Posts tagged ‘Mark Foreman’

April 6th, 2012

Parallelomania: The Purpose Fallacy

by Max Andrews

The Purpose Fallacy

  • The purpose and nature of the pagan mystery religions is completely different than the purpose and form of Christianity
    • MR are cyclical:  cycle of birth – death – rebirth following the vegetative – harvest cycle.
    • MR involve secrecy – only members can participate; had to go through secret initiation rites; secret knowledge
    • MR: Doctrine and beliefs were unimportant, emphasis was on mystical experience
    • MR was not interested in historicity of its myth and often acknowledged myths as non-historical

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

April 5th, 2012

Parallelomania: The Source Fallacy

by Max Andrews

The Source Fallacy

  • Need to discover the specific source of the alleged parallel
    • Is it found in the actual sacred texts of the religion which predate Christianity or is it found in a later source?
    • Primary or secondary?
    • Can they quote the specific source: book, volume, verse?
    • Many ancient religions evolved over time and there is no one authoritative source or narrative of their myths
    • Most copycat theorists simply do not know the source of their claims.
    • Most often when you look at the original source it does not come close to what copycats claim.

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

April 5th, 2012

Parallelomania: The Dependency Fallacy

by Max Andrews

The Dependency Fallacy

  • Two kinds of dependency: weak and strong
  • Weak: Use of accommodating language or appeals to similar beliefs (Paul’s “Mars Hill” speech in Acts 17)
  • Strong: A concept originated first in pagan religion and then was brought into Christianity
  • There is no evidence of any strong dependency of Christian beliefs on pagan religions
  • No evidence of pagan mystery religions in first century Palestine
  • While mystery religions are highly syncretic that is not the case for Judaism and Christianity – they are both highly exclusivistic.

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

March 31st, 2012

Parallelomania and the Chronological Fallacy

by Max Andrews

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

–“Why should we consider the stories of Osiris, Dionysius, Adonis, Mithras, and other Pagan Mystery saviors as fables, yet come across essentially the same story told in a Jewish context and believe it to be the biography of a carpenter from Bethlehem.” (Freke and Gandy, The Jesus Mysteries, 9)

The Chronological Fallacy

  • In order for the copycat charge to work the parallel must chronologically precede the development of Christianity.
  • Some of the mystery religions developed after the birth of Christianity
    • Example:  Appolonious of Tyana was a contemporary of Jesus (3BC-97AD) but was not written about until 220-230AD
    • While several of the religions preceded Christianity themselves, many of the parallel claims about them do not.
      • While the Horus myth precedes Christianity by 3000 years, claims that Horus  birth was marked by a star in the east  or three kings adored him are found only in post-Christian secondary sources.
      • While there is evidence of Christianity employing some aspects of mystery religions late (4th -5th c.) evidence of borrowing earlier (3rd c.) suggests reverse: mystery religions borrowed from Christianity.
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March 30th, 2012

Parallelomania and the Terminological Fallacy

by Max Andrews

Pagan Copycat Theory: The story of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospels is a myth incorporating various aspects of other ancient pagan religions.

–“Why should we consider the stories of Osiris, Dionysus, Adonis, Mithras, and other Pagan Mystery saviors as fables, yet come across essentially the same story told in a Jewish context and believe it to be the biography of a carpenter from Bethlehem.” (Freke and Gandy, The Jesus Mysteries, 9)

Common religious figures Jesus is usually compared to:

  • Appolonius of Tyanna (Greek)
  • Horus/Osiris (Egypt)
  • Dionysus – Bacchus (Greek/Roman)
  • Attis (Phrygian)
  • Mithra (Persian/Roman)
  • Zoroaster (Persian)
  • Krishna (Hindu)
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