Further roman mithra madness from Richard rives

In his latest email rant rives says:

“Sunday, May 29, 2011 8:30 AM”

 

“Dear Friends and Fellow Servants,”

 

“The historian Plutarch, was a priest in the temple of Apollo at Delphi. In his writings entitled “The life of Pompey” he tells us about The Pirates of Cilicia – a small country in what would now be recognized as southeastern Turkey.”

 

“The power of the pirates had its seat in Cilicia at first, and at the onset it was venturesome and elusive; but it took on confidence and boldness during the Mithradatic War, because it lent itself to the king’s service. Then while the Romans were embroiled in civil wars at the gates of Rome, the sea was left unguarded, and gradually drew and enticed them on until they no longer attacked navigators only, but also laid waste islands and maritime cities. The ships of the pirates numbered more than a thousand, and the cities captured by them four hundred. …They also offered strange sacrifices of their own at Olympus, and celebrated there certain secret rites, among which those of Mithra continue to the present time, having been first instituted by them.”

 

“It is important to consider the fact that Plutarch lived during New Testament times some eighty years after the time of Christ. Even so, he tells us that the secret rites of Mithra were still being celebrated in his day.”

 

“Most people do not know it but at that time Mithraism was the chief rival of Christianity. The followers of Mithra had their own versions of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. December 25th was recognized as the birthday of Mithra and Sunday was his special day. “

 

“Theologians would tell us that during the fourth century the worship of Mithra mysteriously vanished at the same time Roman Christianity appeared on the scene. But what really vanished – Mithraism or Biblical Christianity that has nothing to do with the pagan precepts of Sunday and December 25th?”

 

“The truth is nothing vanished. Aspects of Mithraism are still found among the precepts of contemporary Christianity – and Biblical Christianity is still being practiced by the few who fear the LORD and keep His commandments – which preclude the inclusion of pagan rituals.”

 

“Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints: I’m Richard Rives with Just the Facts. “

Is rives correct? Let’s find out…

According to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cilician_pirates

“According to Plutarch, the Cilician pirates were the first to celebrate the mysteries of Mithras.[2] When some of these were resettled in Apulia by Pompey, they might have brought the religion with them, thus sowing the seeds of what would in the latter part of the 1st century AD blossom into Roman Mithraism. (See R. Turcan, The Cults of the Roman Empire, Blackwell, 1996; pages 201-203.)”

So it was these pirates of whom were Roman that brought the Mithras faith towards others.

When we look at wikipedias post about Mithras.

“Mithraic mysteries”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithras

Is the roman Mithras like modern Christianity?

Let’s find out:

“The Mithraic Mysteries were a mystery religion practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD. The name of the Persian god Mithra, adapted into Greek as Mithras, was linked to a new and distinctive imagery. Romans also called the religion Mysteries of Mithras or Mysteries of the Persians; modern historians refer to it as Mithraism,[1] or sometimes Roman Mithraism.[2][3] The mysteries were popular in the Roman military.[4]”

“Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation, with ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake”.[5] They met in underground temples (called a mithraeum), which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its epicentre in Rome.[6]”

“Numerous archeological finds, including meeting places, monuments, and artifacts, have contributed to modern knowledge about Mithraism throughout the Roman Empire.[7] The iconic scenes of Mithras show him being born from a rock, slaughtering a bull, and sharing a banquet with the god Sol (the Sun). About 420 sites have yielded materials related to the cult. Among the items found are about 1000 inscriptions, 700 examples of the bull-killing scene (tauroctony), and about 400 other monuments.[8] It has been estimated that there would have been at least 680-690 Mithraea in Rome.[9] No written narratives or theology from the religion survive, although there are brief or passing references in Greek and Latin literature, and information to be derived from the inscriptions is limited. Interpretation of the physical evidence remains problematic and contested.[10]”

“The Romans themselves regarded the mysteries as having Persian or Zoroastrian sources, a view sometimes argued by modern-era scholars. Since the early 1970s, however, the dominant scholarship has cast this origin in doubt, and regarded the mysteries of Mithras as a distinct product of the Roman Imperial religious world.[3] In this context, Mithraism has sometimes been viewed as a rival of early Christianity.[11]”

“Mithras is depicted as being born from a rock. He is shown as emerging from a rock, already in his youth, with a dagger in one hand and a torch in the other. He is nude, is wearing a Phrygian cap and is holding his legs together.[42]”

 

“However, there are variations and sometimes he is shown as coming out of the rock as a child and in one instance he has a globe in one hand, sometimes a thunderbolt is seen. There are also depictions in which flames are shooting from the rock and also from Mithras’ phrygian cap. One statue had its base perforated so that it could serve as a fountain and the base of another has the mask of the water god. Sometimes he also has other weapons like bows and arrows and there are also animals like dog, serpant, dolphin, eagle, some other birds, a lion, crocodile, lobster and snail around. On some reliefs, there is a bearded figure identified as Oceanus, the water god, and on some there are the four wind gods. In these reliefs, the four elements could be invoked together. Sometimes Victoria, Luna, Sol and Saturn also seem to play a role. Saturn particularly appears to hand over the dagger to Mithras so that he could perform his mighty deeds.”

“Rituals and worship:”

“According to M.J.Vermaseren, the Mithraic New Year and the birthday of Mithras was on December 25.[48][49] However, Beck disagrees strongly.[50] Clauss states; “the Mithraic Mysteries had no public ceremonies of its own. The festival of natalis Invicti [Birth of the Unconquerable (Sun)], held on 25 December, was a general festival of the Sun, and by no means specific to the Mysteries of Mithras.”[51]”

“No Mithraic scripture or first-hand account of its highly secret rituals survives;[28] with the possible exception of the document known as the Mithras Liturgy, from fourth century Egypt, whose status as a Mithraist text has been questioned by scholars including Franz Cumont.[52][53] The walls of Mithraea were commonly whitewashed, and where this survives it tends to carry extensive repositories of graffiti; and these, together with inscriptions on Mithraic monuments, form the main source for Mithraic texts.[54]”

“Nevertheless, it is clear from the archeology of numerous Mithraea that most rituals were associated with feasting – as eating utensils and food residues are almost invariably found. These tend to include both animal bones and also very large quantities of fruit residues.[55] The presence of large amounts of cherry-stones in particular would tend to confirm mid-summer (late June, early July) as a season especially associated with Mithraic festivities. The Virunum album, in the form of an inscribed bronze plaque, records a Mithraic festival of commemoration as taking place on 26 June 184. Beck argues that religious celebrations on this date are indicative of special significance being given to the Summer solstice; but equally it may well be noted that, in northern and central Europe, reclining on a masonry plinth in an unheated cave was likely to be a predominantly summertime activity.[citation needed] For their feasts, Mithraic initiates reclined on stone benches arranged along the longer sides of the Mithraeum – typically there might be room for 15-30 diners, but very rarely many more than 40.[56] Counterpart dining rooms, or triclinia were to be found above ground in the precincts of almost any temple or religious sanctuary in the Roman empire, and such rooms were commonly used for their regular feasts by Roman ‘clubs’, or collegia. Mithraic feasts probably performed a very similar function for Mithraists as the collegia did for those entitled to join them; indeed, since qualification for Roman collegia tended to be restricted to particular families, localities or traditional trades, Mithraism may have functioned in part as providing clubs for the unclubbed.[57] However, the size of the Mithraeum is not necessarily an indication of the size of the congregation.[58]”

“Each Mithraeum had several altars at the further end, underneath the representation of the tauroctony; and also commonly contained considerable numbers of subsidiary altars, both in the main Mithraeum chamber, and in the ante-chamber or narthex.[59] These altars, which are of the standard Roman pattern, each carry a named dedicatory inscription from a particular initiate, who dedicated the altar to Mithras “in fulfillment of his vow”, in gratitude for favours received. Burned residues of animal entrails are commonly found on the main altars indicating regular sacrificial use. However, Mithraea do not commonly appear to have been provided with facilities for ritual slaughter of sacrificial animals (a highly specialised function in Roman religion), and it may be presumed that a Mithraeum would have made arrangements for this service to be provided for them in co-operation with the professional victimarius[60] of the civic cult. Prayers were addressed to the Sun three times a day and Sunday was especially sacred.[61]”

“It is doubtful whether Mithraism had a monolithic and internally consistent doctrine.[62] It may have varied from location to location.[63] However, the iconography is relatively coherent.[36] It had no predominant sanctuary or cultic centre; and, although each Mithraeum had its own officers and functionaries, there was no central supervisory authority. In some Mithraea, such as that at Dura Europos wall paintings depict prophets carrying scrolls,[64] but no named Mithraic sages are known, nor does any reference give the title of any Mithraic scripture or teaching. It is known that intitates could transfer with their grades from one Mithraeum to another.”

Ok so there are differences that rives is ignoring. Lets look at them.

1 “Worshippers of Mithras had a complex system of seven grades of initiation, with ritual meals. Initiates called themselves syndexioi, those “united by the handshake”.[5] They met in underground temples (called a mithraeum), which survive in large numbers. The cult appears to have had its epicentre in Rome.[6]”

Hmmm… So IF it was true that modern Christianity like roman mithraists we should have a occult ritual of initiation. We should be meeting for our services in underground temples. Like Mithraists we would have to be in the military and be a men only temple. Do Christians have such things? No.

2 “Mithras is depicted as being born from a rock. He is shown as emerging from a rock, already in his youth, with a dagger in one hand and a torch in the other. He is nude, is wearing a Phrygian cap and is holding his legs together.[42]”

 

“However, there are variations and sometimes he is shown as coming out of the rock as a child and in one instance he has a globe in one hand, sometimes a thunderbolt is seen. There are also depictions in which flames are shooting from the rock and also from Mithras’ phrygian cap. One statue had its base perforated so that it could serve as a fountain and the base of another has the mask of the water god. Sometimes he also has other weapons like bows and arrows and there are also animals like dog, serpant, dolphin, eagle, some other birds, a lion, crocodile, lobster and snail around. On some reliefs, there is a bearded figure identified as Oceanus, the water god, and on some there are the four wind gods. In these reliefs, the four elements could be invoked together. Sometimes Victoria, Luna, Sol and Saturn also seem to play a role. Saturn particularly appears to hand over the dagger to Mithras so that he could perform his mighty deeds.[42]”

As we have read. There is nothing about mithraism that is similar to modern Christianity. Is Mithra like Jesus? Was Jesus born from a rock with all sorts of weirdness? No again. Rives is lying or deceived!

3 “According to M.J. Vermaseren, the Mithraic New Year and the birthday of Mithras was on December 25.[48][49] However, Beck disagrees strongly.[50] Clauss states; “the Mithraic Mysteries had no public ceremonies of its own. The festival of natalis Invicti [Birth of the Unconquerable (Sun)], held on 25 December, was a general festival of the Sun, and by no means specific to the Mysteries of Mithras.”[51]”

“No Mithraic scripture or first-hand account of its highly secret rituals survives;[28] with the possible exception of the document known as the Mithras Liturgy, from fourth century Egypt, whose status as a Mithraist text has been questioned by scholars including Franz Cumont.[52][53] The walls of Mithraea were commonly whitewashed, and where this survives it tends to carry extensive repositories of graffiti; and these, together with inscriptions on Mithraic monuments, form the main source for Mithraic texts.[54]”

How is these pagan festivals reminiscent of Christmas or Christianity? Do we worship Mithras according to rives accusations? Of course not… all his accusations are based off of his opinions and total lack of research about roman Mithraism.

4 “Each Mithraeum had several altars at the further end, underneath the representation of the tauroctony; and also commonly contained considerable numbers of subsidiary altars, both in the main Mithraeum chamber, and in the ante-chamber or narthex.[59] These altars, which are of the standard Roman pattern, each carry a named dedicatory inscription from a particular initiate, who dedicated the altar to Mithras “in fulfillment of his vow”, in gratitude for favours received. Burned residues of animal entrails are commonly found on the main altars indicating regular sacrificial use. However, Mithraea do not commonly appear to have been provided with facilities for ritual slaughter of sacrificial animals (a highly specialised function in Roman religion), and it may be presumed that a Mithraeum would have made arrangements for this service to be provided for them in co-operation with the professional victimarius[60] of the civic cult. Prayers were addressed to the Sun three times a day and Sunday was especially sacred.[61]”

Since a lot of pagan Mithraism is lost… it is hardly useful to accuse modern Christianity with a dead religion limited teachings. So what… that Sunday was sacred to them or the they prayed to their god three times a day! Is Jesus offended at his Church for going to Church on Sunday? Everything I have read from my Bible doesn’t give me any evidence I am doing anything wrong.

Does the familiarities about Dec 25, Sunday, Baptism and more really make great evidence against Christianity?

I say NO!

Where is rives Spiritual and Biblical evidence that insists we are somehow breaking Jesus commandments?

Rives doesn’t speak for God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit! He is a false teacher who is spewing out his own satanic hatred of Christianity and is misleading all of you who defend him.

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