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In the Name of God بسم الله

What if it's true?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/24/2022 at 11:29 AM, Leslie P said:

Mithraism is completely different to Christianity

The similarities between Trinitarian Christianity and the various Mediterranean savior god religions are too numerous to cite—here are some examples: 1.) deities like Zeus, Hermes, Serapis, Mithra and Asclepius all had the traditional birthdate of December 25th (i.e. summer solstice), 2.) Bacchus is a disguised deity and travels to a country where he should be immediately recognized and worshipped by the masses—instead he is mistreated by those in positions of power (i.e. government officials)—both incarnate deities (Bacchus and Christ) have a small contingent of female devotees—both deities turned water into wine—the lives of both deities end tragically and dramatically 3.) Hermes, the son of Zeus, is often portrayed with a sheep or a ram draped over his shoulders—Christians transferred images of this kind as representations of Jesus in his role as the "Good Shepherd" and Jesus is described as "Lamb of God" in John 1:29 and John 1:36 4.) Justin Martyr maintained that believing in the divinity of Christ should not be difficult for pagans since it was no different from believing in the divinity of Asclepius—likewise, Clement of Alexandria and other Church Fathers drew on similarities between revered pagan archetypes and Christ (for example, Orpheus and Jesus) in order to entice potential polytheist converts to Trinitarianism.

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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On 4/22/2022 at 4:10 PM, Nad_M said:

establishing the principles of non-transmission of sins and individual accountability

1.) (Qurʾān 6:164) "Say: 'Shall I seek someone other than Allah as Lord when He is the Lord of everything? Everyone will bear the consequence of what he does, and no one shall bear the burden of another. Thereafter, your return will be to your Lord, whereupon He will let you know what you disagreed about."

2.) (Ezekiel 18:20) "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."

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image.jpeg.cf3008948fa2a5630f0100be1ebef8ae.jpeg  Dionysus: Born of a Virgin on December 25th, Killed and Resurrected after  Three Days - Stellar House Publishing

 

Quote


As everyone reading this is doubtlessly already aware, there are hundreds of memes and articles out there on the internet claiming that Jesus was “copied off” various pagan deities. The usual culprits include Horus, Dionysos, Mithras, Attis, Tammuz, Adonis, Sol Invictus, et cetera. I have already written a detailed article debunking claims about Jesus being copied off of Horus. Now I am going to debunk the claims about Jesus being copied off of Dionysos.

This article will be a lot more nuanced than my article about the alleged parallels between Horus and Jesus, however, since there really are some significant parallels between Jesus and Dionysos; they just aren’t nearly as numerous or as significant as Mythicists on the internet often claim. There is some evidence that some Christians may have intentionally shaped certain stories about Jesus in response to stories about Dionysos, but there is no good evidence to suggest that Christians just “copied” Jesus wholesale off of Dionysos.

A review of the alleged Jesus-Dionysos connection

First, let’s look at some of the claims that are often made about the supposed parallels between Jesus and Dionysos. Here is a meme from Mythicist Milwaukee, a convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for people who think that there was no historical Jesus, that presents most of the major alleged parallels between Jesus and Dionysos:


Here is another meme from Acharya S.’s website that gives even more detailed claims about the relationship between Jesus and Dionysos:


These claims should be plenty to work with. Now it is time to give these memes a solid debunking!

Born of a virgin?

Both the memes shown above claim that Dionysos was “born of a virgin.” In reality, there are many different versions of the story of Dionysos’s birth. There is only one of them—a very obscure version recounted in a late, often unreliable Roman source—that could possibly be construed as a story of a “virgin birth,” but even that version never mentions anything about his mother being a virgin. Since there are several different versions of the story of Dionysos’s birth, I will start out with the most common version, which does not involve anything that could realistically be construed as a virgin birth of any kind.

The most common version of the story itself exists in a few variations, so the version I am about to relate is admittedly something of a composite version cobbled together from a few different ancient accounts. Anyway, here it goes: Zeus, the king of the gods, came to the mortal woman Semele, the daughter of King Kadmos of Thebes, in the form of a serpent and showered her with his love and affection. He courted her for a very long time, slowly winning her over.

Finally, Zeus had sexual intercourse with her and, when he impregnated her, her bedchamber was overgrown with the vines and flowers of Dionysos and the earth itself laughed. Then Zeus revealed to her his true identity as the king of the gods and promised her that her child would be a god.

Zeus’s wife, Hera, the queen of the gods, grew jealous, however, so she came to Semele in the form of an old hag. Hera told Semele that Zeus did not really love her because, if he truly loved her, he would appear to her in his true, divine form, the one he had never shown to any mortal, the form in which only the gods had seen him. Semele insisted that Zeus really loved her.

Hera, in turn, goaded her to beg Zeus to let her see his true, divine form. Hera, of course, knew that the reason why Zeus never appeared to mortals in this form was because it was so glorious that mortals could not gaze upon it without being incinerated. In other words, Hera knew that, if Zeus were to appear to Semele in this form, Semele would never be able to survive the experience.


ABOVE: Jove and Semele, painted in c. 1695 by the Italian Baroque painter Sebastiano Ricci

Semele prayed to Zeus to show himself to her in his true, divine form to prove to her that he really did love her, saying that, if he refused, that would mean he did not love her. Zeus granted Semele’s prayers and appeared to her in his true form, but it was too much for Semele to handle, for she was only mortal, and the sight of Zeus in his full, divine glory burnt her to ash.

The fetus Dionysos, however, being immortal, survived the flames. Zeus rescued Dionysos from the ashes of his dead mother and sewed him inside his own thigh. (In ancient times, the word for “thigh” was commonly used as a euphemism for “testicles,” so, when ancient sources say Zeus sewed Dionysos into his “thigh,” they probably mean his scrotum.)

Then, when the time came, Zeus gave birth from his thigh to his son Dionysos, the immortal god. When he was born, Dionysos had horns shaped like the crescent moon. The Horai, or “Hours,” the goddesses representing the seasons, crowned him in a wreath of ivy and flowers and wrapped horned serpents around his horns.

Because Dionysos was born twice—once from the ashes of his mortal mother Semele and once from his immortal father Zeus’s thigh—he was known in antiquity by the epithet διμήτωρ (dimḗtōr), which means “the Twice-Mothered.”


ABOVE: Second-century AD Greek marble statue of the nude Dionysos resting his arm against a stump with a grape vine growing up it

That is the usual version of the story. There is also, however, another version of the story that probably stems from the Orphic tradition. Unfortunately, this version of the story that I am about to tell is only recorded in one very late source written in Latin: the second-century AD Roman mythographic composition Fabulae, which is traditionally attributed to the renowned Roman scholar Gaius Julius Hyginus.

We can be almost certain that the Fabulae was not written by the real Hyginus, since the writing is extremely crude, barely even literate, and the stories are sometimes seemingly confused and conflated. The author of the Fabulae was most likely a schoolboy or an amateur—not a renowned scholar of any sort. Scholars today refer to the unknown author of the work as “Pseudo-Hyginus.”

Here is the account of the birth of Dionysos given by Pseudo-Hyginus in Fabulae 167, as translated by R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma:

“Liber [i.e. Dionysos], the son of Iupiter [i.e. Zeus] and Proserpina [i.e. Persephone], was ripped apart by the Titans. Iupiter ground his heart, put it in a potion, and gave it to Semele to drink. When she became pregnant from this, Iuno [i.e. Hera] took the form of Beroë, Semele’s nurse, and said to her, ‘Dear child, ask Iupiter to come to you as he comes to Iuno, so that you may know how great a pleasure it is to lie with a god.’ Prodded in this fashion, she asked Iupiter to do so and was struck by a thunderbolt. Iupiter took Liber out of her womb and gave him to Nysa to raise. This is why he is called Dionysus and Twice-mothered.”

Pseudo-Hyginus says nothing at all about whether or not Semele was a virgin, but, because, in this version of the story, as far as we can tell from the account given, Iupiter does not have sex with Semele, but instead gives her a potion to drink that makes her pregnant, you could perhaps reasonably construe this story as technically being a tale of a virgin birth.

Nonetheless, there are some serious problems here. The first problem is that, again, our only source for this version of the myth is the Fabulae of Pseudo-Hyginus, which is a generally not very reliable source that was written in Latin in around the second century AD. At the time when Pseudo-Hyginus’s Fabulae was written, it is likely that all the canonical gospels had probably already been written. Additionally, Pseudo-Hyginus is known for frequently getting stories confused and it is possible that the account he has given here is a confabulation of his own making.

The second problem is that Semele’s virginity is not really the focus of the story; the main focus of the story is on the fact that Liber (i.e. Dionysos) had two mothers: Prosperpina and Semele. Thus, he was, quite literally, “twice mothered” (διμήτωρ). Pseudo-Hyginus does not even mention whether Semele was a virgin, nor does he even explicitly state that Iupiter and Semele never had sexual intercourse.

The bottom line is, it takes a real stretch to see this story as the inspiration for the story of the virgin birth of Jesus. This is especially true since, as I intend to discuss in much greater depth in an upcoming article, there is very good reason to believe the whole story of the virgin birth comes not from pagan mythology, but rather from a mistranslation of the Hebrew word עַלְמָה (‘almāh), meaning “young woman,” as the Greek word παρθένος (parthénos), meaning “virgin,” in the Book of Isaiah 7:14 in the pre-Christian Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible.

This mistranslation led many readers of the Septuagint to believe that the Messiah was supposed to be born of a virgin, which led early Christians to invent a story about Jesus having been born of a virgin to fulfill the mistranslated prophecy. (Ironically, the original passage in the Book of Isaiah probably was not originally supposed to be about the birth of the Messiah at all, but rather about the birth of King Hezekiah of Judah.)


ABOVE: Jupiter and Semele, painted between 1894 and 1895 by the French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau

Born on December 25th?

If you are really willing to stretch things, you could claim that, at least in one story, Dionysos was maybe, kind of, sort of born of a virgin. The part about Dionysos being born on December 25th, though, is just 100% fabrication. December is a month that only exists on the Roman calendar and the ancient Greeks did not use the Roman calendar. Instead, there were a variety of different regional calendars that were used throughout the ancient Greek world, none of which had a month called “December.”

In Athens during the fifth century BC, Dionysos had two main festivals that were celebrated in the city. The smaller of these was the Lenaia, which occurred during the Athenian month of Gamelion, which corresponds roughly to late January and early February. The larger of these festivals was the City Dionysia, which occurred during the Athenian month of Elaphebolion, which corresponds roughly to late March and early April. Dionysos’s main festivals in classical Athens, then, were in late winter and mid spring respectively.

In addition, Dionysos also had a smaller festival that was celebrated in the countryside during the month of Poseideon known as the “Lesser Dionysia” or “Rural Dionysia.” This festival was essentially the rural equivalent of the Lenaia. The month of Poseideon on the Athenian calendar corresponds roughly to late December and early January on the Roman calendar.

Therefore, Dionysos did indeed have a festival in Athens in early winter during the classical period, but it was a small, rural festival and we have no evidence to indicate that it was ever seen as a celebration of the date of Dionysos’s birth. Furthermore, the towns in the region of Attika around Athens all celebrated the Rural Dionysia on different days, meaning it would have been pretty much impossible for someone to have even thought it was a celebration of Dionysos’s birthday, since it was not held on any specific day.

The fact that the Rural Dionysia took place in midwinter is not really significant. The ancient Greeks had festivals during every part of the year. Each major deity had multiple festivals associated with them. Quite simply, it was only inevitable that at least one deity would end up having at least one festival at some point in early winter.

In any case, even if Dionysos had been said to have been born on December 25th, it would not matter, because, as I discuss in much greater detail in this article I published recently, there is actually absolutely nothing about Jesus having been born on December 25th anywhere in the canonical scriptures or in any of the earliest surviving Christian writings.

It was not until around the fourth century AD that Christians began saying Jesus was born on the December 25th, long after all the canonical scriptures had been written. Therefore, if the ancient Greeks had believed that Dionysos had been born on December 25th (which we have absolutely no evidence to indicate that they did), that would only mean that Christians in the fourth century were influenced by Greek beliefs about Dionysos when they selected December 25th as the day to celebrate Jesus’s birth; it would not mean that Jesus was “copied off” Dionysos as is often claimed.


ABOVE: Modern speculative illustration from 1880 imagining what a dramatic performance at the Theater of Dionysos Eleuthereus in Athens might have looked like. Dramatic performances were a central part of the celebration of the City Dionysia.

“Put in a manger ‘among beasts’”?

One of the memes I showed above claims that, when he was an infant, Dionysos was “put in a manger ‘among beasts.’” This is just plain, outright nonsense. There is nothing in any of the birth narratives of Dionysos about him being laid as an infant in a manger. Dionysos is often depicted as an adult surrounded by wild animals such as leopards, but those depictions have very little to do with how he was born.

“Turned water into wine”?

The memes I showed above claim that Dionysos “turned water into wine.” Surprisingly, the Mythicists are actually correct with this one. There are actually several stories recorded in ancient Greek and Roman sources about Dionysos turning water into wine. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (lived 23 – 79 AD) tells us in his encyclopedic work Natural History 2.106, as translated by John Bostock, H.T. Riley, and B.A. London, “In the island of Andros, at the temple of Father Bacchus, we are assured by Mucianus, who was thrice consul, that there is a spring, which, on the nones of January, always has the flavour of wine; it is called διὸς θεοδοσία.”

Pliny the Elder mentions the same spring on the island of Andros again in his Natural History 31:13, in which he writes, once again, as translated by Bostock, Riley, and London, “According to Mucianus, there is a fountain at Andros, consecrated to Father Liber, from which wine flows during the seven days appointed for the yearly festival of that god, the taste of which becomes like that of water the moment it is taken out of sight of the temple.”

Meanwhile, in the ancient Greek romance novel Leukippe and Kleitophon, which was probably written in around the late first or early second century AD, includes a scene in which Dionysos comes to a cowherd as a guest. The cowherd offers Dionysos everything he has, but all he has to drink is the same water that he gives his oxen. Dionysos, however, miraculously turns the cup of water given to him by the cowherd into a cup of wine. The cowherd, who has never tasted wine before, drinks the wine and is puzzled. He asks Dionysos why the water has turned crimson and why it gives him such a warm feeling in his stomach. Dionysos explains to him that it is wine, which he describes as “the blood of the vine.”


ABOVE: Detail from an Attic black-figure plate dating to between c. 520 and c. 500 BC, found at Vulci in Etruria, depicting the god Dionysos sitting on a chair holding out a kantharos of wine. In this relatively early depiction of Dionysos, he is shown bearded, although in later portrayals he is usually clean-shaven.

The Syrian satirist Loukianos of Samosata (lived c. 125 – after c. 180 AD) includes in the first book of his satirical novel A True Story an incident in which the characters are exploring a strange land and come across a river of wine, which they interpret as evidence that Dionysos had explored the land before them. Loukianos goes on to describe how the source of the river was a cluster of grapevine flowing with wine. In Loukianos’s story, Dionysos is not explicitly described as transforming water into wine, but the association is clearly there, since rivers normally flow with water, but the one Dionysos has created flows with wine instead.

Clearly, the miracle of turning water into wine was closely associated with Dionysos in the early second century AD when the Gospel of John was written. Anyone reading the Gospel of John’s account of Jesus turning water into wine would have been instantly reminded of Dionysos. I am willing to give the Mythicists a point for this one. This does not, however, mean that the whole story of Jesus is an imitation of the story of Dionysos; the story of Jesus turning water into wine is only one story out of many.

The story about Jesus turning water into wine only occurs in the Gospel of John, which is the latest of all the canonical gospels; the Synoptic Gospels, which were written earlier, do not include this story. Therefore, the story of Jesus turning water into wine can only be used as evidence that the Gospel of John—and not necessarily the other gospels—may have been influenced by Greek stories of Dionysos.

Finally, it is important to notice that even the story in the Gospel of John 2:1–11 only has a Dionysian flavor; it is not directly “copied” off any known story about Dionysos. There are stories about Dionysos turning water into wine, but none of them take place at a wedding where the hosts have run out of wine. The story about Dionysos turning the cowherd’s water into wine from Leukippe and Kleitophon is the closest to the Biblical story, but even it does not match the Biblical story exactly.


ABOVE: The Bacchanal of the Andrians, painted from 1523 until 1526 by the Italian Renaissance painter Titian, depicting the people of the island of Andros drinking the wine from the stream that Dionysos caused to run with wine every January

“A travelling teacher who performed miracles”?

One of the memes I showed earlier claims that Dionysos was a “travelling teacher who performed miracles.” That is, I suppose, sort of true in a sense, but it is definitely a distortion—a distortion that hides some of the most glaring differences between Jesus and Dionysos. Dionysos was believed to have travelled the Earth teaching mortals and performing miracles, but the things he is said to have taught and the miracles he is said to have performed are very different from the things Jesus is said to have taught and the miracles Jesus is said to have performed.

Jesus is described in the Synoptic Gospels as preaching a message about the imminent arrival of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Throughout the Synoptic Gospels, he delivers various apocalyptic and moral teachings. Dionysos, on the other hand, is said to have gone around teaching people how to make wine and have a good time, which is a very different sort of teaching from the sort Jesus is portrayed as giving.


 
Jesus is said to have performed miracles like healing people, curing lepers, and restoring sight to the blind. Dionysos’s “miracles” are, in many cases, a bit less humanitarian. One of the most famous stories of Dionysos performing a miracle comes from Homeric Hymn 7 “To Dionysos.” According to this hymn, Dionysos was once captured by a group of pirates. The pirates abducted him and took him on their ship. They tried to bind him, but the ropes they tried to use to tie him all miraculously fall off.


 
The helmsman declared that Dionysos was a god and that the pirates should let him go free on shore as soon as possible. The other pirates did not listen. Then Dionysos caused it to rain wine. A vine began to sprout from the mast of the ship. Then Dionysos himself turned into a lion and he charged at the sailors. He chased all of them—except the helmsman who had recognized him as a god—off the ship. As the pirates dove into the water, Dionysos transformed them all into dolphins.


 
That, my friends, is the kind of “miracle” Dionysos was known for: the terrifying, vengeful kind.


ABOVE: Photograph of the tondo of a black-figure kylix by the Exekias Painter, dating to c. 530 BC or thereabouts, depicting Dionysos on the pirate ship with a grape vine growing from the mast and the sailors transformed into dolphins all swimming around him

All those epithets

Mythicists have a whole slew of epithets that they claim were applied to both Dionysos and Jesus. The memes I showed at the beginning of this article list the following: “Savior,” “Father,” “Only Begotten Son,” “King of Kings,” “God of Gods,” “Sin-Bearer,” “Redeemer,” “Anointed One,” and “Alpha and Omega.” I will start at the beginning of this list and work my way to the end.

I cannot think of a specific example of a text in which Dionysos is referred to as “Savior,” but I could certainly believe that he was known by this title, since it was commonly applied to deities in the ancient world who rescued people from danger. During the Hellenistic Era, the title was also sometimes applied to kings. For instance, the first Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt was Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ (Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr), whose name means “Ptolemaios the Savior” in Greek.


 
The sense in which Ptolemaios was seen as a “Savior,” though, is a very different sense from how Christians typically see Jesus as a “Savior” today. Ptolemaios was known in the ancient world as “Savior” because he saved the people of the island of Rhodes from a siege by the forces of Demetrios I Poliorketes; whereas Jesus is usually seen as a “Savior” because he saves people from sin. For the ancient Greeks, the word Σωτήρ meant “Savior from peril,” not “Savior from sin.”

Dionysos’s Roman aspect, Liber, was definitely sometimes known as Pater Liber, which means “Father Free Man.” Dionysos in his Greek aspect, however, was not generally assigned a paternal role. Instead, he was usually seen as the son of Zeus, who was the All-Father of the Greek pantheon. Ironically, since Christians regard Jesus as “the Son” and not “the Father,” by claiming that Dionysos was known as “Father,” Mythicists are actually making him sound less like Jesus.


ABOVE: Bust of Ptolemaios I Soter, whose epithet means “the Savior.” For the Greeks, “Savior” meant “Savior from danger,” not “Savior from sin.”

I am not aware of any texts in which Dionysos is referred to as “Only Begotten Son,” “King of Kings,” “God of Gods,” “Sin-Bearer,” “Redeemer,” or “Alpha and Omega.” Since the memes do not reference any texts in which he is referred to by any of these titles, I am assuming they are just making stuff up.


 
The title of “Only Begotten Son” especially does not work well with Dionysos, since anyone who knows anything about Greek mythology knows that Dionysos was definitely not Zeus’s only son. (On another note, it is interesting to point out that the rulers of the Persian Achaemenid Empire actually bore the title of Šāhanšāh, which literally means “King of Kings.” The title “king of Kings” is definitely pre-Christian, then, but I am not aware of it ever being applied to Dionysos.)

Dionysos was definitely widely known as “Liberator.” In Greek, one of his major epithets was Ἐλευθερεύς(Eleuthereús), which means “Liberator” or “Freer.” The Theater of Dionysos Eleuthereus at the base of the Athenian Akropolis is named for Dionysos in this aspect. Meanwhile, in Latin, Dionysos was known as “Liber,” which means “the Free One.” On the other hand, I am not currently aware of any place where Jesus is referred to as “the Liberator” anywhere in the Bible. If Jesus was known by this epithet in antiquity, it was certainly not one of his more common epithets.


 
Dionysos also has quite a few epithets that are most certainly not Christ-like. For instance, he was known as Χοιροψάλας (Choiropsálas), which means “the [Edited Out]-[Edited Out]er.” χοῖρος literally means “pig,” but it was also used as a vulgar slang term for female genitalia, similar to our English word “[Edited Out].” The second element of this epithet comes from the verb ψάλλω (psállō), meaning “to pluck.” In this case, it refers to a specific kind of “plucking.”

Dionysos also had the epithet Ἐνόρχης (Enórchēs), which literally means “He of the Testicles.” This title, of course, refers to Dionysos’s role as a god of fertility and possibly also his birth from Zeus’s testicles. Another one of Dionysos’s titles was Βρόμιος (Brómios), which literally means “Loud, Roaring One,” in reference to Dionysos’s role as a loud, boisterous deity. He was also known as Ἀκρατοφόρος (Akratophóros), which means “the Bearer of Unmixed Wine.” I could list more very un-Christian epithets of Dionysos all day, but I think you all probably get the picture.


ABOVE: Photograph of the remains of two gigantic marble phalli from the entrance to the ruined temple of Dionysos at Delos. Several of Dionysos’s epithets, such as Χοιροψάλας and Ἐνόρχης, reference his role as a god of sexual fertility.

His blood “the wine of sacrifice”? Dionysian “eucharistic ritual”?


 
The memes I showed at the beginning of this article both make claims that Dionysos was worshipped through some kind of Eucharist in which his followers consumed wine. The memes claim that this wine was seen as Dionysos’s blood, poured out for the forgiveness of sins. The memes do not cite any sources for any of these claims, but, from reading around, I have managed to figure out that this idea probably originates from a widely-circulated mistranslation of a passage from the ancient Greek tragedy The Bacchae.

The Bacchae was written by the Athenian tragic playwright Euripides (lived c. 480 – c. 406 BC) and was first performed at the Theater of Dionysos Eleuthereus in Athens at the City Dionysia in 405 BC, about a year after Euripides’s death. In a scene that occurs fairly early on in the tragedy, the Theban prophet Teiresias delivers a speech in which he declares that there are two fundamental things that all mortals need: grain, which is a gift from the goddess Demeter, and wine, which is a gift from Dionysos. The crucial part of the speech dealing with wine occurs in lines 278–285 of the original Greek text. Here is the passage in the original Ancient Greek:


 
“ὃς δ᾽ ἦλθ᾽ ἔπειτ᾽, ἀντίπαλον ὁ Σεμέλης γόνος
βότρυος ὑγρὸν πῶμ᾽ ηὗρε κεἰσηνέγκατο
θνητοῖς, ὃ παύει τοὺς ταλαιπώρους βροτοὺς
λύπης, ὅταν πλησθῶσιν ἀμπέλου ῥοῆς,
ὕπνον τε λήθην τῶν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν κακῶν
δίδωσιν, οὐδ᾽ ἔστ᾽ ἄλλο φάρμακον πόνων.
οὗτος θεοῖσι σπένδεται θεὸς γεγώς,
ὥστε διὰ τοῦτον τἀγάθ᾽ ἀνθρώπους ἔχειν.”

Here is the passage, in my own fairly literal, prose translation:

“But then came the son of Semele, who found and carried in
the counterpart [of grain]: the liquid drink of the grape
for mortals, which ends the pain of suffering mortals.
Whenever they are filled with the flowing vine,
it gives sleep and forgetfulness from the evils of the day,
and there is no other medicine for hardships.
This god is made as a drink-offering to the gods,
so that through him human beings have happiness.”

I know my translation is clunky and does not read very well. Here is a poetic translation of the exact same passage by Emily Wilson, who is a professor of classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a widely respected translator of classical texts:

“Then came the son of Semele, who found
the liquid counterpart, the juice of grapes,
his gift of pain relief to suffering souls.
The flowing vine, drunk to the full, provides
sleep and forgetfulness from daily pain,
nor is there any other cure for trouble.
This god is poured as an offering to the gods,
so through this god comes human happiness.”

Here Teiresias envisions wine as the embodiment of Dionysos, bringing happiness to mortals through sweet intoxication. Unfortunately, you often encounter versions of this passage on the internet that have been deliberately tampered with to make the passage sound more like a description of the Christian Eucharist than it really is. For instance, here is an egregiously mistranslated version of the passage I just quoted that is in widespread circulation on the internet:

“Next came Dionysus, the son of the virgin,
bringing the counterpart to bread:
wine and the blessings of life’s flowing juices.
His blood, the blood of the grape,
lightens the burden of our mortal misery.
Though himself a God,
it is his blood we pour out to offer thanks to the Gods.
And through him, we are blessed.”

You can see how the passage has been utterly warped to make it sound as much like a Christian Eucharist as possible. In the original Greek, Dionysos is described as the “son of Semele,” but this mistranslation has replaced the name “Semele” with the phrase “the virgin,” even though Semele is not described as a virgin in the play. The Greek word meaning “virgin” is παρθένος (parthénos), but that word never occurs anywhere in the original passage.

Meanwhile, the Greek word αἷμα (haîma), meaning “blood,” never occurs anywhere in the original passage; instead the wine is described as “βότρυος ὑγρὸν πῶμ᾽,” which literally just means “liquid drink of the grape.” The translator, however, has opted to translate this phrase as “his blood, the blood of the grape” instead, which is a huge distortion of what the line actually says.

There are other passages in Greek literature in which wine is described as “blood.” For instance, as I mentioned before, in Leukippe and Kleitophon, Dionysos calls it “the blood of the vine.” Nevertheless, this is hardly of much significance, since wine really looks like blood and the comparison between them is virtually inevitable. There are no passages anywhere in Greek literature that I am aware of in which wine is specifically described as the blood of Dionysos poured out for the forgiveness of sins or indeed anything even remotely along those lines.

This egregious mistranslation of the passage that I have just exposed seems to come from a translation published in 1987 by a Greek Cypriot filmmaker named Michael Cacoyannis. Since then, it has become widely quoted in various Mythicist writings, such as the 2007 book Water into Wine by Tom Harpur. It has also become widely circulated online through various memes and articles.


ABOVE: Photograph of Ben Whishaw and Kevin Harvey as Teiresias and Kadmos from a modern production of Euripides’s Bacchae from 2015 (image found on this website)

Triumphal procession on an ass?

One of the memes I showed claims that Dionysos has a “triumphal procession on an ass.” There is one story in Greek mythology that you could maybe construe to mean that Dionysos had a “triumphal procession on an ass,” but it is a real stretch to interpret the story in which this happens as bearing any resemblance to the gospels.

I wrote about this myth previously in my article about how most stories in Greek mythology that involve Ares usually involve him getting beat up, but I will summarize it again here. Basically, the story goes that the god Hephaistos wanted revenge on his mother Hera for having thrown him off Olympos, so he presented her with a magic throne that, when she sat on it, trapped her so she could not escape. Then Hephaistos fled to his forge. Zeus declared that whoever could bring Hephaistos back and force him to free Hera would be given the goddess Aphrodite’s hand in marriage as a reward.

Ares, who loved Aphrodite, went out to apprehend Hephaistos with weapons, but Hephaistos blasted him with molten metal and he was forced to return to Olympos beaten and humiliated. Then Dionysos decided to try to subtler approach. He went to Hephaistos and offered him wine, which made him happy and relaxed. Then Dionysos convinced Hephaistos that, if he returned voluntarily and freed Hera on his own, he would be given Aphrodite as his reward.

The François Vase, an Attic black-figure volute-krater painted by a vase-painter named Kleitias, dating to between c. 570 and c. 565 BC, depicts the triumphal return of Hephaistos and Dionysos to Olympos. Hephaistos is shown riding on the back of a donkey, with Dionysos on foot ahead of him, and a couple ithyphallic satyrs walking along behind him.

You could maybe interpret this as a “triumphal procession” of Dionysos with a donkey, but it is a stretch. For one thing, in the François Vase, Dionysos is actually shown on foot and Hephaistos is the one on the donkey. I am going to say that, for me, this does not really count as a “triumphal procession on an ass,” since Dionysos is not actually the one on the donkey and, furthermore, the context bears no real resemblance to the story of Jesus’s triumphal entry to Jerusalem from the gospels.


ABOVE: Photograph of the François Vase, an Attic black-figure vase dating to between c. 570 and c. 565 BC. In the lower register shown here, the god Hephaistos rides on a donkey, with Dionysos walking ahead of him and satyrs walking along behind him.

“Man of the Tree” and crucifixion

One of the memes I showed at the beginning of this article claims that Dionysos’s “sacrificial title of ‘Dendrites’ or ‘Young Man of the Tree’ indicates he was hung on a tree or crucified.” δενδρίτης (dendrítēs) is a real epithet of Dionysos and it really does mean “Man of the Tree,” but it almost certainly does not refer to Dionysos (or anyone else) being crucified. The title comes from the Ancient Greek word δένδρον (déndron), meaning “tree.” The same word is the root of our English words dendrite and dendrochronology.

It takes an absolutely insane leap of logic to interpret the title δενδρίτης as having anything to do with crucifixion. The only way anyone could reach such an insane conclusion is by saying, “Well, crosses are made of wood and wood comes from trees, so anything that has anything to do with trees must refer to crucifixion.” I sincerely hope everyone can tell how absurd this reasoning is.

By the same reasoning, I reckon some ill-informed person could argue that the Magic Tree House children’s book series by Mary Pope Osborne must be about a cursed house where anyone who enters is brutally and gruesomely crucified by an invisible poltergeist, since, after all, the title of the series has “tree” in it and apparently the word “tree” can only possibly be a reference to crucifixion.

In reality, the title δενδρίτης almost certainly refers to Dionysos’s role as a fertility deity. Dionysos was associated with fertility, both in humans and in plants. He was believed to aid in the growth of plants, including trees. It is far, far more likely that the title δενδρίτης is a reference to Dionysos’s role in aiding the growth of trees than a reference to some unattested story in which Dionysos is crucified.


ABOVE: Larger-than-life second-century AD Roman marble sculpture of a nude Dionysos holding a bunch of grapes, and reclining against a tree stump with a Panther beside it. On Dionysos’s left is a satyr.

The now-lost hematite gem with “ΟΡΦΕΩΣ ΒΑΚΧΙΚΟΣ”

There is one other piece of evidence that you often see online cited as evidence that Dionysos was thought to have been crucified. This piece of evidence is a photograph of a carved hematite gemstone depicting a crucified man with the label “ΟΡΦΕΩΣ ΒΑΚΧΙΚΟΣ” beneath it, which means “Bacchic Orpheus.” This gemstone is often presented as definitive proof that Dionysos, who was also known as Βάκχος (Bákkhos), was believed to have been crucified.

Contrary to how it is usually presented, however, the gemstone is probably no such thing. The gemstone shown in the photographs was once held in the Early Christian Byzantine Collection I at the Berlin Bode Museum. At the museum, it had the inventory number 4939. Unfortunately, the original gemstone vanished from the museum’s collection during World War II and has never been recovered. It was most likely destroyed in a bombing or stolen. In any case, at this point it is unlikely that any professional scholar will ever set eyes on the gemstone again.

(The color image you normally see of the gem online is actually a colorized version of an originally black-and-white photograph.)

Quote

Scholars have long suspected for various reasons that the now-lost gemstone may have been a forgery created in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Because the gemstone has been irretrievably lost, though, it is impossible for present-day scholars to examine it using modern techniques to determine whether or not it is a forgery. All we have are some old, black-and-white photographs of it and descriptions of it by scholars who studied it before it was lost. (The color image you normally see of the gem online is actually a colorized version of an originally black-and-white photograph.)

 

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Conclusion

There are a few genuine parallels between Jesus and Dionysos. The story of Jesus turning water into wine from the Gospel of John 2:1–11 has an unmistakably Dionysian flavor. Meanwhile, although the meme-makers seem to have bizarrely overlooked it, the Parable of the True Vine from the Gospel of John 15:1–17 has some imagery in it that smells strongly of Dionysos. In this passage, Jesus says “I am the true vine.” Since we know that the grapevine was apparently seen as an embodiment of Dionysos going back as far as Euripides, it seems plausible that the author of gospel meant to imply something along the lines of, “Jesus is the true vine; Dionysos is the false vine.”

The scholar Mark W. G. Stibbe has written extensively about the ways in which the Gospel of John parallels Euripides’s Bacchae. For instance, both the Gospel of John and the Bacchae are about a deity in human form visiting a land where he should be recognized. In both accounts, the deity has an essentially philanthropic goal. In both accounts, instead of being recognized by everyone, the deity faces various forms of hardship and persecution.

Finally, both stories end with a person being dressed in humiliating garb, led out of the city to a hill, and killed there in a horrible and gruesome way. (In the Gospel of John, it is Jesus himself who dies the gruesome death; in the Bacchae, it is Dionysos’s enemy, the stuck-up King Pentheus, who denies that Dionysos is a god and refuses to tolerate his subjects worshipping Dionysos.)

Stibbe, however, is careful to emphasize that he only thinks the Gospel of John was indirectly influenced by the Bacchae; he doesn’t think the author of the Gospel of John was deliberately imitating Euripides. The parallels he picks out are also relatively vague. In any case, the major parallels between Jesus and Dionysos are largely confined to the Gospel of John, which was the last of the canonical gospels to be written. The earlier gospels contain very little as far as overt Dionysian imagery is concerned.

It seems safe to conclude here that, although similarities between Jesus and Dionysos do exist, Mythicists on the internet massively exaggerate the similarities in effort to support their untenable position that Jesus was copied directly off Dionysos, when, in reality, Dionysian influences seem to have come at a relatively late stage in the development of the Christian conception of Jesus.

 

 

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As I have said before, there was probably a historical Jesus who really preached in Galilee and Judaea in the early first century AD and was crucified outside Jerusalem under the orders of Pontius Pilate. The historical Jesus probably did not perform miracles, turn water into wine, walk on water, or rise from the dead, but he was probably a real person who taught at least some of the teachings that are attributed to him in the gospels. I wrote an article about the evidence for the existence of the historical Jesus back in March 2018. Although I maybe overstate my case a little bit in that article and make a few dubious arguments, most of the arguments I make in that article still hold.

 

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Author: Spencer McDaniel

Hello! I am an aspiring historian mainly interested in ancient Greek history. Some of my main historical interests include ancient religion, mythology, and folklore; gender and sexuality; race and ethnicity; historiography; and interactions between Greek cultures and cultures of the Near East. I graduated with high distinction from Indiana University Bloomington in May 2022 with a BA in history and classical studies (Latin/Greek), with an honors thesis in history about the Galloi (i.e., mendicant self-castrated devotees of the Phrygian mother goddess Kybele) and their religious practices in Hellenistic Asia Minor in the third and second centuries BCE. I will be going into an MA program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies at Brandeis University in fall 2022. View all posts by Spencer McDaniel

AuthorSpencer McDanielPosted onDecember 3, 2019CategoriesAncient Greeceancient Greek cultureancient Greek deitiesancient Greek dramaancient Greek literatureancient religionsancient Roman religionBibleChristmasClassicsDebunkingEarly ChristianityGreek mythologyHistoricity of JesusJesusMisconceptionsTagsancient Greek deitiesancient Greek religionancient religionsDionysosGreek mythologyHistoricity of JesusJesusJesus and pagan deities

10 thoughts on “Was Jesus Copied Off the Greek God Dionysos?”

https://talesoftimesforgotten.com/2019/12/03/was-jesus-copied-off-the-greek-god-dionysos/

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2022 at 3:00 PM, Nad_M said:

"Jewish Early Church" very early on became irrelevant due to Paul's efforts at supplanting it

Paul was a mass murderer—Paul killed Stephen—Paul undermined the Jerusalem Church—Paul was a self-appointed disciple who supposedly saw Jesus in a vision encounter while on the road to Damascus—Paul never met Jesus while he (Jesus) was physically present in the world yet wrote more letters in the New Testament than any of the Twelve Apostles—the disciples (Peter, John, James etc.) despised Paul and clashed with him vehemently for his dissemination of "strange teachings" (Acts 9:26)—Jesus' message radically differed from Paul's message (get a red letter edition bible and do a side-by-side comparative analysis for yourself) 

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On 4/22/2022 at 3:51 PM, Nad_M said:

These witnesses are not the ones to whom the gospels are ascribed. It isn't even known who authored the gospels so as to ascertain the truthfulness of their testimony as to who saw what.

It basically boils down to the question of truthfulness of the claimants—Muslims believe the claims made by Muhammad (peace be upon him) were truthful for different reasons—Christians believe or ascribe inerrancy to 1.) the assertions made by whoever authored the Q Document 2.) the Apostle Paul 3.) whoever composed the Deutero-Pauline letters 4.) Emperor Constantine 5.) First Council of Nicaea etc.

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On 5/7/2022 at 9:16 AM, Ashvazdanghe said:

Anyway  you must think which you are following  religion of   prophet Jesus/Isa (عليه السلام) or a religion which  Paul has introduced  in name of Christanity .

And replying to @Irfani313

This is an important question but unfortunatly it has no basis.  The accounts of Jesus life, teaching, death and resurrection were not writen by Paul.  They are faithful accounts written by eye witnesses and from them we can learn who Jesus was and the significance of his death and resurrection.

The teaching of Paul explains and defends those accounts.  He does not add to them but draws conclusions and brings the historical events into the light of the Hebrew Scriptures showing how the person of Jesus the Messiah fulfills and completes the promises of God.

Jesus taught the people before he had died and been resurrected.  It was therefore not possible for him to refer to it directly.  At times he refered obliquely to his reign and comming glory.  On the other hand Paul writing from post the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, was able to understand the teaching of Jesus the Messiah in the light of those events.  He was able to give instruction and interpritaion to the followers of Jesus to enable them to live a holy life of love and service to God and those around them.  This is exactly what Jesus the Messiah both taught and exemplified.

Edited by Dave follower of The Way
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On 5/6/2022 at 7:34 PM, Nad_M said:

No i am equating the departure of the Nazarenes from the way of Jesus, which includes strict observance of Jewish law, to the departure of the Israelites from the way of Moses during his 40 days absence.

When you read the accounts of Jesus life and teaching in the Gospels you see Jesus the Messiah and his followers coming into conflict with the Jewish teachers of the Law because they didn't strictly keep the Jewish law.  They didn't cerimoniously wash before meals, they didn't observe the Sabath in the way expected, they were friends of people who were desipised and considered 'sinful', they didn't avoid people who were ill with 'unclean' diseases.

Jesus the Messiah uses these things to teach that true faith in God is not a matter of outward observences but a matter of a heart change.  Jesus the Messiah even teaches that ritual religious practice like regular prayer and fasting is not enough to please God.  Jesus the Messiah focuses on a picture of God who joyfully and generously forgives and welcomes even the rejected and dispised.  He gives hope for people like you and me who know we fail and fall short of God's standards.

I see no movement away from these teachings of Jesus.  In fact they are emphasised and encouraged.  Even today the gospels are read every Sunday.  Jesus the Messiah is held up as an example.  We are called to follow his teaching which brings life, freedom and joy, and which opens a way to knowing God as our intimate Fathern and experiencing the fullness of God through his Holy Spirit living in us.  All this based on the teaching of Jesus the Messiah.

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On 5/13/2022 at 3:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

They are faithful accounts written by eye witnesses and from them we can learn who Jesus was and the significance of his death and resurrection.

Hi there is no at least two similar reports from two eyewitnesses  which all of reports are in opposite  of each other which Paul has colleted all of wrong information  & censored  truth so then he has created his own final false report.

On 5/13/2022 at 3:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Paul writing from post the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, was able to understand the teaching of Jesus the Messiah in the light of those events.  He was able to give instruction and interpritaion to the followers of Jesus to enable them to live a holy life of love and service to God and those around them.  This is exactly what Jesus the Messiah both taught and exemplified.

His reprts has been based on previous stories of turbulences & miracles Jewish prophets in one imaginary persona then called him Jesus to talk in behalf of this imaginary persona.

On 5/13/2022 at 3:37 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

When you read the accounts of Jesus life and teaching in the Gospels you see Jesus the Messiah and his followers coming into conflict with the Jewish teachers of the Law because they didn't strictly keep the Jewish law.  They didn't cerimoniously wash before meals, they didn't observe the Sabath in the way expected, they were friends of people who were desipised and considered 'sinful', they didn't avoid people who were ill with 'unclean' diseases.

prophet  Isa/Jesud & his companions have stood against  deviations  of so called  "the Jewish teachers of the Law because" by practicing  original Jewish law according teachings of prophet  Mose/Musa (عليه السلام) .

On 5/13/2022 at 3:37 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

true faith in God is not a matter of outward observences but a matter of a heart change.  Jesus the Messiah even teaches that ritual religious practice like regular prayer and fasting is not enough to please God.  Jesus the Messiah focuses on a picture of God who joyfully and generously forgives and welcomes even the rejected and dispised.  He gives hope for people like you and me who know we fail and fall short of God's standards.

This is commo  ground & teaching of all Abrahamic  religions of Judaism  , Christanity  & Islam & previous  divine  religions  before prophet  Abraham/Ibrahim (عليه السلام).

On 5/13/2022 at 3:37 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

see no movement away from these teachings of Jesus.  In fact they are emphasised and encouraged.  Even today the gospels are read every Sunday.  Jesus the Messiah is held up as an example.  We are called to follow his teaching which brings life, freedom and joy, and which opens a way to knowing God as our intimate Fathern and experiencing the fullness of God through his Holy Spirit living in us.  All this based on the teaching of Jesus the Messiah.

Just reading in one day of week  is not enough  which also practicing  & reading it every day is important which I agree with the rest except  that we receive  help from holy spirit besides us as helper & mentor not a living thing inside us . 

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On 5/13/2022 at 3:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

They are faithful accounts written by eye witnesses and from them we can learn who Jesus was and the significance of his death and resurrection.

Hi there is no at least two similar reports from two eyewitnesses  which all of reports are in opposite  of each other which Paul has colleted all of wrong information  & censored  truth so then he has created his own final false report.

On 5/13/2022 at 3:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Paul writing from post the death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, was able to understand the teaching of Jesus the Messiah in the light of those events.  He was able to give instruction and interpritaion to the followers of Jesus to enable them to live a holy life of love and service to God and those around them.  This is exactly what Jesus the Messiah both taught and exemplified.

His reprts has been based on previous stories of turbulences & miracles Jewish prophets in one imaginary persona then called him Jesus to talk in behalf of this imaginary persona.

On 5/13/2022 at 3:37 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

When you read the accounts of Jesus life and teaching in the Gospels you see Jesus the Messiah and his followers coming into conflict with the Jewish teachers of the Law because they didn't strictly keep the Jewish law.  They didn't cerimoniously wash before meals, they didn't observe the Sabath in the way expected, they were friends of people who were desipised and considered 'sinful', they didn't avoid people who were ill with 'unclean' diseases.

prophet  Isa/Jesud & his companions have stood against  deviations  of so called  "the Jewish teachers of the Law because" by practicing  original Jewish law according teachings of prophet  Mose/Musa (عليه السلام) .

On 5/13/2022 at 3:37 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

true faith in God is not a matter of outward observences but a matter of a heart change.  Jesus the Messiah even teaches that ritual religious practice like regular prayer and fasting is not enough to please God.  Jesus the Messiah focuses on a picture of God who joyfully and generously forgives and welcomes even the rejected and dispised.  He gives hope for people like you and me who know we fail and fall short of God's standards.

This is commo  ground & teaching of all Abrahamic  religions of Judaism  , Christanity  & Islam & previous  divine  religions  before prophet  Abraham/Ibrahim (عليه السلام).

On 5/13/2022 at 3:37 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

see no movement away from these teachings of Jesus.  In fact they are emphasised and encouraged.  Even today the gospels are read every Sunday.  Jesus the Messiah is held up as an example.  We are called to follow his teaching which brings life, freedom and joy, and which opens a way to knowing God as our intimate Fathern and experiencing the fullness of God through his Holy Spirit living in us.  All this based on the teaching of Jesus the Messiah.

Just reading in one day of week  is not enough  which also practicing  & reading it every day is important which I agree with the rest except  that we receive  help from holy spirit besides us as helper & mentor not a living thing inside us . 

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On 5/10/2022 at 5:41 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

When one reads the history of nascent Christianity it becomes blatantly clear that James the Just (peace be upon him) and Paul had two distinct visions of the church and of the religion—James' flavor of Christianity was uncompromisingly Semitic and authentic—Paul's conversion campaign centered around converts among Hellenized Jews and southern Europeans and it appealed to their preconceived paganistic/polytheistic notions of a savior god (classic quality approach versus quantity approach).  

Hi there. Thanks for your replies.

Paul's puts an awful lot of effort into showing the Jewishness of Christianity. There doesn't appear to be any evidence in his writing of any attempt to adapt that for the Gentiles.

Such information as we have says that James and Paul were firmly on the same page (Acts 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19,2:9 etc). Why do you think they weren't?

On 5/10/2022 at 7:21 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

The similarities between Trinitarian Christianity and the various Mediterranean savior god religions are too numerous to cite— ...<snip>...in order to entice potential polytheist converts to Trinitarianism.

It's an interesting idea, which was first explored in the 1890s.

This approach assumes that Paul took an idea from here, an idea from there, invented a whole new religion, then decided to attach it to Christianity for some reason. Then the disciples simply allowed him to completely rewrite everything Jesus had said, change pretty much everything and even joined in so enthusiastically they were prepared to die for it.

Furthermore, this pagan influence left no trace in any writing or historical record. The pagan gods have to be abandoned says Paul, not copied. In addition, no-one has any motivation for doing this process, and every motivation for not doing this.

As regards the evidence, on the one hand, we have a scattered small group of inevitable coincidences.

On the other, we have a huge mass of historical material in which Paul, other C1 letter writers, and the Gospel writers all stress that Christianity is firmly rooted in the Judaism in which God's promises are completed. They all stress the OT prophecies coming true, and that there are witnesses (sometimes alive at the time of writing) who say that they saw all the events.

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On 5/14/2022 at 8:18 AM, Ashvazdanghe said:

Hi there is no at least two similar reports from two eyewitnesses  which all of reports are in opposite  of each other which Paul has colleted all of wrong information  & censored  truth so then he has created his own final false report.

@Ashvazdanghe thank you for reading my posts and engageing with them.  I appreciate reading your perspective and your desire to live a godly life.

Disagreements between eyewitnesses are to be expected, but it is possible to look at the two, three, or four accounts and piece together the core elements of what happened.  The reports complement rather than oppose each other.

Your satement about Paul needs a lot of explaining.  What wrong information has Paul collected?  How do you know it is wrong?  What is the truth that Paul has censored?  Do you have access to that truth to be able to point out Paul's false report?  You suggest that Jesus the Messiah is an "imaginary person".  You will find that nearly all historians attest the real existance of a person called Jesus who lived at the begining of 1st Century CE.  How they respond to that fact may be different, but his existance is not called into question.

As I read Paul alongside the reports of Jesus the Messiah's life, teaching, death and resurrection and the Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, I find a picture coming together like a jigsaw.  It is a picture with harmony and interconectedness which proclames God's love for people and his amazing mercy and grace for people like you and me who don't deserve it.  Jesus the Messiah is the thread that runs through this jigsaw.  Each day when I read the Bible I discover a new facet and a different piece of the puzzel comes into place.

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On 5/16/2022 at 11:25 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

You suggest that Jesus the Messiah is an "imaginary person".  You will find that nearly all historians attest the real existance of a person called Jesus who lived at the begining of 1st Century CE.  How they respond to that fact may be different, but his existance is not called into question.

Jesus that has been created  by Paul is an "imaginary person" which Paul has created him & crucified then ressurected  him then called him a God which based on his false Jesus he has created  his own  religions which he named it Christanity  but on the other hand prophet  Isa (عليه السلام) son of lady mary has been a real pers which his teachings  censored  or corrupted by Paul in favor of false Jesus  of Paul.

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On 5/16/2022 at 1:55 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Disagreements between eyewitnesses are to be expected, but it is possible to look at the two, three, or four accounts and piece together the core elements of what happened.  The reports complement rather than oppose each other.

Show evidences  of complement .

On 5/16/2022 at 1:55 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Your satement about Paul needs a lot of explaining.  What wrong information has Paul collected?  How do you know it is wrong?  What is the truth that Paul has censored?  Do you have access to that truth to be able to point out Paul's false report?

Enough information  has been provided in multiple threads which you by using circular reasoning  you have not accepted  any fact which in any thread you have repeated your typical apologetics  in same fashion of every christian preacher without providing solid state information  for verifying  your apologists  .

Edited by Hameedeh
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57 minutes ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

Jesus that has been created  by Paul is an "imaginary person" which Paul has created him & crucified then ressurected  him then called him a God which based on his false Jesus he has created  his own  religions which he named it Christanity

My Friend thank you for explaining your perspective.  I agree that some of the letters of Paul which have been included in the New Testament were written before the accounts of the life of Jesus.  But Paul is very clear, even in the early letters, that the information about Jesus death and resurrection were passed on to him.  ! Corinthians 15

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Many scholars would suggest that the book of James in the New Testament was writen before Paul's letters.  The letter was writen with in 20 years of Jesus life on earth.  James is considered to be Jesus half brother (born of Mary and Joseph).  He was also the leader of the church in Jerusalem durimng the early years of the church.  He begins his letter

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

This greeting is linking God and Jesus as worthy of service and giving Jesus the title Lord and Messiah (Christ).  Showing an early acknowledgment of the hebrew / Jewish roots - Messiah and a elivation to Lordship - divinity.  James goes on to say (Chapter 2:1)

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

How can you interpret this oher than worship and service to Jesus the Messiah on the level with God?

Mark's account of the life of Jesus the Messiah recognised by scholars to writen very early has full accounts of Jesus death and resurrection.  It is suggested that the book contains remenciences of Jesus from Peter one of his closest friends.  It is also thought that it draws from a pre-existing document which confirms the very early emergence of the stories and teaching of Jesus as one to follow, serve and even worship.

Can I suggest you read Mark's account and consider what it says about Jesus and what kind of picture it draws of him.  Do these accounts seem invented or do they ring of truth and authenticity?  Who is the person who lived and taught and, from very early and reliable accounts, died and rose again?

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Why so many Bible translations? 

The untold dark history of Bible translation (I have watched a brief of it by scrolling it anyway it provides good information) 

https://youtu.be/tNv-zzpIwBs

 

 

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On 5/15/2022 at 11:26 AM, Leslie P said:

Hi there

Peace and salutations

On 5/15/2022 at 11:26 AM, Leslie P said:

Paul's puts an awful lot of effort into showing the Jewishness of Christianity.

Paul wrote his letters in Greek, Paul referenced the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) and like many of his contemporaries he was influenced by Hellenism—Paul lived in a cosmopolitan city (Tarsus) and his particular brand of Judaism was heavy tingled by Hellenism—Paul attempted to infuse a great deal of authenticity and effort into his Jewishness for precisely these reasons.    

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On 5/15/2022 at 11:26 AM, Leslie P said:

There doesn't appear to be any evidence in his writing of any attempt to adapt that for the Gentiles.

Actually, throughout his writings he (Paul) uses an array of Greek rhetorical techniques—for example, in his address to the Athenians (Acts 17)—similarly, he constantly enlists Hellenized tropes and he appeals to the role of nature and logic and reason (i.e. semantic tactics employed by the Platonists that preceded him) in his works

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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On 4/20/2022 at 8:39 PM, Irfani313 said:

Quran: Sura an-Nisa 

…and for their saying, ‘We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of Allah’—though they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. Indeed those who differ concerning him are surely in doubt about him: they do not have any knowledge of that beyond following conjectures, and certainly, they did not kill him. (157) Indeed, Allah raised him up toward Himself, and Allah is all-mighty, all-wise. (158)

 

 

The ayat is correct. The Jews did not kill Jesus. The Romans ran the place and it had to be their decision and their doing. The Jews did a bunch of yelling could boast they killed Him but couldn't actually take any disciplinary action themselves. They couldn't crucify Him. This was revealed to Muhammad. The Quran corrects doctrines and fills in biblical blanks but this is by no means a hard core contradiction between texts.

Conjecture since then includes historically believing the Jews killed Jesus, full out denial of some or all events, simulated contradictions, a swap theory.

Jesus called from the cross; "Into thy hands I commit my spirit" and with a great sigh, gave up the ghost.
Regardless how dire your situation is, you can't just decide to die. You could have 3 bullet holes in your chest and watch yourself bleed out but until your body dies you get to watch. The obvious answer is God raised Him. God has no use for human bodies in Heaven, why does everybody think God would raise a body?

Jump down to ayat 162 and it says; But those of them well-grounded in knowledge, the faithful ˹who˺ believe in what has been revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺ and what was revealed before you—˹especially˺ those who establish prayer—and those who pay alms-tax and believe in Allah and the Last Day, to these ˹people˺ We will grant a great reward.

Those well grounded in knowledge at the time would be the disciples. They went on to preach a risen saviour.


Gospels tell a slightly different version. Some are surprised the disciples weren't all at the same place at the same time seeing the same thing. They don't disagree about an angel, just where the angel was, when it was seen, and by who. No time frames, no thought given to an angels ability to move.
One version says Mary was afar off, another mentions her at the base of the cross with John. No time frame, no idea how long it takes to walk from "afar off" to the base of the cross, nor times mentioned when which disciple saw what. It's just assumed she couldn't be in two places at once. 

As far as Islam goes, if Jesus was crucified and resurrected Christianity works. No use making a new religion if the old one still works. The Islamic doctrines are not the work of Muhammad, but of those who followed. It's a pattern. No Prophet started a religion, they teach truth. Those that follow turn it into a religion. No religion can be perfect if men make the rules. A prophet comes along to debunk the corruptions of the last religion, men go on to corrupt the next.

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2 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

The obvious answer is God raised Him. God has no use for human bodies in Heaven, why does everybody think God would raise a body?

Hi according  to Shia narrations Allah / God has raised both of his body & soul to skies not paradise then his soul has entered to heaven anyway in ressurection  day we will resurect with soul  body  which then we will enter to paradise  & hell with both of body & soul which everyone  will enter to Paradise with healthy young body which doesn't  has any of current defection of this world.

2 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Jump down to ayat 162 and it says; But those of them well-grounded in knowledge, the faithful ˹who˺ believe in what has been revealed to you ˹O Prophet˺ and what was revealed before you—˹especially˺ those who establish prayer—and those who pay alms-tax and believe in Allah and the Last Day, to these ˹people˺ We will grant a great reward.

According  to interpretation  it reffers  to Imam (عليه السلام) & his loyal  followers .

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On 5/26/2022 at 6:16 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

Peace and salutations

Paul wrote his letters in Greek, Paul referenced the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) and like many of his contemporaries he was influenced by Hellenism—Paul lived in a cosmopolitan city (Tarsus) and his particular brand of Judaism was heavy tingled by Hellenism—Paul attempted to infuse a great deal of authenticity and effort into his Jewishness for precisely these reasons.    

Thanks for the reply. I hope all is well with you.

Just because he writes in Greek doesn't mean his content is any less solid Judaism.

Also, if he was writing in Greek mostly to churches in Greece we would surely expect him to use the very well-known Greek translation. Again, the content is unaffected by the choice of language.

Would a good illustration be that hadith in English mean something very similar to hadith in Arabic?

On 5/26/2022 at 6:43 AM, Eddie Mecca said:

Actually, throughout his writings he (Paul) uses an array of Greek rhetorical techniques—for example, in his address to the Athenians (Acts 17)—similarly, he constantly enlists Hellenized tropes and he appeals to the role of nature and logic and reason (i.e. semantic tactics employed by the Platonists that preceded him) in his works

Yet all his theology and beliefs come 100% from his Judaism. Where pagan divinities are mentioned, any worship of them is attacked as forbidden. In contrast, OT Judaism is seen as the divinely inspired truth.

Again, style is not content. A post about how to best grow tomatoes on a gardening website would look very different to a scholarly dissertation, while both saying the same sort of things.

In order for Christianity to come from pagan beliefs, Paul would need to have taken a random set of things from a range of pagan religions, altered them beyond easy recognition and then fitted them into Judaism. The disciples would then have had to let him get on with it without interference, and allowed huge changes to Judaeo-Christianity. All evidence of this process would need to have been eliminated within Paul's lifetime.

There is a huge amount of evidence that this was not what happened. What evidence is there that it did?

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On 5/15/2022 at 11:26 AM, Leslie P said:

 

Such information as we have says that James and Paul were firmly on the same page (Acts 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19,2:9 etc). Why do you think they weren't?

 

According to Paul they were. Most of the books that 'made it' into the current version of the NT were either written directly by Paul or heavily influenced by his theology and epistimology (see Council of Nicea). Other books, such as the Gospel of Barnabus, which was included in early version of the NT and was shown to be either more or as authentic as the rest of the books was taken out of the NT at a later point. This is to build consensus around the opinions of Paul, and leave out all others. The result of this effort is what is called 'Christianity' today. 

 

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7 hours ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

Hi according  to Shia narrations Allah / God has raised both of his body & soul to skies not paradise then his soul has entered to heaven anyway in ressurection  day we will resurect with soul  body  which then we will enter to paradise  & hell with both of body & soul which everyone  will enter to Paradise with healthy young body which doesn't  has any of current defection of this world.

According  to interpretation  it reffers  to Imam (عليه السلام) & his loyal  followers .

This is what I meant. "According to interpretation", nobody at the time had any idea. If this was the case, the disciples would have gone back to fishing, wondering how they were deceived for so long. 

I don't have anything Quran or Bible that says the earthly body will go anywhere. Without narrations we have similarities between the texts.
We have revelations and narrations, which is mans attempt to explain heavenly things. Even the best of visions could only be seen with human eyes, or the mind's eye, and is first interpreted through human perception by demographics before it ever reaches the lips. 

There's much controversy over the interpretation of John's revelation where he speaks of a river of blood. Many theologians have used cross referencing in order to precede the event with a physical war.  Most references that appear in the era are spiritual wars that seemingly would have to include the death of humans. Once you remove all the speculation, you're left with the reaping of the righteous. Interesting it speaks of the "righteous", not necessarily the Christians. This event could be referred to as the Last Day.

This is also referred to as the time of the "rapture" by mainstream Christianity. A concept that teaches people will be raised from the earth to the "clouds" to meet the Lord.
The first problem is gravity. The spirit is not subject to gravity as is the human body but is joined to the body to maintain life. One cannot live without the other. The mention of a sickle is the concept of severing. The other reference to the connection of spirit and body is in Ecclesiastes 12.
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;"
Through metaphors it describes the deterioration of the body. "In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened," 
Then it goes on to mention the "silver cord be loosed". From what I've come to understand, this silver cord is what ties the spirit to the body. When the body dies by natural means the spirit is loosed, when one is killed the cord is "severed". In this "Last Day" spirits will be severed from the bodies.

Many years ago now I had a conversation with a neighbour who had, in his past, done LSD. Acid was big in my high school years, as was everything available at the time. I had heard many flowery stories from others but my first real experience was walking down a friend who was on a bad trip. I have no idea what would have happened to him if I had not snuck out of class that day. He went from one paranoid crazy thing to another and I had no idea what was next. I had no temptation to try it. No amount of "good trips" were worth what I went through.
My neighbour told similar stories of his trips but he said "By far the worst was windowpane." He said "I separated and hovered over my body laying on my bed for hours and all I wanted to do was get back in to my body." I asked him what kept him from totally leaving and he told me there was a "string". I asked him if it had a colour and he said "silver?". That brought my mind back to Ecclesiastes right quick. Death, of course is the separation of body and spirit. My neighbour was that close.

The second problem with meeting physically in the clouds would be suffocation. Above the clouds we'd be roasted. At some point we have to realize this last day is going to leave a lot of dead bodies behind. God has no use for a human body. It will return to dust on this earth as mentioned in Genesis 3. "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The Bible says we will be given a new body and I'm good with no mention of a geriatric section in Heaven.

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3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

According to Paul they were. Most of the books that 'made it' into the current version of the NT were either written directly by Paul or heavily influenced by his theology and epistimology (see Council of Nicea). Other books, such as the Gospel of Barnabus, which was included in early version of the NT and was shown to be either more or as authentic as the rest of the books was taken out of the NT at a later point. This is to build consensus around the opinions of Paul, and leave out all others. The result of this effort is what is called 'Christianity' today. 

 

The council of Nicaea was in 325, the Gospel of Barnabas didn't come out until the 15th/16th century, Spain. The Epistle of Barnabas was available at the time. 

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The earliest text we have dates to the 16th century, but as you know, that doesn't mean it was written in the 16th century. It is very possible that this text is a copy from earlier texts which were destroyed or whose whereabouts are unknown at this time. It has been mentioned as one the the Apocrypha. in the 7th Century list of Sixty books. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Barnabas

Now whether the text that we have today is an exact word for word copy of the 7th century work that was mentioned (meaning it was well known to exist before the 7th century) is information that is not generally known. Also, we Muslims don't take and don't need the Gospel of Barnabus as proof of what we believe regarding Prophet Isa (Jesus). We get this from Quran and authentic hadith. At the same time, it shows that even as far back as the 7th century there were prominent works supposed to be written by disciples of Jesus(peace be upon him) that contradict the Pauline version of Christianity. I mentioned the Council of Nicea because this is where the Pauline version of Christianity became official doctrine after Emperor Constantine of Rome ( and extremely ruthless and corrupt individual who was a pagan for most of his life) decided that this version of Christianity would be more useful for his Imperial ambitions. So any version other than Pauline Christianity was suppressed and the largest book burning in history happened when all teachings of Jesus that contradict the Pauline version of Christianity were destroyed. The New Testament was canonized more than 300 years after the death of Jesus in a language Jesus didn't speak (i.e. Greek)(that fact alone should give Christians pause to think. Imagine if I told you I had an original work of Shakespeare that noone had ever heard of. BTW, the work was copied  last week from an older text and  in Spanish. Would you believe me ?  ). This is admitted by the Catholic Church and backed up by many, many historical accounts of this council. So the fact that the Gospel of Barnabus was not in wide circulation after 325 does not surprise me. I'm surprised it survived at all, actually. 

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On 5/15/2022 at 10:26 AM, Leslie P said:

Hi there. Thanks for your replies.

Paul's puts an awful lot of effort into showing the Jewishness of Christianity. There doesn't appear to be any evidence in his writing of any attempt to adapt that for the Gentiles.

Such information as we have says that James and Paul were firmly on the same page (Acts 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19,2:9 etc). Why do you think they weren't?

It's an interesting idea, which was first explored in the 1890s.

This approach assumes that Paul took an idea from here, an idea from there, invented a whole new religion, then decided to attach it to Christianity for some reason. Then the disciples simply allowed him to completely rewrite everything Jesus had said, change pretty much everything and even joined in so enthusiastically they were prepared to die for it.

Furthermore, this pagan influence left no trace in any writing or historical record. The pagan gods have to be abandoned says Paul, not copied. In addition, no-one has any motivation for doing this process, and every motivation for not doing this.

As regards the evidence, on the one hand, we have a scattered small group of inevitable coincidences.

On the other, we have a huge mass of historical material in which Paul, other C1 letter writers, and the Gospel writers all stress that Christianity is firmly rooted in the Judaism in which God's promises are completed. They all stress the OT prophecies coming true, and that there are witnesses (sometimes alive at the time of writing) who say that they saw all the events.

Hi Leslie P.

I found your post interesting as I bolded out certain statements of yours to see if what you say in regards to the relationship between Paul of Tarsus and James The Just were of a respectable and amicable nature towards one another.

I found this from a Website dedicated to Why Christians convert to Islam explaining the issue between Paul of Tarsus and his followers such as Luke's relationship with James The Just and his followers being an untenable position when it comes to interpretation since both sides along with their followers didn't really see eye to eye on many things. So much so that the evidence could be to the contrary that Paul of Tarsus along with his followers such as Luke wish to silence James The Just and his followers to the point of outright murdering them so that Paul's letters along with his supporters gain credibility for what they stand for in comparison to James The Just. The Book of Acts is authored to be Luke, a supporter of Paul of Tarsus and The Book of Galatians is at least authored by Paul of Tarsus given Galatians 1:1, thus it is a Pauline Epistle given the summary presented in the biblehub website

https://why-christians-convert-to-islam.com/paul-murders-james-the-just/

https://biblehub.com/summary/galatians/1.htm

Basically, the issue behind Christians nowadays hinges on doing whatever it takes to defend the honor and integrity of Paul of Tarsus and his followers such as Luke being on the right with their understanding and interpretation of the Gospel being correct while all other disciples, including those of Jesus Christ and their followers with their understanding and interpretation of the Gospel are to be "accursed" given what Paul states in Galatians 1:9.

Is it not a fallacy of some sort if Christians are using the epistles of Paul along with the writings their followers worked on such as Luke with The Book of Acts, to justify the position that Paul of Tarsus had nothing against James The Just and his followers along with the rest of the Disciples of Jesus Christ and their followers?

My question is, What if they did? That's where there exists secondary sources the website Why Christians Convert to Islam of the section "Paul murders James The Just" brings to the table that I found interesting just as much as the Gnostic Gospels (Nag Hammadi Scrolls). Such evidences to the contrary I notice that most Christians wish to maintain a dismissive and being willfully-ignorant approach on the matter behind the possibility that Paul of Tarsus and His followers maintained a sense of "enmity" towards James The Just and his followers along with the rest of the Disciples of Jesus Christ and their followers. Maybe it has to with living up to the status quo that the 4 Gospels are Canon while the rest are accursed for the interests of Christians.

However, isn't that all the more reason to understand the what and the why behind the matter of who authorized the authenticity of the 4 Gospels being Canon while the rest are to be accursed? Maybe such people who made that authorization might not be true followers of Jesus Christ? Maybe they are not as accursed as Paul of Tarsus along with his followers Luke make them out to be and could contain very interesting truths that would make Christianity be more firm and completed on the same light as Islam for the interests of the Children of Israel more so than of the Gentiles and other Pagan Nations.

As for the second statement being bolded, umm... Jesus Christ is both 100% Man and 100% God. He is both God in Flesh and Spirit. So by that reasoning in the Christian Faith and Doctrine, Jesus being dead on the cross for the salvation of Mankind's sins is a Human Sacrifice which is a Polytheistic Ritual Killing innovation no different than the Canaanites doing human/child sacrifices of the sinless, virgin and righteous towards their pagan god Moloch. Both the Romans and Greeks while hesitant on the pagan act of Human Sacrifice that was prominent during the BC era, still did not disbelieved in the act entirely and thus practiced it according to archeological evidences.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/british_prehistory/human_sacrifice_01.shtml

https://www.the-romans.eu/society/Roman-sacrifices.php

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/ancient-greek-human-sacrifice-at-mountaintop-altar/

So, it could be a strong possibility that this idea of Jesus Christ being the Human Sacrifice to end all Human Sacrifice is to attract the idolators and pagans (not just the Greeks and Romans, but other nations aside from them who practiced the act of Human Sacrifice) during those times who believe that the Sinners among them will not attain salvation for their sins to the gods they worshipped unless they sacrifice a sinless, righteous, virgin human/child for them.

So why not invite such idolaters and pagans to Christianity so that the act of Human Sacrifice would come to an end? Since Jesus Christ is the ultimate Human Sacrifice to end all Human Sacrifices there would be no need for the idolaters and pagans to practice this act anymore.

While I can see Muslims discussing how theologically confusing, and questionably pagan innovation the Trinity Theology comes across, another way of looking at the Trinity Theology from a socio-political context is to stop the idolators and pagans (not just the Greeks and Romans, but other nations aside from them who practiced the act of Human Sacrifice) committing the act of Human Sacrifices for their pagan gods by converting into the Trinity Doctrine of Christianity. Plus, while Jews and Muslims believe in Direct Monotheism on understanding the being and nature of God, Christians on the other hand believe in Indirect Monotheism on understanding the being and nature of God since The Trinity Theology is Indirect Monotheism from the Christian's understanding.

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14 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Even the best of visions could only be seen with human eyes, or the mind's eye, and is first interpreted through human perception by demographics before it ever reaches the lips. 

There's much controversy over the interpretation of John's revelation where he speaks of a river of blood. Many theologians have used cross referencing in order to precede the event with a physical war.  Most references that appear in the era are spiritual wars that seemingly would have to include the death of humans. Once you remove all the speculation, you're left with the reaping of the righteous. Interesting it speaks of the "righteous", not necessarily the Christians. This event could be referred to as the Last Day.

Salam There are similarits between Christanity  & Islam (Shia) in this regard 

Quote

Prophesying The Events Of The Last Of Time
On many occasions, Imam Ali (‘a) talked about some future events and, on other occasions, described the general manners of the people who would live in the last age of the earth. Let us now refer to some of these discourses.

(1) Imam Ali (‘a), predicting that humanity would be in wear and tear because of abandoning the courses of redemption and true guidance, said,

Shortly, a time will come for people when high positions will be given only to those who defame others, when vicious people will be regarded as witty, and the just will be regarded as weak.

People will regard charity as a loss, consideration for kinship as an obligation to be thanked, and worship grounds for claiming greatness among others. At this time, authority will be exercised through the counsel of women, the posting of young boys in high positions, and the running of the administration by eunuchs.86

(2) Imam Ali (‘a) says,

A time will come when nothing will remain of the Quran except its writing, and nothing of Islam except its name. The mosques in those days will be busy with regards to construction but desolate with regard to guidance.

Those staying in them and those visiting them will be the worst of all on earth. From them, mischief will spring up, and towards them, all wrong will turn. If anyone isolates himself from it (i.e. mischief), they will fling him back to it, and if anyone steps back from it, they will push him towards it.87

(3) On another occasion, Imam Ali (‘a) said,

A severe time will come upon the people wherein the rich will seize their possessions with their teeth by way of miserliness although they have not been commanded to do so. Allah the Glorified says,

‘Forget not generosity among yourselves. (2:237)’
During this time, the wicked will rise up while the virtuous will remain low, and purchases will be made from the helpless although the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants, has prohibited purchasing from the helpless.88

https://www.al-islam.org/life-ali-ibn-abi-talib-baqir-sharif-al-qurashi/prophecies-imam-ali

https://en.wikishia.net/view/End_Time

14 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

The first problem is gravity. The spirit is not subject to gravity as is the human body but is joined to the body to maintain life. One cannot live without the other. The mention of a sickle is the concept of severing. The other reference to the connection of spirit and body is in Ecclesiastes 12.
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;"
Through metaphors it describes the deterioration of the body. "In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened," 
Then it goes on to mention the "silver cord be loosed". From what I've come to understand, this silver cord is what ties the spirit to the body. When the body dies by natural means the spirit is loosed, when one is killed the cord is "severed". In this "Last Day" spirits will be severed from the bodies.

Attributes of Spirit are unknown  for everyone anyway Spirit  can live without  body but on other hand body can't  live without  spirit .

14 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Many years ago now I had a conversation with a neighbour who had, in his past, done LSD. Acid was big in my high school years, as was everything available at the time. I had heard many flowery stories from others but my first real experience was walking down a friend who was on a bad trip. I have no idea what would have happened to him if I had not snuck out of class that day. He went from one paranoid crazy thing to another and I had no idea what was next. I had no temptation to try it. No amount of "good trips" were worth what I went through.
My neighbour told similar stories of his trips but he said "By far the worst was windowpane." He said "I separated and hovered over my body laying on my bed for hours and all I wanted to do was get back in to my body." I asked him what kept him from totally leaving and he told me there was a "string". I asked him if it had a colour and he said "silver?". That brought my mind back to Ecclesiastes right quick. Death, of course is the separation of body and spirit. My neighbour was that close.

Silver cord has been mentioned  in NDE reports which trying it doesn't  need using drugs which people  who reported of existence  of silver stiring in NDE reports due to any incident  likewise in car crash or being to coma after trauma anyway it's existance  has been approved.

14 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

The second problem with meeting physically in the clouds would be suffocation. Above the clouds we'd be roasted. At some point we have to realize this last day is going to leave a lot of dead bodies behind. God has no use for a human body. It will return to dust on this earth as mentioned in Genesis 3. "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The Bible says we will be given a new body and I'm good with no mention of a geriatric section in Heaven.

This is interpretation  of them from reports which describing meeting place with divine bodies is impossible to describe by any definition which clouds has been mentioned  because clouds can have different  shape in similar  fashion which meeting place with divine bodies has different  shape & form anytime  likewise clouds  anytime also cloud is symbol  of mixing of purity & light .

Similar to bible  according to holy Quran there will be no defection  of body & current world in heaven /Paradise.

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After the ascension of Christ, the rivalry between his followers increased, so much so that some of them, including Barnabas, believed in the need to follow the teachings and principles of Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) without making any changes in it, while Others, led by Paul, ignored some of those teachings and principles and principles to spread the new religion and to make it popular among the nations that came to it, especially the Greeks. Rumi preferred.

For the best example in this regard, we can refer to the saying of Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) which is related to the laws and prophets of the Old Testament:

I have not come to abolish the religion of the ancients, but I have come to put them into practice

And this is exactly what God Almighty says in the language of Christ ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) in verse 50 of Surah Imran:

And certainly not between the hands of the tour.

And I acknowledge the Torah.

And when a man asked him about how to attain immortality, he instructed him to follow the commandments of the Old Testament.

But as soon as Paul was able to establish himself among the apostles, he broke those laws, where he says:

For whoever acts in accordance with the law is cursed

And so, O you who follow the laws, be deprived of God's mercy

However, when he wanted to silence women, he supported the laws and said:

Silence your wives in the synagogues, for they have no right to speak, and as the law says, they must obey and obey.6

The rivalry between the two tribes continued for centuries, resulting in many deaths. In 325 BCE, Paul's companions and followers were able to seize control of the ecclesiastical council at Niza and immediately ordered the burning of the four Greek Gospels, including the only Gospel written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.

The Ecclesiastical Council of Nicea relied on the doctrine of the Trinity, developed by the Alexandrian priest Athanasius of Alexandria, as the most important doctrine of Christianity. It also changed the birthday of Christ (عليه السلام) to December 25 to coincide with the birthday of the sun goddess Mithra, and changed the day of weekly worship from Saturday to Sunday.

The Gospel of Barnabas is considered one of the most accurate Gospels today .Barnabas was friend and companion of Christ, but for the other five Gospels, which are considered authentic by the Christian churches, most experts agree that the true authors are  unknown and unfamiliar. These Gospels were written by the followers of St. Paul and were given famous and prominent names to gain authenticity and respect.

https://hawzah.net/fa/Magazine/View/4227/5735/56692/انجیل-برنابا

Joseph, nicknamed Barnabas of Cyprus, although not one of Christ's twelve apostles, was considered an apostle like Paul because of his unique position in promoting early Christianity among the Gentiles, and was mentioned 33 times in the New Testament. According to Christian tradition, although he wrote the Bible, at least until the thirteenth century a copy of his Bible was not known, attributed or in the hands of Christians or Muslims. In recent centuries, a work attributed to Barnabas has been published in which, like the Qur'an, the Trinity and the crucifixion of Jesus are denied and the advent of the Prophet Khatam (pbu) is promised. He believes: The Shahadah of Muslims is engraved on the entrance of paradise and as a result of this vote, it has been welcomed by a group of Muslim scholars. After briefly introducing Barnabas and the historical background of the Bible attributed to him, this article highlights the conflict between its religious beliefs and the Holy Qur'an. Among other things, humans are children of God and inherently sinful. The prophets, except for Jesus ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)), including Abraham, Aaron, Job, etc., had polytheistic sins and love. in consmology, this gospel contains 144,000 prophets. There are ten hells, seven levels of hell and nine heavens. The angels sin and disobey, and the tormentors of Hell are not angels but demons.

http://ensani.ir/fa/article/348839/انجیل-برنابا-در-تعارض-با-قرآن-کریم

 

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Is the Gospel of Barnabas now available?
Historical sources attribute to Barnabas the Bible, the Epistle, and the Book of the Travels and Teachings of the Apostles and Prophets. The German scholar Chandrov found the Barnabas treatise in Cena's manuscripts, which had long been considered sacred.

But none of his epistles and books are considered sacred, so it is surprising how the epistles of Paul and Luke, who have never seen Christ, are authentic, while the words of Barnabas Which preceded them in faith and righteousness and fellowship and companionship with Christ, is not valid!

In 366, Pope Damasus issued a decree banning the reading of the Gospel of Barnabas. The Gospel of Barnabas was one of them.

Get a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas
The Gospel of Barnabas faded for centuries, until the Italian monk Framino, in the late 16th century, obtained a copy of it in the library of Pope Sixtus V in the Vatican, which he hid and took out. He converted to Islam and the name of this version was not mentioned anymore.

In 1709, Krimer, one of the tsarist advisers to Russia, obtained the only surviving copy of the Gospel of Barnabas, which was transferred to Vienna in 1738. It is in 225 pages, in two volumes, and is written in Italian. .

And at the beginning of this century, it was translated by Professor Khalil Saadat. In the introduction, Master Saadat has given explanations that we use to know and understand the principles and origins of this version. There is also mention of a Spanish translation that a number of Orientalists hand-picked in the early eighteenth century, which eventually reached Dr. Howitt, who said it was a translation of the Italian version and a Spanish translator is a Muslim named "Mustafa Al-Arandi" which also lost this copy  Dr. Howitt. It is unknown at this time who has been writer of Italian version & who is writer of Bible.

https://hawzah.net/fa/Magazine/View/4227/5735/56692/انجیل-برنابا

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 the founders of the evangelical travels and a prominent figure in the age of the apostles. [57]

 

Barnabas and Paul are invited to convert non-Jews to Christianity and travel to different cities and countries, where they face many persecutions and miracles, some of which are considered by some to be God.  [58]

 

They founded the first churches in the Christian world, and in each church they appointed a priest to administer and guide the people, [59] but it did not take long for a "fierce quarrel" between Barnabas and Paul:

 

And after a few days Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us return, and see our brethren, how they ought to be in every city where we preach the word of God. But Barnabas saw fit to take John, nicknamed Mark, with him. But Paul thought it expedient that he should not take her, who was separated from him from Pompey, and who had not cooperated with him. So the quarrel became so severe that they separated from each other, Barnabas took Mark and went to Cyprus by sea, and Paul took Silas and set out from the brethren entrusted to the grace of God ... [60]

 

The last sign of Barnabas in the Christian sources is that it has been mentioned and no trace of him can be seen anymore, and he has mysteriously and miraculously disappeared from the history of Christianity, and the only question left is how this first apostle , Or at least one of the first apostles, who was the intercessor and guide and companion of Paul, and full of the Holy Spirit and faith, disappears without any preamble or logical plan, and in the words of Will Durant wonderfully "from the scene of  History disappears. "[61]

 

 

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From a note written by Dr. Sayel at the beginning of the Spanish version, it appears that this copy was originally translated from the Italian version into Spanish by an "Aruqani" Muslim named Mustafa Arandi. [68]

 

The importance of the Spanish version lies in the introduction, which reveals that a monk named Framerino accesses a collection of letters and notes from Saint Irenaeus [69] that include teachings against Paul and condemnation of his deeds and thoughts. He is; And Irenaeus attributes his content to a Gospel attributed to Barnabas. From here, the monk Framerino's desire to discover the Gospel of Barnabas intensifies and he eventually achieves it. [70]

 

https://www.hawzahnews.com/news/497437/دانستنی-هایی-از-انجیل-برنابا-میزان-استقبال-مسیحیت-از-این-انجیل

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17 hours ago, Guest Gnostic said:

Why Christians convert to Islam

Sounds like a fair bit of propaganda. Islam blames Paul for everything but often misses context and have no problem with fabricated conjecture. Paul is also blamed for the formation of the trinity but somebody still has to show me where.

Ananus ben Ananus had James stoned by the pharisees. Paul was in prison in Rome.

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On 5/29/2022 at 1:53 PM, Abu Hadi said:

The earliest text we have dates to the 16th century, but as you know, that doesn't mean it was written in the 16th century. It is very possible that this text is a copy from earlier texts which were destroyed or whose whereabouts are unknown at this time. It has been mentioned as one the the Apocrypha. in the 7th Century list of Sixty books. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Barnabas

Now whether the text that we have today is an exact word for word copy of the 7th century work that was mentioned (meaning it was well known to exist before the 7th century) is information that is not generally known. Also, we Muslims don't take and don't need the Gospel of Barnabus as proof of what we believe regarding Prophet Isa (Jesus). We get this from Quran and authentic hadith. At the same time, it shows that even as far back as the 7th century there were prominent works supposed to be written by disciples of Jesus(peace be upon him) that contradict the Pauline version of Christianity. I mentioned the Council of Nicea because this is where the Pauline version of Christianity became official doctrine after Emperor Constantine of Rome ( and extremely ruthless and corrupt individual who was a pagan for most of his life) decided that this version of Christianity would be more useful for his Imperial ambitions. So any version other than Pauline Christianity was suppressed and the largest book burning in history happened when all teachings of Jesus that contradict the Pauline version of Christianity were destroyed. The New Testament was canonized more than 300 years after the death of Jesus in a language Jesus didn't speak (i.e. Greek)(that fact alone should give Christians pause to think. Imagine if I told you I had an original work of Shakespeare that noone had ever heard of. BTW, the work was copied  last week from an older text and  in Spanish. Would you believe me ?  ). This is admitted by the Catholic Church and backed up by many, many historical accounts of this council. So the fact that the Gospel of Barnabus was not in wide circulation after 325 does not surprise me. I'm surprised it survived at all, actually. 

Rather confusing. There was the epistle of Barnabas, 70-100 AD, the letter of Barnabas, 138 AD, and the Gospel of Barnabas, 7th century?
The council of Nicaea came about because Constantine became a Christian but there was a great division in the religion. His plan was to bring in 1000 some scholars to decide on one belief. The problem was; there were those who believed Jesus was God and others that didn't. Arius was the leader who believed Jesus was of the same "essence" as God but not God. The council argued for a few years, then kicked Arius out. Then the let him back in but he mysteriously died shortly after. Thus started the concept Jesus was God.
Paul never stated Jesus was God.

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22 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Sounds like a fair bit of propaganda. Islam blames Paul for everything but often misses context and have no problem with fabricated conjecture. Paul is also blamed for the formation of the trinity but somebody still has to show me where.

Ananus ben Ananus had James stoned by the pharisees. Paul was in prison in Rome.

UPDATE: This post has a new link for further inquiries. Back to discussion.

Hi Son of Placid

Even if it may be propaganda, it still doesn't discredit the sources they use to back their assertions up. Some people suggest that the only way to fight this "propaganda" you claim is to counter it with your propaganda. Thus, Fight Fire with Fire Mentality. As a fellow of the Gnostic faith, this peaks my curiosity as to whether the historicity of Christianity is as reliable as one may hope.

Alright then, where may I ask is your proof (aka evidence) that the arguments against Paul of Tarsus and his followers such as Luke are nothing more than fabricated conjecture Muslims and some Christians against the Orthodox as well would also latch on to such as this

https://nonorthodoxy.com/heed-the-warning-paul-the-false-apostle-saul-of-tarsus-is-a-liar-and-a-thief-of-souls/

https://www.earlychurchofjesus.org/false_paul.htm

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/3-reasons-why-apostle-pau_b_5942792

https://www.the-iconoclast.org/reference2/saul-of-tarsus.php#id.04

https://www.judaismvschristianity.com/chapter-8-paul-the-false-apostle/

I don't think it's fair for you to assume that Muslims are wholly to be blamed on the matter of defiling Paul of Tarsus and his followers such as Luke, when some Christians amongst the Non-Orthodox as well as Jews also think as well putting the charge on Paul of Tarsus being the False Apostle. If I remember my definition of what it means to be an Apostle of God, it would be the same meaning as the Muslim equivalent of the term "Nabi" aka Messenger of God. In other words, Apostle of God = Messenger of God. So the 12 Disciples of Jesus Christ as Apostles would also be considered "Nabis" as well for the interests of Muslims though in a lower rank and position compared to Jesus Christ.

What does it take for one to be charged as False Apostle if they revealed a False Prophecy? One.

It's interesting that Paul of Tarsus did give out a prophecy in Acts 27:23-24 where he would be brought before Caesar and that no passengers would die. I wonder if that has been fulfilled.

I'm curious what's your definition and understanding of the term "Apostle". I know that in Orthodox Christianity given the website orthodoxwiki.org,

Quote

An Apostle is one who is sent out by our Lord Jesus Christ to spread the gospel that he is the Messiah, that he is risen, and that we are being saved as a result.

The word apostle comes from the Greek αποστολος, literally meaning "one who is sent out." Originally a military term referring to a sortie sent out against the enemy, apostle has in the Christian context come to refer to a missionary spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It's interesting to note that you'd miss the part reading in the "propaganda" website where despite Paul being incarcerated in Rome, he still sought help from amongst the Sanhedrin that composes of the Sadducees and his Pharisee brethren to take his revenge against James the Just and His Followers.

Man even in jail, Paul of Tarsus has quite a rich connection more so than Jesus Christ in his days along with his 12 Disciples. I find this disturbing to note as Jesus Christ and his 12 Disciples (with the exception of the 12th Disciple Judas Iscariot) did express their enmity against the Sadducees and the Pharisees throughout their career and livelihood. And since Paul of Tarsus has a rich connection with the Sanhedrin, I wonder if it means anything within the grand scheme of things for the historicity of Christianity?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2022 at 9:21 PM, Son of Placid said:

Paul is also blamed for the formation of the trinity but somebody still has to show me where.

The doctrine of the Trinity evolved over time and was officially declared to be true centuries later (AD 325, 360, 381 and 431, at the Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus). Constantine foresaw the growing religion/movement as a potential unifying force for the Roman Empire. Trinitarianism cannot be clearly extracted from the NT without accompanying church dogma. A case can be made for the existence of two gods based on John The Apostle's Logos Christology (i.e. John 1:1). For example, Tertullian in the third century, argued for a type of Christian dualism where the two persons (God the Father/God the Son) were seen as unique and distinct but the substance was considered essentially the same. First century, Jewish Christianity was uncompromisingly monotheistic. They considered Yahweh to be the Only True God and believed Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah. They also upheld an immediate apocalyptic eschatology. Decades and centuries later, the nature of Christ became a hotly contested issue among Christians. There were numerous sects with competing theories: some believed Christ was wholly God, some believed he was wholly human (e.g. Jewish Christianity), some believed he was God and man combined (i.e. God-man).         

Edited by Eddie Mecca
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On 5/31/2022 at 6:07 PM, Guest Gnostic said:

Paul of Tarsus has a rich connection with the Sanhedrin

What kind of connection would you have with your employer if you did a 180 to completely undermine everything his company was built on? 

Better question; Have you read the New testament to see what Paul wrote?

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