05-15-2008, 02:51 AM #1
Jesus vs. Osiris-Dionysus: A Comaprison
For those who have a religious interest- only.
Jesus vs. Osiris-Dionysus: A Comparison
Scholars Timothy Freke (degree in philosophy, authority on world mysticism, internationally published author of twenty books,) and Peter Gandy (M.A. in classical civilizations, specialty in ancient Pagan Mystery religions) have recently compared the Osiris-Dionysus savior god of the Pagan Mystery religions with the Christian savior god Jesus. They were unprepared for the degree of similarity that they found between the two religions. Below is a summary of their conclusion in their own words.
It will be helpful if I define a couple of the terms used below:
Mysteries or Pagan Mysteries – The ancient Pagan Mystery religions of the Mediterranean that pre-date Christianity, in some cases by thousands of years.
Osiris-Dionysus – The savior god of the ancient Pagan Mystery religions. He was known as Osiris to the ancient Egyptians. Pythagoras (of Mathematics fame) brought the Osiris myth to ancient Greece in the late seventh-century BCE, upon which the minor deity Dionysus was promoted to his “savior god” role. Also known as Attis in Asia Minor, Adonis in Syria, Bacchus in Italy, and Mithras in Persia.
Freke’s and Gandy’s conclusion:
Either the Devil really has perfected the art of diabolical mimicry or there is a mystery to solve here. Let's review the evidence:
• Jesus is the savior of mankind, God made man, the Son of God equal with the Father; so is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is born of a mortal virgin who after her death ascends to heaven and is honored as a divine being; so is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is born in a cave on December 25 or January 6, as is Osiris-Dionysus. [My comments: The word usually translated as “stable” in the gospels is katalemna – literally, “temporary shelter” or “cave”. It was a widespread early Christian tradition that Jesus was born in a cave.]
• The birth of Jesus is prophesied by a star; so is the birth of Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is born in Bethlehem, which was shaded by a grove sacred to Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is visited by the Magi, who are followers of Osiris-Dionysus.
• The Magi bring Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which a sixth-century BCE Pagan tells us is the way to worship God.
• Jesus is baptized, a ritual practiced for centuries in the Mysteries.
• The holy man who baptizes Jesus with water has the same name as a Pagan god of water and is born on the summer solstice celebrated as a Pagan water festival.
• Jesus offers his followers elemental baptisms of water, air, and fire, as did the Pagan Mysteries.
• Jesus is portrayed as a quiet man with long hair and a beard; so is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus turns water into wine at a marriage on the same day that Osiris-Dionysus was previously believed to have turned water into wine at a marriage.
• Jesus heals the sick, exorcises demons, provides miraculous meals, helps fishermen make miraculous catches of fish, and calms the water for his disciples; all of these marvels had previously been performed by Pagan sages.
• Like the sages of the Mysteries, Jesus is a wandering wonder-worker who is not honored in his home town.
• Jesus is accused of licentious behavior, as were the followers of Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is not at first recognized as a divinity by his disciples, but then is transfigured before them in all his glory; the same is true of Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is surrounded by 12 disciples; so is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus rides triumphantly into town on a donkey while crowds wave branches, as does Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is a just man unjustly accused of heresy and bringing a new religion, as is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus attacks hypocrites, stands up to tyranny, and willingly goes to his death predicting he will rise again in three days, as do Pagan sages.
• Jesus is betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, a motif found in the story of Socrates.
• Jesus is equated with bread and wine, as is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus' disciples symbolically eat bread and drink wine to commune with him, as do the followers of Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus is hung on a tree or crucified, as is Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus dies as a sacrifice to redeem the sins of the world; so does Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus' corpse is wrapped in linen and anointed with myrrh, as is the corpse of Osiris-Dionysus.
• After his death Jesus descends to hell, then on the third day resurrects before his disciples and ascends into heaven, where he is enthroned by God and waits to reappear at the end of time as a divine judge, as does Osiris-Dionysus.
• Jesus was said to have died and resurrected on exactly the same dates that the death and resurrection of Osiris-Dionysus were celebrated.
• Jesus' empty tomb is visited by three women followers. Osiris-Dionysus also has three women followers who visit an empty cave.
• Through sharing in his passion Jesus offers his disciples the chance to be born again, as does Osiris-Dionysus.
Discounting the diabolical mimicry argument, as all sane people must, how are we to explain these extraordinary similarities between Pagan myth and the story of Jesus?
The first possibility we considered was that the true biography of Jesus had been overlaid with Pagan mythology at a later date. This is a common idea often advanced to account for those aspects of the Jesus story that seem obviously mythical, such as the virgin birth. But we had found so many resemblances between the myths of Osiris-Dionysus and the supposed biography of Jesus that this theory seemed inadequate. If all the elements of the Jesus story that had been prefigured by Pagan myths were later accretions, what would be left of the "real" Jesus? If this theory is true then the Jesus we know is a myth and the historical man has been completely eclipsed.
The other possibility that occurred to us was more radical and challenging. Could it be that the story of Jesus was actually yet another version of the myth of Osiris-Dionysus? If we had not been brought up in a Christian culture, would we ever have interpreted the incredible stories related by the gospels as anything other than profound myths? No one believes the myths of Osiris-Dionysus are literally true, so why should we take as historical fact the same events related in a Jewish setting?
Not knowing quite what to believe, we turned our attention to Jesus' spiritual teachings, wondering if here we might glimpse something of the man beneath the myth.
(My comments: the authors also found additional striking similarities between the pagan teachings and the teachings of Jesus. In other words, the “message” wasn’t new either.)
All comments welcome.
05-15-2008, 03:07 AM #2JMTXGuest
This is exactly why I know that Jesus never existed. He was just another re-telling of the same old pagan myth.
05-15-2008, 03:12 AM #3
The earliest Christians in their writings (the early epistles of the first-century) saw Jesus as existing (born, died and resurrected) in this "higher" spiritual realm, not on earth. They show no familiarity with the details that make up the Jesus of Nazareth we know of from the Gospels -- the story of Jesus we are all familiar with. Neither do they directly quote him. And these earliest Christians, in their own words, make it clear that it is God, through (Hebrew) scripture, not Jesus, that revealed to them God's word and knowledge of his son.
The story of Jesus from the Gospels is invented decades later by the author of Mark, who borrowed from the Pagan Mystery religions as well as from Hebrew scripture via midrash. I think all but the most fundamentalist of scholars agree at this point that the author of Mark wasn't really the apostle Mark. This was just the name given to the text at a later date to give the account more authority. Many Christians confuse the gospel accounts of Jesus with first-hand eyewitness accounts, which they are not. They are second-hand accounts from anonymous authors. The stories of Jesus in the other canonical Gospels were all clearly derived from Mark, with some minor embellishments.
This is why there was so much resistance over many decades across the early Christian communities to the notion that Jesus was an earthly being who had recently lived and died on earth. The picture painted by the Christian apologists of a homogenous early Christianity is totally false. The true nature of Jesus remained a very contentious issue, well up to the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and beyond.
05-15-2008, 03:27 AM #4JMTXGuest
The original Christians, as I understand it, were Gnostics. They didn't see Jesus as a human person in the first place.
My personal theory (as a pagan) is that all these stories are based on one guy who lived a long, long, time before this supposed "Jesus" fellow.
Now whether that original occurence was supernatural in nature is something I couldn't hazzard a guess at...but he might have been. He might be an ordinary Joe who left behind a larger-than-life legacy or he might have been the human incarnation of an astral entity. One thing he wasn't was the son of "god".
The Jesus that Christians today speak of never existed. He was a figure head created to unify people together under one religion and wipe out the indigenous pagan idealogies.
05-15-2008, 04:39 AM #5
Dear God not another Jesus Myth theory. First he was a rip off of the Zooastrian god Mithras, then he was a rip off of the Egyptian god Horus, and now there's another one? The last two Jesus Myth theories were shown to be clear fakes that the writer simply made up. I'll have to study into this one.
And no, JMTX, the original Christians were not Gnostics. The Gnostic religion was gone about by the Cainanites in the area around Jeruselam roughly 40 years after the death of Jesus Christ. The Cainanites were fans of taking Jewish religious figures and altering the context of their persona slightly to fit their view of the afterlife such as, as their namesake would imply, Cain from the Old Testament.
I am going to put down $20 right here with any O.com that I can show that either the "Osiris-Dionysis" god was made up, or that the facts concerning them were fabricated.
Last edited by Lawless One; 05-15-2008 at 04:43 AM."If you have to justify to yourself, or others why what you're doing isn't wrong; it is."
05-15-2008, 04:47 AM #6JMTXGuest
Lawless, there is significant evidence that the Jesus is a collaboration of a number of different myths. I believe Baal is one of them as well. If I remember my research correctly, there are a couple dozen ancient stories that mirror the Jesus Myth. It's like the Flood or the stories of dragons (both of which exist in almost every culture)...it's just the same story told over and over again with the names changed.
I think this indicates that it is either a)an archetype so primal that it occurs over and over again or b)a story based on someone who lived so long ago that we have no written record of him and only a vague memory of him in our universal consciousness.
There is simply nothing original or special about Jesus. It's just another pretty story to placate the masses into believing there is justice and meaning in the universe. People create these stories because the alternative truth is simply too painful for the average human mind to bear. The overwhelming truth that there is no meaning and no justice and no such forces as good or evil is simply so colossally unfair that we can't even begin to process it. Hence we make up nice little fairy tales so that we won't be scared of the dark anymore. We create Boogeymen to blame the bad things on and benevolent deities to serve as our amulets against harm.
05-15-2008, 05:08 AM #7
That's all well and good, but the problem is if you look at these theories with even the smallest level of objectivity they are crushed almost instantly.
With a simple cursory glance at a few websites it would seem that Osiris-Dionysis was actually a compilation of hundreds of gods. Here's what I've found on this website:
By the Hellenic era, Greek awareness of Osiris had grown, and attempts had been made to merge greek philosophy, such as Platonism, and the cult of Osiris (especially the myth of his resurrection), resulting in a new mystery religion. Gradually, this became more popular, and was exported to other parts of the greek sphere of influence. However, these mystery religions valued the change in wisdom, personality, and knowledge of fundamental truth, rather than the exact details of the acknowledged myths on which their teachings were superimposed. Thus in each region that it was exported to, the myth was changed to be about a similar local god, resulting in a series of gods, who had originally been quite distinct, but who were now syncretisms with Osiris. These gods became known as Osiris-Dionysus.
So I'm guessing that when you superimpose a single guy and compare him to a combination of hundreds of individual gods you're bound to find similarities, but I'll have to do more studying into it. All I can find on this is dozens of websites that mime what is said above without actually giving any links to websites that talk about Osiris-Dionysis when not attempting to disprove Jesus."If you have to justify to yourself, or others why what you're doing isn't wrong; it is."
05-15-2008, 05:15 AM #8JMTXGuest
Lawless, didn't you tell me once that you've never even read the bible cover to cover?
05-15-2008, 05:19 AM #9
What I can't figure out is this:
Why does the name matter? God, Jehova, Yawai, Allah...
Maybe there is a huge intergalactic being out there and we are all just calling it different names.
If god was named James, Some would call him James, some Jimmy, Some Jimbo, Some Jack...
How can we all have this faith in something we have never seen, but be convinced that the something that other people have never seen either is somehow inferior?
I mean if My catholic faith is right, I guess I get into heaven (Which I am insulted at the concept of) If I am wrong, and it was actually the Mormons , or Hindu who happened to be right, I would like to act in a manner that does not **** that particular diety off if possible.
M-11“All men dream...... But not equally..
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”
05-15-2008, 05:21 AM #10JMTXGuest
M-11, if there is a deity out there (I personally suspect there is a giant alien running things), then I think he really doesn't care what you call him or if you believe in him at all. He probably sits around and laughs at everybody fighting over what to call him.
05-15-2008, 05:24 AM #11
I've studied more into the topic and even the wiki link is terribly unhelpful. It would seem that Osiris-Dionysus is actually a term used to coin the emergence of several hundred gods around the Mediterranean several centuries before the emergence of Jesus Christ. It would seem that there was a movement in Scholarly aspects to lump all of these gods together into a group called "life-death-rebirth-dieties". Jesus was included in this as he died and came back, and it would appear as if his characteristics were compared to a grouping of gods that spanned several thousands of years.
Or to summarize, basically what this is doing is comparing Jesus Christ to 2500 years worth of Pagan gods. To be more acurate than I was before, it would be better to claim that Jesus is being compared to not hundreds, but thousands, if not tens of thousands of different gods and we're being told that these similarities show that he was "ripped off" from them.
Wiki Link. I'm trying to find an objective third party website that talks about Osiris-Dionysus without mentioning the parallel between that and Jesus, but it's becoming quite impossible. I'm beginning to note that this parallel was actually drawn for the purpose of comparison to Jesus Christ, as it would seem while glancing at the life-death-rebirth-deity section of Wiki that the group was created with Jesus in mind.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-death-rebirth_deity"If you have to justify to yourself, or others why what you're doing isn't wrong; it is."
05-15-2008, 05:39 AM #12JMTXGuest
Lawless, the point being made is that there is no part of the Jesus Myth that is original. All the aspects of the story have been heard in various beliefs before.
All the rebirth god legends are very similar. There is nothing special about the Jesus story. He's just another sun god and he's no more real or factual than Osiris. He's a representative of a basic primal archetype.
05-15-2008, 05:43 AM #13
Fallacious arguing, JMTX. There is no story that's original and you could apply that line of reasoning to anything on the planet and it would be found to be a "copy". If you compared me to thousands of people on this planet, even if chosen randomly, you will find similarities between me and them regardless of who they are. One may want to be a cop, one may like anime, one may play video games, one may like frozen yogurt, one may be white, one may have brown hair, and one may speak english. Now add that group of thousands of people up and give that "group" a name such as "Bob". It can clearly be shown that there is immediate similarities between Bob and Lawless One; thusly it can be shown through this form of reasoning that I'm a direct ripoff and myth taken from multiple different people.
I found a website dealing with each one of the Jesus Myth theories in specificity. As expected Osiris-Dionysus is just a name given to a grouping of thousands upon thousands of gods spanning 2500BC all the way to the birth of Jesus and actually spanning PAST his birth, death, and ministry. It would appear that this name was created with the specific intent to create a singular character with which to compare Jesus Christ and cast his existence into doubt.
Or to be more specific. I've found that Osiris-Dionysus was created with the specific intent to confuse people into thinking there was a parallel with Jesus Christ. Just like all the other Jesus Myth theories, only this one was done differently. Rather than outright lying, you take thousands upon thousands of people, give those people a single name and claim that they're one god that parallels closely to the Christian one.
Last edited by Lawless One; 05-15-2008 at 05:47 AM."If you have to justify to yourself, or others why what you're doing isn't wrong; it is."
05-15-2008, 06:13 AM #14JMTXGuestIt would appear that this name was created with the specific intent to create a singular character with which to compare Jesus Christ and cast his existence into doubt
Heck, the name itself references two different figures from two different cultures.
However, some of the stories are extremely extremely close to the Jesus Story in many different details.
Regardless, there's no point in arguing with a Christian. It's like trying to convince a KKK member that they should marry an African-American. They're way too brainwashed to be receptive.
If you want to believe in a fairy tale go right ahead...you have that freedom in this country. But the fact is, he's just a rip off of the old pagan gods. Just like the catholic saints are rip offs of the pagan gods. Just like Christmas and Easter are rip offs of the pagan holidays. Christianity has it's roots in paganism. They just took all our ideas, slapped different names on them, and sold them to our ignorant ancestors as something new.
05-15-2008, 09:39 AM #15
I've had the pleasure and the privilege to take a course with Dr. Daniel Kolak. I therefore recommend anyone interested in the above subject to read his book, as a starting point to better understand the comparison.
I Am You: The Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics (Synthese Library)
Borders enclose and separate us. We assign to them tremendous significance. Along them we draw supposedly uncrossable boundaries within which we believe our individual identities begin and end, erecting the metaphysical dividing walls that enclose each one of us into numerically identical, numerically distinct, entities: persons. Do the borders between us - physical, psychological, neurological, causal, spatial, temporal, etc. - merit the metaphysical significance ordinarily accorded them?
The central thesis of I Am You is that our borders do not signify boundaries between persons. We are all the same person. Variations on this heretical theme have been voiced periodically throughout the ages (the Upanishads, Averroës, Giordano Bruno, Josiah Royce, Schrödinger, Fred Hoyle, Freeman Dyson). In presenting his arguments, the author relies on detailed analyses of recent formal work on personal identity, especially that of Derek Parfit, Sydney Shoemaker, Robert Nozick, David Wiggins, Daniel C. Dennett and Thomas Nagel, while incorporating the views of Descartes, Leibniz, Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer, Kant, Husserl and Brouwer.
His development of the implied moral theory is inspired by, and draws on, Rawls, Sidgwick, Kant and again Parfit. The traditional, commonsense view that we are each a separate person numerically identical to ourselves over time, i.e., that personal identity is closed under known individuating and identifying borders - what the author calls Closed Individualism - is shown to be incoherent. The demonstration that personal identity is not closed but open points collectively in one of two new directions: either there are no continuously existing, self-identical persons over time in the sense ordinarily understood - the sort of view developed by philosophers as diverse as Buddha, Hume and most recently Derek Parfit, what the author calls Empty Individualism - or else you are everyone, i.e., personal identity is not closed under known individuating and identifying borders, what the author calls Open Individualism. In making his case, the author:
05-15-2008, 10:49 AM #16
Oh man... this is going to be entertaining...“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."
"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."
05-15-2008, 11:08 AM #17
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JMXT, we just discussed this in another thread.
If you don't believe in God, why do you get so riled up about it?
He is real. I can sit all day and tell examples from my own life to show that he is real. I have lived on both sides of the fence. I can compare the life I had without Him to the life I have with Him. Day and night.
05-15-2008, 12:20 PM #18
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05-15-2008, 12:25 PM #19
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05-15-2008, 02:46 PM #20
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I don't find the initial argument particularly convincing. We know very little about what the mystery religions of the early Roman empire taught because they were just that - mysteries which were taught to initiates. We know far more about early Christianity because a) its beliefs weren't a secret (though of course often practiced in secret) and b) it survived and the worship of Mithras or Dionysus didn't.
Mystery religions also cobbled together vastly different religions (as of course the ancient Greek and Egyptian beliefs about Dionysus and Osiris were not only very different but also individually changed over time). Given the number of traditions which mystery religions drew on, it's inevitable that you'll find parallels with Christianity. I reckon I could draw some convincing parallels between the various traditions about the life of (and literally just picking a name off the top of my head) King Arthur and Jesus but I don't think that would be particularly meaningful.
Agreeing with Lawless! Whatever next?I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.
05-15-2008, 03:05 PM #21
wow- you mean "ideologies" that okayed the MURDER and sacrifice of children? (Ba'al worship, ancient european wicken practices) Ideologies that had NO problem using/abusing young women and MEN as "temple prostitutes"(Ishtar,Ma'at,dagon ) . IF its all "fiction" to you, why do you even waste time in believing in "paganism"?? as for me-I'm assured NOT going to worship a plant ,or an animal,or a astrological body( sun or moon) which can do NOTHING for me-I'll stick to a "mere man"( like Jesus) who can or could have spoken for me,to me and actual do something to help me. yup- evil "judeo-christianity"- it united the world in many places,and offers MILLIONS a since of self worth, a moral code to live by(which even DEMANDS tolerance of vile and ignorant people who hate judeo-christianity) ,and a basic reason to go on in a world where greed,violence, sexual and moral perversion,and rule of thuggery seems to be more important..........
05-15-2008, 03:16 PM #22
05-15-2008, 03:47 PM #23
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05-15-2008, 03:50 PM #24
1) Comparing him to 2 religions will result in many "coincidences"
2)Jesus was more than likely born in the summer, the sheep were in the fields at the time of his birth. Dec 25 was picked as a day to celebrate to distract pagans christians were trying to convert.
3)I have NEVER read or heard any BIBLICAL scholar say anything about being born in a cave.
4)Baptism is strictly water. No air or fire is part of baptism.
5)No date is given for water to wine so how do we know it was on the same date....because the pagans want to believe it so they can deny Christ.
6)ALL founders of a new religion are treated this way, not unique
7)where did he stand up to tyranny? Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasars?
8)I thought we were comparing Jesus to Osiris/Dionysius not socrates.
9)what dates did he die and resurrect on? None are given see answer #5
05-15-2008, 04:23 PM #25
Nothing new there. You can read apologetics from the ante-Nicean church fathers (prior to 250AD) that deal with similar claims about various religions trying to legitimize themselves. Christianity grew quite rapidly and gained power, others wanted in on it. The problem here is that no extant copies of any of their writings. There aren't even any for the books of the Bible, we only have copies of copies of copies, etc. The Bible has the advantage because Christianity's spread made it necessary to translate it into numerous languages. There's been hundreds of years of effort on a wide scale that has enabled us to have faithful copies today.
Finding sources here or there that make various claims has at least the same burden to fulfill. These authors published what they wanted to see.
There's an old saying by a Calvinist theologian to a King that was looking for a good excuse to cast some blame on the Christians in the 1500s that goes something like "Sire, the Church is and anvil that has worn out many hammers".