Tell me the pros and cons about these thoughts of mine. Let me know if They are wrong. Expound on it please! I don't want to tell anything if it is wrong.

The bible was composed for governments. It was never intended to be a people's book. The council of Niccea composed this book as more of a constitution. A book to put fear into any nation who opposed them (like the Hebrews). Now you could only pray to God using the Christian method and our savior from our country. Only in the name of Jesus would God hear you from now on.

Thanks for any input.

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Rayray, we've gone to long replying to posts that our posts have gone so much the right that I can no longer reply in the correct place ;)

You said:
"In one hand one could suspect that Jesus was real and these things were after effects of the Jesus event, in which I can see your point. On the other hand, assume that Jesus was another myth, in which I hope you can see my point. These facts seem to stem solely from previous myths bringing about the undeniable parallels."

I can see how that seems to make for a coherent theory but it only really does at first glance. There are plenty of differences between the gospel stories and myths, and these are more important to note than the occasional parallel (for example both contain a mythicised miraculous birth).

For example, the gospel stories are not set in a mythic past (stories like Mithras or Horus or whatever are said to have happened long ago), they contain references to people that we know for a fact existed (John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate; again very different from a mythic past), and there are plenty of points that have no parallel anywhere simply because they're so deeply weird. For example the crucifixion has no parallel anywhere simply because it's a retarded idea that Christians had to really work with until they could sell it (worshipping a God that got nailed to a cross was quite the stumbling block for converts). Ditto for elements like the tiny town he comes from: Nazareth; again something Christians got mocked for and not something they'd likely make up.

Many of the miracles Jesus do have parallels, but not in pagan mythology: they are parallels in the Jewish tradition (d'uh): for example the miracle where Jesus walks in water is a rehashing (but amplification) of what had happened in the Old Testament. Ditto for the leaves and the breads. It's not even sure early Christians took these parts seriously.
For one, myths are not set in a historical context. They are set in the timeframe of "long, long ago" or in some mythic prehistory. The gospel stories very clearly refer to a period of around 5 BC-35 AD and reference many historical figures (Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas) in the process.

Another difference is that in the earliest three gospels Jesus is not presented as a God or even a demi-God: he's simply represented as a messenger from God, and so while there's clearly some supernatural elements, the focus is on the natural.

Those two alone are some pretty significant differences between myths and the gospel stories.
Rusty Gunn asks: HOLD ON!! The story of Horus and the story of Jesus is not "embarrassingly similar"? Have I been spreading misinformation?

"Similar" is a subjective term. I would say that yes, Horus and Jesus share enough similarities to seriously question if the former did not influence the later. According to ReligiousTolerance.org, using author Tom Harpur as their reference, in direct contradiction to Matt VDB's unsourced list:

- Horus may have been born of a virgin (depending on which interpretation of Isis one wants to go with).

- Horus was baptized.

- Horus did walk on water.

- Horus was executed, descended to hell, resurrected after three days.

When comparing myths between generations or cultures, the similarities one is looking for as clues that one borrowed from another are key elements. Universal themes. Such as in this god-man hero of the people myth:

- Son of God, divine intervention (both Horus and Jesus are only sons of god, both births were pre-announced via angels).

- Royal descent, but humble birth/upbringing. Theme: Hero connected to other heroes (kings), is an uber-citizen (imagine an American claiming descent from George Washington, or a Brit who is the great-grandson of Winston Churchill), but now is one of the common people (both Horus and Jesus are from royalty, Horus born in a cave, Jesus in a stable, both births witnessed by shepherds).

- Both were threatened as infants/children by rulers trying to avert the prophecy.

- 'Announcement' of child's birth/coming, usually astrological (Morning star/generic star-over-city).

- Both roamed the land performing miracles.

- Both could raise the dead.

- Both are tempted from their missions (Horus by a rival-god, Jesus by satan).

- Noted disciples or followers who could presumably carry on the teachings (Here's a great example of the details are expected to change to accommodate the culture. Horus' number is sometimes put at 4, 12, or 16; all numbers you see commonly recurring in mythology as numbers strongly connected to sacred geometry. 12 might have been chosen for Jesus for the 12 tribes of Israel. Think if you were in primitive Palestine hearing this story: The key element is that there were disciples, not necessarily how many there were).

- Executed, (Horus by crucifixion or the sting of a scorpion, depending on which version, Jesus by crucifixion) spent time in the underworld, resurrected (overcome death).

Besides these and other key elements, what is even more curious about the parallels between the two are some the aforementioned inconsequential details:

- Horus' mother was Isis-Miri. Jesus mother was Miriam (later translated as "Mary."

- Horus and Jesus' fathers are both variations of the name "Joseph."

- Both go through a rite of passage at age 12, and their missions begin at age 30, with no record of their life in between.

- Both their baptizers were beheaded.

- Both were accompanied during death by two thieves, descended into the underworld/hell, resurrected again after three days, with women being the announcer/witness to the resurrection (notable as both cultures are patriarchal; unusual to choose a woman to play such an important role).

So...

Are they embarrassingly similar? Did Vanilla Ice rip off David Bowie/Queen's "Under Pressure," or, as Mr. Ice said, "The melody is off by one note and the lyrics are totally different, so there's no similarity at all."

Either way, I'd ask Vanilla Ice to source his material before taking his subjective opinion as hard fact.
You know, for a rationalist, you really don't check your fucking facts.

Let's see. Give me an Egyptian text that tells us that Horus descended to hell and stayed there 3 days. That's just one of the patently wrong things you've plucked right from a book without actually checking it yourself.

Give me just one text that says anything even remotely like that.

Now the moment is rapidly approaching where you admit that you don't have a clue what you're talking about and you're simply getting it from a non-peer-reviewed piece of crap like Tom Harpur's The Pagan Jesus.

Turn back while you still can.
Matt VDB: You know, for a rationalist, you really don't check your fucking facts.

Swearing: Another great way to distract others from noticing that I'm sourcing my posts and you aren't.
Swearing is my way of expressing my disappointment that I have to point out to people on a forum that I thought was dedicated to (amongst other things) rationalism and fact-based thinking, that they're simply believing what other people say instead of checking the facts themselves to see if those claims are accurate in the first place. "Check your fucking facts" seemed like a shorthand for that; I'm sure you got the message.

Now, let's start over.

I asked you for "an Egyptian text that tells us that Horus descended to hell and stayed there 3 days". The reason I ask is because you can find a plethora of websites and books that claim these parallels exist and claim that they have access to Egyptian texts that say this, but very few of them actually go through the trouble of telling us precisely which text this is and where we can find it; and if they do, we usually find that they were talking out of their ass and hoping that nobody was going to check it. So if this Tom Harpur guy really does have evidence for these parallels, then simply giving me a list of everything Harpur says isn't going to do: you'll have to actually give me some of the texts Harpur quotes in his book. That way we can finally get some real evidence for these parallels (and we might also find out why no scholar in the world actually takes the supposed parallels between Horus and Jesus seriously) instead of the usual hand-waving and bald assertions. See my problem? I'm sure you do.

Any particular reason why you find this challenge so hard or are you going to dance around the question some more?

Hint: Considering Horus is a God, he's actually immortal; and he never died. That might explain the inevitable difficulties you'll face when you search for information on Horus' "death". Just sparing you some trouble.
I'd be surprised if Christianity were not influenced by and tainted with the prevailing religious and mythologies of the times. There are numerous examples of this happening in recent history so I fail to see why it would not also be operating in the past.

A close example is what the Mexicans have done with the Day of the Dead. The indigenous people celebrate it from the perspective of their mythology while the Catholic majority celebrate it from the perspective of their mythology. The origins, however, did not stem from Catholic Christianity.

Consider the scholarly belief that Judaism was influenced by or embraces aspects from other religions: Zoastranism, Babylonian gods, the El-ohim pantheon, the Yahweh desert war god, and so on. ('Scuse mis-spellings, please.)
Theology always is influenced by other religions, however if you want to look at where Christianity got most of its stuff, you need to look at the Jewish expectations for a Messiah. Then all will become clear. Searching for parallels in the life of Jesus with the life of other mythical figures is a dead end, unless those mythical figures were Jews (like Abraham and Moses).

Then there are of course plenty of aspects that early Christianity adopted from other sources, like the dates of their festivals, the practices on those festivals, the dates of when what happens in the Jesus story, etcetera. But none of that is particularly relevant as to whether or not most of the story is made up merely because it suited pagan expectations. It's rather absurd and has no evidence to support it.

And scholars agree; this attempt to make Jesus into a pagan deity is part of the whole "Jesus myth" hypothesis.
Except that by the time you get to Constantine's era Christianity have moved away from Judaism to the Gentiles, thereby brushing shoulders with the mythology and religions of that region.

I am comfortable with the idea that there may have been a real "Jesus of Nazareth", or a collection of people who were amalgamated into the Biblical description, but I think it unlikely that the religion which grew up around this singular or composite figure did not borrow from the surrounding culture into which it was transplanted. Since religious borrowing has occurred so frequently in the history of every religion scholars really have to make the case for why early Christianity should be different in this respect.
Well, you need more than a hunch that this is the case, really.
For most of its early existence (at least for the first four or five decades) Christianity was still very, very close to its Jewish roots. By the time it started to drift away, most of the theological aspects had already been invented: everything you see in the gospel of Mark, for instance, is essentially Jewish Christianity and little else: and there we already see the virgin birth, various miracles, and the beginnings of some kind of "resurrection", or at least some sense in which Jesus had survived death.

The main things the Gentiles added was an emphasis on Jesus' divinity (note how the letters of Paul and the gospel of Mark say nothing about that) and a physical resurrection. But the virgin birth, the walking on water, performing miracles,... all of that were things the Jewish Messiah was expected to do, and so the whole idea was very much a Jewish endeavour.
@MattVDB:
"But the virgin birth, the walking on water, performing miracles,... all of that were things the Jewish Messiah was expected to do, and so the whole idea was very much a Jewish endeavour."

Huh? I don't know where you got that idea. What books are you reading?

The word for "virgin" in the Hebrew tradition means "young woman". It is the Greek translation of that Hebrew word which has the additional meaning of "virgin". So the influence here is from the Greek, not from Judaism.

The same goes for walking on water, performing miracles, etc. These were far more prevalent in the Gentile culture.
Rosemary,

Huh? I don't know where you got that idea. What books are you reading?

The word for "virgin" in the Hebrew tradition means "young woman". It is the Greek translation of that Hebrew word which has the additional meaning of "virgin". So the influence here is from the Greek, not from Judaism.


That would be news to Paul, when he wrote Galatians 4:4, which alludes to the Virgin Birth.
I know the tale of how the virgin birth is merely a mistranslation is a common one, but alas, allusions to the Virgin Birth began very early in the traditions (right at Paul, in fact) and were most likely meant as an indication that "Look, Jesus really is a holy man!". We're not sure to what extent it was even meant to be taken literally. But it's not merely a mistranslation: it was alluded to right from the beginning that Jesus had had a miraculous birth and early Christians, Jewish and gentile alike, quickly picked it up and ran with it.

The same goes for walking on water, performing miracles, etc. These were far more prevalent in the Gentile culture.

What? Read the Old Testament and I think you'll find that miracles were quite prevalent in Jewish culture (before and after the Bible): the OT literally is the tale of one miracle story after another; loafs and breads, making things float on water, superhuman strength, parting of the Red Sea. Jesus imitates some of these miracles and surpasses others (the loafs and breads, walking on water).
Apocalyptic faith healers were very common everywhere in the world (but especially in Palestine). So were miracle stories. Again the pagan parallels fall flat on their face: these are Jewish parallels.

The walking on water bit is lifted right from the Old Testament: the Prophet Elisha made an ax head float on water. The gospel writers have Jesus walk on water to show not that Jesus is capable of even more miraculous feats. Clearly, this is not gentile influence: it's more of an expectation that's picked up right from the OT.

Dannyisme,

"No, that is not accurate. While some Jews believed in the Messiah as a miracle worker--not unlike many other legendary miracle workers at the time--he was not expected to be born of a virgin or to walk on water."

I concede that I phrased that incorrectly. It was not an explicit expectation (the way that the Messiah bringing on the Kingdom of Yahweh was, for example; or that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem) but plenty of Jesus' miracles are merely imitations and emulations of previous miracles by previous prophets.
In that sense, while it's not an explicit expectation, it was an easy way for early Christians to align their prophet with previous ones; in that sense it was sort of probable that this would happen.

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