Wednesday, February 4, 2009

So while doing a report on Isis and goddess worship in ancient Egypt, I came across this piece of  info:  Apparently the iconography of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus is based on the image of Isis cradling her son Horus, which was a well-known icon in the Greco-Roman period.  The association was one of many attempts to encourage the conversion of pagan cults to the cult of Christianity.  A lot of people get scared or offended when people point out this sort of stuff about Christianity and the Bible, but I think its a great facet of the history of the religion.  It's only rational and practical that early Christians adopted some of the ideas and traditions of their previous religions.  Its shows the universality and flexibility the early church had that modern-day Christians could really learn from.  Some of the correlations that associate Horus with Jesus Christ (like in the movie Zeitgeist) aren't really proven to be historically accurate (mainly due to the fact that much of the ritual and mythology of the Egyptian religion has been lost or distorted by Greco-Roman accounts of the faith).  But why does it really matter if Jesus and the Egyptian God of the Sun ("Son" of God) share the same day upon which their births were celebrated or whatever other superfluous details? The day I celebrate Christmas or Easter doesn't define my belief in Christianity.  If anything, these connections help connect the faith I celebrate to an even wider range of people, cultures, and time periods, which I think is pretty cool.

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