It seems that there are a lot of similarities between Christianity and more ancient religions. Why?
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Other than 'supplanted', I don't how those other words are relative.
Of course, if Christians didn't steal, prisons would be almost empty.
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.
Ah, if only they had been honest men. Galileo might have been the first man on the moon.
But, we do. In fact, prisons are primarily filled with believers.
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.
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.
That only proves that the majority of inmates perfer checking a particular box.
I might ck. a box stating I am green if that is the most popular thing to do.
You might be suprised how many green people are in prison if there was a box stating so, avaliable to be checked.
Actually, this could also speak to people's propensity to choose to act outside of how they were taught. This could apply to anyone.
Absolutely, but it appears to apply mostly to believers. And, we know religions don't really teach morals and ethics, so it would stand to reason they are acting accordingly.
btw, I would like to point out that you responded to my post. Could you please let me know at what point you'll be deciding to run away because you don't want to discuss something?
I disagree, it does not mostly apply to believers more or less than anyone. Even if your premise is correct that religions don't teach morals or ethics, than this would reflect worse on nonbelievers (since apparently only nonbelievers, according to you, have morals and ethics) than believers because nonbelievers are the ones acting against their nature which, in essence, would make them more savage than believers. It takes more savagery to to do wrong that goes against the nature of morals and ethics than it does simply going along what you were never taught as a nature.
BTW. Would you mind telling me at which point you will stay on the topic (which in this case is religious in prison) and stop trying to make it about the person by bringing up unrelated topics?
Sorry, but that is flat out wrong.
We have all evolved the capacities and traits of compassion and altruism, these characteristics can be observed in many animals, not just humans.
Hence, we are all compassionate and altruistic, by nature. In other words, that IS our nature. And, unless we have some mental disorder that causes us to be violent, we are all pretty much good people.
It is the religions that teach us we are evil sinners, not worthy of anything, that our nature is not compassionate, is not altruistic. So, religions teach us that we are bad people, hence many act accordingly.
Religions then teach good people to do bad things.
Sure, the minute you tell me you're going to follow through on your responses and not run away.
Tell this to some of the cannibalistic tribes that still exist in some countries that may not have a religion to speak of
I see your point, but not all religions teach that. I get defensive about this kind of because it's almost like lumping everyone together. There are few (admittedly too few) exceptions I will give you that.
One has little to do with the other, but deal struck
Yes, the Korowai tribe in New Guinea are still reported to practice ritualist cannibalism (part of their religion), but apparently that is only for encouraging tourism but perpetuating the myth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korowai
But most certainly, the Abrahamic religions fall in that category.
But, we aren't really lumping the people together, we are simply analyzing the beliefs that drive them to do bad things. What we find is that the evolved nature of those who don't behave as their religions have taught them are simply responding to their nature rather than their religion. They know in their minds what they're being taught lacks those morals and ethics.
Fair enough, but not all of the denominations of the Abrahamic religions fall in that category.
But even in the analysis, it sometimes appear as the actions of the majority (or at least the ones that speak the loudest) are representative and reflective of the whole group). This works both ways as believers have a tendency to associate the actions of some atheists to be reflective of the whole group.
And, that doesn't read like a contradiction to you?
But, we know they aren't reflective of the whole group. We know there are folks who call themselves Christians yet do not behave like Christians. You, Mel and Mo are some of those select few, that's why those other Christians are against you. You don't behave like them. And, we respect that.
The difference is that you fall back on your human nature before your religion.
I totally get that. I have watched some youtube videos, for example, of folks who call themselves atheists, but it's obvious they aren't as they tend to share little more than irrational beliefs.
A major one.. You and I agree, if there is going to be any difference made, there has to be unity
The funny thing is that some of how I act, though is human nature is also located in the bible. Sad thing is that these concepts are not as prominently taught in the face of the hellfire and brimstone teaching of the horrible parts of the bible by those who would seek to convert using fear
So this acts in reverse of what you mentioned earlier about me, Mo and Melissa? because we've been told we aren't Christians because we can rationally and logically discuss our beliefs
But, there will never be unity if religions are followed. They keep mankind tribal. Only in understanding, not faith, will we ever accomplish unity.
In other words, it was observed that we act that way, hence someone wrote it down. To believe that those concepts were divinely inspired or provided only serves to ignore our evolution of that behavior.
It only shows that some atheists are not atheists at all, that they are pretending to act like atheists, but act more like Christians.
I disagree with this to an extent. Even if you get rid of religions you will still have those who aren't interested in unity.. There will still be the social issues to overcome such as racism, classism, sexism, etc... These particular issues are still (to this day) ingrained in society (and not simply because religion set the foundation)
Right. I was told that I acted more like an atheist, especially when I came to the defense of some atheists. Then again, I was also told I followed a different God (even though my beliefs come from the bible). I often wondered how that works.
But, they are being remedied as time goes, attempts to rid the world of racism, classism, sexism are ongoing and successful in many parts of the world. Sure, we will struggle with it. But, can you see where the vast majority of intolerance lies? Should I give you a hint?
It doesn't, those who are saying those things about you are talking gibberish, and I have not seen you show us the capacity to understand gibberish.
Ok, I'm running now...LOL.. J/k.. You're right, a lot of intolerance does lie in religion. My point is that intolerance will not end with the eradication of organized religion.
Oh, I understand the gibberish very well (which is why I try to distance myself from it). I used to subscribe to it. I call those my dark ages
It will remove a great deal of intolerance from the world and we can work on the rest later. Religion doesn't have the monopoly on bad and failed ideologies.
No argument here, at least not in the organized ideal. I do think that if more people would live and let live it would help
Mo, Melisa and I allow it and we're Christians .. Or do you mean the mob mentality ideal of organized religions that state that they are right and everyone must believe as they do?
Everyone must think as they do? That's not mob mentality. That's ATM mentality.
We just need to look at scriptures to see that.
When I read this through the first time, I was a little stung. I thought, wow, I really want to behave the way a Christian should. What am I doing wrong? Then I thought about it. I think that at the end of the day, Deepes, Mel, and me are way more concerned with acting like Christ than we are with acting like Christians. I think that's why we rub a lot of folks the wrong way.
Just my take on it.
I see your point. It could be read a certain way when you initially look at it, but I recognize it for the compliment that it was. Although Christ did come and proclaim his overall purpose, he didn't try to elevate himself as being any kind of king or anyone special. When we claim that we are Christians, the three of us don't think we are perfect, but we do try to do things a certain way
Deepes, in addition to these quotes, Jesus continually accepted praise and worship, which was a strong statement indeed. Doing so by any other than God would be blasphemy, punishable by death according to Jewish law, which is why they sought to, and ultimately did, kill him.
Although he did live humbly, interacting 1 on 1 with folks, and provided an example for believers to follow, saying about Jesus that "he didn't try to elevate himself as being any kind of king or anyone special" would not be correct. Good for us he was special. This is where many try to find middle ground that does not exist. Either Jesus was God, as he claimed, or he was a liar perpetrating the biggest fraud in history. No room for middle ground.
With John 10: 30-33, again you stop without taking the whole exchange into consideration.. Following those scriptures, Jesus also stated:
34 Jesus answered, Is it not written in your Law, I said, You are gods?
35 So men are called gods [by the Law], men to whom God’s message came—and the Scripture cannot be set aside or cancelled or broken or annulled—
36 [If that is true] do you say of the One Whom the Father consecrated and dedicated and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I am not doing the works [performing the deeds] of My Father, then do not believe Me [do not adhere to Me and trust Me and rely on Me].
38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, [at least] believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand [clearly] that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father [One with Him].
Basically, what he was saying is that even according to your laws, I am no different than you, but now you want to attack me because my Father sent me for a specific purpose?
You see, bBerean, Jesus may have accepted praise (like we all do), but he always made sure that people knew that he was doing the will of the Father. He always told people to follow his example, but not follow him as if he were God..
This is what it is about and what I was saying. We may state that we are doing good things, but we still can (and should) be humble enough to say that the deeds we are doing is not so that we give ourselves glory.
Thanks for the response Deepes. In order to know how better to respond, it would be helpful if I knew a couple of things. No need covering what we agree on.
First, what translation did you use so that I might do a side by side comparison? Rather than letting the words stand on their own, it was a bit hard to follow what was scripture and what was added to make sure you followed the preferred belief of the translator.
Second, do you not believe in the deity of Christ? Do you believe he did not claim it? Do you believe the bible does not make the case for him being God? Virgin birth? Resurrection? Just trying to get a picture of who/what you believe Jesus is, (or do you believe was)?
Sorry, Those came from the amplified bible. the add ins basically introduce some context to the scripture as according to various different definitions of words.
I was raised in believing in the trinity of one God in three entities. The more I read on it, I find it harder to grasp because for God to take human form himself just to die and wipe the slate clean basically makes things redundant when he could basically and simply wave his hand in order to forgive our sins. I believe in the divinity of Christ as the savior as well as his understanding that he was to be a sacrifice in order to intercede for the sins of mankind as well as his resurrection as a measure of completing that purpose and fulfilling the laws.
Okay, I want to be careful so as not to misrepresent or misunderstand you, so for clarification, your answers to the following questions would be:
Do you not believe in the deity of Christ? No, Jesus was not god.
Do you believe he did not claim it? No, Jesus did not claim to be god.
Do you believe the bible does not make the case for him being God? No the bible does not claim Jesus was god.
Virgin birth? Less clear from your answer about this one...I am guessing there would be no need so no on the virgin birth?
Resurrection? Not clear on your take here either...did Jesus rise bodily and go to heaven or is he buried somewhere?
If I have gotten any of these wrong, please correct them, as again it is not my wish to misrepresent you...just trying to understand. This may be helpful in answering another question you posed earlier, but I will get back to that when I have a better grasp on your perspective.
Deity of Christ- not as such. Jesus, as the son of God was divine, yes and as such was a God made flesh, but not the exact same as God the Father. similar to the fact that my son shares some of my genetic code, but he's not me. At best, if Jesus was born of a human mother and God as the father, that would actually make him a Demi-God. Having the divinity to perform miracles, but human enough as to become mortal and die.
God claim- based on various parts of the bible, no, he did not claim to be God himself.
Does the bible support the case for him being God- yes it does. Then again, I remind you that there are different writers of the bible so different writers see him differently
Born of a Virgin- Makes sense If he is part God and also needed to be born pure of someone who was untouched (so to speak)
Deepes, thanks for the clarification. It seems clear to me that the old testament indicates the savior would be God, gave information on how to know him, that the new testament tied this together showing Jesus as the fulfillment of that promise, and shows he was recognized as that savior by many, praised and worshiped as such, and accepted that praise and worship. You are familiar with that perspective and moved from it so anything other than agreeing to disagree seems pointless. I appreciate having a better understanding of your beliefs.
Genetically speaking ? ... wouldn't Mary have to have been born of a virgin in order for jesus to have been unyoked from the sin of Adam and Eve (?) ..? You know ? the origional sin ?
Well said, Mo. I would extend that just a bit further to add that you act more like yourselves naturally than you do anyone else.
Yeah, but how many of those who are 'believers' before they go in are ever taught anything by anyone outside of what they learn on the streets. That's my point.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Really, I thought you were going to talk about the Darwin-Wallace mystery...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 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.
Very interesting. Thank you for your insightful contribution.
That's really interesting, actually. Makes you wonder how the early Judeo-Christians got away with that amount of plagiarism.
I don't think they had copyright laws back then.
they did, however, have notably harsh punishments (both social and physical) for blatant forgery, which brings into question how some of Paul's epistles that were NOT written by Paul gained so much traction - or how the gospels got so widely circulated - although the names on them weren't actually added for a few centuries - so that makes it slightly better.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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