Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mithraism and Christianity (Similarities and differences pt 2)

 We look briefly at the similarities between Mithraism and Christianity. I will be brief but I suggest you follow the links for further detail.
  1. Mithra and Christ---Celebrated birth on Dec 25 (Winter Solstice)
  2. Mithra and Christ---Had similar "communion" ritual; where wine was taken to symbolize blood; and meat eaten to symbolize flesh
  3. Mithra and Christ--- Born Supernaturally (I.E. No human father)
  4. Mithra and Christ---Ascend to Heaven
  5. Mithra and Christ---Last Supper stories
  6. Mithra and Christ--- Baptism-except that Mithra`s followers baptized in OX blood!
  7. Mithra and Christ--Resurrect Easter(Ishtar,Astarte etc)
Mithra worship predates Christianity by over a thousand. years. It was a Persian religion that spread westward and was popular during the rule of the Roman Empire. Of course this is not to say that Christianity equals Mithra-ism in any way.It is just to point out similarities and the obvious fact, that many deny; which is simply that cultures and peoples influenced each other. No religion was immune. Not Christianity,Judaism, or Islam, not one.
 recommended reading:
Mysteries of Mithra:Franz Cumont  (1956)   You can probably find this real cheap on Amazon if interested.
Read the ancient classical texts; there are too many too list but a few examples are Justin Martyr,Commodian,Lucian,Tertullian,Plutarch. in them you will find the ancient discussions concerning the origin and influences of these early movements. Take this quote as an example by the early Christian apologist Justin Martyr.
"For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body; "and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood; "and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn (Justin Martyr, (1st) Apology .66)." 
The problem with his argument of "devil imitation;" is that Mithraism predated Christianity by 1500 years!      Be well.Cheers!
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