The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The story of Jesus was ripped off of other religions.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,982 times Debate No: 21785
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




8000 character limit.
I have the BOP.
No semantics.

1st round is acceptance.


I will accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Apollo.11 forfeited this round.


My partner forfeited. He has the entire BoP and has not yet lived up to his BoP. Therefore, a con vote is warranted.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize for not posting last round. I did not have time last week.

It is not merely enough for there to be vague similarities between other gods and Jesus. But there is a god that is VIRTUALLY IDENTICAL to Jesus.
Let me introduce you to the Zoroastrian deity of Mithras (also spelled Mithra).

NOTE: Mithraism predates Christianity, thus, it was the latter borrowing from the former. [2]

I. Comparison:

1. Birth and birthdate
Both were born to virgin mothers; both were supposedly sons of god.
Mithra was born on December 25. This date was celebrated every year.
Now there is NO EVIDENCE to support the claim that Jesus was born on this date, yet, for some reason, his birthday is celebrated on December 25. Perhaps it is merely a 1/365 coincidence... [1], [3], [5], [6]

In fact, Mithra was born in EXACTLY the same manner as Jesus:
"The babe was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds." [1]

2. 12 Disciples
Mithra, like Jesus, had exactly twelve disciples to whom he preached and through whom he spread his teachings. Jesus did the exact same thing to the same number of disciples. [1], [3], [6]

3. Performed Miracles
Self explanatory. [1], [3], [6]

4. Baptisms
Mithraism includes the first baptisms of sorts, many years before Christianity. Yet Christianity adopted these practices.

"Mithras seems to have owed his prominence to the belief that he was the source of life, and could also redeem the souls of the dead into the better world ... The ceremonies included a sort of baptism to remove sins, anointing, and a sacred meal of bread and water, while a consecrated wine, believed to possess wonderful power, played a prominent part." [6]

5. Names
"Mithra was called 'the good shepherd,' 'the way, the truth and the light,' 'redeemer,' 'savior,' 'Messiah.' He was identified with both the lion and the lamb." [6]

Jesus, exactly like Mithra, was called 'the good shepherd,' 'the way, the truth and the light,' 'redeemer,' 'savior,' 'Messiah.' He was identified with both the lion and the lamb. [8]

"The Christian litany to Jesus could easily be an allegorical litany to the sun-god. Mithras is often represented as carrying a lamb on his shoulders, just as Jesus is. Midnight services were found in both religions. The virgin mother...was easily merged with the virgin mother Mary. Petra, the sacred rock of Mithraism, became Peter, the foundation of the Christian Church." [4]

6. The Holy Day
Mithra, like Jesus, had a holy day.
And like Jesus, it was observed on Sunday. [1]

7. Death and Burial
Both were crucified for the sins of humanity. Both were buried on tombs after their deaths. [1], [3]

8. Resurrection
Both rose from the grave after EXACTLY three days. [1], [3]

II. Ties:

1. Vatican
The first Christian place of worship at the modern Vatican City was a Mithraic worshipping site. [6]

2. Contact
Mithraic texts and and worshipping sites were extant during the early formation of Christianity. Thus, it is entirely plausible for contact between the two to have occurred. Mithraic strongholds were extant in the Middle East and Persia, as well. [2]

3. Pagan Practices in Rome

"A central feature of the ceremonial associated with Mithras was the taurobolium, the ritual slaughter of a bull which commemorated and repeated Mithras' primeval act. The initiate was baptized in its blood, partaking of its life-giving properties. It may be noted that this part of the ceremonial closely resembled the ritual of the cult of Cybele, the Great Mother of Asia Minor, which had been brought to Rome three centuries before Christ.." [7]
Some scholars have gone so far as to say the two are the same entity.

I have shown all that is known of Mithra to be IDENTICAL, not merely similar, but IDENTICAL to Jesus on many levels. This cannot merely be written off as coincidence (as my opponent surely will). One cannot look, judging even solely on the comparison, at the body of evidence and claim logically there is no connection or correlation.
In addition to this. I have shown the plausibility of contact between Mithraism and Christianity and have shown definite contact between the two.
My opponent must disprove the majority of my claims to even begin to have a case against it.


4. Gerald Berry, Religions of the World
7. Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience of Mankind


I thank my partner for his opening arguments, though it came a round early. I feel that he made several errors I wish to reveal in this round. First, similarities=/=ripped off. We need to define what it means to be "ripped off of other religions." My parnter has not done that. Mithra, for instance, is the only alleged ripped-off parallel cited by my partner. I'm not quite sure what his argument is attempting to prove -- he hasn't proved how Christianity stole their myths from them. As contradiction states "a mere description does not prove it." I also wish to point out that Mithraism is a mystery cult with VERY FEW known sources for us to learn about this cult. Consequently, it would be very difficult for Christianity to borrow from Mithraism. [1]


I. Comparisons

1. Birth and birthdays

My partner argues that both were supposedly sons of God, born of virgins, and born on December 25. Now, as we will soon see, this is indeed a VERY far stretch of the truth. First, the alleged "virgin birth" is no virgin birth at all! In fact, the relavent facts show that Mithra was born from a ROCK! In no way is this remotely similar to Jesus' virgin birth of Mary!!! To prove this, I'd like to present the archeological evidence for this. [2]

The above is a statue of Mithra's "rock birth" or my partner's "virgin birth." As far as the tending of the shepherds is concerned, rather the story continues to describe Mithra being helped by the shepherds; y et, according to tradition, Mithra was created prior to the creation. Your "shpherds" are a far stretch to Christianity.
Lastly, the earliest manuscripts from this narrative is from around 100 years after the manuscripts of the New Testament; meaning that if anything, Mithra ripped off Christianity! [3]

2. 12 disciples

First I must call into question his source for this, the source The 16 Crucified Savior's is hardly a reliable source. In his critique, Richard Carrier notes that "Most scholars immediately recognize many of his findings as unsupported and dismiss Graves as useless. After all, a scholar who rarely cites a source isn't useful to have as a reference even if he is right" [4] The fact is that there is absolutely no known evidence for this assertion. [5]

3. Performed miracles

What god doesn't perform miracles? I fail to see that this is in anyway proof that Jesus was a rip off of Mithra! It is a LONG stretch. Here is my partner's evidence in syllogism:

1. Jesus was ripped off of pagan sources.
2. Mithra was a pagan source.
3. Both Jesus and Mithra performed miracles.
4. Therefore, Jesus was ripped off of mithra.

(circular reasoning).

4. Baptism

First, we need to define what baptism is. Baptism comes from the Greek word baptismo which means "immersion";[6] hence, the only "Biblical" way to have Baptism is from complete immersion, not sprinkling like Mithra was. Finally, the Baptism does not come from Mithra, but from a Torah commandment called the Mikveh. [7]

5. Names

Neither my partner nor his sources give any evidence for this. Sources=/=Proof

6. Holy day

The reason why Christianity worships on Sunday is not because it is based on Mithra, but because it is the day which Jesus rose again. [8]

7. Death and Burial

I followed your sources and neither you nor your sources give evidence for this. Likewise, I am at loss to see how Mithra slaying a bull=crucifixion. [9]

8. Resurrection

See above.

II. Ties

1. Vatican

What's the evidence? You, nor your sources, prove it!

2. Contacts

Yes, they did come in contact; and they were in fact RIVAL religons.

--> My case <--

my case is quick and simple: there is no need for Christianity to borrow from pagan practices. All of Christianity has already been predicted in the Old Testament. Here is a chart by Matt Slick [10]

Theme Old Testament
New Testament
fulfilled in Jesus
Ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God Ps. 110:1 Matt 26:64; Acts 7:55-60; Eph. 1:20
Atonement by blood Lev. 17:11 Heb. 9:22
Begotten Son, Jesus is Psalm 2:7 Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5
Crucifixion Psalm 22:11-18; Zech. 12:10 Luke 23:33-38
Eternal Son Micah 5:1-2; Psalm 2:7 Heb. 1:5; 5:5
God among His people Isaiah 9:6; 40:3 John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Matt. 3:3
Incarnation of God 1)Ex 3:14; 2)Ps. 45:6 Isaiah 9:6; Zech. 12:10 1)John 8:58; 1:1,14; 2)Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3
Only Begotten Son Gen. 22:2. See Typology John 3:16; Heb. 11:7
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:9-10; 49:15; Is. 26:19 John 2:19-21
Return of Christ Zech. 14:1-5; Mic. 1:3-4 Matt. 16:27-28; Acts 1:11; 3:20
Sin offering Ex. 30:10; Lev. 4:3 Rom. 8:3; Heb. 10:18; 13:11
Son of God Psalm 2:7 John 5:18
Substitutionary Atonement Isaiah 53:6-12; Lev. 6:4-10,21 Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18;
Virgin Birth Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:25

As you see, there is no reason for Christianity to borrow.


Virgin Born? No, born from a rock. Certainly a far stretch from Mary.
A "Son of God" ? No.
A Savior? Yes, a divinity of light and salvation.
Performed miracles? No.
Communal Meal of Bread/Wine? Yes, but was not considered the "flesh and blood" of God (Mithra).
Crucified? No.
Resurrected? No.
Ascended / Descended ? Yes, ascends to heaven in the Sun's chariot.
Divine Judge? No.

Does this seriously sound like a religion that was "ripped off" of Mithraism? By no means.

Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 4 years ago
Similarities =/= "ripped off"

Everything is similar to something but very few things are complete rip offs.
Posted by Microsuck 4 years ago
Sounds good.
Posted by Apollo.11 4 years ago
Crap! I missed the deadline!
Anyway, I will post later today.
Posted by THEBOMB 4 years ago
16k why are you helping one side of the debate?
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
yes, it was
Posted by Contradiction 4 years ago
No it wasn't.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
It was
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Wow.....this one is....interesting, to say the least.
Following this one for sure.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
Following. If no one takes it though, I may look into the issue and accept myself.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: It was unfair for pro to bring all of those arguments in round 3. They should be dis-regaurded.