The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150459 Message #3541380
Posted By: Little Hawk
24-Jul-13 - 07:45 PM
Thread Name: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
Subject: RE: BS: Reflections on Religion and Atheism
Ahhhh.... Still recovering from the incredible thrill of nailing the 300th post.
Okay. (be still, my beating heart)(well, not completely still, but, you know...)
Amos - Brilliantly said, old pard! I believe you have expressed it quite aptly.
tunesmith - "MOST Christians probably don't realise that Jesus's biography is "suspiciously" similar ( in modern parlance "a rip-off" )to that of earlier god/men."
True, most Christians now do not realize it...but...
A great many serious theologians, ministers, and people who've looked more deeply into Christianity most certainly DO realize it, and they understand how that would have happened through the process of "midrash" (the prevailing Jewish, and later Christian, custom of building symbolically upon previous sacred traditions when writing religious texts. Much of what Jesus does in the New Testament is a clear echo and extension from previous Jewish tales about Elijah, and is also echoed in tales from Egyptian mythology and other previous Middle Eastern religions. The "virgin birth", for example, is an idea found in several previous religions, and so is the notion of resurrection from the dead, and ascension of a God-man into Heaven. That these repetitions of previous traditions occur in the Christian writings was perfectly normal for religious writings of the time which were NOT written as literal "biography" or "history" texts, but as allegorical texts to inspire faith and to provoke spiritual thought. People in the 90 years after Jesus' death borrowed a great deal from many previous sacred traditions to make the story of Jesus one which would be suitably inspirational to Christian followers, using the literary style of the time. They would not have seen it as a "ripoff", but as what was normally done in religious tales. To view it as literal history or literal biography is to not understand the purpose or intention of those writings.)
Matter of fact, I've been reading some books about this very stuff just lately, and they are quite interesting.