Myths, facts and blood sacrifice: CS Lewis at his best and worst


 Lewis wrote many stories based on ancient myths. He suggested that these myths are based on dreams that God sends to the human race. For example, blood sacrifice and the resurrection of a saviour are common to many ancient dreams and myths. These dreams and myths become a reality in the life, death and resurrection of the Christ. I bring Christianity into the picture to show how it gives substance to these pagan myths.

 A materialist believes that human beings are nothing more than bags of remarkably versatile chemicals rattling through time and space. The materialist holds that myths, dreams, revelations, story-telling and the like are a lot of made-up stuff fabricated by a lot of stuff; chemical stuff.

If you are NOT a materialist then myths and the like will be more than stuff, even if you think that some myths are stuff and nonsense.

 CS Lewis’ view on the myths that have come down to us is that they are composed of a mixture of true history, allegory, ritual, the joy of story telling, and so on. Also included is the supernatural.

 If (as Lewis says) one’s religion (e.g. Christianity) is wrong, then the occurrences of similar themes and motifs in “pagan” myths, for example, Greek and Babylonian myths, must also be wrong.

 The prime example of motifs common to Christian history and Greek and Babylonian mythology (and many other mythologies) is the blood sacrifice of a saviour who comes down from heaven to redeem sinful mankind. Who then rises from the dead.

 It is not a sound argument to reject the blood sacrifice of Christ and his resurrection on the grounds that there were similar blood sacrifices in stories prior to Christianity. 

The disfigurement, death and resurrection of a redeemer in pagan myths prefigure the death of Christ. As Lewis said, “myth became fact.” The more mythical an event, the more poetic it is, while the more factual an event, the more historical it is. The incarnation of the Son and all the events that flow from it become incarnate in history, and not merely, like myth, encapsulated in the poetic carapace of poetry. (See ” CS Lewis on myth in Christianity and other faiths,” in “The Christian theology reader” By Alister E. McGrath, p. 613).

 Lewis argued that instead of rejecting paganism as a rupture in the fabric of common sense and history, we should give it credit for its role in preparing the world for God’s plan of healing the rift between Himself and humanity.

In general, CS Lewis has been, as is true for many, of great help. With regard to blood sacrifice, however, I think he has missed the mark – in a very serious way. I explain.

 What is the most uncomfortable doctrine of modern Christianity? The bloody substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Lewis doesn’t put much weight on this glorious doctrine. In his “Christian Apologetics,” Lewis writes:

Our upbringing and the whole atmosphere of the world we live in make it certain that our main temptation will be that of yielding to winds of doctrine, not that of ignoring them.” With regard to the substitutionary sacrifice/atonement of Christ, I was blown away by Lewis. In his “Mere Christianity,” Lewis has fallen into the temptation of ignoring what should be a one of the core doctrines of “permanent Christianity.” He says (in “Mere Christianity”:

You can say that Christ died for our sins. You may say that the Father has forgiven us because Christ has done for us what we ought to have done. You may say that we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. You may say that Christ has defeated death. They are all true. If any of them do not appeal to you, leave it alone and get on with the formula that does. And, whatever you do, do not start quarreling with other people because they use a different formula from yours.”

No narrow formulas, says Lewis. Nor should we want a “cosy ecumenical love-in thing” (as someone said). Lewis, of course, indicates throughout his theological writings that this is the last thing he desired. I wonder, however, whether this is exactly what Lewis has encouraged with his idea that substitutionary sacrifice (Lewis’ “washed in the blood of the lamb”) is merely an optional way of understanding the plan of salvation. (See Penal substitution: C S Lewis and the “formula” of Christ’s blood shed for our sins).

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24 thoughts on “Myths, facts and blood sacrifice: CS Lewis at his best and worst

  1. Raf,

    You wrote “Lewis wrote many stories based on ancient myths”. As we’ve been discussing, so did Paul.

    You made an interesting observation I’d like you to read a bit more about: “The disfigurement, death and resurrection of a redeemer in pagan myths prefigure the death of” the particular idol that you happen to worship. There are more parallels to ancient idolatrous creeds than you may be aware of to the highly unoriginal Jesus “testament”. Consider Jesus and Krishna:

    1) Both were preceded by a “forerunner” born a short time before them.

    2) Each was born in a city away from home where his father was on tax business.

    3) Krishna was born in a cave.

    Jesus was born in a stable (Luke 2:7). However, Quintus Tertullian (third century), St. Jerome (fourth century), and other Church fathers claimed that Jesus, too, was born in a cave.

    Frederick W. Farrar, Nineteenth–Century Reverend:

    That the actual place of Christ’s birth was a cave is a very ancient tradition, and this cave used to be shown as the scene of the event even so early as the time of Justin Martyr (A.D. 150).

    4) In infancy, both Krishna and Jesus were sentenced to death by kings who viewed them as pretenders to the throne. Due to this threat:

    Krishna’s father was warned by a heavenly voice “to fly with the child to Gacool, across the river Jumna.

    Jesus’ father was warned in a dream, “…rise and take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt…” (Matthew 2:13).

    5) One of these kings then ordered “the massacre in all his states of all the children of the male sex during the night of the birth of Crishna.”

    The other, Herod, “…sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem, and in all that region, who were two years old or under…” (Matthew 2:16).

    6) One of both Krishna and Jesus’ first “miracles” performed as adults was the curing of a leper.

    7) Urged by Krishna to make a request, a man replied: “`Above all things, I desire to have my two dead sons restored to life.’ Immediately they were brought to life and came to their father.”

    “While [Jesus] was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying: `My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live….’ But when the crowd had been put aside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose” (Matthew 9:18, 25).

    8) Either a poor cripple or a lame woman came with “a vessel filled with spices, sweet scented oils, sandalwood, saffron, civet, and other perfumes, and made a certain sign on [Krishna’s] forehead, casting the rest upon his head.”

    “Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster box of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at the table” (Matthew 26:6–7).

    9) Both washed the feet of their disciples.

    10) Both had a beloved disciple.

    11) Krishna said: “Let him, if seeking G–d by deep abstraction, abandon his possessions and his hopes, betake himself to some secluded spot, and fix his heart and thoughts on G–d alone.”

    Jesus said: “But when you pray, go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

    12) Krishna said: “I am the light in the sun and the moon, far, far beyond the darkness. I am the brilliancy in flame, the radiance in all that’s radiant, and the light of lights.”

    Jesus said: “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

    13) Krishna said: “I am the sustainer of the world, its friend and Lord. I am its way and refuge.”

    Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

    14) Krishna said: “I am the Goodness of the good; I am Beginning, Middle, End, Eternal Time, the Birth, the Death of all.”

    Jesus said: “Fear not, I am the first, and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelations 1:17–18).

    15) Both “descended” to hell.

    16) Both “ascended” to heaven before witnesses.

    17) Both are said to have been G–d incarnate:

    “Crishna is the very Supreme Brahma, though it be a mystery how the Supreme should assume the form of a man.”

    “Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion; He manifested in the flesh…”(I Timothy 3:16).

    18) Before death, Krishna was pierced with an arrow40 and Jesus with a spear (John 19:34).

    19) Both were crucified:

    John P. Lundy, Nineteenth–Century Reverend:

    I object to the crucifix because it is an image, and liable to gross abuse, just as the old Hindoo crucifix was an idol.

    Dr. Thomas Inman, Nineteenth–Century:

    Crishna [sic], whose history so closely resembles our Lord’s, was also like him in his being crucified.

    20) When Krishna died, it is said that a black circle surrounded the moon, the sun was darkened at noon, the sky rained fire and ashes, and spirits were seen everywhere.43

    When Jesus died, the sun was darkened from the sixth to the ninth hour, graves were opened, and saints rose and entered the city (Matthew 27:45, 51–52).

    21) Both were “resurrected.”

    22) “Krishna will return in the end days as an armed warrior, riding on a winged white horse. He will destroy the wicked then living. The sun and the moon will be darkened, the earth will tremble, and the stars will fall.”

    “Immediately after the tribulation of those days [following Jesus’ “return”] the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Matthew 24:29).

    And, if you like that, wait till you see the astounding similarities between the “new testament” accounts of Jesus and the life and times of the Buddha (who, like Krishna, lived centures before Christian believe Jesus did).

    And, by the way, I’m no more original than the “new testament” in this posting–I’ve borrowed from Drazin here.

    • It is said that you keep disqualifying the most important contribution that Jewish History has given to the world: The history of Jesus. Perhaps it is one of the reasons that Catholic Saints keep speaking about their willingness to suffer with Christ because he is continually being crucified. IN this case I would say by you too.

      It is a well known fact among people who actually know history that Hinduism has been largely influenced by Christianity and not the other way around, and there are facts that shows this in real historical books written by Jewish historians as well by Indian historians, because not everybody is so prompt to manipulate information in the name of the ‘truth’. Saint Thomas went to the East well before the end of the first century and he encountered many Jewish fellows in India. It is strange that among all the information on the internet that you could find you pick the one that could corroborate your point of view and not others. Is this the way you are demonstrating your love and pursuit of the truth?

      It is sad how much you are deprecating the best of your own tradition…Have you seen the reproduction of sexual scenes on authentic pre Christian Hindu temples? Sexual encounters with animals, homosexual and heterosexual orgies in a confused paroxysm of bodies, children being sodomized and all the different ranges of possibilities. Krishna is an avatar that had sexual encounters and was sexually active since he was a child. Do you think this is the story that we encounter with the Jewish Jesus? Hinduism is a syncretic religion. Do you know what this means?

      Anyway please read more and better before you keep divulging information that disqualify your being Jewish. Nothing would be more repulsive to your ancestors if they are your ancestors that consider any of the Jewish Prophets’ teaching close in any way to Hinduism, before it at least became aware of the Jewish/Christian teaching.

      Is it so important for you to go against Jesus that you are willing to accept this kind of compromise? Sad… You kindly said that I am kind but I am not so kind to accept this from you and from anyone…I am sorry.

      Read some of information online that seems to be a bit more accurate (even if not complete and sound as some historic books…. but anyway not all the books are good…as not all internet information are)

      http://christianthinktank.com/copycat2.html

      http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/krishna02.html

      • Maria
        The passage below is from one of the websites you referred to:

        http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/krishna02.html

        “Skeptics sometimes cite Kersey Graves in Sixteen Crucified Saviors or Godfrey Higgins’ Anacalypsis (which Graves drew from) in asserting that Krishna was a crucified deity. No such event occurred in the Gita or in any recognized Hindu scripture. Given the pronounced syncretic tendency of Hinduism, it is safe to assume that any odd tales of Krishna’s being crucified arose only after the existence of Christian proselytism, in imitation of the Christian narrative. It is neither authentic to Hinduism nor is Hinduism the source of that portion of the Christian narrative. The same may be said for most of the purported nativity stories. In my opinion, both Higgins and Graves are highly unreliable sources and should be ignored.
        Though the quote above comes from a Skeptic, many of that guild have not heard the news. One who has not says, “There is a tradition, though not to be found in the Hindoo scriptures, that Krishna, like Christ, was crucified…Indeed, there are found in India images of crucified gods, one of whom apparently is Krishna, important information not to be encountered in mainstream resources such as today’s encyclopedias.” For good reason. There is no evidence that these images were constructed prior to Christian influence in India…if these images exist at all.

        As Martin Palmer shows in his book The Jesus Sutras, Christian missions reached India and China early — around the 5th-7th centuries. Copycat theorists stand against every scrap of relevant scholarship — not just “encyclopedias” — when they try to make it so that the influence was the other way around.”

      • maria,

        You wrote “Perhaps it is one of the reasons that Catholic Saints keep speaking about their willingness to suffer with Christ because he is continually being crucified. IN this case I would say by you too…It is sad how much you are deprecating the best of your own tradition…Is it so important for you to go against Jesus ….”

        Thank you for reminding us all that the anti-Semitic deicide creed propagated by Matt. 27 continues to this very day to ricochet through the gentile world. Since you can’t adequately refute the facts a Jew brings to the table…tell him he’s a “christ killer”. I’m disappointed in you, maria. This is a step down from the level of discourse I had become accustomed to from you.

      • Raf,

        I’m not familiar with your source of high scholarship, tektonics.org, but I will tell you what Rev. John P. Lundy, a minister of the Protestant Episcopal church, wrote in his Monumental Christianity (New York, 1876):

        “If we may believe so good an authority as Edward Moor (author of Moor’s “Hindu Pantheon” and “Oriental Fragments”), both the name of Crishna, and the general outline of his history, were long anterior to the birth of our Savior, as very certain things, and probably extended to the time of Homer, nearly nine hundred years before Christ, or more than one hundred years before Isaiah lived and prophesied.”, p. 151.

        “I object to the crucifix because it is an image, and liable to gross abuse, just as the old Hindoo crucifix was an idol.”, p. 128.

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_the_Apostle.
    http://orthodoxwiki.org/Timeline_of_Oriental_Orthodoxy_in_India_(St._Thomas_Christianity)

    “Critical historians treated this legend as an idle tale and denied the historicity of King Gundaphorus until modern archeology established him as an important figure in North India in the latter half of the 1st century. Many coins of his reign have turned up in Afghanistan, the Punjab, and the Indus Valley”
    Jewish presence seems to be found everywhere in the east. Why do we want to believe that first Christians were so slow in reaching the east? Judas (the apostle…not the one who betraid) is said to have reached Persia. It is not history…it is legend. But some legends are proved to be history with archeologial discoveries.

    Who is Palmer? Is he writing in the best possible interest of the truth or at least without wanting to manipulate it? (something always to ask…not everything written has been written with this in mind. And anyway good ideas and truth can easily be mixed with lies or dangerous persuation.
    This is what he writes:
    “My colleagues and I found classics brought to China by the first official Church mission in 635 CE, texts not extant only in Chinese. We found Persian books retelling the life of Jesus; documents from the Subcontinent exploring the fusion of Greek and Indian Buddhist traditions; evidence of religious dialogue among Christians and Hindus and Jains; even a fragment of a text from the ancient Church of Tibet. The insight into Greek, Persian, Zoroastrian, Buddhist and shamanic cultures was remarkable. So was the ability of the Church to fuse Christian teachings and images with wisdom and symbolism from other traditions.”http://www.sevenpillarshouse.org/article/the_jesus_sutras_an_ancient_message_for_a_post_modernist_future/

    “First official Church mission” Well we can’t speak about an ‘official Church’ much long before but Christianity was already around before the ‘first official Church mission’ started his mission.
    History has been written and rewritten many times before archeology (as you point out in your blog) was able to make clarification.

    • maria,

      I hope you realize how silly your two-step is looking right now. You’ve been caught red-handed with a religion that is a replica in many important theological narrative details of earlier forms of idolatry, and your best and only answer is that those older religions must have begun to copy Christianity once the “new testament” came on the scene, because it cannot, simply cannot be that the “new testament” and Christianity, with it’s Christmas trees, copied and borrowed from extant, established pagan cults. You realize you’re exhibiting the exact inverse of an implementation of Ocham’s razor. You’re taking the least likely explanation for a phenomenon and asserting it in place of the most reasonable alternative. Keep on dancing!

      • As a matter of fact I caught you ‘red handed’ 🙂 not you me….. as I foresaw. And I am going to tell you how.
        And also I am stepping few levels up. As a Catholic and in general as a Christian, I have become accustomed to the idea that my moral behavior or what I say etc. could be considered a way of “ crucifying’ Christ. If you read Raphael blogs you are aware of the concept of “continues sacrifice” I didn’t use for you any different measure of what it is used by my religion toward me today and yesterday . I know that I have crucified him with some of my past actions and when I finally confessed myself I repeated the act of contrition that says that I was sorry to have hurt him badly. He is for us a personal God in this way too. But I knew that I was not supposed to associate you with this. If you were not Jewish but Christian and I would have told you: “ You are making Jesus suffering with your behavior (Something that have been said to children since perhaps the first Christians in Jerusalem and in Rome)” or “ You are crucifying Christ again with what you are saying” would have been different? Yes. But in this ‘yes’ lays all the problems and the nullification of all our discussion.
        if you want to keep discussing as you seem you do the teaching of Christ, the existence of Christ etc you have to be at least a little more impartial. Otherwise you can’t presume that when you are telling me that I am wrong I can take you seriously. In another post I asked you if you would still be Jewish if there weren’t all the persecutions to account for being Jewish. You told me that you didn’t understand my question. It was a direct question. Are the persecutions the reason you are Jewish today? But this question didn’t find an answer.
        I told you in another post that I wanted to discuss with you more in philosophical terms than in religious terms. This right before you went on your rampage with picking up shred of consumed, false, historically ‘contaminated’ retrieved similitudes between two religious systems. What Lewis said, it makes sense. I agree. The more something is present in different religious, the more we are to assume that perhaps God gave us an input on his future plans. What is considered of more values by different people on earth in different times is important. The fact is that only the history of Jesus and Christianity has perfected to a point of ‘divine planning’ everything that men wanted from a God and I am grateful for Him being so generous toward us. What I don’t agree is false contaminations that want to smear the uniqueness of a religion. I don’t want you to become Christian; I think there is a reason why you are not willing to be called to the table of ‘communion’ in Christ. And anyway I am Catholic. I like Catholic countries such as Spain, France, Italy etc. that enjoy dining with good wine and good conversation, listening to music, dancing, in other words enjoy what this world has to offer. I do not specifically wish for the end of the world to come 🙂 Catholic to a fault. “ Revelation” was one of the book that the Catholic Church discussed more and for many it was not supposed to be added i to the Bible. Perhaps the Early Father andurstood the danger, considering the fanatic attitude that this part of the Bible has breaded.

        By going back to the ‘caught red handed argument’, how could you be in any way fair and interested in discussing the truth if your mind, heart and body is so visceral against ‘ the crucified’ Christ that I can’t use the same measure for you that I use for myself? How could you speak about Christ in a ‘truthful’ way if any mention of his Crucifixion in reference to you takes you to the ‘historical reminder’ of the Christian persecutions and closes any other possibilities? You have been caught by your own historical resentment in this argument and I offered the net. Please do not speak about ‘truth’ anymore. There is no truth where there is no way of accepting the same measure of judgment or the freedom from any historical resentment. I will refrain from addressing you. It is unfair toward you to establish a different scale of judgment that I use for myself.

      • Anon,

        “Yahweh: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unplesant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

        (Richard Dawkins, “The God delusion”)

        What are you going to tell Dawkins? That your ancestors – two, three million of them – heard and saw thunder and lightning above a mountain, whose experience was passed down to you, and that THAT is the foundation of your “rational” faith?

      • Now Raf, you have heard the evidence supporting my position, that I have a tradition of a communal witnessing. Where, then, is Dawkins’ evidence that the events at Sinai were not witnessed by my ancestors?

        Don’t get me wrong: I don’t question Dawkins’ capabilities to insult and belittle me, my ancestors and my G-d. He’s quite articulate at that. But where is his proof that me and my ancestors are lying?

        And, even if you think my proof is weak, consider: is it weaker than Dawkins’?

        Why are we arguing this anyway? Don’t you agree with me that our ancestors inherited the tradition from Sinai from those children of Abraham who experienced that prophecy? If you do, isn’t it at least as cynical as Dawkins for you to argue against the proof of that which you and I both believe? No Jewish believer believes in Judaism because Jesus touched his heart, ya know–it’s because of the tradition.

    • Maria

      B.F. Cocker, in his “Greek philosophy and Christianity” (1870), expresses a similar thought to Lewis. Cocker sees “the entire history of human thought as a development towards a specific end, and the providence of God as an all-embracing plan, which sweeps over all ages and all nations,and which, in its final consummation, will, through Christ, “gather together all things in one, both things which are in heaven and things which are on earth.” (His Preface).

  3. I would like to tell you one more thing Anonymous if I may. I learned an important lesson from all these discourse of contamination of different religions. I couldn’t not sleep thinking about you and what I said and I realize that I actually don’t care as much about my personal truth as I care about not offending you in any possible way. At the end I feel only an extremely urge of compassion toward you me and all of us. Truth at the end is for me in comparison of much less value. There is then no escape. Compassion for all of us as merely human being, for our fragility, limitation, shortcoming, anguish and historical and personal nightmares. This compassion that I sincerely feel is the ultimate value I have acquired. I would like to think it is the purse of the truth. It is not. I don’t value ultimately the truth more than I value us as mere human beings. And I know that if I feel so vividly this, so much more this feeling is felt by any Superior Being that made us.

    • Maria

      I understand your remarks on compassion. Don’t you think, though, that Truth (which is not merely a mental thing) should be one’s guide in everything, including compassion?

      As we both believe, Truth is the bedrock of God’s nature.

      “I am the truth, the way and the life.”

      • Raf,

        “I am the way, and the truth, and the life”–Jesus [John 14:6]

        “I am the sustainer of the world, its friend and Lord. I am its way and refuge”–Krishna [Charles Wilkes, trans., The Bhagavat Gita, or Dialogues of Crishna and Arjoon, in Eighteen Lectures With Notes, (London, 1785), p. 213]

        It’s beginning to sound a lot like Krishna!

        • The Commonality Between Judaism and Buddhism

          “Buddhism and its eight fold path resembles, in many aspects, the teachings of the ten commandments or the “graden Derach” (the straight path). It is the mind that directs our thoughts to do good or evil.”

          Some tenets or directives for followers of the eightfold path are: Right mind, right intention, right speech, right action, right or honest livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. All of these factors are also in the core of the ten commandments. It takes the human being, the human mind, to follow the directives that compose the ten commandments. To do right is not to murder, not to steal, not to bear false witness, etc. It is the human will that allows us to carry out the given commandments.”

          Dr. Ursula A. Falk, a (Jewish) psychotherapist

          http://jbuff.com/c120210.htm

          Conclusion, Buddhism is pigging on the back of Judaism.

      • Hi Raf,
        The truth is not supposed to be defended by killing and chasing and by any violent act, as the verb ‘to pursue’ indicates. The truth is better followed. Christians were used to kill for their truth. It didn’t help. I follow the truth and compassionately I will not stir aggressive thoughts.
        “ if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town” Matthew 10:14.

        It is a fact that the oral tradition about Hinduism and Krishna was finalized during the Middle Ages. All the most significant writing for Krishna are written in definite form during the middle ages and before they were the product of oral tradition. An oral tradition that was quite aproximate to the least.“ Like all Puranas, the Bhāgavata is a product of oral tradition, its extant version usually dated to the ninth or tenth century CE.[1][3] The text itself credits Veda Vyasa with its authorship.
        The intense and personal bhakti described in the Bhāgavata is directed toward Krishna as God in human form. The tenth book (or canto), which is dedicated to Krishna, takes up about one quarter of the entire Bhāgavata.[1] It includes the most comprehensive collection of stories about the life of Krishna, showing him in all the stages and conditions of human life. It also includes instruction in the practice of bhakti, an analysis of bhakti, and descriptions of the different types of bhakti.[4]”

        The bhakti tradition includes worship of vagina and phallus images. Krishna married 16000 Gopikas. Krishna’s name means dark, dark blue. He killed his uncle…etc. If you want to compare Krishna to Christianity without considering that the written tradition dates to the Middle ages you are supposed to be willing to go toward a world of lies but…for some people it is something worth doing it.

      • maria,

        Krishna predates Jesus by many centuries.

        As such, your suggestion that Krishna borrowed “I’m the light and the truth and the way” from Krishna, rather than the other way around, is preposterous.

        There is no oral tradition amongst Krishna’s devotees attesting that their knowledge of their deity derives from later Christian influences adopted by them in the middle ages. Rather, it is a recent Christian oral tradition that such an oral tradition exists amongst Krishna’s worshipers.

        Incidentally, are you confused about the distinction between the Jewish practice of careful generational hermeneutic transmission and the Christian concept of careful circumvention of doctrinally inconvenient Biblical information (a field of endeavor formally entitled “apologetics”)? I ask because you seem to assert that matters conveyed by non-Christians via oral tradition are necessarily false by virtue of their medium, on the one hand, while on the other hand you accord credence to the Christian oral tradition. For instance, you seem to dismiss the model of “I am the way…” that Krishna pioneered for Jesus’ eventual mimicry on the grounds, however false, that Krishna’s earlier history is only a late oral development. But at the same time, you throw out the written word of G-d received collectively by all of the witness people in Numbers 23:19 (“G-d is not a man…nor a son of man”) in abjectly irresponsible acceptance of the recent Christian novation communicated orally by the members of the council of Nicea, four centuries after Paul’s lone dream, that G-d is indeed nothing if not a man and certainly also the “Son of man”. Perhaps it would be useful to our determination of the degree of Jesus’ originality in the world idolatry scene if we clarify once and for all whether or not recent traditions, especially those that contradict the Hebrew scriptures directly, can be relied upon as valid sources for religious truth. What do you think?

      • Whoops!

        My second paragraph, above, should have read:

        “As such, your suggestion that Krishna borrowed ‘I’m the light and the truth and the way’ from JESUS [not Krishna], rather than the other way around, is preposterous.”

        Sorry.

  4. I wrote ‘purse’ but of course my intention was to consider a noun that had the meaning of the verb “ to pursue”. But my mistakes it a good one 🙂 In many references on line “ to pursue” means: transitive verb. to follow in order to overtake, capture, or kill; chase; to proceed along, follow, or continue with (a specified course, action, plan, etc.); to try .It is ultimately not the kind of noun or action that I was considering in my thinking of ‘pursuing the truth’ but is there any other way that the one specified in the dictionary? It was a very good ignorant mistake at the end…I never felt so happy about being always right in my language as I feel happy about being wrong in other languages 🙂

  5. In the Gita, Krishna says he’s the light; and in the Gospel of John, Jesus says the same. Is the Hindu (or opponent of Christianity) justified, therefore, in arguing (based on this aforementioned similarity or other similarities between Hinduism and Christianity) that owing to the fact that Hinduism is much older than Christianity, Christianity must be a pastiche of Hinduism? Of course not. All beings who claim divine attributes claim similar attributes, because these attributes are common knowledge to homo religiosus.

    See more at https://onedaringjew.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/i-am-the-light-in-hinduism-and-christianity-and-other-matters/

  6. As I said,
    All beings who claim divine attributes claim similar attributes, because these attributes are common knowledge to homo religiosus. Also, if we had to apply your argument for plagiarism, one could argue that Leviticus is merely a pastiche of Canaanite and other religions of the surrounds.

    • No so, Raf!

      Let’s look at the example of Rael. Rael is the messiah, according to Raelianism. According to you, that makes him a god.

      Rael does not say that he is the light and the truth and the way. Nor does he claim to have, at a tender age, told off the preeminent religious scholars of the day as Jesus and Krishna did, nor were kings trying to find and kill him as an infant out of fear he would dethrone them as Jesus and Krishna muddled through. The Jesus storyline has a lot in common with the Krisha storyline that preceded it, like an end in crucifixion; Rael’s tale involves no such claims.

      With respect to your closing observation, above, that Judaism is a knock-off of Canaanite idolatry, I must bring you right back to where we started: where in human history do you find the equal to Judaism’s claim that the entirety of the Jewish community witnessed a revelation from G-d? The Canaanites advanced no such notion, because, like Christianity and every other religion in the world, it lacked a living witness people. Only Judaism has that.

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