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Mithraism's Mesaiah vs Christian's

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  • cwbyspike
    Someone posted that the Biblical story of Jesus was a myth. I was wondering if the majority of you all, who have been delving into this for a long time,
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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      Someone posted that the Biblical story of Jesus was a myth. I was
      wondering if the majority of you all, who have been delving into this
      for a long time, believe that the Mithraism Mesiah was the real
      savior, and that Jesus actually existed but just copied the earlier
      real mesiah, or vice versa. Or a third possiblility that Jesus never
      existed, but was a mythalogical creation of maybe the Catholic Church
      in order to gain acceptance into the Roman community. All this is so
      interesting and I can't wait to read more on it.
    • dwon038@ec.auckland.ac.nz
      just jumping in here... i don;t believe jesus was a myth. I think he was a real man whose significance was blown out of proportion. (but hey.. everyone needs
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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        just jumping in here...

        i don;t believe jesus was a myth. I think he was a real man whose significance
        was blown out of proportion. (but hey.. everyone needs something to believe in)


        I think it would be safe to say that, undoubtedly, mithraism has had an impact
        on the christian religion and by extension therefore, on the person of Jesus.

        Mithraism was a huge influence at the time, i think the fact that emperors had
        no qualms about changing facts re. christianity (eg.. of Jesus' birth, etc) on
        whims can lead us to conclude (not wrongly) that aspects of mithraism were
        undoubtedly absorbed by the christian religion, though I wouldn;t know about
        specifics.

        'sides, considering that christianity stole from almost everybody, I find it
        hard to believe they didn't take anything from a religion so hugely popular.

        just me...


        Quoting cwbyspike <walkinginclogs@...>:

        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Someone posted that the Biblical story of Jesus was a myth.  I was
        >
        > wondering if the majority of you all, who have been delving into this
        >
        > for a long time, believe that the Mithraism Mesiah was the real
        >
        > savior, and that Jesus actually existed but just copied the earlier
        >
        > real mesiah, or vice versa. Or a third possiblility that Jesus never
        >
        > existed, but was a mythalogical creation of maybe the Catholic Church
        >
        > in order to gain acceptance into the Roman community.  All this is so
        >
        > interesting and I can't wait to read more on it.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • walkinginclogs@aol.com
        Thanks dwon038. So far I agree with you 100%. I just got started on the subject. I m afraid we don t have much to go on as far as information on the
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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          Thanks dwon038. So far I agree with you 100%. I just got started on the
          subject. I'm afraid we don't have much to go on as far as information on the
          Internet about Mithraism is concerned. They said it was a secret cult. Then I
          am wondering if I were to buy a book on it, if the book would be of substance
          or just a lot of filler material -- the kind I used to write to fool the
          teacher into believing I did a lot of research on my term paper. :=)
        • dwon038@ec.auckland.ac.nz
          secret cult huh? Yeah I suppose; in as much as anything can be secret when every tom, dick and harry s a part of it. I myself have not really read anything
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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            'secret cult' huh? Yeah I suppose; in as much as anything can be secret when
            every tom, dick and harry's a part of it.

            I myself have not really read anything about Mithraism that I would promote.
            (and then again, I'm more of a 'general' reader) Though, I suppose if one were
            first to write about any subject, even if it is utter crap, one would become
            the established authority huh?

            yeah.. just random observations.

            me, I usually hit the libraries. Books are expensive, more so when they turn
            out to be totally useless, and really heavy when you move as often as i do
            (though i suppose that's my thing, really)

            but if you're really for buying, I always go by the 'more letters they have by
            their name, more reliable they are' way. unfounded prejudices, i know but spare
            me my idiosyncrasies.
          • David Gallardo
            This article describes interesting parallels between Mithraism s messiah and the Christian one: http://home.btconnect.com/CAIS/Religions/iranian/mithra.htm I
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 26, 2003
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              This article describes interesting parallels between Mithraism's messiah
              and the Christian one:

              http://home.btconnect.com/CAIS/Religions/iranian/mithra.htm


              I can't vouch for its accuracy, but seems corresponds well with the few
              things I've read in sources that I consider reliable--e.g. that the
              communal worship, and the form of the church, in Christianity are predated
              by similar practices in Mithraism, and that Dec 25 was originally the
              birthday of Mithras.

              @D


              At 07:27 PM 8/26/2003 -0400, walkinginclogs@... wrote:
              >Thanks dwon038. So far I agree with you 100%. I just got started on the
              >subject. I'm afraid we don't have much to go on as far as information on the
              >Internet about Mithraism is concerned. They said it was a secret
              >cult. Then I
              >am wondering if I were to buy a book on it, if the book would be of substance
              >or just a lot of filler material -- the kind I used to write to fool the
              >teacher into believing I did a lot of research on my term paper. :=)
              >
              >
              >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              >gnosticism2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • Terje Bergersen
              ... - the Mithraic *messiah* appears to me to be a bit of a misnomer, since a: Mithras is deity, while a messiah implies a lesser initial stature elevated by
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 27, 2003
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                > Someone posted that the Biblical story of Jesus was a myth. I was
                > wondering if the majority of you all, who have been delving into this
                > for a long time, believe that the Mithraism Mesiah was the real
                > savior, and that Jesus actually existed but just copied the earlier
                > real mesiah, or vice versa. Or a third possiblility that Jesus never
                > existed, but was a mythalogical creation of maybe the Catholic Church
                > in order to gain acceptance into the Roman community. All this is so
                > interesting and I can't wait to read more on it.

                - the Mithraic *messiah* appears to me to be a bit of a misnomer, since
                a: Mithras is deity, while a messiah implies a lesser initial stature
                elevated by the act of salvation and becoming *crowned*. Mithras
                b: Mithra was neither anointed nor crowned, take a look at what Messiah
                means and take also into consideration its *actual* context and meaning in
                the Judaic traditions.
                c: Mithra is, as a chief cultic deity, 2 centuries junior to either a
                living kicking Jesus, or a Mythic Christ. The characteristics of Mitra
                (the Zoroastrian, Avestan Mitra, which is just connected to Mithras by a
                mindboggling 19th century conjunction/mixup based on poor, misinformed and
                useless scholarship) is radically unlike that of the Mithras of the Roman
                Cultus, so you cannot used Mitra to antedate Mithras, you have to take
                into account a quite duratious evolution and developement of the theme, if
                they are at all comparable...currently it is very clear that Franz Cumont
                and his generation of "mithraic" and "indo-aryan" scholars contribute very
                little to any accurate knowledge about either Mithraism or
                Zoroastrianism.. still their books, especially after they hit public
                domain, is the most accessible of "sources". This is very much the case
                about the Gnostics as well, take for instance the insistence of many of
                our contemporaries in basing their entire knowledge of the topic of
                "Gnosticism" on speculative works written by Gerald Massey or Godfrey
                Higgins &c, just 150 years ago...
                or on Blavatsky...

                The messiahood of Jesus isnt central to the Gnostics, Marcion
                (fl.ce.150ce) for instance denied the possibility that he was the promised
                messiah and argued from the first critical study and comparison between
                the so-called prophetic sources contained in the Old Testament and the
                materials/traditions from the new tradition/religion, Christianity...
                Some of the heresiological sources suggest that some of the gnostics
                believed that the Logos "took on the appearance" of the promised Messiah
                and inhabited his "flesh" in order to fool the Demiurge and his Archons,
                the Messiah itself being the child of an unholy intercourse between Mary
                and the Demiurge/Samael.


                Ah, and the majority - I don`t know if it counts, do you?
                I am quite sure quite a lot, especially neo-pagans of every flavour, would
                quite like to impress on others this, and I am also quite sure that to
                those who for miraculous reasons don`t wholly buy the entire enchilada of
                a theory, the reason and the qualification for this opinion is quite in
                evidence.
                Also, what is interesting is that the type of pre-cosmic intervening Logos
                you find in *some* of the Gnostic and heterodox Christian systems actually
                admitted the pre-existence of both saviour and Jesus, some like the
                Manichaeans and the Christian school of the Sethians - saw several rounds
                of manifestation, either physical or non-physical, and in no way saw this
                as in conflict with the actual manifestation of Jesus, supramaterial or
                not.
                Anyways, these systems miraculously fail to make mention of Mithras, which
                I believe they quite would, also given the possibility of a topsy-turvy of
                the initiatory system so you would have an "ascending through the
                heavens/gatehouse/overcoming the cosmic and interior demiurge" progression
                within popular Mithraism, while the selfsame worshipped the cosmocrator
                and demiurge as high-deity, as verily Mithras the Mediator, who
                vanquishes, like a long-forgotten Marduk, the primordials in order to
                establish a ... new world order.

                Will a docetic view - of the events in relationship to Jesus, in any way
                pave way for a completely adaptable "correspondence" between popular
                Mithraism and Gnosticism? Why is it necessary? Where is anyone going with
                it?
                I agree that titles,characteristics,iconography,symbols and even
                liturgies were lifted from earlier "cults" and especially reinforced by
                Constantine`s making Christianity a state-religion; some even from the
                Dionysian mysteries - or from the cult of Artemis (the cult of Mary were
                instituted in the mid 5th century on Ephesos, at the site of the ancient
                cult of Artemis, and statues and murals depicting the former divine
                feminine were adopted into the religious cultivation of the new "mother"),
                but these are embellishments and developements which came later, they
                don`t appear to contribute much in view of first century Christology if
                that really is our topic.

                Pax Pleromae

                --
                Terje Dahl Bergersen,
                Deacon for Capella Santa Sophia, Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia
                terje@...
                http://terje.bergersen.net/
              • lady_caritas
                ... this ... earlier ... never ... Church ... is so ... since ... stature ... Messiah ... meaning in ... [...] ... Thank you, Terje. Good to see you. Also,
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 27, 2003
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Terje Bergersen" <terje@b...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > > Someone posted that the Biblical story of Jesus was a myth. I was
                  > > wondering if the majority of you all, who have been delving into
                  this
                  > > for a long time, believe that the Mithraism Mesiah was the real
                  > > savior, and that Jesus actually existed but just copied the
                  earlier
                  > > real mesiah, or vice versa. Or a third possiblility that Jesus
                  never
                  > > existed, but was a mythalogical creation of maybe the Catholic
                  Church
                  > > in order to gain acceptance into the Roman community. All this
                  is so
                  > > interesting and I can't wait to read more on it.
                  >
                  > - the Mithraic *messiah* appears to me to be a bit of a misnomer,
                  since
                  > a: Mithras is deity, while a messiah implies a lesser initial
                  stature
                  > elevated by the act of salvation and becoming *crowned*. Mithras
                  > b: Mithra was neither anointed nor crowned, take a look at what
                  Messiah
                  > means and take also into consideration its *actual* context and
                  meaning in
                  > the Judaic traditions.

                  [...]

                  > The messiahood of Jesus isnt central to the Gnostics, ....



                  Thank you, Terje. Good to see you.

                  Also, regarding the term "savior," used by cwbyspike, it is important
                  to explore in what context Gnostics might have used that term. For
                  instance, Stephan Hoeller discusses the meaning of "soter" in the
                  following essay on Valentinus:

                  http://www.gnosis.org/valentinus.htm
                  specifically in the section, "The Gnostic Saviour: a Maker of
                  Wholeness."


                  Cari
                • walkinginclogs@aol.com
                  In a message dated 8/27/2003 2:39:16 AM Central Daylight Time, ... Thanks. I read all your post. Now I hope to go through it piece by piece this holiday
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 27, 2003
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                    In a message dated 8/27/2003 2:39:16 AM Central Daylight Time, terje@... writes:


                    Pax Pleromae


                    Thanks.  I read all your post.  Now I hope to go through it piece by piece this holiday weekend.  Eventually I probably will come to the conclusion that Mithraism didn't survive for some good reason.
                  • marea007
                    ... Sorry, I know this is off topic.... CONGRATULATIONS, Terje. Love & Light Maria
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 27, 2003
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                      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Terje Bergersen" <terje@b...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Terje Dahl Bergersen,
                      > Deacon for Capella Santa Sophia, Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia
                      >
                      Sorry, I know this is off topic....

                      CONGRATULATIONS, Terje.

                      Love & Light
                      Maria
                    • dwon038@ec.auckland.ac.nz
                      ok, I know this is off topic.(blame marea. she started it:) how many HQ s (pure curiosity) are there, gnostically speaking? I mean. is it actually a
                      Message 10 of 11 , Aug 28, 2003
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                        ok, I know this is off topic.(blame marea. she started it:)

                        how many HQ's (pure curiosity) are there, gnostically speaking?

                        I mean. is it actually a recognised, like, religion?

                        aniweis..

                        > Ah, and the majority - I don`t know if it counts, do you?
                        >
                        > I am quite sure quite a lot, especially neo-pagans of every flavour, would
                        >
                        > quite like to impress on others this, and I am also quite sure that to
                        >
                        > those who for miraculous reasons don`t wholly buy the entire enchilada of
                        >
                        > a theory, the reason and the qualification for this opinion is quite in
                        >
                        > evidence.


                        am not quite sure what this part meant. think you could clarify? seemed to be
                        hinting at something I couldn;t quite see...

                        yeah....
                      • Terje Bergersen
                        ... Circumference everywhere, centre nowhere.. ... Gnosticism isnt a religion proper and will never be approved or recognized - to be so, you must affirm
                        Message 11 of 11 , Aug 28, 2003
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                          > ok, I know this is off topic.(blame marea. she started it:)
                          >
                          > how many HQ's (pure curiosity) are there, gnostically speaking?

                          Circumference everywhere, centre nowhere..



                          > I mean. is it actually a recognised, like, religion?
                          >
                          > aniweis..

                          Gnosticism isnt a "religion proper" and will never be approved
                          or recognized - to be so, you must affirm the status quo
                          and don`t ask questions which are "unsound" to the audience..
                          If any "Gnostic" organization claim they are tax deductible,
                          and really need your money to buy conference stadiums, or for
                          that matter suggest that everyone move and kibbutz out into the Jungles of
                          South America.. I`d say that chances are there aren`t one of them
                          that will know what is going on or down..
                          Let me put it this way: we have - A:
                          There`s Gnosis. B: There`s an largely unconscious substructure of what
                          corresponds to the ancient Gnostic myths..in our Psyche and in our culture
                          - there is some evidence that
                          certain ideas, even in the concrete form of scriptures, cannot be
                          repressed long enough to be entirely neglected..
                          C: There are many individuals who have experiences and insights which is
                          directly relevant to Gnosticism.. and nowhere else.

                          I began discovering the relevancy of Gnosticism or the Gnostic orientation
                          to my own experiences when I was 15, thats 15 years ago.. and I hear
                          stories similar to mine from others all the time.

                          I am not quite sure when Gnosticism started to revitalize itself in an
                          organized form - but it exists, whether you like it or not - the Gnostic
                          Church of France began in the 1890`s and lives on in different forms today
                          (could be some 20`s of denominations Worldwide.. America has several, at
                          the very least) , we also see much independent and less "concrete"
                          manifestation of the same.. Ecclesia Gnostica can`t claim to represent
                          either the correct form of the older revivals nor classical "Gnosticism"
                          in the capacity of an "orthodox" or "authorized" Church, and.. does not.
                          I`ve heard diatribes about it, but it doesnt stand up, since not a word
                          has been breathed that anyone in EG or involved with EG considers this to
                          be the case. The Gnostic Society is a study and learning organization
                          seeking,questing for insight in the area where Gnosticism meets other
                          traditions and our experiences as moderns..which has been going for 75
                          years, prior to this there existed similar institutions, during the
                          Renaissance there were several such in evidence as well.


                          UNESCO recognizes Mandaeans as a culture,etnic group *and* religion
                          ,if you are looking at a successfull, more or less, continuum of
                          Gnosticism which has survived, look no further. The Cathars, if they
                          can be called "Gnostic", also have contributed a great body of
                          doctrine,practice and discipline to several lesser known movements which
                          has survived to this day.. and there are apparent revivals going.
                          The *etnic* constituency of St.Thomas Christians considers their religion
                          a Christendom that includes a Gnosis which has been lost to the other
                          Churches.

                          In the terminology of "orthodox" religion and "orthodox" ideology
                          (Conservative,Capitalistic,nominal Communistic/Marxist,rationalistic etc.)
                          "Gnosticism" connects more to the attributed historical result of the
                          enthusiastic beginnings of "Gnosticism" or the "Gnostics" - it "failed",
                          because it were nonsense, because it did not agree with or conform with
                          the standards and beliefs of the emerging orthodox Church nor the Roman
                          Imperial State and its "approved" cults.. so "Gnosticism" is generic, in
                          that terminology with any endeavour, usually of an
                          anthropocentric,individualistic and vaguely mystical or creatively
                          mythological nature - doomed from the onset to "fail", with or without the
                          assistance of a well-honed inquisition or other apparatus..
                          Whatever the situation, the Gnostic themes will remain on the outsider
                          status, as Alternative - because the business of near all ideologies and
                          religions are presently to preserve what has been upheld for the bother of
                          it.. since grandfather Jones did.. Only by "flakes" and "outsiders" and
                          "freaks" - or genuises who arent found out to be flakes,outsiders and
                          freaks before its too later.. seems to have contributed to the literal
                          *continuity* of the dissemination of Gnostic ideas...

                          Pax Pleromae

                          --
                          Terje Dahl Bergersen
                          Deacon for Capella Santa Sophia, Ecclesia Gnostica Norvegia
                          terje@...
                          http://terje.bergersen.net/
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