The evolution of christianity

by corpusdei 1 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • corpusdei

    I came across the Michael Moorcock story "Behold the Man" the other day. Great story by the way, I urge you to check it out, but this quote really stood out:

    "You make the mistake of considering Christianity as something that developed over the course of a few years, from the death of Jesus to the time the Gospels were written. But Christianity wasn't new. Only the name was new. Christianity was merely a stage in the meeting, cross-fertilization metamorphosis of Western logic and Eastern mysticism. Look how the religion itself changed over the centuries, re-interpreting itself to meet changing times. Christianity is just a new name for a conglomeration of old myths and philosophies. All the Gospels do is retell the sun myth and garble some of the ideas from the Greeks and Romans. Even in the second century, Jewish scholars were showing it up for the mish-mash it was! They pointed out the strong similarities between the various sun myths and the Christ myth. The miracles didn't happenthey were invented later, borrowed from here and there.

    Remember the old Victorians who used to say that Plato was really a Christian because he anticipated Christian thought? Christian thought! Christianity was a vehicle for ideas in circulation for centuries before Christ. Was Marcus Aurelius a Christian? He was writing in the direct tradition of Western philosophy. That's why Christianity caught on in Europe and not in the East!"

    It's an interesting viewpoint, and I think there's a lot of validity to it as well as evidence supporting it (Saturnalia being absorbed and becoming Christmas as the birth of Christ, for example). Thoughts?

  • IsaacJ22

    I tend to lean toward this idea myself. There seems to be plenty of good reasons for it. Then again, I'm an atheist. So that makes it easy for me to go there. :-)

    Still, when you try to research ideas like this--the questionable historicity of Jesus is, in many ways, an even bigger one--you seem to get various opinions from real historians. I would be interested in seeing a strong case for the existence of a real, historical Jesus, instead of the usual apologist stuff. If only to give them a chance to change my mind. But I haven't seen much from them. I heard that Bart Ehrman wrote a book that tried to disprove the arguments of Jesus skeptics, but others said it was a badly written book full of errors.

    So what else is atheist meant to think about both topics?

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