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Old December 22nd, 2017, 06:46 AM   #1
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The originality of Christianity


Hello! I was just watching a BBC documentary featuring the wonderful Dr James Fox, and in a particular instance, he mentions that while Christianity was not original in its precepts, there was one thing that stood out, i.e., its disdain for wealth and ostentatious display. However - and correct me if I'm wrong - religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which are much older than Christianity, preached the same things. Isn't Dr Fox then making a seemingly tall claim? Or should I assume he is talking merely of the Western civilisation?
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 10:24 AM   #2

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Nothing original about that. I would say the only original aspect of Christianity is it's perpetuating nature. It wants everyone to be Christian and holds extremely low and flexible standards to achieve this. It is at the point where a person only need to identify as Christian and then they are.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 03:08 PM   #3

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Wouldn't the origin of Christianity be Judaism?

Jesus and the Twelve Apostles and Saul/Paul were all Jews.

So, yes and no.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 04:58 PM   #4
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Christianity seems to have the most historical parallels with the tale of Romulus(son of god, virgin birth, minus the brother). I think it's very possible these elements of the religion came to be as the result of the religions development in the Roman Empire.

I've heard many like Bill Maher bring up other parallels but this is the one that stuck in my head as making the most sense.

The Devil was straight up stolen from Zoroastrianism and even as a Christian child it seemed kind of shoehorned into the Bible(this important deity that gets mentioned so much is in like one new testament story where he just pops up out of nowhere?). Now as an Agnostic adult it just seems really obvious that there was clear motive to putting the devil into the Bible as it's hard to promote moral dualism when there's no supernatural bad guy.

But yeah more curious about what Christianity particularly Nicene Christianity borrowed from other religions to make the story of Jesus.
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Old December 23rd, 2017, 02:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
Wouldn't the origin of Christianity be Judaism?

Jesus and the Twelve Apostles and Saul/Paul were all Jews.

So, yes and no.
The origin of Christianity for my mind would have to be Zoroastrianism.
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Old December 23rd, 2017, 02:56 AM   #6

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Christianity came out from Jewish environments and its roots were in Judaism. The point is when what we call "Christianity" reached the level of evolution we know.

I wouldn't forget the influence of Mithraism [very diffused in the Empire] which was, with all probability an evolution of Zoroastrizm. The problem about this connection is that there are no documented evidences allowing to identify the Persian Mithra with the Roman one. About this influence, it was figurative and probably liturgical [in the archaeological site of a Mithraeum it's possible to admire representations of "saints" with a nimbus].

Regarding the OP, probably Dr Fox has been impressed by what Jesus said in a so clear and direct way about how is better to be poor, humble ... but it's not so unique.
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Old December 25th, 2017, 11:47 AM   #7

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Old December 25th, 2017, 02:56 PM   #8

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It appealed to the lower classes of the Roman Empire, and provided comfort in the Crisis of the Third Century, to the point that Constantine saw its virtues.

Roman religion emphasised hierarchy, Christianity doesn't. It was ironically Roman religion that enabled the Empire to form and spread.
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Old December 25th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #9
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It appealed to the lower classes of the Roman Empire, and provided comfort in the Crisis of the Third Century, to the point that Constantine saw its virtues.

Roman religion emphasised hierarchy, Christianity doesn't. It was ironically Roman religion that enabled the Empire to form and spread.
The Catholic Church of the Middle Ages deeply emphasised hierarchy, and the catholic church today still does. Christianity changed from it's early roots, to a state religion heavily invested in the power of the state and it's own hierarchy by the time of the middle ages. After it' initial period up to Constantine it's spread might have been based on appeal and comfort, after that it's alliance with the state was a major factor, Kings backed the church because the Church was backing Kings with a system of belief that favoured Kings.

Christianity evolved and continues to do so.
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Old December 25th, 2017, 07:10 PM   #10
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The idea that Christianity or rather modern Christiianity is rooted exclusively in Judaism is erroneous.
Helenism -the influence of ancient Greece and Rome which heavily influenced Roman culture and philiosophy was an equally major force in defining Roman Catholicism up to and after the Reformation.
Hellinism rejected the vengefu,l punishing, Hebrew concept of of JAWEH the avenger and pumisher of sinners.
That's why Scottish Presbyterianism was Calvinistic i.e heavily Judaic in its prectices and stern unforgiving attitude to sinners.which the poet Robert Burns satirised in his poem 'HOLY WILLIE 'S PRAYER' where stern Calvinist Willie glories in GOD sending 'one to heaven and nine to hell' and damnation.
Hellenism with its more tolerant view of sinners was/ is at the base of the RC practice of confession where a Catholic will tell he priest how long it he has been since his last confession then tell the Priest all his most recent mortal sins which are forgiven with a prayer penance(ten Hail Mary's etc) and the slate is rubbed clean with God until the next time.
In contrast in Calvinistic Presbyterianism all sins go into the black book for all eternity until on death the sinner faces an uuncertain future before his/her maker on the day of judgement.
On the other hand ,some Protestant churches reject the idea that you can work your ticket to paradise by good behaviour and acts of contrition.They cite the doctrine that Justification (being saved from hell) is by faith alone based on the Book of Romans in the new Testament. This is the doctrine with which Martin Luther launched the Reformation.
'Justification by Faith lone isthe lynchpin of all modern Protestant evangelists like Billy Billy Graham where foks come forwrd declae publicly that they taske Jesus Christto be their personal Saviour and are henceforth saved subject to subsequently observing decent personal behaviourial codes
Howeven, the Manichees were declared hertics by the RC church because they taught that ALL MATERIAL THINGS WERE INNATELY EVIL AND CORRUPT. -including people.
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