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J. Warner Wallace helps answer this week's challenge:
Posted by Brett Kunkle on June 20, 2013 at 03:00 AM in :Brett Kunkle, :J. Warner Wallace, Apologetics, Challenge Q&A, Video | Permalink
I am sure it's very satisfying to expose the error of the anonymous atheist who claimed both Jesus and Mithras were born to virgins.
Even better: suggest that this anonymous atheist (or perhaps some other anonymous atheist) might insist that the rock was, in some sense, a virgin.
Atheists are, after all, such ...
But the birth stories, as corrected here, are still similar enough serve the same purpose in the two stories.
June 20, 2013 at 05:04 PM
"But the birth stories, as corrected here, are still similar enough serve the same purpose in the two stories."
For starters, I wouldn't even call the Mithras story a birth story any more than the story of the creation of Adam is a birth story. Mithras emerges from a rock. Was the rock his mother or father? Was the dust Adam's mother or father?
Is there even a tradition of a god or goddess who is Mithras' father or mother?
I could be wrong, but I doubt it.
Mithras has an entry into this world, but not a birth.
Jesus, on the other hand, has a birth. While his conception in Mary was miraculous, everything else about his birth appears to be the same quite ordinary event that we've seen replayed countless times since Adam and Eve left the garden.
BTW the Bible does NOT say that Jesus was born in a cave or even in a stable. And I seriously doubt that he was. He was probably born in the house of a friend or acquaintance of Joseph who saw them rejected at the inn. Either that, or after being rejected at the inn, they pushed on to Joseph's own house. (Joseph's own city was Bethlehem, so he probably had a house in the area.)
The Bible does say that Jesus was laid in a manger, which is something you'd put hay in for an animal to munch out of. At best you can say that Jesus was probably born somewhere near a stable where a manger could be brought up to lay Jesus in (Him having no crib for a bed). And that's all.
Of course, He might have been born in a stable or even a cave...nothing in the Bible rules that out. Of course, nothing rules it in either. Certainly there is nowhere near enough there to claim any similarity in the stories.
So the two stories are about as different as can be. The story of my birth is closer to Jesus' story than the story of Mithras' 'birth'.
The 'similarity' between the Mithras story and the Jesus story amounts to this: both serve to declare that their subjects came into this world though by radically different means.
(Oh...and therefore atheism)
June 20, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Yup, that's the similarity.
There's no justification for the scare quotes, though.
You say 'radically different means', but let's be more specific.
Different from what?
From every other means. Unique.
Not just unique: Impossible: Or if you prefer: miraculous.
Similarities are in patterns, symbols, archetypes.
Not by a long shot. And, please don't put words in my mouth.
I'm making a narrow point here: the similarities don't go away just because someone exaggerates them or adds to them. Taking down such additions and exaggerations doesn't get you out of the woods.
I'm not the topic.
Anyway, there's no need to dig (not that there would be anything wrong with that).
Everything is at the surface.
June 21, 2013 at 05:45 AM
When I said "by radically different means", I meant that the means by which Mithras and Jesus came into the world were radically different from each other. I was making no explicit comparison with any other entry into the world.
Though if you want a comparison in that direction, I imagine Mary had labor pains. Her water broke. She had to push very hard. It hurt like crazy. Jesus was small and shriveled looking when He finally emerged, yet somehow utterly beautiful like every baby. There was afterbirth and exhaustion. In short, I think that Jesus entry into this world was very much like mine and most of my fellow humans'.
Not so much.
"But wait, but wait" you say, "Jesus and Mithra are the same because both came into the world by a miracle."
Well, for starters, that makes every story of the entry of any deity into this world 'the same'. How else would you expect a deity to enter into the world except by miracle?
Thee real question then is whether the story of Jesus is the same as that of Mithras or of Aphrodite?
Aphrodite arose from the sea foam that was created when Kronos cast away the genitals he severed from his father Ouranos just as he went to lay with Gaia.
Heavenly Days!!! That's just like Jesus story!!!!!
Well...Maybe I got a little carried away there.
The stories, albeit miraculous, are nothing alike.
What is more I don't even accept the claim that Jesus's story and mine are different because his story is miraculous and mine isn't.
If a thing happens and there is no conceivable reason that it should happen, and it only happens once, then it is a miracle.
But if it happens many times then it is a 'natural law'?
Actually, that is nonsense.
It is all miracle, all magic. As Chesterton said: The water flows downhill because it is bewitched.
I was born of the union of Don and Dee because of a miracle. Or an impossibility if you like. Jesus was born of Mary by a miracle.
Mithras wasn't born at all.
Now, on the subject of putting words in your mouth, am I to assume, then, that you are defending this Mithras silliness strictly out of a love for the discussion of ancient religions?
You don't think that this somehow leads to the truth of atheism?
You would, of course, be right not to think so, but then, I am wondering, where is your dog in this hunt?
As for digging and surfaces, I'd say that it's pretty clear that this is an absolutely ridiculous reach on the part of the atheists, like Bill Maher...Suuuper Genius, who have gotten behind this line.
Nothing here is at the surface. To extend the digging analogy, your fellow-travelers have dug down so deep that they've hit a pocket of natural gas gone all loopy.
You've jumped in that hole by virtue of your first post.
My advice to you is to stop digging and get out of that hole.
Not every argument for atheism needs to be defended you know. You can leave the stupid ones to the side.
June 21, 2013 at 07:16 AM
RonH does this a lot:
1. Criticizes anonymous atheist.
2. Criticizes STR for addressing anonymous atheist.
3. Effortlessly begins to play role of anonymous atheist.
June 21, 2013 at 07:57 AM
Mr. Stickler for details is awfully forgiving when it serves his purposes.
June 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM
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