Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:17 pm
Oops. The 'king' is dead.
And the fruit still ripens, and KFC flourishes.
And the fruit still ripens, and KFC flourishes.
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Forum Monk wrote:Come on, Min. You can't go out and find some random essay and cite that as evidence. The author made plenty of claims and not a single citation. I wouldn't consider it a scholarly piece of work.
so your saying that anyone who claims to be able to magically provide food is talking out of their ass and people shouldn't pay attentionOops. The 'king' is dead.
And the fruit still ripens, and KFC flourishes.
The sad thing is, today, one would be hard pressed to find this many virgins.Minimalist wrote:He was also born on December 25th to a virgin named Maya.
Attis was born on December 25th of the virgin Nana....he was also crucified, descended into the underworld and resurrected.
Dionysus was born of a virgin on December 25th and placed in a manger.
He also rode in a triumphal procession on an ass, turned water into wine was killed and rose from the dead.
Horus was born on December 25th in a cave/manger of the virgin Isis-Meri. His birth was announced by a star and he was attended by 3 wise men. He was also crucified between 2 thieves and resurrected.
Krishna was born on December 25th of the Virgin Devaki. His earthly father was a carpenter who was off in the city paying his taxes when Krishna was born. He was also crucified and ascended to heaven.
Mithras was born on December 25th, allegedly by yet another virgin in a cave and was attended by shepherds bering gifts. He also performed miracles, had 12 disciples, was called The Good Shepherd and promised his followers "immortality", too.
Zoroaster was also born of a virgin, cast out demons, was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, was killed and his followers expected a Second Coming" in 2341.
Putting all religious consideration aside, Israel was a very minor country in the grand scheme of things and Rome certainly had no problems crushing any insurrections. Without media coverage, Jesus was probably unheard of, outside of 15 miles of the places he visited.The Jesus Puzzle is primarily concerned with the curious silence about the "historical Jesus" even in early christian writings but both have their points.
The sad thing is, today, one would be hard pressed to find this many virgins.
Nope. Not the food. But perhaps the water.marduk wrote: i mean apart from anything else no one no matter how divine has been able to magically produce Mexican food have they
Putting all religious consideration aside, Israel was a very minor country in the grand scheme of things and Rome certainly had no problems crushing any insurrections. Without media coverage, Jesus was probably unheard of, outside of 15 miles of the places he visited.
Nothing in between, huh.Minimalist wrote:Can't have it both ways. Either he was acclaimed by multitudes (and thus became a threat to the power-structure) or he was just some schlepper.
THE PAGAN CHRIST: Rediscovering the Lost Light, by Tom Harpur.
Thomas Allen Publishers: Toronto, ON. 220+ pages, including index. Hardcover. $34.95 Cdn. ISBN # 0-88762-145-7.
Reviewed by: Wayne A. Holst for The Toronto Star
Tom Harpur would reject, outright, the philosophy behind the new Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of Christ.
Gibson, the conservative Catholic movie director, portrays the life of Christ literally from scripture and reads the Gospel narrative as actual history. Harpur would find that indefensible.
He would also differ from many modern theologians such as Jesus Seminar members John Spong and Marcus Borg, who believe there was an actual Jesus of history. Unlike Gibson-like word-for-word literalists, however, Spong and Borg try to locate and mine the core meanings of Jesus after all the accretions are stripped away.
For Harpur, both literalist and modern critical attempts to locate the Jesus of history are dead ends. Transcending both positions, he believes that the real Christ is a universal archetype; a classic, pre-existent myth, known essentially by all humanity. He believes we need to re-mythologize, not de-mythologize (or historicize) that Jesus.
Truths at the heart of Christianity flow from the deep well of the human unconscious whose core ideas were planted there by God, he says.
Harpur, formerly the religion editor of the Toronto Star and author of many books on faith subjects, believes that originally, there was one primal, central myth which emerged Undoubtedly in Egypt. All the other ancient sacred stories flow from there.
The big difference between the Jesus legacy and other mythological traditions like that of the Egyptian god Horus, was that devotees of the other religions never viewed their divinities as historical figures or their sacred stories as actual facts like Christians did.
The Pagan Christ is forthright in declaring that counter to precedent, Christianity launched a hostile takeover of the ancient salvation myths. Many early church fathers, in an attempt to declare exclusive rights to this mythological Jesus, made him an historical biblical person.
Once these ancient antecedents to Jesus were assimilated into what became Christianity, the pagans and their mythological sources were declared heretical. Since heretics and their books were determined to have no rights, they and their writings were viciously tracked down and eliminated by those who claimed to stand for the newly defined "orthodox" Christianity.
Harpur claims as one of his formative influences for understanding this mythological Jesus the Canadian, Northrup Frye (1912-1991). In Frye's book The Double Vision the great literary critic who taught for decades at the University of Toronto, states that when the Bible is historically accurate, it is only accidentally so. Reporting was not of the slightest interest to its writers. They had a story to tell which only could be told by myth and metaphor. What they wrote became a source of vision, not doctrine.
Three virtually unknown authorities used in this book are Godfrey Higgins (1771-1834), an early English mythologist who, through groundbreaking studies of ancient writings, sought freedom from the exclusivism and dogmatism of Christianity; Gerald Massey (1828-1907) an American, who studied Egyptian mythology and there discovered antecedents to images and themes appearing in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament; and Alvin Boyd Kuhn (1880-1963) another American, who pursued extensive academic research into the origins of religious symbols and meanings. His work, though esoteric to untrained eyes, convinced Harpur of the validity of Egyptian sources for much of what appears in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Basing his ideas on these authorities, Harpur goes to great lengths to promote Horus (the son of Isis or Osiris) transforming him into Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. Horus, who receives but a paragraph of mention in the classic New Laurousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (1968), becomes, for Harpur, the metaphorical and allegorical truth behind the person of Jesus.
From his research into ancient myth, Harpur feels he has undergone a spiritual re-awakening that has revolutionized his Christian faith. Because of its links to the great archetypal themes of primal and classic spirituality, the Bible has assumed new potency and vitality for him. Harpur believes he now possesses an awareness of the cosmic Christ he has so long sought.
Ancient symbols and metaphors, existing yet hidden in biblical literature, have been clarified for him. He has come to appreciate, in a new way, the dangers of reading the Bible literally. He sees how humans must take responsibility for their own spiritual evolution and not leave it to other would-be authorities to define truth for them.
The Jesus story can become a profoundly spiritual allegory of the soul, he says. Classic festivals and rituals of our faith traditions can be infused with new meaning. Our understanding of life after death can be enhanced.
Harpur is on to something when he speaks of universal truth existing in primal myths. The collective human unconscious does influence the story of Jesus as found in the Gospels. The influential mythologist, Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) has opened the door for many to a rich inquiry into such matters. In our time of global culture, religious pluralism and the need for constructive inter-faith encounter, Harpur's insights are appealing.
But his serendipitous "discovery" of virtually unknown authorities, now long dead and his extravagant use of terms like "overwhelming and incontestable evidence" from them which is "beyond rebuttal" and about which there is "absolutely no question" seems rather overstated. They strike this reviewer, who has studied the mythologies of Canada's First Nations and comparative global mythology for many years, as excessive.
Harpur does not view this book as an attack upon Christianity or any other religion, for that matter. He goal is quite to opposite, actually. He wants to help people realize a richer, more spiritual faith as he has come to experience it.
Read this book, then, to enrich your quest for truth that breaks through boundaries of Christian insularity and exclusivism. Tap into the rich spiritual resources offered from the great cycles of classic metaphors and allegories. There is much potential here for approaching the Bible mythologically.
Mel Gibson's Passion, or Spong and Borg notwithstanding, Harpur offers a post-literal and a post-critical approach to the study of Jesus. It is one that takes myth seriously. Though it will not be the last or even the most precise word on the subject, it challenges thinking and opens new vistas to the serious religious thinker.
I am willing to say the impact of the overall christian movement did not catch hold until long after Jesus. But before I say the gosples exagerrated I would like an opportunity to study the language. Do you know of an online reference where I can link directly to the greek translations from the new testament? A sort of online concordance with greek/hebrew/chaldean dictionary.Minimalist wrote:If you are willing to stipulate that the gospels overstate his impact we can move on. I do have to tell you that Arch would rather have his fingernails pulled out with pliers than admit that there are any errors in the gospels...even when they contradict each other.