested. After his death, his disciples claimed he had risen from the dead, appeared to them alive, and then ascended to heaven.”
Again, I suspect you know who I’m talking about – that’s right, Apollonius, who died around 98 CE. The quote is from Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms.
There are similarities with many other previous and concurrent Gods as well. A couple of other names that might be familiar include Dionysus, Osiris, and Krishna, but there are many more. Jesus and these other Gods often fall under a broad category author Robert Price calls a “mythic hero archetype,” where “a divine hero’s birth is supernaturally predicted and conceived, the infant hero escapes attempts to kill him, demonstrates his precocious wisdom already as a child, receives a divine commission, defeats demons, wins acclaim, is hailed as king, then betrayed, losing popular favor, executed, often on a hilltop, and is vindicated and taken up to heaven.”
The notion of virgin birth, god incarnated into human form, heaven, hell, baptism, eucharist, eternal life, the soul, salvation, one god, worship of sun-gods on Sun-day, you name it, it’s all been done before. Sorry to say, there is not much that is new or unique about Jesus. Like other successful religions, Christianity gained the authorization of a powerful state and was institutionalized.
“Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.”
- attributed to Carl Sagan
Ultimately there is no solid evidence for the existence of Jesus. No one who was alive at that time wrote of him. Jesus starts showing up one or two centuries later in Christian literature, as the movement builds. Even Paul, who was the main promoter of Christianity, seems curiously unaware of the miracles Jesus supposedly performed or even of the basic events of Jesus’ life. As a salesman, these would have made some great selling points, but he doesn’t seem to know about them. The gospels tell us that Jesus was widely known among the “multitudes” from numerous cities and that even high ranking officials like Herod and Pilate supposedly knew of him, yet somehow the historians of the day were unaware of his existence.
The gospels themselves do not seem to be eyewitness accounts. The gospel of Luke actually admits this up front. They were written in the third person (hearsay) at least 40 years after the supposed events. John may have been written as late as 90 years after the “fact.” And they come to us through the hands of Christian scribes who were well known (even Christian scholars admit this) to commit fraud to further their cause.
Answer by chained6002
Doesn’t the religion of Mithra prove that Christianity is false?
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!