From: Starwyn To: Michael Hardy Jun-02-94 14:11:00 Subject: mithrasThe Christian myth is almost totally Pagan in origin. I used to think that anything outside the Judeo/Christian/Moslem Belief System or worldview was Pagan. Such is not the case.
* Replying to a message originally to Fredric Rice on 06-01-94
MH> Please tell me specifically what elements you think MH>Christianity borrowed from what pre-existing religions.
The two main features of the CBS are the Eucharist and Sacrifice of a God man. These two features were well known and well loved by Pagan mystery cults centuries before the Christian Cults intergrated them into the Gospels.
The Eucharist goes way back into history and is based upon the ritual consumption of the God man. Osiris, Dionysus, Attis and many others were ritually consumed. The practice dates back to prehistory when a human sacrifice was identified with the God (perhaps a Vegetative God) and was sacrificed and eaten. Over the ages human sacrifice was found detestable. Animals were then substituted and sacrificed as the ritual identifier of the God which was then followed by grain offerings, breads shaped into the form of the God, sometimes in the shapes of natural items (sun, moon, etc.).
The mythos of the Jewish Christ integrated this practice into it's mysteries. There is strong reason for this. For some 200 plus years before the time recorded for Jesus the Greeks and their mystery cults invaded and changed Israel for all time. A war was instituted to diminish or wipeout the Hellenizing influence. Part of the Hellenizing influence was an effort to update or change the Jewish religion to something more applicable to the times. After the Maccabbes War the Hellenizing cultist were driven underground; right to the heart of the Jewish mystical culture. Hence the Greek influence upon the myth of Jesus.
The sacrifice of the God man (Jesus, Attis, Adonis, Osiris) was a well known and well loved feature also. In fact it was necessary to have a willing sacrifice before a Eucharist could be performed. When the sacrifice was not willing the legs and sometimes arms of the sacrifice were broken to make it look like the sacrifice was willing (not struggling against the sacrificers). Jesus was a willing sacrifice.
Images of Attis (Tammuz/Dummuzi) were nailed or impaled upon a pine tree. The Jews knew this and wrote "Cursed is he who hangs upon a tree." A goat was substituted for a boy in sacrifice to Dionysus at Potniae and a hart for a virgin at Laodicea. King Athamas had been called upon to sacrifice his first born son by the Delphic Oracle, Melenloas sacrificed two children in Egypt when stayed by contrary winds; three Persian boys were offered up at the battle of Salamis. It was only in the time of Hadrian that the annual human sacrifice to Zeus was abolished at Salamis in Cyprus. The God man Jesus was hung upon a tree; he was also the lamb of God. As such the sacrifice and Eucharist of the God man Jesus is purely Pagan in origin.
Part of the older Pagan sacrifices was in the King sacrificing his only begotten son. Jesus was the only begotten son of the King of Israel, sacrificed to take away the sins of the world. This practice was overturned in the myth of Abraham and Issac when it was found detestable and injurious to the tribe or kingdom. Yet the God man Jesus was sacrificed in the flesh. This was done to appeal to the underground Greek mystery cults who had much in common with the Jewish Christian Cultist.
"During centuries of this evolution, the Jewish people tasted many times the bitterness of despair and the profound doubt denounced by the last of the prophets. In periods when many went openly over to Hellenism, it could not be but the the ancient rites of the Semitic race were revived, as some are declared to have been in earlier times of trouble. Among the rites of expiation and propititiation, none stood traditionally higher than the sacrifice of the king, or the king's son. The Jews saw such an act performed for them, as it were, when the Romans under Anthony, at Herod's wish, scourged, crucified [lit. bound to stake], and beheaded Antigonous, the last of the Asmonean priest kings in 37 B.C." Pagan Christs page 44,45 by J. M. Robertson
The mode of sacrifice was predetermined by previous Pagan doctrine. The type of sacrifice was also predetermined by Pagan doctrine. Both the sacrifice of the king, and the king's son were incorporated into the Gospel myth. The God man Jesus is both the King of the Jews and the son of God, the king of Israel.
As stated before the sacrifice of the king or king's son was found injurious to the state. Before animal and grain sacrifices, criminals and prisoners of war were substituted. Yet the criminal had to be identified with the king. This was done by putting royal robes on the sacrifice and parading the sacrifice around, calling it the king.
"The number three was of mystic significance in many parts of the East. The Dravidians of India sacrificed three victims to the Sun-god. In western as in eastern Asia, the number three would have its votaries in respect of trinitartian concepts as well as the primary notions of 'the heavens, the earth, and the underworld.' Traditionally, the Syrian rite called for a royal victim. The substitution of a criminal for the king or kings son was repugnet, however, to the higher doctrine that the victim be unblemished. To solve this problem one of the malefactors was distinguished from the other criminals by a ritual of mock-crowning and robing in the spirit of 'sympathetic magic'. By parading him as king, and calling the others what indeed they were, it was possible to attain the semblence of a truly august sacrifice." Pagan Christs, by J.M. Robertson page 45
There is nothing in this mythos that did not originate in other cultures.
"We can only conclude that the death ritual of the Christian creed was framed in a pagan environment and embodies some of the most widespread ideas of Pagan religion. the two aspects in which the historic Christ is typically presented to his worshipers, those of his infancy and death, are typically Pagan." Pagan Christs by J.M Roberts, page 52.
What about the man Jesus then? Was he divine? Did he exist? Is/was he the Savior?
Most, if not all, of the Christian Belief System is Pagan in origin. It is indeed hard to force oneself to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God when such titles were readily copied from Pagan doctrine. Perhaps the only item not borrowed from Pagan sources was the Messiah concept. That, of course, was taken from the Jewish hysteria of the time. In the siege of Jerusalem in 72 C.E. there were some 18 Messiahs inside Jerusalem alone. Neither the God man Jesus nor the self proclaimed militant messiahs saved Jerusalem. Such was the measure of hysterical superstition upon the nation of Israel.
"There is not a conception associated with Christ that is not common to some or all of the Savior cults of antiquity. The title Savior was given in Judaism to Yahweh; among the Greeks to Zeus, Heilos, Artemis, Dionysus, Hercales, the Dioscurui, Ceybele and Aesculapius. It is the essential conception of Osiris. So, too, Osiris taketh away sin, is the judge of the dead and of the last judgment. Dionysus, the Lord of the UnderWorld and primarily a god of feasting ('the Son of Man commeth eating and drinking'), comes to be conceived as the Soul of the World and the inspirer of chastity and self purification. [J. M. Robertson may be referring to Attis here.] From the Mysteries of Dionysus and Isis comes the proclamation of the easy 'yoke'. Christ not only works the Dionysiac miracle, but calls himself the 'true vine.'"
"Like Christ, and like Adonis and Attis, Osiris and Dionysus also suffer and die and rise again. To become one with them is the mystical passion of their worshippers. They are all alike in that their mysteries give immortality. From Mithraism Christ takes the symbolic keys of heaven and hell and assumes the function of the virgin-born Saoshyant, the destroyer of the Evil One. Like Mithra, Merodach, and the Egyptian Khousu, he is the Mediator; like Khousu, Horus and Merodach, he is one of a trinity, like Horus he is grouped with a Divine Mother; like Khousu he is joined to the Logos; and like Merodach he is associated with the Holy Spirit, one of whose symbols is fire."
"In fundamentals, therefore, Christism is but paganism reshaped. It is only the economic and doctrinal evolution of the system--the first determined by Jewish practice and Roman environment, the second by Greek thought--that constitutes new phenomena in religious history." Pagan Christs by J.M. Robertson pages 52,53
No religion develops in a vacuum. All religions are influenced not only by it's predecessors but by the contemporaries of the time also. Such is the nature of Christism yesterday and today.
Now about Jesus the man, did he exist? I think not. All the teaching of Jesus can be attributed to other sources and grafted over the Gospel myth. Nothing he said was substantially different in any way from previous sayings. Jesus was not a man but a contrived myth.
"The Christian myth grew by absorbing details from pagan cults. The birth story is similar to many nativity myths in the pagan world. The Christ had to have a Virgin for a mother. Like the image of the child-god in the cult of Dionysus, he was pictured in swaddling clothes in a basket manger. He was born in a stable like Horus--the stable temple of the Virgin Goddess, Isis, Queen of Heaven. Again , like Dionysus, he turned water into wine, like Aesculapius, he raised men from the dead and gave sight to the blind; and like Attis and Adonis, he is mourned and rejoiced over by women. His resurrection took place, like that of Mithra, from a rock tomb."
The man Jesus did not exist. There are however sources that speak of others seeing him. These were secondhand sources. No direct observations were made. At one time or another we have all had a vision of Deity in our minds. Such is the sight of Jesus, a mental image.
What of the Gospels then? They are passion plays designed to be read or acted out in front of an audience. Passion plays were a common feature of pagan religion. Looking at the Gospels themselves one finds a chopply written, scene by scene, display of the life of the God man. Only the important aspects of his life are described. The minor events and influences of the life of Jesus are not recorded, which leaves one to think that the Gospels are indeed a play.
"When we turn from the reputed teaching of Jesus to the story of his career, the presumption is that it has a factual basis is so slender as to be negligible. The Church found it so difficult to settle the date of its alleged founder's birth that the Christian era was made to begin some years before the year which chronologists latter inferred on the strength of other documents. The nativity was placed at the winter solstice, thus coinciding with the birthday of the Sun-god. And the date for the crucifiction was made to vary from year to year to conform to the astronomical principle which fixed the Jewish Passover. [The Passover is moon based, an already familiar pagan method of cyclic, monthly dating.] In between the birth and death of Jesus, there is an almost total absence of information except about the brief period of his ministry. Of his life between the ages of twelve and thirty we know nothing. There are not even any myths. It is impossible to establish with any accuracy the duration of the ministry from the Gospels. According to the tradition it lasted one year, which suggests that it was either based on the formula 'the acceptable year of the Lord', or on the myth of the Sun-god." Pagan Christs by J.M. Robertson, page 68