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You'll discover that ancient cultures around the Mediterranean shared standard ideas about Gods and their powers and place in the universe—and that Christianity simply adopted those ideas, and applied them to Jesus. Christianity was a product of its time and place.
Greg

 

  is about a question you probably never thought about: Did Christianity borrow ideas from other religions? If you're like me, you grew up thinking it didn't. We were taught Christianity began with a big bang—with Jesus. Jesus changed the world with ideas about God that were new and revolutionary.

July 2013

It ain't so. Our Christianity doesn't come from Jesus and a big bang. It comes from the accumulation of legends and theologies by people who believed in Jesus. The origin of those ideas wasn't Jesus. The origin was the myths, legends, philosophies, prejudices, literature, superstitions, and primitive cosmology of ancient western culture. Christianity was a product of its time and place.

That's what POCM is about.

Jesus, third century AD

We'll start thinking about Christian borrowing by asking a simple question:

By what criteria can we decide what ancient godman stories were new and original, and what ancient godman stories were myths built up from the religious ideas of their day?


Here's what I mean..

 

Athens, sixth century BC

 Don't believe Greg. Click the thumbnails to see the ancient evidence.

<< When Osiris is said to bring his believers eternal life in Egyptian Heaven, contemplating the unutterable, indescribable glory of God, we understand that as a myth.

When the sacred rites of Demeter at Eleusis are described as bringing believers happiness in their eternal life, we understand that as a myth. >>

 

<< In fact, when ancient writers tell us that in general ancient people believed in eternal life, with the good going to the Elysian Fields and the not so good going to Hades, we understand that as a myth.

 

<< When Vespatian's spittle healed a blind man, we understand that as a myth.

When Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from death, we understand that as a myth. >>

<< When the Pythia , the priestess at the Oracle at Delphi, in Greece, prophesied, and over and over again for a thousand years, the prophecies came true, we understand that as a myth.

When Dionysus turned water into wine, we understand that as a myth. When Dionysus believers are filled with atay, the Spirit of God, we understand that as a myth. >>

<< When Romulus is described as the Son of God, born of a virgin, we understand that as a myth.

When Alexander the Great is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth. >>

.

Mr. A. Great

<< When Augustus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal , we understand that as a myth.

When Dionysus is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman,we understand that as a myth. >>

 

<< When Scipio Africanus (Scipio Africanus, for Christ's sake) is described as the Son of God, born of a mortal woman, we understand that as a myth.

 

 

 

Jesus in the 3d century, healing the sick by touching them with a magic wand!

 

So how come when Jesus is described as
the Son of God,
      born of a mortal woman,
         according to prophecy,
            turning water into wine,
            raising girls from the dead, and
 <-------- healing blind men with his spittle,
                  and setting it up so His believers got eternal life in Heaven contemplating the unutterable, indescribable glory of God, and off to Hades—er, I mean Hell—for the bad folks...
how come that's not a myth?

And how come, in a culture with all those Sons of God, where miracles were science, where Heaven and Hell and God and eternal life and salvation were in the temples, in the philosophies, in the books, were dancing and howling in street festivals, how come we imagine Jesus and the stories about him developed all on their own, all by themselves, without picking up any of their stuff from the culture they sprang from, the culture full of the same sort of stuff?

 

POCM answers these questions by looking at what ancient people wrote about ancient religion. What the ancient evidence will show you is that ancient western culture had conventional ideas about Gods and their powers and place in the universe. Christianity adopted those ideas.

Ancient Pagans believed in various levels of divinity, with miraculous powers, coming down and going up to its home in the sky. Divine beings cared about people, listened to and answered their prayers. Gave them the power to prophesy. Even gave them a better deal in the eternal life that comes after death.

Christianity is a product of it's time and place. Christianity is an ancient Pagan religion.

 

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 is about the history of ideas in western civilization.

POCM in NOT about religious belief, at least not in the sense that I care whether you are Christian or not. I don't. POCM is not about changing your faith.

I'm not pushing one religion over another; I'm not pushing a-religion or atheism over faith. I will say I'm not a Pagan. But if I did it right you'll go through everything here without otherwise figuring out what my religious convictions are.  

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POCM has three sections: Facts, Reasons, Guesses 
 

 

You don't have to believe Greg. You'll discover the facts for yourself, in extended quotations taken directly from ancient writers. Look for the blue Ancient Quotation boxes.

Since the idea of Christian-Pagan similarities sounds way weird to just about everyone, most of POCM is set up to help you discover the simple facts for yourself. Read the ancient sources and decide for yourself if the Christian godman story is similar to the Pagan godman stories.

You'll discover that the real Pagan-Christian similarities are not details of the myths. Each ancient religion had its own myths. No other Pagan godman was born on December 25th, in a manger, with a virgin mother named Mary, and shepherd outside singing.

What Pagan religions shared with each other and with Christianity was not myths but religious ideas—basic notions about the shape of the universe, the human soul and its eternal destiny, and about Gods and their powers and place in the universe. The Christian and Pagan myths are similar because they were made up to fit religious ideas that are similar.

POCM's Prime Directive:
Just facts, no opinion

Look, I know the stuff you're reading here is hard to swallow.  This is the wacky web—I don't expect you to believe me.  So here's POCM's prime directiveJust facts, no opinion.  

You'll discover Christianity's Pagan origins directly from the pens of the ancients themselves. You'll also discover the Christianity's Pagan origins in mainstream modern scholarship. 

What you won't get is my opinion.  You absolutely won't hear my interpretation—yuck!—of any bible verses.
Just facts. No opinions. I promise.


Then later on, we'll talk about what those facts mean. I'll review the modern scholarship for you, then we'll talk about the reasoning behind the claim that Christianity borrowed ideas from the Pagan culture around it. We'll also analyze the various believer's attacks on the idea of Christian - Pagan borrowing.

You'll discover:   there is no consistent, reasoned analysis of the evidence that can pick out Christianity as fundamentally different from other ancient Pagan religions. Christianity is an ancient Pagan religion.



At the very end I break the no opinions rule. Feel free to skip this bit.

What does it mean that Christianity borrowed not the myths, but the ideas? The ideas came first. The facts came later. The facts were made up to fit the ideas. What that has to mean is that although we imagine the meaning of Jesus comes from the facts about Jesus, the truth has to be the other way around. Back at the very beginning, the facts about Jesus were adjusted to fit with the meaning of Jesus. Cool, huh?


POCM is an introduction. You want to know more? Good Books starts with a list of four books that will give you a powerful grasp of the subject, and several dozen more that will help you fill in details.

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Why the blank pages?
Someday POCM will work best when you read it end to end like a book. The  and buttons up at the top (on the brown bar just under the menu tabs) help you do that. But for now there are too many empty pages for that to be fun.

 

To get a quick look at the basic ideas, you can go to the big tabs at the top:


The section-introducing pages under each big tab are done. I'm now slowly filling in the sub-topic stuff. This will take several years

Psst, hey Mister . . .

...you wanna skip the Poindexter stuff and quick discover exactly how Christianity copied from Paganism? I know a way you can do that.

Where to go for the quick scoop.

To see what a God looked like when He was specifically made up to fit the religious ideas of ancient cultures, see

Pagan Christs > Glycon

To see that the idea of people being raised from the dead was common to ancient Greco-Roman culture, see

Pagan Ideas > Raised from the dead.

To discover a Pagan theology borrowed by Christianity, see

Pagan Ideas > Eternal life

 

Finally, if you've committed yourself to a literal bible, well, you're starting with an axiom that makes everything here impossible, so you won't miss much clicking away. No hard feelings.

Enjoy,
Greg Kane
Denver
USA

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  What other people think about POCM  

I can't say that i'm Pagan, but i am looking into it. I'm trying to find out as much as i can about it. Your page, though informatively seen from a different point of view (your point), i didn't find that great. You have a couple of grammatical errors and a couple of verbal misuse (I have a prefectionist habit and if you would like some examples, i would be happy to show you, but i won't include them in here).

You might be thinking that I didn't like your page simply because of your errors... well, it goes back further than that. You talk about Paganism like you know everything about it (i'm not saying you do know everything about it, but rather you sound like it). Now if you have errors in the language you're using to describe it in, how can i be sure that there are no errors in your teachings? (I know you say you're not trying to pursuade, but want it or not, those are considered teachings) On a more happier oppinion, this could just be the habit talkin. I'm not saying your writing is false, I don't even know that much about the religion. However, i would like you to think on it. 

Thanks. -Daniel

  
You are free to copy and paste any words you find at POCM, as long as

1

You don't charge anyone for the stuff you borrow

2

Every time you borrow, you tell folks it came from POCM and
link back to the page you got it from, or just to:  www.pocm.info

3

You really really promise to live with goodness and goodwill in your heart.

 
A NEW FEATURE: A scholarly and handsome reader Kicks POCM's Ass

< YOUR brainiac opinion here! >

Can you KPA?

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