Help responding to a christian friend
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02-12-2011, 01:22 AM
Help responding to a christian friend
So I have one of those well meaning christian friends who is sending me emails under the guise of discussing religious history (as he knows I have an interest in the history of all religions), while his real intentions are, of course, to try and bring me into his flock.

Anyway the background here is that I recently informed him that the religion of Zoroastrianism pre-dates christianity by at least several hundred years and it was quite likely that Christianity had borrowed certain elements from Zoroastrianism. Apparently the notion of Christianity borrowing anything from other religions made him uncomfortable and he sent me the following:

Quote:I had to admit, I had heard of Zoroastrianism but not familiar with it. So as soon as I got home I wanted to know more about it...and there's quite a bit.

However even Wikipedia states "Only a fraction of the texts survive today. The later manuscripts all date from this millennium, the latest being from 1288, 590 years after the fall of the Sassanian Empire." unlike the old and new testaments that (if you read the previous email) quotes 14,000 fragments (old) and about 5,000 (new) respectively. Moreover the religion dates back to 562BC which corroborates with the capture of the Israel by Nebakanezer. So without spending weeks on the subject, my question is really, which culture was the influence and which was the influenced? Some of the earliest old testament manuscripts, carbon date/pre date much earlier than the fragments that remain of Zoraster.

Moreover this figure may have even been mythological, being that there is no consensus on the date of birth - from 6000 to 400BC?! Wow. Unlike Christ that is narrowed to within 0-7 years of his actual birth with thousands of entire manuscripts and manuscript fragments corroborating his birth, life and death. And although we don't have the original autographa, secondary copies do exist believed to be within 125 AD or so. That would be akin to reading an account from a civil war survivor, today.

I invite your thoughts!

Any thoughts or help with framing an appropriate response would be most appreciated!

P.S. I also seem to recall seeing here at one point a list of elements in the story of christ that could have been borrowed from other, earlier religions, such as the virgin birth being present in the egyptian story of horus, etc. I would love to see that again.
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02-12-2011, 08:59 AM
RE: Help responding to a christian friend
Here's one list of similarities.

This guy went around saying all manner of fluff in the first century. Him and his peeps would say stuff like "meet the new god, same as the old god" or "the devil went back in time to establish that idolatry." Unless you enjoy these kinds of prevarications, it is probably just to let it go. Wink

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04-12-2011, 06:49 AM
RE: Help responding to a christian friend
"Some of the earliest old testament manuscripts, carbon date/pre date much earlier than the fragments that remain of Zoraster."

Using Carbon dating as an argument.... really?Big Grin Is he a youngearther?
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04-12-2011, 01:47 PM
RE: Help responding to a christian friend
(02-12-2011 01:22 AM)Hannibal Wrote:  
Quote:Moreover this figure may have even been mythological, being that there is no consensus on the date of birth - from 6000 to 400BC?! Wow. Unlike Christ that is narrowed to within 0-7 years of his actual birth with thousands of entire manuscripts and manuscript fragments corroborating his birth, life and death. And although we don't have the original autographa, secondary copies do exist believed to be within 125 AD or so. That would be akin to reading an account from a civil war survivor, today.
Any thoughts or help with framing an appropriate response would be most appreciated!

Wow is right.
So, he will admit to "original...secondary"(huh?) copies of texts written 125 years after a possible character amalgam was supposed to have been born. But insists this other figure, whom his favored character may have been amalgamated from, may have been mythological.
Rolleyes Rrrriiight.

So.
Let's say, I'm old enough (25ish) to have interacted with, and write about someone. Why would I wait 125 years to write about him? Would I even be alive in 125 years? Oh, you say that someone knew me and wrote down what I said ... 125 years later...?

When the discussion of mythological characters is used in conjunction with phrases like "actual birth" and "thousands of entire manuscripts and manuscript fragments corroborating..." and "believed to be within 125 AD or so"... it just causes me to wonder who he's trying to convince; you or himself? He writes confusedly, because he is confused.

If he really is "well meaning", rather than fiction, you could both discuss genuine recorded historic events surrounding the christian religion... the crusades or the inquisition or ... oh, is that uncomfortable?

Dodgy Can we take drugs now?

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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04-12-2011, 04:51 PM
RE: Help responding to a christian friend
I can't really help on how to respond to your friend because I don't know how they are in person. I can provide you some information I have collected over the last few weeks.

I'm not sure if this is the same religion or a different one but here you go.

They have an imaginary friend named Zalmoxis. The insist is real and they will never die because this ancient demigod cleansed their soul with blood magic. It grants them the power of living forever in a magical place no one can see.

Zalmoxis Cult is attested in Herodotus in 425 B.C. - 500yrs before christianity.

I wrote this down while watching a video on youtube. I haven't researched it yet but I'm sure it can help you with another response type or something.

It might be a skepticon video if I recall. Don't remember the speaker's name.

Idiot: : a foolish or stupid person
— idiot adjective
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