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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@Matt VDB

==That would be news to Paul, when he wrote Galatians 4:4, which alludes to the Virgin Birth.==

And that would be news to the most respected echelons of Biblical scholars.

It seems to me that you have been brain washed by some not so worthy scholars.
@Matt VDB

In Galatians 4:4 Paul wrote:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law ...

Translating this into evidence that Paul believed Jesus was born of a virgin requires some exceedingly dubious semantic gymnastics.


Paul also wrote:

... the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord ….—Romans 1:1-4

Jews believed that the seed of life was passed down by the male and that the woman was merely a receptacle for that seed. This passage therefore implies that Paul believed Joseph to have been the father of Jesus, not Mary (who is but a vessel for the male seed of life) and not God (who is not descended from the line of David).
Rosemary and Danny,

[Well first off, Rosemary, be careful about alluding to brain-washing when we've refuted a list of wrong assertions of yours on Nicea in this very thread. Friendly reminder ;) ]

I realised I was drawing a long bow when I said Paul alluded to the Virgin Birth specifically because that's indeed highly, highly debatable. It's true that the earliest clear mentions of the Virgin Birth are those found in Matthew and Luke. I do think some Pauline epistles start alluding to something miraculous being associated with his birth (the way he talks about the birth is not entirely in line with Jewish genealogy. However he most likely never thought about a virgin birth, since Paul also never believed Jesus to be divine; that was an idea that evolved later, and probably went more or less hand in hand with the virgin birth).

Regardless, debating the specifics draws us a little too far from what was under discussion: namely, the fact that the miracle stuff and walking on water is not distinct from Jewish tradition: it's very much in line with that.
Whether the Virgin Birth is in line with Jewish tradition is much less clear, but the theme of a woman that is not supposed to have a child, still getting a child and this child growing up to be some kind of prophet or divine figure, was sort of a common theme in the Old Testament (where many of the women giving birth would either be far too old, or where women had been infertile for several years and then still get a child). In that sense the virgin birth is an imitation and emulation of Old Testament miracles in the same way that walking on water is, or feeding a multitude with little food.
And then there is the "prophecy" in Isaiah 7:14 that does allude to a virgin birth. Now of course, Isaiah isn't really a list of predictions concerning the Messiah, but it was the book Jesus's disciples turned to when he had been quite unexpectedly nailed to a cross: the way they pretended to themselves that Jesus' crucifixion was all part of his plan, was to go through the Bible and find every sentence that seemed to bear some resemblance to Jesus' life; they found several of these lame and mind-numbing "parallels" in Isaiah and so happily declared the book to be filled with Messianic prophecies (though it hadn't been used in that way before). Isaiah also contained a seeming prediction of a virgin birth though, and so I think it's likely that this is where they got the idea: a combination of Old Testament precedent and fabricated prophecy.

But again, the specifics of how it evolved and when have no bearing whatsoever on the discussion of whether or not the idea itself had pagan roots: to my knowledge an explicit virgin birth is as absent in pagan mythology as in the Old Testament; there are of course plenty of miraculous pagan conceptions (though virginity was usually not the exciting part), but then, the same goes for the Old Testament. So did they get the idea of a miraculous birth from pagans or from their parent religion? I think that question has a clear rational answer.
That was sort of my point though. If I compare a virgin birth to the miraculous births in the Old Testament of women that are past child-bearing age, at least I see some semblance of a common element: women that are not supposed to give birth for a certain reason (virginity and age, respectively), still giving birth to a child that is destined to lead the tribe.
On the other hand, miraculous births in pagan religions include: Mithras being born fully formed from a rock, Athena from Zeus' head (without female interference), Aphrodite from the foam of the ocean,... I'm having a really hard time linking seeing parallels with a virgin birth except for the obvious fact that they are both miracle stories.
The closest myth I know that pops to mind is the one of Zeus and Danae (I think), where Zeus transforms himself into a golden rain and impregnates the woman "from heaven", giving birth to Perseus. Still, it was an explicitly sexual story and Danae was not a virgin.

So since we don't have any direct parallels of literal "virgin births" with other traditions, Jewish or non-Jewish, I'll take the Jewish influence over non-Jewish influence every day of the week; especially since we (contrary to popular perception) have very little non-Jewish influences that can be identified as pagan or belonging to other religions. The resurrection story, for example, another element made up largely when Christianity drifted away from its Jewish roots, doesn't really have parallels with pagan myths either, so I'm having a hard time imagining early Christians reaching out to Greek or Egyptian mythology for ideas on a miraculous birth.

It's a subjective judgement though.
@Dannyisme

That's an interesting Catch 22, Danny. Either Jesus is born of a virgin OR he is the Messiah, but not both. :-)
Yes, when it comes to gods, the byline almost has to be "aka"...

Of course, all of those other gods are really just Satan trying to make us all confused.
So, when you talk about Horus, are you talking about Horus the Elder (Harwer), son of the sky god, Horus the Younger (Harsiese), son of Isis and Osiris (also known as Hor pa khered when he is depicted as a child), or perhaps Ra-Horakhty? I won't bother you with Horemakhet.

Just curious. You seem to know a lot about Horus.


Correction: The source I cited seems to know a lot about Horus.

If you or your alter ego Matt were genuinely interested in discussion instead of trolling, you'd have noticed the links I cite and tell me why you think those sources are wrong. You'd be citing sources yourself instead of just hurling insults as a distraction when others do cite sources.

You'd have noticed the original post asks "Why" not "How" and if you didn't, you would have said "Oops, my bad" instead of trying to pull a Pee Wee Herman style "I meant to do that" by trying to convince us that the two words mean the same thing.

The whole "I have the truth and no one else does" routine that gurus and theists put forth is what I come to Atheist Nexus to avoid.
Answer the question. Which Horus???

Which Horus?
Which Horus?
Which Horus?
Which Horus?
Which Horus?


Once more:

I sourced my post.
I sourced my post.
I sourced my post.
I sourced my post.
I sourced my post.
Do you not understand how direct sourcing in a thread post works?

- I say "According to..." or otherwise indicate that I'm directly quoting a source. The names of those sources are rendered on your browser to indicate a link, usually blue underlined.

- Ergo, if you have a problem with the source, then your query should go to the source. E.g.: "I notice that the ReligiousTolerance.org page you link to doesn't indicate which Hours, of which there are several. I don't have a copy of the book they indicate they are getting their information from. Does anyone know if the author differentiates between the different Horus myths or draws from several at once?"

- If instead I stated my facts without quoting a source, then the challenge would go to me.

In this case, the book cited by ReligiousTolerance.org is on my Amazon wish list but until I can afford food and a tank of gas, the book is going to have to wait. But whether he's using one or several Horus myths, the result is the same: god/man/god-man myths that predate Jesus and share many of the same characteristics.

And because of that I can't imagine any reason for you to bring up such a question other than to

A) attempt to look to other readers as if you know more about Egyptian mythology than the rest of us so that they'll take your word on everything else you say even though your posts conspicuously lack sources or references

B) start an irrelevant side-debate; a method favored by those who don't have a solid challenge for the core argument so attempt to divert the audiences attention away from it

C) Both.
Just because you can cite a website or a book, doesn't mean your point is correct.

No, it doesn't. Neither does simply saying "You're wrong, the real fact is..." without ever showing where you derive that or why you think my source is wrong and yours is right.

Unless you and I are Highlanders or Vampires or otherwise old enough to have been living eye-witnesses to the events we're discussing, we all get our information from other people/books/sources. Credible reporting/research, even just at an armchair-hobby level, starts with being able to say where one got one's information.

Otherwise, you're asking us to take what you say on faith. Which is not how most Atheists operate.
Matt VDB warns:

Rosemary and Danny,

[Well first off, Rosemary, be careful about alluding to brain-washing when we've refuted a list of wrong assertions of yours on Nicea in this very thread. Friendly reminder ;) ]


"Refuted" mostly by repeating your minority opinion ad nauseam in such a way that does sound very well-educated and authoritative, while conspicuously leaving out sources and dodging challenges from other posts that do cite sources.

I'm all for having a constructive discussion. But the "You don't know what you're talking about not because I can find flaw with your cited source but just because I say so" routine is not the constructive discussion so many come here to engage in.

Friendly reminder. ;)
My minority opinion that sounds very well-educated?
That's a nice passive agressive jab, but I think you realise by now that this isn't the first time I'm going over this material and that I've researched the material quite well. Which is why my position has been consistent since the beginning (though I admit to using some rhetorical exaggeration) while you've been changing positions every step off the way: from claiming parallels between Jesus and pagan gods (yet not responding to my objections), to claiming some books that might just be relevant to the Nicea Council (and not responding to my objections), to claiming that Constantine was using Christianity as a tool to stabilise his power (yet again not responding to my objections), etcetera etcetera.

(Also, this is the third time I ask you to produce a list of scholars that agree with your assertions that the Council of Nicea was an important turning point in the creation of the Bible. So far, you haven't come up with a single one. Which shouldn't be too hard if I'm just holding a "minority opinion" that sounds educated.)

Face it, Jo, Rosemary made some factual errors in her first posts (mainly that the Bible was composed at Nicea based on what texts Constantine favoured and which he didn't), and I showed her that she was wrong and that the Biblical canon was not even discussed at Nicea. She read what I had to say, probably (hopefully) went on to do some more researching of her own, and thanked me for the synopsis. No hard feelings: just a rational exchange of information.
The only one pretending that her initial posts were factually sound is you. Which is kind of ironic.

Also, please point out a single "challenge" that I have dodged and a single "source" that I left out. Please, I'm looking forward to that.

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