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Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
#61
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Presumably, god was watching us from on high, and seeing the mystery cult phenomenon play out amongst the monkeys below, thought to himself "Damn....that's a good idea!".
For what it's worth, it seems like I'm too late to bring up this point about his OP: Whether or not it's possible if something can come from nothing, it's clear that God, if he exists, definitely violates that principle: After all, what is the creation of the world but his creating something out of nothing?


-Rev Rye.

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#62
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Um, Khem.  The fucktards tried that.  It's called "diabolical mimicry."


Quote:But those who hand down the myths which the poets have made, adduce no proof to the youths who learn them; and we proceed to demonstrate that they have been uttered by the influence of the wicked demons, to deceive and lead astray the human race. For having heard it proclaimed through the prophets that the Christ was to come, and that the ungodly among men were to be punished by fire, they put forward many to be called sons of Jupiter, under the impression that they would be able to produce in men the idea that the things which were said with regard to Christ were mere marvellous tales, like the things which were said by the poets.


Justin Martyr - First Apology Ch. LIV

I've always found it amusing that early xtians would be so upset by the idea that their bullshit story was so similar to the various other cults then going around that they would invent this idea that demons would preempt their "god" by getting the story out first.  Apparently they failed to realize that this made the "demons" smarter than their fucking god!

But when people are desperate they say all sorts of silly shit.  We've all see it from the apologetics crowd often enough.
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#63
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
(October 29, 2017 at 4:05 pm)Crossless2.0 Wrote: So, Road, what you’re saying is that short of a smoking gun directly linking Christian belief and practice to some other mystery cult, you choose to believe that God’s Eternal Truth and Salvation Plan for humanity just happens to share a variety of traits that were commonly found in contemporary mystery cults in that particular region of the world — not to mention an atoning blood sacrifice, also a cult trope common in antiquity.

That’s some coincidence!

I am saying, that I think you need some evidence or reason to make that leap from similarity to correlation/causation.  
I think your coincidences are vague to the point that some question their usefulness as a category at all.  And that when you look closer there is quite a bit of difference, which must be accounted for.

I think that there is a reason, why no one is offering specifics for the arguments when asked ( where, when, who/what).  And that these are important to make the historical connection that is being attempted to be made.  The specifics of what is being claimed do matter.  A large portion of the mystery religions, didn't appear prominently in history until after Christianity.  I think that is of some note, concerning the matter.

I do think that there may be some similarities, and even there may be instances, where the choice of presentation is influenced by other religions around Christianity.  John's introduction of the Logos for instance, I think was influenced, but when looking at the specifics and the context, I don't think that it indicates that John is presenting anything other than a purely Christian doctrine. 

I would encourage people, to look at these things more closely.   Ask who is being compared; ask when (how do the things proposed line up chronologically), and ask what is a logical conclusion from the facts that we have.  Much of what is being said as being similar is more parsimonious and more easily explained, by looking back to Judaism, from which both history and self-proclamation both make a much easier connection.
It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.  - Alexander Vilenkin
If I am shown my error, I will be the first to throw my books into the fire.  - Martin Luther
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#64
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Nice try but Justin Martyr shows that the early xtians were worried about this 1800 years before you came along trying to make excuses.  And shortly after him came Tertullian:


Quote:"The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth, mimics the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments. He baptises his believers and promises forgiveness of sins from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread and brings in the symbol of the resurrection. Let us, therefore, acknowledge the craftiness of the devil who copies certain things of those that be Divine".

De Praescriptione Haereticorum

And, of course, Celsus c 180.

Quote:"Let's assume for a minute that he foretold his resurrection. Are you ignorant of the multitudes wh ohave invented similar tales to lead simple minded hearers astray? It is said that Zamolxis, Pythagoras' servant, convinced the Scythians that he had risen from the dead... and what about Pythagoras himself in Italy! -or Rhampssinitus in Egypt. The last of these, by the way, is said to have played dice with Demeter in Hades and to have received a golden napkin as a present from her. Now then, who else: What about Orpheus among the Odrysians, Protesiaus in Thessaly and above all Heracles and Theseus."

Face it, RR.  All you have is the same old shit in a slightly newer package.  It was common belief in the Greco-Roman world.
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#65
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
(October 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm)Minimalist Wrote: Nice try but Justin Martyr shows that the early xtians were worried about this 1800 years before you came along trying to make excuses.  And shortly after him came Tertullian:


Quote:"The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth, mimics the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments. He baptises his believers and promises forgiveness of sins from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread and brings in the symbol of the resurrection. Let us, therefore, acknowledge the craftiness of the devil who copies certain things of those that be Divine".

De Praescriptione Haereticorum


Face it, RR.  All you have is the same old shit in a slightly newer package.  It was common belief in the Greco-Roman world.

I have no doubt that 1800 years ago, that this as the case. (the heyday of the mystery religions was from the 2nd to the 4th century)   Why don't you quote from 2000 years ago?

And I'm not saying, that you may not find some similarities.  I just don't think that the conclusion follows (as I understand the case you are attempting to make).   But then again, you wouldn't give your evidence and reasons to support it.  We would need to examine specifics to see if your case has the merit you think.

You might also note, that baptism could more easily be explained in light of Jewish tradition from which Christianity obviously emerged.
It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.  - Alexander Vilenkin
If I am shown my error, I will be the first to throw my books into the fire.  - Martin Luther
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#66
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Quote:I have no doubt that 1800 years ago, that this as the case.

And they were closer to the problem than you are.  You pretending that the issue does not exist changes absofuckinglutely nothing.

Quote:You might also note, that baptism could more easily be explained in light of Jewish tradition from which Christianity obviously emerged.

Now you're an expert on Judaism?  Tell me, when did this devotion to "baptism" begin?  And, remember, I already know the answer.

Big Grin
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#67
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
(October 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:I have no doubt that 1800 years ago, that this as the case.

And they were closer to the problem than you are.  You pretending that the issue does not exist changes absofuckinglutely nothing.

Quote:You might also note, that baptism could more easily be explained in light of Jewish tradition from which Christianity obviously emerged.

Now you're an expert on Judaism?  Tell me, when did this devotion to "baptism" begin?  And, remember, I already know the answer.

Big Grin

I don’t see the big issue... and ritual washings where a part of Judaism for quite some time...since Moses.

And no, I’m not an expert...I’m learning...l so far, I’ve learned to always double check citations and facts from JW’s and Richard Carrier.  Come to think of it... I see a number of similarities in both their followers.
It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.  - Alexander Vilenkin
If I am shown my error, I will be the first to throw my books into the fire.  - Martin Luther
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#68
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Exactly how I feel about jesus freaks.

With a lot more reason.

Anyway, the Jewish concept of ritual bathing was meant to mainly cleanse the body ( not the soul ) of impurities.  Unlike xtian baptism which was only done once.... much as the other mystery cults employed it...the Jews were expected to cleanse themselves everytime they came into contact with something unclean.

It's a real stretch to try to make that the forerunner of xtian baptism while the other cults were already there.

And yes, John the "Baptist" was something new in the first century.  But you probably don't want to go there.
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#69
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
(October 30, 2017 at 11:23 pm)Minimalist Wrote: Anyway, the Jewish concept of ritual bathing was meant to mainly cleanse the body ( not the soul ) of impurities.  Unlike xtian baptism which was only done once.... much as the other mystery cults employed it...the Jews were expected to cleanse themselves everytime they came into contact with something unclean.

It's a real stretch to try to make that the forerunner of xtian baptism while the other cults were already there.

Ok...fair enough.  However, I would expect the same type of precision to be required in other comparisons you would make in your case as well (if you ever get to that). 

It does seem curious, because the common theme, I keep running into, when researching the mystery religions, is that we don’t know much about their practices (didn’t write down the secrets), that they may have  changed over time, and that there was quite a bit of difference between them. I would think to make the statement as a group, that they only had one baptism would seem that you have access to the secrets, that others do not.
It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man.  - Alexander Vilenkin
If I am shown my error, I will be the first to throw my books into the fire.  - Martin Luther
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#70
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Wait just a moment.  We really have no idea what was written about the Mystery Cults, other than jesusism, with minor exceptions since any writings about what they did or did not believe were not preserved.  Nonetheless, Augustine did preserve the denunciations which Seneca unleashed on the superstitions running rampant in Rome in his day.  If they had written down what they believed it would be roughly akin to the gospels which are propaganda vehicles for the cult.  And, I know you don't want to hear this, but we have no evidence of any sort of xtian canon until late 2d century xtian writers tell us that Marcion - the heretic <gasp> produced one.  While there are some obvious holes in the story it does seem as if someone decided that Marcion had a really good idea and they set about trying to figure out which bits of bullshit they wanted to go into their canon!

To sit there and say "we have no writings about any of this stuff" comes very close to the classic definition of chutzpah.  That is when someone kills his parents and then appeals for mercy because he is an orphan.  Generally speaking it was xtians who were doing the preserving and copying of ancient texts and rather than some far-flung conspiracy to destroy ancient knowledge it is more that they had no incentive to preserve it.  They thought their jesus shit was all that mattered and we are extremely fortunate to have any copies of ancient documents.  In large part, most survived in the East because the dry climate helped preserve writings.  It is unlikely that a parchment would last long in the cold, damp climates of Britain, Gaul and Germany and when they wore out they were thrown out.  To be sure there were some highly publicized book-burnings by thuggish xtian mobs but one also has to account for the actions of barbarian tribes tearing through the West and North Africa.  The Goths and Vandals were xtians before making their raids - albeit they were Arians and therefore perfectly willing to kick the shit out of the Trinitarians!  I love it when xtians fight.

Personally, I rather doubt that Celsus decided to write a diatribe against xtianity for the hell of it.  I imagine it was a common practice for Neo-Platonist philosophers to hold the beliefs of others up to ridicule.  Once again, it seems unlikely the brief excerpt from Seneca on superstition in first century Rome would have been the only commentary by Greco-Roman writers on what was going on but other than the second-hand recap of Seneca by Augustine we have no evidence.  Thus my hypothesis must remain merely a hypothesis.
But we have enough information on the broad scope of the other Mystery Cults to see how they came about in specific geographical areas and how they were incorporated into a Hellensitic philosophy of individual salvation.  I wish you could see it but every one has their limitations.
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