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Whose birthday is it? Jesus or Horus?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by Eph4:26, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    That's not going to be enough for SA because that's not official teaching of the Roman Church. Just because it has "catholic" in its name doesn't mean it's what they believe.

    And it's not going to be enough for me because they aren't making appraisable historical arguments either, but simply regurgitating a longstanding myth.
     
  2. Eph4:26

    Eph4:26 Regular Member

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    The authenticity of your citations not withstanding, please allow me to offer a couple primary sources counter your claim . . .

    The Roman Cult of Mithras: The God and His Mysteries

    By Manfred Clauss (2001)

    “The identification of Mithras and Sol is effected as it were before our very eyes in an inscription from Bremenium (High Rochester) on Hadrian’s Wall. The stone-mason originally carved Deo invicto et Soli socio sacrum, ‘Sacred to the Invincible God and Sol his ally’.” p. 146

    “Some further details help to complete this picture. A cult-image from Rome, in fact one of the earliest, datable to the first quarter of the second century AD (fig. 105), is dedicated, as the inscription tells us, to Sol Mithras (p. 22)” p. 146


    I might add
    Hadrian's Wall was constructed between 122-128 AD in northern England
     
  3. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    That doesn't remotely affect my claim. No one is disupting the existance of Sol Invictus and Mithraism in the second century, but simply the date of the establishment of Dies Natales Sol Invictus, which that source doesn't mention, seeing as no references to it occur before very late antiquity.
     
  4. Eph4:26

    Eph4:26 Regular Member

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    In the interest of staying on topic. Specifically, Sol Invictus and Mithraism was celebrated on December 25 long before the Christ Mass was instituted.

    THE ANTICHRIST AT THE MANGER
    By T.L.FRAZIER

    December 25 arrives around the time of the winter solstice, when the days get shorter and the sun seems to be "dying." After the winter solstice, the sun appears to regain its strength, is "born again" as it were, as the days become longer. Consequently, December 25 was the "birthday" of the Persian sun-god known as Mithras, originally one of the lesser demigods of the Zoroastrian religion. Mithras had become the principal Persian deity by 400 B.C. and his cult quickly overran Asia Minor. According to Plutarch, it was introduced into the West around 68 B.C., and became quite popular among the Roman legions.

    The conflict between Christianity and Mithraism had always been intense, possibly because of certain similarities between the two. The devotees of sun worship tended to be monotheistic. The cult stressed a personal experience of worship, though it excluded women. Originally, as a Zoroastrian demigod, Mithras personified justice and redemption. . . . Mithraism had rituals that included a kind of baptism, a strong code of moral conduct, and the promise of an afterlife.

    By the second half of the third century, the cults of the classical gods were on the wane and paganism sought an infusion of new life from the Oriental cults. Thus Emperor Aurelian officially established worship of a Roman version of a sun god, under the name of Sol Invictus, as the principal cult of the empire on December 25, 274, after his victory over Zenobia, queen of Palmyra. He built a huge temple for Sol Invictus on the Campus Martius in Rome and made December 25 a national holiday.

    While Mithraism may have taken a back seat to Sol Invictus, still it grew to such an extent that, by the time of Constantine's conversion, there were fifty Mithraic temples in Rome alone (Desmond O'Grady,Caesar, Christ, & Constantine: A History of the Early Church in Rome[Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor, 1991], 20.)].

    After Constantine's battle for the Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312, which delivered Rome into his hands, and the Edict of Toleration in February 313 . . . Sol Invictus was doomed to fade into permanent eclipse. Not even Julian "the Apostate," Constantine's nephew who came to the throne in 361, was able to re-impose paganism on the Empire, try though he did.

    http//www.catholic.com/thisrock/1993/9312fea1.asp
     
  5. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    See the whole post #28
     
  6. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    One, that text says nothing like what you say it says. Do you see it say anywhere that the birthday of Mithra, or any celebration at all, was on December 25 before 221 A.D.? The break in your logic seems to be this: you believe that you can date the rites of Mithra and Invictus to the very first evidence of the worship of the gods, as if their rites were born with them. That's never a valid jump to make. Nothing short of proof for a specific Dies Natales Sol Invictus/Mithra dated to before 221 A.D. can prove what you want to claim.

    Two, Mr. Frazier is not qualified to make these statements. Clearly he isn't a religious historian of late antiquity, but is simply restating outdated historical theories which no longer pass muster.

    Three, you are confusing Mithra and Sol Invictus again. Clauss, Manfred, in Mithras: Kult und Mysterien, states that the Mithra cult had no public ceremonies at any time. The erronious belief that December 25th was his birthday festival seems, according to Roger Beck, to come from an assumption that ancient references to the Birthday of Invictus refer to the birthday of Mithra Invictus, however they obviously refer to that of Sol Invictus.
     
  7. Christos Anesti

    Christos Anesti Junior Member

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    Who cares if a pagan holiday was celebrated on the same day the Church celebrates the birth of Christ? It would be rather hard to find a day that wasn't a pagan celebration somewhere or other.
     
  8. Christian Soldier

    Christian Soldier QUESTION EVOLUTION

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    The painfully obvious is sailing over the heads of most of the posters in this thread.

    The early Christians INTENTIONALLY celebrated important Christian holidays on the same days as pagan holidays, in order to co-opt and neutralize the pagan holidays!

    The bitterly anti-Christian secular/pagan Nazi regime turned around and used the same tactic on Christians during the Third Reich, by celebrating secular/pagan holidays on traditional Christian holidays.

    The illogic that "Christ and/or Christmas must be pagan, because Christmas is celebrated on an old pagan holiday", is utter foolishness being displayed by those with a weak knowledge of both Christian and non-Christian history.
     
  9. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    This theory has been around since the 1800's, but it doesn't seem to be the case. There doesn't seem to be any evidence for rites and rituals on any Christian holiday from before the earliest evidence of the Christian festivals themselves.
     
  10. I am not aware of a single case of this happening.
     
  11. Christian Soldier

    Christian Soldier QUESTION EVOLUTION

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    Documentation to support your statements would be helpful.
     
  12. Christian Soldier

    Christian Soldier QUESTION EVOLUTION

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    That's because it sailed over your head! :D

    Just because you're not aware of something, doesn't mean it's not true.
     
  13. That wasn't my argument. My argument is that you are making claims without any examples, references or citations.
     
  14. DrBubbaLove

    DrBubbaLove Senior Veteran

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    I suppose if you are willing to pick and choose quotes as "proof" of something one can often make it appear a source says whatever one wishes.
    The first quote above concerning Christmas from newadvent's online catholic encyclopedia finishes with these words:
    "But even should a deliberate and legitimate "baptism" of a pagan feast be seen here no more than the transference of the date need be supposed. The "mountain-birth" of Mithra and Christ's in the "grotto" have nothing in common: Mithra's adoring shepherds (Cumont, op. cit., I, ii, 4, p. 304 sqq.) are rather borrowed from Christian sources than vice versa."
     
  15. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    Wallraff, Christus Verus Sol: Sonnenverehrung und Christentum in der Spätantike. In it, he claims that no evidence exists for any rites of invictus on december 25th prior to the mid fourth century. Indeed, here: The Chronography of 354 AD. Part 6: the calendar of Philocalus.  Inscriptiones Latinae Antiquissimae, Berlin (1893) pp.256-278 we see on Mensis December 25 N.INVICTI, or Dies Natales Sol Invictus. This is the earliest source mentioning that date as the Natales of Sol. However, evidence that Christ's conception was dated to March 25 comes as early as 221 in the Chronographai. And it is easy enough to add nine months to March 25 to see where our date of Christmas came from.

    The entire issue is well explained here: Touchstone Archives: Calculating Christmas
    although this author buys into a few unsupportable theories as well, such as the argument that Aurelian instituted the Dies Natales Sol Invictus in 274, which is adressed in this work Deel I
     
  16. Christos Anesti

    Christos Anesti Junior Member

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    That might be the case in some instances. I wouldn't say that whole Church calender of celebrations was based on co-opting pagan holidays though. At most it could be one factor among others that was considered when choosing the date to celebrate certain feasts. The big question is... so what? Is there something wrong with that? Christians should redeem every day for Christ.
     
  17. dobieman0488

    dobieman0488 Member

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    Jesus wasn't born on December 25th, it was in the spring/summer. The church just used that date to counteract the pagan celebrations held on December 25th.
     
  18. There were no pagan celebrations on December 25th.

    Is everyone going to read the OP and then respond without reading the topic?
     
  19. Christian Soldier

    Christian Soldier QUESTION EVOLUTION

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    ^Rubbish.

    "The date the Christmas is celebrated on was used to replace the pagan worship in Rome on December 25, to celebrate the day of Jesus’ birth....

    ...In ancient times many cultures worshiped their deities around the time of the winter solstice. From their celebrations comes not only the date when we celebrate Christmas, but also many of our holiday traditions. First recorded before the times of Christ were the Babylonians, who worshiped the sun god Isis, annually on December 25.

    Later Romans designated December 25 as the day of their celebration. On this day, they honored, not only Saturn, the deity of agriculture, but also the birthday of Mithras the sun god. Meanwhile on that same day, the people of northern Europe celebrated Yule, also in honor of their sun god Mithras.

    During Jesus’ time, worship of Mithras continued to be popular in Rome. After Jesus’ death, Christianity began to replace pagan religions. However, many pagan converts to Christianity refused to discontinue their pagan practices. Many of these Christians worshipped Mithras on Sunday (named after the sun god), and attended the annual feast.

    Sighting this as a problem, church leaders decided to Christianize pagan customs, in order to attract pagans and allow converts to observe their old traditions in a godly fashion.

    In 321, the Roman Emperor Constantine gave Christianity freedom in Rome. Later in 336AD, Christians unofficially replaced the pagan Roman holiday with a celebration honoring Christ’s birth. Pope Julius, who designated December 25 as the official celebration of Christ’s birth, followed this up in 350AD. This holiday became known as Christmas, or the Mass of Christ.

    History of Christmas

     
  20. Christian Soldier

    Christian Soldier QUESTION EVOLUTION

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    Bingo! :thumbsup: