Re: spong's bad assumptions and virgin births - for jim

From: George Murphy (
Date: Mon Jan 06 2003 - 09:57:57 EST

  • Next message: Michael Roberts: "Re: Does the Bible teach a flat earth?" wrote:
    > In a message dated 1/5/03 7:23:14 PM Eastern Standard Time,
    > writes:
    > > . I don't believe that argument is compelling, in part because it's
    > > far from clear that such traditions did influence Mt & Lk. In any case,
    > > the presence of
    > > this theme in other religions & cultures is a sword that can cut
    >both ways.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > Would you entertain the possibility that some of the structure and nature of
    > judeo-christianity may be from the rg veda via zoroaster with a smatter of
    > Babylonian religion? I'm trying to understand your metaphor. Are you saying
    > religions evolve in isolation and are best not examined for cross influences?
    > "sword cuts both ways" - please clarify... what analyses are appropriate?
    > thanks

            No, I don't think religions evolve in isolation. Babylonian
    religion certainly
    influenced Judaism, in large part negatively. (I.e., parts of II
    Isaiah, Gen.1 &c are
    theological polemic against Babylonian concepts.) Judaism seems to
    have absorbed some
    Zoroastrian concepts during the Persian period. But the question is
    whether the
    statements about virginal conception in Mt & Lk are due, in whole or
    in part, to such
            To clarify "the sword cutting both ways": There are (at
    least) 2 ways of
    arguing from the existence of ideas about virginal conceptions in
    other religions.
            1) The existence of these ideas shows that virginal
    conception is appropriate
    for a divine being, and thus is used properly to speak about Jesus.
            2) The existence of these ideas shows that the notion of
    virginal conception
    was, so to speak, "in the air", and thus Mt & Lk could have gotten
    the idea from their
    cultures rather than from any historical information about Mary's virginity.
            Both assume that such ideas from other religions _did_
    influence the Christian
    accounts which, as I noted, is debatable. & neither line of argument
    _proves_ anything
    about such historicity.


    George L. Murphy

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