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How come I never heard about this?

Getting started
How this Pagan-Christian thing happened is an amazing story, not often told. Around the Ancient Mediterranean Christians and Pagans lived in the same cities -- lived in the same neighborhoods, shared friendships, meeting places, jobs, families, ideas -- for centuries.

But of their interchange of ideas and ideals we hear not a whisper. Surf to the course descriptions at your favorite university's classics or religion departments, say classics at Harvard, and look for courses comparing and contrasting Christianity to Ancient Pagan religions. You won't find any. Christianity compared to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, yes. Christianity compared to Paganism, nothing.

It's as if a thousand years of western religious history never happened. Why?
History is written by the victors. In the first centuries AD Paganism and Christianity were in competition. The Christians won. The history you know was written by them. Christian or not, you have a Christian perspective on Christianity's uniqueness -- that's the only perspective you've ever heard. No matter what we believe about the truth of what's said in a Christian church Sunday morning, we see Christianity as a watershed -- there were primitive polytheistic pre-Christian religions, then there was Christianity. Christianity was miraculous and discontinuous. It didn't evolve, it was created a new species whole and unique. That's how we see it. That's the Christian history.

It ain't so.


Introducing you to why it ain't so is what this web site is about. You'll learn about a Pagan God who sent His only Son to earth (heralded by a star, born of a virgin on December 25th). You'll read that the Pagans called this Son of God "Savior," and "Lamb of God." The Savior was betrayed and killed, but He rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, where He will judge men's souls at the end of time.

The meaning of the Son of God's life and Sacrifice? Salvation. With the sacrament of holy Baptism, believers are reborn into a new life with the Savior. In a sacred meal, believers eat bread and wine that are the body and blood of the Son of God.

The name of the Pagan Son of God? Wrong question. Try, The names of the Sons of God? Answer: Mithras. Osiris. Attis. Dionysus, Hercules, Krishna. Jesus.

Alexandria, Egypt. 415 AD
Enraged over a point of doctrine about the true nature of Christ, Cyril, Christian patriarch of Alexandria, incites a pogrom against people who deny his own theory. Cyril's co-religionists assert their faith by burning the homes of doctrinal opponents and driving entire communities from the city. On a fateful day Hypatia -- the non-Christian scholar, philosopher, and teacher renown throughout the Mediterranean world for her devotion to learning and enlightenment -- steps onto her chariot to ride through town to the great Library of Alexandria. A mob gathers, chanting slogans against her.

The rioters close in, jamming Hypatia's chariot to a stop, grabbing her, jerking her down and out into the street where eager hands strip the young woman naked. Jeering they drag her to a church where Christian officials promptly butcher her.

Gibbon describes >

"her flesh was scraped from her bones with sharp oyster shells, and her quivering limbs were delivered to the flames." [Decline and Fall Ch XLVII]

So why mention the murder of Hypatia? Because her story helps answer the question you're already thinking: "OK, if Christianity had Pagan origins, how come I never heard about it?"

History is written by the winners. You've never heard about the Pagan origins of Christianity because as Christians institutionalized the Church starting in the 300s AD, their reaction to Pagan competition was to deny and suppress Pagan teaching. To burn Pagan writings. To drive dissident communities into the desert. To murder Pagan scholars.

It worked well. So well that the word Pagan is a pejorative. So well that much of our modern understanding of these faiths is available only because scholars have reconstructed Pagan theology by reading between the lines of anti-Pagan Christian propaganda -- the original Pagan literature having been lost in the bonfires of suppression. You know the Christian version of the history of religion because the Pagan version was suppressed.