Talk:Christian mythology

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"A number" vs. "A majority"[edit]

A (sourced) sentence in the section on the Old Testament used to say, "A number of scholars argue that the Old Testament incorporates stories, or fragments of stories, from extra-biblical mythology." User:PiCo has changed it to "A majority of scholars agree that the Old Testament incorporates stories, or fragments of stories, from extra-biblical mythology." I happen to agree with PiCo that the statement reflects the view of a majority of contemporary biblical scholars. But if we're going to say this, then we need to back it up with a source. PiCo, can you provide a source? I know that the sentence already cites sources, but they were sources cited for the claim about "a number" of scholars, not about "a majority". I don't have the sources on hand, so I can't check whether they support any claim about "a majority" of scholars. --Phatius McBluff (talk) 03:14, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Saying "a number" is redundant when attached to a plural noun, so it doesn't need to be said.
Saying "a majority" isn't necessary either and can't be said without a source.
The best phrasing would simply be "Scholars state that the Old Testament incorporates stories..." and leave it at that. ~Amatulić (talk) 06:15, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I see what you're saying, but we can't just write, "Scholars state...". We don't want to give the (unsourced and unsourcable) impression that all scholars believe such-and-such. I agree that "a number of" is obfuscating verbiage: even a single scholar would be "a number". I'm going to change it to "According to scholars including John McKenzie and Neil Forsyth..."; this should be relatively uncontroversial. --Phatius McBluff (talk) 20:30, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
This is so good point that it deserves some extra emphasis (or maybe even an award) on Wikipedia :) That's what I want to find while looking for controversial topics in the domain of history and religion: WHAT is thought by SCHOLARS and BY WHOM, and who among scholars agrees or disagrees with whom (debates, factions, schools, etc). If I am interested more in the topic, I will browse for these authors and their books and indulge deeper in their works. If I'm not, I will at least have some objective knowledge about the scholarly work in the topic, and not some inherently POV statements like "majority", "minority", "some faction", etc. I would like to take this argument to other articles on similiar topics. Critto (talk) 16:58, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Why does "Christian beliefs" redirect here?[edit]

Myths are stories. Beliefs are beliefs. These are two logically distinct categories. Moreover, many Christian beliefs (e.g. belief in the Trinity) are not themselves beliefs in any particular stories (although they may be based on certain stories). So why does "Christian beliefs" redirect to this page, which is about Christian mythology? --Phatius McBluff (talk) 15:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

That's correct. I'd suggest changing the redirect to Christian theology, but that doesn't really go into the stories that many Christians more-or-less believe in (this article). Maybe just a redirect to the Christianity article? I'll go on ahead and WP:BOLDly do that, since the redirects not locked or anything. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Article Is Too One-Sided[edit]

In order to be neutral, you need to include arguments from all corners in a reasonable fashion. The article only tells opinions of those who question certain sections of the Bible while also excluding arguments from people who may defend them. I'm okay with preserving the rational views of these critics, but you also can't block out the views of people who may present rational arguments favoring them either.50.157.103.28 (talk) 03:47, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

That's a misunderstanding of what this article is about. It isn't about whether the Bible is literally true. Dougweller (talk) 10:28, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
This page is unique in the sense that the view is technically not biased in the sense that only the mythological perception of Christianity (the topic of this page) is being discussed, but the topic itself is very controversial and extremely biased by its nature. The problem here is not necessarily that Christian mythology is the subject of this page, but rather that the statements defining Christianity as "mythology" are stated as definite facts, are entirely based on biased sources, and they give no consideration to the opposing argument. This article may focus on one view, but to present that one view as anything other than a view (an opinion) is a clear violation of Wikipedia's NPOV policy. These kinds of compromising issues are the reason that Wikipedia is not considered by modern universities to be an actual scholarly source.98.94.74.57 (talk) 01:46, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
No, what you're proposing falls under the WP:GEVAL section of the NPOV policy.
And the standard "this is why universities don't like you" claim, as if that's relevant at all, or the reason why. Wikipedia is not a reliable academic source because it's not peer-reviewed, and because its articles are open to changes by readers like you. This (and circular sourcing) are why Wikipedia does not accept itself as a source.
The opposing argument would be what, exactly? That Christianity is science? See WP:FRINGE for that. That Christianity is a truth outside of science? Actually learn what mythology means -- the article does mention C.S. Lewis's view that the story of Christ is a myth (i.e. sacred story) that is also true. Surely you're not going to suggest that he's biased. The article also cites the Christian scholars George Every, Bernard McGinn (theologian), Paul Ricœur, Mircea Eliade, John L. McKenzie, and Reinhold Niebuhr (many of whom are clergymen), and gives quite a bit of coverage to the ideas of Joseph Campbell (again, another Christian). At this point, I kind of have to ask if you bothered to actually look at the sources or just got scared by the title. And where exactly are your sources for the opposing argument? It rather looks like it's not our selection of sources that's biased. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:54, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
No statements define Christianity as mythology. It's about the "body of myths associated with Christianity." and uses "myth" in the academic sense of the word. Doug Weller talk 17:07, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Lead and section on Christian attitudes toward myth[edit]

The problem with the removal of the paragraph removed today because it was already in the lead is that the lead shouldn't duplicate the article, it should summarize it. As it is what we now have is a section on Christian attitudes toward myth which doesn't discuss Christian attitudes toward myth and a lead which doesn't summarize the article per WP:LEAD. The paragraph should be restored to the section and the lead rewritten to summarize the article. It can mention the dispute without the sources as they should be in the section on Christian attitudes. The lead certainly needs to say something about types of myths. And isn't the modern period subsection actually part of the 'Legacy' section? Dougweller (talk) 21:25, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Original research about heaven and mythology[edit]

The subsection of "Historical development" on the Old Testament has 3 apparently well referenced paragraphs. The new paragraph on Heaven is completely original research. We need secondary sources linking heaven in the OT with Christian mythology. Mining a primary source for references is original research. And neither Hawking nor Lennon mention mythology. I will be removing this again if it can't be properly sourced in the way the rest of the article is. Dougweller (talk) 09:36, 12 August 2014 (UTC)


Please explain reverting my ref after the second "citation needed" in that paragraph. The ref said:

Mentioned also in the 3rd paragraph of the article on philosophical and theological discussions on celestial spheres, where the following sources are referenced: Grant, Planet, Stars, and Orbs, pp. 382-3; Lindberg, Beginnings of Western Science, pp. 249-50. Scanned pictures of cosmography from books written 450 years ago are presented in the articles on Giordano Bruno and Celestial spheres.

and was placed just after "adapted their view...in the concept of celestial spheres". Do you perhaps deny the well-established and known fact of history or don't know how to source it yourself (even though you, as you said, read Hawking on this)?

Note that I'm not going to advocate that it is a long-lived and rooted in false ancient myths theory that the kingdom of heaven exists in this universe. This is a perfectly true statement but at the moment I have only secondary poor sources mentioning mythical nature of such cosmography in the Middle East (see also Panbabylonism), also I don't want to do OR by stating myself that it follows from the apparently mythical nature of the story opening the Book of Genesis (which nature is then already sourced in the article).

The only thing I did here was referencing 2 books and 2 pictures (already happily used in Wiki articles), as source for thesis about the Middle Ages continuing the (perhaps) myth, so why this removal. Have a look at last edit from my IP and its revert by your admin. Note that the ref was neither corrected nor left as-is (just restoring the "(more) citation needed") but silently removed. If Wikipedia is a credible source of information, that means its correctly sourced articles can be quoted as reliable source itself, no? 89.67.140.182 (talk) 12:20, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

I didn't see where Hawking discussed Christian mythology. Perhaps you can provide a quote please? And just fix the reference so it is cited properly. You are focussing on this article, I have a lot more on my plate. And there is no "your Admin". You are an editor, so there is no 'you' and I am not acting as an Admin here. Dougweller (talk) 12:47, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
Not that he used the word. Just noticed you read a quote from him yet still pretend sources mentioning the Catholic adaptation of spheres are unknown . will correct this,ok — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.67.140.182 (talk) 14:39, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
89.67.140.182, you asked “If Wikipedia is a credible source of information, that means its correctly sourced articles can be quoted as reliable source itself, no?” Actually, it's no. There's even a shortcut to that point at WP:WPNOTRS. But if another Wikipedia article is correctly sourced, it should lead you easily to those reliable sources, which can then be cited in the current article, too.  Unician   06:05, 14 August 2014 (UTC)