Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Many Gods

I have heard that there is a very long list of parallels between Christianity and Mithraism but have not been able to confirm all of them. Poul and Karen Anderson mention on p. 78 of Roma Mater (London, 1989) that both had their sabbath on Sunday. Why have a sabbath on a particular day?

Jews: God rested on Saturday;
Christians: Christ rose on Sunday;
Seventh Day Adventists: Christians who revert to Saturday;
Mithraists: Sunday but why?
Muslims: Friday, in order to be different from Jews and Christians (I think);
Sikhs: attend Gurdwara on Sunday in Christian countries.

A slave boy asks:

"'You're not Jesus?...I heard Jesus is the God in the city. I heard He is kind.'" (p. 69)

Gratillomius, a Mithraist, replies:

"'I am not He...but I promise Jesus will always watch over you.'" (ibid.)

What else could he say? My niece suddenly realised an apparent contradiction: her father had gone up to Heaven and down into a grave. How could he do both? I told her that we would find out when it happened to us and she was satisfied with that. (I did not add "if.")

A soldier sneers when he hears that one of his comrades observes Lent but adds:

"'I suppose someone among us may as well get in good with Jesus...'" (p. 75)

He attends Mass sometimes but visits the temple of Nodens when he can.

Thus, a society in which no one god has become dominant yet - and I like it. Buddhism spreads to different countries without disturbing the local gods too much although a Buddhist in Tibet is said to have "tamed" some local gods there.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Why did Mithraists observe Sunday as a day of formal worship? I think the answer is obvious, since Mithraists worshiped, I think, the Sun, the day dedicated to the Sun is an obvious choice.


Paul Shackley said...

Nice one, Sean.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Thanks! And most Christians observe Sunday as their Sabbath because Our Lord rose from the dead on the day after the Jewish Sabbath, which happened to be called "Sunday."