59
   

How much of Christianity is based on Paganism?

 
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 03:50 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Well, they ruthlessly suppressed the Norse gods, too.

That being said, if that video is the one I think it is, it's kind of a bit nutso.

Not that I am rising in defence of the Norse gods so much...the whole Valhalla concept for those who die in battle seems pretty close to the Muslim extremist crap about going to some adolescent boys' fantasy of heaven if you kill yourself and a bunch of others in service to some demented god.


you have to admit though, they make some damn nice furniture.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 03:52 pm
@chai2,
The Joseph and Sons lot?
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 03:52 pm
@dlowan,
Just as I am tolerant of other people's religion and beliefs, a courtesy frequently not extended to myself and other Christians by those who try so hard to discredit Christianity. For me truth is what I have experienced and/or witnessed. I get in as much trouble with other Christians who disagree with my views as I get into with those who despise me because of what I think and believe. But God is real. That is a truth of which I am absolutely, 100% certain. Everything else is subject to scrutiny and I am not adverse to doing that.

(P.S., the Pagans of Jesus's day were tolerant of other gods and beliefs but they also required that homage be paid to their own. The Jews alone were exempted from that requirement simply because that was easier than trying to make them worship Pagan gods. Some Christians also try to enforce their own beliefs and condemn those who don't share them, but I personally think those Christians are in error. But I'm tolerant of them too unless they choose to be hateful and destructive to others in Christ's name. I don't think Christ would ever condone that.)
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 03:58 pm
@dlowan,
That reminds me...kinda...of the day a friend (supported by her siblings) invited her Methodist minister father, and totally mad mother, to lunch, so as to break to them that she was a lesbian.

As later described, the assembled sibling group were stunned when their mother seemed puzzled, but quite accepting.

It was only when said mother said "And they have lovely FOOD darling, don't they?" that the feelings of relief were replaced by a terrible angst, as they realised that their mother believed her daughter had decided to become Lebanese.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 04:30 pm
@chai2,
Don´t call other people sheep just because they don´t know something.
Glad you admit you don´t know a **** about Scandinavia.
Even if this discussion isn´t limited to the land of the midnight sun we still happens to be Christian and with pre Christian roots which are a bit closer to us than some Egyption goods.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 04:38 pm
@saab,
Why don't you tell us about the pre-christian beliefs, and how they affected Scandinavian christianity, if you believe they did?

We're here to learn.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 04:53 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
Christianity is based on the fundamental acknowledgment that God became incarnate, suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried--all concepts completely foreign to any Pagan beliefs of that time--before He rose again to demonstrate to all the reality of eternal life and His continued involvement with us via the Holy Spirit.

I don't know about Pagan beliefs of Jesus's time. But Horus, an Egyptian god worshipped more than thousand years before Jesus was, has a resume that looks remarkably similar:

  • Horus was conceived by a virgin called Meri, from the god Osiris.
  • His birth, which happened around winter solstice (December 21), was announced by angels to shepherds.
  • A king called Herut tried to murder him as a baby.
  • There is no record of what he did between the ages of 12 and 30.
  • At 30, he was babtized by Anup the Baptizer, who was later beheaded.
  • He walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind.
  • His key address was called "the sermon of the mount".
  • He was crucified, buried in a tomb, decended into hell, and rose from the dead after three dead.
  • He is prophesied to come back and reign the Earth for 1000 years.

I'd say that's pretty close.

So when you say that the important points of the Jesus story are "foreign to any Pagan beliefs of that time", you may be right: The story is a plagiat of an original that Jesus himself would have considered ancient.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 05:04 pm
@Thomas,
Horus, by the way, is mentioned in the video rosborne presented in his initial post. It really is worth watching.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 05:24 pm
@Thomas,
Yes I am well aware of the legends of Horus and have incorporated them into the curriculum I teach. I have a good deal of regard for much of the research on the Religious Tolerance site too, but I think they overreached on some of the analysis of the Horus legend. The ancient Egyptian and other pagan myths were pulled together much as the New Testament was: through bits and pieces from different places and sources and some of the inferences drawn are a real stretch.

The best we can say for sure is:

1) Similarities that can be confirmed are sufficiently coincidental to inspire curiosity; however, the contradictions within the New Testament itself are sufficient to do that without pulling Horus into it at all.

2) The New Testament was never intended to be an authoritative work as it is in its final form and those who wrote it didn't know they were writing 'scripture'. It was pulled together over many decades using Jewish oral tradition, reported eye witness accounts, and bits and pieces of documents collected over more than a century. This would account for some significant differences in the birth accounts found in Matthew and Luke and why no birth accounts appear in Mark or John at all and why Paul never mentioned the birth stories in any of his writings that we have. (All four gospels were written some time after Paul's letters were written.) To me this leaves a lot of room for speculation and no firm conclusions; however, such lack of conclusion in no way damages or deflects from Christianity in its purest form.

3) History does repeat itself. Look at the similarities somebody put together comparing Lincoln and JFK for instance. If we didn't have a more consistent historical record to check, wouldn't that be seen as suspect by some future historian who unearthed a time capsule or something? But whether or not all those comparisons can be verified, they in no way deflect from the accomplishments or influence on history of either man.



George
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 05:25 pm
I don't know all that much about Egyptian mythology,
but I'm pretty sure that Horus was the child of Isis and Osiris.
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 05:28 pm
@George,
Yes, most authorities do agree on that. And Cleopatra believed herself to be the reincarnation of Isis. Does anybody think Cleopatra wasn't real? Smile
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 06:04 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
For me truth is what I have experienced and/or witnessed.

Yes. I've noticed that about you. And I have no doubt it's true.

As you can see from my first post, I'm questioning the accuracy of the references to the other pagan deities in the video, so I'm not assuming that all the info in the video is correct. Do you know if the other deities mentioned in the video are described accurately? I'm not a historian and I haven't done much research on pre-christian deities, so I don't really know how much of what was reported is accurate.

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 06:08 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
I don't know about Pagan beliefs of Jesus's time. But Horus, an Egyptian god worshipped more than thousand years before Jesus was, has a resume that looks remarkably similar:

  • Horus was conceived by a virgin called Meri, from the god Osiris.
  • His birth, which happened around winter solstice (December 21), was announced by angels to shepherds.
  • A king called Herut tried to murder him as a baby.
  • There is no record of what he did between the ages of 12 and 30.
  • At 30, he was babtized by Anup the Baptizer, who was later beheaded.
  • He walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind.
  • His key address was called "the sermon of the mount".
  • He was crucified, buried in a tomb, decended into hell, and rose from the dead after three dead.
  • He is prophesied to come back and reign the Earth for 1000 years.

I'd say that's pretty close.

I agree. It's more than close, it's uncanny. Do you know if the other references to other deific myths are also accurate?

rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 06:12 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
3) History does repeat itself. Look at the similarities somebody put together comparing Lincoln and JFK for instance. If we didn't have a more consistent historical record to check, wouldn't that be seen as suspect by some future historian who unearthed a time capsule or something?

That's an interesting point.

But Lincoln and JFK were just two people, but in the examples shown in the video we're up against a more ponderous pile of evidence involving multiple cultures and deities as well as known astronomical events and historic references which are verifiable.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 06:28 pm
It's all going to be moot in another four years.

http://endworld2012.com/
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 06:35 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Foxfyre wrote:
For me truth is what I have experienced and/or witnessed.

Yes. I've noticed that about you. And I have no doubt it's true.

As you can see from my first post, I'm questioning the accuracy of the references to the other pagan deities in the video, so I'm not assuming that all the info in the video is correct. Do you know if the other deities mentioned in the video are described accurately? I'm not a historian and I haven't done much research on pre-christian deities, so I don't really know how much of what was reported is accurate.



Who among us can say with certainty what is and is not accurate when it comes to legend and myth? For instance, you will be hard put to find any ancient culture that did not have some kind of massive flood story to report. Was that evidence of a massive world wide flood? Or just that great floods are significant and find their way into legend in any culture that had one?

In Mexico alone, you find legends and lore much of which mimics Egyptian and Greek mythology of which presumably those Mexican ancients had no knowledge. And some comparisons can be drawn between these and the Jesus story. If you have a chance read up on:
Mixtec
Ometecutli-Inecuvatl - two beings in one (Lord of Duality)
Nazahualcoytl
Zapotec
Ixtlixochitl

There are many others.

In Egypt you find other parallels to Christian legend in the tales of Toth with similar tales told of the Norse god Balder.

Read the stories of our own Davy Crockett and the wild legendary tales that emerged from his life and adventures. And then compare those legends to feats attributed to Daniel Boone and see the similarities.

There are so many ancient legends that you could use to draw parallels. You can't explain how Matthew and Luke of New Testament times knew of the legend of Mithra, however, or how they were privy to the sources that were not available until recent times. Again, I think the Religious Tolerance site is making a real stretch in some of the conclusions/comparisons and others are probably right on.

Does some of the imagery, symbolism, and verbal codes found in the New Testament relate to ancient mental imagery common to the people of those times and make their way into the oral tradition and written text? Almost certainly they did.

Does that mean that Christianity is an imaginary mythical creation unsupportable other than via ancient Egyptian texts? I think anybody will have a difficult time supporting that argument.

chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2009 06:44 pm
@saab,
and the reason they don't know something?

It's easier to not know something and go along.
It's easier not to be interested in something that happened not that many years ago.

No, I don't know about Scan pre Christianity, but it'd be an easy enough matter to find out.

Oh, you mean how Norse traditions effected our celebration of Easter? And Christmas. How our days of the week in this language have some Norse origin i.e. Oden.

Guess I knew more than I remembered.
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 06:31 am
Basically it is a lot easier to add festivals that take them away: I always celebrate St patricks tho I have no Irish connection: trying to get the pagans to abandon their festivals is impossible. It is better to incorporate them. I mean the Christmas story has everything for everyone.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 06:38 am
@rosborne979,
Try reading through the sermon on the mount and then tell us what aspect of paganism that derives from.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 07:13 am
@rosborne979,
Roswell wrote:
Foxfyre wrote:
3) History does repeat itself. Look at the similarities somebody put together comparing Lincoln and JFK for instance. If we didn't have a more consistent historical record to check, wouldn't that be seen as suspect by some future historian who unearthed a time capsule or something?


That's an interesting point.


No it's not, it's a crock of ****. The alleged similarities between Lincoln and Kennedy, for example, are a case of people finding what they are looking for before they began to look (surprise, surprise!). Earlier, Fox claimed that the similarities between pagan belief and "christianity" are a stretch. A claim such as that about Lincoln and Kennedy is even more of a stretch. The key phrase is "somebody put together."

History does not "repeat itself." Two things are responsible for such a claim. The first is that, believing it to be true, individuals make claims to the effect that they have found similarities, and they have found them because they are looking for them. They resolutely ignore any datum which isn't consonant with what they were prepared to believe when they went looking for the "historical repetitions." The believer that history repeats itself is also obliged to ignore significant differences of detail, the consideration of which mitigates against the proposition. These are clear cut cases of what "somebody put together."

The second reason that people believe that history repeats itself is that human nature is a constant over time. People do the same stupid things time and again, and brilliant individuals rise to promise of their talents time and again.

If this were a scientific proposition, Roswell, you would apply a much more rigorous and critical standard than you are applying here. If someone alleged a scientific "truth," would you be satisfied with a vague statement about what someone had "put together?"
 

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