(1040) Sat 28 Dec 96 21:41
By: DAVID RICE
To: GERRY DANEN
Re: December 25
>CG> I wish everyone a pleasant December the 25th,
>CG> and a Good New Year.
GD> Are you trying to be politically correct, or are
GD> you afraid of the word Christmas and what it stands
Greed, avarice, consumerism, commercialism, and of
course unbridled capitalism. Damn frightening to me.
To say that history is silent about Herod's massacre of
the innocents is not to say that the story is at all
unusual. Parallel versions of it are so common in the
folklore of ancient societies that mythologists have even
assigned a name to the story and call it the
dangerous-child myth. Space won't allow a review of all
these myths, but the Hindu version is worth looking at,
because it is strikingly parallel to Matthew's story.
According to Hindu literature, Krishna, the eighth
incarnation of the god Vishnu, was born to the virgin
Devaki in fulfillment of prophecy and was visited by wise
men who had been guided to him by a star. Angels also
announced the birth to herdsmen in the nearby countryside.
When King Kansa heard about the miraculous birth of this
child, he sent men to "kill all the infants in the
neighboring places," but a "heavenly voice" whispered to
the foster father of Krishna (who, incidentally, was a
carpenter) and warned him to take the child and flee
across the Jumna river. (In this Hindu legend, we can
recognize many parallels to the infancy of Jesus other
than the dangerous-child element.) In "Bible Myths and
Their Parallels in Other Religions," author T. W. Doane
cited a work by Thomas Maurice, "Indian Antiquities", vol.
1, pp. 112-113, which described an "immense sculpture" in
a cave-temple at Elephanta that depicts the Indian
children being slaughtered while men and women apparently
representing their parents are standing by pleading for
the children (p. 167).
A study of pagan mythology would establish similar
parallels in the stories of Zoroaster (Persian), Perseus
and Bacchus (Greek), Horus (Egyptian), Romulus and Remus
(Roman), Gautama (the founder of Buddhism), and many
others, because various pieces of the dangerous-child myth
can be found in the stories of all these pagan gods and
prophets. All of these myths antedate, usually by many
centuries, Matthew's account of the massacre of the
children at Bethlehem. Krishna, for example, was a Hindu
savior who allegedly lived in the sixth century B. C., so
when a study of ancient world literature shows that an
unusual event like the slaughter of the innocents seemed
to have happened =everywhere=, reasonable people will
realize that it probably happened =nowhere= or, at best,
that it happened only once and was subsequently
plagiarized. Since the story occurs many times before
Matthew's version of it, we can only conclude that no such
event happened in Bethlehem as Matthew--and only
Matthew--claimed. Just like that, then, fundamentalists
who put so much stock in prophecy-fulfillment find one of
their "fulfillments" vaporizing right before their eyes.
... Drink till she's cute. Stop before you get married.
--- Silver Xpress Mail System 5.4H1
* Origin: "She blinded me with science!" (1:124/9005)
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