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FYI-A short blurb about the Roman Cult of Mithras

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  • FYI-A short blurb about the Roman Cult of Mithras

    I found the comparison on Mithraism and Christianity interesting, so I did some digging into it. Not much because it is a very scholarly debate as to the influence and timing of the roman cult of Mithras. Since Iím not an intellectual and itís late I only read one article on the subject and a short blurb from my old Ancient Studies Text book from Tom Jones.



    What led me to look into the influence of Cult of Mithras was this quote.





    Originally posted by oceancoast View Post





    So despite the errant denial by some here, Mithraism predated Christianity. It's first documented appearance in the Roman Empire was by Plutarch, referring to Pompey encountering it while his legions were fighting pirates in Cilicia in 67BCE. Now there is no reason to think it just magically appeared on the seen in 67BCE, but that's the earliest recorded mention within the Empire. Pompey organizes the region as a Provence of Roman and makes Tarsus it's capital. Mithraism it became a fraternal cult and found itself as popular among the Roman Legions in the first centuries CE, just as Christianity was beginning as wel.


    I couldíve sworn I read something to the effect that Mithras and Christianity existed at the same time but the date mentioned above didnít jive. Hereís what I remember reading from Tom Jonesí Ancient Civilizations fourth printing 1973 page 427.



    ďAbout 100 AD a new competitor, Mithraism, and outgrowth of Zoroastrianism, entered the field. Mithra, the chief deity, was the god of light, the chief general of Ahuramazda in the war against the powers of darkness and falsehood. Because of its militant nature Mithraism was popular with the roman army where it gained the majority of its converts. Mithraism and Christianity became rivals, and they had much in common.Ē



    Letís also take a moment to notice the lack of any citation of primary sources from the author of the post above. The closest that comes to a citation is a link to a wiki entry on Cilicia that doesnít even mention Mithras but does mention the ruler Mithridates II of Parthia.



    The quote from Tom Jones put the formation of the Cult of Mithras sometime around 100 AD but if the word of Tom Jones isnít good enough I ran across this paper using a google search. Hereís a link and by the way Tom Jones was a professor of ancient studies at the University of Minnesota. I think he spent a lot of time translating cuneiform.



    http://www.academia.edu/29231054/The...ate_of_Affairs



    In the conclusion youíll read, ďFrom a careful review of the oldest Mithraic evidence, if follows that the Roman cult of Mithras, in all probability, originated shortly before 75-125 CE.Ē Which is in stark contrast to the claim by the above quote that the cult of Mithras predates Christianity. At best you can say that in the light of new evidence the matter needs to be re-evaluated.



    Itís an interesting read. As an aside, the author of the original quote hasnít provided any proof that Christianity is in any way the result of or in any way related to the Roman Cult of Mithras.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dropkick View Post
    I found the comparison on Mithraism and Christianity interesting, so I did some digging into it. Not much because it is a very scholarly debate as to the influence and timing of the roman cult of Mithras. Since I’m not an intellectual and it’s late I only read one article on the subject and a short blurb from my old Ancient Studies Text book from Tom Jones.



    What led me to look into the influence of Cult of Mithras was this quote.









    I could’ve sworn I read something to the effect that Mithras and Christianity existed at the same time but the date mentioned above didn’t jive. Here’s what I remember reading from Tom Jones’ Ancient Civilizations fourth printing 1973 page 427.



    “About 100 AD a new competitor, Mithraism, and outgrowth of Zoroastrianism, entered the field. Mithra, the chief deity, was the god of light, the chief general of Ahuramazda in the war against the powers of darkness and falsehood. Because of its militant nature Mithraism was popular with the roman army where it gained the majority of its converts. Mithraism and Christianity became rivals, and they had much in common.”



    Let’s also take a moment to notice the lack of any citation of primary sources from the author of the post above. The closest that comes to a citation is a link to a wiki entry on Cilicia that doesn’t even mention Mithras but does mention the ruler Mithridates II of Parthia.



    The quote from Tom Jones put the formation of the Cult of Mithras sometime around 100 AD but if the word of Tom Jones isn’t good enough I ran across this paper using a google search. Here’s a link and by the way Tom Jones was a professor of ancient studies at the University of Minnesota. I think he spent a lot of time translating cuneiform.



    http://www.academia.edu/29231054/The...ate_of_Affairs



    In the conclusion you’ll read, “From a careful review of the oldest Mithraic evidence, if follows that the Roman cult of Mithras, in all probability, originated shortly before 75-125 CE.” Which is in stark contrast to the claim by the above quote that the cult of Mithras predates Christianity. At best you can say that in the light of new evidence the matter needs to be re-evaluated.



    It’s an interesting read. As an aside, the author of the original quote hasn’t provided any proof that Christianity is in any way the result of or in any way related to the Roman Cult of Mithras.
    Christianity isn't in any way related to Mithraism. Here a detail, there a detail, Mithra was the ancient Persian god of contracts and has some relationship to the Jewish angel Tamiel, the angel of contracts. Mithraism began to be accepted by the Roman legions as they advanced into Persia. They then brought Mithraism back to the empire proper when they returned.

    People have attempted to draw parallels between Mithraism and Christianity, but from what little is known of the practices of Mithraists the two share no commonalities.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Dropkick,

      Thanks for posting the information. I think the inspiration for your research is the logical equivalent of another claim of what you described as Lutherans believe in the zombie apocalypse because like all Christians we confess the resurrection of the dead.

      The so-called challenge to distinguish Christianity from Mithraism doesn't even follow that poster's criteria for reaching a right understanding of a text as the so-called challenge is an expression of blatant eisegesis. It not only ignores the immediate context of Scripture, including the writings of Paul, but it also ignores the intended recipients of those writings, etc.

      Test all things and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

      Peace,
      BJ -Bear
      VDMA (1 Peter 1:25)
      WELS

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Dropkick View Post
        I found the comparison on Mithraism and Christianity interesting, so I did some digging into it. Not much because it is a very scholarly debate as to the influence and timing of the roman cult of Mithras. Since Iím not an intellectual and itís late I only read one article on the subject and a short blurb from my old Ancient Studies Text book from Tom Jones.



        What led me to look into the influence of Cult of Mithras was this quote.









        I couldíve sworn I read something to the effect that Mithras and Christianity existed at the same time but the date mentioned above didnít jive. Hereís what I remember reading from Tom Jonesí Ancient Civilizations fourth printing 1973 page 427.



        ďAbout 100 AD a new competitor, Mithraism, and outgrowth of Zoroastrianism, entered the field. Mithra, the chief deity, was the god of light, the chief general of Ahuramazda in the war against the powers of darkness and falsehood. Because of its militant nature Mithraism was popular with the roman army where it gained the majority of its converts. Mithraism and Christianity became rivals, and they had much in common.Ē



        Letís also take a moment to notice the lack of any citation of primary sources from the author of the post above. The closest that comes to a citation is a link to a wiki entry on Cilicia that doesnít even mention Mithras but does mention the ruler Mithridates II of Parthia.



        The quote from Tom Jones put the formation of the Cult of Mithras sometime around 100 AD but if the word of Tom Jones isnít good enough I ran across this paper using a google search. Hereís a link and by the way Tom Jones was a professor of ancient studies at the University of Minnesota. I think he spent a lot of time translating cuneiform.



        http://www.academia.edu/29231054/The...ate_of_Affairs



        In the conclusion youíll read, ďFrom a careful review of the oldest Mithraic evidence, if follows that the Roman cult of Mithras, in all probability, originated shortly before 75-125 CE.Ē Which is in stark contrast to the claim by the above quote that the cult of Mithras predates Christianity. At best you can say that in the light of new evidence the matter needs to be re-evaluated.



        Itís an interesting read. As an aside, the author of the original quote hasnít provided any proof that Christianity is in any way the result of or in any way related to the Roman Cult of Mithras.
        My reference is from Plutarch who documented that the Pompey FIRST encountered Mithrasism in 67 BCE, when he was fighting pirates in Cilicia. This does NOT mean that Mithrasim was practiced widely in the Roman Empire at that time, Just in Cilicia.. by late first century it was more widely practiced within the Roman Military.. which coincides with your dates.
        Plutarch - Life of Pompey: There were of these corsairs above one thousand sail, and they had taken no less than four hundred cities, committing sacrilege upon the temples of the gods, and enriching themselves with the spoils of many never violated before, such as were those of Claros, Didyma, and Samothrace; and the temple of the Earth in Hermione, and that of Aesculapius in Epidaurus, those of Neptune at the Isthmus, at Taenarus, and at Calauria; those of Apollo at Actium and Leucas, and those of Juno in Samos, at Argos, and at Lacinium. They themselves offered strange sacrifices upon Mount Olympus, and performed certain secret rites or religious mysteries, among which those of Mithras have been preserved to our own time having received their previous institution from them. (Dryden)


        Interesting bit fom your link..
        A very particular theory of Mithraic origins was presented by the American scholar David Ulansey in 1989. His scenario follows a very fashionable surge in the 1980s, which put forth astrological interpretations of the Roman cult of Mithras and focused especially on deciphering the secret meaning hidden in the cultís most prolific iconographic image: the tauroctony. According to Ulansey, the later Roman cult of Mithras originated in the course of the 1st century BCE with a group of stoic phi-losophers, residents of Tarsus in Asia Minor, as a reaction to the discovery of the precession of equinoxes, made by the famous astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes. The precession of equinoxes, observable from the Earth as a slow westward movement of equinoctial points along the ecliptic, is the cause, among other things, of the gradual change of the zodiacal sign in which the sun resides at the time of vernal equinox. In the 1st century BCE, the sign of the vernal equinox was situated in Aries, but approximately 2000 years before, in the sign of Taurus. In Ulanseyís view, the tauroctony portraying the slaying of a bull by Mithras is, in reality, a symbolical allu-sion to this change of equinoctial sign from Taurus to Aries, and behind the apparent personality of Mithras actually hides a powerful extra-cosmic deity bringing about this change of cosmic epochs.
        Last edited by oceancoast; 12-30-18, 07:56 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BJ BEAR View Post
          Hi Dropkick,

          Thanks for posting the information. I think the inspiration for your research is the logical equivalent of another claim of what you described as Lutherans believe in the zombie apocalypse because like all Christians we confess the resurrection of the dead.

          The so-called challenge to distinguish Christianity from Mithraism doesn't even follow that poster's criteria for reaching a right understanding of a text as the so-called challenge is an expression of blatant eisegesis. It not only ignores the immediate context of Scripture, including the writings of Paul, but it also ignores the intended recipients of those writings, etc.
          Nonsense.. My challenge is not an eisegesis nor does not have anything to do with context of scripture.. The POINT that you seem to fail to comprehend as I mentioned in my posts to you in the original OP.. what Paul allegedly wrote, or what is in Acts does not negate the fact that Mithraism predates Christianity and was popular in the Roman legions during the time Paul was preaching..

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by HTacianas View Post

            Christianity isn't in any way related to Mithraism
            Your opinion noted. Yet they do have numerous aspects in common. The point of the thread which my post was extracted was the question of PROVING that Christianity is as it CLAIMS to be.. in contrast to the plausibility of it simply being a Religious Syncretism between Judaism and Mithraism by Jews living in Asia minor seeking to create new identity for themselves to avoid persecution by the Romans. The latter is far more plausible than the asserted claims Christianity makes for itself.. This is all about proving your faith and explaining WHY someone should believe you over other more plausible possibilities?

            Here a detail, there a detail, Mithra was the ancient Persian god of contracts and has some relationship to the Jewish angel Tamiel, the angel of contracts. Mithraism began to be accepted by the Roman legions as they advanced into Persia. They then brought Mithraism back to the empire proper when they returned.
            That's ONE theory of how it got into the Empire. Doesn't seem to square with Plutarch's account of Pompey encountering it in Cilicia in 67 BCE.

            People have attempted to draw parallels between Mithraism and Christianity, but from what little is known of the practices of Mithraists the two share no commonalities.
            Yes, people have seen the similarities and it has been a question since the 2nd century CE.. Little is known now about Mithrasim largely in part to the edict of Thessalonica in 382 CE.. Where Emperor Theodosius made it a offense against the state to practice or believe anything but Trinitarian Christianity.. Any and ALL competing beliefs were banned and expunged from the empire. (Think North Korea today except no mass media platforms)

            That meant that any Mithras practices were ceased by the legions and much of their temples and artifacts were destroyed.. Theodosius edict also condemned any Christian practice not deemed acceptable to the ruling orthodoxy.. Punishment began to be handed out which included execution. Documents were destroyed as it was heretical to posses a non-orthodox document. Olympic Games were banned as was Greek poetry and comedy. This all raises a huge questions regarding what REALLY was going on in the first centuries that the orthodoxy under Emperors edict tried to cleanse from the historical record.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HTacianas View Post
              . Here a detail, there a detail, Mithra was the ancient Persian god of contracts and has some relationship to the Jewish angel Tamiel, the angel of contracts. Mithraism began to be accepted by the Roman legions as they advanced into Persia. They then brought Mithraism back to the empire proper when they returned.
              Let's go with your assertion here.. The Parthian wars.. where Rome was attacking Persia was in fact in the First century BCE.. The Mirthidates wars.. also were in the 1st century BCE in a region just north of Cilicia.. The Mithradates ("gift of Mithra") was a Persian-Greek dynasty that ruled that area of Asia Minor from the Black sea to the Med.. So if what you said, it was brought back to Rome when they fought the Persians, would be consistent with 1st century BCE .. before Christianity.

              Now I'll retract my previous statement that it doesn't square with Plutarch.. it does, since Plutarch mentions encountering the mysteries of Mithras with regard to his campaign in Cilicia, which was just a couple years AFTER the wars against Mithridates VI.. geographically this is consistent as well, since the boundaries of Mithridates domain bordered Cilicia.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by oceancoast View Post
                in contrast to the plaus8ibility of it simply being a Religious Syncretism between Judaism and Mithraism by Jews living in Asia minor seeking to create new identity for themselves to avoid persecution by the Romans. The latter is far more plausible than the asserted claims Christianity makes for itself.. .
                If it's far more plausible then it should be easily provable. So prove it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HTacianas View Post

                  Christianity isn't in any way related to Mithraism. Here a detail, there a detail, Mithra was the ancient Persian god of contracts and has some relationship to the Jewish angel Tamiel, the angel of contracts. Mithraism began to be accepted by the Roman legions as they advanced into Persia. They then brought Mithraism back to the empire proper when they returned.

                  People have attempted to draw parallels between Mithraism and Christianity, but from what little is known of the practices of Mithraists the two share no commonalities.
                  The two religions did overlap for a few centuries in the Roman Empire. An interesting example is recorded in the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome. The main church dates from the 12th century, but there is a 4th century church in the basement, and below that there are 1st century buildings that include a temple to Mithra and a first-century home that was used as an early church. The fourth-century church includes the tomb of St. Cyril, apostle to the Slavs, and is place of pilgrimage for both Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

                  For details see: http://basilicasanclemente.com/eng/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dropkick View Post

                    If it's far more plausible then it should be easily provable. So prove it.
                    What? LOL.. how does 'more plausible' translate into 'provable'? It doesn't. I have challenged you folks to prove your less plausible beliefs and instead of doing that your answer is to try to switch to have me prove that which is more plausible?

                    BTW, History can't be proven, but what Historians do is express what is most plausible and probable explanation for given evidence.. The Christian story is with it's miracles is the least plausible explanation for the evidence. It's like you walk out side and you see a chalk picture on the side walk.. Now one explanation might be that tinker-bell and some ferries from never never land magically painted the chalk drawing.. Another explanation is that some children with chalk drew on the sidewalk and left.. You can't prove either story.. but one is far more plausible.

                    Religious Syncretism is a known phenomenon.. I has happened before. All the necessary elements and motivation exist for the Religious Syncretism explanation.. The first Christian writers are all in the very region where Mithraism was prevalent since before Christ. persecution by the Romans give motivation to some Jews living in the area to form a new religious identity, which preserved their heritage while embracing elements of a cult worship their oppressors favored.

                    In contrast.. A person being born of virgin, walking on water and rising from the grave after three days has no precedent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dropkick View Post
                      I found the comparison on Mithraism and Christianity interesting, so I did some digging into it. Not much because it is a very scholarly debate as to the influence and timing of the roman cult of Mithras. Since Iím not an intellectual and itís late I only read one article on the subject and a short blurb from my old Ancient Studies Text book from Tom Jones.



                      What led me to look into the influence of Cult of Mithras was this quote.









                      I couldíve sworn I read something to the effect that Mithras and Christianity existed at the same time but the date mentioned above didnít jive. Hereís what I remember reading from Tom Jonesí Ancient Civilizations fourth printing 1973 page 427.



                      ďAbout 100 AD a new competitor, Mithraism, and outgrowth of Zoroastrianism, entered the field. Mithra, the chief deity, was the god of light, the chief general of Ahuramazda in the war against the powers of darkness and falsehood. Because of its militant nature Mithraism was popular with the roman army where it gained the majority of its converts. Mithraism and Christianity became rivals, and they had much in common.Ē



                      Letís also take a moment to notice the lack of any citation of primary sources from the author of the post above. The closest that comes to a citation is a link to a wiki entry on Cilicia that doesnít even mention Mithras but does mention the ruler Mithridates II of Parthia.



                      The quote from Tom Jones put the formation of the Cult of Mithras sometime around 100 AD but if the word of Tom Jones isnít good enough I ran across this paper using a google search. Hereís a link and by the way Tom Jones was a professor of ancient studies at the University of Minnesota. I think he spent a lot of time translating cuneiform.



                      http://www.academia.edu/29231054/The...ate_of_Affairs



                      In the conclusion youíll read, ďFrom a careful review of the oldest Mithraic evidence, if follows that the Roman cult of Mithras, in all probability, originated shortly before 75-125 CE.Ē Which is in stark contrast to the claim by the above quote that the cult of Mithras predates Christianity. At best you can say that in the light of new evidence the matter needs to be re-evaluated.



                      Itís an interesting read. As an aside, the author of the original quote hasnít provided any proof that Christianity is in any way the result of or in any way related to the Roman Cult of Mithras.
                      You might take time to actually read the paper you linked too.. It pretty much backs me up. The paper dating of it originating "SHORTLY BEFORE.. " 75 CE.. means sometime in the early 1st century. The paper's author does opine to discount evidence that isn't confirmed with archaeological remnants like a Mithereaum.. yet, acknowledges that Plutarch did say..
                      The one potential founding group, which has been discussed in Mithraic scholarship for a long time, is the Cilician pirates mentioned by the Greek philosopher and historian Plutarch. These pirates, captured during Pompey’s campaign against them in 67 BCE, were, according to some ancient sources, relocated to – in addition to other places – Southern Italy, and, specifically Campania.

                      Plutarch informs us, too, that these pirates celebrated some mysteries dedicated to Mithras which purportedly continued to be performed until his times. Some scholars accept the credibility of Plutarch’s account and see the Cilician pirates as a social group which could be responsible for the transmission of the Mithras cult into Italy, from where it subsequently permeated to other parts of the Roman Empire.Their contribution is seen as essential, for example, by Ernest Will, Elmar Schwertheim, and David Ulansey. This scenario, however, incurs some difficulties which render its historical relevance problematic. Even if we leave aside the question of whether Plutarch’s identification of the “Mysteries of Mithras” known in his times with the mysteries of the Cilician pirates is correct, it remains a fact that their hypothetical cult, which supposedly later transformed into the Roman cult of Mithras, left no archaeologically visible traces for approximately 150 years.
                      So even if you discount Plutarch because a lack of physical archaeological evidence in Cilicia, as the author does, an early 1st century CE date still predates Christianity.. and any 1st century archaeological evidence for Mithras predates any archaeological evidence for Christianity as there is ZERO 1st century archaeological supporting it. Thus if you apply the authors criteria for the origin date based upon date of physical archaeology, then he would no doubt date the origin of Christianity in the 2nd century at the earliest. And even if you stretch the origin back to when the alleged earliest writer wrote (Paul) Such would be late 1st century rather than early.. and thus once again, Mithraism predates Christianity.
                      Last edited by oceancoast; 12-31-18, 01:10 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Oceancoast,
                        Originally posted by oceancoast View Post

                        Nonsense.. My challenge is not an eisegesis nor does not have anything to do with context of scripture.. The POINT that you seem to fail to comprehend as I mentioned in my posts to you in the original OP.. what Paul allegedly wrote, or what is in Acts does not negate the fact that Mithraism predates Christianity and was popular in the Roman legions during the time Paul was preaching..
                        The nonsense is wholly in your assertions. That is "the POINT that you seem to fail to comprehend as I mentioned in my posts" that Mithraism doesn't predate the Judeo-Christian faith. Which date is earlier one hundred BC or one thousand BC? Obviously, one thousand BC is earlier than one hundred BC. Just as obvious is that Jesus, the incarnate Lord, came in fulfillment of the faith that predates one thousand BC.

                        Also, your misuse and abuse of Paul in this context is nonsense as he, by his own admission, was late to realize that Jesus is the Messiah which he and the Jewish people had been waiting for. Paul did not start his own religion or a new version of a preexisting religion as he plainly stated and demonstrated in word and deed.

                        Everyone willing to look around and see how things stand will realize that the only person from the second temple period with a world wide following of more than two billion followers is Jesus, the Messiah.

                        Previously characterizing the so-called challenge as an expression of blatant eisegesis was overly generous.
                        Test all things and praise God from whom all blessings flow!

                        Peace,
                        BJ -Bear
                        VDMA (1 Peter 1:25)
                        WELS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oceancoast View Post
                          What? LOL.. how does 'more plausible' translate into 'provable'? It doesn't. I have challenged you folks to prove your less plausible beliefs and instead of doing that your answer is to try to switch to have me prove that which is more plausible?

                          BTW, History can't be proven, but what Historians do is express what is most plausible and probable explanation for given evidence.. The Christian story is with it's miracles is the least plausible explanation for the evidence. It's like you walk out side and you see a chalk picture on the side walk.. Now one explanation might be that tinker-bell and some ferries from never never land magically painted the chalk drawing.. Another explanation is that some children with chalk drew on the sidewalk and left.. You can't prove either story.. but one is far more plausible.

                          Religious Syncretism is a known phenomenon.. I has happened before. All the necessary elements and motivation exist for the Religious Syncretism explanation.. The first Christian writers are all in the very region where Mithraism was prevalent since before Christ. persecution by the Romans give motivation to some Jews living in the area to form a new religious identity, which preserved their heritage while embracing elements of a cult worship their oppressors favored.

                          In contrast.. A person being born of virgin, walking on water and rising from the grave after three days has no precedent.
                          History can't be proven? That's absolutely ridiculous. We can't prove that the confederate States of America lost thier bid for independence? Sure we can there is ample evidence. What we can't prove is that Christianity borrowed anything from the Roman cult of mithras because there is no evidence. The timing of your date can't be proved as the foundation or starting point of the Roman cult of mithras which is key to your argument. In fact If you really and honestly looked into the Roman cult of mithras you'd find that it borrowed more from Christianity than vice versa.

                          Plutarch speaks of a group of pirates that worshipped a minor Persian deity that predates the establishment of a systematic religion that had temples and a strong male following known as the Roman cult of mithras. What can't be proven is that the Roman cult of mithras predates Christianity. The religion of the pirates and the Roman cult is not the same. The linked article and others make that clear.

                          added

                          AA Trever agrees with my timing as well.
                          https://archive.org/details/historyo...3mbp/page/n655
                          Last edited by Dropkick; 12-31-18, 11:04 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BJ BEAR View Post
                            Hi Oceancoast,

                            The nonsense is wholly in your assertions.
                            LOL.. true to form.. this is what so-called Christian apologists do every time they are loosing the argument. No humility to simply accept they can't prove their faith..

                            That is "the POINT that you seem to fail to comprehend as I mentioned in my posts" that Mithraism doesn't predate the Judeo-Christian faith. Which date is earlier one hundred BC or one thousand BC? Obviously, one thousand BC is earlier than one hundred BC. Just as obvious is that Jesus, the incarnate Lord, came in fulfillment of the faith that predates one thousand BC.
                            lol. you sly fox.. I see what your doing... What we have here is you injecting a minor nuance to avoid accepting that my statements were correct. I said.. Mithrasim predated Christianity... you changed that to Judeo-Christian faith, attaching 'judeo-" as to move the goal posts back to 1000 BCE.. which I'm wondering now why you choose 1000BCE? are you saying Judaism began in 1000BCE? objectively, the earliest manuscript of the Torah, dates to 2nd century BCE.. we only have scant evidence of anything before 6th century BCE.. NOTHING at 1000BCE. But if we give you the benefit of the doubt your attempt to move the goal post back fails as well.. Since if you claim a hybrid "Judeo-Christian", then apples for apples.. we need to connect Roman Mithraism to it's earlier Persian ancestor as a Persian-Roman Mithrasim.. which moves the date clock back to possibly 15th century BCE. As there is a cuniform text dating to the 15th century BCE Mittani , again not geographically far from Cilicia that uses the term 'Mitra' the liguistic root of the Mithra, and a Royal seal from the king of Mittani that depicts a tauroctonous Mithras. So if you feel the need to play the word games to avoid accepting that Roman Mithras did pre-date Christianity.. so be it.. you fail again.


                            Also, your misuse and abuse of Paul in this context is nonsense as he, by his own admission, was late to realize that Jesus is the Messiah which he and the Jewish people had been waiting for. Paul did not start his own religion or a new version of a preexisting religion as he plainly stated and demonstrated in word and deed.
                            false accusation.. Where did I misuse Paul at all? I didn't .. In fact I don't recall citing Paul, with the exception of where he was from Tarsus.. Capital of Cilicia.. home of Mithraism. The disconnect here I feel is that you keep insisting that the narrative you read in the Bible is HISTORICALLY Inerrant. And that is what I'm asking you to PROVE.. if you can't PROVE it's historically inerrant and reliable, then admit it. What are you afraid of?

                            Everyone willing to look around and see how things stand will realize that the only person from the second temple period with a world wide following of more than two billion followers is Jesus, the Messiah.
                            Popularity does not equate to truth my friend. And much of that following was FORCED upon an illiterate populace in the 4th century.. Please read the Edict of Thessalonian.. and lets discuss the executions , inquisitions and witch hunts that followed.. When you have an oppressive government demanding you believe or else face the gallows.. you get followers.. especially when the population is largely illiterate. And if you count the Billions as you do.. how many of those Billions are actual followers? You know how many actually believe? A vast majority of those Billions are Christian in name only, because they were born into a Christian family.. but they have very little understanding of what that means.

                            BTW.. there are Billions of Muslims (nearly 2 billion and Islam is the fastest growing religion, largely do to there birth rate- they allow for polygamy) and Billions of Buddists - Hindus nearly 2 Billion as well.


                            Bottom line.. if you can't prove the Christian story is fact from objective testable evidence.. why not admit? what are you afraid of? Are you afraid you may have rested your entire faith upon a false notion that you can prove Christianity? And when the reality of the lack of proof is manifest, you fear you faith will come crashing down like a house of cards? Or like it's written, the man who built his house on sand? If so, I recommend you get a better foundation..

                            As I told you before .. I am a believer, look at my avatar.. I just don't believe the same as you.. but I do believe and the foundation of my belief is not based upon a false notion that I can PROVE them.
                            Last edited by oceancoast; 12-31-18, 01:34 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dropkick View Post

                              History can't be proven?
                              That is correct.. To prove something, you will need to be able to repeat it and measure the results against a 'control'.. if you can't do that , then all you are doing is relying on hearsay about what happened... You can arrive at a fairly confident assessment, but that falls short of proven.

                              That's absolutely ridiculous. We can't prove that the confederate States of America lost thier bid for independence?
                              That is correct. You can arrive at a reasonable explanation based upon existing evidence.. It explanation maybe a fairly good , and highly likely based upon what objective evidence we have, but it can't be proven.

                              Sure we can there is ample evidence.
                              The evidence can't be repeated.. and tested So all you have left is making a reasonable interpretation of the relics. Try to understand the difference between comming up with reasonable explanations, versus PROVING something.

                              What we can't prove is that Christianity borrowed anything from the Roman cult of mithras because there is no evidence.
                              You can't prove that it didn't either. You can't prove the tenets of Christianity happened either.. You can't prove Jesus was resurrected. You can't prove that his bones are not sitting in an ossuary in Jerusalem.. You can't prove that those are his bones either. There is simply an ossuary with an inscription "Jesus son of Joseph" that dates to the 1st century Jerusalem.

                              The timing of your date can't be proved as the foundation or starting point of the Roman cult of mithras which is key to your argument. In fact If you really and honestly looked into the Roman cult of mithras you'd find that it borrowed more from Christianity than vice versa.
                              No, given the Mithrasism was objectively present before Christianity.. the reverse would be more reasonable.

                              Plutarch speaks of a group of pirates that worshipped a minor Persian deity that predates the establishment of a systematic religion that had temples and a strong male following known as the Roman cult of mithras. What can't be proven is that the Roman cult of mithras predates Christianity. The religion of the pirates and the Roman cult is not the same. The linked article and others make that clear.
                              No, the linked article according to it's authors standards states that the Roman Mithras began in the early 1st century. He acknowledges he discounts evidence that isn't backed up by some hard archaeological find.. This is the reason he discounts Plutarch. Other scholars do not discount Plutarch.. but as I pointed out .. IF you apply his same standard for the origin of something is based upon Hard archaeological evidence, not just a text making claims, then the Earliest that Christianity can be dated is somewhere in the 2nd century.. thus Roman Mithrasim would once again pre-date Christianity.. I'm sorry , but it's rather a futile exercise you engaging in.. You might as well accept Roman Mithras was there before Christianity.. Whether or not Christianity borrowed from it is a subjective opinion..

                              The point of this comes down to that subjective opinions.. Which is a more plausible opinion.. one where a group of Jews facing increased persecution from the Romans, engaged in some Religious Syncretism to merge their Jewish beliefs with Mithraism to create a new identity for themselves to escape the slaughter.. Or the belief that a man born of a virgin, walked on water, and rose from the dead?

                              added

                              AA Trever agrees with my timing as well.
                              https://archive.org/details/historyo...3mbp/page/n655
                              A hundred year old opinion..
                              Last edited by oceancoast; 12-31-18, 02:13 PM.

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