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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:45 am 
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Mriana wrote:
Roger, you need to look again. Some of those scholars you call writers, do have Ph.D.s. So you really do need to get your facts straight before you jump to conclusions about them.


I'm not aware of any inaccuracy in what I wrote.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:11 am 
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Tat Tvam Asi wrote:
tat tvam asi wrote:
Now of course it would have better if no one every called them "disciples" to begin with...


Roger Pearse wrote:
Indeed so. Once people do, they have the little problem that it isn't true. And then they face the difficult problem: "do I keep saying it when people tell me it isn't true, because I like it so much" which makes them liars "or do I admit I was wrong" which such people have difficulty with. Live is a vale of sorrows, in such circumstances.


I know what you're talking about here Roger and yet I don't see these people as "liars" at all. You haven't acknowledged that the 12 disciples of Christianity represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. I know that they do.


I'm happy that you are so certain on a subject not in any way related to the discussion. But you will appreciate that it isn't my problem to help you with.

Quote:
The minute some one says that they were wrong for saying Mithras also had 12 disciples they are then immediately up against the underlying truth of the matter which is that the 12 disciples myth and the 12 signs of the zodiac around Mithras in the imagery are the very same reference to the fixed constellations that "follow" the sun around the ecliptic path. It's an allegory about the movement of the heavens above which is making use of the second function of mythology, the cosmological function.


The subject that we are addressing is a narrow and limited one, tho: whether it is historically correct to say that Mithras had twelve disciples/followers/companions. Larger and looser stuff has to wait!

It is true to say that Mithras is depicted surrounded by the zodiac. It is not true -- there being no evidence for it -- to say that Mithras had twelve disciples/followers/companions.

The questions you raise here seem to me larger, looser, and much harder for anyone to demonstrate are true. I tend to stick to the simple and verifiable. I find so many people get these wrong, that I have limited confidence in their ability to be right on stuff which is much harder to get right and know one gets right.

Quote:
but the 12 signs of the zodiac surrounding Mithras are still the very same as the 12 disciples of Jesus in the end.


If I understand you correctly, you mean, not that the zodiac around Mithas equals "12 disciples/companions/followers" -- for which no evidence exists --, but rather that the 12 disciples of Jesus are in fact the zodiac. If so, I would leave the latter claim to you to establish, if you could, but it isn't the issue before us.

Quote:
... You've demonstrated here time and again that you haven't taken this issue to it's full depth


You're quite right.

I feel we must start with an extremely simple approach to "deep questions" which purport to be about ancient history. Because I want facts. There are all sorts of liars out there, most deluded, some cynical, and I would prefer to work from the right raw facts. Wouldn't we all?

* First we should restate them in our own words. This is because some writers have such power that the magic of their style conceals logical ineptitude. Few writers that you read are so gifted, but one who is is Earl Doherty. This step forces us to work out whether we do actually understand what is being said.

* Then we must look to see what (if anything) is testable. If it is not testable, it's not based on evidence, and is rubbish.

* If it is testable, we should test it by simply looking up the supposed statement of fact in some reference encyclopedia; verify it against the primary sources. If it is true, we may accept it; if it is not, we should ignore it.

This is the only way to deal with the junk hypothesis.

There are endless books about "the real Jesus", all different, none worth our time. All of them fail these tests. They all adopt the same tactics to avoid engaging with the facts, so as to spin a tale.

Let us remember that we are all going to die soon. We have only so much time. There is a world out there of things to do, and not enough life for any of us to do more than a fraction of them. I would like to learn Coptic and Arabic, for instance. I have, regretfully, recognised that I simply never will. So we really need to avoid these pit-traps of nonsense that simply waste what we have no more of -- time to go and live.

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and you also reveal to me your personal struggle to understand why certain writers in the past and present have styled the 12 of Mithras as his "disciples" <religious comments about me>


Friend, I don't quite see why you write fiction about me. Please don't. For one thing, you're merely guessing about who I am and how I feel, so this is only going to be true by accident. For another, it is rude, and liable to change the subject into personal insults. Finally, it is irrelevant; the "ad hominem" argument (i.e. "you only say this because you are a Jew/Christian/etc") is a well-known fallacy, surely?

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:32 am 
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roger_pearse wrote:
If it is not testable, it's not based on evidence, and is rubbish.

The term "rubbish" here implies the logical fallacy that anything that cannot be proven is automatically false. I cannot prove to you that I ate eggs for breakfast on Saturday, but the untestability does not make it rubbish. In fact it is true.

The suggestion that Mithras had twelve disciples may be more within the realm of theological speculation than direct historical evidence, but that does not make it rubbish. The indirect evidence is strong, especially the zodiac around the tauroctony. Mithras was identified with Sol Invictus, the invincible sun, as explained in Acharya's paper. This basic identification with the sun means that any attributes of the sun can also be applied mythically to Mithras.

The sun traverses twelve months each year. This shape of a central core surrounded by twelve secondary entities is a widespread archetype, apparently taken by Christianity from earlier solar religions.

A further archetypal illustration of the central core surrounded by twelve is seen in spherical geometry. A sphere can be touched by precisely twelve other spheres of equal size, no more and no less. This geometric model is an archetype for the messiah and twelve disciples, whether Christ or Mithras. Here the orange in the middle at the bottom has six oranges around it and three on top. Putting this stack on top of a further level below illustrates how twelve spheres can touch one sphere.
Image

There are numerous similarities between Mithraism and Christianity, from the 25 December birthday to the range of other symbols discussed by Acharya in her excellent paper. Arguing that a claim is false because it cannot be proved, despite abundant circumstantial corroboration, reads more like an apologetic effort to distract attention from how Christianity borrowed from earlier religions than a genuine effort to understand the historical reality. Admit it Roger, your arguments here waddle and quack like rationalisation for Christianity. If not, then what is your motive?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:36 am 
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Robert Tulip wrote:
roger_pearse wrote:
If it is not testable, it's not based on evidence, and is rubbish.

The term "rubbish" here implies the logical fallacy that anything that cannot be proven is automatically false. <snip>


Good luck with believing stuff which is not based on evidence. I'm only here concerned with claims which are supposed to be factual.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:11 am 
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roger_pearse wrote:
Good luck with believing stuff which is not based on evidence.

Please try to be just a little less deceptive and stupid. I didn't say I believe things that are not based on evidence. There is a big difference between joining circumstantial dots to ascertain the most plausible case, which is what I advocate, and your idiotic argument that if you can't squeeze and hold it in your hands it is nothing at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:45 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:00 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:13 am 
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roger_pearse wrote:
In the other Mithras thread, the idea was raised that Cautes and Cautopates, the torchbearers who usually appear either side of the scene in the Tauroctony, 'must' represent the equinoxes.

Would someone like to say why?

All the best,

Roger Pearse


Geez Roger, you must have just woken up because you got this totally in reverse-

People like Acharya keep claiming Mithras had two torchbearers, but they never give any evidence, all they offer are the scenes of him surrounded by the zodiac, while flanked by the sun & moon and the figures of the equinoxes.


So the question REALLY is, why are the equinoxes being called "torchbearers", when there is NO primary source stating as much? Just as there is NO primary source stating the zodiac are the twelve disciples.


There, all fixed for you buddy!

But this is a repeat thread, and mine was first, so yours gets deleted, sorry-

Roger's #2 item on the list

All the best,
you know who!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:25 am 
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Roger, to be fair with you, you're right that we don't have any written texts that spin a myth of Mithras walking around with 12 disciples. What we have is a situation where people have noted that Mithra is displayed with the 12 signs of the zodiac which are sometimes personified. And then people are contrasting that with the fact that the twelve tribes of Israel were ordered to reflect the zodiac above and that in the Jesus myth he picks twelve disciples to represent each of the twelve tribes which were always a reflection of the zodiac all along. The Jesus myth has taken the 12 signs of the zodiac which follow the sun around the ecliptic path and personified them as "disciples of Jesus". And so when looking back at the Mithraic imagery of Mithras surrounded by the same 12 signs of the zodiac which are also personified in some of these images, we find writers making a logical deduction and saying look, Mithras had 12 disciples or follower companions as well which is evident from the imagery.

And the hard truth here is that without having the written texts to explain to us what role these images of the 12 personified signs of the zodiac played in Mithraism, we just don't know for sure. This is a total stale mate, "mate". :wink:

How do you know that the mythology didn't include something to the effect of 12 disciples which then gave rise to the images which take the 12 signs of the zodiac and personify them? You can't. There must be a reason behind the images that we're looking at, right?

When we look at these images of Jesus in the middle of a circle with his 12 disciples given as personified versions of the 12 signs of the zodiac, it's because there was an oral mythology - later written down - about Jesus and the 12 disciples, which then gave rise to the imagery we find that is simply coming behind the written mythology. The mythology has been illustrated in artistic form.

So what about Mithras imagery? It was a mystery school cult so there was probably never any written mythology at all, rather an oral mystery school tradition that was never written down in order to avoid profaning the mysteries. But something or another caused artists to illustrate these personifed images of the 12 signs of the zodiac around Mithras. Could it have been the oral mythological storyline that caused the creation of these personified images of the zodiac? The simplest explanation seems to point squarely at just that. What do you think Roger?

_________________
The Jesus Mythicist Creed:
The "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional composite of characters, real and mythical. A composite of multiple "people" is no one.

The celestial Origins of Religious Belief
ZG Part 1
Jesus: Hebrew Human or Mythical Messiah?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:25 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Tat Tvam Asi wrote:
Roger, to be fair with you, you're right that we don't have any written texts that spin a myth of Mithras walking around with 12 disciples. What we have is a situation where people have noted that Mithra is displayed with the 12 signs of the zodiac which are sometimes personified.


Note: I missed the bit which showed that the zodiac is personified in the mysteries of Mithras, tho.

Quote:
And then people are contrasting that with the fact that the twelve tribes of Israel were ordered to reflect the zodiac above and that in the Jesus myth he picks twelve disciples to represent each of the twelve tribes which were always a reflection of the zodiac all along. The Jesus myth has taken the 12 signs of the zodiac which follow the sun around the ecliptic path and personified them as "disciples of Jesus".


No ancient text records any of this. But suppose this is so.

Quote:
And so when looking back at the Mithraic imagery of Mithras surrounded by the same 12 signs of the zodiac which are also personified in some of these images, we find writers making a logical deduction and saying look, Mithras had 12 disciples or follower companions as well which is evident from the imagery.


I think this idea deceives us by the words it is cast in.

To be valid, it would be necessary to show that the zodiac *always* has such a meaning (and no other) in reliefs, for all cults, at least within the ancient world; and this has not been done. Because, obviously, to be valid it would be more widely valid. It would also be necessary to prove the claims above about the origins of Christian ideas, which are fringe to put it mildly. Then it would be necessary to show that Mithras cultists did indeed borrow these ideas and did indeed express them (because otherwise, how do we know?)

There is no possibility of doing any of these things.

In other words, the argument gives us a false positive, because it hasn't considered all the other possible ways in which two things can resemble each other.

Quote:
And the hard truth here is that without having the written texts to explain to us what role these images of the 12 personified signs of the zodiac played in Mithraism, we just don't know for sure. This is a total stale mate


That is absolutely correct. Bang on, 100%. And I really think we must resist the urge to interpret things without evidence. We should be quite happy to say "I do not know." What is the purpose in us guessing?

Quote:
How do you know that the mythology didn't include something to the effect of 12 disciples which then gave rise to the images which take the 12 signs of the zodiac and personify them? You can't.


You're quite right. But this argument-form is invalid. The presumption here is that X can only mean Y. But actually that claim that X can only mean Y is unevidenced and unnecessary. X can mean A, B, C or D, for all we know.

Perhaps I should explain why I think this? It is because I have seen all this -- not the details, but the type of argument -- many times before. I remember Eric von Daniken, you see, and people exultantly telling me how Jesus was just an astronaut. I remember a good many other people with theories to peddle and books to sell. You can find them, in a CD of book reviews in the Times and Telegraph, just by searching for "Jesus". Book after book will appear from the search, with "this is the real Jesus... this can only mean..." etc. Acharya S's theory is merely one of dozens, hundreds, that have been circulated at this time. They all, without exception, take this very same approach. They, one and all, try to ignore what we do know, create a silence, and then slur over the silence into "this can only mean what works for my theory." And of course they produce as many different "only possible explanations" as there are flowers in the field. The fault is one of methodology, of being insufficiently self-critical. A moment of "can this be true? how do I know?" would have disposed of most of them. The rest probably are merely commercially inspired.

Quote:
There must be a reason behind the images that we're looking at, right?


Presumably so.

Quote:
When we look at these images of Jesus in the middle of a circle with his 12 disciples given as personified versions of the 12 signs of the zodiac, it's because there was an oral mythology - later written down - about Jesus and the 12 disciples, which then gave rise to the imagery we find that is simply coming behind the written mythology. The mythology has been illustrated in artistic form.


You're quite right. We can tell this because we have the literary sources which tell us about the life of Jesus and early Christian beliefs, and we see the same central theme depicted from them, with or without the zodiac. We even get literary sources making the same analogy.

Likewise for Mithras we see these mysterious images of Mithras, standing behind a wall carrying a flame and a dagger, or holding hands with a figure with a radiate crown. They become intelligible because we know that Mithras is described as "rock born" and his initiates as "brothers of the hand-shake". But other images remain bafflingly obscure; even very important ones. I mean, what is the bull? Why is Mithras hunting it? What is the significance of killing it? Nothing tells us of this. Cautes and Cautopates -- what do they do for a living? Nothing reveals this. The loss of 99% of all ancient literature has deprived us of the manuals that Porphyry refers to which might have explained.

Quote:
So what about Mithras imagery? It was a mystery school cult so there was probably never any written mythology at all, rather an oral mystery school tradition that was never written down in order to avoid profaning the mysteries.


I seem to recall Porphyry lists some manuals, by the way.

"Pallas, who is the best of those who have collected what pertains to the mysteries of Mithras, says, that under the Emperor Adrian the sacrificing of men was nearly totally abolished. ... the Magi ... are likewise divided into three genera, as we are informed by Eubulus, who wrote the history of Mithra, in a treatise consisting of many books." (De Abstinentia 4.16.3; The full text of the work is online at my site: book 4 is here).

Actually ... sad person that I am ... when I went to De Abstinentia, in order to copy the url, I started reading. And I found some passages on ... the zodiac in the cult of Mithras.

Porphyry wrote:
For in these mysteries, obscurely signifying our having something in common with brutes, they are accustomed to call us by the names of different animals.

Thus they denominate the males who participate in the same mysteries lions, but the females lionesses, and those who are ministrant to these rites crows. With respect to their fathers also, they adopt the same mode. For these are denominated by them eagles and hawks.

And he who is initiated in the Leontic mysteries, is invested with all-various forms of animals*; of which particulars, Pallas, in his treatise concerning Mithra, assigning the cause, says, that it is the common opinion that these things are to be referred to the circle of the zodiac, but that truly and accurately speaking, they obscurely signify some thing pertaining to human souls, which, according to the Persians, are invested with bodies of all-various forms.

For the Latins also, says Eubulus, call some men, in their tongue, boars and scorpions, lizards, and blackbirds. After the same manner likewise the Persians denominate the Gods the demiurgic causes of these: for they call Diana a she-wolf; but the sun, a bull, a lion, a dragon, and a hawk; and Hecate, a horse, a bull, a lioness, and a dog.


In other words, in the mysteries the souls of men were classified, and labelled by different animals. The 12 signs of the zodiac, then, refer to the twelve different classes of soul, and so show Mithras surrounded by all souls. This presumably relates to the seven grades of initiation in some manner also; maybe some types of soul were incapable of initiation, or were non-initiate (to make up the difference between 7 and 12)? Who knows?

Quote:
But something or another caused artists to illustrate these personifed images of the 12 signs of the zodiac around Mithras. Could it have been the oral mythological storyline that caused the creation of these personified images of the zodiac? The simplest explanation seems to point squarely at just that. What do you think Roger?


Probably so. But ... we can only state as fact that for which we have evidence. Surely?

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:08 am 
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roger_pearse wrote:
Book after book will appear from the search, with "this is the real Jesus... this can only mean..." etc. Acharya S's theory is merely one of dozens, hundreds, that have been circulated at this time. They all, without exception, take this very same approach. They, one and all, try to ignore what we do know, create a silence, and then slur over the silence into "this can only mean what works for my theory." And of course they produce as many different "only possible explanations" as there are flowers in the field. The fault is one of methodology, of being insufficiently self-critical. A moment of "can this be true? how do I know?" would have disposed of most of them.


This argument is very understandable but contains a key flaw in the following fallacious syllogism:
A. Previous arguments to explain the story of Jesus Christ have been wrong
B. This is an argument to explain the story of Jesus Christ, therefore
C. This argument is wrong.

The cynicism about the possibility of new syncretic interpretation of ancient texts implies that just because some past theories are flawed, no new theories are possible. The value in explaining Christ and Mithra as solar deities surrounded by the twelve months of the zodiac is that it provides a basis to reconcile the message of the Bible with modern science. There are numerous coded references to the signs of the zodiac in the Bible. For example the loaves and fishes are the signs of Virgo and Pisces, the twelve jewels of the holy city and the high priest's breastplate are the twelve signs, the alpha and omega is the point of the spring equinox as it moved from Aries to Pisces at the time of Christ, and the man with the water jug represents the age of Aquarius.

It is too easy to laugh off these correspondences as equivalent to chariots of the gods, but that would just be another apologist diversion from debate, a refusal to consider reasoned evidence. The real effort, in your words, "to ignore what we do know, create a silence, and then slur over the silence into "this can only mean what works for my theory"", is seen primarily in the dogma of orthodox Christianity.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:02 am 
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I note that one small snippet was pulled out of my post in order to disagree with it. Unfortunately that distorted what I was saying. I have restored the proper context.

Robert Tulip wrote:
roger_pearse wrote:
You're quite right. But this argument-form is invalid. The presumption here is that X can only mean Y. But actually that claim that X can only mean Y is unevidenced and unnecessary. X can mean A, B, C or D, for all we know.

Perhaps I should explain why I think this? It is because I have seen all this -- not the details, but the type of argument -- many times before. I remember Eric von Daniken, you see, and people exultantly telling me how Jesus was just an astronaut. I remember a good many other people with theories to peddle and books to sell. You can find them, in a CD of book reviews in the Times and Telegraph, just by searching for "Jesus". Book after book will appear from the search, with "this is the real Jesus... this can only mean..." etc. Acharya S's theory is merely one of dozens, hundreds, that have been circulated at this time. They all, without exception, take this very same approach. They, one and all, try to ignore what we do know, create a silence, and then slur over the silence into "this can only mean what works for my theory." And of course they produce as many different "only possible explanations" as there are flowers in the field. The fault is one of methodology, of being insufficiently self-critical. A moment of "can this be true? how do I know?" would have disposed of most of them.


This argument is very understandable but contains a key flaw in the following fallacious syllogism:
A. Previous arguments to explain the story of Jesus Christ have been wrong
B. This is an argument to explain the story of Jesus Christ, therefore
C. This argument is wrong.


This is a misunderstanding of the argument I was making. That particular argument was not part of it. Perhaps if I can summarise again the point I was making.

What I said was that the logic of the argument with which I was disagreeing is wrong. I then *illustrated* the point that the "logic" in question is employed by a great number of people, in exactly the same way, to reach wildly different conclusions. This variation shows that the argument used does not, in fact, point to just one conclusion, and in fact is useless, therefore, for the purpose for which it was deployed.

All the best,

Roger Pearse


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Roger Pearse wrote: "the "logic" in question is employed by a great number of people, in exactly the same way, to reach wildly different conclusions. This variation shows that the argument used does not, in fact, point to just one conclusion, and in fact is useless, therefore, for the purpose for which it was deployed."


Again, this is tendentious as a general statement of logic, with very slippery grasp on what precisely is 'the argument used'. If in fact it is true that Christ and Mithra are cosmic allegory, then the argument that they are cosmic allegory is highly useful, which is the purpose for which it was deployed.

You cannot use the argument that Mithras was not an astronaut to conclude that Mithras was not the invincible sun.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:20 pm 
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Vallhall wrote:
"I am still interested in your opinion about the christian concept of twelve disciples. Where does the concept of the traditional specific twelve disciples in imagery and other forms of symbolism come from?"

roger_pearse wrote:
"I'm afraid I am no expert at all on Christian imagery and symbolism and the development of its art, so what I am about to say may be drivel. The basis for it all seems to be two-fold; the literary materials in the bible, the apocrypha, and to some extent in the fathers on the one hand; but also the imaginative power of the artists of antiquity, also influenced by pre-existing art-forms and pattern books. This is why pagan artists of the 4th century (I am told) start depicting biblical themes in a manner adapted from the workshop pattern books. It takes time, presumably, before a genuinely Christian art comes into existance, which is probably what we would call Byzantine art. Since I don't much care for the latter, my knowledge of it is limited. Interpretation of art is a specialised business, I think, full of pitfalls for the ignorant and unwary.

But I really am quite ignorant on this issue, and may be talking the utmost tosh."

So, there's Roger Pearse admitting that he knows very little about "Christian imagery and symbolism and the development of its art." Is it fair to say that he probably knows even less about the imagery and symbolism of Mithra? Roger has repeatedly dismissed commentary from a variety of Mithraic experts here throughout this thread. Isn't Roger's quote above essentially an inadvertent admission of ignorance on the issue resulting in pseudo-skepticism? Why would anyone take Roger's opinion seriously at this point?

Rogers' entire premise here is based on a straw man argument as well as an utter denial of evidence and these points have been made repeatedly (explained previously many times). At this point, Roger has become a troll and another Christian "Liar for the Lord," as Joseph Wheless used to say.

Rogers' willful inability to understand that, yes, it is a big deal that there are MANY divine figures who are associated with the number 12, because it makes Jesus and his little group all the more unoriginal. Roger obviously believes it's very important too, otherwise Roger wouldn't be here spending so much time with hand-waving dismissals and distractions trying to make people look in other directions rather than at the hard evidence in front of them.

But Roger can continue to play games that soothes his ego for believing in fairytales with no evidence at all. Keep punching those straw men, Roger - it might at least give you a little exercise.

Just stop trolling here and wasting our time with your pathetic arguments. You sound like an old broken record incapable of understanding anything new or remotely resembling common sense. Roger has completely ignored everything that has been established here and evidence that demonstrates that we are not "making it up."

It is well known that both the birth and death of St. John the baptist are some of the oldest celebration dates held by Christianity. His birth is celebrated 3 days after the summer solstice on June 24th, known as St. John's day. And lets not forget that the bible does make it clear that John was born 6 months prior to Jesus in the first chapter of Luke - putting Jesus' birth at Christmas. Here's a thread on Jesus & John's birthdays. While the death of John the baptist by decapitation is celebrated on August 29th, which demonstrates that we are clearly dealing with another mythical character here based in astrotheology as explained below:
Quote:
"...in Gnosticism the 12 signs were the ―"aeons," which were concretely equated with the twelve apostles in the second century.266 In addition, in the seventh century, the famed Churchman Venerable Bede reiterated the tradition of identifying the 12 apostles with the zodiacal signs,267 which was hundreds of years old by that time. As but one example of how gospel characters were created to reflect the zodiac, George R. Goodman states:

"... but the greatest denouement awaits the investigator who makes use of the Julian calendar in the Roman Catholic calendar of Saints in connection with the large zodiac. He will find that the death of John the Baptist is fixed on August 29th. On that day, a specially bright star, representing the head of the constellation Aquarius, rises whilst the rest of his body is below the horizon, at exactly the same time as the sun sets in Leo (the kingly sign representing Herod). Thus the latter beheads John, because John is associated with Aquarius, and the horizon cuts off the head of Aquarius!268"

Murdock summarizes this astrotheological motif:

"...it is no accident that there are 12 patriarchs, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples, 12 being the number of the astrological signs, as well as the 12 ?houses through which the sun passes each day and the 12 hours of the day and night. Indeed, like the 12 Herculean tasks, the 12 ?helpers of Horus, and the 12 ?generals of Ahura-Mazda, Jesus‘s 12 ?disciples are symbolic for the zodiacal signs and do not depict any literal figures who played out a drama upon the earth circa 30 CE.269"

- The new Zeitgeist part 1 Sourcebook, page 68

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beheading_ ... #Feast_day

Now, let us be reminded of the fact that Roger Pearse has already conceded that the iconography of Mithra is surrounded by the 12 signs of the zodiac. The above demonstrates that we do have evidence that St. John the baptist is the zodiac sign of Aquarius. So, the parallel exists and is completely irrelevant if we refer to the 12 as companions, friends, satellites, guides, servants, helpers, apostles, disciples or followers of the sun. The CONCEPT is there. Roger simply has a problem with the reference to "disciples" and that is Roger's issue he needs to work out for himself. It has been thoroughly addressed here.

We have established thus far:

* Roger's entire premise for his argument is based on a straw man fallacy and attempt to re-frame the debate by arguing against a claim that we never made in the first place; we have never claimed that there's a Mithraic text coming outright to say that Mithra had 12 "disciples."

We don't need it - it's just not even necessary. This is YOUR issue Roger that you are hung-up on and can't seem to get over, as well as a hypocritical double-standard. Roger would never apply this same level of criticism towards his own Christian faith.

We have shown evidence to suggest that the 12 are, figuratively speaking, companions, friends, satellites, guides, servants, helpers, apostles, disciples or followers of the sun. So, one absolutely cannot honestly claim we are making anything up or that we have "no evidence."

It's a basic mythical motif across several religions and well-known via syncretism. You are completely wasting our time at this point - the CONCEPT is there and you utterly refuse to acknowledge that point. You've simply re-framed this debate by trying to argue we have made a claim that we did not actually make and I find that fallacious. For example, here's what the article link by Acharya S in the original post here actually states:
Quote:
"These 12 signs are sometimes portrayed as humans and, as they have been in the case of numerous sun gods, could be called Mithra's 12 "companions" or "disciples."

Notice she didn't proclaim that they ARE called "disciples?" She said that they "could be called Mithra's 12 "companions" or "disciples."

And she further states:
Quote:
"The comparison of this common motif with Jesus and the 12 has been made on many occasions, including in an extensive study entitled, "Mithras and Christ: some iconographical similarities," by Professor A. Deman in Mithraic Studies."

So, this whole thing was brought up by Acharya S as a "COMPARISON" up for debate, rather than a bold, positive claim. Roger Pearse obviously had a knee-jerk reaction to the article or at least the word "disciple." I suspect, due to his religious affiliation even though Roger claims otherwise. I think that this thread thus far speaks for itself on that so, I'll let the readers of this thread be the judge of that one.

* It's not reality to expect a secret cult like Mithraism, for the initiated only, to advertise such blatant statements but, it's convenient for pseudo-skeptics (theist & atheist) to omit this factoid. I'm reminded of the US Constitution and the principle of separation between church and state in the 1st Amendment. Nowhere does it say "separation between church and state" in the US Constitution yet, it has been a long held precedent throughout US history.

* The suggestion that the 12 disciples of Jesus are akin to the 12 signs of the zodiac has been discussed since at least the 2nd century by early church fathers themselves as well as many others throughout history.
Quote:
fn 1) In his Against Heresies (2.21), Church father Irenaeus objects to the Gnostic notion that the 12 apostles symbolized the “aeons,” which have been asserted to represent the zodiacal signs. (Legge, II, 152.) Apparently, this association occurred fairly early in Christian history, as Church father Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 211) wrote in his work Excerpta ex Theodota (1.25.2) that, according to the Valentinian Gnostics, “the apostles replaced the signs of the zodiac, for as birth is governed by them, so rebirth is directed by the apostles.”

- Christ in Egypt, page 262

* Here is a precedent for understanding the 12 as anthropomorphized "friends" in a "Hymn to Mithra" via the 8 spoked sunwheel:
Quote:
"...Whose eight friends52 sit as spies for Mithra, on all the heights, at all the watching-places, observing the man who lies unto Mithra, looking at those, remembering those who have lied unto Mithra, but guarding the ways of those whose life is sought by men who lie unto Mithra, and, verily, by the fiendish killers of faithful men."

Roger's very own website article on Mithras discusses the eight astronomical or eight points of the compass.

* The 8 points of the compass or 8 spoked sunwheel are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters; the 12 is for the zodiac.
Quote:
"Christian structures were built upon the ruins of the Pagan temples, such as in the case of the Vatican, which was founded upon the remains of a complex dedicated to the sun god Mithra..."

- Christin Egypt, page 4-5

* St. Peter's Sq. is a Pagan sunwheel. It has an Egyptian obelisk serving as the gnomon of a sundial in the center. These 8 points are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters.

Image

Image

So Roger, the 8 points are the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters, which is the sunwheel; the 12 is for the zodiac.

Image

Also from your own website article on Sol Invictus - the imperial sun cult:
Quote:
"And because, so they say, the active gods help, I shall first invoke them, not the Muses, like Homer and Ennius, but the twelve gods together; nor however the urban deities, whose golden images stand in the forum, six male and as many female, but those 12 gods who are the guides of the farmers. First, Jove and Tellus, who sustain every fruit of the cultivation of the fields in heaven and earth: and so, because like parents, they call them great, Jupiter is called father, Tellus mother earth. Secondly the Sun and the Moon, from whom time is observed, whenever anything is planted or started. Thirdly Ceres..."

- Marcus Terentius Varro, (116 - ca.26 BC), De re rustica, Book 1, 1:5

"...but those 12 gods who are the guides of the farmers" - sounds a like a reference to the zodiac to me. Farmers certainly needed to pay attention to the cycle of the year for proper planting and harvest times as an obvious example.

* Roger admits that Mithras is surrounded by the 12 signs of the zodiac, but has a problem with the use of the word "disciples."

In my opinion, Roger is hung-up on the word "disciple" due to its Christian terminology. We are not - it's just a figure of speech and is the same as saying; companions, friends, satellites, guides, servants, helpers, apostles, disciples or followers of the sun - the *CONCEPT* is there.

* Roger admits: "in Christian texts the zodiac is sometimes associated with the 12 apostles."

* Roger's own website article on Mithras suggests that the signs of the zodiac are far more than just some irrelevant zodiac signs & "nothing more":
Quote:
"...And he who is initiated in the Leontic mysteries, is invested with all-various forms of animals*; of which particulars, Pallas, in his treatise concerning Mithra, assigning the cause, says, that it is the common opinion that these things are to be referred to the circle of the zodiac, but that truly and accurately speaking, they obscurely signify some thing pertaining to human souls, which, according to the Persians, are invested with bodies of all-various forms. For the Latins also, says Eubulus, call some men, in their tongue, boars and scorpions, lizards, and blackbirds. After the same manner likewise the Persians denominate the Gods the demiurgic causes of these: for they call Diana a she-wolf; but the sun, a bull, a lion, a dragon, and a hawk; and Hecate, a horse, a bull, a lioness, and a dog." (Book 4, ch. 16)

- Porphyry, De Abstinentia. 4.16.3 (136)

* Here we have in the book, Lord of the cosmos: Mithras, Paul, and the gospel of Mark By Michael Patella on page 11 describing the scorpion, snake and dog in the iconography below as a "servant" and "companion." (just below the bull). And on page 12:
Quote:
"Disciples of Mithras were all brothers, and Mithras himself was a comes, or intimate friend, and not merely a distant god."

Michael Patella, OSB, is Associate Professor of New Testament at Saint John's University.

Image

Here's a quick list on the symbology of the 12 as listed by Acharya S in the New Zeitgeist Part 1 Sourcebook:
Quote:
"The use of 12 in the Bible itself is so ubiquitous that it is logical to presume these groupings reflect not an actual count, but, rather, a common formulaic theme, based on the prevalence of this sacred number in the Pagan world as well.

Biblical examples:

The 12 Princes of Ishmael (Gen 17:20)
The 12 Sons of Jacob (Gen 35:22)
The 12 Tribes of Israel (Gen 49:28)
The 12 Prophets and Kings of Israel
The 12 Wells of Water (Exd 15:27)
The 12 Pillars of the Lord (Exd 24:4)
The 12 Stones of the Breastplate (Exd 39:14)
The 12 Cakes of the Tabernacle (Lev 24:5)
The 12 Princes of Israel (Num 1:44)
The 12 Oxen of the Tabernacle (Num 7:3)
The 12 Chargers of Silver, Bowls of Silver and Spoons of Gold (Num 7:84)
The 12 Bullocks, Rams, Lambs and Kids of the Offering (Num 7:87)
The 12 Rods of the Princes of Israel (Num 17:6)
The 12 Stones of Joshua (Jos 4:8)
The 12 Cities (Jos 18:24, 19:25, 21:7, 21:40)
The 12 Judges of Israel (Jdg 3, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13)
The 12 Pieces of the Concubine (Jdg 19:29)
The 12 Servants of David (2 Sa 2:15)
The 12 Officers of Solomon (1 Ki 4:7)
The 12 Lions of Solomon (1 Ki 10:20)
The 12 Pieces of Jeroboam‘s Garment (1 Ki 11:30)
The 12 Stones of Elijah (1 Ki 18:31)
The 12 Bronze Bulls of Solomon (Jer 52:20)
The 12 Disciples/Apostles of Jesus (Mt 10:1-2)
The 12 Baskets of Bread (Mt 14:20)
The 12 Thrones in Heaven (Mt 19:28)
The 12 Legions of Angels (Mt 26:53)
The 12 Patriarchs of Israel (Acts 7:8)
The 12 Stars of the Woman‘s Crown (Rev 12:1)
The 12 Gates, Angels and Pearls of Holy Jerusalem (Rev 21:12, 21)
The 12 Fruits of the Tree of Life (Rev 22:2)

Pagan examples:

The 12 Ahhazu or Demons of the Sumerians238
The 12 Tablets/Adventures of Gilgamesh239
The 12 Gods of Egypt240
The 12 Divisions of the Tuat241
The 12 Companions of Horus/Osiris
The 12 Olympian Gods
The 12 Tasks of Hercules
The 12 Daughters of Priam242
The 12 Children of Amphion and Niobe243
The 12 Daughters of Boeotia and Metope244
The 12 Gods of the Romans and Etruscans
The 12 Sons of the Etruscan Mother Goddess245
The 12 Shields of Mars246
The 12 Altars of Janus247
The 12 Aeons of the Gnostics
The 12 Devas of India248
The 12 Names of the Indian Sun God Surya
The 12 Terrifying Aspects of Shiva249
The 12 Adityas of the Indian Mother of Worlds250
The 12 Labors of the Virgin-Born Arjuna251
The 12 Generals of Ahura-Mazda252
The 12 Aesir of the Norse253
The 12 Berserkers of the Norse254
The 12 Mountains of Ebhlenn255
The 12 Horse-Children of Boreas256
The 12 White Horses of the Polish Sun God257
The 12 Stones of Cenn Cruiach258
The 12 Rivers of the Elivagar259
The 12 Horses and Hounds of Gwydion260
The 12 Moons of China261
The 12 Generals of the Japanese Divine Physician262
The 12 Yiyantsinni of the Navaho, Pueblo, Iroquois263
The 12 First People of the Navajo264

So, in the end, Roger has actually helped us emphasize our point and we thank him for his help on that. However, the utter disingenuousness and fallaciousness put forth here by Roger on the motif of the 12 may also be used as an example to compare the arguments against the other parallels as well.

I am locking this thread to stop the trolling until further notice. I'm sick and tired of the same damn fallacious arguments repeated over and over which have already been addressed several times by several different people in their own way. The issue of Mithra and the motif with the twelve has definitely been addressed here. The fact remains that there exists evidence so, we did NOT make it up. Repeating those claims from here on is a blatant lie (talking to you, Roger). If someone has a legitimate post that doesn't contain any trolling or regurgitation of already addressed arguments or is ready to move on from the 12 motif, then PM me and I'll consider unlocking the thread.

I'd like to thank everyone for their participation but, lets take a break.

_________________
2013 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
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