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Posted: 22 May 2007 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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I would think consulting a leading expert egyptologist would be wise. But maybe not.  For example, BYU (Mormon college) had a brilliant genius level scholar who delved deeply into egyptology and its accompanying myths.  He published countless papers on the matter.  He never once showed the slightest concern for his Christian roots after reading the things that Greenberg is outlining.

However, that man did have a compulsion to stick to his personal religious biases.  I will look into finding a more objective egypt expert.  Maybe Greenberg is already the man I am looking for and I can’t see the forest for the trees on this one.

Still, Harris makes many salient points in his books and delved into the history books on the inquisition, witch burnings etc and did not feel materials as found in Greenberg’s book worthy of mention or analysis.  But then again, Greenberg’s 101 myths of the bible hadn’t yet been published.

If any of you get a chance to be by Borders or your local bookstore, would you indulge me and put 5 minutes of a glance at Greenbergs book?

Noggin

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Posted: 22 May 2007 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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http://members.tripod.com/ggreenberg/101myths-book.htm

101 Myths of the Bible examines many of the most famous stories in the Old Testament and shows the various influences that led to the writing. Among the subjects explored are the earlier versions of many biblical stories that were told among Israel’s neighbors, the strong Egyptian influences on many of the biblical accounts, and the internal political and religious feuds in ancient Israel that led to various propagandistic versions of earlier history. Among the many revelations in the book, we learn that:

[the origination for much of the creation account came from Egypt]
[the origination of the Adam and Eve story came from Egypt]
Moses didn’t write the Ten Commandments
David didn’t kill Goliath [his body guard did]
Samson did not pull down a Philistine temple
Joshua didn’t bring down the walls of Jericho, [they were destroyed 300 years prior to them arriving]
Sodom and Gommorah never existed [but were mythical cities]
Noah’s ark did not land on Mount Ararat
The story of Esther originally had nothing to do with the Jews of Persia.

101 Myths of the Bible has been published in hardcover and paperback editions. It has also been published in Spanish, Korean, Greek, Serbian and Croatian. For several days in September 2002, 101 Myths of the Bible ranked among the 150 bestselling books at Amazon.  In February 2002 Barnes and Noble ranked it at #15 out of over 2300 books on General Criticism and Interpretation of the Bible

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Posted: 22 May 2007 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Just to play fundie’s advocate for a second:

‘The similarities of the stories in other ancient cultures only goes to prove the validity of the bible. Because all people shared a common ancestry to god’s creation, they at one time all knew the truth. But it was only the childen of Isaac, son of Abraham, who stayed faithful to god and kept his word. The other cultures just fell away and corrupted the truth. But the fact that there is a flood story in most cultures proves there was a flood. the fact there is a creation story in most culture proves creation.’

Attacking the details only gives legitimacy to the subject as a whole. It’s interesting for social anthropologists and historians, but does nothing to diswade faith. There is always a way to rationalise beliefs.

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Posted: 22 May 2007 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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sure but when are Christians and Jews going to fess up and face their roots?  They ripped their genesis stories off from their disdainful, repugnant pagan neighbors.

When will they admit that thier story is unoriginal, uninspired?

I kind of began to think as your fundy theist advocate suggests when I wrote:

What then? Are we to say that the enemy egyptian also had the Hebrew god dictating similar creation stories to them??

It appears that is one of the only escape routes. That the Hebrew god dictated creation and the stupid egyptians wrote it down wrong, or were prideful and deliberately wrote things kind of screwey as god dictated… and Moses got the dictation correct later when god gave up on the pagan egyptians

And the next logical progression for the fundy christian is that god indeed did try to reveal his truths to the egyptians… they were around long before the hebrews ever were a people… and god loved the egyptians too at one point in history. BUT. The egyptians were wicked and they corrupted what god revealed to them through their vanity, idolatry, and polytheism.  Only the Hebrews got what god wanted right and kept their noses clean.

I see how that could be a very natural mental progression for the fundy christian.

Case closed, I guess.

Noggin

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Posted: 22 May 2007 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Well, look at this way, from many gods to one god, from God making thunder to a more mystical transcendant god in everything…

its a continuum of attempts at explaining ....

and comfort yourself with the observation that it appears to progress….

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Posted: 22 May 2007 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“drewjw”]“But the fact that there is a flood story in most cultures proves there was a flood. the fact there is a creation story in most culture proves creation.”

Here’s my suggested response - such a flood wouldn’t prove the existence of God, since it could have had a natural cause. And it certainly wouldn’t prove that the flood happened because God felt that all of humankind deserved to die for wickedness.

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Posted: 23 May 2007 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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It’s been a few years, but I have read Greenberg’s book. While I will agree with you, Noggin, that it is both provocative and enlightening, it is also only one mans opinions.

Now, mind you, I am not saying he is wrong (I happen to agree with much he says). However, such textual comparisons are always open to debate. Human beings are pattern seeking animals, and will often seek patterns that aren’t there. Greenberg certainly makes a compelling argument, but without what the art world calls a “provenance”, it will be difficult to prove he’s right.

There is no paper trail from Egyptian priest to the Palestinian Temple. As Greenberg himself points out, there is no evidence for Moses, indeed, there is no evidence for the Exodus at all, and little to none that the Israelites ever lived in Egypt in appreciable numbers. And, while there is evidence for contact with Babylon, the writings we possess can only be dated to somewhere around the third century BCE.

Because of this, people will always be able to refute claims of plagiarism (I have read historians who try to claim that Amenhotep IV [you may know him better as Ankhenaten, but he’ll always be Amenhotep IV to me] was inspired in monotheism by Moses. Seriously) Indeed, a friend of mine recently claimed that I couldn’t deny that the Bible is the most historically accurate book ever written. Of course, I did. (He is the poster boy for the home schooling movement LOL  )

Anyway, if this stuff interest you, I would also suggest you read Mythic Past, by Thomas L. Thompson, which argues that the Bible is poetry, metaphor, and myth from an archaeological standpoint. Some might also suggest Richard Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible, but I must admit that I personally felt that he relied too much on the historicity of certain figures who cannot be verified by either archaeology or by contemporaneous historical documentation. Of course, that’s just me :wink: .

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Posted: 31 May 2007 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“Carstonio”][quote author=“waltercat”]But none of these people are scholars on ancient religions or cultures.  They probably felt more comfortable battling on territory they were familiar with. And there are many, many fronts on which this battle can be fought.

Whoa, good insight. I had forgotten that Harris is a neuroscientist and that Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist.

So who are our experts on ancient religions and cultures who can debunk the idea of scriptural infallibility? Elaine Pagels?

Robert Price.  I think he’s got it all figured out.  But, for my taste, he is too soft on the theists.  I like my atheists mean, like Christopher Hitchens… and me…  LOL

You are right, Noggin.  I think it needs to be common knowledge that Christianity is rooted in paganism.  I mean, once one has all the information, it becomes more than obvious.  Instead, what most people know are the desperate and forced connections the church has tried to make over the millennia between the OT and the NT.

At the same time, I do agree with some of the other posters who opine that it really won’t make much difference.  Old cynic that I am, I really don’t think people care about what is true.  They like their beliefs, truth be damned.  One would think that the devastating evidence about Christianity’s pagan roots would cause believers to experience a crisis of faith.  But no.  All we can expect is for them to say that their faith has been strengthened by this challenge.  It is utterly absurd. 

Still, I think the truth needs to be trumpeted—for the sake of those few who honestly care about what is true.  I was always an atheist, so it did not take much effort for me to be convinced.  But look at you, Bubala.  You are a recovering Mormon!  Look at you now, chatting up a storm on the subject of myths and stuff…  8)

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Posted: 01 June 2007 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“Rami”]  But look at you, Bubala.  You are a recovering Mormon!  Look at you now, chatting up a storm on the subject of myths and stuff…  8)

Aw Rami, I could just hug ya!!  You are always so supportive… kind of like a jock strap.  ** snort**  LOL

~Nogs

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Posted: 07 June 2007 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“Noggin”][quote author=“Rami”]  But look at you, Bubala.  You are a recovering Mormon!  Look at you now, chatting up a storm on the subject of myths and stuff…  8)

Aw Rami, I could just hug ya!!  You are always so supportive… kind of like a jock strap.  ** snort**  LOL

~Nogs

Are you flirting with me again?  :oops:

Hey, we are going to be vacationing in your neck of the woods soon!  Keep an eye out for a guy wearing a bright pink or purple shirt, on Fisherman’s Wharf, calling “Nogsie!  Nogsie!”  Feel free to surprise me with that hug…

Do you know of any vegan restaurants in Monterey?  Ironically, my partner is on the Atkins diet now.  I don’t know what the hell we are going to do about eating out…

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Posted: 08 June 2007 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Rami

Oh wow!  you two can NOT visit Monterey without doing lunch on me.  I think it is forbidden even somewhere.  I promise not to be verbose, we can keep the time limit to 20 or 30 minutes plus I would love to meet the man behind the man, you know?

I do know of a vegan restaurant but haven’t ever eaten there so I can’t say it’s still there.  It used to be right on Del Monte Blvd… or maybe that was Indian foof.

Hang on I shall check….

well hello Tilleygorts in PG!  I had NO idea that was a vegetarian place and I have eaten there twice! (Yummy)

http://www.tilliegortscafe.com/

(em.. vegetarian is probably not the same as vegan, I am so clueless)

“Vegan resources” lists a restaurant in Monterey:
http://www.veganpeace.com/links/vegan_resources_usa/restaurants.htm#California

Don’t worry, we don’t have to meet, I tend to be a quiet kind of guy anyhow so I let that intimidate myself from venturing out in meeting new people half the time.  I never know what to say.  BUT, don’t be fooled… if your itinerary allows for a small Noggin time slot, I would love to meet you guys!  Maybe have my first vegan meal?

~Nogs

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Posted: 09 June 2007 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Noggin, please check your private messages :wink:

Rami

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Posted: 24 June 2007 03:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Comparison of some life events of Horus and Jesus:
Event Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Conception: By a virgin. By a virgin. 8
Father: Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Only begotten son of Yehovah (in the form of the Holy Spirit).
Mother: Meri. 9 Miriam (a.k.a. Mary).
Foster father: Seb, (Jo-Seph). 9 Joseph.
Foster father’s ancestry: Of royal descent. Of royal descent.
Birth location: In a cave. In a cave or stable.
Annunciation: By an angel to Isis, his mother. By an angel to Miriam, his mother. 8
Birth heralded by: The star Sirius, the morning star. An unidentified “star in the East.”
Birth date: Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (typically DEC-21).  Celebrated on DEC-25. The date was chosen to occur on the same date as the birth of Mithra, Dionysus and the Sol Invictus (unconquerable Sun), etc.
Birth announcement: By angels. By angels. 8
Birth witnesses: Shepherds. Shepherds. 8
Later witnesses to birth: Three solar deities. Three wise men. 8
Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered.
Handling the threat: The God That tells Horus’ mother “Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child.” An angel tells Jesus’ father to: “Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.”
Rite of passage ritual: Horus came of age with a special ritual,  when his eye was restored. Taken by parents to the temple for what is today called a bar mitzvah ritual.
Age at the ritual: 12 12
Break in life history: No data between ages of 12 & 30. No data between ages of 12 & 30.
Baptism location: In the river Eridanus. In the river Jordan. 
Age at baptism: 30. 30.
Baptized by: Anup the Baptiser. John the Baptist.
Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Beheaded.
Temptation: Taken from the desert of Amenta up a high mountain by his arch-rival Sut. Sut (a.k.a. Set) was a precursor for the Hebrew Satan. Taken from the desert in Palestine up a high mountain by his arch-rival Satan.
Result of temptation: Horus resists temptation. Jesus resists temptation.
Close followers: Twelve disciples. Twelve disciples.
Activities: Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He “stilled the sea by his power.” Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He ordered the sea with a “Peace, be still” command.
Raising of the dead: Horus raised Osirus, his dead father,  from the grave. 10 Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave.
Location where the resurrection miracle occurred: Anu, an Egyptian city where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Horus were enacted annually. 10 Hebrews added their prefix for house (‘beth”) to “Anu” to produce “Beth-Anu” or the “House of Anu.” Since “u” and “y” were interchangeable in antiquity, “Bethanu” became “Bethany,” the location mentioned in John 11.
Origin of Lazarus’ name in the Gospel of John:  Asar was an alternative name for Osirus, Horus’ father, who Horus raised from the dead. He was referred to as “the Asar,” as a sign of respect. Translated into Hebrew, this is “El-Asar.” The Romans added the prefix “us” to indicate a male name, producing “Elasarus.” Over time, the “E” was dropped and “s” became “z,” producing “Lazarus.” 10
Transfigured: On a mountain. On a high mountain.
Key address(es): Sermon on the Mount. Sermon on the Mount; Sermon on the Plain.
Method of death By crucifixion. By crucifixion.
Accompanied by: Two thieves. Two thieves.
Burial In a tomb. In a tomb.
Fate after death: Descended into Hell; resurrected after three days. Descended into Hell; resurrected after about 30 to 38 hours (Friday PM to presumably some time in Sunday AM) covering parts of three days.
Resurrection announced by: Women. Women.
Future: Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium. Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

Comparison of some characteristics of Horus and Jesus:
Characteristics Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Nature” Regarded as a mythical character. Regarded as a 1st century CE human man-god.
Main role: Savior of humanity.  Savior of humanity. 
Status: God-man. God-man.
Common portrayal: Virgin Isis holding the infant Horus. Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus.
Title: KRST, the anointed one. Christ, the anointed one.
Other names: The good shepherd, the lamb of God, the bread of life, the son of man, the Word, the fisher, the winnower. The good shepherd, the lamb of God, the bread of life, the son of man, the Word, the fisher, the winnower.
Zodiac sign: Associated with Pisces, the fish. Associated with Pisces, the fish.
Main symbols: Fish, beetle, the vine, shepherd’s crook. Fish, beetle, the vine, the shepherd’s crook.

 

Comparison of some teachings of Horus and Jesus:
Characteristics Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Criteria for salvation at the place of judgment: “I have given bread to the hungry man and water to the thirsty man and clothing to the naked person and a boat to the shipwrecked mariner.” 11 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me…” Matthew 25:35-36 (KJV).
“I am” statements “I am Horus in glory…I am the Lord of Light…I am the victorious one…I am the heir of endless time…I, even I, am he that knoweth the paths of heaven.” 12
“I am Horus, the Prince of Eternity.”
“I am Horus who stepeth onward through eternity…Eternity and everlastingness is my name.”
“I am the possessor of bread in Anu. I have bread in heaven with Ra.”


  “I am the light of the world….I am the way, the truth and the life.”
“Before Abraham was, I am”
“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever.”
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

(From the Gospel of John)

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Posted: 14 September 2007 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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I just looked up Horus on Wikipedia, and didn’t see any of this. But there was a link to Osiris-Dionysus, and that seems to be the source of this comparison. It seems the similarities were the basis of an argument against Christianity all the way back in the second century AD (or CE, if you prefer). The author was Celsus, whose name has been honored by one of the participants on this site.

I’ve seen the Gospel of John explained in terms of Greek Gnosticism, but I had never heard about the Osiris-Dionysys syncretism. Wow, I learn so much on this site!

The Gospel of John is very important to Catholics. But for Protestants, especially the fundamentalists you love to hate, it’s all about the epistles of Paul. I am especially interested in Paul, because as a Christian, I am consumed by trying to understand how Paul came to be more important to Christians than Jesus.

The comparisons of Horus and Jesus don’t bother me. It’s a fun game to play (Lincoln and Kennedy both have 7 letters! Both were shot in the head! Booth shot in a theater and ran to a warehouse—-Oswald shot from a warehouse and ran to a theater!) Greenberg (whom I know nothing about) seems to ba a sort of necessary counterpoint to someone like Hal Lindsay. Both are in the business of selling books.

Christianity borrowed a lot. A plethora of extra-Biblical lore and ritual has grown up around so simple a concept as serving God. That was borrowed from The Pharisees. Giant metropolitan churches have an insatiable appetite for revenue simply to exist, and to support the lifestyle of the staff. That was borrowed from the Sadducees.

Here’s a word for you to investigate: theocrasy. It’s not quite the same thing as syncretism. There’s not much about it on the internet. Googling the word will reveal some of the weaknesses of the World Wide Web: misspellings, material copied from here to here to here, and still a dearth of information on so many topics. Thank God for anyone that maintains the public’s interest in books.

.

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Posted: 12 December 2007 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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mcalpine - 14 September 2007 11:42 PM

I just looked up Horus on Wikipedia, and didn’t see any of this. But there was a link to Osiris-Dionysus, and that seems to be the source of this comparison. It seems the similarities were the basis of an argument against Christianity all the way back in the second century AD (or CE, if you prefer). The author was Celsus, whose name has been honored by one of the participants on this site.

I’ve seen the Gospel of John explained in terms of Greek Gnosticism, but I had never heard about the Osiris-Dionysys syncretism. Wow, I learn so much on this site!

The Gospel of John is very important to Catholics. But for Protestants, especially the fundamentalists you love to hate, it’s all about the epistles of Paul. I am especially interested in Paul, because as a Christian, I am consumed by trying to understand how Paul came to be more important to Christians than Jesus.

The comparisons of Horus and Jesus don’t bother me. It’s a fun game to play (Lincoln and Kennedy both have 7 letters! Both were shot in the head! Booth shot in a theater and ran to a warehouse—-Oswald shot from a warehouse and ran to a theater!) Greenberg (whom I know nothing about) seems to ba a sort of necessary counterpoint to someone like Hal Lindsay. Both are in the business of selling books.

Christianity borrowed a lot. A plethora of extra-Biblical lore and ritual has grown up around so simple a concept as serving God. That was borrowed from The Pharisees. Giant metropolitan churches have an insatiable appetite for revenue simply to exist, and to support the lifestyle of the staff. That was borrowed from the Sadducees.

Here’s a word for you to investigate: theocrasy. It’s not quite the same thing as syncretism. There’s not much about it on the internet. Googling the word will reveal some of the weaknesses of the World Wide Web: misspellings, material copied from here to here to here, and still a dearth of information on so many topics. Thank God for anyone that maintains the public’s interest in books.

Mac,

I was reading this link today

http://geocities.com/inquisitive79/godmen.html


I can’t vouch for the accuracy of it but it sure was interesting.

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