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Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
#1
Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Quote:The earliest definitely known form of Christianity was a Judeo-Hellenistic mystery religion. This is also beyond any reasonable
doubt, yet frequently denied in the field of Jesus research, often with a suspiciously intense passion. So I shall here survey a case for it.

To say Christianity was a mystery religion is not to say that Christianity is exactly like any other mystery religion, any more than any mystery
religion was 'exactly like' any other. Often when scholars deny that Christianity was a mystery religion, they really mean it wasn't just one of
the already-existing mystery religions superficially overhauled with Jewish concepts. Christianity wasn't 'Osiris Cult 2.0'. Which is certainly true. But
that's all that anyone's evidence can prove. If instead we define a mystery religion as any Hellenistic cult in which individual salvation was procured
by a ritual initiation into a set of 'mysteries', the knowledge of which and participation in which were key to ensuring a blessed eternal life, then
Christianity was demonstrably a mystery religion beyond any doubt.

I f we then expand that definition to include a set of specific features held in common by all other mystery religions of the early Roman era, then
Christianity becomes even more demonstrably a mystery religion, so much so, in fact, that it's impossible to deny it was deliberately constructed as
such. Even the earliest discernible form of Christianity emulates numerous cultic features and concepts that were so unique to the Hellenistic mystery
cults that it is statistically beyond any reasonable possibility that they all found their way into Christianity by mere coincidence. They formed a
coherent, logical and repeatedly replicated system of ideas in every other mystery cult. It would be irrational to conclude the same wasn't so of Christianity.
Christianity cannot be understood apart from this fact. And any theory of historicity that fails to account for it cannot be credible.  That Christianity taught eternal salvation for the individual cannot be denied. That it taught that this salvation was procured by initiation rituals
(such as undergoing baptism and partaking of the Eucharist) cannot be denied.


Richard Carrier, On The Historicity of Jesus pgs 96-97

Very common shit in new packaging as far as the first century was concerned!
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#2
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Very interesting and also very telling. If there's one thing that can be said about Christianity is that it certainly isn't a religion that sticks to it's guns. The zeitgeist of secularism, morality and science have dragged this particular blasted religion kicking and screaming through the years when we should have left it in the sewers where it always wanted to be. Christianity has defended everything from slavery, theocracy and genocide to sexism, suppression and restriction of virtually everything.
Very common old shit that apologists cherry pick around so they can feel special and don't have to acknowledge that what they call Christianity today actually has very little to do with what it used to be.
"History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets." -Yuval Noah Harari
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#3
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
That's because it was not "one thing" until one group won out.  This had nothing to do with any fucking god.  It had to do with backing the right horse at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.

One of the great observations from antiquity is this, preserved by the xtian scholar Origen in an attempt to refute it.

Quote:"Christians, needless to say, utterly detest one another; they slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse, and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense...".


Celsus c 180 AD

That the intense bickering among jesus freaks was known even to a Neo-Platonist like Celsus speaks volumes of the amount of pious horseshit that was being thrown around.

Carrier's book is immensely important because he literally discusses all the evidence which jesus freaks routinely trot out for their nonsense and the result is most distressing to them.  Even more, Carrier discusses the time period when all of this rejection of communal gods was going on in favor of the Hellenistic concept of personal salvation.  Worth the read but don't get hung up in his Bayes Theorem stuff.
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#4
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
If just one bridge was burned in the ancient past.......
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence then KPLOW, I hit em with the illness of my quill, Im endowed..with certain unalienable skills....  

-ERB


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#5
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
Yeah I keep wondering if Mithras would have ended up as big a dick as jesus?
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#6
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
That's a very good point. I've added the book to my "must read" list, look forward to learning more about it!
"History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets." -Yuval Noah Harari
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#7
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
(October 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm)Minimalist Wrote: That's because it was not "one thing" until one group won out.  This had nothing to do with any fucking god.  It had to do with backing the right horse at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.

One of the great observations from antiquity is this, preserved by the xtian scholar Origen in an attempt to refute it.

Quote:"Christians, needless to say, utterly detest one another; they slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse, and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teaching. Each sect brands its own, fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense...".

Celsus c 180 AD

You may want to check the sources and history of this quote.   It is quite a liberal and imaginative interpretation, that probably shouldn't have quotations around nor be attributed to Celsus.

At least from what I have seen and researched.  This is just a guess, but I would bet, that there wasn't a footnote on this!
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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#8
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
The source is R. Joseph Hoffman:


Quote:Hoffmann holds graduate degrees in theology from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Christian Origins from the University of Oxford. He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan as assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies, where he developed the undergraduate and graduate program in Christian origins. From 1991 to 1999, he was senior lecturer in New Testament and Church History at Westminster College, Oxford.

As you can see, he is not some apologist fucktard trying to save his happy horseshit from the ignominy it so richly deserves.

I'm well aware of Tekton Apologetics and that lying sack of shit, J. P. Holding so kindly go blow jesus out your ass.  I'll stick with Hoffman.
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#9
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
(October 19, 2017 at 10:23 pm)Minimalist Wrote: The source is R. Joseph Hoffman:


Quote:Hoffmann holds graduate degrees in theology from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Christian Origins from the University of Oxford. He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan as assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies, where he developed the undergraduate and graduate program in Christian origins. From 1991 to 1999, he was senior lecturer in New Testament and Church History at Westminster College, Oxford.

As you can see, he is not some apologist fucktard trying to save his happy horseshit from the ignominy it so richly deserves.

I'm well aware of Tekton Apologetics and that lying sack of shit, J. P. Holding so kindly go blow jesus out your ass.  I'll stick with Hoffman.

If the site of Tekton Apologetics is the one in error, then I'm sure you would not mind, if we looked back to the original source of this quote (Origin) and compared.
Other reviews seem to agree, that this translation of a translation is quite liberal, and adds quite a bit.

Now, what is important, is the facts... wouldn't you agree?  Claims of Authoriy, or popularity, nor ad hominem attacks don't really concern me.  What was it, that Origin recorded as to what Celsum said? If my sources where inaccurate, I want to know.  Wouldn't you want to know if the information you are spreading is false?
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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#10
RE: Jesusism - Just Another First Century Mystery Cult
And who is going to decide?  You?  You are a scholar of ancient Greco-Roman Literature, I suppose?
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