It is currently Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:41 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 143 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Mithra: The Pagan Christ
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:10 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm
Posts: 5205
Location: 3rd rock from the sun
Give these articles a good going over:

Mithra: The Pagan Christ

Early Church Fathers on Mithraism: The Devil Got There First

Mithras - Pagan Origins of Christianity


_________________
Astrotheology.Net
Mythicists United
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2015 Astrotheology Calendar
Astrotheology Calendar Special
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube
The Mythicist Position


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:17 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm
Posts: 5205
Location: 3rd rock from the sun
Happy Birthday, Mithras!
(by Gary Leupp, a Professor of History and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion at Tufts University)

The Merriest Days of the Year: Unearthing the Pagan Origins of Christmas
by Kate Prendergast

"She has a doctoral degree in archaeology from St. Hugh’s College, Oxford. This article was adapted from her paper, "Chronos, Saturn, Mithra: Archaeology and the Pagan Origins of Christmas," in Case Studies in Archaeology and World Religion. The Proceedings of the Cambridge Conference, T. Insoll, ed., BAR International Series 755."

Quote:
ANCIENT ROME:

"By the third century CE, there were many religions and spiritual mysteries being followed within the Roman Empire. Many, if not most, celebrated the birth of their god-man near the time of the solstice. Emperor Aurelian (270 to 275 CE) blended a number of Pagan solstice celebrations of the nativity of such god-men/saviors as Appolo, Attis, Baal, Dionysus, Helios, Hercules, Horus, Mithra, Osiris, Perseus, and Theseus into a single festival called the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun" on DEC-25. At the time, Mithraism and Christianity were fierce competitors. Aurelian had even declared Mithraism the official religion of the Roman Empire in 274 CE. Christianity won out by becoming the new official religion in the 4th century CE."

_________________
Astrotheology.Net
Mythicists United
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2015 Astrotheology Calendar
Astrotheology Calendar Special
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube
The Mythicist Position


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:05 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:09 pm
Posts: 2142
Here's an excerpt - there is more!

The Virgin Mother Anahita

Unlike various other rock- or cave-born gods, Mithra is not depicted in the Roman cultus as having been given birth by a mortal woman or a goddess; hence, it is claimed that he was not "born of a virgin." However, a number of writers over the centuries have asserted otherwise, including several modern Persian and Armenian scholars who are apparently reflecting an ancient tradition from Near Eastern Mithraism.

"The worship of Mithra and Anahita, the virgin mother of Mithra, was well-known in the Achaemenian period."

Sassanid king Khosrow flanked by Anahita and Ahura Mazda; 7th cent. AD/CE; Taq-e Bostan, Iran (Phillipe Chavin)For example, Dr. Badi Badiozamani says that a "person" named "Mehr" or Mithra was "born of a virgin named Nahid Anahita ('immaculate')" and that "the worship of Mithra and Anahita, the virgin mother of Mithra, was well-known in the Achaemenian period [558-330 BCE]..." (Badiozamani, 96) Philosophy professor Mohammed Ali Amir-Moezzi states: "Dans le mithraïsme, ainsi que le mazdéisme populaire, (A)Nāhīd, mère de Mithra/Mehr, est vierge"--"In Mithraism, as in popular Mazdaism, Anahid, the mother of Mithra, is a virgin." (Amir-Moezzi, 78-79) Comparing the rock birth with that of the virgin mother, Dr. Amir-Moezzi also says:

...il y a donc analogie entre le rocher, symbole d'incorruptibilité, qui donne naissance au dieu iranien et la mère de celui-ci, Anāhīd, éternellement vierge et jeune.

(...so there is analogy between the rock, a symbol of incorruptibility, giving birth to the Iranian god and the mother of that (same) one, Anahid, eternally virgin and young.)

In Mithraic Iconography and Ideology (78), Dr. Leroy A. Campbell calls Anahita the "great goddess of virgin purity," and Religious History professor Dr. Claas J. Bleeker says, "In the Avestan religion she is the typical virgin." (Bleeker (1963), 100)

One modern writer ("Mithraism and Christianity") portrays the Mithra myth thus:

According to Persian mythology, Mithras was born of a virgin given the title "Mother of God".

The Parthian princes of Armenia were all priests of Mithras, and an entire district of this land was dedicated to the Virgin Mother Anahita. Many Mithraeums, or Mithraic temples, were built in Armenia, which remained one of the last strongholds of Mithraism. The largest near-eastern Mithraeum was built in western Persia at Kangavar, dedicated to "Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras."

Artemis the Huntress holding two animals (lions?), Francois Vase, 6th century BCE; LouvreAnahita, also known as "Anaitis"--whose very name means "Pure" and "Untainted" and who was equated in antiquity with the virgin goddess Artemis--is certainly an Indo-Iranian goddess of some antiquity, dating back at least to the first half of the first millennium prior to the common era and enjoying "widespread popularity" around Asia Minor. Indeed, Anahita has been called "the best known divinity of the Persians" in Asia Minor. (de Jong, 268)

Moreover, concerning Mithra Schaff-Herzog says, "The Achaemenidae worshiped him as making the great triad with Ahura and Anahita." Ostensibly, this "triad" was the same as God the Father, the Virgin and Jesus, which would tend to confirm the assertion that Anahita was Mithra's virgin mother. That Anahita was closely associated with Mithra at least five centuries before the common era is evident from the equation made by Herodotus (1.131) in naming "Mitra" as the Persian counterpart of the Near and Middle Eastern goddesses Alilat and Mylitta. (de Jong, 269-270)

Moreover, Mithra's prototype, the Indian Mitra, was likewise born of a female, Aditi, the "mother of the gods," the inviolable or virgin dawn. Hence, we would expect an earlier form of Mithra also to possess this virgin-mother motif, which seems to have been lost or deliberately severed in the all-male Roman Mithraism.

Well known to scholars, the pre-Christian divine birth and virgin mother motifs are documented in the archaeological and literary records, as verified by Dr. Marguerite Rigoglioso in The Cult of the Divine Birth in Ancient Greece and Virgin Mother Goddesses of Antiquity.

_________________
Why suffer from Egyptoparallelophobia, when you can read Christ in Egypt? Try it - you'll like it:

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:48 am 
Offline
Thor

Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 48
Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Give Acharya's article a good going over:

Mithra: The Pagan Christ


I'd say it's already been given a good "going over" (as Eastend mobsters used to call it). E.g. here.

It's twaddle from start to end, and makes the elementary mistake of confusing Mithra and Mithras.

A load of bull, is the phrase that springs to mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:38 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm
Posts: 5205
Location: 3rd rock from the sun
Welcome to the forum Roger.

Thanks for the Christian apologist link that offers nothing but hand-waving dismissals without a single footnote, primary sources to substantiate its claims or even any scholarly commentary to back up their opinions. Apparently, they feel that their opinion on the issue is all they need.

Did you even read Acharya's article? It contains links &/or footnotes to primary sources and scholarly commentary from Mithraic experts and includes images of primary sources. I think we know which one we can rely on and which one is "dishonest" and "inaccurate."

Here's a brief online article by a Mithraic expert:

MITHRAISM: The Cosmic Mysteries of Mithras by David Ulansey

There is some information about Mithra in this video that is certainly interesting:

Mithras - Pagan Origins of Christianity

_________________
Astrotheology.Net
Mythicists United
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2015 Astrotheology Calendar
Astrotheology Calendar Special
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube
The Mythicist Position


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:27 pm 
Offline
Thor

Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 48
Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Thanks for the Christian apologist link that offers nothing but hand-waving dismissals... Did you even read Acharya's article? It contains links &/or footnotes to primary sources and scholarly commentary from Mithraic experts and includes images of primary sources. I think we know which one we can rely on and which one is "dishonest" and "inaccurate."


Let's start one by one, shall we? Which is the primary source that records that Mithras had 12 disciples? I saw no reference for this claim in the article.

Quote:
Here's a brief online article by a Mithraic expert:


I ought to mention that I am familiar with the entire corpus of ancient evidence on Mithras. So I don't think references to secondary sources need detain us.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:02 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 559
I don't want to get drawn too much into this in text form, since I am going to address the issues with Mithras throughout my video series.

However, I will say this much, since I have already addressed it in video, in regards to this statement-
roger_pearse wrote:
...and makes the elementary mistake of confusing Mithra and Mithras.


Oh, you mean like church fathers, such as Origen and Tertullian?

This statement of yours makes the elementary mistake of disregarding syncretism. The ancients did not have the arbitrary types of distinctions(that you might like to have guarded by an iron gate) which WE have in times since set up for academic purposes, to compartmentalize our fields of study to produce more efficient research.

Mithras was quite clearly syncretic with the Iranaian/Zoroastrian Mithra, he obviously inherited features, most obviously the name, as well as the birth from an egg, the affiliation with lions, etc.
Just as the Zoroastrian Mithra in turn had inherited several things from the Hindu Mitra, most obviously the name, as well the birth from an egg, etc.

Mithras was just as syncretic with Zoroaster's Mithra just as he was with Sol Invictus or Sabazios in later times, and just as he was with Attis in earlier times.
He was conflated with Attis by at least the 1st century BC if not earlier, and Attis was in turn made syncretic with Dionysus by that time, and Dionysus in turn had already been made completely syncretic with Osiris by at least the 5th century BC if not earlier, Herodotus says they were one and the SAME, not just similar- the SAME.

And so forth and so on.

The ancient folks had no problem playing Mr. Potato Head with their deities, and that is exaclty part of the point. What's to say that the similar elements observed between Mithras and Christ weren't the result of like syncretism? We can already observe that Jesus is a product of syncretism, as even christianity will admit, in a manner of sorts(via the doctrine of prophetic typology). The Jesus story undeniably already plays Mr. Potato Head with several elements from Old Testament characters, not the least of which include Moses, Joseph, Isaac, David, Elijah, etc., etc.
So the Jesus story is already highly suspect of making use of the tool of syncretism, doesn't seem like there was much to stop the New Testament authors from likewise borrowing from popular secular and pagan myths while they were at it, had they so chose.
Seems like the only thing that one can appeal to as something that might have stopped them was "divine intervention", "fear of the lord", or something of that sort.
Yet the "fear of the lord" didn't keep them from straying away from orthodox Judaism into something that was clearly considered highly heretical by that parent religion. So, 'in for a penny, in for a pound', as they say.

I, personally, am of the persuasion that nothing would have stopped the New Testament authors from likewise borrowing from pagan mythology just as they borrowed from Jewish mythology.

You clearly do not see it that way, and that's fine. But your argumentation so far presented to try and justify that has not been fine. It has been bunk. Rehashed bunk.


Splitting Hairs vs. Syncretism



Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:58 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:24 pm
Posts: 5205
Location: 3rd rock from the sun
You must have missed the section titled, Mithra and the Twelve and the several primary source images showing Mithra surrounded by the 12.

Did you read the article at all or just reach for the first Christian apologist website you could find? I expected much better from you. I've seen your website on the work of Tertullian. Nevertheless, I also know that you are a rabid Christian apologist who only cares about shoring up your faith at all costs, facts and evidence be damned. Unfortunately, you cannot to be trusted on these issues at all.

Now, simply provide the primary sources proving that Mark, Matthew, Luke and John actually wrote the canonical gospels and share your best contemporary evidence for a biblical Jesus.

roger_pearse wrote:
Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Thanks for the Christian apologist link that offers nothing but hand-waving dismissals... Did you even read Acharya's article? It contains links &/or footnotes to primary sources and scholarly commentary from Mithraic experts and includes images of primary sources. I think we know which one we can rely on and which one is "dishonest" and "inaccurate."


Let's start one by one, shall we? Which is the primary source that records that Mithras had 12 disciples? I saw no reference for this claim in the article.

Quote:
Here's a brief online article by a Mithraic expert:


I ought to mention that I am familiar with the entire corpus of ancient evidence on Mithras. So I don't think references to secondary sources need detain us.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

That's nice, but if you want to be an expert on this subject, you'll need to factor in the actual ROOTS of Mithraism, not just the Roman branch. Acharya made that perfectly clear in her article, which you obviously didn't even read.

Yes, from his very first message, it's clear Roger didn't even read Acharya's article - but that's the depth of Christian apologists.

You missed this section as well, didn't you?

Quote:
The Many Faces of Mithra

Mainstream scholarship speaks of at least three Mithras: Mitra, the Vedic god; Mithra, the Persian deity; and Mithras, the Greco-Roman mysteries The Armenian Empire under Tigranes the Great, fl. 95 to 66 BCE; Aivazovskyicon. However, the Persian Mithra apparently developed differently in various places, such as in Armenia, where there appeared to be emphasis on characteristics not overtly present in Roman Mithraism but found as motifs within Christianity, including the Virgin Mother Goddess. This Armenian Mithraism is evidently a continuity of the Mithraism of Asia Minor and the Near East. This development of gods taking on different forms, shapes, colors, ethnicities and other attributes according to location, era and so on is not only quite common but also the norm. Thus, we have hundreds of gods and goddesses who are in many ways interchangeable but who have adopted various differences based on geographical and environmental factors.

Same god, different ethnicity. Roger is patently clueless when it comes to comparative mythology and how religions change and merge with one another - called "syncretism," as GA points out. Here's the definition:

Quote:
syn·cre·tism
   /ˈsɪŋkrɪˌtɪzəm, ˈsɪn-/ Show Spelled[sing-kri-tiz-uhm, sin-] Show IPA
–noun
1. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.

Notice that the definition specifically addresses RELIGION. Why? Because it's basic to the history of religion, and anyone who pretends to be an expert on religion should know that fact. Religions don't grow up in pristine vacuums unaffected by other religious or mythological ideas, including - ESPECIALLY - Christianity.

But it's not just the opposing principles, etc., that are combined together in ancient religion - the combining of gods is CONSTANT throughout ancient mythology, as Roger would also know if he had any clue about religious history.

Christian apologists are in denial, period. They're probably all hot under the collar too because of Acharya including in her article a quote from Mithraic expert Roger Beck:

Quote:
In response to a question about Tertullian's discussion of the purported Mithraic forehead mark, Dr. Gordon—honorary professor of Religionsgeschichte der Antike at the University of Erfurt, Thuringen—says:

Quote:
In general, in studying Mithras, and the other Greco-oriental mystery cults, it is good practice to steer clear of all information provided by Christian writers: they are not "sources," they are violent apologists, and one does best not to believe a word they say, however tempting it is to supplement our ignorance with such stuff. (Gordon, "FAQ")

Beck should probably include MODERN apologists in his warning, as Roger so aptly proves.

_________________
Astrotheology.Net
Mythicists United
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
2015 Astrotheology Calendar
Astrotheology Calendar Special
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube
The Mythicist Position


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 4:40 am 
Offline
Thor

Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 48
Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
roger_pearse wrote:
Freethinkaluva22 wrote:
Thanks for the Christian apologist link that offers nothing but hand-waving dismissals... Did you even read Acharya's article? It contains links &/or footnotes to primary sources and scholarly commentary from Mithraic experts and includes images of primary sources. I think we know which one we can rely on and which one is "dishonest" and "inaccurate."


Let's start one by one, shall we? Which is the primary source that records that Mithras had 12 disciples? I saw no reference for this claim in the article.


You must have missed the section titled, Mithra and the Twelve and the several primary source images showing Mithra surrounded by the 12.


You mean the section which contained a single image, which does not show "12 disciples", and for which the following text was the ENTIRE section? Perhaps you can explain which bit of which contains a piece of primary data saying "Mithras had 12 disciples"?

Quote:
The theme of the teaching god and "the Twelve" is found within Mithraism, as Mithra is depicted as surrounded by the 12 zodiac signs on a number of monuments and in the writings of Porphyry (4.16), for one. These 12 signs are sometimes portrayed as humans and, as they have been in the case of numerous sun gods, could be called Mithra's 12 "companions" or "disciples."

Regarding the Twelve, John M. Robertson says:

On Mithraic monuments we find representations of twelve episodes, probably corresponding to the twelve labors in the stories of Heracles, Samson and other Sun-heroes, and probably also connected with initiation.

The comparison of this common motif with Jesus and the 12 has been made on many occasions, including in an extensive study entitled, "Mithras and Christ: some iconographical similarities," by Professor A. Deman in Mithraic Studies."


Perhaps you could point me, as I asked, to the primary source that refers to Mithras having twelve disciples.

The opinion of Robertson is of no importance to us; as for Deman, no proper reference is given, and ultimately either rests on primary evidence or imagination. I rather doubt Deman would endorse Acharya's claims, but I'm certainly willing to see the page of his article which you say does.

If you have other depictions that say "Mithras and 12 disciples", do point me at them.

Quote:
Did you read <snip personal remarks>


<smile>
Quote:
Now, simply provide the primary sources proving that Mark, ... <snip attempt to change subject>


<smile>

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Here's a brief online article by a Mithraic expert:


I ought to mention that I am familiar with the entire corpus of ancient evidence on Mithras. So I don't think references to secondary sources need detain us.


That's nice, but if you want to be an expert on this subject, you'll need to <snip change of subject>


One thing at a time. I'm waiting for the primary evidence that tells us Mithras had 12 disciples. Being depicted surrounded by the Zodiac is not the same thing. Some readers may have difficulty with this, so let me make the point clearer: a "disciple" is a man who stands on earth and gets taught by another man. A sign of the zodiac is an imaginary pattern found in the sky comprised of stars.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:07 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 559
roger_pearse wrote:
If you have other depictions that say "Mithras and 12 disciples", do point me at them.


Image
Image

Quote:
One thing at a time. I'm waiting for the primary evidence that tells us Mithras had 12 disciples. Being depicted surrounded by the Zodiac is not the same thing. Some readers may have difficulty with this, so let me make the point clearer: a "disciple" is a man who stands on earth and gets taught by another man. A sign of the zodiac is an imaginary pattern found in the sky comprised of stars.


You are clearly missing the point. Also, you are getting hung up on the colloquial usage of the word "disciple" here and you are trying to assert an excessively acute definition to the word. Especially the demand for it to be men standing on earth taught by other men. One has to wonder if you would bitch at Veggie Tales if they ever depicted the twelve disciples as fruit & vegetables.

Which sort of brings me back to what I really wanted to say, and what I covered, so to speak, in my videos refuting the argument that "the differences outweigh the similarities" which I will link at the bottom here.

You are continuing to split hairs by disregarding the use of the zodiac to represent disciples, and in doing such, you find your self at odds with the bible itself. You insinuate that Mithras' "disciples" cannot be symbolized by twelve groups of stars, and yet Revelation 12:1 symbolizes either the twelve disciples and/or tribes of Israel with twelve... STARS.

And Genesis 37:9 did something similar when the sun, moon, and eleven STARS were used to symbolize Joseph's family.

The bible itself has no problem using the stars to symbolize groups of twelve. So unless you take issue with the bible too, then you are engaging in special pleading.

You demand that any parallel to Christ's twelve disciples MUST be men standing on earth taught by other men, yet christianity almost universally admits that the twelve disciples themselves are a parallel to the twelve TRIBES of Israel, which do NOT fit your aforementioned ad hoc criteria.
Hell, Revelation 21:14 uses twelve BUILDING FOUNDATIONS as a parallel to the twelve apostles.
Why would twelve layers of a building be an acceptable parallel to draw, but not 12 humans associated with the zodiac as in the above depiction?
Surely twelve PEOPLE more closely parallel 12 people than building foundations do.

And this is really the point of the whole thing, that chief deities being surrounded, followed, served, etc., by groupings of twelve is a common motif found all throughout the ancient world, most of them not only predating the twelve apostles, but even predating the Old Testament.

In the hours of the Duat we constantly see Osiris, Horus, and Ra being depicted with numerous groupings of twelve, which you can see here in the following links-

Horus with the twelve gods of the twelve hours of the duat, opposite the crocodile, possibly Sobek, as "Wicked Lake of the Duat", with the twelve goddesses who protect the grave of Osiris.
Image

http://www.egiptologia.org/textos/amduat/07/amduat07.jpg
http://www.egiptologia.org/textos/amduat/09/amduat09.jpg
http://www.egiptologia.org/textos/amduat/12/amduat12.jpg
http://www.egiptologia.org/textos/amduat/01/amduat01.jpg

In Greece they had the twelve Titans, succeeded by the twelve Olympians.
The twelve labors of Hercules, which Clement of Alexandria admitted was also a metaphor for the zodiac.
The twelve Adityas of Hinduism.
When Augustus was born, it is claimed that Octavius had a dream in which the sun was born from his wife's womb, and he also saw Augustus dressed like Zeus in a chariot pulled by twelve horses.
And so forth and so on.
These are just the ones that I can recall here on the fly, there are countless other examples.

So why would all of these things be unacceptable to draw as a parallel to the twelve apostles, when the Bible itself uses twelve tribes, twelve stars, and twelve building foundations to parallel the apostles?
And the twelve tribes were in turn paralleled by the twelve stones Moses set up, and the twelve loaves of bread in the tabernacle, and the twelve gems on the high priest's breastplate(which Josephus and Philo both admitted were symbolic of the zodiac), and the twelve gates of the aforementioned passage in Revelation, etc., etc.

To claim that it is okay for the bible itself to use non-human figures as a parallel to the apostles and tribes, why is it any less acceptable to draw the same parallel to other non-human figures found outside of the bible?

Answer: It isn't. You are engaging in a special pleading fallacy.


The videos I promised earlier-

Excuses to Christ Mythology - Differences Outweigh Similarities 1 of 7



2


3


4


5


6


7


Excuses to Christ Mythology - Splitting Hairs vs Syncretism 1 of 2



2


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:02 pm 
Offline
Thor

Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 48
GodAlmighty wrote:
roger_pearse wrote:
If you have other depictions that say "Mithras and 12 disciples", do point me at them.


Image
Image


I don't see anything in this that says this is Mithras plus 12 disciples. It shows Mithras, surrounded by the zodiac, beneath the Sun and the Moon. As he kills the bull, the dog and the snake jump up to lick the blood, and the scorpion grabs its balls. It's a standard scene -- but it doesn't show disciples! In fact it's very funny to see people claim the zodiac = disciples.

Quote:
Quote:
One thing at a time. I'm waiting for the primary evidence that tells us Mithras had 12 disciples. Being depicted surrounded by the Zodiac is not the same thing. Some readers may have difficulty with this, so let me make the point clearer: a "disciple" is a man who stands on earth and gets taught by another man. A sign of the zodiac is an imaginary pattern found in the sky comprised of stars.


...you are getting hung up on the colloquial usage of the word "disciple" here and you are trying to assert an excessively acute definition to the word.


I don't see how -- how else would you define the word?! A disciple is someone who is taught. But frankly I don't think playing with words helps the case that "Mithras had 12 disciples". It just makes those defending it look shifty. Why do it?

To summarise: Mithras is not recorded with 12 disciples in any ancient text, nor depicted with them in any ancient inscription, nor does any Mithras scholar agree that "Mithras had 12 disciples".

Quote:
You insinuate that Mithras' "disciples" cannot be symbolized by twelve groups of stars, and yet Revelation 12:1 symbolizes either the twelve disciples and/or tribes of Israel with twelve... STARS. And Genesis 37:9 did something similar when the sun, moon, and eleven STARS were used to symbolize Joseph's family. The bible itself has no problem using the stars to symbolize groups of twelve. So unless you take issue with the bible too, then you are engaging in special pleading.


I don't say that Mithras "disciples" cannot be symbolized by twelve groups of stars. It's possible to imagine anything. But what I actually say that there is no evidence in any ancient source that he had such. "Disciples" is a Greek word. Where is that word used, connected with Mithras? And I'd like an answer. You know, and I know, there is none.

Of course if he DID have disciples, they could perhaps be symbolised by 12 constellations, 12 stars, 12 men, 12 pineapples, or indeed anything else you can imagine or draw. But in that case, I ask to see the ancient text that says that these non-existent people WERE so symbolised.

The remainder of your comment seems a bit strange to me, and I'm not sure I follow the logic. Certainly the bible uses the imagery of stars for things. But ... why do we care? How is this relevant to Mithras? Are you suggesting that everyone everywhere uses the same symbols and imagery for the same things? So I don't see why this tells us that the worshippers of Mithras must have meant "disciples" when they display the zodiac. Why doesn't it simply mean the zodiac? If it does not WHICH ANCIENT SOURCE SAYS SO?

I think your argument is this -- The bible uses stars to represent people. Therefore when the zodiac surrounds Mithras, this must mean people. Since Revelation might refer to 12 disciples (or 12 tribes), then this proves that Mithras had 12 disciples (or 12 tribes, I presume, although you don't say so).

You can't produce evidence for the claim that "Mithras had 12 disciples". Even your own argument shows that the statement should read "Mithras had 12 disciples (or possibly tribes)". And you might want to think whether that argument works at all.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:39 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 559
roger_pearse wrote:
I don't see anything in this that says this is Mithras plus 12 disciples.


Because you are being obstinate, searing your conscience with a hot iron. It doesn't need to "say" it in text when it unambiguously "says" it in visual depiction.

Afterall, to follow your own flawed argument here, I don't see anything in this that says this is Jesus plus 12 disciples.
Image


Quote:
It shows Mithras, surrounded by the zodiac, beneath the Sun and the Moon.


A fact no one has denied, and in fact we've acknowledged here several times.

Quote:
As he kills the bull, the dog and the snake jump up to lick the blood, and the scorpion grabs its balls. It's a standard scene


Another fact which has never been denied.

Quote:
but it doesn't show disciples!


Again, that's like arguing that this doesn't show disciples, it just shows sailors. Your argument here is a pigeon hole fallacy.

Image

Quote:
In fact it's very funny to see people claim the zodiac = disciples.


It's very funny to see Revelation 12:1 claim stars=disciples, or to see Rev 21:14 claim building foundations=disciples.

It's even funnier to see you sticking your head in the sand concerning this point.

Quote:
I don't see how -- how else would you define the word?!


As I said, by the colloqiual usage, which is widely regarded to be that of "follower". I'm confident in guessing that in your many years as a christian you have heard this definition, as I know I sure did.

As per Wikipedia-"Other Biblical uses: Since the word disciple is used in English generally to mean "follower" or "pupil", it is applied to other Biblical characters, such as John the Baptist (c.f. John 1:35) and Isaiah (c.f. Isaiah 8:16)."

As per ehow- "According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, "disciple" means "follower, adherent, believer, student, supporter."

As per thesarus.com-
"Main Entry: disciple
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: believer, follower"

As per Merriam-Webster's-
"Synonyms: acolyte, adherent, convert, follower, epigone, liege man, partisan (also partizan), pupil, votarist, votary"

And just a simple google search will reveal several other folks who have also defined it this way, the colloqiual way, which is just as acceptable as the text book definition.

And no doubt many of the relevant ancient cultures in their geocentrism considered the stars to be following after the sun every day and night.

But again, this is just getting caught up in semantics. You're trying your best to pigeon hole a term so as to exclude the possibility of many of the groups of twelve pointed out earlier as a sufficient parallel to the disciples, yet in doing so, your definition likewise excludes many of THE BIBLE'S OWN parallels to the disciples.

Seriously, do you think the authors of the New Testament would've split hairs as much as you if someone had called the disciples "followers" or "devotees" or any other perfectly acceptable synonym to "disciple"?

And hell, the author of Revelation clearly had no problem equating the disciples to stars and building foundations, and Joseph had no problem equating his brothers to stars, yet you seem to be at odds with them when it comes to equating stars to followers of Mithras as the above pic does.

Hell, the zodiac signs are also NOT literal lions or fish or goats or bulls or scales, etc., they are stars, and yet you have yet to bitch about those equivocations.

Quote:
A disciple is someone who is taught.


Ah, ah, ah, no backpedaling. You earlier defined disciples as "a "disciple" is a man who stands on earth and gets taught by another man."

You have now tried to broaden your term from "man who stands on earth" to "someone".

So what do you include in your definition of "someone"? Will this mean that you are now willing to accept non-human and non-male entities as sufficient parallels to the disciples?

Or are you just trying to leave room for Veggie Tales, just in case?

Quote:
But frankly I don't think playing with words helps the case that "Mithras had 12 disciples".


You played with the word disciples by trying to add criteria to it's definition that I have never seen anywhere else until you wrote it, i.e., "a man who stands on earth". So go preach to the mirror.

Quote:
It just makes those defending it look shifty. Why do it?


You tell me, since you are guilty of this. I provided citations that corroborate with what my original point was, i.e., your definition is excessively acute and the meaning of disciples extends beyond just your ad hoc criteria.

Disciples does mean a student who is taught, yet it ALSO means a follower, adherent, etc., etc.

Quote:
To summarise: Mithras is not recorded with 12 disciples in any ancient text, "nor depicted with them in any ancient inscription,


Agreed. Texts would be obsolete here anyway since the above depictions are more than sufficient to demonstrate this. There is no Mithraic text that says the Roman Mithras was born from an egg either, yet I can still demonstrate that pictorally. And as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words. : )

Jesus and his twelve-
Image
Mithras and his twelve-
Image
Image
Image

(Note: ^for comedic/illustrative purposes. I am well aware that those depictions of Christ are of later origin. Still, it shows that these Christian artists likewise understood Occam's razor in application to the disciples and the zodiac.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:04 pm 
Offline
Thor

Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:37 am
Posts: 48
GodAlmighty wrote:
roger_pearse wrote:
I don't see anything in this that says this is Mithras plus 12 disciples.


<abuse> It doesn't need to "say" it in text when it unambiguously "says" it visual depiction.


It does if you want to use it as evidence! That's how it works, mate. Anyone can decide anything "means" something. For it to REALLY mean something, there has to be evidence.

By the way, how many scholars agree with you that the Zodiac means disciples in the cult of Mithras?

Quote:
It shows Mithras, surrounded by the zodiac, beneath the Sun and the Moon. As he kills the bull, the dog and the snake jump up to lick the blood, and the scorpion grabs its balls. It's a standard scene but it doesn't show disciples!


Again, that's like arguing that <snip>
[/quote]

This is not an answer. Stick to the subject.

Quote:
Quote:
I don't see how -- how else would you define the word?!


As I said, by the colloqiual usage, which is widely regarded to be that of "follower".


I don't think that is a colloquial use of the term, but, friend, why not just say "follower" then? In which case, which ancient text describes Mithras as having 12 followers? It's the same question, you know.

You can't answer that question either, you know.

Quote:
Quote:
A disciple is someone who is taught.


You earlier defined disciples as "a "disciple" is a man who stands on earth and gets taught by another man." (shrieked claims of hypocrisy)


Indeed I did. I'm sorry you misread my comment as being a change, rather than an abbreviation. But if you can't read what I write without misunderstanding, when you and I live in similar cultures, why on earth should we suppose you can "read" a picture which comes without a key which is 2,000 years old?

Incidentally your bible-obsession is tedious, albeit rather revealing to those of us of a cynical frame of mind. Stick to the subject.

Quote:
Quote:
But frankly I don't think playing with words helps the case that "Mithras had 12 disciples".


You <abuse>


Nor does abuse. Evidence, please.

Quote:
Quote:
It just makes those defending it look shifty. Why do it? To summarise: Mithras is not recorded with 12 disciples in any ancient text, "nor depicted with them in any ancient inscription,


Agreed. Texts would be obsolete here anyway since the above depictions are more than sufficient to demonstrate this.


Not when you want to use them as evidence.

Quote:
There is no Mithraic text that says the Roman Mithras was born from an egg either, yet I can still demonstrate that pictorally.


Erm, Mithras was born from a rock. And yes, the ancient texts DO say that. That's why we understand what the images mean of him half-buried in a rock, which show him holding a flame and a dagger.

But this, again, seems to be a change of subject. Produce your evidence from an ancient source that the zodiac = disciples/followers in the cult of Mithras.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:40 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:32 am
Posts: 1987
Location: U.S.A.
God (oops! Sorry, got the wrong person the first time), I don't think he wants to understand it. He can't even see that the 12 disciples of Christ are part of the Zodiac, as well as the 12 months. He doesn't want to see it.

_________________
Mriana

Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. ~ Gandhi

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages. ~ Thomas A. Edison


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:53 pm 
Offline
Moderator

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 559
roger_pearse wrote:
It does if you want to use it as evidence! That's how it works, mate. Anyone can decide anything "means" something. For it to REALLY mean something, there has to be evidence.


No, an artistic depiction does not need to say anything in text to be used as evidence. That is not how artistic evidence works, as historian Elizabeth Vandiver shall explain later down below.

Quote:
By the way, how many scholars agree with you that the Zodiac means disciples in the cult of Mithras?


That "Zodiac means disciples"? I hope none, since in those lists of synonyms for "disciple" I referred to earlier, I never saw the word "Zodiac" listed.

However, that the signs of the Zodiac are followers(since you go on to concede that disciples and followers are synonyms) of Mithras, who is the sun? Well, I should think any who deduce that the twelve disciples of Jesus are representative of the Zodiac, would likewise deduce the correlation to Mithras when he is being followed by the signs of the Zodiac to the tauroctony on the depictions like that one posted above. Robert Price of course comes to mind.

roger_pearse wrote:
It shows Mithras, surrounded by the zodiac, beneath the Sun and the Moon. As he kills the bull, the dog and the snake jump up to lick the blood, and the scorpion grabs its balls.

GodAlmighty wrote:
Another fact which has never been denied.

roger_pearse wrote:
It's a standard scene but it doesn't show disciples!

GodAlmighty wrote:
Again, that's like arguing that this doesn't show disciples, it just shows sailors. Your argument here is a pigeon hole fallacy.

roger_pearse wrote:
This is not an answer. Stick to the subject.


Of course it's not an answer, because the comment of yours in quotation to which it was replying is not a question.
One should expect you to know that since you wrote it.
But no matter. My analogy was on subject, as it exposes the flaw in your logic. So your reply here serves as nothing more than a hand wave dismissal.

Quote:
I don't think that is a colloquial use of the term, but, friend, why not just say "follower" then? In which case, which ancient text describes Mithras as having 12 followers? It's the same question, you know.

You can't answer that question either, you know.


I did answer already, I told you I agreed with you when you said no ancient text recorded Mithras as having 12 disciples. Maybe you just forgot that, I don't know, or maybe you're just phishing for a simplified "ain't none" to quote mine. But I stand by what I said, he IS depicted visually with 12 followers in the artwork, as previously shown, and I stand by what I correctly stated, that the artwork is more than sufficient even in the absence of a written text, and I will expound upon this further down below.


Quote:
Indeed I did. I'm sorry you misread my comment as being a change, rather than an abbreviation.


There was no misreading, I asked you outright to clarify what you meant by the change, "So what do you include in your definition of "someone"? Will this mean that you are now willing to accept non-human and non male entities as sufficient parallels to the disciples?"

So now I ask, since you consider your exchange to "someone" to be an "abbreviation" rather than a change, then do you still hold to the same criteria for "disciple", i.e., "a man standing on earth" as opposed to the broader, generic definition typically associated with the word "someone".

Quote:
But if you can't read what I write without misunderstanding, when you and I live in similar cultures, why on earth should we suppose you can "read" a picture which comes without a key which is 2,000 years old?


This was addressed above. It was not misunderstanding, it was pressing you to clarify your change, or rather, now, your abbreviation, as you prefer.

Quote:
Incidentally your bible-obsession is tedious, albeit rather revealing to those of us of a cynical frame of mind. Stick to the subject.


You keep demanding to stay on subject, when I have been very fair in keeping to the subject. There's been no attempt to hijack the dialogue off of Mithras and the disciples. Every subpoint has a purpose in either expounding upon my relevant points or to get you to clarify yours.


GodAlmighty wrote:
You played with the word disciples by trying to add criteria to it's definition that I have never seen anywhere else until you wrote it, i.e., "a man who stands on earth". So go preach to the mirror.

roger_pearse wrote:
Nor does abuse. Evidence, please.


With your repeated demands to stay on topic, bringing up false accusations of abuse does nothing but go off topic. Hardly any abuse in the comment you censored.

You literally did play with the word disciple. You literally added criteria to it which I have never seen anywhere else. I've never come across a definition, dictionary or otherwise, that included the criteria of "man standing on earth".
This is simple fact.
Did you not like the "preach to the mirror" comment? I guess that goes without saying, but in all seriousness though, do you really think that constitutes abuse, or were you just reflecting the humor?

Quote:
Agreed. Texts would be obsolete here anyway since the above depictions are more than sufficient to demonstrate this.

Quote:
Not when you want to use them as evidence.


Sure they are. Artistic depictions are sufficient to use as evidence. To quote Professor Elizabeth Vandiver in her lectures for The Teaching Company-
"And this is the kind of thing we have to guard against. Often we have only one version of a myth. We have to remember there probably were others.
...
Occasionally a work of art preserves what is clearly a very different version from the only ones known to us by literature. There's a beautiful classical Greek painting, vase painting, of a character who is quite clearly Jason, Jason who got the golden fleece, after his voyage on the Argo.
The golden fleece is there on a tree behind Jason, the tree is guarded by a dragon. All of those elements point to the fact that this is very clearly Jason, and yet, in this painting, the dragon is either swallowing Jason, or spitting him back out again. Jason is halfway out of the dragon's mouth. His arms and head are visible outside the dragon's mouth.
In no written version of Jason's story that has survived for us, does the dragon eat Jason, or attempt to eat Jason. The whole point is that Jason is helped by Medea, who gives him magic potion so that he can overcome the dragon without being eaten. If this case painting had not survived, we would not know that there had ever been a variant in which Jason was eaten by the dragon. Because we have the painting, we know this variant existed, but that's all we know about it. We have no written description of that version of Jason's story."

So yes, artwork of myths are sufficient as evidence.
Even in the absence of written texts, and even if in contradiction to extant written texts.

Quote:
Erm, Mithras was born from a rock. And yes, the ancient texts DO say that. That's why we understand what the images mean of him half-buried in a rock, which show him holding a flame and a dagger.


Erm, no one disputed that Mithras was born from a rock. Fact still remains, Mithras was born from an egg. Or do you not accept that there existed variants within myths? Yes, the ancient depictions DO show this. That's why I understand what the image means of him being hatched from an egg, even though no written text states that he was(which was the point- written texts, while valuable, ain't always necessary, as explained earlier by Elizabeth Vandiver):
Image


Quote:
But this, again, seems to be a change of subject.


While my point on the egg merely served as an analogy, the point of which was definitely relevant to the discussion, you have literally changed the subject here by trying to argue something that was never argued or brought up at all in any manner, analogy or not, i.e., Mithras birth from a rock.

Quote:
Produce your evidence from an ancient source that the zodiac = disciples/followers in the cult of Mithras.

Done and done, as already posted above-
Image

Disciple also means follower, right there you see those twelve folks representing the Zodiac followed Mithras to the tauroctony. Clear as day, no ambiguity about it.
Just as many of our geocentrist ancestors considered the stars(which thus includes the zodiacal constellations) to be followers of the sun across the sky as the night followed the day.

So, with your request having been answered, I can now go back and address the edits you made to your previous post after I had already replied to it.

Quote:
I think your argument is this -- The bible uses stars to represent people. Therefore when the zodiac surrounds Mithras, this must mean people. Since Revelation might refer to 12 disciples (or 12 tribes), then this proves that Mithras had 12 disciples (or 12 tribes, I presume, although you don't say so).


No. This was not the argument, the argument was displaying how your previous posts were engaging in special pleading.

Quote:
The remainder of your comment seems a bit strange to me, and I'm not sure I follow the logic. Certainly the bible uses the imagery of stars for things. But ... why do we care? How is this relevant to Mithras?


It was relevant to pointing out your special pleading.

Quote:
Are you suggesting that everyone everywhere uses the same symbols and imagery for the same things?


No, again, all of those examples were brought up because they demonstrated the double standard that is used in arguing against correlations between the zodiac and disciples and Mithras.

No, it is not "suggesting that everyone everywhere uses the same symbols and imagery for the same things", as I even said, the twelve pillars set up by Moses clearly represented the twelve tribes of Israel, not the zodiac.
What my point was, as was clarified by later statements in my post, if "it is okay for the bible itself to use non-human figures as a parallel to the apostles and tribes, why is it any less acceptable to draw the same parallel to other non-human figures found outside of the bible?"

Quote:
So I don't see why this tells us that the worshippers of Mithras must have meant "disciples" when they display the zodiac. Why doesn't it simply mean the zodiac?


"Simply"- again with the pigeon holing. Seems like you want to keep setting up a dichotomy between the figures of the Zodiac and anything that would constitute followers/disciples.
And again, your argument only works through special pleading, because that same question can be asked in regards to the bible.
Why don't the twelve stars of Rev 12:1 simply mean twelve stars?
Why don't the twelve loaves in the temple simply mean twelve loaves of bread, and not some typology to the twelve tribes, or even worse, to the twelve signs of the zodiac as Josephus claimed.
Why doesn't the passover lamb just mean the passover lamb, eaten to celebrate the Exodus? Why do the New Testament authors conclude Christ was some typology of that?
Because of obvious correlations.
It was just Occam's razor.
And so it is for Mithras and the Zodiac. The correlation between that and the twelve disciples of Christ or the Twelve Olympians of the Greeks, or the twelve Adityas of Hinduism, etc., etc. is obvious.
In like manner Clement of Alexandria noted the correlation between the 12 days of death for Zoroaster and the twelve labors of Hercules and the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Someone should have asked Clement why the 12 days don't simply mean 12 days, and the twelve labors simply mean twelve labors and the zodiac simply mean the zodiac.

Quote:
You can't produce evidence for the claim that "Mithras had 12 disciples". Even your own argument shows that the statement should read "Mithras had 12 disciples (or possibly tribes)". And you might want to think whether that argument works at all.


And now it seems we come to the root of the disagreement. It really is just semantics. It appears as though you just want Christianity to maintain its exclusive rights to the descriptive word "disciples" as it has since before the dark ages.
So one has to wonder, if you were to be humored, and the word "disciple" was dropped when pointing out this correlation of the "twelve" motif, if you would be satisfied.
Meh. :roll:

As I said several posts ago, you missed the point from the beginning, that the point was the correlation of the groups of twelve, and that you were getting too hung up on the usage of the word disciple.

BTW, from here on out, I'll only be checking in on the discussion once a day, so forgive me if the pace of this drags out and slows to a crawl. But we've all just got stuff to do, as I'm sure a busy fellow such as yourself can understand.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 143 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Truth Be Known | Stellar House Publishing
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Live Support