Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth For Christians

This Christmas, let's not forget about this striking character of Greek Mythology. Let me first make it clear that Mithras significantly predates the story of Jesus.

  • Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds.
  • He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.
  • He had 12 companions or disciples.
  • Mithra's followers were promised immortality.
  • He performed miracles.
  • As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.
  • He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.
  • His resurrection was celebrated every year.
  • He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.
  • He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
  • His sacred day was Sunday.
  • Mithra had his principal festival of what was later to become Easter.
  • His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which Mithra said, "He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regarding "An Inconvenient Truth for Christians," I would like to see where you got your evidence for this Mithras conspiracy. When I researched it I found no evidence from reliable sources for nearly all of the similarities between Mithras and Jesus Christ you listed. One clear example is that Mithras was supposedly born of a rock, not a virgin as you say.
It appears that you got your information from Jon Ponder at the Pensito Review (I make this assumption of course because this is the only reference you link to the post). Since I'm sure you wouldn't want Christians taking what their pastors say to be true without reading the Bible for themselves, I hope you did the responsible thing and checked Mr. Ponder's facts before regurgitating them on your own blog on the same day. Please don't believe everything you read. Go to the sources. Look it up and see what the evidence says about Mithraism. I think you'll find your own dose of "inconvenient truth".
I do not buy this Mithras/Jesus conspiracy. It is very dishonest and I hope you will correct your error.
Sincerely,
a Bible-believing Christian, age 19

larnman2 said...

I would also like to know the sources. Another thing that you should check out is the comparison of Jesus to the Egyptian god Ra. Or is it his son? Whatever, you should still check it out.

To "anonymous",
You need to understand that the bible has in fact been edited and messed with. If a simple thing like "proof that Jesus' life story was altered so as to enlist pagans" shales you religious foundation, you should take time to reassure your faith.
Larnman2@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

A simple web search on "mithra birth" finds many supporting articles. For example from [http://www.taivaansusi.net/historia/mithraism.html]

Mithras was born of a virgin, remained celibate, his worship involving baptism, the partaking of bread marked with a cross and wine as sacrificial blood, held Sundays sacred and Mithras was born on 25th of December. Mithraist called themselves 'brother' and were led by a priest called 'father' (Pater). The symbol of the father were a staff, a hooked sword, a ring and hat.

Myths evolve, and some early versions have Mithra born from a rock. That does not change the fact that the Christian authorities adopted many Mithraic beliefs and customs wholesale and later pretended they were inherently Christian.

Roger Pearse said...

Hello,

I saw by chance that you have on your page here a version of one of the urban legends about Mithras

'This quote is attributed to Mithras: "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation."'

You may wish to know that this quote is fictional. It comes from Vermaseren, "Mithras, the secret god", where it derives by mistranslation from a paper in French by Franz Cumont in which the saying is attributed to Zoroaster, from a provisional Italian translation of an unpublished Garshuni text in Mingana manuscript 142. This was written in the 17th century and contains various fictional sayings attributed to ancient figures.

You can obtain info on all this from this link:

http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/mithras/mithras_myth.htm

I hope this is useful to you.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

Anonymous said...

I did research this, and the story of Mithra was never written down, and if it ever was, it is lost to history.. Archaeologists have only pictures depicting the life and birth of Mithra, and yes, he seems to have been born from a rock, not a virgin. Mithraists celebrated him on December 25th, no where does it say this was the date of his birth...i dont know where anyone got all of these facts about mithra, but they do seem to "know" alot more about him than the actual historians and archaeologists who have studied this for years.

Roger Pearse said...

Hello,

Thanks for your note.

I'm sorry to say that the idea that "Mithraists celebrated him on December 25th" is also a myth. There is no connection in the primary sources between the two.

I think the story arose because there *is* a festival of the late Roman state sun cult Sol Invictus on that date (we know this from the Chronography of 354), and Mithras is sometimes called Mithras Sol Invictus. From this some ignorant person probably supposed that the two were the same, but of course "Sol Invictus" was just a title, meaning the "Unconquered Sun" and used by various cults long before the state cult of the same name was founded by Aurelian in 274.

I note that the url given in my comment above has been abbreviated. It should be .../mithras, not ../mithra.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

Neftali said...

I noticed here that there are no sources quoted for the Bible.. hmm.
Just thought you should know... Hope this helps..

Hal said...

Of course, Jesus, Mithras-- it's all mythology. And the Egyptian diety that correspods to Jesus is Horace with Isis being the mother and Osiris the father.

Dr Ch said...

Well, it appears that, even though there are SOME misconceptions about Mithraism, there are also some resemblances with Christianity.

I'd like to challenge any smart person reading this to debunk the fact that Mithras' legend/myth pre-dates the Bible... Also, point me to where in the Bible says that Jesus' birth was on or about December 25th.

Thanks,

Roger Pearse said...

"I'd like to challenge any smart person reading this to debunk the fact that Mithras' legend/myth pre-dates the Bible..."

Easily done. There is no source whatsoever that discusses Mithras prior to ca. 80 AD (Statius) and no archaeology prior to after 100 AD. Hope that helps.

Note that the wikipedia Mithras article was deliberately poisoned by a couple of trolls in 2011. Their edits were designed to show that Mithras was before Jesus, Jesus=Mithras, and to promote the obsolete Cumont theories at the expense of modern scholarship. Treat anything in it, even if "referenced", as likely to be very misleading.

One other thought: rather than "challenging" others to prove things to you, shouldn't you be trying to find out the facts yourself? It is, after all, not my problem to educate YOU, nor yours to educate ME, is it? I don´t find that I can trust anyone but me to get at the facts.

Steve Nixon said...

Read symbols of transformation by Carl Jung, all the evidence is there.

Zach Winderzight said...

The stories dont need to be exact in order for the author's point to be correct. There are way too many similarities not just from Mithra but many other pagan Gods from other eras way before Christ. We humans are expert at recycling rules. Specially when we want to control large masses.

Zach Winderzight said...

Also it doesn't matter if Mithras was after Christ, the truth is, both stories have been questioned, and neither one have solid proofs of anything. That simple.