Were Biblical accounts plagiarized?
There is this movie / documentary that came out a few years ago, it is called the ZEITGEIST movie. The movie among other Christ ‘mythers’ had some interesting “facts”, which are actually just a bunch of conspiracy theories, one of the major premises of the movie was the idea that most of the Biblical accounts are not original, but copies of accounts from earlier pagan religions. In the previous article (link) we addressed the claim that the account of Jesus was plagiarized from the accounts of earlier pagan gods, we looked at Horus, Dionysus and Krishna. Today we look at Mithra as well as a few other plagiarism claims.
Mithra (1200 BC)
Christ ‘mythers’ claim that Jesus’ biblical account is simply a copy of the pagan god Mithra based on the following; they claim that:
Mithra was born of a virgin on 25th Dec just like Jesus.
He was a travelling teacher who performed miracles and had 12 disciples.
He sacrificed himself for world peace
Died was buried and rose after 3 days later on Easter morning just like Jesus
His followers were promised eternal life just like Jesus
He was called the good shepherd, savior, redeemer, the way the truth and the light just like Jesus.
His holy day was Sunday and his followers partook in the Lords supper every week
This would prove them right, except the claims are not true:
To begin with there are 3 versions of Mithra and none matches Christianity, most who make the above claims usually refer to the Mithra of the Roman cult. Mithra was not born of a virgin, it is said he was born out/grew out of a rock as an adult not a baby (The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, page 36), in other versions he was created as an adult by Ahura Mazda (AVESTA: KHORDA AVESTA 6 – 7)
There is no record of Mithra being a travelling teacher. As for performing miracles, every supposed deity has that quality, it is too general to form a parallel. There is no record of Mithra having 12 disciples. In the Iranian/Persian versions he had 1 companion, Varuna. In the Roman version he had 2 companions, Cautes and Cautopatress.
There is no record of Mithra sacrificing himself for world’s peace, the closest we can get is him slaying a bull not sacrificing himself
There is no record of Mithra dying or being buried and rising from the dead, these are made up lies.
There is no record of Mithra being referred to by any of the titles applied to Christ, Christ Mythers made this up.
It is true that Mithra’s holiday was Sunday, but there are only seven days in a week and in many cultures the first day of the week (in our case Sunday) was of great significance and was often dedicated to some gods, mostly son gods, because sun gods were considered more significant than others. It is therefore irrelevant.
Finally, most of the records of Mithra that can be found are from after Christ, if there is any copying it would have been the other way around.
Again, in order for any of the Christ’s account plagiarism claims to be true, Jesus would have be simply a mythical character and not a historical figure, but we have demonstrated that Christ Jesus is not a mythical Character (link)
Let’s look at a few other plagiarism claims;
The star in the East
The claim: According to the conspiracy theorists, the star in the East is the brightest star in the sky called “SIRIUS”, which supposedly on December 24th aligns with the three brightest stars on Orion’s belt which are called the “three kings”. The 3 kings and the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, all point to the rising sun on December 25th; the three kings (brightest stars on Orion’s belt) follow the star in the East (The brightest star in the sky) as they point towards the rising sun (The birth of the SUN), this is supposed to parallel Christianity in the following ways;
The SUN of god = the SON of God
The three kings (brightest stars on Orion’s belt) = the three wise men
The 3 kings align with the star in the East = the wise men follow the star in the East
The star in the East aligns with the three kings as they point towards the rising sun on Dec 25th = the three wise-men follow the star in the East as it leads them to the birth of the Son of God on Dec 25th
See the desperate attempt at forcing a parallel with Christianity?
Understand that many cultures and religions over the centuries worshiped the sun, they considered it a god. Some even anthropomorphizing it, creating mythological characters, who were supposed to be sun gods e.g. Dionysus, Horus among other sun gods. Those who make the above claim would like us to believe that Jesus is just another sun god and Christians like pagan religions before them got their theology and account of Christ from astrology.
Response: First of all, Jesus was not born on 25th Dec, the 25th Dec reference is thus irrelevant. Secondly, the three stars (3 kings) and three wisemen parallel doesn’t work either, the bible does not give a number of the wise men it only gives the number of the gifts, they could have been 20 wise men bringing 3 gifts. Thirdly, Sirius (brightest star in the sky) is always aligned with the three brightest stars on Orion’s belt, this is not a one-time event, it happens 365 days a year and not on the 24th of December only. Fourth, the SUN and SON are only homophones in the English language which is only about 1000 years old, Christ existed 2000 years ago, pagan Mythologies began to develop more than 4000 years ago. Finally, Christianity would have nothing to do with sun worship, it is actually forbidden in the first book of the Bible, Genesis.
The virgin Mary and Virgo
The claim: The virgin Mary is supposedly the constellation Virgo; Virgo in Latin means virgin. Virgo is also supposedly called, ‘the house of bread’ and the translation of the name ‘Bethlehem’ from the Hebrew language is actually the words ‘house of bread’. This therefore supposedly means Bethlehem is a reference to the constellation Virgo, a place in the sky and not a real place on earth. This is another forced parallelism that is supposed to make us believe that Christianity, like pagan mythologies before is made up and draws its theology like almost every other pagan religion, from astrology.
Response: Bethlehem does in deed mean house of bread, that however does not mean that it is a made-up place named after the constellation Virgo. The existence of Bethlehem is well attested. The old Testament mentions Bethlehem, years before 400 BC, when the constellations were divided and long before the 2nd century when the constellation was first cataloged by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions Bethlehem in some of his writings as a real place. J.B Hennessy reports of archaeological discoveries which demonstrate that Bethlehem was habited during the iron age (1200 BC – 600 BC). On the same issue, Marcia Montenegro, the author of ‘Spellbound’ says,” You can’t just make a story out of names like Virgo, Leo, Taurus etc. and why doesn’t the story begin with Aries? If it did, then Leo comes before Virgo, yet Leo is supposedly Jesus the Lion of Judah. It seems it would come after Virgo not before in a story.”
There is also no relationship between Virgo the constellation and the Virgin Mary. According to Cynthia Calhoun“The name Virgo is derived from the word virgin in reference to the goddess Astraea. She was the daughter of Jupiter and Themis… Themis was the goddess of justice in Greek mythology. In the Golden Age, gods and goddesses walked the earth. Astraea was a respected goddess and looked after her people before she went to live in the sky”.
In the Egyptian version, according to Cynthia Calhoun, ” Virgo was connected to the goddess Isis. Typhon, a monster, relentlessly chased her until she got an ear of grain and dropped it. All the grain kernels became the fainter stars of the Milky Way. The brightest star in Virgo, Spica, was important to the Egyptians. They built altars to worship this star and called it the “Star of Prosperity.” The name Spica actually means “ear of wheat.””
According to space.com , “Virgo is typically linked to Dike, the Greek goddess of justice, and Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, the harvest goddess. According to Greek mythology, the earth experienced eternal spring until the god of the underworld abducted the spring maiden Persephone.”Do you see anything related to Mary there? the Virgin Mary was simply a young Hebrew woman who gave birth to Jesus.
And finally, according to Vic DiCara, the ‘Author of 27 Stars 27 Gods and Radically Deep Fundamentals of Astrology,‘ “People have it backwards, completely backwards, when they think that the visual symbolism of the zodiac signs created the meanings ascribed to those signs. Lets be real, the zodiac signs are just dots. You could as easily make the three dots of Aries into a snake as you could make them into a ram. You could as easily connect the virgo dots to draw a picture of a giraffe as you could to create the picture of a virgin carrying wheat and fire. The real fact is that the ancient seers connected the dots in the ways that they did simply as a mnemonic tool to help people understand the nature of the energies that existed within that area of the stars.”
The 12 Disciples
The claim: The 12 disciples of Jesus are supposedly the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, of which the ‘SUN of god’ goes through just like Jesus the ‘SON of God’ travels with his 12 disciples.
Response: To begin with, again SUN and SON are only homophones in the English language and not in any other languages. Secondly, Jesus does not ‘go through’ his disciples the way the SUN goes through the Zodiac constellations. Thirdly, Jesus selection of the 12 disciples was because of the 12 tribes of Israel not the Zodiac constellations. Some skeptics however claim that the 12 tribes of Israel accounts were also based on the 12 Zodiac constellations, the problem is, the book of Genesis was written approximately 1000 BC and contains the account of the 12 tribes of Israel, which would have occurred even earlier. But the division of the Zodiac into 12 constellations did not occur until about 400 BC, when the Babylonians created the division. Astronomer Jay Pasachoff confirms, “The Babylonians divided the Zodiac into 12 constellations in the 5th century BC.” The account of the 12 tribes of Israel upon whom the 12 disciples of Christ was based, was not created after the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, because the accounts of the 12 tribes of Israel came long before the Zodiac was ever divided into the 12 constellations.
Biblical accounts, Astrological ages
The claim: The bible supposedly reflects 3 astrological ages while foreshadowing a fourth age, these astrological ages are normally associated with pagan mythologies and cults some dating back to thousands of years before Christ.
The first age is Taurus the Bull (4400 – 2200 BC).
supposedly the account of the Israelites worshiping the golden calf represents this age.
The second age, supposedly represented by Moses is the age of Aries the ram (1800 BC – 360 AD)
This is supposedly the reason Jews blow the rams horn. The other reason is supposedly the fact that Jesus became the good shepherd.
The third age is supposedly the age of Pisces the two fish (360 AD – 2400 AD)
It is supposedly represented by the fact that Jesus fed people 2 fish and 5 breads and had 2 fishermen as disciples. The fish symbol often used by Christians (Image below)
Is also supposed to represent this age. Allegedly, this symbol is a symbol for Christ’s reign during the age of Pisces the two fish.
And finally, the fourth age being foreshadowed is supposedly the age of Aquarius or the water bearer (2400 AD – 4600 AD), this is supposedly due to the fact that Jesus underwent a water baptism.
Response: The bible is not related to the astrological ages in any way whatsoever. Those who make these claims are forcing the symbolisms. So, since there is a mention of a bull (the golden calf) then that must be symbolic of Taurus, but we have bulls and cows being mentioned in the new testament and during Moses’s time which are supposed to be within the age of Aries, how is that? If whenever the bible mentions a bull or cow that account falls under Taurus how then is it that cows and bulls are mentioned on ages that are not Taurus? Moses is supposed to represent the age of Aries the ram, and that is supposedly why the Jews blow the ram horn, the problem here is that there is no relation between Moses and rams, Moses is nowhere recorded blowing a ram’s horn, this is simply forced.
The third age is the age of Pisces or two fish, it is supposedly symbolized by the fact that Jesus had two disciples who were fishermen. This doesn’t work, the disciples who were fishermen were four, not two, and what about the other disciples, some were tax collectors, some tend makers, why are they not represented. It is also supposedly symbolized by Jesus feeding 5000 people 2 fish, but he also fed them bread, why is it not called the age of bread? He later on fed 4000 people ‘…several fish…’ probably more than two fish, how does that fit into the supposed age of 2 fish? He also turned water into wine, walked on water and performed many more miracles during this age, why is it not called the age of wine, or the age of walking on water?
It is also claimed that the fish symbol Christians normally use is symbolic of Christ’s reign during the age of Pisces (two fish). The fish symbol however has nothing to do with the age of Pisces, it was developed by Christians during the early periods of Christianity as code for communicating to avoid persecution, the Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΥΣ (ichthys) is also an acronym for, “Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ” transliterated as, (Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr) in the Greek language, which translates to, ‘Jesus Christ, God’s son, Savior’ in the English language.
We have other animals mentioned throughout the bible, like donkeys, camels, roasters, snakes etc., why are they not represented? The age being foreshadowed supposedly the age of Aquarius or the water bearer is supposedly represented by Christ’s baptism, but that age has not come yet, that age is supposed to be between the years 2400 and 4600. To put this into perspective, we are now on the year 2018 and Jesus was already baptized 2000 years ago, how does that work? All these symbolisms in the bible that are supposed to represent the 4 astrological ages are forced symbolisms, they don’t exist.
We shall stop here for today. I promised in the first article of this series that we shall cover Serapis, Attis, the Noah’s flood account, the creation account and the ten commandments and Moses accounts plagiarism claims. But if we did that, this article would have been longer than necessary, so we are saving those for the next article, the third article of this series.