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Christianity and the gods of the ancient world
Christianity and the gods of the ancient world

In fact, hundreds and thousands of years before the birth of Jesus Christ, over a long period, at different times, on different continents, there were numerous saviors who were characterized by common characteristics.

The story of Jesus began. He was born on December 25, through the virgin birth, was a descendant of the god and mortal woman Mary. The Bible indicates that the baby was born on the night when the brightest star lit up in the sky. It was a guide for the three wise men, Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar, who, according to the Gospel of Matthew, presented their gifts to the newborn boy Jesus: incense, gold and myrrh. In Catholicism, the adoration of the Magi is celebrated on the feast day of the Epiphany (January 6). In some countries, the holiday is called the holiday of the three kings.

The tyrant of Judea Herod, having learned about the birth of a man who, according to an ancient prophecy, is destined to become the king of Israel, decides to kill Jesus. For this he gives the order to kill all newborns in the town where Christ was to be born. But his parents find out about the impending disaster and run away from the country. At the age of 12, when his family arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus had discussions with representatives of the clergy.

Jesus came to the Jordan River at the age of 30. John the Baptist baptized him.

Jesus could turn water into wine, walk on water, revive the dead, he had 12 followers, He was known as the King of Kings, Son of God, Light of the earth, Alpha and Omega, Lamb of the Lord, etc. After being betrayed by his disciple Judas, who sold him for 30 pieces of silver, he was crucified, buried for three days, and then resurrected and ascended to heaven.


1. Ancient Egypt. 3000 BC Horus (Khara, Khar, Hor, Khur, Horus) - the god of the sky, sun, light, royal power, masculinity, revered in Ancient Egypt.

The choir was born on December 25th from the virgin Isis Mary. His birth was accompanied by the appearance of a star in the east, which, in turn, was followed by three kings to find and bow before the newborn savior. At the age of 12, he was already teaching the children of a rich man. At the age of 30, he was baptized by a certain person known as Anub (Anubis) and thus began his spiritual preaching. Choir had 12 disciples with whom he traveled, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. The choir was known by many allegorical names such as "Truth", "Light", "Anointed Son of God", "Shepherd of God", "Lamb of God" and many others. Being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was killed, buried within three days, and then resurrected.

These attributes of Horus, one way or another, have spread in many world cultures for many other gods, having the same common mythological structure.

2. Miter. Persian sun god. 1200 BC

According to legend, he was the son of an immaculately conceived heavenly virgin and was born on December 25 in a cave. He had 12 disciples, and he was the Messiah, a long-awaited people. He worked miracles, and after his death he was buried and three days later resurrected. He has also been referred to as "Truth", "Light" and many other names. Interestingly, the sacred day of worship of Mithra was Sunday.

He was killed, taking upon himself the sins of his followers, resurrected and worshiped as an incarnation of God. His followers preached a harsh and strict morality. They had seven holy ordinances. The most important of these are baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist (communion), when "those who partake ate the divine nature of Mithra in the form of bread and wine." The Mithrasites established a central place of worship at the exact spot where the Vatican erected its church. The worshipers of Mithra wore the sign of the cross on their foreheads.

3.Adonis. God of fertility in ancient Phoenician mythology (corresponds to Babylonian Tammuz). Was born on December 25. He was killed and buried, but the gods of the underworld (Aida), where he spent 3 days, allowed him to be resurrected. He was the savior of the Syrians. The Old Testament mentions the mourning of women over his idol.

4.Attis Greece - 1200 BC Phrygian variant of the Babylonian Tammuz (Adonis). Attis of Phrygia, born the virgin Nana on December 25.

He was born of a virgin mother and was considered the "only born son" of the Highest Cybele. Combined God the Father and God the Son in one person. He shed his blood at the foot of a pine tree on March 24 to atone for the sins of mankind; was buried in a rock, but was resurrected on March 25 (parallel to Easter Sunday), when there was a general holiday of those who believed in him. Specific attributes of this are the cult of baptism in blood and the sacrament.

5. Bacchus (Dionysus). Dionysus - Greece, 500 BC The god of viticulture and winemaking in Greek mythology.

He was the son of the Theban princess, the virgin Semele, who conceived him from Zeus without bodily connection. Was born on December 25. He was the savior and liberator of humanity. He was an itinerant preacher who worked miracles by turning water into wine. He was called "King of Kings", "Only Begotten Son of God", "Alpha and Omega", etc.

He was hanged from a tree or crucified before he descended into the underworld, and after death he was resurrected. In honor of him, festivities were held annually, depicting his death, descent into hell and resurrection.

6. Osiris. Egyptian sun god, father of Horus. Osiris was a scion of Heaven and Earth, the patron saint and protector of people.

Born on December 29 from a virgin called "the virgin of the world." Brother Typhon betrayed him, as a result of which he was killed by another brother Set, buried, but then resurrected after being in hell for 3 days. Osiris went to the afterlife, becoming its lord and judge over the dead. He was considered the incarnation of the Divine, and he was the third in the Egyptian triad. Osiris was for the ancient Egyptians the most human of all the gods of their numerous pantheon.

As a dead king and king of the dead, Osiris was especially revered in ancient Egypt. This god embodies rebirth. Thanks to him, every person who has gone through the Last Judgment will find a new life. And before the names of those who will be declared "justified" at this judgment, the name "Osiris" will appear. Osiris is the god of Salvation, so people need him most of all.

7. Krishna (Christna). Indian Krishna - 900 BC, born of the virgin Devaki. Born as a virgin Devaki without intercourse with a man; he was the only born son of the Supreme Vishnu. Born with the appearance of a star in the east, announcing his arrival. His birth was announced by a choir of angels. Being of royal origin, he was born in a cave. He was considered the alpha and omega of the universe. He worked miracles, had disciples. He performed many miraculous healings. Gave his life for the people. At the time of his death at noon, the sun was darkened. Descended to hell, but rose again and ascended to heaven. Followers of Hinduism believe that he will return to earth again and judge the dead on the day of the Last Judgment. He is the embodiment of a deity, the third person of the Hindu Trinity.

8.Kolyada. Slavic Sun God.

According to legend, he was the son of Dazhdbog and Zlatogorka (the Golden Mother) who conceived him without bodily connection. He was born on December 25 in a cave. Forty sages, princes and kings from all over the world came to bow and honor him. The Star, who announced his birth, showed them the way. The black Tsar Kharapinsky wanted to destroy him as a baby, but he died himself. The matured Kolyada became the savior of humanity. He went from settlement to settlement and taught people not to sin and follow the teachings of the Vedas. In his hands was the Golden Book, in which all the wisdom of our Universe was written.

The question remains - where did these common features come from? Why was the birth of a virgin on December 25th? Why three days of death and the inevitable resurrection? Why exactly 12 students or followers?

The star in the east is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, which on December 24 forms a line with the three brightest stars in Orion's belt. These three bright stars in Orion's belt are called today the same as in ancient times - the Three Kings. These Three Kings and Sirius point to where the sun rises on December 25th. That is why these Three Kings "follow" the star in the east - to determine the place of the rising of the sun or the "birth of the sun".

The significance of December 25 in religion is that it is the day that the days finally begin to get longer in the northern hemisphere and stems from the days when people worshiped the sun as God.

The Zodiac Cross is one of the oldest symbols in the history of mankind. It figuratively shows how the Sun passes through the 12 main constellations throughout the year. It also reflects the 12 months of the year, the four seasons, the solstices and equinoxes. The constellations were endowed with human qualities or personified as images of people or animals, hence the term "Zodiac" (Greek. Circle of Animals).

In other words, ancient civilizations not only followed the sun and the stars, they embodied them in elaborate myths based on their movements and interrelationships. The sun, with its life-giving and protective qualities, personified the messenger of the invisible creator or GOD. God's Light. Light of the world. Savior of the human race. Likewise, the 12 constellations represented the periods that the sun passes in a year. Their names were usually identified with the elements of nature observed in that particular period of time. For example, Aquarius - the carrier of water - brings spring rains.


On the left is the iconic boat. South Scandinavian rock art of the Bronze Age.

From the summer solstice to December 22-23, the days become shorter and colder, and from the perspective of the northern hemisphere, it seems that the Sun seems to be moving southward and becomes smaller and dimmer. The shortening of the day and the cessation of the growth of grain crops in ancient times symbolized death … It was the death of the Sun …

The sun, moving southward continuously for six months, reaches its lowest point in the sky and completely ceases its visible movement for exactly 3 days. During this three-day hiatus, the Sun stops near the constellation of the Southern Cross. And after that, on December 25, it rises one degree further north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth and spring. Metaphorically: The sun that died on the cross was dead for three days in order to be resurrected, or be reborn. That is why Jesus and many other sun gods have common signs: crucifixion, die for 3 days, and then are resurrected. This is the transitional period of the Sun before it changes its direction of movement back to the northern hemisphere, bringing in the spring, i.e. the rescue.

The 12 disciples are nothing more than the 12 constellations of the zodiac with which the sun travels.

“The Christian religion is a parody of sun worship. They replaced the sun with a man named Christ and worship him as they used to worship the sun. " Thomas Paine (1737-1809).

The Bible is nothing more than a mixture of astrology and theology, like all religious myths before that. In fact, evidence of the transfer of traits from one character to another can be found even within her. There is a story of Joseph in the Old Testament. He was the type of Jesus. Joseph was miraculously born and Jesus was miraculously born. Joseph had 12 brothers and Jesus had 12 disciples. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Brother Judas sold Joseph, disciple Judas sold Jesus. Joseph began ministry at age 30 and Jesus began ministry at age 30. Parallels meet all the time.

Most theologians believe (conclusions are drawn from a careful reading of the Bible) that Jesus was born either in the spring (March) or in the fall (September), but not in December or January. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that the Church may have chosen this date to "" coincide with the pagan Roman feast of the "birth of the invincible sun god" "" celebrated at the winter solstice (Encyclopædia Britannica). According to the Encyclopedia of America, many biblical scholars believe this was done to “give weight to Christianity in the eyes of the Gentile converts” (Encyclopedia Americana).

To immortalize Jesus as a historical figure was a political decision in order to control the masses. In 325 A.D. the Roman emperor Constantine held the so-called Nicene Council. It was during this meeting that the doctrine of Christianity was formed.

Further more, is there any non-biblical historical evidence about a man named Jesus, son of Mary, who, traveling with 12 followers, healed people, etc.?

There were many historians who lived in the Mediterranean area during or shortly after Jesus' life. How many of them talked about the person of Jesus? No one! In fairness, it should be noted that this does not mean that the apologists of Jesus, as a historical person, did not try to prove the opposite. In this regard, four historians are mentioned who have proven the existence of Jesus. Pliny the Younger, Guy Suetonius Tranquillus and Publius Cornelius Tacitus are the first three. The contribution of each of them consists at best of just a few lines about Christ or Christ. Which is actually not a name, but rather a nickname and it means "anointed one". The fourth source was Josephus, but centuries ago it was proven that this source is fiction. Although, unfortunately, it is still considered real. We must assume that a person who was resurrected and ascended to heaven in front of everyone and performed a bunch of miracles that are attributed to him, should have gotten into historical documents. This did not happen, because, if we sensibly weigh all the facts, there is a very high chance that the person known as Jesus did not exist at all.


Perhaps not every person interested in Christian teachings knows that the cross is not at all the prerogative of the "Christian" religion. For Christians, the idea of ​​the cross as a symbol arose only at the beginning of the 4th century. The early Christian symbols were a star, a lamb, a fish (II century), a donkey; on the most ancient cave graves, Jesus is depicted as a good shepherd (III century). In early Christianity, the cross as an instrument of the execution of Jesus Christ was despised by believers. The first Christians did not venerate the cross as a symbol of virtue, but rather as a "cursed tree", an instrument of death and "shame"

The cross as a religious symbol is much older than Christianity, and Christians were forced to accept this symbol, since they could not eradicate it in the communities of the so-called pagans, whom they converted to the "true faith."

In the religious practices of various peoples of the world, the cross found its mystical reflection long before the appearance of the Christian faith, and, moreover, having absolutely nothing to do with the biblical teaching about the true God. The cross is included in the attributes of completely different, dissimilar, even hostile religions … It is known that the cross was used as a sacred symbol in the ancient religious practices of Egypt, Syria, India and China. Ancient Greek Bacchus, Tyrian Tammuz, Chaldean Bel, Scandinavian Odin - the symbols of all these deities had a cruciform shape. The cross was a symbol of immortality. And a solar symbol. A life-giving world tree. In the Indo-European tradition, the cross often served as a model of a person or an anthropomorphic deity with outstretched hands.

Throughout pagan antiquity, the cross is found in temples, houses, on images of gods, on household items, coins, weapons. It has become widespread among people of various faiths.

In Rome, the vestals, the keepers of the sacred fire, wore a cross around their necks as an emblem of their office. It is seen on the jewelry of Bacchus and the goddess Diana, on the images of Apollo, Dionysus, Demeter; it can be seen as a divine attribute in images of a wide variety of gods and heroes. In Greece, the cross was hung around the neck during initiation. The sign of the cross was worn on the forehead by the worshipers of Mithra. He received a religious and mystical meaning from the Gallic druids. In Ancient Gaul, the image of the cross is found on many monuments.

Since ancient times, this sign has been considered mystical in India.

The famous traveler Captain James Cook was impressed by the custom of the natives of New Zealand to put crosses on graves.

The cult of the cross was among the Indians of North America: they associated the cross with the sun; one Indian tribe from time immemorial called itself cross worshipers. The cross was worn by the pagan Slavs, for example, among the Serbs at one time there was a distinction between the Christian cross ("chasni krst") and the pagan cross ("paganski krst").


After the recognition of Christianity by Constantine the Great (Roman emperor, 4th century), and especially in the 5th century, they began to attach a cross to sarcophagi, lamps, caskets and other items. This man, proclaimed the elder August and the great pontiff (Pontifex Maximus), that is, the high priest of the empire, remained an admirer of the deified Sun until the end of his life. Constantine decided to "legitimize" "Christianity" in his empire, placing it on the level of traditional religion. The main symbol of this imperial religion, Constantine made that very cross.

“In the days of Constantine,” the historian Edwin Bevan writes in his book “Holy Images”, “the use of the cross arose throughout the Christian world, and soon they began to venerate it in one way or another.” It also notes: "[The cross] was not found on any … Christian monument or object of religious art until Constantine gave an example of the so-called labarum [military standard with the image of the cross]."

The veneration of the cross in Christian practice “was not observed until Christianity became lingual (or, as some prefer: until paganism was Christianized). And this happened in 431, when crosses began to be used in churches and other institutions, although the use of crosses, as spiers on roofs were not observed until 586. The crucifixion was approved by the Catholic Church in the sixth century. After the second Ecumenical Council in Ephesus, it was required that there be crosses in private homes."

After Constantine, notable efforts to give the cross the status of a special sacred symbol were made by the so-called. "Church saints". Thanks to their efforts, the church flock began to perceive the crucifixion as an unconditional object of worship.

However, did not the leaders of the church communities understand that the symbol of the cross implanted in the church is rooted in ancient pagan religious cults, and not in the Gospel teaching? Undoubtedly they understood. But, apparently, the temptation to have in Christianity its own visible special symbol, which, moreover, had long been sympathetic to many unregenerate pagans who came from the world to the church, was steadily gaining the upper hand. As the inevitability of such a circumstance, those who were called "church fathers" tried to find dogmatic justifications for the cultivation of an ancient pagan symbol in the church.

The Christian Church at first did not accept the cult of the Sun and fought with it as a manifestation of pagan beliefs. So, in the middle of the 5th century. Pope Leo I (the Great) noted with condemnation that the Romans entering the Basilica of St. Peter, turned to the east to greet the rising sun, while finding themselves with their backs to the throne.In speaking of the sun worship of the pagans, the Pope points out that some Christians do the same, who “imagine that they are behaving in a godly manner, when, before entering the basilica of St. The Apostle Peter, dedicated to the one living and true God, having climbed the steps leading to the upper platform [to the atrium], turn with their whole body, turning to the rising sun, and bowing, bending their necks, in order to honor the shining luminary. " The pope's admonition did not achieve its goal, and people continued to turn to the doors of the temple at the entrance to the basilica, therefore in 1300. Giotto was commissioned to make on the east wall of the basilica a mosaic depicting Christ, St. Peter and the other apostles so that the prayer of the faithful should be addressed to them. As we can see, the tradition of sun worship turned out to be unusually stable after a thousand years. The Church had no choice but to adapt the solar-lunar pagan symbolism and adapt it to the myths of Christianity.

Until the 8th century, Christians did not depict Jesus Christ crucified on the cross: at that time this was considered a terrible blasphemy. However, later the cross turned into a symbol of the torment endured by Christ.

One of the first images of the crucified Jesus Christ that has come down to us refers only to the 5th century, on the doors of the Church of St. Sabina in Rome. From the 5th century, the Savior began to be depicted as if leaning against a cross. It is this image of Christ that can be seen on the early bronze and silver crosses of Byzantine and Syrian origin of the 7th-9th centuries. Until the 9th century, inclusively, Christ was depicted on the cross not only alive, resurrected, but also triumphant, and only in the 10th century did images of the dead Christ appear.

The cross as a symbol of Christ becomes widespread only in the fifth or sixth century, that is, more than a hundred years after the abolition of the death penalty by crucifixion by Constantine the Great. The image of the cross as a weapon of executioners by that time had already faded in the memory of the people and ceased to cause horror. The cult of the crucified Jesus was born in the countries of the Middle East. This cult penetrated the West through the Syrian merchants and slaves arriving in Italy.

Only in the middle of the 10th century, when during the reign of the mystical emperor Otgon the first and his son Otto the second, the cultural ties of the West with Byzantium were strengthened, did the crucifixion spread with a naked, tortured Jesus, dying in torment for the salvation of mankind.

Christian ideologists not only appropriated the cross - a sacred pagan sign of fire, but also turned it into a symbol of torment and suffering, grief and death, meek humility and patience, i.e. put into it a meaning absolutely opposite to the pagan one.


The Church believed that the Holy Scriptures could not be correctly interpreted without her mediation, because the Bible is replete with a number of formal contradictions. For example, the law of Moses and the word of Jesus differ. The position of the churchmen was firm - they represent the institution of public life, which is called upon to teach a person the law of God. After all, without this it is impossible to find salvation, to understand the Lord and his laws. At the beginning of the 17th century, these ideas were formulated by the leader of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Roberto Bellarmine. The Inquisitor believed that the Bible for an ignorant person is a collection of confusing information.

In other words, if the society no longer needs the mediating mission of the church in the knowledge of the Bible, then the church hierarchy will also be unclaimed. That is why the overwhelming majority of medieval heretical movements in Western Europe opposed church organization as an institution of social life.

Southern Europe: the main region of the anti-church movement

Towards the end of the 12th century, two powerful anti-church heretical movements arose in the mountainous regions of northern Italy and southern France. We are talking about the Cathars and supporters of Pierre Waldo. The Waldensians became a real scourge of the Toulouse County at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries. The church here found itself in an unenviable position.At first, the "poor people of Lyons" did not seek to conflict with the clergy, but their sermons about the free reading of the Bible by the laity provoked the clergy. The Cathars also posed a serious threat to the church in southern France.

Pierre Waldo

One of the main ascetics in the struggle against heresies then became Saint Dominic, who went with his companions to the troubled region with sermons. The center for the spread of heretical movements was the Occitan city of Montpellier. The emergence of the communities of St. Dominic and his active work as a preacher did not convince the dissent. In 1209, an armed conflict began: a crusade was declared against the heretics, led by the Count of Toulouse Simon IV de Montfort.

He was an experienced warrior and a seasoned crusader. By 1220, the Waldensians and Cathars were defeated: the Catholics managed to cope with the main centers of heretical movements in the territory of the County of Toulouse. Dissenters were burned at the stake. In the future, the royal administration will finally deal with the Waldensians.

King Philip II Augustus of France by the fire with heretics

The monastic orders also made a significant contribution to the victory over the heretics in the south of France. After all, it was they who became the main ideological opponents of the apostates - the mendicant monks were engaged only in preaching. In the face of the Dominicans and Franciscans, heretics were opposed by the idea of ​​a mendicant church.


4th Lateran Cathedral

The apotheosis of the power of the church was the main event of 1215 - the Fourth Lateran Cathedral. The canons and decrees of this assembly determined the entire further path of development of the religious life of Western Europe. The council was attended by about 500 bishops and about 700 abbots - it was the most representative church event for Catholics in a long time. Delegates from the Patriarch of Constantinople also arrived here.

Fourth Lateran Cathedral

During the entire period of the cathedral's work, about 70 canons and decrees were adopted. Many of them dealt with the internal church life, but some also regulated the daily life of the laity. The cycle of life from birth to burial - each of its elements has undergone rigorous analysis and development of church norms. It was at this council that the provision on the ecclesiastical court was adopted. This is how the Inquisition was born. This tool of the church's fight against dissent will be the most effective. Historians believe that 1215 is the date of the complete Christianization of Western European civilization.

Alexey Medved

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