How original is Christianity?

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  1. andrew savage profile image58
    andrew savageposted 11 years ago

    It seems that there are a lot of similarities between Christianity and more ancient religions. Why?

    1. Zelkiiro profile image86
      Zelkiiroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Because creativity is sinful. See: 2nd commandment.

  2. GodTalk profile image61
    GodTalkposted 11 years ago

    The idea that there are similarities between religions matches perfectly with the biblical idea that we all are created by God, and came from the same ancestors, Adam and Eve. Having common ancestors, we all have a common heritage and the history that is passed down should be common as well. Scripture teaches that mankind all knew the one true God in the beginning but did not choose to glorify Him as God. (Romans 1). Thus, the stories that were later told as the cultures got farther and farther away from the God of the Bible began to be embellished and changed until we have the similar, though different stories that we have today in various areas of the world.
       It would actually be very strange indeed, if there weren't similar stories in various cultures. It would lead one to believe the more fanciful tales that many have come to believe about life evolving from some primordial soup millions of years ago. And they just assume that the primordial soup was there. There is no attempt to tell us where this all came from, or how life can come from non-life. Fanciful indeed!

  3. Rob Lattin profile image69
    Rob Lattinposted 11 years ago

    Hi GodTalk. Your explanation is correct. What those who discredit the Christian (and early Judaic) religion try to do is assert that somehow Christianity "stole" its concepts and beliefs from more ancient civilizations. Once that is accepted, they "prove" that Christianity is a man-made religion (which it is not).
    Christianity is the fulfillment of the Old Law of Judaism which goes back before it was formalized by Moses to Adam and Eve. Nothing can be more ancient than that. Good Question andrew and good answer GodTalk.

    1. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is no need to assert or discredit Christianity because it was stolen form previous religions of more ancient civilizations, one simply has to compare the doctrines to see the similarities, they prove themselves without any intervention, whatsoever. smile

      1. Zelkiiro profile image86
        Zelkiiroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Avatar came out 19 years after Dances With Wolves and 15 years after Fern Gully, but haters try to discredit Avatar by saying that James Cameron somehow "stole" his concepts and story arc from older movies. Once that is accepted, they "prove" that James Cameron is an unoriginal hack (which he clearly is not).

        1. andrew savage profile image58
          andrew savageposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          While I believe the concepts between the movies you listed are similar, it is important to understand that concepts are not a form of property and are not able to be stolen- they can only be re-adapted and reformulated. If Christianity, Islam and Judaism adapted concepts of earlier religions, I am not saying that the religions are stolen, however it is important to understand the true origins of a religion before binding yourself to the apparent fundamentals of said religion.

      2. Rob Lattin profile image69
        Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        A Troubled Man ---I find it interesting that you use the word "stolen" as opposed  to something more understandable in a discussion like this. Why not use the words "developed", "augmented", "supplanted", or even "fulfilled"? Nothing in Christainity was stolen because the Church teaches "Thou Shall Not Steal" and Christ himself would not set up a religion based on primitive forms. You can say that there are many similarities as you can find similarities in anything but to assume Christianity stole is absurd. There are similarities between satanism and Christianity so did one steal from the other? There are similarities between atheism and Judaism, does that mean one stole from the other. When I see tersm such as stealing I see an agenda.

        1. A Troubled Man profile image58
          A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Other than 'supplanted', I don't how those other words are relative.

          Of course, if Christians didn't steal, prisons would be almost empty. smile

          1. Rob Lattin profile image69
            Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            The other side of the coin is if Christianity did not steal its tenets then there would be no Christianity.
            And your second point (ha) that's why we see no Muslims in jail.

            1. A Troubled Man profile image58
              A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Ah, if only they had been honest men. Galileo might have been the first man on the moon. smile

              But, we do. In fact, prisons are primarily filled with believers.

              1. profile image0
                Beth37posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Curious as to where you got that info.

                1. profile image0
                  Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Probably from some statistic or other.  ATM, this is really not a valid argument.  People who are evil, manipulative, violent, without conscience, whatever - are willing to take up any mantle they can to get their way.  Gettin' religion in prison is one of the quickest ways to get out, and don't think inmates don't jump on that bandwagon for just that reason.  Not to mention - let's just look at the sheer numbers game of it - if say, 1% of the world's entire population were green, it might well be expected that there wouldn't be a high number of green people in prison.  Conversely, since statistically, at least for people who even choose to answer the question, there is a large portion of the human population that claims to believe.  Hence, it would make worlds of sense that a lot of folks in prison would claim the same.  Until we come to understand that Christianity (and other belief systems) are even more cultural than religious, we're going to have this argument ad infinitum, and it's just lost its steam, IMO.

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image58
                    A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    True, but I'm sure prison authorities are wise to that game. The thing is that the biographies are filled out "before" they go into lock up.

                    Even on a per capita basis, believers overwhelm the majority of prison inmates over non-believers. Sorry, but that speaks volumes of the lack of morals and ethics not being taught by religions.

                2. A Troubled Man profile image58
                  A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  They are called "prison biography statistics" in which a convict fills out a biography when they get incarcerated. Religion is one of the choices. Simple, really.

      3. Rob Lattin profile image69
        Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Troubled Man: The more I think about your comment about stealing, the more I realize that nothing could be further from the truth. Christianity founded by God, that church which we call Catholic which includes Orthodox is totally unique. How religions were founded by God? Only 1. How many have Communion where bread and wine becomes the actual body and blood of Christ. Which religion did Christiantiiy steal from where the God-man walked on water, changed water into wine and healed thousands of people? Which religion showed the resurrection from the dead of its king and master. Which religion teaches forgiveness, purgatory, the Virgin birth, or 3 persons in ONE God? There are none, and as Godtalk had mentioned all the religions which people claim came before Christianity were the diluted version of the original worship of the one true God from Adam and Eve down to Moses and to fulfillment with Christ.  Actually, the best thing for this audience is if someone were graph what exactly Christianity stole. There is nothing in the basic Creed of Christians that was even remotely borrowed let alone stolen from any pagan religion.

        1. A Troubled Man profile image58
          A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Mithra, Osiris and Apollonius of Tyana are but three of the many ancient religions that have all and more of the examples you cited above contained in their doctrines. This is common knowledge.

          1. Rob Lattin profile image69
            Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Now I understand where you're coming from and my initial hunch was correct. Unfortunately the names you quoted is merely grabbing at straws and proves nothing. Actually I can cite more proof of where Darwin stole his theory of evolution than all "Christ as myth" theories there are.

            1. A Troubled Man profile image58
              A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              No, I am not grabbing at straws, anyone can read the doctrines of those religions and see the glaring similarities. Sorry, that you wish to deny that fact.

              Okay, where did Darwin steal the theory of evolution?

              1. Rob Lattin profile image69
                Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                One such person was his very own grandfather Erasmus.

                And for the glaring similarities, I am sorry, but they ain't there. But I will tell you what, I will look more deeply into your 3 gods and make my own graph and should I find a solid similarity, I will present it. The caveat is that I will research from my university library and not from a website with an anti-Christian agenda which bends the truth to prove its position.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image58
                  A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Really, I thought you were going to talk about the Darwin-Wallace mystery...

         … 062545.htm

                  Here are the doctrines for Osiris as an example, the other religions boast the same ones...

                  OSIRIS – EGYPT: He came to fulfill the law. Called "KRST," the "Anointed One." Born of the virgin Isis-Meri on December 25th in a cave / manger, with his birth announced by a star and attended by three wise men. Earthly father named "Seb" (translates to "Joseph.") At age 12 he was a child teacher in the Temple and at 30 he was baptized, having disappeared for 18 years. Osiris was baptized in the river Iarutana -- the river Jordan -- by "Anup the Baptizer," who was beheaded. (Anup translates to John.) He performed miracles, exorcised demons, raised El-Osiris from the dead. Walked on water and was betrayed by Typhon, crucified between two thieves on the 17th day of the month of Athyr. Buried in a tomb from which he arose on the third day (19th Athyr) and was resurrected. His suffering, death, and resurrection celebrated each year by His disciples on the Vernal Equinox -- Easter. Called "The Way, the Truth, the Light," "Messiah," "god's Anointed Son,' the "Son of Man," the "Word made Flesh," the "word of truth."  Expected to reign a thousand years.

                  MITHRA - PERSIA:  Hundreds of years before Jesus, according to the Mithraic religion, three Wise Men of Persia came to visit the baby savior-god Mithra, bring him gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. Mithra was born on December 25 as told in the “Great Religions of the World”, page 330; “…it was the winter solstice celebrated by ancients as the birthday of Mithraism’s sun god”.
                  According to Mithraism, before Mithra died on a cross, he celebrated a “Last Supper with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac. After the death of Mithra, his body was laid to rest in a rock tomb. Mithra had a celibate priesthood. Mithra ascended into heaven during the spring (Passover) equinox (the time when the sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length).

                  That's a really nice biased, preconceived notion, it should help you justify anything.

                  1. andrew savage profile image58
                    andrew savageposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Very interesting. Thank you for your insightful contribution.

                  2. Zelkiiro profile image86
                    Zelkiiroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    That's really interesting, actually. Makes you wonder how the early Judeo-Christians got away with that amount of plagiarism.

                  3. Rob Lattin profile image69
                    Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Nice try but this is pure fabrication. Nut was Osiris' mother and Isis was his sister-wife. Same problems with Mithra. all of it. It's futile to bother with the rest of your story.

  4. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 11 years ago

    Religions evolve with both changing culture and knowledge.  Mankind is both a curious and fearful animal; very early religious clearly show the fear of death.  Both homo neanderthalensis and cro-magnon (Homo sapiens sapiens) buried their dead with tools and trinkets for use in the presumed after life.  Both far, far predated any supposed date that Christianity provides for the emergence of man; in particular Neanderthal was roaming the earth hundreds of thousands of years before modern Christianity indicates that Adam and Eve were created.  Even Cro-Magnon man is nearly 50,000 years old; at least 5 times the age of proposed dates of the Christian formation of man.

    Nearly every religion, regardless of the date, includes the idea of creation as well, and those ideas change as we learn more about the physical universe around us.  Very early may have assumed the earth has always been here, but as we learned that everything changes that may have changed that belief into one of creation.  As everything we know in everyday life requires a cause, a creator(s) must have been the cause.

    In addition, there are other facets that are very common in various religions; sacrifice is one such.  The shamans and priests have always demanded a sacrifice of some sort, and usually the more valuable the sacrifice the more important it will be in the eyes of the gods.  A bunch of radishes is inferior to a goat, and all too often a goat is inferior to a human being for instance.

    Whether an older concept is built into a newer religion may depend on the shamans; is it valuable to them in their quest for power and riches?  Does it help control the rubes in the lower ranks?  Does it get them any material goods, such as food or tools?  Certainly they added their own inventions as well (the repression of Christian sexual mores came about primarily around 300 AD for example), but there is no reason to discard perfectly useful crowd control tools.

    Or it may come more naturally - without knowledge of what the sun is it may still make sense to worship it. 

    However the specifics of modern religion came about, however, it is almost always built at least partially on prior beliefs going back into the dawn of history.  Not a single popular religion today can trace it's roots more than a measley 10 or 20 thousand years (and most far less) yet we know that religious beliefs existed long before that.  And we know the the very basics of religious belief (an afterlife) goes back hundreds of thousands of years.

    1. andrew savage profile image58
      andrew savageposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The Bible does not actually provide a date to which mankind came about. The belief that humans are only so many thousands of years old comes from the interpretation of Protestant evangelicals. While there is a loose chronology in the books comprising the Holy Roman Bible, it does not provide dates or the number of years between Adam and the Christus.

  5. janesix profile image60
    janesixposted 11 years ago

    Because all religions are about the same thing.

    The universe occasionally lets people in on what's going on. People interpret it differently, but the story is still the same.

    1. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That would show one to be quite ignorant of other religions.

      No, the stories are not the same, at all, that's the point.

      1. Rob Lattin profile image69
        Rob Lattinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Here I agree with A Troubled Man.


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