Talk:Jesus, pre-4th century Christianity, and syncretism/Archive 1

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The Seventy

I believe the following paragraph is based on a factually inaccurate premise:

The Gospels state that there were 72 disciples (known as "the 72"). According to the Old Testament, the number 72 is also the number of races supposedly resulting from Noah (even though the counting is arbitrary and ignores the descendents of Peleg, but counts fathers with sons), and the number of those recieving the spirit with Moses (including the 2 absentees -Eldad and Medad), and the number of languages at the tower of Babel. The use of the number is thought by some academics to have astronomical origins in the fact that it takes 72 years for the procession of the constellations, and in this context the number appears in a story about the egyptian god Thoth winning 1/72nd of moonlight so that Ra's wife can have children.

The Gospels tell of 70 apostles that Jesus sent out to preach and do miracles, not 72. If you add to them his main 12 disciples, you would have 82 instead. Consequently, this whole paragraph falls apart since it relies on specific numbers, and I would therefore suggest that it be deleted. Wesley 18:36, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

They are referred to as the "seventy two" (words not number) in many locations. Ill find some references for you. CheeseDreams 19:48, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Here is a google search to show you how much the term is used (including by the catholic encyclopedia CheeseDreams 19:59, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Maybe this should go in an external link, as obviously more than zero persons is suspicious of 72 under a description of something like "references to there being 72 disciples" ?CheeseDreams 20:01, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

After looking a little more, it seems that these are the disciples referred to in Luke 10. Some manuscripts say there were 70, some say 72. Some English Bibles use one number, others use the other. I'll take a closer look at which is which later. Maybe this bit can stay, with a note about the difference in manuscripts. Wesley 22:30, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
72 is in Papyrus 75 (third century) and the Codex Vaticanus (fourth century), while 70 is in Sinaiticus (fourth century), Alexandrinus (fifth century), Ephraemi Rescriptus (fifth century) and the Byzantine text type (Majority text). The "two" is bracketed in the Nestle-Aland critical text edition as doubtful, but possibly valuable, and is omited in the Hodges-Farstad Majority Text. Mpolo 09:05, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
Which brings me to the question "so why does the catholic encyclopedia regard there as having been 72" ? CheeseDreams 11:20, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Also, it appears that older translations (e.g. KJV) have 70 and more modern ones 72.
This would indicate that the majority of people in the field today consider the earlier manuscripts more accurate, i.e. there being 72.CheeseDreams 11:31, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Image of Isis and Horus

The caption of this image currently reads,

This image appears to denote the Virgin Mary and Jesus; however, it depicts Isis and Horus, and dates from 20BC

The image does not appear to denote the Virgin Mary and Jesus to anyone who is at all familiar with Christian iconography. There are numerous essential elements shared by all icons of Mary and Jesus that this picture lacks. It appears to denote a mother and child. This caption should edited to something like this:

This image of a mother and child is in some ways similar to depictions of Jesus and Mary, but scholars believe it depicts instead Isis and Horus, and dates from 20BC.

Wesley 18:43, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What is it lacking? (Remember, you must compare it with early christian drawings on the same theme, not renaissance versions (which are also after the invention of perspective, and the ability to draw things properly)) CheeseDreams 19:50, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Believe me, I wouldn't dream of comparing it with Renaissance versions. The first most glaring difference is that the woman isn't fully covered. Every icon that has Mary or any other woman in it has her covered except for face and hands. With Mary in particular, this is consistent with the belief that she is ever-virgin. Second, Mary always or nearly always has her had slightly bowed toward Jesus in deference to him and to direct the viewer towards him. Third, saints are always depicted without emotion, passionless, while this woman appears to be smiling. Fourth, they both lack any kind of nimbus or halo, which were a very early feature of Christian art. Fifth, icons of Mary and Jesus are found with Jesus' attention directed either towards Mary or towards the viewer. If directed at the viewer, Jesus always or nearly always has his right hand extended in a particular gesture of blessing, in which the fingers of the hand appear to form a "chi" and "rho", first two letters of christos. Sixth, Jesus is typically shown as appearing much older in appearance based on his facial features, than the infant we see in this picture. Wesley 03:39, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"Every icon that has Mary or any other woman in it has her covered except for face and hands" - isn't this just orthodox jewish (and arabic) distaste for allowing women to wear certain forms of clothing?
Isis was considered "ever Virgin" (which is blatently inconsistent, but I don't think that ever stopped them)
The only problem with your statement about Christian depictions is that it is not true. Here is a link with an early Christian picture placed next to the Isis one [1]
(from a 5th century funeral engraving in Fayum)
Note the similarity. And the fact that the Christian depiction violates all the rules you give.
I have found a free-to-use instance of the image. I will set about putting them together. CheeseDreams 13:16, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Here is another Isis and Horus [2]
I have changed the image to one with an early depiction of Jesus and Mary side by side (looking at them like that it looks almost like an exact copy - right down to the hair and position of the hand!!!! - though to state this would be POV wouldn't it, lets let it speak for itself). CheeseDreams 13:48, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

If that Christian image is indeed Coptic, as the url implies, that would explain the violations of the rules I gave. They were mainly in reference to Byzantine iconography, from I think roughly the same time frame. I'm not very familiar with coptic iconography. I'm not even sure the copts would call it an icon per se, since it's engraved rather than painted. I know, you only called it a depiction not an icon; I only make the distinction because that would be another (hypothetical) reason for conventional rules of iconography to be somewhat relaxed. Wesley 04:56, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Here is another link [3] showing the converse, with Isis having a halo (the solar disc above her head), looking into the distance, the infant looking toward her, with an older looking infant, and, rather intriguingly, if you look at the arms of the chair she is sitting on it seems to depict a crucifixion.
Its a shame that one is probably copyright too, as otherwise it would make a great demonstration of showing that crucifixion of horus was part of the earlier forms of the religion.
CheeseDreams 12:56, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Wesley, you should also be aware that I have already asked someone with a different side on the argument to me to take a look at the article and make it more NPOV, though they have been away recently and just got back. CheeseDreams 19:56, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Great; glad to hear it. Until then, I'll keep doing my best to make it NPOV as well. I hope we can work together towards this. Any objections to the change in caption I suggested above?
The phrase "but scholars believe it depicts Isis and ... and dates from 20BC" seems quite POV - it suggests doubt over the date. There is very very little doubt over the date of that image. CheeseDreams 23:36, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)
According to Mpolo, the above statement by me is accusing Wesley of carrying out a POV campaign!!!!! CheeseDreams 18:49, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I was just assuming that scholars were in agreement that this is a depiction of Isis and Horus, and that it dates to about 20 B.C. Is it some other group besides scholars that believe this? Do only some scholars think this? How were the identity and date determined if not by scholars? Wesley

I think the identities are written somewhere connected to where it was found (like being in a temple of Isis or something). I haven't discovered which location it originates from yet, though I am aware that it is Roman. Most (if not all) scholars date it to 20BC (I have no idea why, but the dating seems oddly precise- rather than "first half of 1st century BC" or something, so the date is probably concretely indicated by something probably related to the circumstances it was found in). The fact that it is coloured suggests a good state of preservation, so it should be well known. CheeseDreams 17:29, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ok, I've found out where the image comes from - its a wall painting from a house in Karanis (a cult centre of Isis as it happens). It was possibly discovered by an excavation sponsored by the "University of Michigan". As it contains paint and plaster, it can be carbon dated to be particularly precise. I think there are other surrounding factors indicating the date and identity of the characters in the image as well. CheeseDreams 18:30, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

So... do you think I'm carrying out a POV campaign? Wesley 03:42, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

On what?CheeseDreams 17:29, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)


"Demotic greatly post dates Christianity" -if this is the case then I have got the name of the language wrong -I am referring to whatever language it is that the heiroglyphs encode. I always understood this to have been called demotic. CheeseDreams 12:10, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually, from the article "Demotic" Demotic was in use by 660 BC and became the dominant script of ancient Egypt by 600 BC.. I don't see how that is Post-Christian, its almost pre-bible (being written down). CheeseDreams 16:51, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

OK, my mistake. I thought that Demotic was what Egyptian turned into on the way to Coptic script. Mpolo 19:45, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)


Set and Seth are etymologically identical, and culturally identical - its like the variation between "Iesu" and "Jesus" in the latin mass.

I can't remember why, but its something to do with (t) and (th) being simply variations due accents or something.

There is also another word for Set which is Sutekh. See Set (god) where there is a full list of alternate terms for Set. CheeseDreams 12:17, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Mpolo's comment in the text about "who thinks this" with regard to Osiris being pronounced "Azer". The response is

About 99% of demotic scholars. "Osiris" is used in english and derived from the greek attempt to pronounce the name (likewise "Horus" is really "Haru"). Other suggestions are "oser", but thats considered implausible - see Osiris for details.
I would point out that "El-osiris (i.e. losiris)" looks remarkably like "Lazarus" anyway, not that that is important. Basically the demotic for "Osiris" is "Azer"(or something similar, almost 99% think its Azer). Applying the hebrew practice of Theophory makes this El-Azer (an alternate would be Azer-el or Jo-azer etc., though El-Azer would be most likely as this is "God is Azer" i.e. "God is Osiris", the POV of the Osiris cult). Elazer is a very hebrew looking name and greek translation would apply greek naming conventions - rule 1=endings, rule 2=should-start-with-a-consonant thus rule 1=(+os), rule 2=(-e) thus Lazeros (n.b. the rules are not compulsory but very few exceptions occur, thus dictating that they are the most likely course of events).CheeseDreams 18:44, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
My point in the "Who thinks this?" comments is that you have documented maybe one scholar in one paragraph of the whole article. This is not serious encyclopedia writing. I am only asking that you indicate the support for the statements. In this case, it would be enough to say that "students of Demotic" (optionally "including Al-Zarif the Magnificent") state that. I wasn't disputing the fact, just asking for its support. That should be in the article as well, so that the reader can make that judgement. "Some scholars", which begins every third sentence of the current article, is useless. Be careful with your "similis huic ergo propter hoc" arguments, as well. You haven't established a causal relationship, only a similarity in a name. Mpolo 20:39, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)

Also see Mizraim (you will have to see the article to understand the connection) CheeseDreams 20:12, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Set as adversary

Basically, early versions of Set had Set being a brother to Osiris, but eventually had syncretism with Apep (the serpent) becoming the arch enemy (it is thought that it was a cult favoured by some opposed to Egyptian Unification, and when their rebellion failed, the Set cult became viewed in a bad light). CheeseDreams 18:33, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Horus myths

The "versions" of the myth are not the myth at different dates. I had lost the names, but Ben Standevan found some of them.

Essentially, Horus the child- Harpocrates (Har-Pa-Khered) is the form depicted as a child whose mother is Isis.

Horus son of Isis - Harsiesis (Har-Sa-Iset) is the form which is part of the Osiris-Isis-Horus trinity with father Osiris, mother Isis, and is adult.

Horus of the two horizons (Har-Khutti) (one of the earlier syncretisms) is the form with 12 followers.

Har-makhet is the form where Horus is the god of the morning sun, and keeps secret wisdom (teaching mankind etc) - this is the form the Sphinx statue may be based on.

Horus the Elder (Haroeris) is the early form with one eye the sun, another the moon, brother of Osiris and Set.

Horus Raharakhte is a syncretism with Ra, making Horus a sun god.

Horus saviour of his father- Harendotes (Har-nedj-itef) is the form where horus resurrects Osiris aka Lazarus.

Horus Bedhuti is the form where Horus is the son/husband/both of Hathor/Meri.

I was intending to put these names in, by the way, once I had found out what they were. CheeseDreams 12:17, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Horus Nativity

I have found a reference for that image (the nativity image), its from the (pre-Christian) Temple of Amen at Luxor, built by Amenhotep III. The holy spirit (transmitted by the Ankh) is called Kneph. The goddess holding the hand of the mother whilst Thoth transmits Kneph to the mother (via the ankh) is Hathor, by the way (who in other versions of the story IS the mother).

Oh, Ive made a typo. Its seb not set (as the consort of Meri). The etymology for Seb is similar, b->ph is fairly standard amongst linguistic changes, maybe a reference explaining how that works would be best, ill look for one. The change is most pronounced in arabic, an even later seperation - where there is no p sound at all (the p sound has gone p -> f -> h ->() )

Here is the etymology. Aramaic languages do not really recognise or sound the difference between plosives and fricative equivalents (e.g. b compared to v), to the extent that they are even written with the same letter of the alphabet. I.e. to an native aramaic speaker, b and v sound identical, or near-identical (to the extent that telling them apart is difficult).I.e. If someone said "Seb did this" you wouldn't be able to tell that apart from "Sev did this". It is further one of the language laws that, given the opportunity, sounds will become unvoiced (for reasons of effort to make them voiced) - i.e. v->f etc.
Thus when an aramaic speaker hears the story of "Seb", they are most likely to record it as the story of "Sef" (similarly other things get changed). In greek "f" is represented as "ph" i.e. it becomes the story of "Seph". With the standard "lord" theophoric prefix from hebrew (a language where theophory in names was standard practice), i.e. "Jo-", it becomes "Joseph". Such strange changes of name are common at the time, for example, the persian "Khshayarsluf" became the greek "Xerxes" (which initially appears to look nothing like it), and the persian "Nabukudurriusur" became the hebrew "N'vuchadnetzar" CheeseDreams 17:37, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As for Meri, its a rather odd humanification of the goddess Meh (the Nile goddess). Seb is the protector of Isis (and earlier of the Nile- i.e. Meh), and is depicted as a crocodile (i.e. a creature protecting the nile). CheeseDreams

Note that all female godesses from egyptian myth eventually became syncretised into Isis.CheeseDreams

Here are the titles of Isis : "Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Star of the Sea, Saviour of Souls, Immaculate Virgin,...." (amongst others). Note the last one. CheeseDreams

It might interest you to know that early christian churches (e.g. Alexandria) dedicated to Mary were placed next to temples dedicated to Isis. CheeseDreams

Would you mind signing your edits in each section? Thanks. Wesley 03:45, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Oh sorry, I wrote the sections all in one go. CheeseDreams 17:30, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Other miscellanious things

And there is this too, Iu-em-hetep (before 1000BC) was a miraculous healer, who gave wise teaching, and came in peace. Now of course it would be nonsense to suggest that's the proto-type for Jesus, except for the fact that even in the 9th century, Iu was being used as a name for Jesus (e.g. in a church on Caldy Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales). CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oh, here is something I didn't mention in the text, maybe I should put it in. Set accompanied the mother and child into lower egypt during their escape from persecution by Herrut (an evil serpent). Sounds remarkably like Joseph accompanying a mother and child into lower egypt during their escape from (the non-historical) persecution by Herod (whose similarity in name to Herrut was probably the cause of this particular syncretism). CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

And Josephus records the tradition that a Pharoah commanded all the Israelites children to be slaughtered. There was also one about Nimrod doing the same for fear of Abraham. The myth also exists of Krishna, and of Jason (of the argonauts). Some people reckon that its to do with the sun (aka Jesus/Abraham/etc.) destroying the evil tyranny of winter (aka Herrod/Nimrod/etc. ). CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oh, the crib could derive from egyptian legends of the Sun (back to the Jesus-is-a-sun-god idea again). Basically the sun was percieved of as being born at the summit ("Apta") of "the mount" (which is earth), Apta also is the egyptian word for Crib/manger. This is why the sun-god (as Ra/Osiris/Horus etc.) was worshipped anually with a crib/manger being paraded around streets and temples in the annual sun-god festival. CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oh, and Pliny, in his Natural History, mentions a visit of homage to Nero by the magi Tiridates. Of this, Dio Cassius (220AD) writes Tiridates . . . was driven in the chariot which Nero had sent to him . . . and bending his knee to the earth and lifting his hands, he called him his lord and worshipped him . . . For he spoke thus: I, my lord . . . am thy slave. And I am come to thee as to my God, worshipping thee, even as Mithras . . . But Tiridates did not travel back by the way he had come. Which sounds rather like matthew 2:1-12.CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

And I have just found this - Irenaeus wrote that The Gnostics truly declared that all the supernatural transactions asserted in the gospels were counterparts (or representations) of what took place above. I.e. astronomical observations - just like everyone else who alleges that they are syncretisms from myths based on astronomy. CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Er... if the gnostics did believe that the events in the gospels were counterparts of what took place above, that's not at all the same thing as saying they were invented stories based on pre-existing myths. They could very well have had in mind plato's notion of ideals. Wesley 05:03, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
No, its saying they understood the stories as representations of astronomy. Which is the origin of the pre-existing myths. (oh, and in consequence did not view them as historical events) CheeseDreams 23:39, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Capricorn (constellation) was also known as "the Stable of Augeas". When the sun arises in Virgo, Capricorn is directly beneath the earth, and thus The sun was said to have risen from the Stable. Justin martyr said that Jesus was born "when the sun had its birth in the Augean Stable". The constellation Auriga was also known as a stable, which is next to the constellation Taurus (which for this purpose, call "Ox"), and the constellation Ass-of-Typhon (this is the Egyptian term, we call it Ursa Major), i.e. Ox and Ass in the stable.CheeseDreams 16:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Annu is the house of the dead quite literally. The Anu are the group of people who founded egyptian culture. CheeseDreams 16:12, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

There is quite a lot here, I would like to insert it, It may mean the horus section needs to be broken up a bit into subsections, and some bits could be put in the gnosticism section.

Eleusinian mysteries

I was not aware that Demeter was considered Osiris-Dionysus. I will check out this one, as the Eleusinian Mysteries were really rather famous. CheeseDreams 12:20, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)


By "some christians .... 25th december" I was referring to the Coptic church's disagreement of the date rather than the Orthodox's. CheeseDreams 12:24, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)


That grafitto has a donkey's head, which is associated with Dionysus. CheeseDreams 12:29, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

an addition

Mpolo changed a sentence to read "as with most interpretations of Christianity, this was understood to have the deeper meaning that mankind's fate lay in its own hands and failing to listen to the wisdom from the mystery religions would, inevitably, spell disaster"

This is w.r.t. "return to judge the quick and the dead".

I was under the impression that most Protestants and Catholics viewed this literally, rather than a secular warning to take responsibility for your actions or disaster would occur.

Please explain this change Mpolo. CheeseDreams 12:33, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I don't recall that change. I may have read the sentence wrong. Mpolo 15:02, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
Ok. I thought for a moment that I had completely misunderstood Christian eschatology. CheeseDreams 18:32, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Zoroastrianism doesn't contain the cult of Mithra. Its stricly mono-theistic now, and previously was strictly dualist and had angels not other gods.

What the Magi did to the religion, in creating and sustaining the Mithra cult, is regarded by Zoroastrians as a perversion of the religion. And the pure form continued to exist parallel to the Mithra cult.

Thus I prefer my sentence

"The caste of priests responsible for the cult of Mithra"

rather than

"The caste of priests of the Zoroastrian religion"

which is not accurate.CheeseDreams 12:37, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

What did the Magi have to do with the "Mithra cult"? I thought they _were_ orthodox Zoroastrians. Ben Standeven 07:20, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Nah, they were the cultists. Orthodox zoroastrianism didn't have the magi. The magi were known for their taste for ritual and things (i.e. their upholding the idea of ritual worship) (as well as astrology, something they were also famous for) and this fame is the reason we have the term "magician" (which derives from magi). Orthodox zoroastrianism was much purer a religion, less cluttered with rituals etc. and more like buddhism (though obviously still quite different).CheeseDreams 07:28, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Egyptian Trinity

In Mpolo's rewrite of the Priority section, he states that the Egyptian Trinity is 9 gods. I have the following points/questions with regard to this

  • Osiris and Horus were considered interchangable (leading to much confusion over the stories, and the transfer of many Horus myths to Osiris as Osiris-Dionysus) Horus going so far as to say "I and my father are one".
  • Who are the other 6? If you mean Thoth, Set and company, these date from earlier versions of the Egyptian religion, and had largely merged into Osiris-Horus-Isis by the time of the Isis cult.

CheeseDreams 13:01, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Read Ennead. Egyptian mythology does not have a trinity. Saying that it does is like the anti-Catholics who say that "IHS" stands for the "Egyptian Trinity" Isis-Horus-Set (who wouldn't ever be considered together as a trinity as even you would admit, since two are opposed to the third). Which is hogwash. Your own text shows that Thoth was still active as a divine figure in the mystery religion period, and that Horus and Osiris were NOT interchangeable. No fair changing the definitions when it suits you. My source is documented in the "Sources" section as well. Mpolo 15:08, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)
I don't remember stating Thoth was still active in the mystery religion period. I certainly don't consider it true to say that. If you mean the nativity, the heiroglyphs in question date from before 1000BC, so I don't really think that could be counted as the hellenic era. CheeseDreams 18:28, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Horus an Osiris were interchangable in the trinity period, which is what makes it particularly difficult to sort the myths out as to which referred to which origninally. Basically, this was due to Horus' continued syncretism of other cults, eventually absorbing Osiris (and Apis), to become Serapis. CheeseDreams 18:37, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ennead dates from a much earlier version of the egyptian mythology, so I don't really see why it counts as relevant - it doesn't even include Horus (the most major of all the egyptian gods).
In that case, your picture from 1000 BC and its explanation are irrelevant to the article. (Since a claim that early Christians were experts at reading hieroglyphics and were great scholars of abandoned Egyptian religion would boggle the imagination.) In any case, even if (and I haven't seen evidence to support this) there were only three gods in Egyptian mystery religions, resemblence to the Trinity is less than superficial. These are three figures who are clearly different and are not claimed to be the same. No one says that "Isis and Horus are one". Mpolo 08:21, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)
Its not a claim that early christians could read heiroglyphs, it is the claim that the story existed in egyptian mythology (which the heiroglyphs evidence). Maybe that isn't clear in the text?
Essentially, Meh became absorbed into Hathor and eventually became absorbed into Isis, Seb thus becoming the protector of Hathor then Isis. Seb then became absorbed into the other crocodile god (I've forgotten the name but it also begins with S I think), and eventually got absorbed into I think Osiris.
Thus the story continued to exist, and in this form, the characters would be referred to by the form in the story or a prefix to the names of the current Gods (e.g. like Har-Beh-Uti or whatever it was (har=horus) as in "Har-Beh-Uti did ...."), as the ancient stories continued to survive as the gods were identified with each other rather than scrapped (and they had writing as well).CheeseDreams 18:10, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Esentially the accusation is - Matthew/whoever-wrote-Matthew knew-it was-a-mystery-religion/got-confused-and-mis-assigned-the-story and had some knowledge of Egyptian-myth/the-Osiris-mysteries for some reason (e.g. trade with egypt, growing up in a mixed cultural area, going on holiday, having an egyptian friend, being a scholar, etc.). And then put it into the text. If it was a mystery religion, then this would have been standard (and totally acceptable) practice. CheeseDreams 18:10, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Of course, the Roman Catholic trinity is not Mary-Jesus-God to parallel Isis-Horus-Osiris (with associated Mary/Isis cult and no worship of the holy-ghost/Kneph)
I agree that resemblence to the trinity is "superficial" - it is really a resemblence to GOD-Jesus-Mary, which of course isn't the real Catholic trinity is it? I mean Catholics worship the holy ghost rather than Mary don't they? Or maybe I have got that wrong?CheeseDreams 18:10, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Are you sure you don't mean Isis-Horus-Seb rather than Set, which is more accurately the Meh-Horus-Seb trinity corresponding with Mary-Jesus-Joseph (with lesser gods - such as the messenger Thoth, who acts equivalantly to the archaeangel Gabriel)? (though this would be I suppose MHS) CheeseDreams 18:28, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've just noticed something about IHS.
The H wouldn't exist in the latin or the greek (And the S would be absent from the greek and latin too, if my memory serves me rightly) if it refers to "Jesus" (vowels missing). Now the I could stand for "Iesu", but what the H or S could possibly stand for I have absolutely no idea (especially the H).
Unless of course it is greek and the H is actually a capital Eta, in which case it should more properly be written in english as IES, but that is bizarre - missing out some consonants and vowels but keeping others, so that leaves it having to be an acronym but there is nothing plausible for that either. So maybe those anti-catholics are right about this? CheeseDreams 00:23, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
No, it's an abbreviation and transliteration done by someone who didn't know much Greek. It is an Iota, Eta, Sigma, with the letters that look like Latin letters "transliterated" as the letter they appear to be, and those that don't transliterated (Sigma) transliterated correctly (S). It is the first three letters of Jesus' name. Greek abbreviations of "Jesus Christ" as IC XC and ΙΗΣ ΧΡΣ are exceedingly common, beginning in the second or third century. Medieval Latinists are responsible for the error, which has been retained because of tradition, especially since the Jesuits chose it as their symbol. Mpolo 08:21, Dec 5, 2004 (UTC)
IES? Thats an appalling translation. Oh, if it originates in the mediaeval era then its rather irrelevant then isn't it. But it could, in that case, equally have been a result of anti-catholics deliberately trying to put the catholics in a bad light, not that that is relevant either. CheeseDreams 18:10, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Isis Cult

No Christians worship Mary. They worship God alone, who exists in the three hypostases or persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Wesley 05:06, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oh yes. I forgot. Christians "venerate" Mary. Christians also have a Hail Mary, hymns TO Mary, have a huge religious service dedicated to Mary (particularly in venice), have loads of devotional statues to Mary, celebrate a canticle of Mary as a fundamental part of liturgy, consider Mary important enough that her prayer is part of the Rosary along with the Lord's prayer, paint icons and images of Mary in blue (up until modern times, this was the most expensive colour to use in painting), and have feasts dedicated to Mary, as well as a mass of dogma surrounding Mary (unlike other non-Jesus biblical new-testament characters), and associated holidays. And that's because they worship the holy-ghost. CheeseDreams 23:30, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
CheeseDreams, while I do agree that at the least, Orthodox Christians worship Mary, we must consider what they view as worship. Other than their hymns/prayers to her, the other components do not neccessarily consitute worship, as they have been given to all famous leaders.--Josiah 23:44, Dec 7, 2004 (UTC)
Put it this way, many religions worship their most important/only god less than Christians worship Mary.
Further, note that although Christians claim that they worship "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost", the holy ghost recieves very little worship indeed, wheras Mary recieves far more. An outside observer unaware of dogma would state that the Christians have 3 gods, "Father, Jesus, and Mary", the holy ghost doesn't even get a look in. CheeseDreams 23:48, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
As you keep stressing to us that you come from a Catholic/Anglican background, I can only presume that you are trolling here, as you certainly know the distinction between latria, dulia and hyperdulia. Personally, I sing a hymn to the Holy Spirit every day and invoke him several times during the day. (I also pray the rosary every day, but, as I'm sure you realize, that is primarily a Christological prayer. If not, read Rosarium Virginis Mariae.) Mpolo 09:25, Dec 8, 2004 (UTC)

You're right to the extent that Mary does receive a great deal of attention. I think 5 or 6 out of 12 Great Feasts of the Orthodox calendar are devoted to Mary; that doesn't count Pascha (Easter) of course. (In fact, tomorrow, December 9, is "The Conception by Righteous Anna of the Most-Holy Mother of God.") Mpolo is right to point out the distinction between veneration and worship. This was spelled out as dogma at the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which I believe remains accepted by Roman Catholics and Orthodox alike, although Protestants generally don't like it much. You'll find a very brief summary here: Many other saints are also venerated, and are "prayed to" or "prayed with," generally asking them to pray to God for us or for specific petitions, and thanking them for their prayers and their exemplary lives. St. Nicholas Day is still an important day for remembering that ancient Bishop of Myra, for instance. As for the Holy Spirit, the most common hymn to the Holy Spirit in Orthodoxy, 'O Heavenly King', comes at the beginning of the "Trisagion" or "Thrice Holy" prayer, which is typically included at least once at every vespers, matins, and Divine Liturgy service, and is also included in most or all prayer books I've seen that are intended for daily use by laymen. In addition, mentions of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" are peppered throughout the prayers, in different ways. A random example would be something like, "To You we send up glory, together with your only begotten Son and your all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit." Variations on this abound, and can be readily verified by consulting nearly any Orthodox prayer book or attending services. I can't personally confirm, but suspect you would find much the same among Catholics and Anglicans. Practice will of course vary among Protestants, but Pentecostals and Charismatics in particular pay particular attention to the Holy Spirit, and very little attention to Mary. So I stand by initial statement, that no Christians worship Mary. Wesley 17:53, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)


The 108 degree angle is also a 72 degree angle - it depends on which side you construct it. Remember that some ancients preferred not to consider angles existed that were larger than a right angle. If you continue the line of one side past its end point, it makes a 72 degree angle with the next side. This was the common method of construction, and you will often see the continuation lines drawn in on more scientific drawings.

Although the points in a pentagram meet at 36 degree angles, these angles are a result not part of the construction. The pentagram is geometrically formed by extending a pentagon's sides until they meet up. In extending the sides, they automatically create the above 72 degree angle at the pentagon where the extension leaves the pentagon. Thus a pentagram is FORMED by 72 degree angles rather than 36 degree ones. CheeseDreams 13:01, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Maybe the segment in question ought to be re-worded to make clear where the 72 degree angles come from. CheeseDreams 13:04, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Mithra(s) Cult

Gibbon's work on the fall of Rome includes a famous passage on the Mithra cult, which might be worth quoting here. --Christofurio 16:56, Dec 4, 2004 (UTC)

Mithra or Mithras?
If you mean Under the reign of Tiberius, the whole earth, or at least a celebrated province of the Roman empire, was involved in a preternatural darkness of three hours. Even this miraculous event, which ought to have excited the wonder, the curiosity, and the devotion of mankind, passed without notice in an age of science and history, then that is really covered in Jesus and textual evidence in the section about Letters of Herod and Pilate, although Mpolo took out the detail as it was flogging a dead horse. Maybe the quote ought be put in instead to make it read more nicely? I won't put it in if Mpolo objects, as I don't see it as fundamental, just nice. CheeseDreams 18:48, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't have access to a copy of decline and fall of the roman empire, so I might search online for it, but it would be quicker if you could provide the quote. CheeseDreams 18:48, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Feeding 9000

I have taken out the story of the 5000 & 4000 and of gematria in Apocalypsus/Revelations as on re-reading it, I noticed (a) it isn't really about syncretism (b) it is about secret teachings in mark / understanding the anti-roman polemic of revelations - the gnosticism section on the historicity main article seems a better place to put them. CheeseDreams 22:50, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)