From: email@example.com (Mike Morgan in Colorado Springs)
Subject: Re: Paul & Jesus (was:Re: Attention Anglicans)
Date: 24 Jun 90 16:41:20 GMT
In article <1990Jun22.firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (robert.j.brown) writes...
>> Paulianity is a very backwards form of Christianity. It is probably
>> derived from the Greek Mystery religious permeated culture he grew up
>Paul makes it pretty clear that he grew up very, very Jewish...zealous
>for the cause of Judaism as big-time Christian persecutor. He studied
>under Gamaliel which Paul claimed was a most famous Rabbi. Paul claimed
>before his conversion that he was a Pharisee among Pharisees.
>What's this Mystery Religion stuff Paul grew up in ??
The Greek Mystery religions were pervasive in Paul's time. Even as he
was a student of Gamaliel (per questionable tradition) Paul would have
grown up in a mystery influenced country. Humans are composits of all
they know and have experienced. It would be impossible to isolate
himself from the Powerful Greek Mystery Religions. Now not only was Paul
influenced by this but all the Aposltles and Jesus himself were infected
with the mystery memes. Look up the word mystery in a concordance and
check the contexts of their apperance.
Here's something from Martin Larson's STORY OF CHRISTIAN ORIGINS.
"Cultic Preperation for Christianity
A. Elements in Christianity
1. Four Primary Components. As we have noted, the Gospel Jesus
consists of four basic components: soteriology, which came from the
mystery-cults; ethics, which came primarily from India; eschatology,
largely derived from Persia; and the supernatural Messianic concept,
which was an Essene adaptation of a Zoroastrian doctrine. The history
of Christianity over 18 centuries has proved consclusively that its
devotees can take or leave the last three of these; some have embraced,
others have rejected, one of more of them. But the one central hope
which remains constant, the essential element which gives vitality to
the religion of Jesus Christ, is the faith in Him as the SOTER, that
is, the god-man who sacrificed Himself for us, whose eucharist makes us
divine, and who confers upon us resurrection and blessed immortality.
2. Soteriology of Paramount Importance. We regard these two
conclusions as inescapable: first, that the ancient world had been
thoroughly prepared for Christianity by the god-man mystery cults; and,
second, that without this preparation it could have never made any
important headway. We note that great as was the debt of the Gospel
Jesus to Buddhist and Essene ethics and to Zoroastrain metaphysics and
eschatology, neither Persia nor India had ever known a soter and
therefore to this day Christianity is able to win very few converts in
these lands. The same held true for the Jews, the Arabians, the
Iranians, the Japanese, the Chinese, and such primitive people as the
American Indians. Among the peoples who had risen above barbarism, only
those who had already accepted Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, Adonis or
Mithra, could accept Jesus as their savior-god.
3. Source of Christian Appeal. Christianity was successful because
of its similarity to other religions which had already permeated the
Greco-Roman world. Its advantage was two fold: first, it was the
creation of a people, the Jews, more dedicated to religion than any
other; and second, it possesed an historical founder to whom was
attributed almost every quality and acheivement with which the
mystery-cults had endowed their own originators.
4. Why Pagans Accepted Christianity. The gods of the pagan cults
were shadowy figures, which their followers exchanged for a savior so
real and so human that they could almost grap His hand, or at least a
hand which had lain in His. Christianity recruited its converts from
the ranks of the mysteries by giving a new name to the doctrines and
rituals which had been practiced since before the dawn of history. And
this is the reason why Justin Martyr could say that 'the Jews, in
truth, who had the prophecies and always looked for the coming of
Christ, not only did not recognize Him, but... even mistreated Him. But
the Gentiles, who had never heard of Christ until His apostles went
from Jerusalem and preached about Him and gave them the prophecies,
were filled with joy and faith, and turned away from their idols, and
dedicated themselves to the Unbegotten God through Christ.'
This writer, however, was not quite so naive as the words would
indicate, for many passages in his works betray his acute awareness of
the fact that, although the Greeks had never heard of Jesus, they were
certainly familiar with older, similar soters." STORY OF CHRISTIAN
ORIGINS, pgs 295-296.
We know the Christian Fathers knew this fact intimately. Their weak
and unconvincing excuse was that the "Devil having known the prophecies
imitated them before the time of Christ in effort to confuse humanity."
Later at some 100 CE there was an erudite and observant traveler named
Pausanias. His travels recorded that by 100 CE every province, city,
and village he visited in the Roman Empire "teemed" with the temples,
altars and shrines of Dionysus, Demeter, Persephone, Cybele, Adonis
(was Tammuz in the O.T.), Diana, Isis, Serapis, Hecate, Mithras, and
others of congential nature. These religous archetypes patterned the
Gentile mind not only for the coming Christian religion(s), but also
for one another as adherents visited other temples and conversed with
the visited clergies and laities. The various memes all swirled
together to provide a fertile base to work from.
Everyone intelligent knows and understands that I am completely and utterly
unable to speak for Digital in matters of personal conviction.
Undercover Episkopope of the New Wave CyberNauts
Unelected Agent General of Chaos