Atabaki put it best. The Sun (Jesus), is born of Virgo (the Virgin), with Orion (the Three Kings) standing by. Shepherds make the big announcement and celebrate with bread and wine. All of these are parallels to Mithras. Church fathers and apologists such as Justin, Origen and Tertullian acknowledged many of these parallels, but they blamed the Devil for them. The Devil is a crafty fellow, you know. Sure, some of you can deny one or two of these ‘coincidences,’ but this isn’t just one or two. Have a look at the Big List of Christian Plagiarism from earlier Mithraism:
* Mithras was born of a virgin on Dec. 25th. (This is the Persian version. In Rome, we see Mithras being born from a rock or a Cosmic Egg. Dec. 25th is the Winter Solstice and when the festival of Saturnalia took place. The date represents, are you ready, the birth or rebirth of the Sun. According to 2 sources, the original birth date of Jesus was January 6th, but the Church of Rome later changed the date.)
* Shepherds bearing gifts present at birth.
* He was attended by 12 figures.
* Good Shepherd
* Great Teacher
* Identified with the lamb and the lion.
* By worshiping Mithras, man can achieve salvation / immortality.
* Defender of Righteousness
*Forgiveness of Sins
* Eucharist / Oblation / Holy Communion
* Holy Meal / Lord’s Supper / Last Supper on Sunday
* Holy Water
* Made a sacrifice for world peace.
* Buried in a tomb for three days (unverified)
* Resurrection celebrated annually (unverified)
* Festival became Easter, with a Passover (unverified)
* Worshiped on Sundays
* Fish symbol (unverified)
* Holy Cross (two sources, unverified)
Note: By unverified, I mean only one source is saying it, but I usually find that source to be very accurate (and entertainingly cynical). In this case, that would be Michael Connor of Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio. The example of the Holy Cross I have not yet seen in the Mithras research, but both Atabaki and Connor say it is there.
The biggest differences from Christianity are that Mithraism was male dominated. Well, whoop-de-do! Have a look at Judaism or Islam, peeps. Also, Christians made it a point to help widows, orphans and the poor, but we don’t know if the same was true for Mithraists because the Catholics went and destroyed all their writings. Lastly, the Mithras cult accepted other gods as secondary, while Christians refused to believe in any other gods.
While we’re on the subject of lists, here are a couple more of them.
Sun gods born on December 25th:
* Nimrod (mortal that claimed he was god)
* Quetzalcoatl (unverified)
Madonna and Child, or Mother of God and God motifs:
* Aphrodite and Adonis (Greek)
* Ashtoreth / Astarte and Molech / Baal (Canaan, I dispute this one)
* Mary and Jesus (Christianity)
* Semiramus and Tammuz (Babylon)
I don’t know, but to me it looks like the apologists don’t have much here to make a counterclaim. The best they can do is nitpick at the details such as the virgin / rock / Cosmic Egg birth, while ignoring that different countries had different evolved or adapted versions. The rest of this is pretty cut and dry, and that’s without even bringing up Apollo, Hercules, Ra, Horus and Osiris. Of course there are going to be regional differences, just like we have dialect and cultural differences in different parts of the U.S. Compare a Texas drawl to a Joysey accent, for example. The same thing happens with religions, as shown by the estimated 10,000 separate Christian sects presently in this country. Jesus was the new black, while Mithras went back some 1300 to 1500 years before anybody even thought of Jesus. I said this in a previous post; you can’t take the body of Mithras, put a new face on it and call it an entirely new god. I understand Jesus as a spirit or thought-form through my metaphysical dealings, but as far as religion and politics go, I have to say that Jesus was an inside job.
Source Posts (found on this blog)
Ancient Rome: Mithras – Lord Of The Cosmos
Ancient Rome: Round Table On The Cult Of Mithras
Andre Atabaki: The Bible Of Mithra And The Science Of Light
Payam Nabarz: The Savior God Mithras