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Author Topic: christianity from paganism  (Read 4931 times)

arete

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christianity from paganism
« on: October 14, 2018, 02:27:36 pm »
Paganism is by far older than christianity. Christianity was influenced heavily from paganism, even though christians don't want to admit it. What did christianity take from Paganism?
I'll say the holy trinity. Pagans knew that 3 is a sacred number connected to the gods. Also Gods have a certain ''job'' to do that distincts them from other gods. So the 3 gods of the holy trinity have their own job like the pagan gods. So the trinity is heavily inluenced by pagans by number and performance. :)

Chatelaine

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 02:49:26 pm »
Paganism is by far older than christianity. Christianity was influenced heavily from paganism, even though christians don't want to admit it. What did christianity take from Paganism?
I'll say the holy trinity. Pagans knew that 3 is a sacred number connected to the gods. Also Gods have a certain ''job'' to do that distincts them from other gods. So the 3 gods of the holy trinity have their own job like the pagan gods. So the trinity is heavily inluenced by pagans by number and performance. :)

Christianity 'took' nothing from Paganism, or you would no longer have it.

If you want to talk about common elements that Paganism and Christianity share, there's plenty to explore.
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MadZealot

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 05:01:06 pm »
Paganism is by far older than christianity. Christianity was influenced heavily from paganism, even though christians don't want to admit it. What did christianity take from Paganism?
I'll say the holy trinity. Pagans knew that 3 is a sacred number connected to the gods. Also Gods have a certain ''job'' to do that distincts them from other gods. So the 3 gods of the holy trinity have their own job like the pagan gods. So the trinity is heavily inluenced by pagans by number and performance. :)

"What did christianity take from Paganism?" Very little, if any.

Also, your characterization of the trinity is wrong, so to accuse Christianity of taking it from any brand of paganism (which isn't a monolithic or uniform belief set, btw) is unsound.
I don't know why so many pagans have a problem viewing Christianity as capable of standing on its own theological feet, so to speak, but it helps to get the details right before jumping into comparison or criticism.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:05:17 pm by MadZealot »
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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 04:42:54 am »
What did christianity take from Paganism?

A lot... a whole lot, actually, just not the things people usually think it took. People like to focus on gimmicks, rituals, festivals, and specific praxic elements of the religion, and attribute Pagan origins to them. A few of these are legitimate, but most such attributions are shaky at best, and in some cases pagans actually stole from the Christians.

No, if you want to know what Christians actually borrowed from paganism, you need to look at philosophy, myth, theology, and doctrine. Much of Christianity is novel and original, but much of it is also borrowed from Mithraism, Neoplatonism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and other non-Abrahamic philosophies.

The entire Christological debate, circa the 5th century, happened because of the pagan influence on Christianity. Platonic ideas about the transcendent nature of God, which weren't (necessarily) present in the Jewish tradition, lead to Christians debating the nature of Christ. Dyophysitism and Monophysitism are both influenced by ideas about God that predate Christianity.

That's just one example where Pagan thinking deeply influenced Christian doctrine, there are many others!

If you want to see where Christians really borrow from pagans, don't look at Christmas or Halloween, look at the writings of Origen, Clement, Augustus of Hippo, and other Chruch fathers, whose worldview was deeply rooted in that of classical paganism.
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Goddess_Ashtara

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 07:48:02 am »
Paganism is by far older than christianity. Christianity was influenced heavily from paganism, even though christians don't want to admit it. What did christianity take from Paganism?
I'll say the holy trinity. Pagans knew that 3 is a sacred number connected to the gods. Also Gods have a certain ''job'' to do that distincts them from other gods. So the 3 gods of the holy trinity have their own job like the pagan gods. So the trinity is heavily inluenced by pagans by number and performance. :)

Religions are inspired by religions that came before them. 

Religions utilize favorable elements from other religions and combine those elements with their own culture, worldviews and original ideas to create something awesome and relevent to their creators or people.  This is how countless religions are born.  This happens with Abrahamic religions and this happens with pagan religions. It is not what I would call stealing or taking.  It is just how culture tends to develop and evolve.




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arete

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 12:52:51 pm »
Christianity 'took' nothing from Paganism, or you would no longer have it.

If you want to talk about common elements that Paganism and Christianity share, there's plenty to explore.
The first Christians were all pagans and their thinking was paganistic. It's natural they would view the new religion through pagan lens.

Jabberwocky

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 12:55:50 pm »
The first Christians were all pagans and their thinking was paganistic. It's natural they would view the new religion through pagan lens.

No they weren't. They were Jews.
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arete

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 12:56:09 pm »
Christianity as capable of standing on its own theological feet
Christianity can't stand on it's own. It's a mixture of Jewish and paganism. At least that's how I understand it.

arete

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 12:59:46 pm »
Religions are inspired by religions that came before them. 

Religions utilize favorable elements from other religions and combine those elements with their own culture, worldviews and original ideas to create something awesome and relevent to their creators or people.  This is how countless religions are born.  This happens with Abrahamic religions and this happens with pagan religions. It is not what I would call stealing or taking.  It is just how culture tends to develop and evolve.
Christianity has no originality I can think of. Maybe the love your enemy could be their originality, though.

arete

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 01:03:08 pm »
No they weren't. They were Jews.
Christianity wasn't limited to Jews only. And most Jews rejected christianity.

Chatelaine

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 01:05:02 pm »
The first Christians were all pagans and their thinking was paganistic. It's natural they would view the new religion through pagan lens.

Define 'paganistic thought'? The Fathers of the early Church were well versed in Greek philosophy and used the tools they had learned to articulate the faith in a way their culture would understand. As Jabberwocky said, the first first Christians were Hebrews and they viewed Christ's teachings as the fulfilment of the Law.

Keep in mind that: (1) Religions don't develop independently from the rest of the cultures around them, and (2) The vast majority of early Christians were functionally illiterate and didn't have and relied on teachers from their cultures to explain things to them.
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Jabberwocky

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 01:12:16 pm »
Christianity wasn't limited to Jews only. And most Jews rejected christianity.

In its very early days, Christianity was specifically a Jewish sect.  The separation didn't come until later.  Possibly quite a lot later; there's evidence of Jewish Christians being active in communal life (including synagogues) until at least 4 CE.

The dispute was more about a) whether Gentile converts could be accepted and b) if they were required to follow Jewish law if they were. 

It is true that most Jews rejected Christanity, but that's because it was a small sect following a specific messanic claimaint.  Most Jews rejected Simon bar Kokhba but his movement was unquestionably entirely Jewish in character.
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arete

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 01:14:26 pm »
Define 'paganistic thought'? The Fathers of the early Church were well versed in Greek philosophy and used the tools they had learned to articulate the faith in a way their culture would understand. As Jabberwocky said, the first first Christians were Hebrews and they viewed Christ's teachings as the fulfilment of the Law.

Keep in mind that: (1) Religions don't develop independently from the rest of the cultures around them, and (2) The vast majority of early Christians were functionally illiterate and didn't have and relied on teachers from their cultures to explain things to them.
I particularly mean the council of Nicaea. There were bishops from all Roman, defining God. The nicene creed and the holy trinity are heavily influenced by pagan philosophy. in nicaea they made father god, son god, and holy spirit god. the bible never says son and holy spirit are god.

Jabberwocky

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 01:15:33 pm »
Define 'paganistic thought'? The Fathers of the early Church were well versed in Greek philosophy and used the tools they had learned to articulate the faith in a way their culture would understand. As Jabberwocky said, the first first Christians were Hebrews and they viewed Christ's teachings as the fulfilment of the Law.


Made even more complicated by the fact that many of the Church Fathers were heavily influenced by the Jewish philosopher Philo. While Philo's combination of Hellenic philosophy and Judaism never got much traction in mainstream Judaism he definitely was a monotheist and not a Pagan.
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arete

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 01:19:58 pm »
In its very early days, Christianity was specifically a Jewish sect.  The separation didn't come until later.  Possibly quite a lot later; there's evidence of Jewish Christians being active in communal life (including synagogues) until at least 4 CE.

The dispute was more about a) whether Gentile converts could be accepted and b) if they were required to follow Jewish law if they were. 

It is true that most Jews rejected Christanity, but that's because it was a small sect following a specific messanic claimaint.  Most Jews rejected Simon bar Kokhba but his movement was unquestionably entirely Jewish in character.
True. But Christianity as a religion grew big when romans started to join, particularly emperors. and they were all pagans.

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