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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:53 am 
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Hi Acharya. In reading recent discussion on this thread, I went looking for images of how the Christian cross motif draws from earlier sources. I found just what I was looking for in your opening post! (extract quoted below)

Just to draw attention to some of your comments on the symbolism of the cross as set out below, there is obvious continuity in the way the Christian Gospel of John depicts Marys at the cross drawing from the Egyptian Isis and Nephthys at the djed pillar, just as John draws from Osiris for his Lazarus story, with Mary and Martha again giving new life to Isis and Nephthys.

On the four directions, in about 3000 BC the four cardinal points of the sky, marking the positions of the sun at the equinoxes and solstices, were occupied by the grand cross of the four bright ecliptic stars Aldebaran (Taurus the Bull), Regulus (Leo the Lion), Antares (Scorpio the eagle/scorpion) and Fomalhaut (near Aquarius the man). From these four stars in a cross, Ezekiel obtained the four living creatures who also appear in Revelation and are the symbols of the four evangelists, hence the reason Irenaeus said there must be four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the four points of the cross, appearing as the four creatures at the four corners of the mandorla, the cosmic Christ in the vesica piscis.

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The four cardinal stars have drifted away from the season turning points due to precession of the equinoxes. They will return to these positions when Fomalhaut becomes the spring equinox star at the end of the Age of Aquarius.

Here is a 1515 painting by Albrecht Altdorfer showing Christ on the cross between Mary and John, more like the Egyptian version.

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And here we see Adam and Eve on either side of the tree of knowledge, with the snake

(Spain 15th century).
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And Florence c. 11th century
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There is a line of connection between this Genesis tree snake image and Numbers 21:8 "The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live" and John 3:14 "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him."

Clearly, when we see the pagan use of the snake on the pole as in the God Aion (Time/Age), there is an esoteric cosmic dimension here to this snake-tree-Christ-Age symbolism that is based in long ancient observation of the sky. The true astral story has been suppressed by Christian orthodoxy, with its relegation of the tree of life to before and after history in Genesis and Revelation. Instead, the tree of life is contorted into an instrument of political torture, and the alienated error of this unnatural symbolism is compounded by the Christian argument that the cross of Christ is history rather than myth.

There is a lot of fascinating symbolism of the cross, especially its link to the redemptive message that the last shall be first. Even the Christian idea that the cross of Christ represents how the truth was despised and rejected, embodied in the man of sorrows as Isaiah said, has some ironic merit.
Acharya wrote:
Pre-Christian Gods on Crosses or in Cruciform

...
The most common concept is the sun as the ruler of the four directions. At times it also represents the sun and the solstices and equinoxes. Overall, it's a solar symbol for the most part. Hence, sun gods were placed on it or in cross-shape/cruciform.
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Winged goddess (Isis) in cruciform on King Tut's sarcophagus.

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Horus with arms outstretched in vault of heaven, from Samuel Sharpe's Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum (143). This image was originally on a papyrus and is here and in Christ in Egypt depicted upside down for purposes of more readily illustrating the point.

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Osiris as personified djed pillar holding the sun, surrounded by the two sisters Isis and Nephthys - called the Merti - found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Ani Papyrus, plate 1, c. 13th-15th cents. BCE.

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Christ on the cross, surrounded by the three Marys, per John 19:25


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Thanks, Robert. Now that's the kind of scientific and rational thinking that I welcome here. One simply cannot be clear-thinking if one is involved in and biased by a religious cult, obviously. Nor can those who take myths literally comprehend their esoteric and allegorical meaning. Recall what the Talmudic text the Gemara says:

Quote:
"The Bible is like water, the Mishna like wine: he that has learned the scripture, and not the Mishna, is a blockhead." Rabbinical saying from the Gemara

Church father Origen also understood this concept of allegory not being comprehensible by the "vulgar":

Quote:
"The learned may penetrate into the significance of all oriental mysteries, but the vulgar can only see the exterior symbol. It is allowed by all who have any knowledge of the scriptures that everything is conveyed enigmatically." Origen, Contra Celsus (1.12)

The famous rabbi Maimonides was clear that at least one part of the Pentateuch, the book of Genesis, was not to be taken literally:

Quote:
"We must not understand or take in a literal sense, what is written in the book on the creation [Genesis], nor form of it the same ideas, which are participated by the generality of mankind, otherwise our ancient sages would not have so much recommended to us, to hide the real meaning of it, and not to lift the allegorical veil, which covers the truth contained therein. When taken in its literal sense, that work gives the most absurd and most extravagant ideas of the Deity. Whosoever should divine its true meaning, out to take great care in not divulging it." Rabbi Moses Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed (2.29)

We submit that much of the rest of the Bible too must not be understood in a literal sense. Here we are dealing with allegory, not historical fact. In exploring these allegories, we are following in the long line of erudite biblical commentators from antiquity, as opposed to the "vulgar" and "blockheaded" literalists.

The Triple Deity

As we can see here and as is even stated boldly on Wikipedia, the motif of the three figures is common all over the world, especially in the Near East. Many of these triplet, triune or trinity images represent three facets of the same being, a god or goddess, generally.

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The Semitic goddess Qudshu-Astarte-Anat or Qetesh, resembling an Egyptian icon, with a Hathor head and headdress, holding snakes in her left hand and reeds (?) in the right, surrounded by hieroglyphs

Other triplet images incorporate subordinates or figures involved in the myths of these deities, as in the Eden images you provided. The comparison of the Eden snake with Jesus and Moses's serpent fetish is appropriate, and the artists or their patrons of the works you included were undoubtedly aware of the scriptures you cite. I am working with those same scriptures in showing that Moses is in part an ancient serpent god. As Brandeis University linguist Dr. Michael Astour comments:

Quote:
For the Hebrew Môše, too, the association with the Canaaneo-Sumerian serpent-god seems to be much more convincing than with the pale banal Egyptian hypocoristic [diminutive] from some name composed with ms(w) “born.” The ophic features of Moses are very pronounced: his sacred emblems are the serpent-wand and the bronze serpent on a pole; his tribe is Levi, whose name signifies “serpent” and who was the son of Leah, the “cow”...; he is a healer in the full sense of this word, knowing both how to cause and to heal diseases.

(Astour, Michael C. Hellenosemitica. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1967; p. 231)

I have the research demonstrating these contentions and mention the scripture at John 3:15.

In the meantime, I'm also showing that Moses was modeled significantly after Gilgamesh, and concerning that myth too we have artifacts with the triune or triplet configuration:

Image

The image above shows Gilgamesh and his adopted brother, Enkidu, surrounding the giant of cedar mountain, Humbaba, whom they kill. To me, this episode in the epic represents, among other things, a desire of the Amorites - the Semites who invaded Mesopotamia and destroyed the Sumerian civilization while adopting its gods, becoming the Babylonians - to take over the lucrative cedar industry run by the "Phoenicians."

In any event, this episode parallels Moses and Aaron killing a giant, as in the Amalekites or other battle (or the David-Goliath mythical episode).

The point here is, of course, that this triune or triplet configuration of gods or heroes and their subordinates or challengers and so on is very old and obviously copied within Christian iconography. The point is also that there are many images of deities in cruciform with two figures on either side, also reworked by Christianity.

The triplet motif of a central figure with two flanking entities was common and popular in pre-Christian antiquity, and anyone who wanted to create a competing religion would want to incorporate it. Hence, using Plato's description of the "crucified world soul" and "suffering just man," along with the imagery in Isaiah 53 and other scriptures, the creators of Christianity incorporated this mysteries motif as a central feature, with Christ depicted as crucified. The passion of the god by whatever means also predates Christianity by many centuries. Osiris and Dionysus are torn to pieces and resurrected back to life, and so on.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:27 pm 
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Acharya wrote:
Thanks, Robert. Now that's the kind of scientific and rational thinking that I welcome here. One simply cannot be clear-thinking if one is involved in and biased by a religious cult, obviously. Nor can those who take myths literally comprehend their esoteric and allegorical meaning.
The cross is an allegorical cosmic symbol of the four corners of the sky. The Christian use of the cross as its central cultic image involves both a hidden understanding of the cosmic meaning and a displacement of this meaning into a secular political cause, the expansion of the church. To expand, the church initially required both a secret esoteric priesthood able to read and understand the old mythic literature, and also a broader constituency, ordinary members able to provide both social and financial support. Elaine Pagels in The Gnostic Paul describes the social structure of the early church in three categories, the Pneumatic initiates, the Psychic church members and the Hylic general public. The Pneumatics are philosophers who understand the meaning of text as allegory, the Psychics are believers who generally accept text as the basis of ritual faith, and the hylics are materialists who lack interest in religion but have political and social power, as the ignorant majority. These three categories correspond both to Plato’s view of society in The Republic/i], and to Orwell’s description in [i]1984 of the Inner Party, the 1% of decision makers, the Outer Party, 10% of educated people who implement the policies formed by the Inner Party, and the Proles, the great unwashed.

As the church Romanised, the Outer Party of orthodox believers found that it could ally with the Proles to isolate and suppress the Inner Party of Gnostic initiates. This political process was like how Stalin used the Communist Party and secret police to manipulate mass opinion and purge the Old Bolsheviks who had made the revolution.

This sociology of faith maps directly to the explanation attributed by all four Gospels to Jesus of a secret movement of initiates who understand the mysteries of heaven, while the stories given to the general public are myths. Jesus says (Mark 4:34; Matt 13:10-11, 34) that everything told to the public is a parable, whlle the truth is reserved for the initiates. The whole story of the historical Jesus including the passion can be viewed as a parable, a public story with a hidden symbolic meaning, designed to provide a believable account to expand public interest. For the Gnostic initiates, the whole story of Jesus is explained as a cosmic parable, with Jesus as a symbol of the sun and the cross marking the path of the sun around the sky. Nazareth too makes sense in this framework as a parable, aiming to provide a believable historical story, while also pointing to a concealed meaning, the Nazarene holy order whose origins go to the stories of Noah and Samson the Nazirite. Nazareth is allegory for Nazarene, an organisation rather than a location.
Acharya wrote:
Recall what the Talmudic text the Gemara says:
Quote:
"The Bible is like water, the Mishna like wine: he that has learned the scripture, and not the Mishna, is a blockhead." Rabbinical saying from the Gemara


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mishnah explains that Mishnah is a redaction of oral Torah compiled over the centuries just before and after Christ. In this water-wine Bible-Mishnah analogy, the raw text requires refinement to concentrate its value, just as a grape vine takes up water to make grapes which are used to make wine. We cannot understand popular science and history books properly except by detailed study of specialised texts, and nor can we hope to understand the Bible by taking its surface message as literal truth. We have to look for the deeper content, seen by the context of continuity with older religious traditions. The later political suppression of these diverse traditions by Christianity has blinded theology to the need to place Biblical literature within a rational framework, just because literalism was so aggressive in stamping out knowledge of the real allegorical origins.
Acharya wrote:
Church father Origen also understood this concept of allegory not being comprehensible by the "vulgar":
Quote:
"The learned may penetrate into the significance of all oriental mysteries, but the vulgar can only see the exterior symbol. It is allowed by all who have any knowledge of the scriptures that everything is conveyed enigmatically." Origen, Contra Celsus (1.12)


Origen of Alexandria is a fascinating figure. As we have discussed previously, Contra Celsus provides an extraordinary absence where he fails to notice the purported mention of Jesus by Josephus. Origen was one of the great Christian believers, but became something like what Stalin would call a “useful idiot”, a well meaning advocate who failed to see the real politics at play. After being celebrated for his early defence of faith on the assumption that Jesus Christ existed, Origen was later dumped by the church as a heretic because of statements such as the one you quote on the significance of all oriental mysteries. The etymology of Origen’s name links to Horus, with his Greek name Ōrigénēs (Ὠριγένης) translating as "child of Horus" (from Ὧρος, "Horus", and γένος, "born"). suggesting contact with Egyptian religious traditions, even though his intent was to support the Christian dogma.

The Roman Empire brought a clash between a western military power structure and what Origen calls “the significance of all oriental mysteries.” This clash of east and west is embedded in the archetypal conversation between Christ and Pilate, where Christ says he has come into the world as a witness to the truth, and the pragmatic Pilate asks “What is truth?”. The mystery initiates, from Greece, Israel, Egypt, Babylon and India, could not defeat the Roman power of the sword in the struggle for control of the church, so they encoded their cosmic knowledge in allegory, much of which still survives in the New Testament, including the symbol of the cross. The Gnostics appropriated the Roman crucifix, the imperial weapon to suppress and humiliate sedition, to symbolise the return of the repressed. The message of cross and resurrection is that the empire can not defeat the cosmos, that nature will eventually triumph through eternal cosmic truth, and that the partial secular distorted controlling political vision of empire has to be replaced by a bottom-up love for diversity in which those ignored by the world are most important, celebrated in the idea of the Sermon on the Mount that the meek shall inherit the earth.
Acharya wrote:
The famous rabbi Maimonides was clear that at least one part of the Pentateuch, the book of Genesis, was not to be taken literally:
Quote:
"We must not understand or take in a literal sense, what is written in the book on the creation [Genesis], nor form of it the same ideas, which are participated by the generality of mankind, otherwise our ancient sages would not have so much recommended to us, to hide the real meaning of it, and not to lift the allegorical veil, which covers the truth contained therein. When taken in its literal sense, that work gives the most absurd and most extravagant ideas of the Deity. Whosoever should divine its true meaning, ought to take great care in not divulging it." Rabbi Moses Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed (2.29)

Thanks for this material from the Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides. I am particularly interested in perplexity. In my Masters Thesis, I mention how Plato addressed perplexity:
Quote:
Heidegger indicated the perplexing perennial mystery at the centre of philosophy when he began Being and Time by quoting from Plato's Sophist: ‘For manifestly you have been long aware of what you mean when you use the expression 'Being'. We, however, who used to think we understood it, have become perplexed’.
Genesis is most certainly a perplexing book. How the views of the various secret mystery traditions ended up in the extant text is a forensic puzzle that we will never fully solve. But I think a good starting point is to assume the writers came from traditions with a deep reverence for natural cycles, and encoded natural messages in the supernatural imagery such as the snake in the tree which later became Christ on the cross. For example, the seven days of creation map to 7000 years in the Augustinian cosmology of fall and redemption, using Psalm 90:4 and the epistle 2 Peter 3:8 to see a thousand years as a day for God. It is interesting now to look at this real historical slow sweep of time against the actual change of the cosmos, seen in precession of the equinox as the 3.5 Ages of Taurus, Aries, Pisces and half of Aquarius.
Acharya wrote:
We submit that much of the rest of the Bible too must not be understood in a literal sense. Here we are dealing with allegory, not historical fact. In exploring these allegories, we are following in the long line of erudite biblical commentators from antiquity, as opposed to the "vulgar" and "blockheaded" literalists.
Yes, and that shows why astrotheology is central to a scientific reading of the Bible. The fantastic mythological stories are meaningless without a cosmology, and the ancient cosmology of the astronomer-priests indicates a fertile networking of spiritual ideas that was crushed in the monolithic conformity of orthodox dogma. Getting behind the dogma to deconstruct what it really means leads to findings that overturn the presuppositions of traditional faith, while also showing how the scientific method can expand to address the evidence encoded in religious mysteries.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:50 pm 
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Christ crucified is an evolving memetic archetype.

The signal at John 3:14 comparing Jesus on the cross to the snake on a pole illustrates how an earlier natural cosmic understanding was corrupted, forgotten and hidden, and yet is announced at the centre of the Christian message. "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up."

Here we see from Sumer (Kuwait) the oldest known snake on a pole, as discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panbabylonism#Gods and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ningishzida .
Image
This Caduceus motif dates from the third millennium before Christ. Like the Mithraic Aion statue, each snake has six coils. The twelve coils illustrate the precession of the equinoxes, symbolising the twelve ages of the zodiac by the snake as the chthonic rhythm of nature, the natural order that was formalised as the Logos of cosmic reason, and later imagined as the incarnation of Christ.

The meme of snake on pole as natural cosmic wisdom was unacceptable to the Jewish belief in human superiority over nature and demonising of the snake as Satanic. We therefore see that this snake on a pole motif was transformed into the symbol of the crucified messiah, together with two companions or weepers. This memetic transformation is explained explicitly at John 3:14-15 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life."

Consider this material against the famous John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The internal logic of the Gospel links achievement of eternal life to worship of the snake on a pole. John compares Jesus to the snake, and says this provides the logical basis - through the connecting words "so that" and "for" - for belief in Christ as the basis of eternal life.

In terms of astrotheology this all makes perfect sense. The real eternal story is the movement of the sky, the slow sweep of the heavens seen in precession of the equinoxes. The Babyonian priest-seers were well aware of precession, and embedded this deep natural observation in the symbol of the twelve coils of the old Sumerian snake on the pole.

Over the Christian Age of Pisces, the Christ meme has been captured by a false supernatural delusion which has sought to destroy natural spiritual vision. Restoring the scientific connection between the Christ meme and the older symbol of the snake on a pole recognises the sanctity of nature seen in the cosmic structure of time embodied in the slow wobble of the earth. The precession is symbolised by the twelve coils of the snake, forming the rod of Moses, and going back even further to the old Babylonian god Ningishzida, whose name translates as 'lord of the good tree'.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Thanks, Robert!

See, here is why it's taken me so long to finish my Moses book. In it, I discuss the importance of the serpent cult, including the brazen serpent fetish raised up by Moses and symbolic of Jesus. And now you come along with this interesting post that I will now need to pore over. At the very least, the image will need to be included. Cool stuff.

You seem to take to this information and perspective like a duck to water. Congrats at being able to rise above the smog in order to see the clear sky... :D

Loved our times together in the Yucatan - the skywatching and all the rest! It was great to have you there.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:48 pm 
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The problem with all these theories is that the cross wasn't even the main Christian symbol for the first 400+ years of Christianity, so if it was copied due to its popularity that much, they sure forgot about it fast! Yes, the cross was used in baptism in the late 2nd century, where the baptized had water made as a cross on his forehead, but that's a minor detail that obviously doesn't make the cross that big a symbol. The mistake here, particularly in Robert Tulip's analysis, is that he is looking at history with a 2000 year hindsight - something that the first century Christians obviously did not.

As for the supposed Caduceus motif, this is completely unrelated to the crucifixion since the imagery Jesus uses is the bronze snake on a pole mentioned in Numbers in the Old Testament. That motif may have symbolized healing in Moses' day, but that's hardly a motif of syncretism. Not to mention that most of the examples here of cruciforms and so on are so much more ancient than Christianity's day, that nobody knew about them and thus they hardly exerted any kind of influence. Had the cross and crucifixion been such popular motifs, the mystery religions (which were gaining significant influence in the second century) would have surely used them, and they didn't until Christianity popularized the cross and crucifixion and resurrection as we see from post-Christian literature like Lucian's De Dea Syria and information from later documents like Macrobius' Saturnalia.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Cornelius wrote:
The problem with all these theories is that the cross wasn't even the main Christian symbol for the first 400+ years of Christianity, so if it was copied due to its popularity that much, they sure forgot about it fast!
Hello Cornelius. Your analysis here is very superficial. Paul said "We preach Christ crucified." Within the word of faith proclaimed in kerygma, cross and resurrection are central to the story of salvation. You are saying that the iconic fetish of the cross was a later development, but that ignores the centrality of the idea of the cross for the Gospels and Epistles.
Cornelius wrote:
Yes, the cross was used in baptism in the late 2nd century, where the baptized had water made as a cross on his forehead, but that's a minor detail that obviously doesn't make the cross that big a symbol. The mistake here, particularly in Robert Tulip's analysis, is that he is looking at history with a 2000 year hindsight - something that the first century Christians obviously did not.
Cornelius, you should look to yourself when talking about mistakes, especially your apparent suggestion to ignore the Biblical canon as a basis for understanding 400+ years of Christianity. Have you not heard for example of the Nicene Creed? Well within your 400 years it states that Christ was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. And this for something about which you say "they sure forgot about it fast!"
Cornelius wrote:

As for the supposed Caduceus motif, this is completely unrelated to the crucifixion since the imagery Jesus uses is the bronze snake on a pole mentioned in Numbers in the Old Testament. That motif may have symbolized healing in Moses' day, but that's hardly a motif of syncretism.
I understand why Acharya got frustrated with you when you make such bizarre comments that have failed to understand my comments that you discuss. To repeat, John 3:14-15 (leading in to the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16), says "14"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life." This "even so" indicates syncretism as a motif, flatly contradicting your assertion. The Caduceus, a pair of snakes on a pole, is not "completely unrelated" to the single snake on a pole, especially when we consider their shared relation to healing through Moses and Hermes. How you can make such a false assertion is surprising.
Cornelius wrote:
Not to mention that most of the examples here of cruciforms and so on are so much more ancient than Christianity's day, that nobody knew about them and thus they hardly exerted any kind of influence.
I am glad to see you are interested in how earlier iconography may have influenced Christianity. Here is a picture of Horus raising Osiris from the dead, beneath a cross-like motif.
Image
Source http://www.pyramidofman.com/Djed/

Again Cornelius, you make an extreme statement without evidence: "nobody knew about them and thus they hardly exerted any kind of influence." Sorry but that reads as some kind of apologetic for Christian history with its false claims of lack of connection to older traditions. But I appreciate you raising it, since it provides opportunity to look at information on fascinating motifs such as the djed, and how it participates in the typology of the cross. http://www.pyramidofman.com/Djed/ says "Mythologically, the 'Raising of the Djed' symbolised the resurrection of Osiris, and with its annual re-enactment represented the death and renewal of the yearly cycle. Osiris is referred to as "Lord of the Year" in the Pyramid Texts and that he was also the god of agriculture meant that his annual resurrection ensured the stability of the abundance of the next season's crops."

This webpage on The Concept of the Djed Symbol by Vincent Brown is actually an excellent site to read to consider cruciform mythology, for example showing the connection between the Four Sons of Horus and the Four Evangelists and Four Living Creatures as marking the four corners of the sky in the cosmic cross.

Cornelius wrote:
Had the cross and crucifixion been such popular motifs, the mystery religions (which were gaining significant influence in the second century) would have surely used them, and they didn't until Christianity popularized the cross and crucifixion and resurrection as we see from post-Christian literature like Lucian's De Dea Syria and information from later documents like Macrobius' Saturnalia.


Crucifixion was in the Roman time a symbol of humiliation for sedition. It symbolised the might of Rome to crush all dissent. For Christianity to throw this back in the face of the empire, ridiculing Rome's power by associating its torture device with the old cruciform imagery of the four corners of heaven, certainly has some level of novelty. The Empire cannot defeat Nature, and that is the message of the resurrection. The natural symbolism of the cross raises the problem of how we connect the politics of Christianity, in which the cross is originally a symbol that the last shall be first, with the cosmology of Christianity, which says 'as in heaven so on earth' and refers back in its central images to very old cruciform visions of the four corners of the heavens.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:24 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
The problem with all these theories is that the cross wasn't even the main Christian symbol for the first 400+ years of Christianity, so if it was copied due to its popularity that much, they sure forgot about it fast!


Hello Cornelius. Your analysis here is very superficial. Paul said "We preach Christ crucified." Within the word of faith proclaimed in kerygma, cross and resurrection are central to the story of salvation. You are saying that the iconic fetish of the cross was a later development, but that ignores the centrality of the idea of the cross for the Gospels and Epistles.


Preaching Christ crucified is one thing. Having a popular motif of a cross is quite another. If the cross was such a popular motif as this thread tries to imply, the cross would not have been neglected as a symbol for such a long time. The centrality of the Gospels and Epistles is not the cross, it is the resurrection.

Quote:
Quote:
Yes, the cross was used in baptism in the late 2nd century, where the baptized had water made as a cross on his forehead, but that's a minor detail that obviously doesn't make the cross that big a symbol. The mistake here, particularly in Robert Tulip's analysis, is that he is looking at history with a 2000 year hindsight - something that the first century Christians obviously did not.


Cornelius, you should look to yourself when talking about mistakes, especially your apparent suggestion to ignore the Biblical canon as a basis for understanding 400+ years of Christianity. Have you not heard for example of the Nicene Creed? Well within your 400 years it states that Christ was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. And this for something about which you say "they sure forgot about it fast!"


They mention it as a historical and factual part of the faith. They don't utilize the cross as a widespread symbol. At first the symbol that Christians used to represent their faith was the fish (ichthys), and sometimes dove. Then it became the Chi-Rho (Constantine's day). It isn't until about the fifth century, correct me if I'm wrong, that the cross/crucifix becomes the symbol of Christianity. Not to mention that had the Christians thought all these parallels cited here had any weight, those such as the Egyptians (Glazier Codex) would not have utilized the ankh to represent the cross!

Quote:
Quote:
As for the supposed Caduceus motif, this is completely unrelated to the crucifixion since the imagery Jesus uses is the bronze snake on a pole mentioned in Numbers in the Old Testament. That motif may have symbolized healing in Moses' day, but that's hardly a motif of syncretism.


I understand why Acharya got frustrated with you when you make such bizarre comments that have failed to understand my comments that you discuss. To repeat, John 3:14-15 (leading in to the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16), says "14"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life." This "even so" indicates syncretism as a motif, flatly contradicting your assertion. The Caduceus, a pair of snakes on a pole, is not "completely unrelated" to the single snake on a pole, especially when we consider their shared relation to healing through Moses and Hermes. How you can make such a false assertion is surprising.


Wait, I'm the one making bizarre comments who is to be frustrated with? You and Acharya S find some super-stretched similarities here and there in the hopes of justifying this unscholarly ahistorical thesis. As I explained, the caduceus may have symbolized healing, but this has nothing to do with any pagan symbolism being copied. There is nothing that connects Moses with Hermes with healing besides the bronze snake, and this is quite honestly no parallel, especially since Moses is very pre-Hermes, as is Numbers - the Jews had no contact with Greek religion prior to Alexander the Great for them to make some kind of connection with Moses and Hermes. As for other religions, this is again an assumption that the caduceus was overtaken from religious use as opposed to the general meaning of health - kind of like how Theos/Deus refers to Zeus in Greco-Roman paganism, and was overtaken by Christians to mean God.

Quote:
I am glad to see you are interested in how earlier iconography may have influenced Christianity. Here is a picture of Horus raising Osiris from the dead, beneath a cross-like motif.
Image
Source http://www.pyramidofman.com/Djed/


Assuming the image even is a cross, this motif is by no means widespread, nor popular, not to mention it has nothing to do with Osiris' resuscitation there other than a graphic design by the Egyptians. Osiris is in no way associated with a cross, least of all his coming back to life. Simply put, this motif in no way found its way to even Hellenized Jews such as Philo (born and lived all his life in Alexandria, Egypt), let alone Christianity which has virtually no contact in any major form with Egypt or its religion.

Quote:
Again Cornelius, you make an extreme statement without evidence: "nobody knew about them and thus they hardly exerted any kind of influence." Sorry but that reads as some kind of apologetic for Christian history with its false claims of lack of connection to older traditions. But I appreciate you raising it, since it provides opportunity to look at information on fascinating motifs such as the djed, and how it participates in the typology of the cross. http://www.pyramidofman.com/Djed/ says "Mythologically, the 'Raising of the Djed' symbolised the resurrection of Osiris, and with its annual re-enactment represented the death and renewal of the yearly cycle. Osiris is referred to as "Lord of the Year" in the Pyramid Texts and that he was also the god of agriculture meant that his annual resurrection ensured the stability of the abundance of the next season's crops."


I don't think you can call the absence of a popular crucifix/cross motif, let alone one widespread, an apologetic - it's simply a historical reality, and you can call it anything you want. The djed is not a cross nor cross motif, nor again, anything popular in contact with Christianity. This is simply a stretch beyond the imagination, and you can make anything a parallel with this type of parallelomania. "Lord of the Year" is unrelated to Christianity, and I'm well aware that the Egyptian mythos had Osiris rise every season for the agriculture - that's not a resurrection in the Christian sense, nor is it a motif that has a semblance to Christian belief other than a god, found in many cultures, coming back to life to signify vegetative rebirth.

Quote:
This webpage on The Concept of the Djed Symbol by Vincent Brown is actually an excellent site to read to consider cruciform mythology, for example showing the connection between the Four Sons of Horus and the Four Evangelists and Four Living Creatures as marking the four corners of the sky in the cosmic cross.


Well, unless you want to say that it is a myth that we have four evangelists, the four sons of Horus are completely unrelated to the fact that the New Testament has four Gospels/Evangelists. This has absolutely no connection to anything. The cosmic cross, an ancient motif, has no relation whatsoever to Christ on the cross.

Quote:
Quote:
Had the cross and crucifixion been such popular motifs, the mystery religions (which were gaining significant influence in the second century) would have surely used them, and they didn't until Christianity popularized the cross and crucifixion and resurrection as we see from post-Christian literature like Lucian's De Dea Syria and information from later documents like Macrobius' Saturnalia.


Crucifixion was in the Roman time a symbol of humiliation for sedition. It symbolised the might of Rome to crush all dissent. For Christianity to throw this back in the face of the empire, ridiculing Rome's power by associating its torture device with the old cruciform imagery of the four corners of heaven, certainly has some level of novelty. The Empire cannot defeat Nature, and that is the message of the resurrection. The natural symbolism of the cross raises the problem of how we connect the politics of Christianity, in which the cross is originally a symbol that the last shall be first, with the cosmology of Christianity, which says 'as in heaven so on earth' and refers back in its central images to very old cruciform visions of the four corners of the heavens.


Nobody would have: 1) seen any cruciform imagery with four corners of heaven - this is a motif that is too old for anyone to recognize by the first century AD as the foundation of the various old myths such as Ixion. 2) Crucifixion was a laughable situation for someone's God to be in as we read in Paul and see in the Alexamenos graffito. So no one would have invented this when it wasn't even popular or widespread in first century Judea. There is no verse that says "as in heaven so on earth" and connects your logic of a heavenly cross (this is the sun by the way, not the sky) with the Earthly cross of Jesus, nor do I see how a cross is related to "the last shall be first". Very old cruciforms were never popular in the first century. Unless you want to suggest the Judeans invented archaeology, they never understood cruciform meanings (which do not always represent the four corners of anything). Had this cross motif been so popular, the mystery religions in Rome would have taken it up long before Christianity popularized it. They didn't, which puts all of these unsupported, imaginative theories to rest.

This whole logic is so futile, there's really no point in trying to refute it. With this same logic you can prove that Napoleon was also invented (try here: http://www.tektonics.org/lp/nappy.html ), or various other personages (e.g. David Strauss). People can find numerous similarities where no genuine connection exists. For example Paul and Josephus. Heck, I can even give you a mythical origin for Acharya S. Watch this, using the logic found in this thread:

1. In Palmdale, California there is a street called Avenue S. This is shortened on billboards on the freeway to Ave S.
2. Charya tantra, Upa tantra, or Ubhaya tantra is a yana (literally "vehicle") of Esoteric Buddhism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charya), so we see that Acharya has the "motif" of vehicle.
3. Avenue and venue, as we all know, are places where people drive/meet.
4. Palmdale has had the street Avenue S long before D.M. Murdock took the penname Acharya S.
5. Thus, Acharya S took her name from the motif of the various streets in the U.S. named Avenue S, while driving her car.

Not convinced? Now you know how I feel. Try to refute my logic the same way I've been attempting and see why I don't agree with you when you state that you "understand why Acharya got frustrated with you when you make such bizarre comments". Give me a couple of decades like Acharya and I'll prove that all of the board members here are figments of your imagination.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:21 am 
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Cornelius wrote:
Preaching Christ crucified is one thing. Having a popular motif of a cross is quite another. If the cross was such a popular motif as this thread tries to imply, the cross would not have been neglected as a symbol for such a long time. The centrality of the Gospels and Epistles is not the cross, it is the resurrection.

This idea that the cross was neglected as a symbol by Christianity is absurd. It may not have been a theme of early Christian art, but consider these mentions from the Bible
Quote:
Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which
the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by
becoming obedient to death-- even death on a cross!
Ephesians 2:16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the
cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with wisdom
and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Mark 15:32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may
see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
Mark 15:30 come down from the cross and save yourself!"
John 19:17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). ...
John 19:19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross.
John 19:25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. ...
Matthew 10:38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. ... If you refuse
to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.
Matthew 27:32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Luke 14:27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
So, Cornelius, you can accept all this Biblical references to the cross, which do indeed suggest the cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith, the source of the “message” of Paul, and yet argue that not only was the cross not a “popular motif” for early Christianity, but they “neglected” it. You are being very selective in your reading.
Cornelius wrote:
They mention it as a historical and factual part of the faith. They don't utilize the cross as a widespread symbol. At first the symbol that Christians used to represent their faith was the fish (ichthys), and sometimes dove. Then it became the Chi-Rho (Constantine's day). It isn't until about the fifth century, correct me if I'm wrong, that the cross/crucifix becomes the symbol of Christianity. Not to mention that had the Christians thought all these parallels cited here had any weight, those such as the Egyptians (Glazier Codex) would not have utilized the ankh to represent the cross!
The Chi Rho cross symbol is from Plato’s Timaeus, where the X symbolises the cross in the sky made by the Milky Way and the zodiac. These cross mythemes were gradually amalgamated. But again, you seem to think the talismanic use of the cross as a totem in the Middle Ages is the only thing that will demonstrate its popularity as a symbol. In the early days, the cross had a searing immediacy as the symbol of Roman oppression. Its use by Christians was a savage insult directed towards Rome. In this context, the sort of “popularity” you describe among a persecuted isolated sect is hardly to be expected. That only came when the church acquired power and had to redeem itself, finding the convenient words of Colossians “making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Cornelius wrote:
Wait, I'm the one making bizarre comments who is to be frustrated with? You and Acharya S find some super-stretched similarities here and there in the hopes of justifying this unscholarly ahistorical thesis. As I explained, the caduceus may have symbolized healing, but this has nothing to do with any pagan symbolism being copied. There is nothing that connects Moses with Hermes with healing besides the bronze snake, and this is quite honestly no parallel, especially since Moses is very pre-Hermes, as is Numbers - the Jews had no contact with Greek religion prior to Alexander the Great for them to make some kind of connection with Moses and Hermes. As for other religions, this is again an assumption that the caduceus was overtaken from religious use as opposed to the general meaning of health - kind of like how Theos/Deus refers to Zeus in Greco-Roman paganism, and was overtaken by Christians to mean God.
The Caduceus image I posted was from Sumer in the third millennium BC, giving the snake on the pole plenty of time to spread and mutate as a central religious symbol, seen in Eden, Exodus, Hermes and finally the anthropic mutation to Christ on the cross. You toss out cheap polemics Cornelius, such as your bald assertion that “There is nothing that connects Moses with Hermes with healing besides the bronze snake, and this is quite honestly no parallel.” You should be more modest regarding such a sweeping denial that similar things are connected. I hope Acharya’s Moses book will be able to show that such denial of parallels involves wilful blindness. You said you “explained the caduceus may have symbolized healing.” Where was that explanation?
Cornelius wrote:
Assuming the image even is a cross, this motif is by no means widespread, nor popular, not to mention it has nothing to do with Osiris' resuscitation there other than a graphic design by the Egyptians. Osiris is in no way associated with a cross, least of all his coming back to life. Simply put, this motif in no way found its way to even Hellenized Jews such as Philo (born and lived all his life in Alexandria, Egypt), let alone Christianity which has virtually no contact in any major form with Egypt or its religion.
The ankh and the djed are Egyptian precursors of the Christian cross. The ankh that Horus holds to resurrect Osiris is like a magic wand in a cruciform type shape.
Cornelius wrote:
Quote:
Again Cornelius, you make an extreme statement without evidence: "nobody knew about them and thus they hardly exerted any kind of influence." Sorry but that reads as some kind of apologetic for Christian history with its false claims of lack of connection to older traditions. But I appreciate you raising it, since it provides opportunity to look at information on fascinating motifs such as the djed, and how it participates in the typology of the cross. http://www.pyramidofman.com/Djed/ says "Mythologically, the 'Raising of the Djed' symbolised the resurrection of Osiris, and with its annual re-enactment represented the death and renewal of the yearly cycle. Osiris is referred to as "Lord of the Year" in the Pyramid Texts and that he was also the god of agriculture meant that his annual resurrection ensured the stability of the abundance of the next season's crops."

I don't think you can call the absence of a popular crucifix/cross motif, let alone one widespread, an apologetic - it's simply a historical reality, and you can call it anything you want.
I did not “call the absence of a popular crucifix/cross motif an apologetic.” I called your denial of connections between Christianity and other religions an apologetic type argument. You are claiming to know far more about early Christianity than the evidence supplies, and indeed are in conflict with evidence, in your denial that they connected with other spiritual traditions through shared myths.
Cornelius wrote:
The djed is not a cross nor cross motif, nor again, anything popular in contact with Christianity. This is simply a stretch beyond the imagination, and you can make anything a parallel with this type of parallelomania. "Lord of the Year" is unrelated to Christianity, and I'm well aware that the Egyptian mythos had Osiris rise every season for the agriculture - that's not a resurrection in the Christian sense, nor is it a motif that has a semblance to Christian belief other than a god, found in many cultures, coming back to life to signify vegetative rebirth.
Of course Jesus Christ is Lord of the Year, just as he is King of Ages in Rev 15. His birth date is regulated by the winter solstice, and his death is fixed by the spring equinox. He represents the ascending half of the year, while John the Baptist represents the descending half. You are wilfully ignoring the solar imagery in Jesus Christ by your attempt to separate him from the year.
Cornelius wrote:
Well, unless you want to say that it is a myth that we have four evangelists, the four sons of Horus are completely unrelated to the fact that the New Testament has four Gospels/Evangelists. This has absolutely no connection to anything. The cosmic cross, an ancient motif, has no relation whatsoever to Christ on the cross.
Your statements here are merely dogmatic repetitions of tradition, failing to engage with evidence. Of course the Four Evangelists are in some sense mythical, especially in their zodiac symbols drawn from Ezekiel and the Sons of Horus. The alpha and omega, symbolising the beginning and end of time, are routinely shown with the cross. The mandorla of Christ Lord of All shows the four fixed zodiac signs at its four corners. The fourfold of up and down, left and right forms a natural cross that orients us to the heavens. Cosmology is central to the Biblical vision, but its presence is put into code for political reasons.
Cornelius wrote:
Nobody would have: 1) seen any cruciform imagery with four corners of heaven - this is a motif that is too old for anyone to recognize by the first century AD as the foundation of the various old myths such as Ixion.
Anyone who looked up into the heavens, as Jesus purportedly did in Mark 8 in order to produce the abundant loaves and fishes, could see the four points of the solstices and equinoxes making a grand cross in the sky.
Cornelius wrote:
2) Crucifixion was a laughable situation for someone's God to be in as we read in Paul and see in the Alexamenos graffito. So no one would have invented this when it wasn't even popular or widespread in first century Judea.
The key ethical message of Christianity was ‘the last shall be first’. This meant that those who are most humiliated by the Empire are revered. Crucifixion was wildly popular in first century Judaea, at least if we accept the claim by Josephus that the Romans kept crucifying Jews until they ran out of wood. But maybe that is not what you meant by popular?
Cornelius wrote:
There is no verse that says "as in heaven so on earth"
The Lord’s Prayer says ‘thy will be done on earth as in heaven’. This means the same, and I have read that in literal translation from the Greek it actually says ‘as in heaven so on earth’.
Cornelius wrote:
and connects your logic of a heavenly cross (this is the sun by the way, not the sky) with the Earthly cross of Jesus,
The fact that the Bible does not explicitly state that the four living creatures represent Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius does not affect the simple coherence of this parallel between sign and signified. The sun appears to travel around the sky, moving through one of these four constellations every three months. The triumph of the cross is the victory of nature over empire.
Cornelius wrote:
nor do I see how a cross is related to "the last shall be first".
That is simple. Anyone who is crucified is placed among the last, in terms of the values of the world. But the last are first for God. As Paul says in Philippians 2, “
Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him
Cornelius wrote:
Very old cruciforms were never popular in the first century.
You are both fixated in your theory of popularity, and dogmatic about what was going on in societies about whom such matters are hardly known.
Cornelius wrote:
Unless you want to suggest the Judeans invented archaeology, they never understood cruciform meanings (which do not always represent the four corners of anything).

What would you know? Ezekiel discusses the four living creatures, which symbolise the four corners of the sky. If you deny that you are burying your head in a hole.
Cornelius wrote:
Had this cross motif been so popular, the mystery religions in Rome would have taken it up long before Christianity popularized it. They didn't, which puts all of these unsupported, imaginative theories to rest.
Your sweeping assertion about putting theories to rest does not follow from your repeated irrelevant focus on popularity. The cross only became popular when Christians attained power. Until then their core symbol was subversive.
Cornelius wrote:
This whole logic is so futile, there's really no point in trying to refute it.

That is an insult and an error. An apologist would naturally assert that questioning the One True Faith is futile. Anyone else would not stoop to such tactics. Revealing the actual origin of Christianity is not futile.
Cornelius wrote:
With this same logic you can prove that Napoleon was also invented (try here: http://www.tektonics.org/lp/nappy.html ),

Oh good, so its tektonics, the fundamentalist bully site. One small difference between Jesus and Napoleon though – no one noticed Jesus until generations after he supposedly lived, and then only in coordinated interdependent texts with zero independent corroboration.
With your same logic Cornelius, you can prove to your own deluded satisfaction that black is white, and continue to ignore reality and sow apologetic confusion about history.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Now that we can expect no more interruptions from hecklers in denial trying to shore up their faith at all costs, I will repeat here again that our studies here are perfectly valid and that they reveal a pattern obviously "borrowed" by the creators of the Christ myth in order to incorporate a very ancient and extremely popular mythical motif from pre-Christian religion and mythology.

The counterarguments based on faith have been refuted repeatedly, and we are not interested in having such non-constructive disruptions on our forum. What we are interested in are facts within the scholastic field of comparative religion and mythology, not endless statements of faith with no factual substance.

In the meantime, again, the Christian crucifix motif is clearly included in the fictional gospel tale in order to incorporate a common and popular motif found in numerous places for centuries to millennia previous to the supposed advent of the "historical Jesus." This fact has been proved essentially here. That mythical motif was incorporated into the gospel tale. Endless distractions, red herrings, snide remarks and so on will not change those facts.

Now, those who are interested in this important mythical motif may feel free to continue posting examples of it from antiquity without disruptive hecklers proselytizing their male-dominant cults based on blind belief.

Thank you.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:47 am 
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Acharya wrote:
our studies here are perfectly valid and they reveal a pattern obviously "borrowed" by the creators of the Christ myth in order to incorporate a very ancient and extremely popular mythical motif from pre-Christian religion and mythology.
It is worth expanding on what is meant by the statement that the cross was a popular ancient motif predating Christianity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciform_passage_grave explains that
Quote:
Cruciform passage graves describe a complex example of prehistoric passage grave found in Ireland, west Wales and Orkney and built during the later Neolithic, from around 3500 BC and later.

They are distinguished by a long passage leading to a central chamber with a corbelled roof. From this, burial chambers extend in three directions, giving the overall impression in plan of a cross shape layout. Some examples have further sub-chambers leading off the three original chambers. The network of chambers is covered by a cairn and revetted with a kerb.

A common trait is megalithic art carved into the stones of the chambers' walls and roofs. Abstract designs were favoured, especially spirals and zig-zags.

Examples are Newgrange in Ireland, Maeshowe in Orkney and Barclodiad y Gawres in Anglesey.


The cruciform shape is very old, dating to the stone age as seen in the cruciform graves in the British Isles, and illustrating the natural division of directions by the four points of the compass. A tradition with such a venerable past deserves to be called popular.

The popularity of the four directions motif of the cross is shown by its independent use in diverse cultures, such as this example from Mexico.

One issue here is that religion has both an exoteric or public side and also an esoteric or secret side. Much of the interpretive study of cruciform imagery links to the esoteric secret traditions in religion, in view of its astronomical content. We see this esoteric cross reference in the use of coded descriptions in the Bible to discuss the cruciform symbolism of the four directions.

Esoteric work can still be popular, for example in art, while the esoteric teachings themselves can remain hidden. There is sometimes a lack of material evidence for a popular cultural motif that is explained mythologically, such as Paul's use of the cross. The Christian cross only gradually crystallised as an icon, but the cosmic dimension was there from the start, given the Pauline veneration of the cross as a symbol of cosmic faith in Philippians and Colossians.

Looking further at Colossians 1:15-20, we find

Quote:
15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


Here we find a series of cosmic references, the unity of all things in heaven and earth, summed up in the motif of the cross. Reading such a text is vastly deepened if we see this cross symbol as referring to the actual unity of the heavens, encompassed by the four points of the compass.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Thanks, Robert. It's nice to be able to read logical and rational commentary on my forum.

Cruciform Necklaces/Crucifixes from the 3rd to 4th Millennia BCE

In any event, while I was looking for an illustration of the cruciform passage graves, I stumbled upon this neat little photo of cruciforms from Cyprus, dating to the Chacolithic period around 3500-2500 BCE:

Image

Note the description on this Bryn Mawr University page uses the term "cruciform" to depict these images: "Chalcolithic picrolite cruciform figurines and beads. Found at Souskiou."

Here is a major purpose of this thread, to illustrate that the cross vastly predates the Christian era. It is clear that these images in cruciform were hung, as if crucifixes, possibly around the neck. We have other images of people wearing crosses or crucifixes of humans in cruciform around their necks, long predating the common era. The correlation between these images - whether or not there is a visible cross upon which they are placed - and the Christian crucifix is blatantly obvious.

Since people were wearing or hanging these cruciforms or crucifixes around their necks for centuries to millennia prior to the common era, it is very disingenuous to pretend that this motif was not deliberately incorporated into Christianity, using the fictional device of Christ's crucifixion. In order to usurp and subordinate such longheld religious practices, a new religion absolutely would need to incorporate the cross and a human either upon it or in cruciform.

According to hecklers and trolls trying to shut down this discussion, the common people led into the Christian faith should not know about all these pre-Christian religious artifacts and ideas that demonstrate unoriginality in Christianity.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:54 am 
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Quote:
You tell them Cornelius!

Quote:
Christianity arose in an absolute divine vacuum
. With a conduit to Yahweh and his consort Asherah.
There was no pre-existing mythology of cultures like the Egyptians,Assyrians,Persians, Greeks etc.. who dominated vast territories to corrupt pure Christianity. All these artifacts of crosses/crucifixes do not compare to the divinely preserved artifacts of Christ and Christianity. We have mountains of archaeological evidence for Christ crucified (We have the Cross itself, divinely preserved, we have the nails - divinely preserved, we have the very loin cloth - divinely preserved, his sandals - also divinely preserved...)

All these other purported crucified figures are mythological and post Christianity. They are not the one and true religion which arose in the divine vacuum.

Continue to be a soldier of Christ,attempting to use reason to defend non-reason, logic to defend the illogical and science to defend the unscientific. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide your heart brother.

It appears that even our brother in Christ Gunnar Samuelsson has written the books of books on Crucifixion:

Quote:
Abstract
This study investigates the philological aspects of how ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew/Aramaic texts, including the New Testament, depict the practice of punishment by crucifixion. A survey of the ancient text material shows that there has been a too narrow view of the “crucifixion” terminology. The various terms are not simply used in the sense of “crucify” and “cross,” if by “crucifixion” one means the punishment that Jesus was subjected to according to the main Christian traditions. The terminology is used much more diversely. Almost none of it can be elucidated beyond verbs referring vaguely to some form(s) of suspension, and nouns referring to tools used in such suspension. As a result, most of the crucifixion accounts that scholars cite in the ancient literature have to be rejected, leaving only a few. The New Testament is not spared from this terminological ambiguity. The accounts of the death of Jesus are strikingly sparse. Their chief contribution is usage of the unclear terminology in question. Over-interpretation, and probably even pure imagination, have afflicted nearly every wordbook and dictionary that deals with the terms related to crucifixion as well as scholarly depictions of what happened on Calvary. The immense knowledge of the punishment of crucifixion in general, and the execution of Jesus in particular, cannot be supported by the studied texts.


Quote:
"I am not saying no 'crucifixions' took place I[sic] the ancient world. But we cannot find evidence of them in the ancient texts," he added.


This fellow brother of Christ has much to say dear Cornelius. It would further the cause of our one and true Saviour if you would avail yourself of his research efforts.

http://www.exegetics.org/Dissertation.html


Just for the record the above was pure sarcasm :twisted: on my part...

We have no evidence for a "divine vacuum" but Christian apologist like Cornelius demonstrate by there rhetoric that such is their unstated assumptions(which is based on faith by the way). To wit, they spew rhetoric against any demonstration that Christianity was part and parcel of its surrounding culture!

"With a conduit to Yahweh and his consort Asherah"...

This statement was to demonstrate what scholars know via archaeological discoveries. Who would have thought!

"There was no pre-existing mythology of cultures like the Egyptians,Assyrians,Persians, Greeks etc.. who dominated vast territories to corrupt pure Christianity."

The cultures of these civilizations were old and preexistent when Christianity was not even a blip in the historical record. Christianity was not pure in the sense of coming directly down from heaven - It drew from many sources around it........and so forth...

Again the above was me being sarcastic :twisted: and not in any fashion a support for the ramblings of Cornelius. Who come in the guise of being reasonable but is just engaging in apologetics - i.e the attempted use of reason to defend unreason.


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Pre-Christian Crucifixions

In consideration of certain fallacious claims made earlier in this thread, such as that there is no written record of a pre-Christian crucifixion, I include this post from another thread, entirely relevant here. As we can see, in the Dionysus myth, the god tortures and crucifies his enemy, the king Lycurgus. In the first century BCE, Diodorus (3.65.5) specifically uses the verb stauroo to describe Lycurgus's crucifixion, the same term employed to depict Christ's crucifixion in the gospels.

A previous post needs needs clarification. To wit:

Quote:
"The Babylonians, Egyptians, Aztecs & others had cross symbols. However, there is no cross in Christianity. No cross at all! There is no cross anywhere in the bible. The words which have been translated "cross" & "crucify" in the New Testament are "stauross" or "stavross" & "stavrooh". All translators, even fundamentalists, agree that a they are not a cross. Liddell & Scotts A Greek-English Lexicon defines "stauross" or "stavross" as "upright pale or stake". W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of New Testament words, another Christian resource, reports that "stauross" or "stavross" - "denotes, primarily, an upright pale or stake." Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith, pp. 203-4

Although it is true that the Greek word σταυρός stauros, as used in the New Testament and elsewhere, means "stake," it is not true that it does not also mean "cross."

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The point here would be that the manner of crucifixion that most of us envision, with a man hanging on a cross after being nailed to through his hands/wrists and feet, was not the typical way in which people were executed when the word stauros is invoked. In other words, the execution by impalement with a stake is often denoted, as in the imagery of Prometheus here:

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Prometheus bound to a wooden stake or stauros, i.e., a cross, on a Greek vase, c. late sixth to early seventh cents. BCE, http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/T21.5.html

However, although here he is staked and not exactly in cruciform, Prometheus was also depicted, on a later vase dating to around 350 BCE, in cruciform, as crucified using chains:

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When ancient writers (e.g., Lucian) describe the cruciform punishment of Prometheus or others, such as Diodorus's depiction of the king Lycurgus's crucifixion by the god Dionysus, they use the related verbs σταυρόω stauroó and ἀνασταυρόω anastauróo, meaning to "impale on a stake" or "affix to a cross." Derived from anastauróo, the term ἀνασταυρῶσαι anastaurosai is used by Diodorus (3.65.5) to depict the crucifixion of Dionysus’s enemy, Lycurgus:

Quote:
καὶ τὸν Λυκοῦργον ζωγρήσαντα τυφλῶσαί τε καὶ πᾶσαν αἰκίαν εἰσενεγκάμενον ἀνασταυρῶσαι.

Diodorus recounts that, after Lycurgus cut the throats of the Bacchantes or followers of Dionysus, the god took the king prisoner, plucked out his eyes, tortured and abused him, and "nailed him to the cross."

During the Roman era, these texts were translated into Latin, and the various forms of σταυρόω stauroó were rendered with forms of the Latin verb crucifigere, meaning "to fix to a cross," crucifixum, etc. There is no question that the σταυρός stauros was taken to mean both a stake and a cross, as is also the case in the Greek and Latin editions of the early Church fathers' writings, including by Justin, Tertullian, Origen and Minucius, who discuss the "cross" using both the Latin crucifix and Greek stauros.

The bottom line is that both the impalement and crucifixion were described using the term σταυρός stauros or a related form. This same concept is described using terms for "stake," "cross," "tree" and "wood."

Liddell & Scott

Now, if we look specifically at Liddell and Scott (1900:62), we will find the same definition of ἀνασταυρόω anastauroó:

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As concerns the word stauros, while Liddell & Scott (1900:743) does not specify "cross" in its definition of stauros, other than in a Christian context, we need to continue to see that the verb stauroo is described as "to crucify":

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Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

As concerns the commentary in Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, the reference denoting the "primary" meaning as "an upright pale or stake" does not preclude the word's connotation as "cross." In the entry "Cross, Crucify," Vines further states:

Quote:
The stauros denotes (a) "the cross, or stake itself," e.g., Matt. 27:32; (b) "the crucifixion suffered," e.g., 1 Cor. 1:17,18, where "the word of the cross," RV, stands for the Gospel; Gal. 5:11, where crucifixion is metaphorically used of the renunciation of the world, that characterizes the true Christian life; Gal. 6:12,14; Eph. 2:16; Phil. 3:18....

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For more information, see my ebook A Pre-Christian 'God' on a Cross?.

See also my previous stauros post.

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Why suffer from Egyptoparallelophobia, when you can read Christ in Egypt? Try it - you'll like it:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:17 pm 
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Very interesting...in light of all this how can people still think Jesus is historical?


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