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Thread: Potential Alternate Christ History's

  1. #1 Potential Alternate Christ History's 
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    For now, because of time constraint's, I'm going to present my idea's in brief. I hope the anthropologist's will enjoy the coming conversation though.

    The missing years of The Christ's youth; The canonical text's mention the wise men from the east. They could have been from China, and or, India. Thus being Taoist's or Buddhist's. When The Christ's family fled, they might have fled far east where the young Christ was exposed to Taoist/Buddhist teachings. Are The Christ's teaching's influenced by Taoism, and or, Buddhism, possibly also Hinduism?

    The contradiction's in The Christ's teaching's, especially when comparing canonical and non-canonical text's; I'll give examples later, but the gist is this, could our "picture" of The Christ be a composite of two or more individuals? Could, as some claim, the story of Christ be fabricated whole cloth?


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  3. #2 Re: Potential Alternate Christ History's 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    For now, because of time constraint's, I'm going to present my idea's in brief. I hope the anthropologist's will enjoy the coming conversation though.

    The missing years of The Christ's youth; The canonical text's mention the wise men from the east. They could have been from China, and or, India. Thus being Taoist's or Buddhist's. When The Christ's family fled, they might have fled far east where the young Christ was exposed to Taoist/Buddhist teachings. Are The Christ's teaching's influenced by Taoism, and or, Buddhism, possibly also Hinduism?
    Many merchants of the time would have been exposed to Zoroastrians as well--particularly their ideas about actively doing good in their lives might have influenced a young Jesus.


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    Just Wiki'd Zoroastrianism. 6'th century B.C.E. Iran. Just those alone suggest a major influence. I bet there is some major parallels between Zoroastrianism and Judeo\Christian philosophies.
    Too much to learn.
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    the zoroastrian parallels to jesus are a later addition, zoroastrians were typically very syncrinistic. It was an issue of Christianity influence, however the older influence on judaism may have merit.
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    There are no "missing years" ancient biographers did not cover a subject's life like we do today, they focused on the very important and th emoments that made the person special. Today partially due to the rise of psychoanalysis we want to know and record everything, this is why people are confused about "missing years."
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    the zoroastrian parallels to jesus are a later addition, zoroastrians were typically very syncrinistic. It was an issue of Christianity influence, however the older influence on judaism may have merit.
    Just Wiki'd Zoroastrianism. 6'th century B.C.E.
    Jesus; post C.E. Zoroastrianism; pre C.E. Who made who?
    There are no "missing years" ancient biographers did not cover a subject's life like we do today, they focused on the very important and th emoments that made the person special.
    You were an ancient biographer? You know this? And of course, a third of Jesus life, had no appreciable affect on his personality?
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    i have read ancinet biographies and yes classical biographies tended to just focus on the "important" events, events which had a direct effect on the world in a person's life. This changed in the last few centuries and there were exceptions like Augustinius, of course his was an autobiography
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    and yes the personal parallels between zoroaster and jesus are the result of a later admendment to the zoroastrian faith during an CE revival of Persian culture and faith, long since diminished
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    Ishmael said:

    The contradiction's in The Christ's teaching's, especially when comparing canonical and non-canonical text's; I'll give examples later,
    Apparently, it is not later yet.[/b]
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    There are no "missing years" ancient biographers did not cover a subject's life like we do today, they focused on the very important and th emoments that made the person special.
    The fact that ancient biographers did not cover that particular period does not mean it did not exist. Don't get me wrong, I don't fancy the speculations on Jesus' Indian adventures, but the 'missing years' really are missing from his biographies, regardless of why they are missing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    and yes the personal parallels between zoroaster and jesus are the result of a later admendment to the zoroastrian faith during an CE revival of Persian culture and faith, long since diminished
    burden of proof. Please present it.
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    try this for starters on the subject, http://www.sullivan-county.com/z/zor4.htm


    trust me most historians do not buy the direct influence story of the life of zoroaster on jesus, it was after all the other way around, the issue of the influence of zoroastrianism on judaism is another matter, on with some very real wieght to it
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    ishmael.... You are aware that if Zoroastrianism has influences on Judaism, the father of Christianity, then it invariably had influence on Christianity...

    Linking a heavily biased article and then contradicting your own views isn't a strong basis for an argument my friend.
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    well of course that is why i specifically mentioned two seperate exchanges, the influence between zoroastrianism and judaism and the later similarities between the life of jesus and zoroaster in the source documents
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    You do realize that this would be the only case in history in which an antique religion would be influenced (in one of its fundamental beliefs nonetheless!) by a newly-appeared one whose adepts were forced into hideouts for a long time.

    I realize Christians have a hard time admitting their beliefs are not God-given and, as a consequence, prone to being influenced by older, more well-established beliefs from certain zones. This is no substitute for thorough documentation and common sense.
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    fine look at the sources yourself the parallels between zoroaster and jesus do not occour in zoroastrian literature until long after the death of jesus, it was a later zoroastrian addition to a revamped religion. this is history plain and simple.
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    Here is a christian source that non-the-less has a decent grasp on the historical method
    http://www.thedevineevidence.com/pag...zoroaster.html
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    heres one book i read on the subject that might clear up the issue, Zoroastrianism by Hartz Paula.

    Remember, historians just refute the claim that the Zoroaster narrative had an influence on the jesus narrative, Judaism and Zoroastrianism is another issue several hundred years before.

    Also keep in mind that relgions and cultures are not stagnant, and Zoroastrianists declined greatly in number between alaxander the great and the foundign of the Sassanid Empire. It was during this empire that a religous revival of Zoroastrianism (linked to persian nationalism at the time) happened and the religion revamped had taken much from other religions around it, much liek how the revamped judaism several centuries before had been influenced by zoroastrianism and other religions.

    Frankly Zoroastrianism has a fractured historical record worse than that of many, including many lost and incomplete scriptures, really showing you that the religion often fell into disfavor and near extinction, several times, including certian moments under islamic kingdoms
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    fine look at the sources yourself the parallels between zoroaster and jesus do not occour in zoroastrian literature until long after the death of jesus, it was a later zoroastrian addition to a revamped religion. this is history plain and simple.
    Most of the fundamentals Zoroastrian literature prior to the birth of Jesus is lost so it's natural that these parallels occur in late writings (being the only ones we have!) People did not start thinking Zoroastrianism influenced abrahamic religions based solely on liturgical texts.
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    exactly, zoroastrianism is a religion, like judaism, with many spans of time outside of the historical record and during these times numbers shrank and the religion changed with the times
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    Yes, it has, and there are elements of sincretism like in the case of any religion. However, it is pretty much unheard of an old, established religion to be fundamentally influenced by a newer one. The sincretism that does occur in this case occurs at the level of form, not content, as the purpose is to illustrate old and established precepts, not obtain new ones.

    The shrinkage in the number of those who follow Zoroastrianism is fairly late, as it happened at the pressure of the expansion of Islam. Zoroastrianism is an old religion, at least as old, if not older than abrahamic religions, and it was a well established cult until well into the 4th-5th century BC.

    When Christianity was developed, it happened in a particularly fertile area from a spiritual point of view, as the expansion of the Roman empire brought many cultures together. It did not receive influence only from Zoroastrianism -- other cults, like the cult of Mithras, had their fair share of work.

    Nonetheless, I don't think people should fall in the trap of seeing Christianity only through the external influences. Starting with the 4th century BC and well until the 13th century, Christianity was a philosophically fertile environment that produced many interesting works.
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    Frankly religions borrowing from one another happens sometimes and the age of the religion does not matter, consider the chinese influence on buddhism after it moved east, or perhaps the zoroastrian religion, whom many say began in the 6th century bc effecting judaism, who most (not all) historians would say began before this period. Religion is not set in stone "established" religions change all the time. And yes as the sources i provided (especially the book) says that zoroastrianism declined significantly at several points, even before the rise of islam.

    i see your points about cultural diffusion, however i think your idea that religions become "established" and cannot be changed by newer ideas is wrong, which is most likely where our different points of view diverge from.
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    I am not thinking that "established" religions are immutable -- that would most definitely be wrong. I am, however, implying that fundamental aspects of established religions are unlikely to be altered by influences from newly-appeared ones. For instance, it is highly unlikely now that the people of Islam would suddenly begin accepting that their creator is Shoko Asahara (who claims to be Christ for some 20 years now, and has a couple of thousand of followers who believe him). In fact, they are very unlikely to even borrow anything from them. On the other hand, Asahara's sect has been heavily influenced by Buddhist and Christian writings. Similarily, the well-established Jewish tradition did not borrow anything from the newly-formed Christianity, which was essentially a split-off.

    The only exceptions are when the religious group that practices the older religion is very small; fundamental changes have occurred in Zoroastrian thinking, but only in fairly recent times and they have all been recorded in writing.

    Our viewpoints that religions still change and borrow from each other regardless of their age certainly do not diverge .


    P.S. Your particular example with Buddhism is not exactly illustrative due to the particularly peculiar nature of Buddhism as a religion. Buddhism caught a good show in China because the concept of dharma was fairly easy to grasp for people who were already familiar with the concept of Tao. The more delicate problems of Buddhist religion, like the samsara and issues of equilibrium also landed on a fertile land.

    You may also want to consider the fact that the Zoroastrian religion has only been noted in writing since the 6th century BC. However, as Herodotus' "Histories" describe the upper Iranian society with a number of distinct Zoroastrian features, it is likely that the religion is actually significantly older than this. Zoroaster himself lived somewhere in the 12th century BC, if not earlier.
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    Now here is a new issue. I see you think that certian religions have a base from which every sect touches upon. this is true for some religions, especially the newer, like christianity and islam (even they have exceptions) however, older religions often, not always, can have no middle ground between sects, consider the many varied practices of hinduism across india and the many sects of Buddhism. Texts are lost, new ones are made different people and times all under an umbrella term sharing only the smallest similarities. Zoroastrianism falls right in with this tradtion. its founder has an unknown history ranging from 6,000bc to 600bc, many lost texts and a very many later texts, regional variation and a known tradtion of syncretism.
    Also the first persian ruler who may have been zoroastrian was cyrus the great, and this is in doubt, so i would support a later date for the time of zoroaster on the grounds that if the religion became the majority or near to it persian rulers would have adopted it sooner.
    If you want to see variation over time in zoroastrian texts looks at angra mainyu and its development from the avesta to the present.

    back to the original conversation, in all this it was not until centuries AD that stories about the infancy of zoraster and simiularities between the person of zoroaster to jesus came into being, a much later development in a religion with many layers of growing and shrinking popularity, new influences and new times.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    Now here is a new issue. I see you think that certian religions have a base from which every sect touches upon. this is true for some religions, especially the newer, like christianity and islam (even they have exceptions) however, older religions often, not always, can have no middle ground between sects, consider the many varied practices of hinduism across india and the many sects of Buddhism.
    There are many practicing sects of Hinduism and Buddhism but they all share a common base! All Hindu sects share a great deal of doctrines; they do differ in their interpretation of Vedic texts, often fundamentally, but the doctrinal base is common. You won't see them having different sets of gods or placing different attributes to each other.

    back to the original conversation, in all this it was not until centuries AD that stories about the infancy of zoraster and simiularities between the person of zoroaster to jesus came into being, a much later development in a religion with many layers of growing and shrinking popularity, new influences and new times.
    This is what I find unlikely. You mean to say that zoroastrians fundamentally changed their perception over one of the central figures of their religion, a perception they had for about a milenium, due to the influence of another religion that was itself struggling with persecution -- and during a time when zoroastrianism itself was being pushed away to the east by the expansion of Islam and had fairly few contacts with practicing Christians?

    I find this quite unlikely. I will look through my books to catch back up on my knowledge of Zoroastrianism (it's getting a bit dusty, I reckon) and come back to you; I was under the impression that sources mentioning Zoroaster's similarities to Jesus were slightly older than "a few centuries AD".
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  27. #26  
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    'The Two Babylons' by Alexander Hislop:
    http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/
    tries to link Catholicism with pagan beliefs from Mesopotamia. And why not? It's the bit I really like anyway when I go to mass.

    'Bible Myths' (and their parallels in eastern religions) by Thomas Doane is good for the comparisons between Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
    It maybe gets carried away at times, eg. when suggesting that the Essenes were Buddhists.

    'Ancient Egypt the Light of the World' by Gerald Massey suggests otherwise. All religion came from the astronomical observations of the awesome Egyptians.

    A few books have suggested that Christ went to India and even Tibet in his missing years, implying it was in Tibet that he picked up his healing powers. A bit like the fraudulent Lobsang Rampa, an Irishmen exposed by Heinrich Harrer as never having even been to Tibet.
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    ox, you should try to be as selective with your sources as possible. It's very easy to speculate with religion because a lot of people don't know too much about the history of religions, and it's easy to lie by omission.

    Massey's opinions, for instance, were very trendy back in the late 19th century when people had just started re-discovering Egypt and they'd put pretty much every awesome thing as having originated there. Most of what the fans of Massey's ideas (and not only his) believed to be the ultimate truth has long been refuted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexandruLazar
    Most of what the fans of Massey's ideas (and not only his) believed to be the ultimate truth has long been refuted.
    Okay, I know Massey's ideas were driven by the age he lived in, and the 3 books I mentioned are 19th century, and all 3 are no doubt subject to Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crud). Massey was likely to have been infuenced by theosophy and its that that has really been debunked. I guess you could also apply the law to the Bible, in that not every Christian believes in a virgin born crucified saviour etc. Many Christians are purely cultural or they believe in the symbolism rather than the literal truth of the scripture, and that goes for other religions.
    What Massey, Doane and Hislop try to prove is that the main religions of the world, as well as the ancient pagan ones, have a common thread. You will note that the sources of Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism all lie along the approximate latitude of 30 degrees north, that is an east-west orientation (guns, germs and steel came later).
    Ideas and beliefs transmitted along the the Great Silk Road trading route is one possible answer as to why virgin born saviours are found in Christianity (Christ/Mary), Hinduism (Krishna/Devaki), Buddhism (Buddha/Maya) etc. Horus as the virgin born divine incarnation of Isis and Osiris could be true source of all this.
    If this is true then Massey gets something right.
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    always look at the dates of the primary sources
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