Congratulations! -- you've found POCM,
The Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth web
site. You're going to discover the answers to
At the end, we'll talk about what the answers to those question mean.
Was Jesus a xerox copy of one particular Pagan God? Was He Mithras renamed? Or Dionysus? The answer is No.
Jesus was new -- in the same way the first Honda Accord was a new car and the first Mountain Dew was a new soda pop. But the Accord wasn't the first car, and Dew wasn't the first soda. They were "new" versions of old ideas. So was Jesus.
Jesus was the Son of God who suffered, died, and was reborn. But He wasn't the first Son of God who suffered, died, and was reborn. He brought salvation; but He wasn't the God first to do that either. His mom was a virgin; He wasn't the first God there either. It's the same with miracles, disciples, ascending to heaven -- the list goes on and on.
to bring up differences
between Jesus and the earlier Pagan godmen.
Mithras was born of a rock, not a virgin, so Jesus can't be Mithras. Attis'
faithful hung his likeness on a pine tree, not on a cross, so Jesus can't
be Attis. Believing scholars are right, Jesus wasn't Mithras,
and He wasn't Attis. Jesus was a "new" God, the same way the
first Honda Accord was a new car. He was a "new" version
of God, built from old ideas.
Quick look at POCM
Pagan Origins tells you about the old Pagan ideas and sacraments used to build the new Christian religion.
Pagan Christs lists a few of the Pagan godmen. They all predated Jesus. You'll see they were each different from Jesus, but Jesus was certainly a member of the club.
a quick summary of everything here at POCM, try Borrowing,
which sums up the facts the rest of the site explains in detail.
Borrowing also has links so you can bounce back to discover more about
topics you're interested in.
POCM's Prime Directive: Just facts, no opinion
Just facts, no opinion. Look, I know the stuff you're reading here is hard to swallow. This is the wacky web -- I don't expect you to believe me. So here's the POCM web site's prime directive: Just facts, no opinion.
Stick around. You'll discover Christianity's Pagan origins directly from the pens of the ancients themselves. You'll also discover the Christianity's Pagan origins in mainstream modern scholarship.
What you won't read is my opinion. You absolutely won't hear my interpretation -- yuck! -- of any bible verses. Just facts. No opinion.
POCM is here to inform, not to persuade. I'm not pushing one religion over another; I'm not pushing a-religion or atheism over faith. For me the Pagan roots of Christianity are historically and culturally stunning, but not life-changing. I will say I'm not a Pagan. But if I did it right you'll go through everything here without otherwise figuring out what my religious convictions are.
What other people think about POCM
I can't say that i'm Pagan, but i am looking into it. I'm trying to find out as much as i can about it. Your page, though informatively seen from a different point of view (your point), i didn't find that great. You have a couple of grammatical errors and a couple of verbal misuse (I have a prefectionist habit and if you would like some examples, i would be happy to show you, but i won't include them in here).
You might be thinking
that I didn't like your page simply because of your errors... well, it
goes back further than that. You talk about Paganism like you know everything
about it (i'm not saying you do know everything about it, but rather you
sound like it). Now if you have errors in the language you're using to
describe it in, how can i be sure that there are no errors in your teachings?
(I know you say you're not trying to pursuade,
but want it or not, those are considered teachings) On a more happier
oppinion, this could just be the habit talkin.
I'm not saying your writing is false, I don't even know that much about
the religion. However, i would like you to think on it.
|Good Books for this section
|I've spent way lots of money on dozens and dozens of books about ancient religion. If I were starting over, these are the three I'd buy first:
by Robert Price
Professor of Biblical Criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, member of the Jesus Seminar, and editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism
The best book to get started with, because as an academic himself Price understands the orthodox scholarly theories, though he doesn't buy them.
The theme is that nothing we know about Jesus is historical, everything is mythical.
The book follows the regulation scholarship, starting with the "Jesus People," (an academic term for Jesus' first followers; the Jesus People weren't really Christians, since they didn't believe Jesus was God or that he had risen from the dead), on to the first groups who worshiped Jesus as God, the Christ-cults (another academic term), though Jewish Messianic expectations, non-orthodox early Christianities and even ancient novels, which reveal a cultural theme of escape from crucifixion.
The point is not one-for-one parallels between Jesus and, say, Mithras or Osiris. The point is that the first Christians took the basic ideas of their culture and adapted them to their new faith.
Available at Amazon.com
Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean World
Marvin W. Meyer (Editor)
So who are you going to trust? That's up to you. I trust the ancients -- people alive back when Christianity began, and before. That's what this book is about.
This is a sourcebook, is a collection of primary documents -- excerpts from ancient authors who wrote about Pagan religion and early Christianity. It's a great collection, with the original text of most of the standard ancient references to the pagan mystery religions.
This is a powerful book. You'll discover firsthand, right from the pens of the ancients themselves, that Dionysus came to earth "incognito, disguised as a man"; that Pagan Gods died and were reborn with the meaning that "the God is saved, and we shall have salvation."; that pagans had initiation ceremonies seen as "a voluntary death", sacred meals shared with the God, ceremonial washing, Pagan miracles, a Godman who changed water into wine, and a Pagan version of the great flood. And much more.
An important book that no serious student will be without. Highly recommended.
Available at Amazon .com.
of Early Christianity
by Everett Ferguson
excellent book to start with.
If you need a special-purpose book to understand Christianity's Pagan origins, then probably Christianity didn't have Pagan origins. It does; you don't. What you really need is a good book describing ancient Pagan culture and religion. This outstanding, easy to read book is the best I've read.
From Greco-Roman religions (Mithras, Isis, Dionysus, Eleusis, the mystery religions, etc.) and philosophies (monotheism, the soul, life after death, etc.), on through an excellent section on Second Temple Judaism and another on early Christianity, you'll discover the facts and issues behind modern scholarship on Christian origins.
I bought this book on a whim, figuring it would have a relevant section or two; I ended up reading the thing cover to cover, 600 delightfully clear and well written pages. But you don't have to read it cover to cover -- just pick the section you're interested in.
Available at Amazon .com.