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Is the Bible plagiarized?


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Now before I ask my question, let me state that I love the Bible. I study it regularly. I am uplifted and inspired by it. I love the Lord and know Him to be the Son of the living God and the Savior of all mankind.

Now my question. How do you non-LDS christians deal with the amount of evidence that is out their that claims Jesus to be a myth and that the Bible is nothing more than a plagiarism form earlier pagan religions?

Here are some of the common arguments put out there by many "anti-christians". These are not my arguments, nor do I agree with them, but I want to know how you deal with them:

Jesus was a myth based on deities dating well before his time.

Christians viciously murdered pagans who knew of this fable, if they tried to expose the lie.

Pope Leo X, privy to the truth because of his high rank, made this curious declaration, "What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!"

Scholars of great repute often criticized the Christians to which the Christians responded by claiming the scholars to be heathens.

The Gnostics accused the Christians of stealing and then corrupting their deity and calling him Jesus.

Evidence proves the Paul never wrote the epistles attributed to him but were forgeries produced a hundred years later.

No historians contemporary with Jesus’ time make any mention of him.

All scholars dismiss the brief mention of him by Josephus as a late Christian apologetic forgery.

It is evident that there was no single historical person upon whom the Christian religion was founded, and that "Jesus Christ" is a compilation of legends, heroes, gods and godmen.

Buddha, Krishna, Horus, Mithra the Sun God of Persia and Prometheus all predate Jesus.

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"Evidence proves the Paul never wrote the epistles attributed to him but were forgeries produced a hundred years later."

"Tertullian, bishop of Carthage, admitted to the pagan origins of the Christ story and eventually renounced Christianity."

Those are both just flat-out wrong.

Now, please remember, I am not agreeing with these arguments. At the same time, I did not make them up. They are actual critisisms of anti-christians. But please, tell me why they are wrong. Defend your position. If a Latter-day saint used the argument, "that is flat out wrong" he would get torn to shreds by his critics.

T-Shirt

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This is an interesting video on the subject.... especially the first part with some interesting LDS parallels.

http://www.pharmacratic-inquisition.com/no...s/pharmacratic/

I only have two problems with the entire video, i.e. their two main hypothesis.

1. They believe that drugs were actually a fundamental "secret" within Christiandom, that Christians used such drugs for achieving the higher spiritual plain the same way Pagans did essentially. I disagree and believe simply that Christiandom only because of Pagan influences adopted some "symbology's" of such things, not that such things were actually a part of Christiandom.

So, that main hypothesis is a severaly flawed analysis of the historical data.

2. The other problem is what you mentioned above how Christiandoms foundations is actually based on a bunch of other historical symbols and aspects that are just like Christiandoms claims and foundations.

Again, this also is an error of analysis I believe. I believe that such historical teachings about God, Christ etc. have been known from the beginning of man, and that men simply used them, changed them etc. according to their own world views, as well as the Prophecy's of such things exhisting and then adapted by such peoples. So, if such prophecy's existed for a long time, then it is not surprising that other peoples developed "their own" symbology's and religious teachings based off such.

So, other than their whole main hypotheses as being off, there is some interesting parralles and evidences of Restoration themes in the video. So it's good in that respect.

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"Evidence proves the Paul never wrote the epistles attributed to him but were forgeries produced a hundred years later."

"Tertullian, bishop of Carthage, admitted to the pagan origins of the Christ story and eventually renounced Christianity."

Those are both just flat-out wrong.

Now, please remember, I am not agreeing with these arguments. At the same time, I did not make them up. They are actual critisisms of anti-christians. But please, tell me why they are wrong. Defend your position. If a Latter-day saint used the argument, "that is flat out wrong" he would get torn to shreds by his critics.

T-Shirt

Well, Paul is quoted by 1st and early-2nd century Christians and indeed figures prominently in the Book of Acts- are we asserting that those writings are forged as well? Tertullian's story is pretty well-known- he became a heretical Montanist, but unless you're conceding that only orthodox Catholics are Christians cool.gif , he remained firmly Christian.

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Satan knew Jesus Christ personally before the foundation of the world.

Even LDS theology teaches this.

Why should anyone really be surprised that pagan (Satanic) religions have a "Jesus" figure in them?

Even the scriptures warn that there will be others who call themselves "Christ", and "another Jesus".

Another possible example: "Jesus of Galilee" and "Judas of Galilee"

"Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee." Matt 26:69

"34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;

35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.

36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed." Acts 5

Bottom line: Satan will stop at nothing in order to deceive.

Nothing.

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Random Catholic,

Thank you for your response. However, can you back any of this up. Can you show where Paul was quoted in the first or second century, keeping in mind that the forgery purportedly happened in that same time period, how do you know the quotes were not from the forgery? As for turtullian, there are those that say he gave up montanism as well.

FormerLDS,

You have done nothing to refute the arguments, all you have done is claim, "Satan did it". If a Mormon used that argument, he would be laughed off the message board. Can you present some historical facts to back up your belief that is not contained in the bible?

T-Shirt

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Random Catholic,

Thank you for your response. However, can you back any of this up. Can you show where Paul was quoted in the first or second century, keeping in mind that the forgery purportedly happened in that same time period, how do you know the quotes were not from the forgery? As for Tertullian, there are those that say he gave up Montanism as well.

Well, there's never any such thing as an airtight mathematical proof here in the world we live in. Sure, I can't prove that no forgeries existed or no apostasy happened. I can just offer stronger or weaker arguments. It seems implausible that somebody would just pull an entire textual stream out of his hat and somehow the deeply commited and frequently persecuted Christian community wiouldn't have been up in arms about it (unless they didn't exist either)... Anyhoo, nobody's ever said that about Tertullian to me. He was a pretty important Father, doncherknow, and I find it implausible that the orthodox Christians who had to refute his heresy after his death wouldn't have been all over a conversion to Paganism like white on rice, know what I mean? I personally would rank the "Tertullian as Pagan" argument as in the credibility neighborhood of those superscripted, proportionally-spaced 1973 Bush memos, and the "Pauline canon dating from the mid-second century" argument with alien abductions...

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Well, Paul is quoted by 1st and early-2nd century Christians and indeed figures prominently in the Book of Acts- are we asserting that those writings are forged as well?  Tertullian's story is pretty well-known- he became a heretical Montanist, but unless you're conceding that only orthodox Catholics are Christians  cool.gif , he remained firmly Christian.

I think what T-shirt is getting at is the claims that a consensus of all but the most conservative scholars that the pastoral (ex: Timothy, Titus) letters are forgeries. Some reasons are that these letters are not cited until pretty late, they assume a more advanced church organization then what Paul would have experienced, they don't have Paul's tone in the other letters--they command instead of reason, and there is a reference to Timothy coming from several generations of faithfulness. See here.

I personally reject this notion, but let see how other Christians respond to these allegations.

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FormerLDS,

You have done nothing to refute the arguments, all you have done is claim, "Satan did it". If a Mormon used that argument, he would be laughed off the message board. Can you present some historical facts to back up your belief that is not contained in the bible?

T-Shirt

Here is a historical fact for you:

Jesus Christ brought THE truth to the world, yet he was laughed at because no one in the history of the world had EVER been raised from the dead.

" He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn." Matthew 9:24

Extrabiblical historical facts abound, yet they only support what is written, but do not prove anything.

Nearly 2000 years ago something historic and important happened which impacts every living human being since.

No one is as blind as those who choose not to see the truth, Matt, and there are many who will not see and hear by their own desire.

"Historical facts" mean nothing for these.

That is the truth.

Even today, those who choose not to believe will not see the truth in spite of what they see with their own two eyes.

"And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31

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[i think what T-shirt is getting at is the claims that a consensus of all but the most conservative scholars that the pastoral (ex: Timothy, Titus) letters are forgeries. Some reasons are that these letters are not cited until pretty late, they assume a more advanced church organization then what Paul would have experienced, they don't have Paul's tone in the other letters--they command instead of reason, and there is a reference to Timothy coming from several generations of faithfulness. See here.

I personally reject this notion, but let see how other Christians respond to these allegations.

Oh, absolutely- but Galatians? Mid-first century document, no bout adoubt it...

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On the surface, Mithra spells Trouble for Christians everwhere...42.gif

But under scrutiny, things are different. icon_smile_magnify.gif

1. Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th in a cave, and his birth was attended by shepherds.

2. He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.

3. He had 12 companions or disciples.

4. Mithra's followers were promised immortality.

5. He performed miracles.

6. As the "great bull of the Sun," Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.

7. He was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again.

8. His resurrection was celebrated every year.

9. He was called "the Good Shepherd" and identified with both the Lamb and the Lion.

10. He was considered the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."

11. His sacred day was Sunday, the "Lord's Day," hundreds of years before the appearance of Christ.

12. Mithra had his principal festival of what was later to become Easter.

13. His religion had a eucharist or "Lord's Supper," at which Mithra said, "He who shall not eat of my body nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved."

14. "His annual sacrifice is the passover of the Magi, a symbolical atonement or pledge of moral and physical regeneration."

15. Shmuel Golding is quoted as saying that 1 Cor. 10:4 is "identical words to those found in the Mithraic scriptures, except that the name Mithra is used instead of Christ."

16. The Catholic Encyclopedia is quoted as saying that Mithraic services were conduced by "fathers" and that the "chief of the fathers, a sort of pope, who always lived at Rome, was called 'Pater Patratus.'"

List Taken from: www.tektonics.org

First Apology

Justin Martyr

LXVI. Of the Eucharist

And this food is called among us the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body; "and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood; "and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.

What has been the point of this diversion? The point is to give the reader a warning, to be on the lookout any time a critic makes some claim about Mithraism somehow being a parallel to Christianity. Check their sources carefully. If, like Acharya S, they cite source material from the Cumont or pre-Cumont era, then chances are excellent that they are using material that is either greatly outdated, or else does not rely on sound scholarship (i.e., prior to Cumont; works by the likes of King, Lajard, and Robertson). Furthermore, if they have asserted anything at all definitive about Mithraic belief, they are probably wrong about it, and certainly basing it on the conjectures of someone who is either not a Mithraic specialist (which is what Freke and Gandy do in The Jesus Mysteries) or else is badly outdated...

"thus our conclusion: In not one instance has Acharya made a convincing case that Christianity borrowed anything from Mithraism. The evidence is either too late, not in line with the conclusions of modern Mithraic scholars, or just plain not there. Acharya will need a lot firmer documentation before any of her claims can be taken seriously."

They also cite their findings...

Did Christianity Steal From Mithraism?

Are Christian Holidays Pagan in Origin? - Mentions Mithraism

Is The Bible Plagiarized From Other Religions?

Hellenism: The Cult of Mithra

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It seems implausible that somebody would just pull an entire textual stream out of his hat and somehow the deeply commited and frequently persecuted Christian community wiouldn't have been up in arms about it (unless they didn't exist either)...
I believe it was Bart Ehrman (sp?) in Lost Scriptures that suggested (I doubt it was a new thought unique to him) that forgeries attached the names of apostles unto themselves for the purpose of increasing their credibility, justifying their teachings etc. These forgeries were not created for the purpose of deceiving, but of teaching and those who wrote them wanted them to be paid attention to.

If there was a tradition of Paul's epistles floating around the community, surely another one could enter into the stream and not cause too many ripples if what it did was mostly confirm teachings (whether apostolic or of someone else prominent in the Church) that were already being discussed rather than introduced something completely new and foreign.

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Here are some of the common arguments put out there by many "anti-christians". These are not my arguments, nor do I agree with them, but I want to know how you deal with them:

Aw, Win them over as Christians before you proselytize'em huh!?61.gif

I pray that they do find Jesus and that the Holy Spirit opens their eyes and hearts. 63.gif

Give'em Hell T-shirt!

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Calmoriah -

I believe it was Bart Ehrman (sp?) in Lost Scriptures that suggested (I doubt it was a new thought unique to him) that forgeries attached the names of apostles unto themselves for the purpose of increasing their credibility, justifying their teachings etc. These forgeries were not created for the purpose of deceiving, but of teaching and those who wrote them wanted them to be paid attention to.

It was Ehrman. I just read this this last week in fact. Very interesting. A forgery is a forgery, yet made for faith - promoting services. It is thus the same with the Pseudepigrapha. The Book of Enoch, was, no doubt, not written by that Patriarch, anymore than the Books of the Apocalypse and Testament of Abraham, the Apocalypse of Paul, etc., yet all were at one time or another quoted, believed, and used, as scripture by one ancient Christian or Jewish community or group or another. Thus it is, that the prophecy of the Book of Mormon seems fulfilled to me, that they have taken away many plain and precious things from the book of the Lamb of God. The stack of books once considered scripture by someone or other which is not included in todays' Bible, is night unto 5 feet high, and represents only what has survived from antiquity. Aren't we all glad the ancients did us this service of removing all that? Can you possibly imagine taking your scriptures to church in a suit case each Sunday?! :P

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Here is a historical fact for you:

Jesus Christ brought THE truth to the world, yet he was laughed at because no one in the history of the world had EVER been raised from the dead.

Former,

How do you Know this is an historical fact?

T-Shirt

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Former doesn't know his bible very well if he really believes that no one had been raised from the dead before.

And as far as a God being raised from the dead, that would have been very consistent with a huge number of religions at that time.

It was the exclusivity of the Jews that got them into trouble, not the actual beliefs (save the One God one).

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Here is a historical fact for you:

Jesus Christ brought THE truth to the world, yet he was laughed at because no one in the history of the world had EVER been raised from the dead.

There's absolutely nothing historical (as in, proved by the study of historical facts) in this. The existence of a Jesus seems relatively accepted, but there's NO PROOF WHATSOEVER that he said and did what the Bible says he said and did, and even less proof that he resurrected.

The Christian faith IS NOT and CANNOT BE based on proofs and facts. *Any* Christian faith.

Del

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Del said:

There's absolutely nothing historical (as in, proved by the study of historical facts) in this. The existence of a Jesus seems relatively accepted, but there's NO PROOF WHATSOEVER that he said and did what the Bible says he said and did, and even less proof that he resurrected.

The Christian faith IS NOT and CANNOT BE based on proofs and facts. *Any* Christian faith.

Absolutely. So we discover that many of the places in the Bible existed, and perhaps even that Jesus of Nazareth existed and had apostles. So what? How many novels have been written using real places and even people, with an entirely phony story line? It isn't possible to prove that anyone performed any miracle, or that Jesus rose from the dead. The gospel writers may have colluded or relied on a single Q manuscript as their source, as has been suggested by various scholars. As was observed in an earlier posting, the notion of resurrection was hardly novel (read "Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell for a fascinating overview of the hero/resurrection mythology), and could certainly have been added into the story by doting followers. It has happened before.

The matter is faith, and will always remain so. To use science as your crutch for faith will get you nowhere.

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QUOTE (FormerLDS @ Oct 25 2004, 05:38 PM)

Here is a historical fact for you:

Jesus Christ brought THE truth to the world, yet he was laughed at because no one in the history of the world had EVER been raised from the dead.

Former,

How do you Know this is an historical fact?

T-Shirt

Authority was given for only one objective, non-biblical record of the events of Jesus Christ, that ye might believe.

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Do we have the original journal of the soldier who saw this? What was his name, based on the Bible account? Gaius Cassius Longinus is only named, to my knowledge, as the spear bearer in apocryphal accounts of the crucifixion (e.g., the Gospel of Nicodemus) or subsequent traditions. What evidence do we have that this is correct? And even if it is true, the Roman was there to bear witness to the crucifixion, which was hardly a novel event. He apparently didn't witness the other aspects of Jesus' ministry. How is it that he is such a powerful witness, given that his life and activities are only documented in Apocrypha and tradition?

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Authority was given for only one objective, non-biblical record of the events of Jesus Christ, that ye might believe.

“34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.” John 19

Former,

How is this non-biblical? Is it your assertion that since the Bible says it (the Bible) is true, then it must be?

How do you know?

T-Shirt

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