Author Topic: Mithra-anity?  (Read 9819 times)

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Offline Charles Martel

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2013, 09:21:36 AM »
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The Mithraists worshipped in caves, of which a large number have been found. There were five at Ostia alone, but they were small and could perhaps hold at most 200 persons. In the apse of the cave stood the stone representation of Mithra slaying the bull, a piece of sculpture usually of mediocre artistic merit and always made after the same Pergamean model. The light usually fell through openings in the top as the caves were near the surface of the ground. A hideous monstrosity representing Kronos was also shown. A fire was kept perpetually burning in the sanctuary. Three times a day prayer was offered the sun toward the east, south, or west according to the hour. Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season
this is probably where the Moslems and anti-Christians say where we get our days of worship and Christ-Mass from.

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A Mithraic community was not merely a religious congregation; it was a social and legal body with its decemprimi, magistri, curatores, defensores, and patroni. These communities allowed no women as members. Women might console themselves by forming associations to worship Anaitis-Cybele; but whether these were associated with Mithraism seems doubtful. No proof of immorality or obscene practices, so often connected with esoteric pagan cults, has ever been established against Mithraism; and as far as can be ascertained, or rather conjectured it had an elevating and invigorating effect on its followers
More analogies to the Chruch.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm
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Offline Charles Martel

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #46 on: August 06, 2013, 09:34:53 AM »
In relation to the similarities between Christinaity and Mithraism, here's the rub;

A similarity between Mithra and Christ struck even early observers, such as Justin, Tertullian, and other Fathers, and in recent times has been urged to prove that Christianity is but an adaptation of Mithraism, or at most the outcome of the same religious ideas and aspirations (e.g. Robertson, "Pagan Christs", 1903). Against this erroneous and unscientific procedure, which is not endorsed by the greatest living authority on Mithraism, the following considerations must be brought forward.

(1) Our knowledge regarding Mithraism is very imperfect; some 600 brief inscriptions, mostly dedicatory, some 300 often fragmentary, exiguous, almost identical monuments, a few casual references in the Fathers or Acts of the Martyrs, and a brief polemic against Mithraism which the Armenian Eznig about 450 probably copied from Theodore of Mopsuestia (d. 428) who lived when Mithraism was almost a thing of the past — these are our only sources, unless we include the Avesta in which Mithra is indeed mentioned, but which cannot be an authority for Roman Mithraism with which Christianity is compared. Our knowledge is mostly ingenious guess-work; of the real inner working of Mithraism and the sense in which it was understood by those who professed it at the advent of Christianity, we know nothing.

(2) Some apparent similarities exist; but in a number of details it is quite probable that Mithraism was the borrower from Christianity. Tertullian about 200 could say: "hesterni sumus et omnia vestra implevmus" ("we are but of yesterday, yet your whole world is full of us"). It is not unnatural to suppose that a religion which filled the whole world, should have been copied at least in some details by another religion which was quite popular during the third century. Moreover the resemblances pointed out are superficial and external. Similarity in words and names is nothing; it is the sense that matters. More here..http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm

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Offline Charles Martel

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2013, 09:38:25 AM »
And lastly, the comparison of Christ himself and Mithras, Mithraism and Christinaity;

3) Christ was an historical personage, recently born in a well-known town of Judea, and crucified under a Roman governor, whose name figured in the ordinary official lists. Mithra was an abstraction, a personification not even of the sun but of the diffused daylight; his incarnation, if such it may be called, was supposed to have happened before the creation of the human race, before all history. The small Mithraic congregations were like masonic lodges for a few and for men only and even those mostly of one class, the military; a religion that excludes the half of the human race bears no comparison to the religion of Christ. Mithraism was all comprehensive and tolerant of every other cult, the Pater Patrum himself was an adept in a number of other religions; Christianity was essential exclusive, condemning every other religion in the world, alone and unique in its majesty.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm

Enough said for me. ;)
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #48 on: August 06, 2013, 09:42:09 AM »

Mithraism was emphatically a soldier religion: Mithra, its hero, was especially a divinity of fidelity, manliness, and bravery; the stress it laid on good fellowship and brotherliness, its exclusion of women, and the secret bond amongst its members have suggested the idea that Mithraism was Masonry amongst the Roman soldiery.[/i]


Exclusion of women? We have prophetesses and female disciples in the New Testament. It was a group of females who first saw the risen Lord. Heretics even claim that one of them was Yeshua's wife.  :laugh:
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2013, 09:42:50 AM »
Every time someone says Yeshua I kill a kitten. Have mercy on the kittens.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 09:44:51 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2013, 09:46:20 AM »
Every time someone says Yeshua I kill a kitten. Have mercy on the kittens.

 :o Thank YHWH you did not live in Adonai's days on earth. 
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2013, 09:48:58 AM »
"Please, Theophilus! Spare me!"

« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 12:35:02 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline Charles Martel

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2013, 09:55:56 AM »

Mithraism was emphatically a soldier religion: Mithra, its hero, was especially a divinity of fidelity, manliness, and bravery; the stress it laid on good fellowship and brotherliness, its exclusion of women, and the secret bond amongst its members have suggested the idea that Mithraism was Masonry amongst the Roman soldiery.[/i]


Exclusion of women? We have prophetesses and female disciples in the New Testament. It was a group of females who first saw the risen Lord. Heretics even claim that one of them was Yeshua's wife.  :laugh:
I was thinking more of the priesthood and it's exclusion of women (for obvious reasons).


But let's not lose sight of the fact that the most important human outside of Christ himself in Christianity is a woman.


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Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2013, 10:02:39 AM »
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(2) Some apparent similarities exist; but in a number of details it is quite probable that Mithraism was the borrower from Christianity.

This is where most of this ends up. In "probabilities". Which in the end is all conjecture. What is more likely is that The Mithraic Mysteries borrowed from Christianity and Christianity borrowed from the Pagan Mysteries. To suggest that a Religion of any sort NEVER takes from sources around it whether cultural or religious is absurd.

Every other faith or religion on the planet borrowed from someone/somewhere else. This is a fact. What would Christianity be without having borrowed from Judaism etc.?

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2013, 10:04:09 AM »
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The Mithraists worshipped in caves, of which a large number have been found. There were five at Ostia alone, but they were small and could perhaps hold at most 200 persons. In the apse of the cave stood the stone representation of Mithra slaying the bull, a piece of sculpture usually of mediocre artistic merit and always made after the same Pergamean model. The light usually fell through openings in the top as the caves were near the surface of the ground. A hideous monstrosity representing Kronos was also shown. A fire was kept perpetually burning in the sanctuary. Three times a day prayer was offered the sun toward the east, south, or west according to the hour. Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season
this is probably where the Moslems and anti-Christians say where we get our days of worship and Christ-Mass from.

A fire was kept perpetually burning in the sanctuary: reminds me of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra: because it was astrogically affiliated with the Sun? No reason is stated for that,but the reason for the choice of 25 December as Mithra's birthday suggests so. In Christianity Sunday is considered the Lord's day because Yeshua rose on that day. Mithra was not believed to die and rise again.

Actually, Mithraism is all about power, prowess, manhood. The core message of Christianity is salvation through the Savior's suffering, humiliation, and death. Proclaiming the crucified Christ makes Christianity so dissimilar to Mithraism.

What Muslim propagandists forget is that the Qur'an makes the Islamist prophet Isa similar to Mithra more than the New Testament. For instance, the Qur'an says that Mary received the good news of Isa's birth and conceived him in an Eastern place (affiliated with the Sun). More, traditional tafsir says that Mary conceived Isa on the shortest day of the year (that's in winter, close to 25 December). The Qur'an also says that Isa was born under a tree and near a rivulet. Isa escaped his enemies and was taken up to heaven. He will come again and kill the pig (rather than the bull!) and gain victory against non-Muslims. The Qur'an says that Hell has seven doors....

Maybe I should prepare a video in response to that guy and show him the amazing similarities between Mithraism and Islam.  :laugh:
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Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2013, 10:05:08 AM »
"Please, Theophilus! Spare me!"



Your wish granted.  ;D
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Offline Cyrillic

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2013, 10:05:19 AM »
Every other faith or religion on the planet borrowed from someone/somewhere else. This is a fact. What would Christianity be without having borrowed from Judaism etc.?

"For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity"
-St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, X.

Your wish granted.  ;D

Nope. It's still in your jurisdiction. The kitten in the picture is now kitten meat thanks to you.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 10:06:17 AM by Cyrillic »

Offline Romaios

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2013, 10:06:36 AM »
Every time someone says Yeshua I kill a kitten. Have mercy on the kittens.

Κυριλλικὸς ὁ αἰλουροκτόνος!  :laugh:

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2013, 10:09:40 AM »
Every time someone says Yeshua I kill a kitten. Have mercy on the kittens.

Κυριλλικὸς ὁ αἰλουροκτόνος!  :laugh:

It always sounds better in Greek  :)

Offline Charles Martel

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2013, 10:13:14 AM »
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The Qur'an says that Hell has seven doors....

It also mentions seven heavens.

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Maybe I should prepare a video in response to that guy and show him the amazing similarities between Mithraism and Islam. 
Maybe you should. ;)
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Offline Charles Martel

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2013, 10:19:19 AM »
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Every other faith or religion on the planet borrowed from someone/somewhere else. This is a fact. What would Christianity be without having borrowed from Judaism etc.?
Seeing that in fact that it was actually Islam that supplanted most of the lands previously dominated by Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, do you know of any aspects which they "borrowed" from those ancient myths?

Islam calims to be fiercly independant of "pagan" religions, yet it actually recongnizes people like Zoroaster and Buddha as real prophets claiming messages from Allah before Mohamed came and became the final word from God with the Quran.
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Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2013, 10:59:11 AM »
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"For Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity"
-St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, X.

This says nothing if you really think about it.

Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2013, 11:01:37 AM »
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Seeing that in fact that it was actually Islam that supplanted most of the lands previously dominated by Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, do you know of any aspects which they "borrowed" from those ancient myths?

Not off of the top of my head. Although it would be a natural thing to have happened. Cultures and religions rub off on each other. This is a fact. It is highly doubtful that Islam would be excluded from this scenario. Many Muslims still celebrate essentially Zotoastrian festivals to this day, albeit variations of those feasts. So even Zoroastrianism isn't completely dead in Muslim lands or hearts.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #63 on: August 06, 2013, 11:54:20 AM »
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There were seven degrees of initiation into the Mithraic mysteries.
Seven Sacraments?

This is a very minor point to make here, but the above caught my attention and I figured I'd comment. As we've discussed briefly elsewhere (see replies 467 through 474), the numbering of sacraments at seven isn't really an ancient tradition, in the east anyway, and while it has become the norm in modern sacramental discussions, to the point where you could claim that it is de facto the Orthodox position, nonetheless, Orthodoxy has never insisted on a very specific set of seven sacraments and then a separate category for other sacramental-like things. I'm not sure when those in the Latin-speaking Church, or the west, or wherever/whoever, settled on the number seven, but I would assume that it was too late to have been influenced by Mithraism, on this particular point anyway.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #64 on: August 06, 2013, 12:00:19 PM »
Cultures and religions rub off on each other. This is a fact. It is highly doubtful that Islam would be excluded from this scenario. Many Muslims still celebrate essentially Zotoastrian festivals to this day, albeit variations of those feasts. So even Zoroastrianism isn't completely dead in Muslim lands or hearts.

This is somewhat off topic, but this (and some other comments) reminded me of a video I watched about the combination of Christian and Guatemalan indigenous religious beliefs/practices, with some interesting results. Anyway, I don't want to steer the thread off topic, I just found the video so interesting that I thought I'd mention it.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2013, 12:13:06 PM »
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If "this issue" is "MUCH bigger than that video", please highlight for those of us who are dull what "this issue" actually is.  Again, I focused on the video because that seemed to be important to some, but I guess that's not it.  What is actually at issue here?  Lay it out clearly.  

If you can't figure out what the issues are in this thread by a simply reading, there is no hope for you.

In other words, you can't do it.  After all, that is the standard you seem to be applying to others.  

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Prove to us that you are even serious about debunking this issue. Everyone keeps saying:
"It's been TOTALLY discredited!!!"

Where and by whom? Prove what you are saying. It isn't my place to prove what all of you are saying. Either back up what you claim or stop posting in the thread.

I watched the video in the OP, responded to what I knew I could, and deferred to others on what I couldn't.  You say that's not enough.  I ask you twice to lay out clearly what is at issue here, and you respond as you did above.  That's fine, but that's the end of any meaningful exchange between us.  If it makes you feel better to think I'm hopelessly stupid, have fun with that.  

As for not posting in this thread, unless the mods step in and tell me otherwise, I'll post wherever the heck I want and whenever I feel like it.  If you don't like it, don't read it or don't respond to it.  It's very simple, apparently simpler than explaining the main issue of this thread.        
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #66 on: August 06, 2013, 12:14:45 PM »
Every time someone says Yeshua I kill a kitten. Have mercy on the kittens.

Should I stop praying in Syriac?  :P
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #67 on: August 06, 2013, 12:21:24 PM »
Not sure who Aziz Ansari is, but are you seriously suggesting that the infantile idiots that create such an offensivley childish production as "South Park" should be taken with more credibility than a highly educated moselm theologian considered as arguably the most influential Islamic scholar in the West? Not to be rude, but, If anything, statments like that would cause one to lose their "credibility" in the discussion.

I'm not aware of the man in the Youtube video being "the most influential Islamic scholar in the West".  If you say he is, then I'll accept that.  But if he gets simple stuff about Christianity wrong, that causes him to lose his own "credibility" in the discussion. 

I suppose you don't watch South Park, so I presume you never watched the episode making fun of Mormonism.  You should watch it.  It's clever and arguably more factual about Mormonism than your Youtube video is about Christianity.  But I wouldn't expect Mormons to feel obligated to offer a serious defence of their religion against a South Park episode because, after all, it's South Park.  That was my point.   

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Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #68 on: August 06, 2013, 12:29:58 PM »
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In other words, you can't do it.  After all, that is the standard you seem to be applying to others.  

In other words you refuse to do it because you can't? No one will do better than Justin Martyr. WHICH you have completely ignored. See my posts from Saint Justin. He couldn't adequately explain the similarities either. You will do no better, which is evidenced by your refusal to post anything from the Fathers or anywhere else for that matter.

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This is where most of this ends up. In "probabilities". Which in the end is all conjecture. What is more likely is that The Mithraic Mysteries borrowed from Christianity and Christianity borrowed from the Pagan Mysteries. To suggest that a Religion of any sort NEVER takes from sources around it whether cultural or religious is absurd.

Every other faith or religion on the planet borrowed from someone/somewhere else. This is a fact. What would Christianity be without having borrowed from Judaism etc.?

Care to debunk the quote above? Or would you rather stall for another 3 pages?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 12:32:19 PM by PoorFoolNicholas »

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #69 on: August 06, 2013, 12:36:17 PM »
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1:06 - Sunday is called "Sunday" or "Day of the Sun" only in English and in some related languages.  In Latin and Greek, and related languages, the word is "The Lord's Day".  In Syriac, it's simply "first (day) in the week" (I don't know if the other Semitic languages follow suit).  It is cute but disingenuous to make an argument about Christianity's links with Sun worship based on a "pun" which only works in particular languages and is not universal within Christianity.  

Care to back this up? Or is that too difficult?

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #70 on: August 06, 2013, 01:05:24 PM »
I agree, but I'm interested what others might have to say on the subject, others who are perhaps more learned and versed than I am and have a deeper, more sound theological source in their "research" on the subject. Don't think I haven't heard this "Mithra" and analogy to Christ stuff before, I have, just not from Moslem sources and don't dismiss Hamza Yusuf so easily he is well read, intelligent and very eloquent in public speaking, he also a Westerner, part Greek and formerly Orthodox from what I've heard from his interviews in the past.

As I said before, my knowledge on the cult of Mithras is fairly superficial, so I don't feel comfortable addressing that at the level you seem to require.  Perhaps others will.  

I don't make a habit of dismissing people without a hearing.  But again, if he's so well read, intelligent, and an influential scholar, he shouldn't be making simple errors and passing them off as truth.  It doesn't do his listeners or his reputation any good.  

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But he can be very convincing to those not grounded in their faith and unlike many Arabic radicals, this guy comes off as very attractive for the Western/European curious about Islam and very capable of winning "converts" to a more acceptable, warm and fuzzy version of Islam, he is much more dangerous to the Faith than the most fierce, radical, fundamentalist Islamist.

Sure, he can be very convincing to those not grounded in their faith.  Lots of things can be convincing to those not grounded in their faith, not just fuzzy Islam.  But in the prioritised to-do list of Christianity, teaching people what we believe and encouraging them to grow in their knowledge and practice of the faith (i.e., getting them grounded) is much more important than responding to every dog that barks (note: that's a figure of speech, not an ad hominem).  If we spent all our time responding to every argument against us, no matter how stupid the argument, just because it is an argument *against* us, we'd never get anything positive done.

I don't know if I agree with the idea that this gentleman is much more dangerous to the faith than radical Islam.  Lukewarm or "fuzzy" Christians are more dangerous to the faith than anything outside the faith.    

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Many of us in the West believe that the most of the danger from Islam comes from their violence and "spread with the sword" mentality and this is true to an extent, but the best way to defeat a religion is to intellectually discredit it while coming off as a, educated, charitable nice guy "enlightening" those ignorant of what they really believe and convince you that you are really coming from the truth. To be honest, much of the spread of  Christianity was successful this way.

The intellctual battleground is usually the first war to be won. It seems much of Christianity is losing on this front these days as well in many places, that's why it's numbers are dropping drastically in some areas and Islam is rising. One charismatic Yusuf can be far more effective than a thousand Bin Ladens.
 

If Christian numbers are dropping and Islam's are rising, I don't think that is exclusively or even primarily because of bad Christian apologetics.  Christians and Muslims probably have equal amounts of sex, but one group is pushing out more babies than the other.  That's a problem, and the reasons for it are problems too.  Lukewarm Christians are another problem.  "Political correctness" in once Christian societies is another issue.  The selfishness and materialism of people, and the discarding of God in order to do what one feels like, is another problem.  And so on.  It's more complicated than blaming it on poor apologetics.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't think Christianity is losing the intellectual battle against Islam.  I think the proponents of "science" over and against religion are much more effective, even though I believe there's no significant conflict between science and faith.  They speak with the authority of what can be demonstrably known, and to those not grounded in faith, that's always going to be more appealing than "God".  Science claims to give the the uninitiated observer a direct, immediate, guaranteed experience of its "truth", an experience you can have without "buying in" first or without committing yourself to a certain way of life.  To "know" God, on the other hand, typically you have to be committed in advance, believing that he's out there, living in a God-pleasing way etc., before you can reach any kind of direct experience approximating what science offers for its claims.  That's hard.    

Edit: tags
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 01:05:59 PM by Mor Ephrem »
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #71 on: August 06, 2013, 01:14:48 PM »
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1:06 - Sunday is called "Sunday" or "Day of the Sun" only in English and in some related languages.  In Latin and Greek, and related languages, the word is "The Lord's Day".  In Syriac, it's simply "first (day) in the week" (I don't know if the other Semitic languages follow suit).  It is cute but disingenuous to make an argument about Christianity's links with Sun worship based on a "pun" which only works in particular languages and is not universal within Christianity.  

Care to back this up? Or is that too difficult?

I'm not going to list all the words for Sunday that exist in every language, no.  But since the Latin and Greek names for Sunday have been given in this thread, I'll simply say that the word for Sunday in Syriac is had bshabo, where had is the word for "one" or here "first", b functions as the preposition "in" or "of", and shabo is "week". 
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #72 on: August 06, 2013, 01:21:59 PM »
Quote
1:06 - Sunday is called "Sunday" or "Day of the Sun" only in English and in some related languages.  In Latin and Greek, and related languages, the word is "The Lord's Day".  In Syriac, it's simply "first (day) in the week" (I don't know if the other Semitic languages follow suit).  It is cute but disingenuous to make an argument about Christianity's links with Sun worship based on a "pun" which only works in particular languages and is not universal within Christianity.  

Care to back this up? Or is that too difficult?

I'm not going to list all the words for Sunday that exist in every language, no.  But since the Latin and Greek names for Sunday have been given in this thread, I'll simply say that the word for Sunday in Syriac is had bshabo, where had is the word for "one" or here "first", b functions as the preposition "in" or "of", and shabo is "week". 

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Our names for days of the week are based on translations of Latin terms: days of the week in ancient Rome were named after the planets, a category which at that time was considered to include the sun and moon (after which Monday was named)

Seems the Oxford dictionary doesn't completely agree with your idea.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/Sunday

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #73 on: August 06, 2013, 01:25:21 PM »
In other words you refuse to do it because you can't? No one will do better than Justin Martyr. WHICH you have completely ignored.

I ignored it because it wasn't in the OP, which was all I was referring to because, IIRC, your contention at one point was that no one was engaging with the OP.  

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See my posts from Saint Justin. He couldn't adequately explain the similarities either. You will do no better, which is evidenced by your refusal to post anything from the Fathers or anywhere else for that matter.

No.  Again, I have limited myself in this thread to the OP, in which St Justin is not mentioned.  As for my "refusal" to post anything from the Fathers, I still don't know what your point is.  And when I ask, you give me some gnostic sounding "if you don't get it, I can't help you" type response.  I'm not going to go dig up and post patristic quotes if I don't know what I'm addressing.  

Moreover, patristic proof-texting is helpful only to a point.  If you don't read the quotes in context of the whole, you're not going to appreciate the function of the parts.  Quotes are perfectly acceptable if they mean what the saint meant and was trying to accomplish.  But if you just lift something out of context that he said because he "said" it, without appreciating what he meant, it's not going to help.  

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Quote
This is where most of this ends up. In "probabilities". Which in the end is all conjecture. What is more likely is that The Mithraic Mysteries borrowed from Christianity and Christianity borrowed from the Pagan Mysteries. To suggest that a Religion of any sort NEVER takes from sources around it whether cultural or religious is absurd.

Every other faith or religion on the planet borrowed from someone/somewhere else. This is a fact. What would Christianity be without having borrowed from Judaism etc.?

Care to debunk the quote above? Or would you rather stall for another 3 pages?

What am I supposed to debunk?  That Christianity has similarities with other religions?  There's nothing to debunk there.  What are you alleging that these similarities indicate?  
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #74 on: August 06, 2013, 01:30:41 PM »
Quote
What am I supposed to debunk?  That Christianity has similarities with other religions?  There's nothing to debunk there.  What are you alleging that these similarities indicate?  

Thank you! So you agree there are similarities? That is my only point. It is a natural and fluid part of culture and religion to acquire and use from sources around them. This doesn't bother me at all. Others want to say it hasn't happened at all in Christianity which is absurd. That's my only point. You said here:

Quote
As I said before, my knowledge on the cult of Mithras is fairly superficial, so I don't feel comfortable addressing that at the level you seem to require.  Perhaps others will.  

Saint Justin Martyr says this about Mithras and Christianity having similarities:

Quote
For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.
[First Apology, Chapter LXVI]

If Saint Justin had no real response other than saying it was the devil, then no one else has a chance of doing any better. The apologetics of Christians concerning this issue is very weak.

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #75 on: August 06, 2013, 01:38:39 PM »
Quote
1:06 - Sunday is called "Sunday" or "Day of the Sun" only in English and in some related languages.  In Latin and Greek, and related languages, the word is "The Lord's Day".  In Syriac, it's simply "first (day) in the week" (I don't know if the other Semitic languages follow suit).  It is cute but disingenuous to make an argument about Christianity's links with Sun worship based on a "pun" which only works in particular languages and is not universal within Christianity.  

Care to back this up? Or is that too difficult?

I'm not going to list all the words for Sunday that exist in every language, no.  But since the Latin and Greek names for Sunday have been given in this thread, I'll simply say that the word for Sunday in Syriac is had bshabo, where had is the word for "one" or here "first", b functions as the preposition "in" or "of", and shabo is "week". 

Quote
Our names for days of the week are based on translations of Latin terms: days of the week in ancient Rome were named after the planets, a category which at that time was considered to include the sun and moon (after which Monday was named)

Seems the Oxford dictionary doesn't completely agree with your idea.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/Sunday

I note that the Oxford dictionary, while claiming that, does not provide a citation to defend the claim.  I'm fine with that, but it doesn't seem to meet your strict standards, so I'm curious why you think it is legitimate.  

You are intentionally obfuscating.  My idea, which you asked me to defend, regarded the Syriac term for Sunday, and the Oxford dictionary doesn't say anything about that.  I maintain that the Latin and Greek terms for Sunday basically mean "the Lord's Day".  These are the terms used by the Church and the New Testament from the beginning.  In the video in the OP, the "scholar" argues that Christians worship on Sunday because of its connection with the Sun.  No.  Christians worship on Sunday because the Resurrection happened on the day after the Sabbath (we're talking Jewish week, not Latin week).  No where in Scripture will you find Sunday described as "the day of the sun".  It is either "the Lord's Day" or "the first of the week"/"one after the Sabbath".  

Now, if the Latin, pre-Christian term for that day of the week is dies solis, so what?  Lots of languages have names for the days of the week that have different origins.  "Sunday" wasn't the Jewish name for that day of the week, and we're talking about Christianity, which arose from Judaism.  Is Jesus supposed to rise on a "false-god-neutral" day of the week in order for Christianity to be sound?    
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #76 on: August 06, 2013, 01:45:03 PM »
Quote
Christians worship on Sunday because the Resurrection happened on the day after the Sabbath (we're talking Jewish week, not Latin week).

This is something we can agree on. Just for my own knowledge, when did Christians first start worshipping on Sunday?

Also my only point is that Sunday can mean "day of the sun", not that it must ALWAYS mean that.

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #77 on: August 06, 2013, 01:58:28 PM »
Quote
What am I supposed to debunk?  That Christianity has similarities with other religions?  There's nothing to debunk there.  What are you alleging that these similarities indicate?  

Thank you! So you agree there are similarities? That is my only point. It is a natural and fluid part of culture and religion to acquire and use from sources around them. This doesn't bother me at all. Others want to say it hasn't happened at all in Christianity which is absurd. That's my only point.

Sure, there are similarities.  I don't know if others want to say that it hasn't happened in Christianity at all, though, I think you may be reading that into the matter.  

If the claim is simply "Elements of Christian theology and myth have parallels in the theologies and myths of other religions", then sure.

If the claim is "Christianity acquired and used images and ideas borrowed from the religions and cults of its neighbours in the formation of its own theology and myth", then I'd say no, unless we're talking specifically about Judaism.    

You said here:

Quote
Saint Justin Martyr says this about Mithras and Christianity having similarities:

Quote
For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.
[First Apology, Chapter LXVI]

If Saint Justin had no real response other than saying it was the devil, then no one else has a chance of doing any better. The apologetics of Christians concerning this issue is very weak.

No, because that's not the only thing St Justin had to say.  You repeatedly claim that no one can do it better than St Justin as if it is a fact.  The only fact is that St Justin did it the best way St Justin could do it.  But St Justin had more to say than one or two quotes in this thread.      

In another thread, it has been claimed that it was a rhetorical style in the "patristic period" to use polemic in attacking a certain viewpoint.  If this was the case in the time of St Justin, then I think that use of rhetoric has to be factored in to our understanding of all this talk about "devils" imitating Christian mysteries (we need to appreciate the context).  That said, I don't know if I'm comfortable saying it's all rhetoric only.  If you study modern books on the ministry of exorcism, for example, it's not uncommon to find the claim that the demons/occult practitioners imitate Christian mysteries in order to mock them and deceive others.  Granted, their "source" is their experience in liberating demoniacs, hearing things said by the demons, observing their tactics, etc.  It's a different type of "knowledge", but I'm not going to dismiss it outright because it doesn't really contradict our faith, it seems to agree with it in some ways.      

But moving in a slightly less "negative" direction, I believe St Justin spends time elsewhere in his writings talking about the "seeds of the Word" which are present in other religions as a way of preparing them in advance for the coming of Christ.  Here, it's not devilish imping of Christian mysteries, but God's providence anticipating the coming of Christ so that the Gentiles would be able to see in Christ the fulfillment of what their own religions stood for.    
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #78 on: August 06, 2013, 02:00:56 PM »
This is something we can agree on. Just for my own knowledge, when did Christians first start worshipping on Sunday?

It's attested in the New Testament, so certainly within the lifetime of the twelve apostles.

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Also my only point is that Sunday can mean "day of the sun", not that it must ALWAYS mean that.

Sure.  But the point of the guy in the Youtube video was based on the fact that it DOES mean that, and not anything else.  All I said was that such an argument falls apart in a language apart from English and those related to it. 

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #79 on: August 06, 2013, 02:13:04 PM »
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Sure.  But the point of the guy in the Youtube video was based on the fact that it DOES mean that, and not anything else.  All I said was that such an argument falls apart in a language apart from English and those related to it. 

Ok. Forgive me for misunderstanding, you are correct.

Quote
If the claim is "Christianity acquired and used images and ideas borrowed from the religions and cults of its neighbours in the formation of its own theology and myth", then I'd say no, unless we're talking specifically about Judaism.

Really? REALLY? Judaism isn't exempt from syncretism but Christianity is?

Quote
But moving in a slightly less "negative" direction, I believe St Justin spends time elsewhere in his writings talking about the "seeds of the Word" which are present in other religions as a way of preparing them in advance for the coming of Christ.  Here, it's not devilish imping of Christian mysteries, but God's providence anticipating the coming of Christ so that the Gentiles would be able to see in Christ the fulfillment of what their own religions stood for.

Yet again another weak argument that attempts to explain away what looks like syncretism. Yes he is correct that the message was out there even among the Gentiles. This doesn't mean that Christianity DIDN'T take and borrow from the religions around them during the first few centuries.

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #80 on: August 06, 2013, 10:47:48 PM »
Quote
If the claim is "Christianity acquired and used images and ideas borrowed from the religions and cults of its neighbours in the formation of its own theology and myth", then I'd say no, unless we're talking specifically about Judaism.

Really? REALLY? Judaism isn't exempt from syncretism but Christianity is?

I made no claim about syncretism in Judaism, so why try to change the subject?  All I meant above was that Christianity is and can be entirely derived from Judaism without a need for borrowing from other religions and cults.  I wasn't talking about any other religion.       

Quote
Quote
But moving in a slightly less "negative" direction, I believe St Justin spends time elsewhere in his writings talking about the "seeds of the Word" which are present in other religions as a way of preparing them in advance for the coming of Christ.  Here, it's not devilish imping of Christian mysteries, but God's providence anticipating the coming of Christ so that the Gentiles would be able to see in Christ the fulfillment of what their own religions stood for.

Yet again another weak argument that attempts to explain away what looks like syncretism. Yes he is correct that the message was out there even among the Gentiles.

You're entitled to believe this is a weak argument.  That does not necessarily make it so, but you are free. 

I don't know if any of the people St Justin was addressing ever ended up converting because of the persuasiveness of his arguments.  I'm not sure if that was even his main goal, though I'm sure he would've loved it.  I think St Justin was giving a Christian response to critics of the faith; he was not giving the "scrupulously unbiased, quasi-scientific explication of Christian claims" to people expressing "scrupulously unbiased, quasi-scientific critiques regarding Christian claims".  It's no surprise that St Justin had an agenda, but it should also not be a surprise that his critics had one as well. 

If, like St Justin, you are starting from the point of view that Christianity is not just "true" but "the truth", then the issue he's addressing is not "How does this new, upstart religion claim to be the only truth when it appears that it borrowed everything from pre-existing religions?"  That may be what his critics want to know, but he's not addressing that because, from his POV, it's the wrong question.  The real issue he's addressing is "How do manifestly false religious systems contain as much of the truth as they evidently do?"  His response is to develop the concept of logos spermatikos.  Again, you are free to think that's a weak argument, but he's not addressing the point you want him to address and that you think he's addressing or ought to address.  And unfortunately, he's dead, so he can't do anything about it.

BTW, what I bolded above is so vague as to be meaningless.  What do you mean by it?   

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This doesn't mean that Christianity DIDN'T take and borrow from the religions around them during the first few centuries.

You have yet to definitively prove that Christianity DID IN FACT "take and borrow from the religions around them during the first few centuries".  All anyone has done in this thread in this regard is show that there are similarities between Christianity and neighbouring religions/cults.  Heck, there are similarities between Christianity and far away foreign religions/cults like Hinduism.  So what?  You reject Christian claims that these are derived from Judaism, from Christ himself, etc. and assert that it's all borrowed, but you present no proof of that, and you reject Christian responses as insufficient and weak.  All you do is point to similarities and insist that they are all borrowed as if it's so self-evident that it requires no proof.  Nothing is more insufficient and weak than that. 
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #81 on: August 07, 2013, 11:55:26 AM »
Cognitive dissonance...

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #82 on: August 07, 2013, 12:02:40 PM »
Cognitive dissonance...

You did this in another thread elsewhere, if I'm not mistaken, without actually engaging with what you disagree except to mock.  You're welcome to think that it makes you sound suave and sophisticated, but all it makes you sound like is a poor fool named Nicholas. 
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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #83 on: August 07, 2013, 12:19:10 PM »
Cognitive dissonance...

Quote from: Flavius Josephus
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

(Reconstruction of the Testimonium Flavianum)

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #84 on: August 07, 2013, 12:26:54 PM »
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...poor fool named Nicholas

Exactly.

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Re: Mithra-anity?
« Reply #85 on: August 07, 2013, 12:38:15 PM »
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...poor fool named Nicholas

Exactly.

That point of agreement seems like as good a place as any to stop.  :)
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