Christianity's Paga Roots: The Roman Cult of Mithras

>> Saturday, March 4, 2006

I watched an interesting program on The History Channel called "Roman Vice". This program explored the periods from Augustus to Nero and the corruption, cruelty and depravity on an unparalleled scale, of these Roman emperors as well as the people of Rome.

While watching this program I learned of a cult whose blood sacrifice rituals were very familiar to me and I couldn't ignore the very distinct parallels, so I did a little exploring and this is what I found.

The bull is associated with Venus or the Moon, and seen as a symbol of spring; another metaphor of rebirth. The key symbol, the scene most commonly represented in carvings, is Mithras straddling a bull, and holding its chin or nose, slashing its throat with a dagger and releasing the hot blood. Pits around Mithraic altars suggest that the worshipers may have also bathed ritually in the blood. This was followed by a meal of the bull's flesh.

This divine meal is more frequently portrayed than any other scene except the bull slaying and sometimes the latter appears on the front of a relief which portrays the meal on its reverse. In such cases the relief was mounted on a pivot so that during the ceremonies the worshipers' attention could be drawn to one scene or the other by rotating the slab.

Refuse pits accompanying Mithraic sites indicate that feasting was part of their ritual, and the drinking of the bull's blood; if no bull was available, other animals were used, or bread and fish were used as substitutes for meat, and wine for blood.

They believed that by eating the bull's flesh and drinking its blood they would be born again just as life itself had once been created anew from the bull's blood.

It was believed that the partaking of the sacrament ensured eternal life, the immediate passing, after death, to the bosom of Mithras, there to tarry in bliss until the judgment day. On the judgment day the Mithraic keys of heaven would unlock the gates of Paradise for the reception of the faithful; whereupon all the unbaptized of the living and the dead would be annihilated upon the return of Mithras to earth. It was taught that, when a man died, he went before Mithras for judgment, and that at the end of the world Mithras would summon all the dead from their graves to face the last judgment. The wicked would be destroyed by fire, and the righteous would reign with Mithras forever.

Mithras, after performing his deeds, was said to have ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire, to become the intercessor for the human race among the gods on high.

Mithraism's "eternal life" concepts are repeated in Christianity, but they were NOT copied from Judaism, as some try to suggest. Judaism's concept of "Meshiach" is radically different than the Blood of Mithras. There is nothing in Judaism about drinking the God's blood and eating the God's flesh. There is nothing about a messiah in Mithraism. Only by a broad stretch of confused associations could one come up with the idea that Mithraism got its ideas from Judaism.

Sound familiar? And you DARE call me a godless pagan!

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